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Best Business Schools for Finance – Top MBA Programs for Finance – Part 2

In the last article in this series, we looked at the Top 5 MBA programs for finance. In this article, we take a look at the next set of 5 Best Business Schools for Finance careers.

Best Business School for Finance

Following is the list of business schools that we will cover in this article:

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Cornell Johnson School of Business
  3. Yale School of Management
  4. Georgetown McDonough School of Business
  5. Dartmouth Tuck School of Business

If you have missed the previous article in which we present the top 5 business schools for finance careers and the different types of career opportunities available to MBA graduates in the finance industry, you can read it here.

Top Business Schools for Finance (#6 – #15)

Rank Business School Class Size Finance Industry Hires (%) Finance Function Hires (%) Mean Salary Median Salary (US $) Median Bonus (in US $) Mean Bonus Min Salary Max Salary
6 Harvard 930 29% 29% N/A 150,000 40,000 N/A N/A N/A
7 Cornell Johnson 280 29% 32% 133,126 N/A N/A 46,688 N/A N/A
8 Yale SoM 347 23.10% 24.30% N/A 125,000 43,125 N/A N/A N/A
9 Georgetown (McDonough) 271 21.70% 24.10% 118,340 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
10 Dartmouth Tuck 287 20.00% 22.00% 127,818 125,000 N/A N/A 66,235 215,000
11 UNC Kenan Flagler 276 20.00% 35.00% N/A 123,065 N/A N/A N/A N/A
12 Emory 181 19% 22% N/A 125,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
13 MIT Sloan 409 16.20% 14.00% 124,375 125,000 N/A N/A 60,000 175,000
14 Duke (Fuqua) 440 16% 20% 124,767 125,000 N/A N/A 50,000 180,000
15 UCLA Anderson 360 15.30% 22.50% 122,670 N/A N/A 39,997 70,000 155,000

Best Business School for Finance #6: Harvard Business School

Best Business School for Finance #6 - Harvard Business School - Top MBA Program in Finance

Although HBS is known as a general management focused program, 29% of its class entered careers in the financial services industry. A whopping 15% chose careers in Private Equity/Venture Capital/Leveraged Buyouts. With a median starting salary and a signing bonus of US$ 150,000 and US$ 40,000 respectively, the median total compensation is almost US$ 200,000.

What makes HBS a Top Business School for Finance?

Besides its enormous brand value and cachet, HBS offers various resources to students looking to build a career in finance.


Curriculum and Electives

HBS offers 18 Elective Curriculum (EC) and 2 Required Curriculum (RC) classes for a total of 20 courses in the Finance Unit. However, classes in other units, such as “Business Analysis and valuation using Financial Statements” in the accounting and management unit are also popular with students.

HBS also offers diverse electives such as “Investing in Emerging Markets”, Creating Value through Corporate Restructuring,” and “Financial Management of Smaller Firms.”

Venture Capital and Private Equity

15% of the class of 2018 accepted jobs in Venture Capital/Private Equity and Leveraged Buyouts with a median base salary of US$ 150,000. Courses related to Private Equity and Venture Capital include:

  • Venture Capital and Private Equity
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Entrepreneurship in Healthcare IT and Services

The Venture Capital and Private Equity class involves the VCPE game in which students are assigned to 3-4 person teams and operate as private firms’ operation in a virtual market. The firm runs for 8 “game-years” and can choose from up to 9,000 companies to invest. Teams develop strategies, structure investments, negotiate with other teams to co-invest and make decisions regarding portfolio management.

Venture Capital and Private Equity Club

The VCPE club helps its members recruit for jobs in the VC and PE industry by organizing events and developing programs that address students employment-related concerns.

The annual VCPE conference attracts as many as 550 participants and features keynote speakers such as the co-managing partner of Bain Capital, the President, and CEO of the Baupost group and the Managing Director and co-head of US buyout at the Carlyle group.


HBS Finance Club

The finance club at HBS aims to provide an interface between industry, faculty and HBS students. It organizes events such as A Day on Wall Street, in which students travel to New York City for a 2-day tour of Investment Banks and meet with finance professionals for formal presentations as well as informal talks.

The Finance Club also brings speakers such as the former CEO of Merrill Lynch, CEO of JP Morgan Chase and the president of Barclays Capital. The club also hosts conferences which include keynote addresses from top finance industry executives. Previous speakers include the CTO of Financial services at Intel, founder and executive chairman of Evercore Partners, CEO, and co-founder of CommonBond.

