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Which MBA programs are worth considering in Europe

Europe has some of the world’s oldest universities – Cambridge, Oxford, the University of Paris, to name a few. Many such universities have the best and globally renowned business schools. While the US is the most popular destination for international MBA aspirants, many European schools compete aggressively with American schools for top ranking spots.

In this article, we will uncover why you should consider doing an MBA in Europe.

Why should you do an MBA in Europe?

Europe is one of the most popular MBA destinations for international students. The reasons given below make it the ideal location to pursue your dream of getting an MBA from a top college.

Best MBA schools

Europe is home to some of the oldest and globally renowned universities. As per QS Global MBA Rankings 2021, Europe’s top 10 MBA schools rank within the top 25 globally. 

Short course duration

Most of the top European universities offer MBA courses that students can complete in 12 months. Adding specific specializations may extend your course duration by a few months.

The time you will need to do an MBA in Europe with specializations is still less than in the US, where an MBA is usually 24 months.

International exposure

Top business schools provide you a global perspective on business and teach you critical skills that would enable you to work in some of the world’s best organizations with high salaries.

Studying at top universities in Europe allows you to network with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and nationalities. A network built during your time at a B-School can be leveraged later when you are looking to form business partnerships. Most of these universities have a strong alumni network, which can guide and mentor you, whenever you need assistance in the time of professional adversity.

Also Read: MBA in Canada for Indian applicants

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility criteria for MBA in Europe vary based on the university and your native country.

Most European nations have their regional language, and universities teach the majority of the courses in their local language. International students aspiring to study in European countries have to prove their proficiency in the local language (usually by giving an exam) or have the option to enroll in courses taught in English. 

MBA is one of the few courses with the language of instruction as English, keeping in mind the course’s global recognition and nature.

The standard eligibility criteria for admission to top MBA programs in Europe are:

  • A Bachelor’s degree.
  • A work experience of at least 3 years (exceptions apply).
  • A good score in GMAT, GRE, or an equivalent exam.
  • Proof of English proficiency. Universities require students to submit the score of English proficiency exams like TOEFL and IELTS.

Also Read: Why MBA? Here’s how to decide

Top 10 MBA schools in Europe in 2021

As per the QS Global MBA Rankings 2021, these are the top 10 business schools in Europe (in the ascending order of ranking). 

  1. HEC Paris
  3. London Business School
  4. IE Business School
  5. IESE Business School
  6. Esade Business School
  7. Oxford (Said)
  8. Cambridge (Judge)
  9. Imperial College Business School
  10. SDA Bocconi

The table below gives you the key information about an MBA at Europe’s top 10 business schools (data collated from the website TOPMBA).

QS Global MBA RankUniversityCountryDurationAvg. GMATFee (USD)Avg. Work ExperienceAvg. Salary(Post 3 months; in USD)
5HEC ParisFrance15 months69070k-80k6128,206
6INSEADFrance10 months71090k-100k6105,900
7London Business SchoolUnited Kingdom21 months701100k-110k5106,837
9IE Business SchoolSpain11 months68570k-80k793264
11IESE Business SchoolSpain19 months68190k-100k6123,662
13Esade Business SchoolSpain18 months65770k-80k6104,161
16Oxford (Said)United Kingdom12 months69080k-90k596,233
17Cambridge (Judge)United Kingdom12 months69370k-80k699,753
22Imperial College Business SchoolUnited Kingdom12 months65060k-70k682,853
23SDA BocconiItaly12 months665(source: The Economist)60k-70k6120,760

Cost of an MBA in Europe

The course fee at most of the European business schools is less in contrast to American business schools. While a full-time MBA at a top B-School in the US will cost you around USD 150k, the average fee for the top 10 business schools in Europe is around USD 80,000. The comparatively short duration of an MBA in Europe also saves students time, reducing the opportunity cost.

There are many means by which students can finance their MBA abroad in regions like Europe.

Scholarships, grants, and tuition waivers by the universities are some of the common ways to reduce your education cost.  

Click here to know more about financing your MS or MBA education abroad.

Job Opportunities

An MBA degree from a top business school comes with an excellent job assurance: regarding the quality of work and compensation. 

European B-Schools is a top recruitment destination for global corporate behemoths looking to employ the best talent. Consulting companies like BCG, Bain & Company, and McKinsey & Company give more preference to MBAs from Oxford SAID, INSEAD, and IE Business School than many famous American business schools. 

As given in the table above, the average salary for schools like HEC Paris and SDA Bocconi is higher than USD 120k. This amount is more than the average wage of an MBA grad at many American universities recognized for their MBA degree. 

Immigration options

Besides the prospect of a good job, many European nations provide desirable work visa options compared to the US. 

EU Blue Card work permit is one such option. As per the EU Blue Card Network, “The EU Blue Card is a work- and residence permit for non-EU/EEA nationals. The European Blue Card provides comprehensive socio-economic rights and a path towards permanent residence and EU citizenship.” In layman’s terms, it’s the European version of the American Green Card.

Some countries like the UK allows graduates to stay in the country for 6 months after course completion. Students can utilize this time to find a job of their liking.


Europe is an ideal destination for an MBA if you aspire to study Business abroad at a school ranked among the best in the world.

While the US is more popular than Europe for an MBA, the fee and the opportunity cost in European schools are far less; yet, the quality of education is almost identical. The salary offered in the top European schools is similar in contrast to many famous MBA schools in the US and, in some instances, even more.

Book a call with Scholar Strategy NOW if you have finalized your decision to do an MBA abroad and need assistance with your application. 

Our clients are studying at Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and many other top business schools. 

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I was a mid-career professional in my early thirties when I started my journey with Scholar Strategy (SS). Tired with the monotonous job, and frustrated with corporate politics, I was probably going through a ‘mid-career’ crisis, not really sure where I wanted to go. This is when Nistha came to my rescue and trust me she is the best counsellor I have ever had in my life! Having spent 12 years in IT industry, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to do an MBA and that’s when Nistha helped me f… Read more
Priyasha, MIT SDM, Berkeley, Washington, MIS