INSEAD vs. London Business School: Which is Right for YOU? (2023)

So, you want to get your MBA in Europe? In that case, the INSEAD and London Business School MBA programs are probably on your mind. But here’s something that many applicants don’t know. Although it is common to apply to both programs, chances are that you’re only a good fit at one of the two schools. And the admissions committees know this.

INSEAD and LBS are both top-ranked MBA programs in Europe, but that’s about the only thing they have in common.

At either business school, you’ll come out with an impressive graduate degree. But the question really is, which program is a better fit? In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about both INSEAD and LBS to help you choose between them.

INSEAD’s One-year MBA program

The biggest difference between INSEAD and LBS is the fact that INSEAD is a one-year program, whereas the LBS MBA program is a minimum of 15 months, and most applicants have reasons to prefer either a shorter or a longer program.

A longer program will give you more time to dive into coursework and gain the tools needed in order to take the next step in your career. Especially if you’re a career-switcher, you will need more time to do things like complete the required courses, network, and use other business school resources to get to know the field you would like to switch into. LBS’s program is designed with this idea in mind, allowing you to spend anywhere between 15 to 21 months in the program. The program’s flexible length lets you decide how long you need to get the most out of your MBA. Moreover, a longer program allows for the possibility for you to complete more internships, including ones that happen during the school year.

INSEAD’s program, on the other hand, is for those looking to return to work as quickly as possible. This group might include sponsored consultants who plan on returning to their companies after the MBA. They are looking for a program to give them the additional training they need in a short amount of time. To that end, INSEAD has a September intake date which offers a 10-month long program option without an internship.

(Video) INSEAD VS London Business School - Which School has The Best MIM Program

There is also an option to apply for January intake at INSEAD, which is 12 months long and does include an internship. If you’re a career-switcher who may be further along in your transition, this option might be a better fit as the internship gives you the opportunity to gain the experience you need to make the shift in your career.

When applying to INSEAD, you must make the decision of whether you would like to complete an internship before you begin the program. You will indicate your decision implicitly by choosing between INSEAD’s January or September intake dates.

London Business School Overview

A Chat with INSEAD Admissions Director

(Video) INSEAD vs LBS: Similarities, Differences, & Unique Characteristics

Location and Culture

Did you know that INSEAD has a language requirement? In order to be considered for their MBA program, you need to be fluent in English AND have an intermediate proficiency level in a second language. And that’s not all. If admitted, you will be required to have basic proficiency in a third language before you graduate.

If language learning is not your forte, this is something you need to keep in mind before applying. LBS has no language requirement.

Another big difference between what to expect from the two programs stems from their distinct locations. INSEAD’s campus in Europe is located in Fontainebleau, France. Although the town of Fontainebleau may seem close to Paris to some, we can assure you that it isn’t.

On the other hand, London Business School is located in the heart of London in Regent’s Park. LBS’s location in the middle of the city makes the MBA program there a truly unique learning experience. If you’re looking to make ties with companies in London, LBS is set up for you to do exactly that.

What do LBS and INSEAD look for in MBA Applicants?

On a different note, those who have visited the INSEAD and LBS campuses in Europe will tell you that there is a noticeable difference in the culture of the two schools.

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At INSEAD, you are more likely to get to know your classmates really well. The fact that the business school is located in Fontainebleau means that your classmates will be on campus often. They are not likely to commute from a big city and be present at the university just for the classes.

We’re not saying that you won’t get to know your classmates at LBS, but one thing to consider is that the easy access to the city of London means that many students may have other connections outside of business school. This might allow you to broaden your network, but it doesn’t necessarily ensure that you will form deeper connections.

Career Opportunities

The good news when it comes to career opportunities is that both schools have a lot to offer. There aren’t any top companies that are recruiting at one business school and not the other. However, that doesn’t mean that the programs don’t have their own distinct strengths.

INSEAD Intakes and Employment Outcomes

While both LBS and INSEAD are extremely international in terms of their class make-up, the post-MBA employment locations of these two business school programs are vastly different.