The theme of the conference is different every year, previous conference themes include “The Future of Finance”, “The Art of Creating Value” and “Finance in the New Era of Growth”.


HBS Investment Club

The mission of the HBS Investment Club is “to improve members’ understanding of investment management; to help members develop practical investment skills and test them in the markets, and to create superior access to career opportunities in the investment industry.”

In pursuit of the above mission, the HBS Investment club organizes a speaker series which has featured speakers such as, the founder and CEO of the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, the founder and former portfolio manager of Shumway Capital Partners, a Portfolio manager for the Magellan Fund, a hedge fund manager at Pabrai Investment Funds, the founder of Chilton Investment Company and the founder of Perry Capital.

In its 2016 conference, the keynote address was delivered by Seth Klarman, Founder, President, and CEO of the Baupost Group and author of Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor. Events include panel discussions on a range of topics such as risk assessment, distressed investing and emerging managers.

Finance recruiting partners of HBS include American Express, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse AG, Fidelity Investments, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Goldman Sachs Group.

Learn more about Harvard Business School and its class profile in this article.

Best Business School for Finance #7: Cornell Johnson

Best Business School for Finance #7 - Cornell Johnson- Top MBA Program in Finance

In 2018, 29% of Cornell Johnson graduates chose careers in the finance industry with an average starting salary and sign on bonus of US$ 133,126 and US$ 46,688 respectively. This brings the total compensation up to almost US$ 180,000.

19% of the class chose careers in Investment Banking by function. Following is a detailed breakdown of the full-time hires and salary in finance by function:

Function Salary (in US $) Signing Bonus (in US $) Percent
Corporate Finance 113,916 20,313 6%
Equity Debt Research 120,000 41,667 2%
Investment Banking 137,738 52,738 19%
Other* 109,750 32,000 5%

* Includes: Asset Management, Private Wealth Real Estate, and Risk Management

Immersion Learning at Cornell Johnson

Cornell Johnson pioneered immersion-based performance learning back in 1990 when it introduced an immersion strategic semester in operations. This enabled students to combine classroom learning with practical experience through factory tours and Kaizen projects.

Today Cornell Johnson offers immersion-based performance learning in up to eight different functional areas. The following immersions are available for students looking to deep-dive into finance careers:

  • Corporate Finance Immersion (Link)
  • Investment Banking Immersion (Link)
  • Investment Research and Asset Management Research (Link)

Immersions generally take place in the second semester of the first year of the MBA Program. This timing of the immersion helps you hit the ground running for internship recruiting in the summer.


Cornell Johnson also provides optional concentrations in the second year of the MBA program. These concentrations provide added depth or breadth and help students in positioning themselves for employment. Following are some of the concentrations available in finance:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Investing
  • Financial Analysis
  • Private Equity

Clubs and other resources


Investment Management Club

Students aspiring to careers in finance can learn more about the field through Johnson’s Investment Management Club. The club provides a forum to discuss investment-related topics and opportunities available in Investment Management.

The IMC also organizes various events such as job treks to both Boston and New York City so members can learn more about the career options available.


Old Ezra Finance Club

The Old Ezra Finance Club is one of the oldest and largest student groups at Cornell. It owes its name to one of the University’s co-founders, the late Ezra Cornell. It organizes a variety of events such as:

  • Seminars
  • Town Halls
  • Club Meetings
  • Weekly Roundtable Discussions
  • Mock Interviews

Learn more about Cornell Johnson School of Business and its class profile in this article.

Best Business Schools for Finance #8: Yale School of Management

Best Business School for Finance #8 - Yale SoM - Top MBA Program in Finance

With an Ivy League parent university, the Yale School of Management sent 23.1% of its MBA class into careers in the finance industry with 13.7% choosing careers in Investment Banking. Median salary and bonus figures for graduates choosing careers in finance are US$ 125,000 and US$ 43,125 respectively.

Faculty & Curriculum

According to Bruce DelMonico (Director of Admissions) at Yale SoM, the reason for the schools’ strong reputation in finance is its top finance faculty. Yale SoM has approximately 20 faculty members associated with its finance department, including Nicholas Barberis (specialist in behavioral finance), Gary Gorton (banking) and Andrew Metrick (regulation of the financial system).

Yale SoM also offers more than 40 finance related electives, including “Corporate Finance, “Behavioral Finance,” “Investment management” and ”successful investing.” Students can also get an early overview of the finance industry through the accounting and finance boot camp, which is sponsored by the school’s Finance Club.

