The Magnificent 7: M7 MBA Schools and Programs

M7 MBA Schools - featured

In the United States education system, there’s an informal network of elite business schools with the best graduate business education in the country. This network, which calls itself the M7 or Magnificent 7, is composed of these prestigious business schools:

  • Columbia Business School (CBS)
  • Harvard Business School (HBS)
  • MIT Sloan School of Management (MIT Sloan)
  • Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern Kellogg)
  • Stanford University Graduate School of Business (Stanford GSB)
  • University of Chicago Booth School of Business (Chicago Booth), and
  • The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School (Wharton)

The Magnificent 7 at a Glance

The M7 started as an informal gathering of the business school’s deans from some of the most prestigious schools. It was intended to form an exclusive network of top-notch business schools in the country. Its initial objective was to empower member institutions to do a bi-yearly session for information exchange and sharing of their best practices. In a matter of years, the group decided to include private meetings in their activities.

The M7 business schools have a consistent influence not only in the U.S. but also in the global business community because they produce highly competitive graduates. More than 100 CEOs of the country’s 500 largest corporations are notable alumni of M7 business schools, and more than 90% of their graduates receive offers of employment within three months after graduation.

The average salary of graduates of M7 business schools per year is no less than $135,000, and they earn it for a good reason – they are produced by one of the world’s best business schools.

To learn why the group calls itself “magnificent,” let’s take a closer look at each member university’s profile.

The M7 MBA Schools and Programs

Columbia Business School (CBS)


New York City, NY

Columbia Business School is the business college of Columbia University. It is the US News & World Report’s 8th-best MBA school in the United States for 2022. It excels in producing experts in Finance, Marketing, Nonprofit, and Real Estate.  

Graduates of the MBA program of Columbia Business School can expect excellent job opportunities. More than 90% of its MBA graduates received job offers within three months of graduation, with a compensation package of $70,000 to $350,000 a year.

Columbia Business School has an impressive lineup of renowned faculty and alumni, including Joseph Stiglitz, the 2001 Nobel laureate in Economics, and Frederic Mishkin, a member of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System.

The acceptance rate at CBS is 18.2%.

Harvard Business School (HBS)


Boston, MA

Garnering the 5th spot in the US News & World Report’s 2022 MBA ranking, Harvard Business School is a consistently best business school in the country and the world. Many entities in the field of advanced business education consider HBS to be the most elite school in the M7 circle.

Harvard Business School is the alma mater of 22 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, including Andy Jassy of Amazon Web Services, businessman Michael Bloomberg, who’s also the former mayor of New York City, and BBC America president Anne Sarnoff.

HBS boasts of a faculty composed of highly accomplished professionals and world-class scholars. They are the leaders in cross-disciplinary research and other academic endeavors. The university professes a sublime goal of making this world a better place from an economic standpoint.   

The acceptance rate of the Harvard Business School is 12%.

MIT Sloan School of Management (MIT Sloan)


Cambridge, MA

MIT Sloan School of Management is one of the best business universities in the world. It is a leader in innovative research and formulating business and management strategies. The university is known all over the world for its mastery in honing its MBA students’ leadership skills and knowledge in finance, project management, information systems, and business analytics.

Like many elite schools of business, MIT Sloan School of Management is home to alumni and faculty who are Nobel Prize laureates, tech visionaries, Entrepreneurs, and CEOs.  

Among the M7 business schools, MIT Sloan stands out in Technology. It has an acceptance rate of 14.20%.

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern Kellogg)


Evanston, IL

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management is one of the M7 business schools that offer top-caliber academics and excellent research. It is also manned by world-class alumni faculty, who are the reason why the university excels in accounting, finance, and management programs. The university is considered one of the most working student-friendly schools among the M7 business schools.

The Kellogg MBA program offers a flexible MBA curriculum composed of full-time MBA programs and part-time MBA classes to accommodate working professionals who want to pursue a graduate degree in business administration.  

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has an acceptance rate of 20%.

Stanford University Graduate School of Business (Stanford GSB)


Stanford, California

Each year, the Stanford Graduate School of Business receives more than 7,000 applications for its M7 MBA program but accepts only 6% of successful applicants. It signifies how selective Stanford is as a business school. It is also a manifestation of several students’ desire to become a part of its rigorous MBA program, no matter how tough the selection process is.

While getting into Stanford GSB is a difficult mission, its student body is represented by 65 countries. It is proof that Stanford Graduate School is looked up to as an excellent MBA school not only in the US but in the whole world. Bloomberg declared it as the 2021-2022 number one business school and listed by the US News & World Report as the fourth of its 2023 best business schools in the US.   

Being one of the very best business schools in the country, Stanford takes pride in an excellent faculty some members of whom are winners of John Bates Clark awards, Nobel Prizes, etc.  Additionally, several of the school’s mentors for its MBA programs are members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Stanford Graduate School of Business is known for its excellence in accounting, entrepreneurship, and finance. Its acceptance rate is only 8.85%.

University of Chicago Booth School of Business (Chicago Booth)


Chicago, IL

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business is the second oldest business school in America. It is known all over the world for the meticulousness of its MBA program. No other B-school in America, including the other M7 business schools, represents an academic rigor better than Chicago Booth.

