Do Ivy League Business Schools Offer MBA Programs?

June 29, 2024
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What Is the ‘Ivy League?’List of Ivy League UniversitiesWhich Ivy League Universities Offer an MBA Program?Comparison of Rankings for Ivy League Business SchoolsAverage Salary and Cost of Tuition for Ivy League Business SchoolsIndustry Choices of Students at Ivy League Business SchoolsIvy League vs. M7 Business SchoolsFAQs

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In searching for the right MBA program, you might have found yourself drawn to the Ivy League. But is an Ivy League MBA worth it? And how do Ivy League Business Schools compare to each other? These are essential questions to consider when pursuing the next step in your career.

What Is the ‘Ivy League?’

At some point, you’ve probably heard of the “Ivy League,” a prestigious group of private universities known for their reputations of academic excellence. Many believe attending one of these schools will promise them a successful future. However, many know nothing about Ivy League universities beyond their esteem. So, what are the "Ivy Leagues?"

The title of "Ivy League" started as an athletic classification for a group of eight private universities in the Northeast. However, the label has come to be associated more with these schools' high caliber of academic achievement.

List of Ivy League Universities

These are the eight universities known as the “Ivy Leagues”

School Location Duration Class Size Avg. GMAT Tuition Acceptance Rate
Harvard Business School Boston, MA 2 years 938 740 $76,410 11.5%
Brown Business School Providence, RI 15 months 40 700 $65,656 5%
Columbia Business School New York, NY 2 years 900 730 $84,496 22%
Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business Ithaca, NY 2 years 303 710 $83,066 31%
Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business Hanover, NH 2 years 297 726 $80,620 23%
Princeton School of Business Princeton, NJ - - - - -
UPenn’s Wharton School of Business Philadelphia, PA 2 years 874 728 $84,830 14.1%
Yale School of Management New Haven, CT 2 years 339 720 $85,400 33%

Which Ivy League Universities Offer an MBA Program?

The Ivy League varies significantly in the scope of business education. Here is an overview of the Ivy League Business Schools.

Brown University‍

Brown does not have a business school. However, it offers an Executive MBA in cooperation with IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. The 15-month program starts in March and includes a blend of online and in-person sessions.

Columbia University‍

Columbia offers both MBA and Executive MBA programs. The MBA can be started in August for a 20-month program or in January for a 16-month program.

The EMBA program has two different scheduling options:

  • The New York Friday/Saturday option begins in late August and lasts about 20 months. Students in this program attend class from 8:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. every other Friday and Saturday. For this option, “employer sponsorship of time is required” and “financial sponsorship is welcomed, though not required.”
  • The New York Saturday option lasts around 24 months, with classes held from 8:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. every Saturday. Employer sponsorship of time or financial support is not required for this option.

Cornell University‍

Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business offers a multitude of MBA options:

  • The Two-Year MBA Program involves four semesters of full-time study and a summer internship, best for those "looking to move into management roles or change industries.”
  • The One-Year MBA Program is a highly accelerated full-time experience for "career enhancers" that spans a summer, fall, and spring semester.
  • The Cornell-Tsinghua Finance MBA is a two-year, part-time program based in Beijing, China, in partnership with the PBC School of Finance at Tsinghua University.

Cornell also offers a variety of EMBA programs:

  • The Executive MBA Americas Program, offered in partnership with the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, allows students to attend classes closer to their home cities. Students meet in one of 20 cities in the US, Canada, Mexico, or South America to attend class via video conference. Starting in late June, classes take place over 17 months on every other weekend: Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Four residential sessions take place at Cornell and Queen's Universities.
  • The Executive MBA Metro New York starts in July and lasts 22 months. Classes meet every other weekend from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Sundays. All classes are held at the Tata Innovation Center on the Cornell Tech campus in New York City. The program also includes four week-long residential sessions held on Cornell University's campus in Ithaca, New York, at the beginning of each academic term.
  • The Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership is “the only industry-immersive, dual-degree program of its kind in the Ivy League.” In partnership with the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, students attend classes in New York City at the Tata Innovation Center at Cornell Tech. Starting in July, classes meet every other weekend from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Sundays for 22 months. There are also four, week-long residential sessions that take place in Ithaca, New York, in the fall and New York City in the spring.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business offers a two-year, full-time MBA. It also provides a variety of dual degrees in partnership with Dartmouth programs and other institutions. Dartmouth does not have an EMBA, but it does offer Executive Education programs for individuals and organizations. 

Harvard University

Harvard Business School offers a two-year, full-time MBA and a variety of joint-degree options. There is no EMBA program at HBS, but there are various Executive Education programs that are “designed to help experienced executives expand their global perspective and lead at a higher level,” according to their website.

Princeton University

Princeton does not offer an MBA or EMBA.

University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania offers both an MBA and an EMBA.

  • The MBA program is 20 months long and begins in early August. There is also a 3.5 month recommended summer internship.
  • The EMBA program is 24 months long and begins in May. Classes meet every other Friday and Saturday with some extended weekend sessions in either Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or San Francisco, California. There is also a required one-week Global Business Experience that allows students to study abroad in various locations.

Yale University‍

The Yale School of Management offers both an MBA and an EMBA.

  • The MBA program is a two-year, full-time program that allows students to participate in various electives and global study opportunities.
  • The EMBA program is a 22-month long program that “begins with a two-week in-residence session," typically in mid-July. After that, classes meet every other weekend, Fridays from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., with various breaks throughout the days. There is a required week-long Global Network Week where EMBA students study abroad. There is also a final one-week residency at the end of the program. Classes occur either on Yale's campus in New Haven, Connecticut, or through video conference via the school's Extended Classroom.

