The Prestige and Excellence of M7 Business Schools: An In-Depth Guide

By Arvind Kumar

When it comes to pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA), the M7 business schools stand out as a select group of institutions that are widely recognized for their excellence in business education.

The term “M7” refers to a consortium of seven prestigious business schools that are considered top-tier and consistently deliver outstanding MBA programs.

This article delves into various aspects of M7 business schools, including admissions, rankings, significance, class profiles, employment statistics, costs, program rankings by discipline, industry choices of graduates, alumni engagement, scholarships, and frequently asked questions.

What are M7 Business Schools?

M7 Business Schools are renowned globally for their rigorous academic programs, exceptional faculty, strong industry connections, and unparalleled networking opportunities.

Here is the list of M7 Business Schools:

  1. Harvard Business School (HBS)
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB)
  3. The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
  4. Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago
  5. Columbia Business School
  6. MIT Sloan School of Management
  7. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Reach out to us for special packages on M7 (and US Top-20) programs.

M7 Business Schools Rankings

The M7 business schools consistently rank at the top of various MBA program rankings. Their reputations are built on years of producing successful graduates, conducting influential research, and maintaining strong relationships with the business community. These schools often compete for the coveted top spots in global MBA rankings, showcasing their dedication to excellence in business education.

Here is how M7 business schools rank based on US News, Financial Times, and QS Global Rankings in 2023-2024:

Business SchoolUS News (2023-2024)Financial Times (2023)QS Global
Harvard Business School542
Stanford Graduate School of Business641
The Wharton School343
Kellogg School of Management2914
Columbia Business School1118
Chicago Booth School of Business11113
MIT Sloan School of Management4116

M7 Business Schools – Class Profile 2025

School NameClass sizeAverage work experienceAverage GPAAverage GMATAverage GRE% Women% international students
Harvard Business School9384.93.7374032645%39%
Stanford Graduate School of Business43153.7773832846%36%
The Wharton School87453.672832450%31%
Chicago Booth School of Business63753.673032542%36%
Kellogg School of Management52953.773132648%39%
MIT Sloan School of Management40953.6173032646%40%
Columbia Business School90053.5730NA44%47%

Based on the class profile data for the Class of 2025 at M7 business schools, several observations can be made.

Firstly, there is a noticeable consistency in the average years of work experience across the schools, with most students having approximately 5 years of work experience. This indicates that these top business schools tend to attract candidates with significant professional backgrounds, contributing to a diverse and experienced classroom environment.

Secondly, there is a slight variation in the average GPA and standardized test scores (GMAT/GRE) among the schools. While the average GPA hovers around the mid-3.6 to mid-3.7 range, the average GMAT scores range from 728 to 740 and GRE scores range from 324 to 328. This suggests that while academic excellence is important, these schools also value a well-rounded profile, including strong performance on standardized tests.

Thirdly, there is a notable gender diversity among the student cohorts, with the percentage of women ranging from 42% to 50%. This reflects the ongoing efforts of these institutions to promote gender equality and create inclusive learning environments.

Additionally, the percentage of international students varies across the schools, ranging from 31% to 47%. This diversity of nationalities enriches the learning experience by bringing different perspectives and cultural backgrounds into the classroom.

Overall, the class profiles of these M7 business schools for the Class of 2025 highlight the commitment to diversity, academic excellence, and professional experience, setting the stage for a dynamic and enriching educational experience for all students.

M7 Business Schools – Employment Reports (Class of 2023)

The M7 business schools consistently report high employment rates for their graduates. Graduates are recruited by top-tier companies across various industries, including consulting, finance, technology, healthcare, and more. Base salaries and signing bonuses for M7 MBA graduates are among the highest in the industry.

Here is a glimpse of the M7 Business Schools’ salaries and bonuses of the class of 2023:

Business SchoolMedian SalaryMedian Signing BonusMedian Performance Bonus% of the class that received an offer 3 months after graduation
Harvard Business School$175,000$30,000$40,00086%
Stanford GSB$182,500$30,000$50,00089%
The Wharton School$175,000NANA97%
Kellogg School of Management$175,000$30,000NA94%
Columbia Business School$175,000$30,000$31,00084%
Chicago Booth School of Business$180,000$33,000NA95%
MIT Sloan School of Management$170,000$30,000$40,00090%

Let’s also look at what percentage of the class finds employment opportunities in the 3 biggest industries i.e., Consulting, Financial Services, and Technology.

