[2023] The Elite M7 Business Schools: What Sets Them Apart?



M7 business schools, also known as Magnificent or Magic seven, are a group of seven elite US business schools. The purpose of forming a group was to create an exclusive network of top-tier business schools, where the deans meet twice a year to share insights and news related to graduate management education. 

M7 business schools consistently rank for their top MBA programs, offer high-quality education, and have strong career outcomes. But, getting into M7 business schools is a tough nut to crack. 

M7 business schools

To get admission to these schools, you need to have a solid academic and professional background and a drive to succeed in the business world. They look for candidates who could be future leaders and contributors to their MBA community. So, which business schools are called M7? 

This article lists the M7 business schools and compares them based on their career outcomes, alumni base, rankings, and class profile. 

List of M7 Business Schools 

These are the M7 business schools:

  1. Stanford Graduate School of Business 
  2. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania 
  3. Harvard Business School 
  4. Columbia Business School 
  5. Chicago Booth School of Business 
  6. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management 
  7. MIT Sloan School of Management 

How do M7 business schools fare in rankings? 

Take a look at the M7 business schools ranking according to US News, Forbes, Bloomberg, and Financial Times:

M7 Business schools US News (2023) Forbes (2019) Bloomberg (2022-23) FT (2023)
Stanford Graduate School of Business 6216
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania 3571
Harvard Business School 5424
Columbia Business School 11781
Chicago Booth School of Business 1127
Kellogg School of Management 2349
MIT Sloan School of Management 47611

The methodology of ranking these B-schools is different for each organization. However, they generally compare the business schools based on their career placement success, student excellence, diversity, and return on investment. 

MBA Career specialization ranking 

According to the QS ranking 2021, Stanford and Wharton dominate the marketing and finance specialization, respectively. MIT Sloan ranks #1 for information management, tech, operations management, and entrepreneurship. 

Take a look at the MBA career specialization ranking for M7 business schools: 

M7 Business schools Consulting Finance Information Management Marketing TechEntrepreneurship
Stanford Graduate School of Business 1827121
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania 616NA106
Harvard Business School 1234853
Columbia Business School 4418112115
Chicago Booth School of Business 751551-1001721
Kellogg School of Management 515366NA
MIT Sloan School of Management 31014112

Do you want to get into M7 business schools?

At Admit Expert, we have helped hundreds of students get into top MBA programs around the world. We would be happy to help you too.
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MBA Class Profile 2024  of M7 Business schools 

  • Stanford and Harvard MBA programs have the lowest acceptance rate compared to other M7 business schools. Stanford stands at 6.9% and Harvard at 12.2%. 
  • Harvard Business School has the largest MBA class size, whereas Stanford GSB has the smallest. The average GMAT score of the incoming class of M7 business schools hovers around 730, with an average GPA of 3.6. 
  • The M7 Business schools also enroll a high percentage of women. Wharton ranks #1 by enrolling the highest no. of female candidates (50%) compared to other M7s. 
  • The average work experience of M7 Class 2024 is approx. 5 years, with more than 35% of the class being international students. 
  • Columbia Business school ranks #1 for enrolling the most international students compared to other M7s. 

Take a look at the table below that represents the MBA Class of 2024: 

M7 Business schools Class size Average GMATWork ex. (years)% international students % Women GPA
Harvard Business School 1015730 538%46%3.7
Stanford Graduate School of Business 4247374.937%44%3.76
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania 877733535%50%3.6
Columbia Business School 844729551%44%3.6
Kellogg School of Management 503729538%48%3.7
Chicago Booth School of Business 621730537%40%3.6
MIT Sloan School of Management 408730540%46%3.62

MBA Cost, Financial Aid, and post-MBA salary at M7

Pursuing an MBA from the top MBA programs is costly. The average MBA cost for M7 business schools is approx. $105,894 per year, including tuition and other expenses such as living allowance, books, and supplies. So, for a full-time MBA at M7, you need to shell out more than $200,000.

Financial Aid

To reduce financial stress, M7 business schools offer various types of scholarship programs and awards based on merit, financial needs, gender, and diversity. 

For example, Columbia Business School offers mostly need-based scholarships, ranging from $7,500-$30,000. Harvard Business school offers a need-based scholarship of approx. $40,000 per year, or $80,000 total. Similarly, the average fellowship at Stanford GSB for the class of 2023 is approx. $42,000 per year or $84,000 in total awards.

Apart from scholarships, there are student loans that candidates can avail themselves. We looked at the debt-to-income ratio to see which M7 business schools have the lowest ratio. A ratio below 1 typically means graduates have debt lesser than income: 

M7 Business Schools Debt-to-income ratioMedian Income after two years 
Harvard Business School 0.24$ 1,71,907
Stanford Graduate School of Business 0.25$ 1,63,337
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania 0.27$ 1,75,674
Columbia Business School 0.36$ 1,70,426
Kellogg School of Management 0.79$ 1,89,565
Chicago Booth School of Business 0.43$ 1,59,442
MIT Sloan School of Management NANA

Post-MBA Salary

The average median base salary for M7 Business schools is approx. $152,700 per year, with an average signing bonus of approx. $30,000. Moreover, 94%+ students got a job offer within 3 months of graduation. 

