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

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

The M7 business schools consist of the following institutions:

  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. Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  7. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

These schools are renowned globally for their rigorous academic programs, exceptional faculty, strong industry connections, and unparalleled networking opportunities.

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

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

Class Profile of M7 Business Schools

The M7 business schools exhibit an average professional experience of approximately five years, while the average Grade Point Average (GPA) spans from 3.60 to 3.76. Remarkably elevated average scores are observed in the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE), with the average GMAT score surpassing 730 and the average GRE score exceeding 325.

There has been a notable augmentation in the representation of female candidates within the M7 business schools. The Wharton School’s MBA class of 2024, for instance, embodies a commendable gender balance, with female enrollment comprising 50%. Each of the M7 business schools maintains a minimum of 40% female participation within their cohorts.

Columbia Business School distinguishes itself in attracting a substantial contingent of international candidates, as evidenced by 51% of its class of 2024 originating from foreign nations. Across the M7 business schools, the international composition of the incoming classes ranges from 35% to 51%.

The composition of the classes varies among the institutions, with Harvard Business School housing the largest cohort of students, totaling 1015 individuals, and Stanford Graduate School of Business hosting the most intimate class with 424 students.

Outlined below are the comprehensive class profile details pertaining to the M7 business schools, specifically pertaining to their most recent incoming cohort, namely, the class of 2024.

School NameClass sizeAverage work experienceAverage GPAAverage GMATAverage GRE% Women% international students
Harvard Business School101553.7073032646%38%
Stanford Graduate School of Business4244.93.7673732744%37%
The Wharton School87753.673332450%35%
Chicago Booth School of Business62153.672932740%37%
Kellogg School of Management50353.772932548%38%
MIT Sloan School of Management40853.62730NA46%40%
Columbia Business School84453.6729NA44%51%

M7 Business Schools – Employment Reports

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.

School NameMedian SalaryMedian Signing BonusMedian Performance Bonus% of the class that received an offer
Harvard Business School$175,000$30,000$40,00095%
Stanford GSB$175,000$30,000$45,00096%
The Wharton School$175,000$30,000$30,00099%
Kellogg School of Management$165,000$30,000$30,00099%
Columbia Business School$150,000$30,000$32,15094%
Chicago Booth School of Business$175,000$30,000$30,00095%
MIT Sloan School of Management$165,000$30,000$30,00097%

The M7 business schools consistently exhibit impressive employment outcomes for their graduates. The median base salary across these schools is consistently high, with most schools reporting a median salary of $175,000. Additionally, a standardized signing bonus of $30,000 is prevalent among these institutions. The performance bonuses also contribute significantly to the overall compensation, with Stanford GSB leading the way with a median performance bonus of $45,000.

An outstanding feature is the remarkable percentage of students who receive offers, indicating the strong demand for graduates from these schools. The Wharton School and Kellogg School of Management stand out in this regard, with 99% of their respective classes receiving offers. Other schools, such as Stanford GSB and MIT Sloan School of Management, also report high percentages, with 96% and 97% of their classes receiving offers, respectively.

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 School26%33%19%
Stanford Graduate School of Business15%34%28%
The Wharton School24%39%17%
Kellogg School of Management40%16%21%
Columbia Business School33%36%17%
Chicago Booth School of Business35%35%15%
MIT Sloan School of Management31%23%23%

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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.

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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