M7 Business Schools, also referred to as the Magnificent 7 or the Magic 7, are a collection of seven prestigious business schools in the United States. The M7 Business Schools are an informal super-elite group of top business schools in the United States that are renowned for their MBA programs and their influential alumni.
SNAPSHOT: ELITE TALENT IN ITS INCUBATION
The M7 was established following a fabled—not to say apocryphal—meeting of the deans of the seven schools many years ago. Thoughts of cigar smoke and the clink of whisky glasses are entertaining despite the lack of clarity. What became clear, however, is that the seven schools and other schools that do business with them—most of the world’s top business schools, and thus the vast majority of the graduate business education universe—have an agreement that still affects interactions at every level.
The M7 framework affects partnerships and programs between the schools that have developed student leaders for decades in addition to the twice-yearly meetings among the seven deans, vice deans, admissions directors, career management directors, and even PR and marketing professionals.
Even (perhaps especially) for those who will never have a chance to be admitted, the world of the seven schools will always fascinate those who observe it from the outside. Like the data from previous stories and prior classes, the employment data from the M7 MBA Classes of 2021 and the profile data from the M7 Classes of 2023 contained in this story are a snapshot of some of the world’s most talented leaders in their incubation. With studies that were conducted partially or entirely online, the new data is especially fascinating as a portrait of those who, respectively, ended and started classes in a pandemic environment. What were the class GMAT, GRE, and GPAs, the percentage of women and international students admitted to each school, the industries they matriculated to, and the salaries they earned in comparison to their forebears?
Here is where you will find the answers. You can find some of them in the table above, more of them in the table below, and still more tables in the pages that follow. Additionally, save this story so you can follow this group’s fascinating development over the years.
A RETURN TO NORMALCY
The M7 schools’ apparent full recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic was the most notable development of the 2020–2021 admissions cycle. But it certainly left some marks. In total, 47,794 people applied for admission to the M7 schools in 2020–2021, a slight decrease of just 85 applications from the previous cycle, which saw a late boom following the onset of the coronavirus in March 2020. This trend likely persisted in the 2021–2022 cycle, for which data has not yet been reported. Class sizes stabilized in 2021, declining to 2019 levels or, in the case of Harvard, soaring. (See table above. ).
In fact, for the M7, all major data points have returned to normal: GMAT scores increased (the GMAT total in the table on this page is for the five schools that report averages), GRE scores also increased, and even the group’s overall GPA increased. Perhaps most notably, the percentage of women in every M7 school crossed 40% together for the first time, rising by more than 3 percentage points cumulatively to a group average pf more than 45% Wharton led the way with 52% women, the first M7 school %E2%80%94 and one of the first in the United States and the world %E2%80%94 to achieve gender parity in its MBA
The M7 emerged from a severe existential abyss during the 2020–2021 admissions cycle and subsequent enrollment as more international students came back. The rebound was especially striking at Wharton, which saw its international students increase as a percentage of the class to 36% from a dire 19% %E2%80%94 but it was up at all seven schools, including by double digit percentage points at Stanford, Kellogg and MIT Sloan, growing cumulatively from an average of 31 4% to 40. 8%.
For information on the M7’s tuition, total cost, ROI, and industry choice, see the following page.
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Building boardrooms, management teams, and workforces that more closely resemble the societies in which they operate is hampered structurally by cost. Offering more scholarships and making programs more accessible to underrepresented groups has been the M7 solution. Harvard Business school recently announced plans to cover tuition and fees for 10% of its admits based on need; HBS also has not increased tuition for five years Columbia kept its tuition stable for three straight admission cycles. About half of the students in each MBA program at Stanford and Harvard receive average annual awards of $42,000. Nearly two-thirds are eligible for and receive financial aid, according to Kellogg.
But the M7 are not just the most prestigious business schools in the world. They are also the most expensive. Two years of a full-time residential program at one of the M7 schools can cost anywhere from a quarter million dollars to almost $400K, depending on living expenses, which vary significantly depending on the school’s location and the size of a student’s family. At the M7, the estimated average two-year cost is greater than $229,000, and at MIT and Stanford (for single students), it is greater than $238,000. See table below for details.
No better way to put it once you’re in: an MBA from one of these institutions is a ticket to a better life. The median starting salaries at Harvard, Booth, Kellogg, and Stanford ticked up while remaining stable at the other schools. Bonuses were largely flat, rising in Chicago and falling in Palo Alto. The median compensation at three of the schools in the table below appears to have decreased because we base total compensation on the percentage of employees who report bonuses, and because this percentage changes annually, but in reality it is remarkably stable and at a level no other B-school currently approaches. Additionally, some of the M7 schools report additional compensation like stock and relocation options, and all of them have graduates who receive it, which raises their totals.
You might not be surprised to learn that the majority of Harvard, Wharton, and Columbia grads work in finance or that Booth and Kellogg send the majority of their MBAs into consulting once they leave the exclusive environment of their respective B-schools. Did you know that most Sloanies are consultants, with tech coming in second and finance coming in third, and that Stanford techies are actually second to finance grads at the school?
