The 20 Best Business Schools in the World (2019)

Close-up of four multicultural university students during a class

Pursuing a career in business is a wise choice. The opportunities are endless, there’s always something new to learn, and with your transferable skills, you’ll never be short of new career prospects.

But choosing the right school can be a lengthy and stressful process. And that’s where we come in!

We’ve compiled a list of the 20 best business schools in the world to make your choice a little easier.

20. Yale University

Location: New Haven, CT, USA

Average ranking: 19.7

Situated in the picturesque town of New Haven, and firmly positioned in the Ivy League ranks, Yale University offers its students a unique educational experience.

The Yale School of Management offers a diverse range of MBA degrees tailored for aspiring young professionals and experienced executives. The school remains closely connected to its parent university, and their two-year MBA programme consists of an integrated curriculum.

All in all, the Yale School of Management puts emphasis on its students’ leadership skills and entrepreneurial knowledge both inside and outside the classroom.

19. Tilburg University

Location: Tilburg, the Netherlands

Average ranking: 19.0

Consistently featured among the top 50 universities in the world, Tilburg University ranks 1st for its Economics and Business programme on a national level.

The Tilburg School of Economics and Management offers a bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration and places a strong focus on marketing, accounting, finance, international strategy and economics.

The University generally places a big emphasis on research and subject specialisation, so there are plenty of opportunities to develop in areas of interest.

18. National University of Singapore (NUS)

Location: Singapore, Singapore

Average ranking: 18.7

The National University of Singapore, or NUS as is it more commonly known, has grown into a leading, multidisciplinary higher education institute, and its business school (which was founded in 1965) is often listed among the best schools in the world.

The NUS Business School offers a holistic BBA programme that fuses Western and Asian perspectives. Also, it provides its students with the freedom to design their curriculum and combine modules from different disciplines to encourage the development of diverse social and cultural perspectives.

17. EU Business School

Location: Various

Average ranking: 18.5

As a top international business school, the EU Business School offers a diverse range of degrees at different levels, including international business, management, finance and international relations. Additionally, the school facilitates learning across multiple European cities, with campuses in Barcelona, Geneva, Montreux and Munich, as well as online.

The EU Business School’s students have the option of transferring between campuses to receive training from the finest educators across Europe. Their educational objectives combine Swiss principles with an international outlook and a pragmatic approach, enabling students to gain a rounded business perspective and become successful entrepreneurs.

15. Pennsylvania State University (tie)

Location: State College, PA, USA

Average ranking: 18.3

Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business offers seven different business programmes, including at undergraduate and doctoral level. Their portfolio of majors and minors encourages a diverse educational experience with subjects ranging from economical models to financial risk assessment.

The school, meanwhile, encourages its students to take leadership roles within major-specific or student organisations, study a year abroad and participate in research projects, thus facilitating a hands-on experience.

15. London Business School (tie)

Location: London, UK

Average ranking: 18.3

Located at the heart of the world’s financial district, the London Business School is a global institution that offers elite educational opportunities. The school prides itself with the highest rate of employable graduates and a diverse student community, with over 100 nationalities represented on campus.

Their MBA programme includes core topics such as management science and operations, marketing, and organisational behaviour. Travelling is also integrated into every degree, and students are encouraged to exchange knowledge with their peers across the globe.

14. Chicago University

Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Average ranking: 18.0

Its high-achieving alumni back Chicago University’s excellent reputation, which includes 29 Nobel laureates, the former US president Barack Obama and even the fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones!

Business programmes are open to all undergraduate students regardless of their major. The Trott Business Program is part of the college’s influential liberal arts curriculum and offers students the chance to transition ‘from the classroom to the boardroom’ over the course of three years at the prestigious University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

13. Erasmus University Rotterdam

Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Average ranking: 17.0

As one of the youngest establishments on the list, Erasmus University Rotterdam has a long list of achievements. A steady presence among the top tier business schools in Europe, the University provides a wide range of specialised bachelors, MBAs and PhDs, as well as executive education programmes.

Its English-language Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration (BScIBA) programme consists of independent research and extensive academic training, while you can expect a taste of real-world experience through internships, international exchange programmes and collaborating with industry experts.

12. Duke University

Location: Durham, NC, USA

Average ranking: 15.3

The Fuqua School of Business is among Duke University’s nine leading graduate and professional schools. The school offers various courses, including a Daytime MBA and a Global Executive MBA, each tailored for different educational needs. The former provides a diverse curriculum with 15 different concentrations which encourage specialisation in different areas.

Beyond its academic services, meanwhile, Duke University also houses 400 student organisations, all of which enable students to pursue their interests and passions outside their studies.

11. University of Michigan

Location: East Lansing, MI, USA

Average ranking: 15.0

With over half a million graduates, the University of Michigan is a prominent research university with the largest alumni base in the world. Its business school, the Ross School of Business, provides excellent educational opportunities, supports over 30 entrepreneurial student organisations and offers more than 100 entrepreneurship courses.

Michigan’s BBA programme encourages its business majors to have a hands-on, real-world approach to business and firmly believes in having a purposeful impact on the community. The school also endorses the Ross experience in action-based learning, which facilitates a collaborative business experience.

