A 4 minute read

A long time ago in business school history, deans from 7 of the most elite business schools in the United States got together and formed an informal arrangement. They would get together, twice every year to share information not only between deans but also the vice-deans, admission directors and career management directors.

And thus, the M7 group of business schools or M7 MBA was formed, the M standing for Magnificent or Magic (depending on whom you ask). The M7 Business Schools regularly rank in the top-10 of major business school rankings and offer a plethora of opportunities to their graduates in terms of having an impact and changing industries as well as geographies.

M7 Business Schools_ Significance and Rankings

In this article, we compare and contrast the M7 business schools or M7 MBA by employment reports, rankings and alumni base as well as answer a few important questions from an applicants perspective.

Here is a brief outline of this article:

List of M7 Business Schools – M7 MBA

Following is a list of the M7 business schools or M7 MBA:

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  3. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  4. Columbia Business School
  5. Kellogg School of Management
  6. Chicago Booth School of Business
  7. MIT Sloan School of Management

As mentioned earlier, at their biannual private sessions for which these M7 business schools rotate hosting duties, they trade gossip, best practices and whatever topical issues end up on the agenda.

For e.g. in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, where some of the biggest employers of MBA graduates (i.e. Wall Street) went under, the deans discussed how the schools were responding to the collapsing job market for MBA graduates.

M7 MBA Program Rankings

Here is how the M7 business schools fare in the latest US News 2020 Best Business School rankings.

M7 Business School US News ’20 RANKING
The Wharton School 1
Stanford GSB 2
Harvard Business School 3 (T)
MIT Sloan 3 (T)
Chicago Booth School of Business 3 (T)
Columbia Business School 6 (T)
Kellogg School of Management 6 (T)

Note: (T) denotes a tie.

M7 Business Schools_ Rankings by specialisation

 

But as an MBA applicant what is the significance of the M7? Here is what Prashant from Admit Square Consulting has to say.

What is the significance of the M7MBA?

A natural question to ask here is around the significance of M7 especially since a variety of publications come up with business school rankings each year. The answer is simple and something that humans always crave – consistency. Rankings vary every year across different publications. On the other hand, M7s remain constant. Schools are neither added to nor removed from this list.

Getting an MBA degree is a long-term decision and choosing an M7 school will essentially guarantee that you are making the right choice. The fact that these schools recognize each other as part of a super-elite group and work together to enhance the quality of business education overall, is also a validation of the quality of education these institutions provide.

Does an “M7 or Nothing” application strategy make sense?M7 Business Schools_ Application strategy

Though M7s are definitely A-listers and you cannot go wrong with choosing them, there are a bunch of schools outside of this definition that are prestigious and possibly even a better fit for you. NYU Stern, Darden, UCLA Anderson, Michigan Ross, etc. are all excellent schools which frequently break into Top 10 of all major rankings.

There are also several schools outside the US that provide top-class business education and enjoy high global reputation – INSEAD, LBS, Saïd (University of Oxford), Judge (University of Cambridge), Rotman (University of Toronto) and IMD Switzerland, for example.

Your choice of an MBA program, therefore, cannot be driven solely by a certain ranking or classification. An MBA is a means to achieve one’s career goals and not an end in itself. It is important to introspect what you want from your MBA and research well to shortlist programs that will help you achieve your specific goals – during and after the MBA!

M7 Business School Class Profile and other Statistics

Following are the statistics related to the class profiles of the MBA programs at the M7 Business Schools.

