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France, Singapore, U.S., Abu Dhabi

INSEAD Business School was founded in 1957. Georges Doriot, Claude Janssen, and Olivier Giscard d’Estaing established the school with a vision of introducing business education in Europe. Doriot was a professor at Harvard Business School and a World War II general. The school’s opening was financed by the Paris Chamber of Commerce.

In 1959, it held its first welcoming ceremony at Château de Fontainebleau, the school’s original campus. Over a hundred candidates applied for the first class and only 62 were accepted. Fifty-students from 14 different countries attended the first course.

In 1962, IBM, Procter & Gamble, McKinsey, Saint-Gobain, and Pechiney met to establish the school’s first professorial chairs. In 1966, class sizes were between 140-150 students, more than double the size of the inaugural class.

From the beginning in 1959 until the 1990s, classes were taught in English, French, and German. Now, all classes are taught in English, but students are required to speak two languages to be accepted. Upon graduating, students must speak three.


INSEAD is consistently ranked with the top business schools in the world and the only business school of its kind. Eighty-four different nationalities were represented in the class of 2021. INSEAD has produced the second highest number of CEOs of the 500 largest companies. Harvard Business School produced the highest number. INSEAD falls within the top six MBA programs for producing billionaires and the top 20 for producing millionaires.

The school was ranked #1 in global MBA programs according to Financial Times. In 2019, Forbes ranked the school as #2 for one-year, international MBA programs.

INSEAD Overview

The INSEAD MBA program is full-time over a period of 10 months. The curriculum includes case studies, computer simulation exercise, role play, lectures, and class discussions. The school’s campuses are all connected and span across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. INSEAD is one of the only top business schools that is a graduate-only program.

INSEAD prides itself on providing students with a uniquely multicultural experience. The school admits at most 12% of students with the same nationality.

School Rank according to US News: #799 in Best Global Universities, #32 in Economics and Business
Course Duration: 1-year, full-time
Median GMAT and GMAT Range: 670-750
Approx. Class Size: 795
Avg. Work Experience: 6 years
Tuition Cost (per year): $99,000 USD
Average Age of Student: 29
Average Salary: $113,900
Average Salary for Consultants: $119,000
% Employed after 3 months: 89%
Locations: France, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, & San Francisco

Degrees Offered

  • Master in Management
  • MBA
  • Executive MBA
  • Executive Master in Change
  • Executive Master in Finance
  • Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA
  • PhD in Management

INSEAD Program Details

Are you divided into cohorts? Yes

During the application process, students are able to select their preferred campus. Generally, they will spend the first two periods at this campus. Students spend the third, fourth, and fifth periods on another INSEAD campus. Students also have the option of completing a campus exchange and studying at Wharton, Kellogg, or CEIBS.

When INSEAD students arrive, they are assigned to study groups of 5-6 students. These groups are designed to be diverse. Study groups work together to complete class projects and assignments during the first couple of periods.

INSEAD has one class that runs from September to June and another class from January to December. The January class has an 8-week summer break where many complete internships. The calendar for both schools is divided into five 8-week periods.

Students spend their first two periods and part of their third completing the 14 core curriculum courses. Topics covered include accounting, marketing, organizational behavior, operations management and strategy, among others. During the third period, students may begin to design their own curriculum by choosing from 75 different electives across 10 academic areas. Students take electives during the fourth and fifth periods as well. The fifth also requires students to complete a capstone project.

Joint degree options include:

  • MBA/MA with John Hopkins
  • MBA/MA with Columbia University
  • MBA/MA with Yale School of Management

Can you do a joint degree while at the school? Ex: MBA/MD between HBS and Harvard Medical School: Yes

What Makes INSEAD Unique?

INSEAD Business School offers 42 different clubs for students to choose from. More than half of these are student-led. Professional clubs are designed to give students the opportunity to network and host competitions, conferences, and events. These include clubs like the Asia-Europe Club, Consulting Club, and Women in Business Club. Non-professional clubs give students the opportunity to build relationships through sporting activities and to compete in inter-business school events like the MBA Golf Challenge. Other options include: Basketball, Health & Fitness, Sailing, Standup, Wine, and Public Speaking.

INSEAD student clubs host several conferences throughout the year. These events include the Private Equity Conference, Women in Business Conference, and Global Luxury Forum.

Students gave professors at INSEAD Business School a rating of 4.4 out of 5, according to The Economist.

What is the INSEAD campus like?

INSEAD’s two main campuses are located in France and Singapore. The French campus, located in Fontainebleau, is the original campus and now headquarters. The campus is home to 29 teaching spaces, 130 group areas, and the Georges and Edna Doriot Library. Since on-campus housing is only available for students in short-term programs, full-time MBA students rent in neighborhoods close by.

INSEAD opened the doors of its Singapore campus in 2000. Facilities include eight amphitheaters, teaching rooms, study areas, an auditorium, and a 24-hour library. Like the French campus, Singapore students are not provided housing unless they are enrolled in a short-term program. Ten-month MBA students must find housing elsewhere.

Is the campus located near advantageous locations or points of interest?

The INSEAD Europe Campus sits at the edge of the Forest Fontainebleau which offers its own natural beauty. Campus is a short distance away from the town’s center and an hour and a half away from Paris. Students are a short drive or train ride away from iconic tourist destinations like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and The Louvre Museum.

The INSEAD Asia Campus is located in Singapore at the corner of Ayer Rajah Avenue and North Buona Vista Road in the Knowledge Hub district of Singapore. The business school sits within minutes of the downtown financial district as well as Changi Airport.

Notable Alumni

INSEAD Notable Alumni according to eGMAT:

  • Meera Sanyal – CEO and Chairperson of the RBS
  • Jusuf Kalla – Vice President of Indonesia
  • Samir Arora – CEO of Sage Digital
  • Najib Mikati – Former Prime Minister of Lebanon
  • António Horta Osório – Chief Executive of Lloyds Banking Group
  • Tidjane Thiam – Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse
  • Henry Engelhardt – Chief Executive of Admiral

INSEAD Employment Report

According to the 2021 INSEAD Employment Report, 92% were offered a job within 3 months of graduation, and 89% students accepted offers. The average starting salary for INSEAD MBA graduates was $113,900. The average salary for consultants was slightly higher at $119,000. 

To find out what the prospects are for you to break into consulting from INSEAD, see our breakdown of the INSEAD employment report here.

+33 1 60 72 40 00
Boulevard de Constance
F-77305 Fontainebleau Cedex