Best universities for business degrees 2020

Find the best universities for business degrees using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data

November 6 2019
Business chart

Where to study business is an important decision for prospective students, so Times Higher Education has published a world ranking of business and economics degrees.

The subject ranking for business includes more than 600 universities in 62 countries.


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The majority of the top 20 universities in the business ranking are US colleges, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University at the top.

Although the US dominates the ranking, universities in the UK and across Asia also do particularly well.

The UK has three universities in the top 20, which also features three institutions from two Asian territories.

Canadian, Dutch and Australian schools also perform well for business and economics degrees.

The ranking uses the same methodology as the World University Rankings, but with slightly more weight given to teaching and research metrics and slightly less to citations. The complete methodology can be found here.

Scroll down for a full list of degrees covered by the ranking and the career paths that they open up.


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Top 5 universities for business and economics degrees

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Sloan School of Management, also known as MIT Sloan, offers business programmes at the university.

In addition to MBA courses, executive training programmes and other postgraduate degrees, the school also teaches undergraduates through “Course 15”, which provides business skills to students with a technical and quantitative background.

The classes feature problem sets that make use of real-world business cases, tackling them with scientific approaches. The course also provides opportunities to do research and to take part in entrepreneurship competitions.

Business courses at MIT cover a variety of topics, including operations research, consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, information technology, product development and marketing.

There is an emphasis on innovation across all these topics. Many influential new ideas in business, including the field of system dynamics, were born out of work at the Sloan School.

MIT is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, next door to Harvard University, it is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.

2. Stanford University

Stanford’s graduate business school admits students for MBA, PhD, master’s and executive degrees.

The school’s dean is Jonathan Levin, a renowned expert in industrial organisation.

In 2006, the school received what was then the largest endowment ever given to a business school: $105 million from Phil Knight, an alumnus and the founder of Nike.

The business school at Stanford is known to be the most selective in the US, based on the competition for acceptance on to a course. Typically, less than 7 per cent of applicants secure a place.

Postgraduate students can take joint degrees at other schools, combining business with subjects such as earth sciences, education and law.

Although there is no specific business and management programme for undergraduates, students can choose to major in economics, international relations or management science and engineering.

3. University of Oxford

Undergraduate business students at the University of Oxford study economics and management within the traditional degree framework, and they are taught primarily in small group tutorials.

Oxford’s academic department for business is the Saïd Business School, which teaches across business, management and finance.

The school is 20 years old – fairly new compared with other prestigious business schools around the world.

The current dean, Peter Tufano, was at Harvard Business School before joining Oxford.

The postgraduate programmes on offer include the popular MBA programme, an executive MBA programme, a PhD in management studies and master’s degrees in financial economics, law and finance and strategic management.

MBA students can also extend their one-year degree to combine the course with one of the specialised master’s programmes.

All business students are members of an Oxford college and participate in university life outside the business school. Although not all colleges accept business students, the majority do.


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4. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is made up of 29 separate colleges.

The university is also home to over 100 libraries, which hold a total of more than 15 million books.

Business and economics degrees are generally taught at the Cambridge Judge Business School. Courses include the MBA, master of finance, master of accounting and a number of MPhil programmes.

5. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley business school is known as the Haas School of Business. It is the second-oldest business school in the United States, having been established in 1898.

Faculty members include two Nobel Prize laureates in economics.

The school offers courses across the academic spectrum, including full-time MBA, evening and weekend MBA, MBA for executives, master of financial education and undergraduate degrees.

It also puts on a summer programme, which is an intensive six-week summer course that gives non-business students the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of business.


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Top 200 universities for business and economics 2020

