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Opinions vary based on which publications you consult, but the best MBA programs for a career in corporate finance are at Harvard Business School, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the New York University Stern School of Business and London Business School.

Chicago's Booth School of Business is the best in terms of graduates finding work immediately, while Harvard Business School boasts the highest average pay after graduation. The Stanford Graduate School of Business is the most exclusive, with an acceptance rate under 8% and an enrollment under 1,000.

Ranking the Best MBA Programs

According to the Financial Times, the two dominant graduate programs for an MBA – regardless of emphasis – are offered by ]Harvard Business School] and Stanford Graduate School of Business (at least between 2010 and 2015). The Economist lists its top five schools as the Chicago's Booth School of Business, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, the HEC School of Management in Paris and the University of Navarra in Spain. Bloomberg Businessweek lists Wharton and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business as its top two.

The criteria for each of these rankings is different. For example, the Bloomberg rankings place relatively more emphasis on diversity, campus life and student stress. Students should familiarize themselves with the costs and differences for each program before applying.

Harvard, Stanford and Chicago

The three schools which have most consistently appeared in the rankings literature are Harvard, Stanford and Chicago. Picking between each might come down to a matter of preference for those interested in a corporate finance career.

The Booth School of Business at Chicago only requires one course for all students, meaning that each curriculum can be individualized. Harvard Business School students are placed into communal sections and put through the Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development method. Stanford offers the smallest classes, the largest campus and the most study-abroad opportunities.

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