35 business schools in the US that get the most bang for your buck, ranked

  • Higher- and business-education specialist QS Quacquarelli Symonds recently released its 2019 Global MBA Ranking, evaluating 251 of the best business schools in the world.
  • One of the components of QS’ ranking is the estimated return on investment for an MBA at each school.
  • Here are the 35 schools among the 100 best global MBA programs overall that had the highest return on investment score.

Business school is a big investment, and different MBA programs give a different return on investment.

Higher- and business-education specialists QS Quacquarelli Symonds recently released its 2019 Global MBA Ranking, evaluating 251 of the best business schools in the world.

One of the components of QS’ ranking is the estimated return on investment for an MBA at each school. According to QS’ methodology, the return on investment ranking compares post-MBA salaries to pre-MBA salaries while factoring in tuition and cost of living.

Here are the 35 schools among the 100 best global MBA programs overall that had the highest return on investment score out of 100, along with their tuition, average post-graduate salaries, and per cent difference between the average post-graduate salary and pre-graduate salary.


33 (tie). Texas A&M (Mays)

Facebook/Mays Business School

Location: College Station, TX

QS return-on-investment score: 89.4

Tuition: $US70K to $US79K

Post-graduation salary: $US100K to $US109K

Post-program salary growth: 92%


Read more about Mays on TopMBA »


33 (tie). Dartmouth (Tuck)

Location: Hanover, NH

QS return-on-investment score: 89.4

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US120K to $US129K

Post-program salary growth: 84%


Read more about Tuck on TopMBA »


33 (tie). IMD

Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

QS return-on-investment score: 89.4

Tuition: $US60K to $US69K

Post-graduation salary: $US110K to $US119K

Post-program salary growth: 55%


Read more about IMD on TopMBA »


32. University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

QS return-on-investment score: 89.8

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US110K to $US119K

Post-program salary growth: 115%


Read more about Kenan-Flagler on TopMBA »


31. University of Washington (Foster)

Location: Seattle, WA

QS return-on-investment score: 89.9

Tuition: $US90K to $US99K

Post-graduation salary: $US110K to $US119K

Post-program salary growth: 99%


Read more about Foster on TopMBA »


29 (tie). University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Facebook/Minnesota Carlson School of Management

Location: Minneapolis, MN

QS return-on-investment score: 90.5

Tuition: $US90K to $US99K

Post-graduation salary: $US100K to $US109K

Post-program salary growth: 132%


Read more about Carlson on TopMBA »


29 (tie). University of Illinois (Gies)

Location: Champaign, IL

QS return-on-investment score: 90.5

Tuition: $US70K to $US79K

Post-graduation salary: $US90K to $US99K

Post-program salary growth: 133%


Read more about Gies on TopMBA »


27 (tie). University of Virginia (Darden)

Facebook/UVA Darden School of Business

Location: Charlottesville, VA

QS return-on-investment score: 90.6

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US120K to $US129K

Post-program salary growth: 92%


Read more about Darden on TopMBA »


27 (tie). University of Texas (McCombs)

Location: Austin, TX

QS return-on-investment score: 90.6

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US110K to $US119K

Post-program salary growth: 72%


Read more about McCombs on TopMBA »


26. Washington University (Olin)

Location: St. Louis, MO

QS return-on-investment score: 90.8

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US100K to $US109K

Post-program salary growth: 105%


Read more about Olin on TopMBA »


24 (tie). HEC Paris

Facebook/HEC Paris

Location: Jouy-en-Josas, France

QS return-on-investment score: 91.0

Tuition: $US70K to $US79K

Post-graduation salary: $US110K to $US119K

Post-program salary growth: 135%


Read more about HEC Paris on TopMBA »


24 (tie). MIT (Sloan)

Location: Cambridge, MA

QS return-on-investment score: 91.0

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US120K to $US129K

Post-program salary growth: 87%


Read more about MIT Sloan on TopMBA »


23. Yale

Facebook/Yale School of Management

Location: New Haven, CT

QS return-on-investment score: 91.1

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US120K to $US129K

Post-program salary growth: 92%


Read more about Yale on TopMBA »


22. Cambridge (Judge)

Location: Cambridge, UK

QS return-on-investment score: 91.2

Tuition: $US70K to $US79K

Post-graduation salary: $US130K to $US139K

Post-program salary growth: 126%


Read more about Judge on TopMBA »


21. EDHEC

Location: Nice, France

QS return-on-investment score: 91.7

Tuition: $US50K to $US59K

Post-graduation salary: $US90K to $US99K

Post-program salary growth: 115%


Read more about EDHEC on TopMBA »