Click each institution to view its World University Rankings 2020 profile

Business and economics rank 2020  Business and economics rank 2019  University Country/region
 1   1  Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
 2   2  Stanford University United States
 3   3  University of Oxford United Kingdom
 4   4  University of Cambridge United Kingdom
 5   6  University of California, Berkeley United States
 6   8  London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom
 7   5  Duke University United States
 8   11  University of Chicago United States
 9   10  University of Pennsylvania United States
 10   7  Harvard University United States
 11   9  Yale University United States
 =12   20  ETH Zurich Switzerland
 =12   12  Northwestern University United States
 14   17  National University of Singapore Singapore
 15   13  Columbia University United States
 16   =15  University of Michigan-Ann Arbor United States
 17   =15  New York University United States
 18   14  University of California, Los Angeles United States
 19   18  Tsinghua University China
 20   23  Peking University China
 21   19  UCL United Kingdom
 22   21  Cornell University United States
 23   22  The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
 24   25  University of British Columbia Canada
 25   30  University of California, San Diego United States
 26   =33  University of Warwick United Kingdom
 27   =28  University of Toronto Canada
 28   32  Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands
 29   24  Carnegie Mellon University United States
 30   27  University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 31   26  The University of Tokyo Japan
 32   35  Copenhagen Business School Denmark
 33   =28  Tilburg University Netherlands
 34   38  Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong
 35   31  University of Minnesota United States
 36   38  University of Washington United States
 37   37  University of Manchester United Kingdom
 38   43  University of Melbourne Australia
 39   45  Michigan State University United States
 40   46  University of Texas at Austin United States
 41   =33  University of Mannheim Germany
 42   NR  LMU Munich Germany
 43   47  University of Southern California United States
 44   41  Dartmouth College United States
 45   56  Boston University United States
 =46   44  Penn State (Main campus) United States
 =46   =57  Pompeu Fabra University Spain
 =48   59  Arizona State University (Tempe) United States
 =48   36  University of Wisconsin-Madison United States
 50   53  Zhejiang University China
 51   42  University of Zurich Switzerland
 52   65  Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Singapore
 53   =57  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States
 54   62  Aalto University Finland
 =55   49  University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
 =55   =73  University of Queensland Australia
 57   39  Johns Hopkins University United States
 =58   78  City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 =58   55  Ohio State University (Main campus) United States
 =60   52  Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 =60   64  Indiana University United States
 62   NR  Technical University of Munich Germany
 =63   50  Australian National University Australia
 =63   70  UNSW Sydney Australia
 65   67  University of Maryland, College Park United States
 66   =60  KU Leuven Belgium
 67   NR  University of Bonn Germany
 68   63  Boston College United States
 69   66  University of Virginia (Main campus) United States
 70   =84  Shanghai Jiao Tong University China
 71   51  Georgia Institute of Technology United States
 72   =60  University of Sussex United Kingdom
 73   68  Maastricht University Netherlands
 74   48  Seoul National University South Korea
 75   80  Lund University Sweden
 =76   82  University of Amsterdam Netherlands
 =76   83  University of Vienna Austria
 =76   =76  Washington University in St Louis United States
 79   =73  University of St Gallen Switzerland
 =80   =76  University of Groningen Netherlands
 =80   69  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States
 82   72  Texas A&M University United States
 =83   71  Kyoto University Japan
 =83   101–125  University of Surrey United Kingdom
 85   99  Queensland University of Technology Australia
 86   101–125  Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Pisa Italy
 87   88  Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris France
 =88   53  Federal University of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées France
 =88   92  Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) South Korea
 90   101–125  University of Sydney Australia
 =91   =94  University of Florida United States
 =91   101–125  University of Leeds United Kingdom
 93   101–125  University of Alberta Canada
 =94   89  Fudan University China
 =94   101–125  Higher School of Economics Russian Federation
 =96   75  École Polytechnique France
 =96   =84  McGill University Canada
 =98   101–125  National Taiwan University Taiwan
 =98   93  Polytechnic University of Milan Italy
 100   126–150  Sun Yat-sen University China
 101–125   126–150  University of Arizona United States
 101–125   101–125  Aston University United Kingdom
 101–125   101–125  Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain
 101–125   126–150  Cardiff University United Kingdom
 101–125   =100  City, University of London United Kingdom
 101–125   151–175  University of Essex United Kingdom
 101–125   176–200  Griffith University Australia
 101–125   91  Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel
 101–125   79  Korea University South Korea
 101–125   90  Lancaster University United Kingdom
 101–125   =100  University of Lausanne Switzerland
