Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

HEC Paris


School Data

Annual Tuition: 66,000

Acceptance Rate: 13%

Full-Time Enrollment: 239

Average GPA: 3.7

International: 92%

Mean Age: 30

Median GMAT: 690

GMAT Range (mid-80%): 640-740

Female: 32%

Male: 68%

The profile was last updated on March 5, 2018. If you have any questions, please contact our general manager.

Admission Deadlines:

Rolling application deadlines.

What is the best business school in Europe? HEC, located just southwest of Paris in the town of in Jouy-en-Josas, has a good claim: It is the top European business school for producing future Fortune 500 CEOs, just a whisker behind Stanford.

At 16 months, the HEC MBA is longer than the 12-month European standard, which allows students to mull their future more than some short courses that seem to catapult them from one job to another, via an intensive boot-camp of job interviews and CV coaching. Indeed, HEC likes to focus on the transformational potential, saying that two-thirds of its MBAs change either geography, sector, or focus, while a remarkable 70% change two or more.

For the first half of the course, students undertake the Fundamental Phase, consisting of most of the recognizable MBA topics. After eight months, students move on to the more exploratory Customized Phase. This involves electives, a fieldwork project, and a choice of 40 international exchanges. Students can choose from the five specializations: Entrepreneurship, Finance, Advanced Management, Marketing, or Strategy.

From September 2018, HEC will add a Digital specialization, capitalizing on its location in the Paris-Saclay Innovation Cluster (dubbed “The Silicon Valley of France”). As well as working with firms that are at the cutting edge of digital developments, the school will also look at how digital technology is transforming marketing, finance, and other business areas.

HEC already works closely with its tech neighbors on an entrepreneurial project. Firms come and pitch ideas to MBA students, who then work on commercializing the technology. The ideas are then pitched to CEOs and VCs, and some develop into real businesses. The entrepreneurial streak in this MBA clearly rubs off: 20% of HEC MBAs go on to found their own businesses at some point.

HEC is also home to the MBA Tournament, the “MBA Olympics” — a sports competition between more than 1,500 MBA students from schools across Europe, with a smattering of competitors from U.S. schools. Students get valuable logistical experience by organizing the event.

HEC also offers “dual degrees,” meaning students can take the MBA in 12 months and spend another year studying for a master’s in public affairs at Paris’s Sciences Po, or four months studying a Global Real Estate MSc at Wisconsin School of Business.

HEC has two MBA intakes each year, in January and September, a total of 250 students, over 90% of whom are non-French. This MBA clearly works as a springboard to a job in Europe, and about a quarter of graduates land jobs in France while around another quarter move to other European countries.

Andrea Masini, Associate Dean of HEC’s MBA

HEC’s MBA is designed to maximize the chances of career transformation. Often these days people don’t just want to increase their salary, but also to have an impact on society and have a purpose in life through the way they do business. HEC’s 16-month MBA, which is longer than most European ones, gives you the chance to figure out what your purpose is.

We strongly emphasize taking decisions in uncertain and highly multicultural conditions. We think that 16 months working in a context as diverse as it can be is the best training for leading a multinational corporation, or creating a company with a global market.

Margaret Hoffecker, HEC MBA class of 2018

The class is a diverse group with lots of different backgrounds and it is very friendly. People are always suggesting concerts or art exhibitions to go and see in Paris. With less than 500 people on the MBA course’s three intakes, it does feel like a real community.

For me the most interesting thing is that I have been encouraged to think about how I can be a better leader, and gain confidence in the business world. Some classes really encourage self-reflection. I feel that this might be my last chance to really learn, so I am looking to explore courses that are outside my planned career path.



Contact Information

1, rue de la Libération
Jouy en Josas
F-78351 CEDEX, France
Admissions Office:
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HEC Paris MBA: A leading global MBA

HEC Paris MBA, one of the top ranking MBA programs in the world, provides the ideal environment for students to realize their full potential and become business leaders for the 21st century.

Located only 17 kilometers from the center of Paris, a major economic epicenter in Europe, HEC Paris MBA is situated in the Paris-Saclay Innovation Cluster. Designed to unite France’s best research institutions, hi-tech businesses, startups and universities, the cluster enables our students to draw upon the expertise of other participants and team up with scientists to bring their technological inventions to market.

Our 16-month program gives students the ideal amount of time to digest new information and build their CV through internships and specialized courses without keeping them out of the workforce for too long. The size of our cohort – limited to 250 students – guarantees a personalized learning experience that prioritizes our students and their goals.

The HEC Paris MBA is divided into two complementary counterparts: the Fundamental Phase and the Customized Phase. The Fundamental Phase uses a rigorous combination of academic training and hands-on learning to teach core management skills. After eight months, students have developed the exact skills needed to transform business performance.

With the Customized Phase, students hone their abilities in a specific sector and gain the experience that makes their CV stand out. Students choose a specialization, and spend eight months developing their expertise through a range of electives, double-degree options, international-exchange programs and real-world work experiences.

At HEC Paris MBA, participants are immersed in a hands-on, learning-by-doing, entrepreneurial environment. Our on-campus eLab, an exclusive laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art interactive technologies, is designed to stimulate creativity and communication. In addition, we have joined Station F, the world’s largest startup campus, giving our students unprecedented access to top international players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Our Career Center ensures that our students’ career goals align with the needs of the global job market. We encourage students to explore a variety of industries and functions, fueling career transformation. The majority of our students succeed in changing their career paths, whether it is a sector, function or geography change. Almost 70 percent of our 2016 graduates changed at least two of these three elements, while 37 percent changed all three aspects of their career.

HEC Paris MBA students graduate armed with a global mindset, the latest knowledge of today and access to a network of over 56,000 alumni in 132 countries. Within three months of graduation, 92 percent of graduates accept job offers and nearly 50 percent secure employment outside of their home countries.