Best Universities for Investment Banking

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About Investment Banking Target Universities Uk

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Big banks lean on eight elite universities for new recruits - Financial News
Master In Banking And Finance Best Universities - FinanceViewer

Best Universities For Investment Banking

It is generally well known that investment banking is one of the hardest career fields to break into. Investment banking involves, along with exciting merger and acquisition (M&A) deals, exceptionally high salaries and bonuses, which makes an investment banking career attractive and one where there is a lot of competition for the available entry slots each year.

One of the most entertaining and heated topics is debating who is and is not a target school for investment banking. However, having discussed this topic numerous times, the vast majority of bankers will only have a reliable opinion for a single school and firm.

Because there are so many moving parts, it’s difficult even for headhunters to get a clear picture of which institutions routinely put students in top firms. There is a large amount of bias at the individual level, and I find that many people simply name the most prestigious schools.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, home to the famed Wharton School of Business, is one of the top feeder schools for the investment banking industry. However, the recruiting statistics for the overall number one university reveal an important point about investment bank recruiting, which is that each investment bank has its own individual list of preferred schools. 

The University of Pennsylvania is one of the top schools for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup (C), and Credit Suisse (CS).

New York University

New York University (NYU) is right with the University of Pennsylvania in terms of where investment banks most frequently recruit new employees. NYU is a top school for many investment banks, including being a top school for new hires for Barclays (BCS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Credit Suisse.

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is another top feeder school. The University of Michigan is a top school for boutique investment banking firm JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

Other Top Schools

The Ivy League dominates many other spots for schools that investment banks target, including:

  • Harvard
  • Yale
  • Cornell
  • Princeton
  • Columbia

Other notable schools include the University of Michigan, Georgetown University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Chicago.

For individuals aiming to get on with a certain bank, it is important to keep in mind each bank has its own preferred recruiting sources. For example, Bank of America (BAC) tends to grant more jobs to Cornell and Vanderbilt Universities versus the University of Penn. or NYU.

Rank 2017Rank 2016CollegeCourseCountry
11London School of EconomicsMSc FinanceUK
24London Business SchoolMasters in FinanceUK
32Imperial College, LondonMSc FinanceUK
45University of St GallenMaster of Arts HSG in Banking and FinanceSwitzerland
512Warwick Business SchoolMSc FinanceUK
67IE Business SchoolMaster in FinanceSpain
713Cass Business SchoolMsc in FinanceUK
821Stockholm School of EconomicsMSc in FinanceSweden
910Cambridge Judge Business SchoolMphil in FinanceUK
108Universita BocconiMaster of Science in FinanceItaly
1111Edhec Business SchoolMsc in Financial Markets/Msc FinanceFrance
12n/aMIT: SloanMasters in FinanceUS
139ESCP Business SchoolAdvanced Master in FinanceFrance, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy
143HEC ParisMasters in International FinanceFrance
156Esade Business SchoolMSc in FinanceSpain
1619Durham Business SchoolMSc Finance and InvestmentUK
1718University of Oxford SaïdMaster in Finance and EconomicsUK
1814Frankfurt School of Finance and ManagementMaster of FinanceGermany
1915Washington University: OlinMaster of Science in FinanceUS
2017Skema Business SchoolMSc Financial Markets and InvestmentsFrance
21n/aRotterdam School of Management: Erasmus UniversityMSc in Finance and InvestmentsNetherlands
2216Essec Business SchoolAdvanced Master in Financial Techniques/Msc in FinanceFrance
2322University College DublinMsc in FinanceIreland
2424Lancaster University Management SchoolMSc FinanceUK
2529Brandeis University International Business SchoolMaster of Science in FinanceUS
26nullPeking UniversityMaster of FinanceChina
2720Grenoble School of BusinessMSc FinanceFrance
2823Singapore Management UniversityMsc in Applied FinanceSingapore
2925University of StrathclydeMSc FinanceUK
3027Queen Mary, University of LondonMSc Investment and FinanceUK

best universities for investment banking europe

HEC Paris – France

HEC Paris has topped the list of best European Business Schools multiple times. Its Master in Finance course is also regarded as some of the regional best. The school also offers Investment Banking summer programs, focusing on M&A, LBO, financing and valuation.

IE Business School – Spain

Spain’s IE is another European school, alongside HEC, with in-depth Investment Banking courses. IE has decent recognition among European Investment Banks, and is one of their top feeders.

New York University – Stern School of Business

NYU Stern ensures the proximity and the quality to be a top Wall Street feeder. Its presence among bulge brackets and elite boutiques only falls short to Wharton. Stern’s MBA program ranked tenth, and its Finance program ranked third by US News.

