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.
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 applicant’s perspective.
Here is a brief outline of this article:
- List of M7 business schools – M7 MBA
- M7 MBA Program Rankings
- What is the significance of the M7?
- Does an “M7 or Nothing” application strategy make sense?
- M7 Business School Class Profile and other Statistics
- M7 MBA Program Rankings by Discipline or Specialty
- Employment Statistics at M7 Business Schools
- Alumni Statistics at M7 Business Schools
What are the M7 Business Schools? – A list of M7 Business Schools
The informal group of M7 Business Schools includes:
- Harvard Business School
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
- Columbia Business School
- Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
- University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business
- 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 2020 Ranking|
|The Wharton School||1|
|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.
What is the significance of the M7 MBA?
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?
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, UVA Darden, UCLA Anderson, Michigan Ross, etc. are all excellent schools that 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 a 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
The following are the statistics related to the class profiles of the MBA programs at the M7 Business Schools.
|% of Women||41%||41%||43%||39%||42%||46%||42%|
|% of International||37%||42%||33%||42%||30%||34%||38%|
|% 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|
|# 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
The following are the rankings of the M7 MBA programs by different disciplines and specialties.
|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
The following are the employment-related statistics at the M7 business schools.
|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 MBA
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.
The following are the statistics related to the M7 business school alumni networks.
|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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Note: All data is taken from the latest business school class profiles & their employment reports.
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