Take a look at the table below that showcases the total MBA cost, tuition fees, and post-MBA salary at M7 business schools. 

M7 Business schools MBA Cost Tuition Median Base Salary Signing Bonus  Job Offer after 3 months of graduating
Harvard Business School $ 1,13,042$73,400 $ 1,50,500$ 30,00096%
Stanford Graduate School of Business $124,389 $76,950 $ 1,58,400$ 30,00096%
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania $ 1,18,568$ 84,874$ 1,55,000NA96.8%
Columbia Business School $ 1,18,777$ 77,376$ 1,50,000$ 30,00094%
Kellogg School of Management $ 1,50,201$ 1,05,380$ 1,50,000$ 30,00096.3%
Chicago Booth School of Business $ 1,15,062$ 77,841$ 1,55,000$ 35,00097.7%
MIT Sloan School of Management $ 1,19,995$ 80,400$ 1,50,000$ 30,00095.9%

Do you want to get into M7 business schools?

At Admit Expert, we have helped hundreds of students get into top MBA programs around the world. We would be happy to help you too.
Schedule a free call with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals.

M7 graduates – Top industry placement 

The top 3 industries where M7 grads find employment are Consulting, Technology, and Finance. The majority of Harvard, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, and MIT Sloan graduates found employment in Consulting, whereas Wharton, Columbia, and Stanford GSB graduates found employment in Finance. 

Take a look at this table to know the top 3 industries where M7 business schools graduates got employed in 2021:

 M7 business schoolConsultingFinance Technology 
Harvard Business School 132
Stanford Graduate School of Business 312
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania 213
Columbia Business School 213
Kellogg School of Management 132
Chicago Booth School of Business 123
MIT Sloan School of Management 132


The median base salary for M7 business school graduates ranges between $141,000 and $165,000. 18% to 34% of the M7 business schools’ class got hired in the Consulting industry: 

M7 Business school Median Base Salary in consulting % of graduates who took up consulting
Harvard Business School $ 165,00023%
Stanford Graduate School of Business $ 165,00018%
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania $ 141,00027.2%
Columbia Business School $ 142,50033.4%
Kellogg School of Management $ 165,00033.2%
Chicago Booth School of Business $ 165,00034.4%
MIT Sloan School of Management $ 150,00028.3%


The median base salary ranged between $126,125 and $175,000. 14% to 36% of the M7 business schools class got hired in the finance industry: 

M7 Business school Median Base Salary % of graduates 
Harvard Business School $ 160,00014%
Stanford Graduate School of Business $ 175,00033%
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania $ 150,00035.1%
Columbia Business School $ 126,12536%
Kellogg School of Management $ 150,00014.2%
Chicago Booth School of Business $ 160,00027%
MIT Sloan School of Management $ 150,00021.4%


The median base salary ranged between $132,612 and $165,000. 17% to 30% of the M7 business school class got hired in the Technology industry:

M7 Business school Median Base Salary % of graduates 
Harvard Business School $ 150,00019%
Stanford Graduate School of Business $ 150,00029%
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania $ 165,00018.6%
Columbia Business School $ 132,61217%
Kellogg School of Management $ 136,00030.1%
Chicago Booth School of Business $ 133,00022.9%
MIT Sloan School of Management $ 145,00025%

Alumni Network at M7 Business Schools

Apart from the opportunity to stay engaged and involved with your classmates, a strong alumni network offers you valuable contacts, insights, knowledge, and inroads into a new job or industry. 

Alumni can be a great support system throughout your life journey. You can connect with your target B-school Alumni and get insights on business school culture, community, and how to create a robust MBA application.

At Admit Expert, we proactively connect you with school mentors who are alumni of all your target B-schools, who can give you insights into the courses, clubs, competitions, professors, placements, etc. aligned with your interests and post MBA career goals.

During your MBA course, they can offer you guidance on your career and assist in building a solid relationship with the community members. Moreover, post-MBA, they can be an excellent source for landing a job, providing connections, and being a lifelong network of leadership at almost all the top companies. 

According to a Bloomberg survey to evaluate which alumni network is best for getting a job, Stanford stood at #1. 