10. University of California, Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, CA, USA

Average ranking: 14.7

Based on the sunny West Coast, the University of California, Berkley is a well-established global institution, while its faculty includes 99 Nobel laureates, 23 Turing Award winners and 14 Pulitzer Prize winners.

The Haas Undergraduate Program offers its business majors a range of courses, and each programme uniquely combines business with other disciplines including engineering, global perspectives and biology. The curriculum covers a broad area of business operations through its core modules, while elective courses focus on subjects such as brand management, corporate finance and advanced accounting.

9. London School of Economics

Location: London, UK

Average ranking: 14.0

Known for its leading academics in cultural, social and economic disciplines, the London School of Economics is paving its way as the most prominent research institution in the UK. With students from over 140 countries, LSE prides itself as a truly international student community.

Its BSc in Management, in particular, combines business with social sciences, as its curriculum incorporates economics, statistics, mathematics and psychology. The programme combines theory and practice, encouraging critical thinking through practical management competence, teamwork and data presentation.

7. University of Oxford (tie)

Location: Oxford, UK

Average ranking: 13.0

The University of Oxford is a globally renowned educational establishment, and its business school, the Saïd Business School, is no different. It offers MBAs with a distinct focus on individual and collaborative research; amongst these is the 1+1 MBA, where you can opt to finish a master’s degree in your selected discipline before joining an MBA for your second year.

The school has also teamed up with Fortune 500 company and global investment banking leader Goldman Sachs to offer the 10,000 Small Businesses programme.

7. Columbia University (tie)

Location: New York City, NY, USA

Average ranking: 13.0

Columbia University’s core curriculum focuses on liberal arts such as philosophy, history, politics, literature, art, music, science and writing. Through a unique concentration on business management, subjects cover aspects such as accounting, financial reporting and economics principles.

Undergraduates develop their business knowledge through a series of elective courses curated by the Columbia Business School, where students can partake in research opportunities and cocurricular activities such as lectures, industry panels, informal mentoring and networking events with MBA students and alumni.

6. University of Cambridge

Location: Cambridge, UK

Average ranking: 12.3

As a prominent, high-achieving institution, the University of Cambridge excels in multiple fields and disciplines, including business. Centred at the heart of the collegiate campus, the Cambridge Judge Business School offers a refined educational experience to its students.

Its one-year MBA programme, for example, is a broad management degree focused on developing a deep understanding of business functions, interpersonal skills and leadership abilities. The curriculum is split into four phases which offer students the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge and progress smoothly from their degree to their business career.

5. Northwestern University

Location: Evanston, IL, USA

Average ranking: 10.7

Taught at the renowned Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University offers some of the best MBAs in the world. With a broad range of programmes to choose from, the school facilitates learning on different levels.

The school offers the opportunity to apply academic knowledge in real-world settings and encourages collaboration with experts in the field. Moreover, students can follow a cross-disciplinary path and customise their curriculum to suit their needs and interests.

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, MA, USA

Average ranking: 10.3

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s mission revolves around the development of scientific knowledge and technological advancement. In true MIT fashion, its undergraduate management programme takes a scientific approach towards business.

The programme, taught at the Sloan School of Management, introduces its undergraduate students to varying business perspectives via three available majors and minors in management, business analytics or finance. Another critical aspect of this programme is its flexibility as you can specialise in a specific area of study or follow a cross-discipline path.

3. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, CA, USA

Average ranking: 8.0

A top college in many fields, Stanford University emphasises the importance of a liberal arts education. This also applies to its MBA programme at the Stanford Business School, as the core curriculum fuses principles of social sciences.

Management functions are coupled with analytical skills development and creative thinking to encourage innovative approaches to leadership. Global experience is also integrated into every programme, and you also have the option of completing a joint degree.

2. University of Pennsylvania  

Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Average ranking: 5.3

Instituted by one of the United States’ founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is devoted to research and educational development, and business undergraduates studying at the Wharton School have an exceptional opportunity to learn from leading academics in the field.

The available undergraduate programmes address crucial financial concepts, discuss organisational management and focus on efficient problem-solving tactics. With your first year of studies focusing on core subjects, you are gradually given the opportunities to design your curriculum and develop in selected areas.

1. Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, MA, USA

Average ranking: 3.3

Harvard University is synonymous to academic excellence. With a global reputation that precedes itself, the Harvard Business School offers a two-year MBA programme with a strong focus on general management and real-world experience.

The programme includes case method courses and field projects within its experience-based curriculum. There is also a strong focus on developing leadership and collaborative skills through small team projects and activities. During your second year, you’re free to customise your degree to your electives.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, you have a wide selection of business schools to choose from. But whichever one you choose to apply to, make sure you pick the one that matches your ambitions.

Although ranking can be a critical element in any application process, it certainly shouldn’t be a determining factor. The right university will offer you a truly diverse set of skills and knowledge that will certainly come in useful in any career path you choose to follow.

What do you make of this list? Are there any other universities you’re surprised didn’t make the cut? Let us know in the comments section below!

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