Best Master’s in Management Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Break quickly into the global business world with one of the nation’s best master’s in management degrees.

Unlike a MBA master degrees in management (MIM) offer students of diverse backgrounds and experiences the opportunity to transition into business sectors across industries, from healthcare to technology. 

Top 10 Best Master’s in Management Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Cornell University Ithaca , NY
2 Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus Atlanta, GA
3 Brown University Providence, RI
4 George Washington University Washington, DC
5 Duke University Durham, NC
6 Rice University Houston, TX
7 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
8 Colorado State University-Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
9 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
10 Lawrence Technological University Southfield, MI

This is because most MIM programs don’t require a defined academic or vocational background. Instead, they offer a foundation in business fundamentals and leadership formation.

Some of the most elite, prestigious universities in the nation unsurprisingly offer the best master’s in management programs and many also offer the same quality through online programs.

They guarantee an academic experience marked by hands-on experience and a curriculum steeped in theory. They are those programs that consider the holistic applicant, who see in their students not just a resume, but powerful leadership potential.

Quick Look: Best Master’s in Management Degrees

Rank School Average Net Price
1 Harvard University $15,742
2 Stanford University $19,245
3 Northwestern University $30,552
4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology $21,691
5 Duke University $21,295

What kind of Management Degree should you get?

Not all management degrees are alike. While most will offer you a firm foundation in finance, marketing, accounting, and leadership, each program is unique in its emphases and real-world experience opportunities. For example, a Master’s in Management degree at Vanderbilt prepares you to lead in the healthcare sectors, while the program at MIT is decidedly technological in its focus.

Regardless of which program seems like the best fit in terms of specialization, you will also want to consider immersion experiences and internship opportunities. Are you eager to gain some real-world experience? Then be sure to choose a program that requires an internship. 

How much money do people make with a master’s in management degree?

Because the job prospects for those with a MIM vary so widely, so also do projected salaries. However, rest assured that this degree brings with it a median, minimum 70k annual salary (for operation managers). For those who utilize the MIM in a tech field or human resources role, that salary jumps to an annual salary of 90k and 120k respectively.

Those with a MIM degree not only position themselves in a lucrative field, but a growing one too. The need for managers is projected to rise another 6 percent in the next few years alone.

What are the requirements for a master’s degree in Management?

The good news: to apply for a master’s program in management you do not need much or any undergraduate credits in business. The whole point of the MIM is to provide that foundation while launching your career. The less good news: you will have to take either the GMAT or GRE to apply to most of these programs.

Once accepted, you can anticipate one to two years of classes on the fundamentals of business principles: statistics, operations, marketing and PR, economics, finance, and more. In addition to these, you’ll also take classes on leadership and participate in leadership formation experiences. The latter may consist of study abroad opportunities or internships. And Almost all programs require them.

What are the best Master’s in Management degrees?

Best Master's in Management Badge

Management is a broad field encompassing everything from data analytics to negotiation strategy. So, while some of these programs emphasize one facet of management over another, they all share one thing in common: they are the best graduate management programs in the nation.

To arrive at such comprehensive and definitive list, we started first with the academic reputation of each program in the nation. Then we investigated retention—a reflection of student satisfaction—affordability, and the early salaries of graduates.

What we concluded with, after such extensive research, are those programs that are the best in the nation at training and educating future managers. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

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Recommended Online Programs

  1. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $15742

    Overview

    Barely needing any introduction, Harvard University is one of the world’s best schools. It is a private Ivy League that has graduated hundreds of Rhodes Scholars, Fields Medalists, Turing Award winners, Nobel Prize winners, and more. Approximately 20k students attend Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Features

    Through Harvard’s MS in Management degree you will study the core elements of management theory. This includes accounting, organizational behavior, marketing, strategy, and more. But you’ll also be introduced to developing trends in the world of media, business communications, digital landscapes, and global perspectives. Some of the classes you can anticipate taking at Harvard include:

    • Real-World Economics
    • Microeconomic Theory
    • Financial Services for the Poor
    • Strategy, Conflict, and Cooperation
    • Among others
    Notables

    Harvard is ranked the 2nd best university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly. ARWU places it 1st, and global rankings are similarly prestigious. Harvard is home to dozens of notable museums, archives, libraries, and research centers.

