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Top 5 MBA Programs for Investment Banking

Breaking into investment banking is competitive – which MBA programs will give you the greatest advantage over your peers? The east coast schools lead the pack…

#1. New York University (Stern)

Composite Score: 100

U.S. News Rank: #20

Cost, 2 Years: $127,440

Total Compensation: $316,250

Average Starting Salary: $137,500

Percent of Grads Entering Investment Banking: 28.20%

Top Employers: essay on gun control, first day of high school essay, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

 

NYU’s Stern School of Business tops our list thanks to placement rates that are more than double average for the industry. At over a quarter of the graduating class, investment banking is one of the most popular choices among Stern students. MBAs are often used for career pivots, and Stern offers an Investment Banking Immersion program to help those switching careers into IB. Stern grads also report starting salaries and compensation packages that are well above average.
#2. University of Virginia (Darden)

Composite Score: 73

U.S. News Rank: #11

Cost, 2 Years: $115,672

Total Compensation: $203,000

Average Starting Salary: $135,000

Percent of Grads Entering Investment Banking: 19.00%

Top Employers: J.P. Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse

 

Darden secured the second spot on our list due to its above average placement rates and starting salaries. At 19%, investment banking is the third most popular industry among Darden MBAs behind Consulting and Technology. Darden MBAs reported performance and signing bonus packages of nearly $70,000, below the all-school average (note that performance bonuses are reported as “potential”, not actual bonus received).
#3. Columbia University School of Business

Composite Score: 73

U.S. News Rank: #10

Cost, 2 Years: $131,976

Total Compensation: $260,000

Average Starting Salary: $130,000

Percent of Grads Entering Investment Banking: 16.30%

Top Employers: Barclays, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase

 

At $260k, the average compensation package for Columbia grads entering Investment Banking is nearly $30,00 above average and 2nd highest on our list. Placement rates into the industry are also above-average. Columbia MBAs interested in IB can get a head start on their career by joining the Investment Banking Club.
#4. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

Composite Score: 72

U.S. News Rank: #4

Cost, 2 Years: $129,840

Total Compensation: $244,000

Average Starting Salary: $134,000

Percent of Grads Entering Investment Banking: 16.10%

Top Employers: Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Evercore Partners

 

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School fell just behind Columbia in terms of placement rates and compensation packages. Even so, these metrics reported by Wharton grads are still above average. At 16.1% of the graduating class, Investment Banking is the second most popular function behind consulting at the University of Pennsylvania.
#5. Cornell University (Johnson)

Composite Score: 67

U.S. News Rank: #14

Cost, 2 Years: $119,000

Total Compensation: $188,333

Average Starting Salary: $125,000

Percent of Grads Entering Investment Banking: 17.0%

Top Employers: Barclays, essay on gun control, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

 

Despite the fact that Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management placed a higher percentage of their students into IB than Wharton or Columbia, their average pay fell just behind our #3 and #4 schools. However at $188,333 the average starting compensation package is still attractively above average for the industry. Johnson MBAs can gain valuable experience by participating in the program’s Investment Banking Immersion program.

 

Other top scoring programs for investment banking:

Yale School of Management (67)

University of Chicago (Booth) (64)

Dartmouth University (Tuck) (60)

Duke University (Fuqua) (57)

 

Notes on this analysis:

 

All data points are reported by MBA students and alumni for their first full-time job post-MBA.

 

Certain programs were excluded based on low sample size or incomplete data, including:

University of Texas (McCombs), Washington University in St. Louis (Olin), University of Illinois, Ohio State University (Fisher), Indiana University (Kelley), Emory University (Goizueta), University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler), University of Southern California (Marshall), Georgetown University (McDonough), University of California – Berkeley (Haas), Johns Hopkins University (Carey), University of Maryland (Smith), University of Rochester,

 

Programs included in the analysis:

University of Chicago (Booth), University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Northwestern University (Kellogg), Cornell University (Johnson), Columbia University, Duke University (Fuqua), University of Virginia (Darden), Stanford University, University of Michigan (Ross), Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper), Dartmouth University (Tuck), Harvard Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan), New York University (Stern), University of California – Los Angeles (Anderson), Vanderbilt University (Owen), Yale School of Management

 

A note on methodology:

 

These companies have been ranked on data from MBAs in areas such as compensation, average hours per week, and satisfaction.  All data points are from MBA-related data, i.e. internships or full-time jobs obtained during or as a result of pursuing an MBA.  At this time, our data only takes quantitative metrics into consideration, so topics such as “program prestige” are not included.We indexed the following metrics versus our all-company averages, with even weight distribution:

 

  • Total compensation potential: includes salary, performance bonus potential, signing bonus, stock compensation, and miscellaneous compensation.  

 

  • Average starting salary: user reported base salary  
  • Percent of graduates entering the industry: the number of students entering jobs in the industry for each program was compared to an all-program average.

 

 

Once indexed and compiled into a composite index, we scored on a 100-point scale.  

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