International Centre for Finance

Established in 1999 to support research in the area of finance the International Center for Finance is central to the study of finance at Yale SOM. It organizes conferences that have featured professors from the University of London, Union College, Harvard University, and the University of California San Diego. The conference brings together researchers from the fields of behavioral finance, behavioral economics, and behavioral decision-making.

Learn more about Yale School of Management and its class profile in this article.

Best Business School for Finance #9: Georgetown McDonough

Best Business School for Finance #9 - Georgetown McDonough - Top MBA Program in Finance

Ranked #10 for Finance by Business Insider in 2018, the McDonough School of Business sent 21.7% of its class into careers in consulting. The average salary for students who chose careers in finance is $118,430. Moreover, 98% of students who were looking for employment received at least one offer at 3 months from graduation.

Center for Financial Markets and Policy

Housed at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, the Center for Financial Markets and Policy sponsors original research, provides thoughtful commentary, and hosts dialogues and conferences involving scholars and practitioners on key financial market issues. Through these activities, the center enriches the intellectual life of the University and the Washington-based policy community and contributes to an informed public discussion regarding critical financial market debates.

Financial Markets Quality Conference

The center organizes an annual financial markets quality conference which features panel discussions with leading experts. Previous panels conducted include topics such as “Trends and Forces driving the capital markets”, and “Regulatory and policy environment”. Previous keynote speakers at the events include the CEO of JP Morgan Asset & Wealth Management, President and CEO of Nasdaq, the CEO of INFRA and the commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Learn more about Georgetown McDonough School of Business and its class profile in this article.

Best Business School for Finance #10: Dartmouth Tuck School of Business

Best Business School for Finance #10 - Dartmouth Tuck - Top MBA Program in Finance

Part of the Ivy League Dartmouth College, the Tuck School of Business is one of the oldest and the first business school to offer a master’s degree in business. Its small class size and rural setting belie its MBA Program’s strength.

In 2018, 20% of Tuck graduates chose careers in Finance with a median salary and bonus of US$ 125,000 and US$ 46,250 respectively. The highest reported salary was a staggering US$ 215,000 offered to a graduate going into the Private Equity and Venture Capital space. Top Employers of Tuck graduates in Finance include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, and Vanguard.

Private Equity and Venture Capital Club

One of the larger student clubs on campus, Tuck’s Private Equity and Venture Capital Club (formerly the Private Equity Club) helps students interested in the private equity industry by organizing a range of educational and professional events. Club members also work closely with faculty and the center of private equity and career development office to enhance the school’s private equity curriculum and job prospects for students interested in careers in this field.

The small class size and tight-knit community make it easier for students to stand out in Private Equity. Which also means higher odds of success during on-campus recruiting. The club also hosts the school’s annual Private Equity and Growth Ventures Conference. The event has featured keynote speakers such as the managing director of Berkshire Partners and the president and CEO of CP-PIB. The event concludes with a networking cocktail reception and included additional speakers from companies including Monument Group, ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC, and Parthenon Capital Partners.’’

Faculty and Curriculum

With 21 professors combined in the fields of economics and finance and several course offerings in the fields of corporate finance, private equity, capital markets, economics, microfinance, real estate, and taxation Tuck students can tailor and gain broad exposure to the finance field.

To help keep students abreast of the changing economy, Tuck has developed several courses and resources. In an initiative called the News Hour program, students organized town hall meetings that bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni and guest speakers at least twice every quarter to discuss topics such as the presidential elections, the credit crisis and bailout, and the global business outlook.

Tuck Finance Club

The Finance Club organizes recruiting and social events, resume reviews mock interviews, workshops and career panels on topics such as valuation, a day in the life of a trader, and how to succeed on Wall Street. Students also visit investment banks in New York City, such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Jefferies Capital Partners, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays Capital.

Tuck Investment Club

Tuck Asset Management (TAM, formerly called the Tuck Investment Fund) overseen by the Investment Club gives students the opportunity to learn about the portfolio management process in a hands-on manner. The group manages almost US$ 500,000 according to a June 2014 post on its MBA Blog: Tuck 360. The Investment Club also provides plenty of meeting opportunities to practice stock pitches and do mock interviews with second-year students.

Learn more about the Dartmouth Tuck School of Business and its class profile in this article.

We hope this article provides valuable insights for you to make an informed decision in evaluating the Best Business Schools for Finance. You can write to us at acethegmat@e-gmat.com with your questions.

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