INSEAD’s graduates are truly placed all over the world when it comes to their post-MBA employment.

(Video) 5 Surprising Things That London Business School Looks For

LBS also boasts an international job placement record. However, if you’re truly looking for global recognition, INSEAD is your best bet. 37% of INSEAD’s graduating class find employment in Northern and Western Europe. A reported 27% of graduates are located in Asia post-MBA, and another 11% work in Africa and the Middle East.

Average Compensation: Salary and BonusMedian Salary + Signing bonus: $136,800
% Offers upon Graduation: Does not disclose
% Offers at 3 months: 91%
Average Salary + Signing bonus: $117,469
% Offers upon Graduation: Does not disclose
% Offers at 3 months: 95%
Post-MBA IndustriesManagement Consulting: 51%
Corporate Services: 19%
Technology, Media &
Telecommunications: 18%
Financial Services: 12%
Consulting: 37%
Finance: 23%
Technology: 23%
Diversified: 17%
Post-MBA LocationsNorthern/Western Europe: 37%
Eastern Europe: 2%
Asia Pacific: 27%
Africa/Middle East: 11%
North America: 7%
South America: 6%
Europe: 14%
United Kingdom: 53%
Asia: 11%
Africa / Middle East: 5%
USA/Canada: 7%
Latin America: 7%
Oceania: 3%

On the other hand, if you’re looking to work in the UK after your MBA degree, you cannot go wrong with LBS. A little over half of LBS’s MBA graduates—53% to be exact—find employment within the UK. An additional 14% of graduates are located elsewhere in Europe.

Whether LBS or INSEAD is a better fit for your career goals may also depend on which industry you’re targeting post-MBA. Although both programs have strong job placement records, there are some differences to consider between the two business schools.

INSEAD’s strength appears to lie in the consulting sector. You can see this from the jump in consulting in their pre-MBA class profile report and their post-MBA employment report. About 28% of their incoming class has a background working in consulting. After the MBA, that number is at 51% of the total graduating class.

When compared to INSEAD, LBS’s post-MBA employment report shows a more even distribution of the sectors that their graduates are placed into. Two areas of strength that stand out for LBS is their placement into the financial services and tech. Post-MBA, LBS places 23% of its graduates in both of these sectors— that’s about a quarter of the class going into the financial services sector, and another quarter placed in the tech industry!

All in all, both schools provide excellent career opportunities post-MBA. INSEAD’s employment report shows that they especially stand out for a career in consulting, while LBS’s employment report demonstrates the program’s strength in the financial services sector and the tech industry.

Related Articles

  • The London Business School MBA Program Overview
  • The INSEAD MBA Program Overview
  • Mid-Office Finance Candidate Admitted to LBS
(Video) MBA or Executive MBA - Which one's right for you? | London Business School


What are the 3 main reasons you chose INSEAD? ›

Why I Chose INSEAD Over My Other B-School Offer
  • 1 – Fontainebleau is in Europe and near Paris. ...
  • 2 – One-year program would get me back to the job market faster. ...
  • 3 – Greater student diversity and contact with many cultures. ...
  • 4 – Opportunities and life with partner. ...
  • 5 – Rankings.

Is INSEAD a better business school than HBS Harvard Business School )? ›

INSEAD and HBS both are the best business school in the world. Every year almost 1879 students take admission to HBS for the MBA program and in INSEAD almost 1410 students take admission. HBS was established in the year 1908 whereas INSEAD was established in the year 1957.

Is an INSEAD degree worth it? ›

In conclusion, is the INSEAD MBA worth it? Based on the programs ROI, global focus, and vast global network, the answer is, without a doubt, yes! If you have any other questions or you simply want to know more, get in contact with the many MBA Ambassadors on our website.

Is INSEAD the best business school in the world? ›

INSEAD Business School Rankings

INSEAD Business School is ranked #730 in Best Global Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Read more about how we rank schools.

What is a good GPA for INSEAD? ›

What GPA Do You Need To Get Into INSEAD? INSEAD's average GPA is 3.15.

