Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

ESADE Business School


Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: December 29, 2022.

School Data

Annual Tuition: €76,500

Annual Tuition Non-Resident: €76,500

Acceptance Rate: 37%

Full-Time Enrollment: 183

Median GMAT: 675

International: 97%

Female: 32%

Male: 68%

Average Age: 28

Application Deadlines: Round 1 - October 6, 2022 | Round 2 - November 24, 2022 | Round 3 - January 12, 2023 | Round 4 - February 10, 2023 | Round 5 - March 16, 2023 | Round 6 - April 20, 2023 | Round 7 - May 18, 2023 | Round 8 - June 22, 2023

The ESADE MBA: What You Need To Know

If practice makes perfect, then Barcelona’s ESADE MBA program should be pretty good at teaching MBAs, because they have been doing it since 1964. And if diversity is important to you, it is hard to improve on the stunning stat that 94% of students in the last MBA cohort came from 50 countries outside Spain.

The school prides itself as being at the forefront of “modern MBAs,” by which they mean that they aim to prepare creative leaders who can flourish in a disruptive environment. They say their MBA is based on “Four C’s”: Collaborative leadership, Critical thinking, Creativity, and Communication skills. It is also flexible, offering 12-, 15-, and 18-month options, with the longer options involving exchanges and internships.

It is possible to see this MBA through a conventional lens as a core program and around 40 electives ranging from the predictable (Hedge Funds) to the unusual (In Search of Principles for a Life Philosophy). There are the usual study tours, treks, and exchanges — although, with 13 partner schools in Asia and 11 in the United States, the range is impressive. ESADE also offers Business Labs for family businesses, innovation, entrepreneurship, and marketing, and boasts a Career Acceleration Program in investment and private banking, consulting, and technological disruption. 

But the school prefers to talk about the full-time MBA as a transformative experience. They say the first term is about building awareness, promoting introspection and self-knowledge. The second term is about learning to create and innovate, and the third is about transformation, putting into practice what you have learned.

With 186 students from 48 countries in the last cohort, it’s not surprising that this is an eye-opening course. And it goes beyond the usual MBA suspects, too. Unusually, 50% of the last cohort were from the industrial sector, with just 21% from consulting and 12% from financial services. On graduation, 32% of the more recent class went into tech, and around 20% each into finance, consulting, and industry and manufacturing.

If you think all the talk of transformation and creativity means that ESADE is churning out a bunch of dreamers who aren’t focused on the bottom line, the numbers tell a different story. According to the 2018 Financial Times rankings, this full-time MBA was the best for salary increase in Europe.

Luis Vives, Associate Dean of Full-Time MBA

“We pride ourselves on having a diverse cohort on the MBA because we believe the leader of the future must be able to work with others, to foster collaboration and the creation of ecosystems. Collaborative leadership is at the core of what we do. We have a very diverse cohort and we want to build on that diversity. We do not want to homogenize the class, we want them to embrace their differences, backgrounds, and origins by recombining them and creating something new. Our students have interesting stories and we want them to go on creating even more interesting stories.”

Mark Kollias, MBA Candidate, Class of 2019

“I looked at U.S. schools, but the top European ones have very high-quality programs now. Also, when it comes to looking at return on investment, you have to weigh up the cost of living, which is far lower in a city like Barcelona than in a big U.S. city. The cohort is so diverse it is incredible, and I don’t think you would find a culture like this in an American school. There is a healthy competitive drive, but it is also very collaborative. When you are working closely with people from other cultures, you learn a lot about their approach to business, but also your own style and how to flex it. I have also learned a lot about time management. I’m taking the course in 12 months, and on an intense course like this you learn to make every minute count.”

ESADE MBA Rankings Data

ESADE MBA Employment Stats

Relevant Features:

2019 MBAs To Watch: Barbara Chavier Mandarino, ESADE

Interview With Keegan Pierce, ESADE Business School Alum

2018 MBAs To Watch: Karol Kalejta, ESADE

2018 Best MBAs: Alicia Dominguez, ESADE

2018 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Jordi Quoidbach, ESADE Business School

Contact Information

Av. d'Esplugues, 92, 96,
Barcelona, Spain 08034
Admissions Office:
+34 934 952 088
School Social Media:

ESADE Business School is an international academic institution that was established in Barcelona in 1958 as a non-profit organisation. Its key mission is to train individuals to become highly-competent professionals fully aware of their social responsibility. We promote education and research through both our Law and Business Schools with a firm commitment to intellectual rigour, critical analysis and academic excellence.

The vast majority of ESADE’s 70,000 alumni are ambassadors of these values in over one hundred countries and hold top-level posts in companies, public administration and the non-profit sector.

Throughout the years, ESADE has forged deep-rooted ties with the business, economic and social sectors as a platform for education and innovation, as a benchmark research centre and as a stage for reflection and dialogue.

ESADE has a global prestige stems from the excellent standard of its programmes in management, its quality education, its international focus and its holistic approach towards professional and personal skills development. For this reason, ESADE achieves consistently high positions in global rankings how being the 8th Best Business School in the world, by the prestigious Financial Times magazine.

The ESADE Full-Time MBA

The ESADE MBA forges next-generation leaders with the courage to ask difficult questions. Disruptive thinkers who don’t just adapt to change, but drive it. Who open a path that others can follow. Creactivists – creative activists – with the flexibility to find insights and the rigour to deliver results. A different kind of learning experience that will amplify your talents, expand your abilities and accelerate your career.

You will learn to be a creactivist by focusing on the 4Cs of critical skills and competencies: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaborative Leadership and Communication Skills. The 4Cs of fundamental core skills have been refined by top recruiters and expert faculty. During the first three terms of the programme, you’ll develop them as part of three connected phases:

  1. Awareness: Develop in-depth knowledge of the business environment – and of your own capabilities
  2. Create & Innovate: Learn to create and innovate using the strengths you explored in phase 1, discovering opportunities within disruption.
  3. Transform: Turn ideas into action. Transform...

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