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The top east coast universities are often associated with a certain prestige. They conjure to mind imaginations of ivy, fall, and the children of business people and fancy dignitaries walking around campus. People’s imaginations of these programs are often not too far from reality at these schools that were founded as early as the 1800s. Check them out:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) – Cambridge, MA


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan business school is the only non Ivy league member of these top east coast MBA programs but that doesn’t make it any less prestigious. Alumni of this school include Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford Motor Company, Daryl Morey, the General Manager of the Houston Rockets, former CEOs for Boeing, HP, Citigroup, Lloyds, E-Trade and many more. Sloan was founded in 1914 and is near Harvard in the same prestigious area of Cambridge with lots of colonial history and old buildings. You can read more about it in the list of top MBA programs in the United States, but the culture at MIT is more hard technology and engineering focused than somewhere like Harvard or Wharton, reflecting MIT’s core engineering expertise.

Columbia University – New York, NY


Columbia University’s business school just missed out on our list of the top business schools in the United States but it sure was close to making that list. Columbia is a highly competitive school, enrolling only 754 of the 5876 people who applied to enter the school in 2019. Most of those people got in to the class entering in August but about a third got into the class entering in January. Columbia has one of the least amounts of gender diversity of the top programs, with only 38% of the program being female. It has strong diversity outside of that though with 33% being US minorities and 47% being international citizens. You have to score very highly to get in with average GMAT scores of a 727, an average GPA of 3.6 and 5 years on average of work experience. Columbia is situated in a great place for those who are interested in finance, financial services, or banking. It is the closest elite business school to Wall Street and so it is a major feeder into the big and small banks in New York City as well as all of the major consulting firms and private equity groups that are also based in New York City. The school is on the upper west side of Manhattan, with extensive amounts of private property a close subway ride to Central Park or downtown.

Harvard University – Cambridge, MA


Also on our list of the top MBA programs in the United States, Harvard University’s business school is often what people are thinking of when they are thinking of going to a top east coast MBA program. You can read all about the details of admission, more statistics, and what makes the university unique in our other article. In this article we’re going to talk a little more about Cambridge, which is a quiet but interesting city. There is an insane amount of history in Cambridge, going back hundreds of years to colonial times. Harvard was founded long ago and many of the buildings reflect such a long age. Cambridge is a quiet town but it is known for its incredible academics. Boston in general in known for having great biotech companies and also has some large banks and financial institutions. You don’t have to be worried though if you graduate from Harvard Business school, you should be able to get a job nearly anywhere that you would want to go.

Yale University – New Haven, CT


Yale University has long been considered the primary rival of Harvard, but when you are looking at business schools the rivalry falls a bit short on the Yale side. Yale is still a top school though, and very difficult for anyone to get into with a median GMAT of 720, a median GRE of 165, and an average undergraduate GPA of 3.66. While they do a decent job of getting representation from women and internationals, with 42% of the attendees being women and 44% being international passport holders, they do a remarkably poor job of getting minorities to attend the program with only 13% of the class being underrepresented students of color. That could certainly have something to do with the location of Connecticut. Connecticut in general is a pretty quiet place but it is near New York and Boston and there are plenty of different things you can do to try and entertain yourself while you are attending the program.

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) – Philadelphia, PA


The University of Pennsylvania also made our list of the top 5 MBA programs in the USA, and so you can go there to read our extensive and detailed breakdown on the undergrad program. It also makes our list of top east coast MBA programs for good reason, it is in the great city of Philadelphia. There is so much do to in Philadelphia beyond just eating a cheesesteak although you should definitely make sure you check out all of the cheesesteak shops beyond just Genos and Pats. Philadelphia has some of the most exciting sports teams in the country with the Eagles, Sixers, and the Phillies. There is a ton of culture in the old city, seeing the colonial buildings, with lots including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. There are also lots of great museums across the Benjamin Franklin parkway and there is good food all over but especially in cool niche markets like Redding Terminal market.