Can average student get into INSEAD? ›

You need an above-700 GMAT to be admitted

A high GMAT/GRE score does not guarantee admission, and a below average score does not eliminate a candidate. Here are some insider tips to understand more about the admissions criteria at INSEAD.

Why is INSEAD so famous? ›

INSEAD is one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools with five campuses and centers around the globe. The school offers a variety of graduate programs, including MBAs, a doctorate in management, and a certificate program.

Is INSEAD better than Wharton? ›

Reputation and rankings: Both INSEAD and Wharton have excellent reputations and are consistently ranked highly among business schools. INSEAD is particularly strong in international business, while Wharton is known for its finance program.

What is the number 1 business school in the world? ›

Even so, schools say they are noticing some shifts consistent with trends in the broader world.
Asia-Pacific +
1Shanghai University of Finance and Economics72.7
2Hong Kong (HKUST)71.6
4National University of Singapore68.0
1 more row

Why is INSEAD acceptance rate so high? ›

It's suggested by INSEAD students that this high acceptance rate is related to the high yield rate. This means a high proportion of INSEAD students accept the school's offer as they have only applied to INSEAD, rather than applying to multiple schools as is customary in the US.

What is the salary after MBA from INSEAD? ›

Average INSEAD MBA Salary By Region

Asia Pacific – $105,300. Eastern Europe – $101,200. North America – $142,500. Northern Europe – $120,000.

How tough is getting into INSEAD? ›

The average INSEAD GMAT score is 706; the range is typically around 600 to 800. As a one-year program, the school needs assurance you have the academic ability to keep pace with your classmates.

Is INSEAD an elite school? ›

The name INSEAD was originally an acronym for the French "Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires" or European Institute of Business Administration. INSEAD is regarded as the best business school for return on investment.

What is the most prestigious MBA in the world? ›

#NameLocation, by primary campus
1University of Pennsylvania: Wharton This is a featured business school - click to see the additional information available.US
2Columbia Business SchoolUS
3Harvard Business SchoolUS
1 more row

What does INSEAD look for in a candidate? ›

INSEAD now accepts both the GMAT and the GRE. Unlike many programs, INSEAD recommends score levels: for the GMAT, at least 70-75% for both quant and verbal sections and 6 for the IR; for the GRE, at least 80% for both verbal and quant.

Is 700 GMAT enough for INSEAD? ›

A score in the range of 710 to 750 is a good score for INSEAD with the conversion ratio also being quite high in this range.

Can I getting into INSEAD with low GPA? ›

Students are required to obtain the following GPAs: o Across all core courses, reach a minimum GPA of 2.1 based on a forced curve where the average of the class is set at 3. o Across all courses, reach a minimum GPA of 2.1, where electives are graded out of 4 o In addition, students cannot have a fail grade.

Do you need to speak French to go to INSEAD? ›

To be admitted to the MBA Programme, a candidate must be fluent level in English and have at least a practical level of knowledge of a second language. These two languages are referred to as your “Entry languages”. A candidate must also have at least a basic level of understanding of a third language.

What GPA is required for INSEAD MBA? ›

GPA of 3.5 average and preferably 750 GMAT Score. Average Work Experience required around 5.6 years.

Is 680 enough for INSEAD? ›

So, in a sense, 680 is a good GMAT score for INSEAD. However, if you were to score 680 on the GMAT with unbalanced section scores, rather than with the preferred 70th to 75th percentile Quant and Verbal scores, then 680 would be decent but not great for applying to INSEAD.

What is the hardest MBA program to get into? ›

10 Business Schools With Lowest Acceptance Rates
School (name) (state)Full-time acceptancesFull-time acceptance rate
Stanford University (CA)6518.9%
Harvard University (MA)8599.2%
Columbia University (NY)88613.6%
Pennsylvania State University—University Park (Smeal)9820.1%
7 more rows
May 11, 2021

Why is INSEAD unique? ›

What Makes INSEAD Unique? Length of the MBA Program: INSEAD offers just one-year programs, including both a 10-month and a 12-month option. These accelerated programs are great for people who want to obtain their MBA quickly and return to work. Four Global Campuses: One of INSEAD's main attractions is its global reach.