See the distribution of the Class of 2021 below for the answers, with the Class of 2020 in parenthesis for year-to-year comparisons, to the questions of which schools produce the most entrepreneurs and which send the most MBAs into the healthcare sector.
The M7 class profile information, including pre-MBA industries and undergraduate majors, is on the following page.
and view more of our cost coverage
QUOTES FROM THE M7: SCHOOL DIFFERENTIATORS
“The Booth MBA’s flexible curriculum and supportive community are two of its biggest differentiators.” The Booth MBA gives students the freedom to choose courses that match their background, interests, and career objectives. The world’s top professors, who are pillars of the Chicago Booth community, deliver the flexible curriculum, which is based in the fundamentals of business—accounting, economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics. The Booth community fosters critical thinking while fostering a fun and inspiring environment where students can learn. It combines collaboration and competition. Students can take chances and aim high on their path to becoming outstanding global leaders with the help of the Booth community. With a vibrant and encouraging Booth alumni network of 55,000 leaders in every continent, this community endures long after graduation.
“Our multidisciplinary curriculum provides students analytical frameworks needed to succeed. It adapts and expands to meet the rapidly shifting business environment with agility while preserving the fundamental principles that set it apart from other MBA programs. Our accomplished faculty shares knowledge with present and future leaders whether it be in Chicago, Hong Kong, or London. “.
Students at the GSB undergo a transformational experience that pushes them to become accountable, significant leaders who inspire, motivate, and lead with empathy and compassion. “Our comprehensive approach to business education goes beyond building students’ capabilities for the next step in their career. We achieve this by offering students a distinctive combination of demanding foundational academic courses, as well as courses and experiences centered on leadership and personal development.
The GSB’s close-knit, welcoming culture is yet another distinctive feature. It cultivates innovation, collaboration, and creativity throughout the organization and gives students a solid sense of belonging and values. Through the dean’s speaker series and guest lecturers in classes, our students have unmatched access to top faculty throughout the institution and the chance to interact with influential leaders from around the world. Through clubs, activities, and academic experiences, students also form close relationships with one another that last far beyond their time on campus. ”.
The Wharton MBA Program is dedicated to creating a diverse and vibrant academic community that upholds our values and improves the educational experience for students. When students enroll in our program, they become classmates with peers who collectively make up what is likely to be the most diverse group of people our students have ever been a part of. This is quite intentional on our part. The diverse experiences and viewpoints that each Wharton MBA student brings to the program contribute to the school’s thriving learning environment. We also work to build a community where each student can be authentic and encourage others to do the same through respectful and open communication. Opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom encourage engagement and development to assist students in developing into leaders who can manage difference and build inclusive communities both during the program and after they graduate.
“Second, we want to guarantee that every MBA student has the best experience possible for their two years at Wharton — and beyond. At Wharton, there are more opportunities than a student could possibly take advantage of, including courses, career paths, opportunities for leadership development, and clubs. The MBA program staff personalizes each student’s approach to the decisions they must make, making sure they have access to complete information about the options available and receive the support they need to choose the pathway that best fits their unique goals. Assessment and individual development plans through People Lab, connecting academics, careers, leadership, and student life by giving each student a team of advisors from each of these areas, and the ability to explore career paths through our online careers platform, My Action Plan (MAP), are all current initiatives to provide personalized data-driven content. ”.
“The global pandemic was, in many ways, a catalyst for rethinking what the Wharton MBA experience can be,” In a virtual environment, Wharton faculty, staff, and students led and navigated best practices for establishing connections, networks, and communities. Although we still firmly believe that being present in person is ideal, Covid-19 encouraged innovation by encouraging the development of new forms of interactive learning using technologies that improve virtual delivery. The Wharton MBA community will continue to develop disruptive changes to support career skill development and post-graduation reflection through lifelong management training. ”.
The case method pedagogy was developed by HBS and is still used today. Over the course of their two years at the School, students may be given up to 500 cases to read and analyze before class in order to get ready for a discussion about how they would address the presented business challenge. HBS gathers incredibly talented individuals from various backgrounds and places their experience front and center. The majority of the talking and listening in class is done by students, who are expected to understand the decision at hand, what they would do if they were the case protagonist, and why. They do not continue to think about the case in the same way after class has ended. With the case method, they gain knowledge of numerous businesses as well as communication, listening, analysis, and leadership skills. It is a truly dynamic and immersive learning environment.
“The section experience has made it possible for the classroom to be diverse.” Students are assigned to a particular “section” at HBS, where they will complete the Required Curriculum (RC), along with a group of about 90 other students. The section’s diverse range of experiences, interests, goals, and experiences mirrors the diversity of the class. Along with taking their RC classes together, sectionmates also share cases, classroom resources, and a dedicated faculty team. Section faculty introduce cutting-edge concepts and methods for learning while instructing and overseeing the learning environment through their own research and practical experience.