  2. Stanford University
    Location

    Stanford, CA

    Tuition

    $19245

    Overview

    The most prestigious university based on the West Coast, and one of the most prestigious in the world, Stanford University is a private research university. Its geographic proximity to Silicon Valley has resulted in its high profile reputation in tech and energy research. Though dozens of its departments rank as the top in their fields.

    Features

    Stanford’s one-year Master of Science in Management degree puts you in the heart of Silicon Valley. This program is a combination of rigorous coursework, leadership formation, and collaboration with peers and faculty. And, as a Sloan Fellow, you will have the opportunity to design up to 50 percent of your academic experience. Some of the unique specialization and elective options include:

    • Combining Management with a Neuroscience Cognitive Core
    • Creativity and Innovation classes
    • Intellectual Property classes through Stanford’s Law School
    • And more
    Notables

    Forbes ranks Stanford the top university in the nation while U.S. News & World Report places it 5th, ARWU 2nd, and Washington Monthly 1st. Stanford alumni have gone on to create Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.

  3. Northwestern University
    Location

    Evanson, IL

    Tuition

    $30552

    Overview

    Located outside of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University is a large research university known for its graduate and doctoral programs. It is a member of the Big Ten Conference with alumni who have become Nobel Prize Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Geniuses, and Rhodes Scholars.

    Features

    At Northwestern you can earn a MS in Management degree from the renowned Kellogg School in just ten months. In this fast-paced program you will collaborate closely with peers. You can even combine the degree with a MBA, all of which can be earned in just one year. However you design your degree experience, you will develop powerful communication, leadership, and innovation skills. Courses include:

    • Business Analytics
    • Leadership in Organizations
    • Management Communications
    • Marketing Management
    • Global Initiatives in Management
    • And more
    Notables

    Northwestern is consistently included among the top 50 best universities in the nation by ARWU, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly. Its global rankings are similarly impressive and consistent.

  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $21691

    Overview

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the best universities in the nation, especially in the fields of technology, science, business, and engineering. MIT is a member of the Association of American Universities, has approximately 12k enrolled students, and often collaborates in research projects with Harvard, Wellesley College, Brandeis, Tufts, and more.

    Features

    Offered through the prestigious Sloan School, MIT offers a customizable MS in Management Studies degree. This is a nine-month degree program. And it can be used to complement a MBA or another master’s program from an affiliate school. Areas of research are broken into three categories: behavioral and policy sciences, management science, and economics, finance and accounting. Through those specializations you can explore the ins and outs of:

    • Economic Sociology
    • Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Operations Management
    • Information Technologies
    • And more
    Notables

    MIT is home to a variety of renowned research projects, institutions, centers. Thus the university is affiliated with hundreds of Marshall Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, astronauts, Fields Medalists, MacArthur Fellows, and more.

  5. Duke University
    Location

    Durham, NC

    Tuition

    $21295

    Overview

    Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University is a private, research university. Approximately 15k students attend Duke and are enrolled in one of its 50 academic programs. Campus is pocked with research institutes, art museums, medial and health facilities, and much more.

    Features

    Duke’s Master’s in Management Studies degree is taught by the same prestigious faculty who teach the MBA students. That means you’re guaranteed a world-class education. This is a ten-month program that covers everything from marketing and consulting to general management and finance. At Duke you’ll learn how to make economical decisions and tackle difficult issues. You’ll become a persuasive communicator and a critical thinker. Duke’s course load consists of classes on:

    • Business Communication
    • Foundations of Corporate Finance
    • Principles of Strategy
    • Cost and Managerial Accounting
    • And more
    Notables

    In a recent New York Times study, it was found that graduates from Duke’s programs are some of the most desired in the work force. Forbes even called it a “Power Factory” university. Its rankings confirm as much: U.S. News & World Report includes it within the top ten universities worldwide.

  6. Dartmouth College
    Location

    Hanover, NH

    Tuition

    $21348

    Overview

    Located in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League research university. It is one of the oldest schools in the national and part of the original nine colonial colleges that were founded before the American Revolution. Dartmouth is known for its liberal arts curriculum.