Which Business School has the most billionaires? ›

Harvard Business School has produced 64 billionaire alumni, the most by far of any graduate business school in the world, according to a new report from Wealth-X. There is a massive gap between Harvard and even the next highest ranked business school, Stanford University, which has 23 billionaire MBA alumni.

Which MBA is best in USA? ›

Here are the 2023 Best Business Schools
  • University of Chicago (Booth)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  • Northwestern University (Kellogg)
  • Stanford University.
  • Harvard University.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
  • Yale University.
  • Columbia University.

Is London Business School prestigious? ›

Outstanding academic expertise, outstanding global perspective, outstanding results. London Business School is consistently ranked as one of the best business schools in the world.

Is INSEAD better than HEC Paris? ›

HEC Paris and INSEAD are the best business schools that provide an amazing multicultural environment and quality education for students planning to study in Europe.
Rankings ByHEC ParisINSEAD
Financial times 2020 global MBA rank93
Bloomberg Businessweek 20185225
The economist 2019322
3 more rows
May 29, 2021

What GMAT score do I need for INSEAD? ›

A strong GMAT score helps us assess your ability to succeed on the programme. We advise candidates to aim for a score as close as possible or above 640. Practice the test on our online simulator to assess your level.

Who is the highest paid MBA in the world? ›

Top MBA Programs with the Highest Graduate Salaries
SchoolCountryAvg. salary (3 months post-grad, US$)
The Wharton SchoolUnited States$150,000
Columbia Business SchoolUnited States$150,000
Harvard Business SchoolUnited States$148,750
12 more rows

Who is the highest paid MBA? ›

Three of the most paid MBA specialisations include- MBA in Business Analytics, MBA in Finance and MBA in Entrepreneurship. The salaries for each of these disciplines broadly lie in the range of 70,000 USD to 90,000 USD or 60,00,000 INR to 90,00,000 INR per annum.

Which MBA school has highest salary? ›

STANFORD LEADS ALL B-SCHOOLS WITH AVERAGE MBA SALARY OF $182K. Consider: From 2020 to 2021, six of the top 30 B-schools saw their mean base salaries decline. From 2021 to 2022, none did.

What is special about INSEAD? ›

INSEAD is one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools with five campuses and centers around the globe. The school offers a variety of graduate programs, including MBAs, a doctorate in management, and a certificate program.

What makes you a good candidate for INSEAD? ›

INSEAD now accepts both the GMAT and the GRE. Unlike many programs, INSEAD recommends score levels: for the GMAT, at least 70-75% for both quant and verbal sections and 6 for the IR; for the GRE, at least 80% for both verbal and quant.

What is INSEAD best known for? ›

The Business School for the World. As one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD offers participants a truly global educational experience.

Why is INSEAD so popular? ›

INSEAD MBA is known for its diversity — as students come from more than 55 countries. It's also known for its internationalism — having four campuses helps that cause too. Additionally, it has a strong reputation as a “consulting school” as more than 50% of students become Consultants after graduation.

Which is better INSEAD or Wharton? ›

Reputation and rankings: Both INSEAD and Wharton have excellent reputations and are consistently ranked highly among business schools. INSEAD is particularly strong in international business, while Wharton is known for its finance program.

How much do INSEAD MBA graduates make? ›

INSEAD Graduates & Alumni Salaries - By Degree
DegreeSample SalarySalary Comparison
Executive MBA$129,000129000.0
Executive Masters$122,000122000.0
Masters in Management$111,000111000.0
2 more rows

What companies recruit INSEAD? ›

INSEAD MBA Graduates Top Employers of 2022
CompanyGraduates Employed
McKinsey & Company160 (58)
Boston Consulting Group108 (19)
Bain & Company91 (22)
6 more rows

Do you need to speak French for INSEAD? ›

English is the language of instruction at INSEAD. You need to be fluent in English to apply to the programme. A valid English certification must be sent with your application for it to be considered as complete. How do I prove fluency in English?


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