The university prides itself on having an excellent, world-renowned faculty, nine of which are winners of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.  The Booth MBA program is anchored on the objective of perfecting its MBA students’ leadership, analytical, and decision-making skills.

It’s not unusual for Chicago Booth MBA graduates to get jobs at leading tech companies and investment banks. Like the rest of the M7 business schools, Booth graduates are highly competitive. They earn an average salary of over $175,000 per annum.

As an institution of learning, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business excels in accounting, business analysis, and finance. The university is a perfect embodiment of the “Chicago Approach”. It is an educational philosophy that teaches students not to solve problems but to think and evaluate evidence through a rigorous inquiry, and learn how organizations and markets work.

With an acceptance rate of 23.5%, Chicago Booth is a great destination for exceptional students who aspire to have a thriving career in finance and consulting.  

The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School (Wharton)


Philadelphia, PA

The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest yet most prestigious business schools in the world. The Wharton MBA program offers several areas of specialization, but its strengths are in the fields of accounting, business analytics, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

With only a 9% acceptance rate, getting into Wharton is not an easy feat. Its strictly selective admission process allowed only 897 students out of more than 7,000 applicants to enroll for its MBA class of 2023.

Nearly 36% of Wharton’s class of 2019 joined the Finance industry. This university is one of the best to study for an MBA if you are planning to embark on a career in Finance.

As an elite academy of business, Wharton School has produced two of the world’s richest men, Elon Musk and Warren Buffet. It is also the school where Google CEO Sundar Pichai earned his MBA degree. Their achievement and contributions to business are live testimonies of the influence of Wharton education in their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an M7 MBA?

An M7 MBA is a Master of Business Administration program offered by the prestigious M7 business schools in the United States.

What’s special about getting admitted to an M7 MBA School?

If you are a serious, motivated, and qualified professional aiming for higher educational and professional goals, you should consider pursuing admission to one of the M7 MBA schools. Getting admitted is not easy, but if you succeed, you will have the chance to experience these advantages:

Learning, associating, and connecting with the best and brightest

Imagine yourself studying, working, and learning with true scholars not only in the US but from different countries around the world. It makes learning easier, it is also the start of a network that can help you as a professional now and in the coming years.  

Exposure to diversity

The presence of students from other countries around the world introduces you to a world of various cultures and practices. It develops you into a well-rounded intellectual ready to take on responsibilities in global companies.

A “star” in a chosen field

It is common knowledge that if you are a student of an M7 MBA program, you’re certainly a cut above the rest, a rare breed, someone that people look up to, and a professional that many top-tier recruiters want to employ for promising full-time jobs.

Becoming a part of a global community

When you become an M7 alumnus, a global community of committed M7 alumni welcomes you with open arms and is ready to support you throughout your professional journey. It’s a huge network of about 125,000 living graduates of M7 business schools based in 41 countries.

A rewarding career and excellent compensation

Even fresh graduates from M7 MBA programs earn a median salary 20% higher than the pay received by graduates of other business schools. Over the years, your earnings and career potential will grow. More than 80 alumni of M7 business schools are currently holding CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies, and they’re earning seven figures annually.

How can I get into an M7 business school?

The M7 business schools are just like all other graduate schools that offer elite MBA programs. You need to go through a meticulous application process. Each school has admission requirements that you need to comply with. To learn about these requirements, visit the M7 business school’s website that you intend to enroll in and look for the admission requirements on their MBA page.

What is the cost of an M7 MBA program?

The cost of an MBA program in M7 business schools varies from one university to another. These are the estimated costs that you may incur in each M7 business school. These costs do not include additional expenses like transportation, room and board, meals, and more:


Can I qualify for admission to the M7 MBA program without previous work experience?

Unfortunately, M7 MBA programs are not designed for applicants without work experience. To qualify for admission, you need to have an average of five years of undergraduate work experience and comply with the rest of the application requirements.  

Key Takeaways

Are there other quality MBA programs to consider? Of course! But the M7 business schools are living up to the name “magnificent,” which they call themselves. Being leaders of academic resources, diversity, and excellent alumni, these business schools, while stringent in their admissions process and academic policies, offer an abundance of opportunities to successful students.

M7 MBA programs offer world-class research and classes mentored by world-renowned professors. They provide their students with excellent global networking opportunities to students and equip them with superior knowledge and skills to take on the challenges of the real business world. As expected, it will result in great career outcomes, which allow the students to earn an early and substantial return on their investment.

While the M7 business schools are not the only top business schools in the country, graduating from one of these top-notch institutions can make you a cut above the rest. It makes you a gem that catches the interest of large corporations and promises you a financially rewarding career.

Before going out to check the M7 business schools’ admission requirements, be physically and mentally prepared. M7 MBA programs are rigorous and hectic. You will need perseverance, steadfastness of mind, and a sufficient budget to achieve your M7 MBA dream. Just strive to succeed, and you will realize that all your efforts and sacrifices in pursuing that dream are worth taking to attain ultimate success in the business world.

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