Another significant differentiator for the HBS MBA program is its global focus. Besides its extensive alumni network (with a third of MBA graduates residing outside the U S. the faculty can collaborate with leaders, industry, government, and academia around the world and learn from business challenges and innovations wherever they occur thanks to the school’s 15 research centers and regional offices in important parts of the world. Faculty are given the chance to immerse themselves in the complexities and nuances of the field through sustained work, which results in truly insightful and meaningful global research, which, in turn, leads to more robust and globally focused curriculum and opportunities for students. ”.
Students can enroll in the MBA program at Kellogg that best suits their career goals and aspirations thanks to its distinctive, comprehensive degree portfolio. All of Kellogg’s programs give students access to renowned professors, a diverse curriculum, and a robust peer and alumni network. Five different full-time MBA options are available from Kellogg, each of which has been specifically created to suit students’ academic and professional goals. Our full-time MBA degree portfolio consists of our JD-MBA, 2Y MBA, 1Y MBA, MMM degree, and MBAi degree. Additionally, we provide adaptable evening, weekend, and executive MBA programs to give our MBA applicants more choice and options.
In addition, and as admitted students confirm each year, Kellogg’s culture of cooperation, inclusivity, and empathy is what truly distinguishes our program. We are constantly looking for students who don’t mind taking chances, want to make a difference in their organizations and communities, and truly exhibit “high-impact, low ego leadership.” The goal of Kellogg is to create a leader who can navigate a changing environment and who has been shaped by and embodies the qualities of creativity and collaboration. We produce leaders with this focus and shared culture who use this empathic mindset to foster relationships and performance in both the professional and personal spheres. “.
“At CBS, we take great pride in the depth of experiential learning made possible by our location in New York City. Our students’ skills must continue to advance as the nature of business school, the kinds of professional roles our students seek, and similarly, change. Our students benefit greatly from the CBS experiential learning model because it allows them to learn from instructors and practitioners who share their experiences in real-time. They address a variety of subjects, including social justice, innovation, and thought leadership. The opportunities for experiential learning, both inside and outside of the academic setting, are unparalleled. In small group settings, eminent individuals impart cutting edge concepts, leadership techniques, and personal philosophies to our faculty and students. Because of how effectively we can access the intellectual capital in NYC, these thoughtful discussions really give CBS a distinct competitive advantage.
“CBS has a strong commitment to providing our community’s residents with opportunities for lifelong learning.” A new platform called CBS Alumni Edge gives alumni a competitive edge to pursue changing career goals in a constantly shifting business environment. This is crucial for graduates who left before some of these cutting-edge courses were taught. Alumni can now take advantage of our faculty’s thought leadership by using a convenient online learning platform. Python for Managers, Leadership: People, Teams, and Organizations, Value Investing: Making Intelligent Investment Decisions, and Business Analytics are a few of the available courses. Since their launch last summer, in 2020, the CBS Alumni Edge classes have been taken by hundreds of alumni. ”.
“Most MBAs hope to advance their careers by switching to a new job function or industry,” Students can successfully prepare themselves for successful transformation by pursuing tracks in entrepreneurship through MIT Sloan’s Tracks and Certificates. Students build a network of peers who share their interests and acquire the necessary skills, knowledge, and practical experience through courses that incorporate action learning.
“To ensure that we are preparing leaders to be successful in a rapidly evolving marketplace, MIT Sloan is continuously evolving both the content of core courses and the range of electives offered. For instance, our core communications class features sessions on communicating effectively with data, and our core statistics and modeling class features multiple modules on AI and machine learning.
“MIT is an opportunity rich environment that rewards the curious. Anywhere at MIT, including the MIT Media Lab, Center for Real Estate, or any of the engineering or computer science departments, students can enroll in classes. Through the Innovation Initiative, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, and the MIT Trust Center for Entrepreneurship, aspiring business owners interact across the entire institute. At the Legatum Center, you can find resources, professionals, and people who share your interests in international development. Students can also expand their personal and professional networks by taking part in affinity coalitions, interest groups, intramural sports, and community service on the MIT campus. ”.
See the next page for rankings data for the M7.
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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About M7!
What GPA do I need for M7 MBA?
People accepted into the M7 MBA programs have an average GMAT score of around 730 and a GPA of at least 3. 60.
What business school has the highest acceptance rate?
Business school (name) (state) Full-time applications (fall 2020) Full-time acceptance rate (fall 2020) University of Kansas5796 5%Clemson University (SC)10396. 1%West Virginia University9996%John Carroll University (Boler) (OH)9795. 9%.
Which business school is hardest to get into?
The Top 25 Hardest Business Schools to Get Into [Rankings]#8. #7. NYU Stern Business School. #6. UCLA Anderson School of Management. #5. UC Davis Graduate School of Management. #4. MIT Sloan Business School. #3. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. #2. Harvard School of Business. #1. Stanford Graduate School of Business.
What is an M7 business school?
When it comes to graduate management education, the M7 business schools are regarded as the top seven in the US. The acronym stands for “magnificent” because their MBA programs are some of the best in the world and they are very selective about who they admit. ”.