 101–125   =94  Université Catholique de Louvain Belgium
 101–125   101–125  University of Massachusetts United States
 101–125   =94  Monash University Australia
 101–125   92  Nanjing University China
 101–125   126–150  Northeastern University United States
 101–125   151–175  University of Notre Dame United States
 101–125   87  University of Nottingham United Kingdom
 101–125   81  Rice University United States
 101–125   101–125  Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey United States
 101–125   101–125  University of St Andrews United Kingdom
 101–125   NR  Technical University of Berlin Germany
 101–125   126–150  University of Technology Sydney Australia
 101–125   101–125  University of Twente Netherlands
 101–125   126–150  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands
 101–125   101–125  York University Canada
 126–150   126–150  Aalborg University Denmark
 126–150   151–175  Aarhus University Denmark
 126–150   151–175  University of Antwerp Belgium
 126–150   NR  Charles University in Prague Czech Republic
 126–150   101–125  University of Exeter United Kingdom
 126–150   101–125  Free University of Berlin Germany
 126–150   151–175  Georgetown University United States
 126–150   126–150  Georgia State University United States
 126–150   97  King’s College London United Kingdom
 126–150   101–125  Lomonosov Moscow State University Russian Federation
 126–150   101–125  Renmin University of China China
 126–150   151–175  Sejong University South Korea
 126–150   126–150  University of Sheffield United Kingdom
 126–150   126–150  Simon Fraser University Canada
 126–150   126–150  University of South Australia Australia
 126–150   176–200  University of Southern Denmark Denmark
 126–150   126–150  Stockholm University Sweden
 126–150   201–250  Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Malaysia
 126–150   126–150  Tel Aviv University Israel
 126–150   126–150  Temple University United States
 126–150   151–175  University of Texas at Dallas United States
 126–150   =84  Western University Canada
 126–150   NR  Worcester Polytechnic Institute United States
 126–150   126–150  University of York United Kingdom
 151–175   151–175  University of Auckland New Zealand
 151–175   126–150  University of California, Irvine United States
 151–175   101–125  Case Western Reserve University United States
 151–175   201–250  Central South University China
 151–175   151–175  Chalmers University of Technology Sweden
 151–175   101–125  Emory University United States
 151–175   151–175  University of Konstanz Germany
 151–175   176–200  Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) South Korea
 151–175   101–125  Kyung Hee University South Korea
 151–175   201–250  Macquarie University Australia
 151–175   151–175  University of Malaya Malaysia
 151–175   101–125  University of Montreal Canada
 151–175   151–175  University of Navarra Spain
 151–175   176–200  Newcastle University United Kingdom
 151–175   176–200  University of Newcastle Australia
 151–175   176–200  NOVA University of Lisbon Portugal
 151–175   176–200  University of Reading United Kingdom
 151–175   126–150  Royal Holloway, University of London United Kingdom
 151–175   176–200  University of Southampton United Kingdom
 151–175   151–175  University of Strathclyde United Kingdom
 151–175   176–200  Tongji University China
 151–175   151–175  Trinity College Dublin Republic of Ireland
 151–175   201–250  University of Waterloo Canada
 151–175   176–200  University of Western Australia Australia
 151–175   101–125  Xiamen University China
 151–175   176–200  Yonsei University (Seoul campus) South Korea
 176–200   126–150  University of Bath United Kingdom
 176–200   151–175  University of Bristol United Kingdom
 176–200   201–250  Brunel University London United Kingdom
 176–200   151–175  University of Canterbury New Zealand
 176–200   176–200  University of Cape Town South Africa
 176–200   176–200  University of East Anglia United Kingdom
 176–200   176–200  University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Germany
 176–200   101–125  George Washington University United States
 176–200   151–175  Ghent University Belgium
 176–200   126–150  University of Glasgow United Kingdom
 176–200   126–150  University of Hamburg Germany
 176–200   301–400  Hunan University China
 176–200   176–200  University of Illinois at Chicago United States
 176–200   126–150  Iowa State University United States
 176–200   201–250  King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia
 176–200   301–400  Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT Finland
 176–200   151–175  National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech) Taiwan
 176–200   151–175  University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus United States
 176–200   201–250  Queen’s University Belfast United Kingdom
 176–200   151–175  Radboud University Nijmegen Netherlands
 176–200   126–150  University of Rochester United States
 176–200   201–250  Sichuan University China
 176–200   176–200  Vanderbilt University United States
 176–200   176–200  Washington State University United States

Click here to view the full ranking for business degrees

Read more: Need help choosing a degree? Here is the most comprehensive to help you choose 

Reader's comments (2)

Since competition is tough, you should focus on is keeping your GPA very high and engaging in as many as extracurricular activities as possible. If you want to go for the best, there are plenty tips on how to get into Stanford or any other university online, so finding them should not be too difficult.
I’ve found this one https://www.crimsoneducation.org/admission-support/stanford-admissions

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