Tuck | Mr. Waterflooder
GMAT 700, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. E-Sports Coach
GRE 323, GPA 5.72/10
Harvard | Mr. Health Clinic Founder
GRE 330, GPA 3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Aspiring Tech Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.4
Tuck | Mr. Risk Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.1/10
Harvard | Mr. PE Strategist
GRE 326, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Student Product Manager
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4
London Business School | Ms. FANG Tech
GRE 321, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Sports Management
GMAT 690, GPA 3.23
Wharton | Mr. Private Equity Analyst
GRE 320, GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. CPA
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Mr. Digital Health Start-Up
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. International Trade
GRE 323, GPA 3.6
Said Business School | Mr. Strategy Consulting Future
GMAT 720, GPA 3.98
Stanford GSB | Mr. Robotics
GMAT 730, GPA 2.9
London Business School | Mr. Supply Chain Latino
GRE 320, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Operations Manager
GRE 328, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Ms. Media Entertainment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
GMAT 770, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Basketball To B-School
GRE 334, GPA 3.73
INSEAD | Ms. Insightful Panda
GMAT 700, GPA 87.5%
NYU Stern | Mr. Bioinformatics
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Impact Investment
GMAT 760, GPA 3.2
Chicago Booth | Mr. Nonprofit-ish
GRE 333, GPA 3.81
INSEAD | Ms. Humble Auditor
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
London Business School | Mr. Investment Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 2.2

HEC Paris & Cambridge Score Ranking Gains

The HEC Paris campus

The HEC Paris campus

INSEAD and London Business School topped all of the other international MBA programs in the 2015 best business school ranking published yesterday by Forbes magazine. INSEAD delivered the best return-on-investment of any MBA in the world, even edging out Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, to take first place in its one-year MBA international category. London beat every other international two-year MBA program.

But the biggest surprises in the new biennial ranking by Forbes were scored by HEC Paris, the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, and IESE Business School in Spain. HEC jumped six places–more than any other international business school–to finish third on the two-year list, up from ninth in 2013.

IESE rose three spots to earn second place behind only London in offering the best ROI on a two-year international MBA degree. And Judge outdid its rival Oxford by climbing four places to rank third behind only INSEAD and IMD in the one-year MBA category. Two years ago, Judge was in seventh place, two spots behind Oxford. This year, Judge is four places ahead of Oxford, which fell two spots to rank seventh.


Unlike other MBA lists that often use a wide variety of metrics to rank schools, the Forbes methodology produces a ‘Show-Me-The-Money’ ranking based solely on return on investment. The magazine gathers all its rankings data from alumni, comparing graduates’ earnings in their first five years after graduation to their opportunity costs, including two years of lost income, tuition and fees, to calculate a five-year MBA gain. All the schools are ranked on the average five-year MBA gain for the Class of 2010, a tough year to enter what was a still troubled job market in the wake of the Great Recession.

So schools go up and down based on their five-year MBA gains. HEC Paris was among just a few schools in the Forbes ranking to report bigger gains than it had two years earlier. The average five-year gain for HEC rose to $77,800, up from $61,700. Total compensation for the 2010 class rose 10% annually since graduation and reached $152,000 last year. Meantime, several other schools that had been ahead of HEC reported significant declines in the return on investment of their degrees. The National University of Singapore, which had five-year gains of $95,900 two years ago, fell to just $62,700 in the latest report. The upshot: It fell from No. 2 to No. 7, a five place plummet. Manchester Business School, falling two places to sixth this year, saw its five-year MBA gain drop to $64,000 from $84,500.

Still, London Business School again emerged as the No. 1 two-year program outside the U.S. Students left jobs that paid a median $78,000 in salary in 2008 to enter the school’s MBA program. Five years after graduating in 2010, those students-turned-graduates were earning $210,000 in annual total compensation. Even more impressive, however, was the ROI calculation for London. It amounted to $102,100, or a payback period of 3.7 years, the highest five-year gain of any two-year MBA program in the world–beating every U.S. school, including Stanford, Harvard, and Wharton. That also compares with the average five-year MBA gain for the top 11 two-year programs at international schools of $67,500.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.