HEC Paris Takes Over First Place In The Financial Times Master’s In Management Ranking

HEC Paris wins first place in The Financial Times’ ranking of the best Master’s in Management programs, dislodging the University of St. Gallen

After a dozen uninterrupted years at the top of the Financial Times‘ Master’s in Management ranking, the University of St. Gallen is now in the role of playing second fiddle to HEC Paris. For the first time ever since the FT began ranking these programs, HEC Paris can now claim that its MiM program is the best in the world. HEC broke St. Gallen’s dominance by overtaking the school in employment three months after graduation, 100% for HEC and 98% for St. Gallen, salary increase, 76% vs. 52%, and salary within three months of graduation, $129,806 to $129,264.

Rounding out the top five were No. 3 London Business School, No. 4 ESCP Business School, and No. 5 Essec Business School. Three of the top five schools are based in France and that still doesn’t include INSEAD which launched its master in management program in the fall of 2020. IESE Business School in Barcelona, also a latecomer in Europe to this program format, made its debut in the ranking in 14th place.

While billed as a global ranking for a graduate program that is a shorter, cheaper alternative for younger cohorts of students than the MBA, the Masters in Management are becoming more popular in the U.S. Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School just announced a new MIM, along with the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Even so, U.S. business schools are conspicuously absent from the list largely because they ignore it. Only two U.S. schools make the ranking: Hult International Business School, with a rank of 39th, and the University of South Carolina, ranked 62nd. Yet, a recent analysis by Poets&Quants showed that there already are more than 30 MIM programs at 28 top U.S. business schools, including Northwestern Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Michigan Ross, and Duke Fuqua. “The FT ranking is not comprehensive, with business schools deciding whether to participate and share data for the assessment,” the newspaper concedes.


Still, in Europe, MIM degrees are the most popular graduate programs in business. Seven of the business schools on the FT list enroll more than 1,000 MIM students a year, including ESCP (1,163), EMLyon Business School (1,120), Edhec Business School (1,084), Neoma Business School (1,051), Ieseg School of Management (1,013), and Kedge Business School (1,419), and Essca School of Management (1,218). All of those programs are in France which boasts 21 of the Top 100 programs on the FT list. The U.K. schools are next with ten programs.

But there are also 11 ranked Indian schools, three from mainland China and two from Hong Kong.

With The Economist abandoning business school rankings, including its own list of MIM programs, the Financial Times ranking is currently the only legitimate ranking. Poets&Quants, with Times Higher Education, will publish its first MIM ranking this fall, a list that promises to include many of the U.S. options that get no recognition from the British newspaper. The P&Q ranking will put much greater emphasis on the learning journey of enrolled students, including fresher perspectives from the latest graduating classes. On Oct. 24 and 25th, moreover, Poets&Quants will hold another in a series of virtual admission conferences for specialty master’s programs in business. You can register for free here.

Among the surprises this year is the disappearance of Imperial College Business School in London which ranked 23rd last year. The FT offers no explanation for the program’s absence, though it was due because the FT was unable to get the required number of responses from Imperial alumni. Typically, the newspaper seeks a response rate of 20% of alumni, with a minimum of 20 responses for the sample. Due to the pandemic, the FT has included programs below this threshold, although the newspaper does not detail the lowest response rate for a school in the 2023 survey.


HEC’s emergence is no accident. For a full decade, it has ranked just behind St. Gallen in second place, even though it is a much larger and more substantial program with an annual intake of 623 students vs. St. Gallen’s 52 students. Among its hallmarks is the diversity of jobs graduates land after getting their degrees from HEC, the wide choice of majors within the program, and small class sizes of 40 to 50 students each. What’s more, this year the school totally revamped its MIM program. It is the first entirely new MIM curriculum in ten years, informed by a steering committee of CEOs, government ministers, the dean of Oxford Business School, and the dean of MIT’s undergraduate school and focus groups of company executives, students, and faculty (see Reinventing What Is Taught In A MIM Program). The new curriculum provides students with a deep understanding of the vital issues facing society and organizations, from geopolitical conflict to the impact of artificial intelligence. They will gain a multi-disciplinary approach to solving challenges based on management and the behavioral, social, and data sciences. And they will be taught to address challenges in an entrepreneurial, responsible way.