Here are the latest figures:

School NameConsultingFinancial ServicesTechnology
Harvard Business School25%35%16%
Stanford Graduate School of Business15%38%24%
The Wharton School28.8%37.3%13.5%
Kellogg School of Management42%11%17%
Columbia Business School36.3%35.7%10.8%
Chicago Booth School of Business38.6%32.6%15.5%
MIT Sloan School of Management33.7%19.9%24.1%

Based on the above employment data for the class of 2023 from M7 business schools, we can see several noticeable trends.

Firstly, it’s evident that the median salaries across these top business schools are quite competitive, ranging from $170,000 to $182,500. This indicates the high value placed on MBA graduates from these institutions in the job market.

Secondly, signing bonuses are prevalent among these graduates, with most receiving bonuses ranging from $30,000 to $33,000. Additionally, performance bonuses, although not disclosed for all schools, can significantly boost total compensation, with median values ranging from $31,000 to $50,000.

Another notable observation is the high percentage of students receiving job offers within three months of graduation. The figures range from 84% to 97%, showcasing the strong demand for graduates from these prestigious programs.

In terms of industry preferences, consulting and financial services remain popular choices among graduates across most schools, with percentages ranging from 11% to 42% for consulting and from 19.9% to 38% for financial services. Technology also emerges as a significant sector, with percentages ranging from 10.8% to 24.1%.

Interestingly, there are variations in industry preferences among the different schools. For instance, Kellogg graduates exhibit a particularly strong interest in consulting, with 42% entering this field, while Wharton graduates show a higher inclination towards financial services, with 37.3% entering this sector.

Overall, the employment data for the class of 2023 from M7 business schools underscores the continued relevance and desirability of these programs, as well as the diverse career paths pursued by their graduates.

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M7 Business Schools – Cost of Attendance

Attending an M7 Business School is a significant investment. The total cost, including tuition, fees, and living expenses, can easily exceed $200,000. However, many students receive scholarships and financial aid to help offset these costs. It’s essential to consider your financial situation and potential return on investment when deciding to pursue an MBA at an M7 school.

This table depicts the cost of attending an M7 Business School. The cost only comprises the cost for the first year of the class of 2025.

School NameTuitionBooks, materials, and other admin feesHealth insurance and service feeTOTAL (1 year)
Harvard Business School$74,910$2,600$5,528$83,038
Stanford Graduate School of Business$79,860$2,655$7,881$90,396
The Wharton School$87,370$6,868$4,210$98,448
Kellogg School of Management$81,015$1,647$6,437$89,099
Columbia Business School$84,496$4,423$4,861$93,780
Chicago Booth School of Business$80,961$3,149$7,950$92,060
MIT Sloan School of Management$84,200$3,604$9,657$97,461
Note: The table aims to provide a like to like comparison of the program costs. Therefore, living expenses such as food, transportation, rent etc. are not considered as these vary based on the city, type of housing, family/ individual etc.

M7 MBA Alumni Networks

Alumni networks associated with the M7 business schools provide an extensive array of opportunities, fostering invaluable connections, insights, and pathways into new professional realms. These networks not only facilitate engagement with fellow graduates but also serve as conduits to a rich array of information and career prospects.

Relevance of Alumni Networks

  • Engaging with alumni offers support and insights across life’s journey, particularly for aspiring business professionals.
  • Conversations with alumni provide firsthand understanding of a school’s culture, the potency of its alumni network, and employment prospects.

Bloomberg Survey on Alumni Networks

  • A Bloomberg survey assessed the efficacy of alumni networks in aiding graduates’ employment searches.
  • The survey involved nearly 15,000 MBA alumni from 126 institutions, evaluating the depth, breadth, and responsiveness of their respective networks.
  • Stanford’s alumni network was ranked as the most impactful among all schools in fostering post-graduation employment opportunities.

M7 Business Schools’ Alumni Network

Harvard Business School

  • Encompassing approximately 85,000 alumni across 173 countries, HBS alumni have excelled in diverse fields.
  • A global network of 104 alumni clubs offers avenues for professional, social, and educational engagement.
  • Renowned Alumni Include:
    • Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
    • George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States and former Governor of Texas
    • Salman Khan, Founder of Khan Academy

Stanford Graduate School of Business:

  • With over 30,000 graduates, Stanford GSB boasts a substantial, active alumni community that nurtures robust networks and professional growth.
  • Renowned alumni include
    • Roelof Botha, Venture Capitalist, Sequoia Capital Global Head
    • Mukesh Ambani, Billionaire Indian Businessman and Chairman of Reliance industries
    • Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2022–present)
    • Phil Knight, Billionaire Founder and Chairman of Nike