20. Oxford (Said)

Location: Oxford, UK

QS return-on-investment score: 92.1

Tuition: $US70K to $US79K

Post-graduation salary: $US70K to $US89K

Post-program salary growth: 47%


Read more about Said on TopMBA »


19. ESADE

Location: Barcelona, Spain

QS return-on-investment score: 92.5

Tuition: $US70K to $US79K

Post-graduation salary: $US90K to $US99K

Post-program salary growth: 73%


Read more about ESADE on TopMBA »


18. INSEAD

Location: Fontainebleau, France/Singapore

QS return-on-investment score: 92.7

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US100K to $US109K

Post-program salary growth: 89%


Read more about INSEAD on TopMBA »


17. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, CA

QS return-on-investment score: 93.0

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US140K to $US149K

Post-program salary growth: 79%


Read more about Stanford on TopMBA »


15 (tie). Penn State (Smeal)

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Location: University Park, PA

QS return-on-investment score: 93.4

Tuition: $US80K to 89K

Post-graduation salary: $US100K to $US109K

Post-program salary growth: 154%


Read more about Smeal on TopMBA »


15 (tie). Vanderbilt (Owen)

Location: Nashville, TN

QS return-on-investment score: 93.4

Tuition: $US90K to $US99K

Post-graduation salary: $US110K to $US119K

Post-program salary growth: 126%


Read more about Owen on TopMBA »


14. Duke (Fuqua)

Location: Durham, NC

QS return-on-investment score: 93.5

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US120K to $US129K

Post-program salary growth: 99%


Read more about Fuqua on TopMBA »


13. Emory (Goizueta)

Location: Atlanta, GA

QS return-on-investment score: 93.7

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US110K to $US119K

Post-program salary growth: 102%


Read more about Goizueta on TopMBA »


12. Indiana University (Kelley)

Location: Bloomington, IN

QS return-on-investment score: 94.2

Tuition: $US90K to $US99K

Post-graduation salary: $US110K to $US119K

Post-program salary growth: 145%


Read more about Kelley on TopMBA »


11. Vlerick

Location: Brussels, Belgium

QS return-on-investment score: 94.4

Tuition: $US40K to $US49K

Post-graduation salary: $US100K to $US109K

Post-program salary growth: 49%


Read more about Vlerick on TopMBA »


9 (tie). Durham University

CC 3.0

Location: Durham, UK

QS return-on-investment score: 94.5

Tuition: $US30K to $US39K

Post-graduation salary: $US70K to $US89K

Post-program salary growth: 87%


Read more about Durham on TopMBA »


9 (tie). Cranfield School of Management

Location: Cranfield, UK

QS return-on-investment score: 94.5

Tuition: $US40K to $US49K

Post-graduation salary: $US90K to $US99K

Post-program salary growth: 124%


Read more about Cranfield on TopMBA »


8. University of Hong Kong

Location: Hong Kong

QS return-on-investment score: 94.6

Tuition: $US70K to $US79K

Post-graduation salary: $US90K to $US99K

Post-program salary growth: 108%


Read more about the University of Hong Kong on TopMBA »


7. Imperial College London

Location: London, UK

QS return-on-investment score: 95.0

Tuition: $US60K to $US69K

Post-graduation salary: $US70K to $US89K

Post-program salary growth: 29%


Read more about Imperial College on TopMBA »


5 (tie). Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

QS return-on-investment score: 95.7

Tuition: $US100K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US110K to $US119K

Post-program salary growth: 113%


Read more about Tepper on TopMBA »


5 (tie). University of Michigan (Ross)

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

QS return-on-investment score: 95.7

Tuition: $US110K to $US149K

Post-graduation salary: $US120K to $US129K

Post-program salary growth: 100%


Read more about Ross on TopMBA »


4. Strathclyde

Wikipedia/Public Domain

Location: Glasgow, UK

QS return-on-investment score: 96.0

Tuition: $US40K to $US49K

Post-graduation salary: $US70K to $US89K

Post-program salary growth: 184%


Read more about Strathclyde on TopMBA »


3. SDA Bocconi

Location: Milan, Italy

QS return-on-investment score: 96.6

Tuition: $US60K to $US69K

Post-graduation salary: $US100K to $US109K

Post-program salary growth: 116%


Read more about SDA Bocconi on TopMBA »


2. IE Business School

Facebook/IE Business School

Location: Madrid, Spain

QS return-on-investment score: 96.8

Tuition: $US80K to $US89K

Post-graduation salary: $US90K to $US99K

Post-program salary growth: 94%


Read more about IE Business School on TopMBA »


1. Mannheim

Location: Mannheim, Germany

QS return-on-investment score: 98.3

Tuition: $US40K to $US49K

Post-graduation salary: $US100K to $US109K

Post-program salary growth: 162%


Read more about Mannheim on TopMBA »

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