Statistics Harvard Stanford Wharton Columbia Booth Kellogg MIT
Class Size 930 419 862 756 591 478 409
Applications 9886 7797 6245 6029 4289 4471 5560
Acceptance rate 11% 5.70% 19.60% 14% 23.50% 20.1% 11.60%
Yield 90% 89.10% 67.10% 69.80% 52.90% 51.60% 60.30%
% of Women 41% 41% 43% 39% 42% 46% 42%
% of International 37% 42% 33% 42% 30% 34% 38%
Average/Median GMAT 730 732 732 732 731 732 728/739
Average GPA 3.71 3.72 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.48
% of minority students 26% 27% 33% 33% 31% 27% N/A
Average Work Experience 4.6 Years 4 Years 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years 5.1 Years 4.9 Years
Average Age 27 26 28 28 28 28 28
# of countries represented 69 63 80 N/A 52 N/A 49
Cost of Attendance per year US $ 110,740 US $ 115,917 US $ 114, 896 US $ 110,978 US $ 108,822 US $ 105,610 US $ 111,570
Total Scholarship Amount US $ 34 Million US $ 15.7 Million US $ 16.9 Million US $ 10,1 Million US $ 16.3 Million US $ 11.8 Million US $ 8.1 Million
Average Scholarship awarded US $ 40,000 US $ 35,000 US $ 32,000 US $ 20,000 US $ 30,000 US $ 22,800 US $ 28,220
% of MBAs receiving a scholarship 50% 52% 33% 46% 60% 35% 35%

M7 MBA Program Rankings by Discipline or Specialty

Following are the rankings of the M7 MBA programs by different discipline and specialties.

Discipline/Speciality Harvard Wharton Columbia Chicago Kellogg Stanford MIT
Accounting Rank 21T (24) 2 (2) 16T (17) 7T (4) 18 (18) 6 (6) 27 (18)
Entrepreneurship 4 (3) 6 (7) NR (20) 19T (13) 17 (17) 2 (2) 3 (3)
Finance 7 (8) 1 (1) 4 (4) 2 (2) 11 (11) 5 (5) 6 (6)
Management 1 (1) 5 (4) 10 (10) 14 (12) 4 (3) 2 (2) 16 (14)
Marketing 4T (6) 2 (2) 7 (8) 8 (7) 1 (1) 6 (3) NR (NR)
Nonprofit 2T (4) NR (NR) 9 (8) NR (NR) 6T (5) 2T (2) NR (NR)
International Business 2 (2) 3 (3) 7T (8) 15 (18) 16 (14) 9 (5) 17T (16)
Production & Operations 9 (8) 4 (4) 13 (12) NR (20) 8 (7) 5 (5) 1 (1)
Information Systems NR (NR) 6 (6) NR (NR) NR (NR) NR (NR) 7T (7) 1 (1)
Supply Chain Logistics 21T (NR) 12 (NR) NR (NR) NR (NR) 12 (14) 8 (7) 2 (2)

Employment statistics at M7 Business Schools

M7 Business Schools_ Employment Statistics and Salaries

Following are the employment-related statistics at the M7 business schools.

Employment Stats Harvard Stanford Wharton Columbia Booth Kellogg MIT
Median/Average Salary US $ 140,000 US $ 145,559 US $ 135,000 US $ 130,000 US $ 130,000 US $ 125,000 US $ 135,000
Median/Average Bonus US $ 25,000 US $ 31,146 US $ 30,000 US $ 30,000 US 25,000 US $ 25,000 US $ 30,000
Base Salary Range US $ 95,000 – 175,000 US $ 48,000 – 300,000 US $ 92,000 – 180,000 US $ 52,000 – 308,000 US $ 53,000 – 250,000 US $ 23,282- 300,000 US $ 50,000 – 250,000
% employed at graduation N/A 81% N/A N/A 87.60% 78% 85.90%
% employed 3-month from graduation 95% 95% 94.60% 90.10% 95.30% 92% 93.60%

Alumni statistics at the M7 business schools – M7 MBAM7 Business Schools - Alumni Base

The M7 business schools have large, active and engaged alumni networks around the world. These alumni help open doors to opportunities in various countries and industries. Following are the statistics related to the M7 business school alumni networks.

 

Alumni Harvard Wharton Columbia Chicago Kellogg Stanford MIT
Total Living Alumni 46,846 98,000 45,000 52,000 60,000 30,194 20,000
Active Alumni Clubs 102 77 82 73 72 66 95
Countries with Alumni Clubs 44 38 40 40 34 44 41
Fortune 500 CEOs (as of 2017) 25 8 6 7 6 11 7
Estimated Annual Rate of Giving (2018) 25% 20% 17% 19% 20% 40% 20%

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Write to us at acethegmat@e-gmat.com in case of any GMAT or MBA admissions related queries

Note: All data is taken from the latest business school class profiles, employment reports, and Poets & Quants.

Payal Tandon
Co-founder, e-GMAT
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