University of Chicago – Booth School of Business

The best midwestern business school, Chicago Booth’s MBA program consistently ranks in the top 3 by Forbes, The Economist and US News. Its presence in large firms only loses to some Ivies and NYU. 15-20% of Booth MBA graduates secure a spot in Investment Banks annually. The curriculum is also rated “career-centric” by Investment Banking students.

University of Michigan – Ross School of Business

UMich is the only public university rivaling the Ivy League’s numbers in Investment Banking, with 100% presence in major firms. Michigan Ross’ MBA program frequently ranks in the US top 10 by various sources.

Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

Also based in the midwest, Kellogg is the other main feeder for the Chicago financial hub. It ranks in the top 3 of The Economist, Forbes and US News’ lists. Kellogg’s MBA programs in collaboration with international universities are also well-regarded.

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford GSB is the most selective Business School in the United States, accepting only about 6% of admissions each year. High standards make it the best Graduate School by QS, Bloomberg Businessweek and US News. Due to its location, GSB graduates typically seek Venture Capital careers in the Silicon Valley tech hub, but a considerable number still work for Goldman and Morgan Stanley.

Georgetown University – McDonough School of Business

Georgetown McDonough was ranked number one school for Investment Banking by LinkedIn, thanks to its excellent finance courses. Its MBA program has been listed in the top 25 best by numerous publications. The largest employers of McDonough alumni include Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, Bank of America,…

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Business

MIT Sloan has some of the most rigorous courses of any school, and its ranking rivals the Ivy League. Sloan collaborates extensively with Harvard University and students at each institution often pursue simultaneous degrees at the other. Sloan offers good finance programs, but few students actually pursue Investment Banking careers. You can use this to your advantage to network or land an internship.

London Universities

This group includes the London School of Economics (LSE), the University College London (UCL) and the Imperial College London (ICL). The main advantage they share is the close proximity to the London Financial hub. LSE’s Accounting & Finance and Business & Management Studies rank in the world’s top 10 by QS, Times Higher Education and US News, while UCL and ICL are all top 10 European schools.

Oxbridge Colleges

This includes the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, two oldest and most prestigious schools in the UK. Known for academic excellence, both have ranked world’s first by multiple journals, with 100% of their subjects in the top 10. Oxbridge finance graduates are top hires for Investment Banks, Asset Managers and Management Consulting groups.

University of Warwick

Warwick is one of the few non-London/Oxbridge universities well-regarded by Investment Bankers. Warwick’s Economics department ranked first in 2020 by the Good University Guide, surpassing both Oxford and Cambridge. Its Mathematics department belongs to the top four of the UK.

University of Bristol

Bristol is particularly well-known for its quality in Economics, Finance and Management. Its Business and Management Studies ranks fourth nationally in the Guardian University Guide.

New York University

NYU graduates account for 3.9% of hires in top-tier Wall Street firms, falling short only to UPenn Wharton. Its close proximity serves as an advantage, but NYU also offers exceptional education, consistently ranking in top 10 schools in the US and top 5 in Finance. 

University of Michigan – Ross School of Business

Michigan Ross is the only public school with 100% presence in large Investment Banking firms, comparable to Ivy’s Harvard and Yale. Its Bachelor’s program for management and finance ranks third nationwide. Ross has also been ranked in the top 5 business schools in the US.

Stanford University

The Harvard of the 21st century, Stanford leads in Business, Economics and Mathematics. Location prevents many Stanford graduates from joining Wall Street, with only 45% presence in large firms. Still, Stanford is a frequent collaborator with Wells Fargo, a San Francisco-based bulge bracket.

University of Chicago

The most prestigious midwestern university, UChicago has one of the highest presence among elite boutique firms. It is ranked in the top 9 universities worldwide, and its business school tops US News and The Economist’s lists. Common stops for UChicago graduates include Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Lazard.

Williams College

Williams is widely regarded as the best Liberal Art College in the US. Despite its Liberal Arts background, Williams graduates are regularly hired by a number of bulge brackets, notably J.P. Morgan, Goldman, hence its nickname “the West Point of Wall Street”.

University of Chicago, Berkeley – Haas School of Business

The top public business school on the West Coast, Berkeley Haas ranks 3rd in the world’s best business programs by USNews. Due to geographical distance, Haas’ Wall Street presence is still limited, though it is favored by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo and other bulge bracket’s regional operations.

Investment Banking Target School List (Using Data)

Best Colleges For Investment Banking In India

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Best Colleges for Investment Banking - 2021 2022

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