INSEAD Does It Again: Tops Ranking Of Best International MBAs For Sixth Consecutive Time

HEC Paris' campus

HEC Paris’ campus


This year, a total of 12 business schools achieved double-digit ranking gains. That is up from the nine schools that advanced by ten or more places in our previous ranking (see below table). The increase is likely the result ranking changes caused when some business schools decided not to participate on some lists due to the pandemic.

Some 13 schools saw significant declines in their rankings, up from nine schools that posted double-digit drops in 2019-2020 (see table below).


Many of the business schools outside the U.S. offer highly competitive MBA programs that as as good or better than U.S. options. At HEC Paris, a recent admissions cycle saw roughly 2,700 applications. Ultimately, the school made offers to 18.9% of applicants, making it more selective than Chicago Booth or MIT Sloan.

Most students who apply to these programs do so for a variety of reasons from cost to the global scope of the schools. In general, MBA options at international schools can deliver high returns on investment (ROI) because they are often less expensive than U.S. programs and also because many of them are shorter than the more typical two-year MBAs in the U.S. At INSEAD, ranked first outside the U.S., a student can earn the MBA in just 10 months and can start the MBA program in either August or January. The shorter timeframe also means less opportunity costs from the income you give up by quitting a job to become a full-time student. The cost for even the longer programs, such as IESE Business School's 19-month MBA or London Business School's 15- or 21-month MBA, is less than it would be at a U.S. business school.

While some international programs in Asia attract largely domestic students, most of the European MBAs are far more culturally and geographically diverse than even the most “global” U.S. programs. They recruit and enroll students who want a truly international experience and prefer to study and learn with students very different than themselves. They also attract professionals planning to work in Europe after their studies. Only 5% of the latest cohort of MBA students at HEC Paris are from France. As a whole, the class is comprised of over 50 countries. In a 2020 interview with P&Q, Cody Overstreet, a 2020 grad and senior consultant at Deloitte Strategy, likens an HEC Paris MBA to a “degree in international relations.” By that, he means the school exposes students to students from all corners of the world and all walks of life.

(see following page for the full 2021-2022 ranking)

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