To accomplish these overall goals. HEC is adding more multi-disciplinary courses, simulations, boot camps, and a capstone course in which students will create an organization from idea to prototype. The elective courses on ESG issues will be equivalent to 35% of the total portfolio of the electives. In addition, there will be field experiences ranging from a half-day to one month. Just as critical, HEC is embedding ESG issues into every course in the curriculum. The number of hours devoted exclusively to ESG themes in the compulsory courses in the first and second years of the program will be doubled from the start of the new academic year to more than 20% of the total time. Those changes may well make HEC’s first place finish as sticky as St. Gallen’s now ended dominance in this ranking.

“You have to go back to 2010, when the world was emerging from the financial crisis for a Financial Times‘ MIM ranking without St. Gallen at #1,” notes Matt Symonds, co-fonder of Fortuna Admissions. “No other business school has dominated the top of a business school ranking without interruption for so many years, not even HBS, Stanford or Wharton in any of the five major media MBA rankings. The Swiss school was #4 in the FT MiM ranking that year, with ESCP Business School at the top of the table with average graduate salaries three years after the MIM around $63,000.
In 2023, the average MIM graduate salaries of the top 10 schools in the FT ranking are close to $114,000.”


As is typical, there were some fairly significant swings in year-over-year rankings. Three programs that had been in last year’s Top Ten fell out of that elite list: University College Dublin (Smurfit), which dropped nine places to rank 17th; Stockholm School of Economic, which plunged 15 spots to finish in 19th place from fourth a year ago, and ESMT Berlin, which lost 10 positions to rank 20th.

Besides HEC, the clear winners on this list include London Business School, which gained four spots to rank third; SDA Bocconi, which advanced a dozen places to finish in a tie in eighth place with Esade Business School, which also gained eight spots from 16th a year earlier. Among the Top 25 programs, Vlerick Business School made the single biggest advance, climbing 17 places to rank 23rd from 40th last year.

Regardless of where a school falls in the FT pecking order, the real winner of the ranking is most likely the degree program itself. The employment rates out of these programs have been consistently high at almost all of the business schools, approaching if not equal 100% within three months of graduation. In fact, six of the top 25 schools were able to get every single one of their graduates jobs this past year. Another six reported placement rates of 99% or 98%. Also, among the Top 25 programs, six-figure salaries three years within graduation were the norm, with HEC grads reporting the highest average of $129,806.

The 2013 Financial Times Top 25 Masters In Management Programs 

2023 Rank & School Y-O-Y Change 2022 Rank Program Location Average Salary Three Years After Graduation Employed At 3 Months
1. HEC Paris +1 2 Master in Management France $129,806 100%
2. University of St. Gallen -1 1 MA in Strategy & International Management Switzerland $129,264 98%
3. London Business School +4 7 Master in Management U.K. $114,438 94%
4. ESCP Business School +1 5 Master in Management France $102,362 99%
5. Essec Business School +1 6 Master in Management France $108,393 99%
6. Tsinghua University School of Economics & Management +5 11 Master in Management China $128,461 100%
7. EMLyon Business School +2 9 MSc in Management France $101,747 98%
8. Esade Business School +8 16 MSc in International Management Spain $112,183 94%
8. SDA Bocconi +12 18 MSc in International Management Italy $102,910 100%
10. Rotterdam School of Management -7 3 MSc in International Management Netherlands $108,864 86%
11. Edhec Business School +1 12 Master in Management France $104,595 94%
12. Shanghai Jiao Tong University +6 18 Master in Management China $111,579 100%
13. WHU: Otto Beisheim School of Management +1 14 MSc in Management Germany $128,392 89%
14. IESE Business School ——– NR Master in Management Spain $100,835 96%
15. Nova School of Business & Economics ——– 15 International Master’s in Management Portugal $104,007 97%
16. IE Business School +1 17 Master in Management Spain $89,446 88%
17. University College Dublin (Smurfit) -9 8 MSc in International Management Ireland $95,666 92%
18. Prague University of Economics & Business +7 25 Master in International Management Czech Republic $89,426 100%
19. Stockholm School of Economics -15 4 Master Program in International Business Sweden $90,066 96%
20. ESMT Berlin -10 10 Master in Management Germany $101,809 91%
21. University of Mannheim Business School -3 24 Master in Management Germany $111,382 99%
22. Tongji University School of Economics & Business -1 21 Master of Global Management China $100,288 100%
23. Vlerick Business School +17 40 Master in International Management & Strategy Belgium $80,527 93%
24. WU Vienna University of Economics & Business +4 28 Master in International Management Austria $91,718 95%
25. Neoma Business School +7 32 Master in Management France $76,100 98%


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