Which business school is best for your MBA program? If you are considering applying to a business school but don't know where to apply, take our quick two-minute quiz to help you make a choice.

Comparison of Rankings for Ivy League Business Schools

The rankings sites available have specific criteria for their rankings. While US News utilizes a variety of weighted academic factors in its rankings, Forbes ranks full-time MBA programs based on graduates' earnings in their first five years. 

The Economist and Financial Times ranked business schools worldwide, using student and alumni surveys and 20 different criteria, including alumni salaries, research rank, and staff diversity. Bloomberg Businessweek combines students, alumni, and recruiters important factors with the school experience and compensation data to rank each school. 

School U.S. News Financial Times Forbes Businessweek The Economist
Harvard Business School #6 #11 #4 #6 #2
Brown University - - _ - -
Columbia Business School #12(tie) #3 #7 #5 #15
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business #15 #9 #9 #13 #14
Dartmouth Tuck School of Business #10(tie) #12 #6 #3 #12
Princeton University - - _ - -
UPenn Wharton Business School #1(tie) #1 #5 #8 #5
Yale School of Management #7(tie) #15 #11 #15 #21

Average Salary and Cost of Tuition for Ivy League Business Schools

The following is a comparison of the annual cost of tuition for two-year, full-time Ivy League MBA programs and the average salary that alumni earn after graduating. 

Columbia Cornell Dartmouth Harvard UPenn Yale
Salary $232,769 $194,547 $211,515 $246,509 $245,772 $199,746
Annual Tuition $84,496 $83,066 $80,620 $76,410 $84,830 $85,400

The average tuition fee for an MBA at an Ivy League business school is approximately $76,410 per year. The cheapest MBA is currently at Harvard Business School. About 95% of the MBA class gets a job offer three months after graduation, with an average salary of $246,509. 

Industry Choices of Students at Ivy League Business Schools

The following compares the industry choices of students who graduate from full-time, two-year Ivy League Business programs.

Columbia Cornell Dartmouth Harvard UPenn Yale
Consulting 34% 30% 42% 24% 34.4% 36.9%
Consumer Goods/Retail 2.6% 10% 5% 3% 5.4% 11.9%
Energy - 1% 1% - - 1.7
Finance 33.2% 34% 21% 34% 36% 23.3%
3.8% 3% 8% 7% 6.7% 4.2%
Legal+Professional Services - 1% - 3% 1.8% -
Manufacturing 1.4% 1% 3% 4% 0.8% 1.7%
3.3% 1% 3% 4% 0.8% 1.7%
1.7% 1% 2% 4% 1.8% 3.8%
Real Estate 1.4% 1% 1% - 2.9% -
Technology 16.5% 16% 15% 19% 18.4% 12.7%
Transportation - - 1% - - -

Ivy League Business Schools vs. M7 Business Schools

The M7 Schools are an elite group of business schools known for being highly selective and granting graduates rewarding opportunities. The M7 Business Schools are:

  • Columbia Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • MIT’s Sloan School of Management
  • Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business
  • The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Of these seven schools, only three (Columbia, Harvard, and Pennsylvania) are also Ivy Leagues. So, are these programs better than Ivy League Business Schools?

It helps to look at the facts. Among ranking sites like US News and Forbes, the M7 schools collectively tend to achieve higher rankings than the Ivy League. Also, according to Poets & Quants, “starting salaries, signing bonuses, and performance bonuses for M7 grads rival or exceed those of any peer school’s MBAs.” These schools are known for the success of their graduates.

However, many of these programs also tend to be larger and pricier than some Ivy League programs. Rather than applying just on prestige alone, you should weigh factors such as location, cost, and class size in deciding which program is right for you.

FAQs About Ivy League Business Schools‍

Ivy League business schools are among the most sought-after for MBA programs. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

1. Why Doesn’t Princeton Offer An MBA Program?‍

Princeton does not have any professional schools, including business. However, it does offer a Master's in Finance degree through its Bendheim Center for Finance.

2. Is it Harder to Get Into an M7 Business School or an Ivy League Business School?‍

The average acceptance rate of M7 Schools is about 17%, while the average acceptance rate for Ivy League Business Schools is about 20.2%, so it may be slightly more challenging to get into an M7 school.

3. Is MIT an Ivy League Business School?‍

No, MIT is not considered an Ivy League school.

4. Does Brown Have a Business School?‍

Technically, Brown does not have a business school. Their EMBA is offered in partnership with IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.

5. Which Ivy League Business School Is the Best?‍

One can consider many factors when deciding which Ivy League Business School is the best. Many of the programs are ranked highly on various sites, meaning all are pretty reputable. However, if you want to know which school is best for you, look at rankings that are calculated based on the qualities that are the most important to you.

6. Do Ivy League Business Schools offer financial aid?‍

Yes, Ivy League Business Schools offer scholarships, grants, and other various forms of financial aid.

7. What Is the Most Affordable Ivy League MBA Program?

At $76,410 per year, Harvard has the cheapest MBA program out of the Ivies, 


A degree from an Ivy League school sounds prestigious, but it is ultimately up to you to decide if these programs are right for you. Try comparing university rankings and graduate statistics, along with cost and location, and see how these universities stack up. You might find that an Ivy League MBA isn’t a good fit for you. But, on the other hand, it might turn out to be precisely what you want to pursue.


Reviewed by:

Alexei Sorokin

Investment Banking and Corporate Development Expert

Reviewed: 6/28/24

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