Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

IMD Business School

Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: March 7, 2019.

School Data

Annual Tuition: $CHF 60,000

Full-Time Enrollment: 90

International: 99%

Average Age: 31

Median GMAT: 680

GMAT Range (mid-80%): 600-770

Female: 29%

Male: 71%

Application Deadlines: Admission Deadlines Round One: 1st of February, 2019 Round Two: 1st of May, 2019 Round Three: 1st of August, 2019 Round Four: 1st of October, 2019

IMD, based in Lausanne on Lake Geneva, likes to call its MBA a “one year leadership development program” which aims to transform students’ careers. The data suggest that they achieve that; of its last cohort, 97% changed function, industry or geography, 82% changed two of those dimensions, and 48% changed all three.

As a school that specializes in executive education, IMD feels that its sweet spot is slightly older MBAs than some other schools, which is why 75% of students fall in the 28-32 age range, and the average work experience is for students is seven years. On average, students speak four languages.

This is a very intense and personal MBA, with a 2:1 staff-to-student ratio and 20 mandatory sessions with an analyst to help students understand their own motivations and reactions to situations — and better plot their future paths. A team coach also works with the study groups, analyzing behavior and dynamics.

Students are also assigned personal career coaches who help them understand their leadership style and find a suitable job after they graduate. Mentorship is a strong element, and to help them plot their future career, students are assigned both a recent IMD MBA alumnus who has recently undergone a major career change and another in their late 50s.

An IMD MBA focuses on three things. One, understanding how to use entrepreneurial skills in large and complex organizations, and it recently increased the amount of time spent on entrepreneurship by 20%. Two, developing global leaders, who can work across the world. Part of that comes from exposure to the cohort, which is hugely diverse; the most recent class 90 students had 40 nationalities.

The third strand is developing digital savvy. Students take short, intensive courses looking at how areas like marketing have been revolutionized by technology. They also take a one-week program in which they design, build and launch an app. For two weeks they travel to the “future hubs” of Silicon Valley, Singapore and Bangalore. The school also works closely with local high-tech organizations, including CERN, and local research institutes.

Seán Meehan, dean of the MBA program

“You can look at the MBA as a tool-box, and a vocabulary, but what we focus on is how to use those things. We teach you the tools, but we also want to develop leaders and look at how strategy develops in the real world. IMD is about challenging yourself, examining who you are and thinking about your leadership development potential and putting together a plan to achieve it. When you talk to students who were here yeas ago they see IMD as a place for new learning, networks, contacts, ideas and confidence.”

Lauren Versagli, MBA student, class of 2019

“I wanted to come to IMD because of the staff. They have amazing profiles and I wanted to learn from the best. Also, the small class size of 90 students appealed to me because I went to a university of 15,000 and I wanted something different. The diversity is amazing — my study group colleagues are Russian, Thai, Spanish, Brazilian and Indian. It is challenging, it pushes us to think about how we interact, and we are learning skills we will use for the rest of our lives.”

Student Perspectives:

My Story: From Kenyan Farming to IMD

Contact Information

Chemin de Bellerive 23
1001 Lausanne, Switzerland
Admissions Office:
School Social Media:

From IMD:


The IMD MBA is a one year, full time leadership journey for those with the ambitions to make a real difference in a complex and rapidly changing world.


More than ever, we believe the world needs leaders who are globalists, who are digitally savvy, and who have an entrepreneurial mindset. We have designed the IMD MBA to equip candidates with these skills so that they graduate ready to face and impact tomorrow’s challenges.


IMD’s campus is situated in the international environment of Lausanne, Switzerland. Surrounded by lakes, vineyards and mountains, the country offers not only a beautiful setting, but is also the leading country for innovation and is a leading global FinTech hub.

While here, our participants are exposed to the local eco-system of technology and research programs such as the EPFL Blue BrainProject, startups, NGOS and sports federations.

Numerous multinational companies have also chosen to base their headquarters in this vibrant region, from the traditional finance and banking sectors to pharma and luxury goods as well as industry leaders such as Cisco, Nestlé, Philip Morris and Medtronic.

And about 9,000 executives from multinationals around the world, choose IMD to continue their learning development and participate in our top-ranked executive programs.

The Program

The IMD MBA has been designed to deliver an intimate, personalized leadership development experience with an unmatched emphasis on entrepreneurship, globalization and digitalization, while equipping participants with the classic MBA toolkit. Our 1:2 Faculty MBA ratio enables professors to get to know each class member’s profile and aspirations, and individual leadership coaching and career advice helps participants to understand themselves, and their strengths and weaknesses, better. Both the leadership stream and the career development stream run throughout the year. The leadership stream combines classes in the auditorium with experiential exercises both on and off campus and an optional 20 hours with an analyst. In fact, over one third of the program is experiential, developing hands-on experience of business skills, team work and the ability to find ways to collaborate with other stakeholders.


We have a long-held emphasis on entrepreneurship that we are now developing into intrapreneurship – what does entrepreneurship mean for large companies in this digitalized world? Graduates need to be agile and able to apply an entrepreneurial mindset to complex challenges. Aside from being a part of the core curriculum, participants also spend their first few months at IMD working in teams with local startup ventures to help them develop their business plan, financial model and marketing strategy.


From day one, participants are immersed in a global world – amongst their classmates alone there are around 40 nationalities, the majority of whom have already worked outside of their home country and have demonstrated their global mindset and appreciation of the value of diversity. During their year at IMD, they work on global cases; travel around the world together exploring key tech hubs during their Discovery Expedition; work with top management of multinationals for their 8-week International Consulting Projects; and they meet, negotiate with, and are hired by top international recruiters.


All of our core courses integrate a digital dimension and reflect the increasingly disruptive and fast-paced environment of business. In addition, a week-long Innovation Lab and a Digital Lab aim to accelerate participants’ expertise in digital technology, design thinking and translating existing technologies to business solutions.

IMD MBA Participants

We are probably the most diverse MBA program. Each year we put together a select group of 90 experienced, mature and globally-minded participants who want to make a difference. They pull together to get the most out of this intense year; they trust and help each other; they open their networks to each other; and they graduate with bonds that last a lifetime.

Statistically, on average participants have 7 years of work experience, the majority are in the 28-32 age bracket, they speak an average of 4 languages, and they have all demonstrated their potential through their work progress, achievements and responsibilities. They join us because they aspire to more. They want to develop, to play a role in a global world, to seriously invest a year to build on their experiences and become leaders capable of taking responsibility at the highest levels of business.

Career Development

Our Career Development Stream runs in parallel to the program to help participants continue their successful trajectory and meet their short and long-term career aspirations. Workshops, panel discussions, and guest speakers help the class to acquire a solid foundation of essential skills. Each MBA also works with an individual career advisor to develop their personalized professional strategy. Networking, talent forums and company presentations open up new possibilities and opportunities before the key on and off campus recruiting phase. The close collaboration of our Career Development team with both the companies that take part in our recruiting activities, and each individual MBA, help make connections that lead to informed career decisions in a global world.

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