Indian IIMs vs. M7 US B-Schools: Key Differences

Indian IIMs vs. M7 US B-Schools: Key Differences

Choosing between Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and M7 US B-schools can be a difficult decision. Both IIMs and M7 schools offer quality MBA educations and pathways to elite careers.

Hassan Akram, CEO of City Careers Coach, recently broke down some of the key differences between IIMs and M7 US business schools offering insight into how applicants can make the right decision.


When it comes to prestige, M7 US B-schools are unmatched. Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, and Columbia consistently rank amongst the top B-schools and are each globally respected brands.

“There are other elite MBA programs, of course,” according to Accepted. “But these seven have a history together that continues – their deans connected with each other years ago and formed a group that would regularly meet and share information. Eventually, these meetings grew beyond just the deans to include others within their admissions offices, creating a consistent flow of information. Their meetings and discussions address a range of issues, including best practices for components of the admissions process and responses to current events that directly impact MBA admissions.”


If you’re intent on pursuing a career in India, attending an IIM makes sense. IIM B-schools offer direct connections to the Indian market and give students real-world context of the growing economy.

“From the get-go, IIMA’s commitment to bringing the real world into the classroom shone through,” Shivani Choudhry, a 2023 class member of Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, says. “Its culture of intense inquiry and open dialogue makes every class a mind-bending experience. Indeed, IIMA’s rich legacy famously imbibes these qualities.”


Compared to M7 B-schools, IIMs offer a much more favorable cost-benefit ratio. Tuition cost for an IIM MBA is around $48K for two years, compared to over $229K at an M7 B-school. However, M7 schools do offer higher earning potential post MBA.

“The ROI in terms of post-MBA salaries and career opportunities at M7 schools is typically higher, appealing for those aiming for an international career,” Akram says.

Ultimately, choosing between IIMs and M7 B-schools is a personal choice as each pathway offers unique benefits with distinctive pathways.

“Your decision should reflect your long-term career goals and personal circumstances,” Akram says. “If you aim to lead in India’s dynamic economy, an IIM MBA might be suitable. However, for a global career, an M7 institution could be more appropriate.”

Sources: Times of India, MBA Crystal Ball, P&Q, Accepted

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