Kellogg/HKUST Tops FT EMBA Rankings For 3rd Straight Year

Kellogg/Hong Kong UST students in class

In sports, a winning streak is often considered winning at least three consecutive games. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management’s joint partnership executive MBA with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is officially on a streak. For the third year in a row — and ninth time in the past 12 years — the joint partnership has topped the Financial Times ranking of executive MBA programs.

The Kellogg/HKUST program has been so dominating over the past decade because of salary. Reported salary makes up 20% of the methodology and year-over-year percent salary increase makes up another 20%. Graduates of the Kellogg/HKUST program report making more than graduates of any other ranked program and it’s not even close. Reporting an average of $507,492, Kellogg/HKUST graduates outpace graduates at all other schools by almost $150,000. The next highest is Washington University’s Olin School EMBA partnership with China’s Fudan University, where graduates report average salary of $368,498.

Among the top five programs, four are partnership programs similar to Kellogg/HKUST. Following in second is the Trium Program, a partnership between HEC Paris, the London School of Economics, and New York University’s Stern School of Business. The program rose three spots from last year’s fifth place finish. In third place is the partnership between Tsinghua University and INSEAD, which was also in third last year. Falling two spots is last year’s runner up, the EMBA-Global Asia partnership between Columbia University, Hong Kong University, and London Business School. Catapulting nine spots into fifth place is the EMBA program at CEIBS in Shanghai.


Because of the heavy weight on compensation, adjusted by the Financial Times to account for purchasing power parity (PPP), seven of the top eight EMBA programs boast some sort of foothold in China.

Among single-school programs, CEIBS, at number five, is the highest rated. CEIBS leads a slew of other single-school programs to round out the top ten. They are HEC Paris and Washington University in St. Louis, which tied for sixth, No. 8 Shanghai Jiao Tong University, No. 9 IESE Business School, and No. 10 MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Other top ranked U.S.-based schools include No. 20 University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, No. 24 University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, No. 25 Duke University’s Fuqua School, No. 33 University of Michigan Ross School of Business, No. 34 Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, No. 40 Columbia Business School, No. 42 Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and No. 43, New York University’s Stern School of Business.

International schools tend to do better in the FT ranking because 18% of the methodology is dedicated to such international-related data as international faculty (5%), international students (5%), international course experience (5%), international board (2%), and having at least a portion of the program in a different language than English (1%).


This year, there was one slight methodology change. The FT added a section that measured the core courses focusing on CSR, ethics, social, and environmental issues. That category was given a 3% weight and the number of Ph.D. graduates from a school, which was weighted 5%, was completely removed. The remaining 2% were shared between the number of female faculty and female students, which each went from a 3% weight last year to 4% this year.

Among the biggest winners and losers in this year’s ranking, three schools jumped 20 spots, which was more than any other school. The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management soared from 67th last year to 47th this year. The EMYLON Business School of France also leapt 20 spots from 83rd to 63rd. Lastly, the Gibs Institute of Business Science climbed 20 spots from 87th to 67th. Among the top schools, Arizona State University’s W. P. School of business climbed 14 spots into a three-way tie for 25th place. The Nanyang Business School climbed 12 spots to a tie for 18th place, and CEIBS made its nine-spot jump from 14th to No. 5.

Many U.S. universities took major hits in this year’s ranking. Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business fell 15 spots from 73rd to 88th. Similarly, the Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business fell 16 spots from 71st to 87th. The University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management also slipped 16 spots to 80th. The University of Washington Foster School of Business also slipped 15 spots to 72nd, and NYU Stern fell 10 spots to 43rd. Among the top schools, the EMBA-Global partnership between Columbia Business School and London Business School fell 10 places to land in a tie for 14th place. The University of Cambridge Judge School also fell 10 spots to a three-way tie for 25th.

(See the next page for a full list of the top 30 schools.)

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.