French Schools Dominate New Financial Times Ranking

HEC Paris' campus

HEC Paris’ campus

The top five business schools in the world for a master’s in finance are all based in the same country, and it’s not the United States. That’s according to the new ranking of “pre-experience” finance master’s degrees from The Financial Times, which lists five French B-schools as the world’s best, with HEC Paris as the No. 1 program for the fourth straight year.

HEC Paris is followed by ESCP Business School, which has campuses in both France and the UK, Skema, ESSEC, and EDHEC. See page 2 for the complete 55-school ranking.

The top-ranked U.S. school in the new FT ranking is MIT Sloan, tied for ninth.

FT also ranked “post-experience” master’s programs, with just three schools ranked: London Business School, University of Cambridge Judge Business School, and Singapore Management University: Lee Kong Chian.


HEC Paris has topped FT‘s pre-experience master’s ranking — “for students with little or no relevant professional history” — every year since EDHEC grappled away the top spot in 2017. There was no ranking for 2019. This year HEC’s students had the highest percentage salary increase three years after completion and the third-highest average salary, at just under $173,000. The school also ranked second for its career service and third for international work mobility. Click here to see the full ranking and associated data.

Ranked No. 2 overall, ESCP was best for its careers service and international course experience for the fourth year in a row, and first for international work mobility for the first time.

“We continue to train professionals with an international outlook and strong technical competency,” ESCP professor Philippe Thomas, academic director of the master in finance, says in a news release. “Combined with academic expertise, this has been achieved by building strong relationships with top financial institutions, giving our students the skills that they need in order to succeed in Investment Banking, both in the fields of Financial Markets and Corporate Finance.”

The only school from Canada in the ranking, McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management made the most progress, climbing 11 places to 25th.


Oxford University Saïd Business School’s finance master’s program ranked No. 1 in the UK and No. 6 overall, up from 10th last year. The current Oxford MFE class boasts a diverse cohort from 21 different nationalities and is made up of 49% women. Graduates have gone on to leading firms in finance, including Morgan Stanley, UBS, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America, as well major global consulting firms such as McKinsey, BCG, and Bain.

“We are delighted our hard work, over what has been a challenging time, has been recognized,” says Ken Okamura, program director at Oxford Saïd, in a news release. “This is a highly competitive field so to be named best in the UK and sixth in the world is a real testament to the professionalism, perseverance and dedication of our faculty and programme team, and the brilliant students we have had the privilege of teaching.”

Adds Hamish Low, James Meade professor of economics and head of the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford: “This is a real testament to how we have built a course that combines the best of economics and finance, and integrates both fields to create a stimulating experience for our outstanding students.”

See the complete 55-school Financial Times pre-experience finance master’s ranking on the next page.

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