DEFINITION of IESE Business School

IESE Business School is the graduate school of business at the University of Navarra. IESE offers highly acclaimed MBA and executive MBA programs and has locations in both Barcelona and Madrid. IESE stands for "Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa" in Spanish, or "Institute of Higher Business Studies" in English.


IESE was founded in 1958 in Barcelona, where its headquarters are located and all of its top management programs have been developed. The school teamed up with Harvard University in 1963 to launch the first two-year MBA program in Europe. The first Executive Education Programs started in Madrid at 1974. It has more than 100 full-time professors and around 70 external collaborators who represent almost 30 countries and all hold PhDs.

IESE offers Master of Business Administration, executive MBA and Executive Education programs that have often ranked among the top 10 in the world. IESE is an initiative of Opus Dei, a personal prelature of the Catholic Church.

IESE’s MBA Programs

IESE offer three different MBA programs, adapted to every stage of an applicant’s career. All are built on a general management perspective and a commitment to ethical leadership. They expose students to current issues in international business and cutting-edge research on which to base real-world solutions.

IESE’s MBA program is a 19-month program, and applicants must have at least five years of prior experience. The executive MBA is also a 19-month program, and applicants must have at least seven years of prior experience. The global executive MBA program is a 16-month program, and applicants must have 12 years of prior experience.

IESE Governance

IESE Business School's Executive Committee is responsible for the long-term strategic development of the school, faculty hiring, investments and program portfolio, as well as the school's operations. The Dean of the school presides over the executive committee and reports to the president of the University of Navarra.

The School's International Advisory Board and the Executive Committee of the IESE Alumni Association provide strategic orientation on IESE's initiatives and governance, as well as offering their advice on educational programs, expansion, investment and corporate involvement.

The U.S. Advisory Council provides the school with support for the long-term development of activities in the United States, particularly the New York center, and how these activities can be of benefit to IESE in other parts of the world.

IESE and Harvard Business School have had a close relationship for almost fifty years. In 1963, Harvard Business School approved the formation of the Harvard-IESE Committee, a committee established to offer IESE ongoing guidance as it continued to develop its programs and evolve as a business school. The Harvard-IESE Committee helped guide the launch of IESE's full-time MBA Program in 1964, the first of its kind in Europe. The committee has met annually ever since in either the United States or Europe. The Harvard-IESE Committee has also played a key role in developing IESE-Harvard joint international executive education programs, first launched in 1994.