Around 15,050 MBA alumni from 126 global business schools participated and ranked their b-school on the quality, range, and responsiveness of an alumni network. Here are the M7 Business schools’ ranking based on their Alumni network:

M7 Business Schools Alumni network ranking 
Stanford Graduate School of Business 1
Harvard Business School 2
Wharton – University of Pennsylvania 5
Kellogg School of Management 10
Columbia Business School 12
MIT Sloan School of Management 17
Chicago Booth School of Business 23

Harvard Business School 

Harvard Business School has approx. 85,000 alumni in 173 countries. HBS grads are leaders in various organizations. There are 104 alumni clubs that provide a wide range of professional, social, and educational programs to leaders who strive to make a difference in the world. 

Here are some of the notable HBS Alumni:

  • Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO
  • Jim Koch, Founder of Brooklyn Beer company 
  • Michael Bloomberg, Founder, and CEO of Bloomberg 
  • Ann Sarnoff, CEO of Warner Bros 
  • Steve Bannon, Former White House Chief Strategist 

Stanford Graduate School of Business 

The Stanford GSB Alumni Association is involved in promoting professional development and building a strong network amongst their 30,000+ Alumni around the world. Some of the notable Stanford GSB alumni are:

  • Penny Pritzker, Former US Secretary of Commerce
  • Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors
  • Sam Yagan, Internet Entrepreneur
  • Phil Knight, Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Nike
  • Vinod Khosla, Tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist

Wharton – University of Pennsylvania 

With an alumni base of around 100,000 in 153 countries, Wharton has the second-largest alumni base after MIT Sloan. The 77 independent, self-sustaining, and volunteer-driven clubs offer engagement among students, staff, and faculties. Here are some of the most notable Wharton Alumni:

  • Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
  • Elon Musk, Founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc. 
  • John Sculley, Tech investor and former CEO of Pepsi 
  • Ann McLaughlin Korologos, former US Secretary of Labor 
  • Rakesh Gangwal, Owner of Indigo

Columbia Business School 

Columbia Business School has a 45,000+ global alumni network, with around 80 alumni clubs worldwide. The goal of the alumni network is to offer diverse events, professional development, and opportunities to network with other professionals. Here are some of the most notable Columbia Alumni:

  • Colonel Timothy Kopra, Astronaut 
  • James P Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley 
  • Vikram Pandit, Former Citigroup CEO 
  • Robert F. Smith, Billionaire Venture Capitalist 
  • Sallie Krawcheck, Founder of Female investment platform Ellevest 

Kellogg School of Management 

Kellogg School of Management has over 65,000 alumni globally, including innovators, entrepreneurs, and experts from various industries. There are around 28 US regional clubs and 35 international alumni clubs. Here are some of the most notable Kellogg MBA Alumni:

  • Ted Phillips, President, and CEO of Chicago Bears 
  • Cindy Axne, US Representative 
  • Rick Hahn, American Baseball Executive 
  • Betsy Holden, Former CEO of Kraft Foods 
  • Doug Monro, CEO and Founder of Adzuna 

Chicago Booth School of Business 

Chicago Booth has a community of 55,000 alumni globally and out of them, approx. 10,000 alumni in C-suits roles. More than 90 alumni clubs offer opportunities to network, socialize, and stay connected with the local Booth community. Some of the most notable Chicago Booth Alumni are:

  • Jon Corzine, former CEO of Goldman Sachs
  • Scott Griffith, CEO of Zipper 
  • J.Patrick Doyle, CEO of Dominos Pizza 
  • Dave MacLennan, President, and CEO of Cargill
  • John R. Opel, Former chairman and CEO of IBM 

MIT Sloan School of Management 

With 140,0000 Alumni around the world, MIT Sloan has the highest Alumni base compared to other M7 business schools. They have 24,000 alumni placed internationally. Some of the most notable MIT Sloan MBA Alumni are:

  • John W Thompson,  Chairman of Microsoft 
  • Robin Chase, Co-founder and Former CEO of Zipcar 
  • Brian Halligan, CEO, and co-founder of HubSpot 
  • Rafael del Pino Calvo-Sotelo, Executive chairman of Ferrovial 
  • Shuman Ghosemajumder, Canadian Technologist, Entrepreneur, and author 

M7 Business Schools – FAQs 

What are M7 business schools?

The M7 business schools are a group of elite US business schools that offer outstanding MBA curricula, learning opportunities, strong networking, and career development. Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, Columbia, MIT Sloan, and Wharton are the M7 Business schools. Take a look at this article to know their class profile, employment outcome, and tuition cost.

What GMAT score do I need to get into M7 B-schools?

The average GMAT score for the M7 MBA class of 2024 is 730+. So, you need to score at least a 730 to make your application worthy of getting admission to one of the M7 business schools.

How many years of work experience is required to get into M7?

The average work experience for the M7 class 2024 is 5 years. Ideally, you should have at least 4 years of work experience to be considered a serious candidate.

Where do M7 MBA Graduates get placed?

The top 3 industries where the M7 MBA graduates (2022) got placed are Consulting, Technology, and Finance. Take a look at this article to know the average salary for each industry where M7 MBA grads were hired. 

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