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IE Business School operates on a rolling admissions process. As such, there is no explicit deadline for applications for a particular intake.
When it comes to business school rankings, the general belief is that they are pretty stable over time. The top schools rarely move in any big fashion and it’s almost impossible to crack into a top ten position. But that general rule doesn’t apply to Madrid’s highly innovative IE Business School.
Little more than a decade ago, in 2002, the school was ranked 35th on The Financial Times’ global MBA list and ninth in Europe behind Italy’s SDA Bocconi, Britain’s Oxford and Cambridge, and Spain’s IESE. Six years later, IE cracked the top ten of the FT ranking, placing eighth worldwide and third in Europe behind only London Business School and INSEAD. Ever since, IE Business School has ranked as high as sixth and never lower than eighth place worldwide.
The rise can largely be attributed to a highly market-oriented strategy that caught some rivals by surprise. IE doesn’t play by the normal rules of academia. The school’s leadership is entrepreneurial and innovative, pioneering degrees and programs that meet the demands of the marketplace–not of tenured professors who despise change. The school was among the first in the world, for example, to offer an online MBA program.
IE offers a full-time, one-year MBA program in Madrid, Spain. To help students discover their unique talents, up to 40% of the IE International MBA can be tailored to the students’ professional and personal goals, and there are many opportunities to work with real companies in both the corporate and startup world. Throughout the program students are trained in Professional Fitness, which focuses on career strategy, world-class leadership and workplace behavior. The academic curriculum provides students not only with standard MBA courses but also classes that go beyond business, such as Critical Management Thinking and Innovation and Design. Finally, students can choose one of two innovation Labs and a vast range of electives, consulting projects, international study-travel opportunities, and dual degrees options with Yale, MIT, Brown, or Tufts.
As an institution founded by entrepreneurs, IE believes that business school should be a place for talented professionals to cultivate the entrepreneurial thinking needed to bring meaningful change to existing companies or new ventures. Therefore, IE offers students the chance to apply for admission to its own internal startup incubator, the Venture Lab, where students have a dedicated space to work and can get academic credit for creating their own businesses.
The school also boasts what is arguably the most prestigious Global MBA Online degree available, entering four cohorts a year of 32 students each, three in English and one in Spanish.
Rankings Analysis: As noted earlier, IE has managed to do what very few business schools have done: crack into the top ten of a widely watched global MBA ranking. PoetsandQuants’ composite ranking for the school is revealing. When you combine all the results of the most influential rankings in the world, IE still comes out very high–fourth among schools outside the U.S. That ranking does not include the recently published 2015 list by The Financial Times which saw IE slip three spots to a global rank of 12. IE showed very well in both Businessweek and Forbes 2013 rankings, placing second and fourth, respectively.
As one Class of 2012 graduate told BusinessWeek on the magazine’s survey: “IE Business School is unique because it’s a global top-ten school but the students, alumni, and faculty are down-to-earth, interesting, and genuinely nice people. The personality of IE is what really drew me to their MBA program over the others I was considering. I also like the entrepreneurial spirit at IE. My experiences there taught me how to solve problems creatively, a skill that is useful both in a big firm setting and in small firm/start-up business environments.”