    Features

    Through Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, you can earn a MBA with specialization in Management Studies. After completing your first year of courses on finance, management, economics, and marketing, you can take an Independent Study in your second year. This allows you to customize your educational experience. You can fill your course schedule with management classes and graduate ready to be a leader across business sectors and industries. Management courses include:

    • Managers and the Law
    • Managerial Accounting
    • Advanced Management Communication
    • Management of Health Care Organizations
    • Managing for Social Impact
    • And more
    Notables

    Dartmouth has earned a reputation for graduating students who go on to become U.S. senators and representatives, governors, Nobel Prize winners, Rhodes Scholars, Pulitzer Prize winners, and more. Dartmouth is ranked 11th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

  7. Columbia University in the City of New York
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $17678

    Overview

    New York’s Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university with nearly 30k students. Columbia is organized into twenty colleges and schools, including its renowned Columbia Business School. This business school is among the most selective and prestigious in the country. Forbes, U.S. News, The Economist, and Business Insider recognize it as one of the best business schools in the world.

    Features

    Specifically designed for those who want to work in the technology industry, Columbia offers a Master’s in Technology Management degree. The curriculum is a unique blend of digital leadership courses and technology strategy courses. Meaning you’ll graduate with a balanced understanding of today’s global, digital environment. Courses include:

    • Behavioral Challenges in Technology Management
    • Leading Disruptive Change in a Digital Economy
    • Applied Analytics
    • Strategic Advocacy
    • Technology and the Law
    • And more
    Notables

    Columbia is ranked among the top 20 universities in the nation, and in the world, by ARWU, Times Higher Education, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and more. It is known for its many contributions to research, and was, in fact, where the uranium atom was first split.

  8. University of Chicago
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $33107

    Overview

    From economics to business and management, sociology to English literature, the University of Chicago holds prestige in many fields. Its graduate programs are especially well regarded. Approximately 15k students attend the University of Chicago, a majority of whom are earning an advanced degree.

    Features

    The University of Chicago offers a distinctive take on the management degree. The MS in Threat and Response Management program is ideal for those who want to gain leadership skills in the area of crisis, strategy, and prevention. This interdisciplinary degree takes two years to complete. Classes include those such as:

    • Emergency Management, Policy Making, Law and Ethics
    • Foundations of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
    • Epidemiology and Infectious Disease
    • Systems Thinking for Emergency Preparedness
    • And more
    Notables

    This private research institution is ranked 3rd in the nation (among all colleges and universities) by U.S. News & World Report. Likewise, ARWU, Forbes, Washington Monthly, and more include it among the top 20 best universities in the U.S.

  9. Yale University
    Location

    New Haven, CT

    Tuition

    $18164

    Overview

    Again, Yale barely needs an introduction. Its Ivy League status, its founding before the American Revolution, and its array of rankings make Yale one of the most respected universities in the nation, as well as worldwide. It is based in New Haven, Connecticut and is home to around 12k students.

    Features

    Yale offers a Master’s of Advanced Management degree that will connect you with leaders around the world. This is a one-year degree program that emphasizes global trends. Through coursework, lectures, discussions, and collaborative projects you will gain critical insights into business leadership. And you’ll have the opportunity to curate your learning experience, as Yale allows students to gather a customized selection of electives. Among them:

    • Behavioral and Institutional Economics
    • Mastering Influence and Persuasion
    • Global Financial Crisis
    • Listening to the Customer
    • Nonmarket Strategy
    • And more
    Notables

    A top ten national university according to U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and ARWU, Yale is also ranked among the top ten universities for its quality and magnitude of research contributions.

  10. University of Virginia-Main Campus
    Location

    Charlottsville, VA

    Tuition

    $14539

    Overview

    The University of Virginia (UVA) is the flagship school for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Around 22k students attend UVA and are enrolled in one of the 200 academic programs. It is an elected member of the Association of American Universities and classified as a high research university by the Carnegie Foundation.

    Features

    UVA’s MS in Commerce degree is a management program that takes ten months to complete. While building a foundation in marketing, finance, analytics, and management, you’ll gain hands-on experience. Yale has students participate in a global immersion experience. You’ll travel to Europe, Asia, Latin America, India, or the Middle East to work and develop an international mindset. A course sampling includes:

    • Global Strategy and Systems
    • Strategic Cost Management
    • Marketing and Quantitative Analysis
    • Financial Accounting
    • Among others
    Notables

    UVA was founded by Thomas Jefferson and is designated a collegiate World Heritage Site. Likewise, it is known for its secret societies and its historic foundations. UVA is ranked within the top 50 best universities in the nation by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and more.

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