The world of American business schools is dominated by the so-called Magnificent Seven, or M7, of top MBA programs. In Europe, the Master in Management, or MiM, is the most important business education program. Potential students have dozens to choose from, so how do they start their search? To help, we have selected the MiM7, Poets&Quants’ list of the elite tier of European MiM schools — plus another highly regarded MiM that is not linked to any single school, making this the MiM7+1.
They are, in no particular order, SDA Bocconi of Italy, HEC Paris of France, St. Gallen of Switzerland, London Business School of the UK, ESADE of Spain, Rotterdam of the Netherlands, and WHU of Germany. The plus-one? CEMS, which has campuses around the world.
The world of European MiMs has a few complexities. For a start, the names of the programs vary: some are called Master’s in Management, others MScs, while others have slightly eccentric names such as St. Gallen’s MA in Strategy and International Management and RSM’s MScBA in Master in Management. Most of these programs last 12 months, though many offer extra semesters to write a thesis or take an internship — and some even allow another year to transform the MiM into a double degree. All do the same thing, however: They give recent graduates with between zero and two years’ work experience a boost right at the start of their career.
Superficially, there are significant differences between MiMs. Some are taught in English, while others take place in local languages. Some are at private institutions, while others are embedded within national education systems. One consequence of this is that costs vary hugely. Looking more broadly across Europe, some state-sponsored MiMs are free, while students at the big, private, international schools can pay north of €30,000. You might argue that given all this variation, it is hard to compare these programs. Vive la difference, we say.
HARMONIZATION ACROSS PROGRAMS A RESULT OF THE BOLOGNA PROCESS
In reality, there is a high degree of standardization between MiMs. That’s partly because these programs are developed in partnership with employees, who tell schools what they need their young managers to know and be able to do. To land jobs in international firms, they tend to need pretty similar things anywhere in Europe, so courses tend to look fairly similar across all programs. This is also driven by the requirements of accreditation (and ranking lists), but also by the Bologna process, an agreement by 48 countries to harmonize their degree programs, including master’s degrees.
Our MiM7+1 list is not based on metrics or rankings, but on reputation and conversations with the heads of MiM courses at several top European schools. We also chose one school from each major region. This means, of course, that some great institutions have not made our list. The honorary mention goes to CEMS, which was praised by several people we spoke to, even though it is not based at one school, but several — it is the +1 in our list.
See the next pages for Poets&Quants’ MiM7+1.
See the next pages for detailed information about each of the MiM7+1.