The Wharton School

  • Wharton’s network spans 100,000 alumni across 153 countries.
  • Seventy-seven independent, volunteer-run clubs allow for engagement and mutual support.
  • Renowned alumni include
    • Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google
    • Ashwini Vaishnaw, Indian Politician and Current Minister of Railways and Minister of IT and Communications
    • Robert S. Kapito, founder and president of BlackRock (world’s largest asset manager)

Columbia Business School

  • Over 45,000 have graduated from CBS, supported by 80 alumni groups worldwide.
  • The network emphasizes networking, learning, and professional development opportunities.
  • Renowned alumni include:
    • Beth Ford, MBA 1995, CEO of Land O’Lakes
    • Beverly Leon, MBA 2020, former midfielder for Sunderland A.F.C. Ladies
    • Harvey Schwartz, MBA 1996, president and COO of Goldman Sachs
    • Henry Kravis, MBA 1969,[57] Founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Kellogg School of Management

  • Boasting 65,000 global graduates, Kellogg fosters leadership across various sectors.
  • Over 35 alumni groups exist outside the U.S., with 28 within the country.
  • Renowned alumni include:
    • Roshni Nadar, Executive Director, and CEO, HCL Corporation, Founder and CEO of the Shiv Nadar Foundation
    • Darren Woods, Chairman, and CEO, ExxonMobil
    • Pankaj Sahni, CEO at Medanta
    • Kushagra Bajaj, Vice Chairman, Bajaj Hindusthan

Chicago Booth School of Business

  • A worldwide community of 55,000 includes approximately 10,000 in C-suite positions.
  • Over 90 alumni clubs provide continuous networking opportunities.
  • Renowned alumni include:
    • Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft
    • Jon Corzine, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, former governor of New Jersey
    • Brady Dougan, former CEO of Credit Suisse Group
    • James M. Kilts, founding partner of Centerview Partners; former chairman, president, and CEO of Gillette Company
    • Eric Kriss, co-founder of Bain Capital

MIT Sloan School of Management

  • A network of 24,000 MIT Sloan alumni and 136,000 MIT alumni is accessible to graduates.
  • Alumni include leaders and innovators across diverse companies and fields.
  • Renowned alumni include:
    • Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Group
    • Robin Chase, Co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar
    • Douglas Leone, managing partner, Sequoia Capital
    • Sumantra Ghoshal, founding dean, Indian School of Business

Importance of M7 Alumni Networks

The far-reaching influence of M7 alumni networks transcends borders and industries, serving as catalysts for both personal and professional growth. Engaging with these networks, facilitated by the schools’ expansive alumni clubs, can yield substantial benefits for one’s career trajectory. Pursuing an MBA at an M7 business school promises not only rigorous academic training but also the priceless privilege of membership in a global community of accomplished business leaders.

Reach out to us for special packages on M7 (and US Top-20) programs.

Good GMAT Score for M7 Business School

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a crucial component of the MBA admissions process for M7 business schools. While the average GMAT score of M7 business schools may vary from year to year, it typically falls within the range of 730 to 740. Therefore, a good GMAT score should be at least 750 which is 20 points above the average GMAT score of M7 business schools .

However, it’s essential to remember that a high GMAT score is just one of several factors considered during the admissions process. Strong academic performance, professional experience, recommendation letters, and essays also play a significant role in the selection process.


Are the M7 business schools the only prestigious MBA programs?

While the M7 schools are widely regarded as some of the best, there are other outstanding MBA programs globally, such as those offered by INSEAD, London Business School, and more.

Is work experience mandatory for M7 MBA admissions?

While work experience is highly valued, some M7 schools may consider exceptional candidates with limited professional experience, especially for their deferred admission or early career MBA programs.

How can I strengthen my M7 MBA application?

Focus on showcasing your unique qualities, experiences, and achievements in your application essays, recommendation letters, and interviews. Highlight your leadership skills, impact, and passion for business.

What is the significance of the M7 alumni network?

The M7 alumni network is a valuable resource for mentoring, job referrals, and business connections. It extends far beyond graduation and can be instrumental in career advancement.

Can I switch industries after completing an M7 MBA?

Yes, the M7 MBA equips graduates with versatile skills and knowledge that can be applied across industries. Many alumni successfully transition to new fields post-MBA.

Final Thoughts

M7 business schools represent the pinnacle of business education, offering a transformative MBA experience that opens doors to a world of opportunities. These institutions uphold their reputations through their exceptional programs, accomplished alumni, and dedication to shaping the next generation of business leaders.

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