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Top MBA Programs in New York

Date Updated: October 27, 2020

MBA degrees rank among the world's most popular and most coveted educational credentials. This graduate-level credential signals advanced proficiency with the specialized knowledge and skills businesses managers and executives require. MBA programs typically cover core subjects including business operations, management, accounting, and marketing while also offering students the opportunity to specialize in a concentrated area.

The Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers and operates the GMAT examination, ranks New York City as the top metro area in the United States for MBA grads launching finance careers. According to 2020 data from U.S. News & World Report, New York is also home to two of the top five MBA schools whose graduates enjoy the highest average earnings.

The Big Apple persists as a critically important international financial center, and MBA grads working in the financial services sector earned an average salary of $130,000 in 2019.

Finance continues to be a major area of focus for business professionals in New York, and the state also offers diverse professional roles for qualified MBA grads in other industries and specializations.

Comparing top MBA schools helps prospective students plan their educational and professional development paths. This guide covers the top MBA programs in New York, providing information on what you can expect during the application, admission, and enrollment phases of your scholastic journey

10 Best MBA Programs in NY

Rank School Location
1 Cornell University Ithaca, NY
2 Baruch College New York, NY
3 Binghamton University, SUNY Vestal, NY
4 Columbia University New York, NY
5 New York University New York, NY
6 University at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo, NY
7 University at Albany, SUNY Albany, NY
8 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
9 Fordham University Bronx, NY
10 Manhattan College Riverdale, NY

See Detailed Rankings

Why Get an MBA in New York?

The Wall Street Journal notes that despite their rising costs, MBA degrees still function as a "golden ticket" in the business world. These three key benefits explain why:

  • Pedigree and Credibility: The exclusivity and prestige of an MBA can bestow instant credibility on the degree-holder. MBAs, especially from well-known institutions, can tip the hiring process in an MBA graduate's favor.
  • Transferable Skills: MBA programs typically concentrate on universal core skills and concepts that apply to practically every industry and employment sector. This grants graduates access to a very broad set of professional opportunities.
  • High Employment Rates: In 2019, the top-performing U.S. business schools all posted graduate job placement rates of 95% or better. Meanwhile, a national analysis from 2018 found that U.S. business schools were generating record employment rates among MBA grads.

Labor market analysis from 2020 suggests that MBA degrees deliver the best return on investment when graduates seek jobs in management or closely related fields, such as finance or marketing. New York offers many professional opportunities in these and other relevant areas.

With a dense concentration of highly regarded business schools and outstanding work-study, networking, and entry-level job opportunities, New York makes an ideal place to earn an MBA. In addition to serving as the home of Wall Street, New York also has the third-largest economy in the United States, with an economic output of $1.73 trillion in 2019.

The Best MBA Programs in New York

Multiple business schools in New York City and other areas of the state rank among the most prestigious in the United States. The rankings below explain the details of the top 10 MBA programs in New York. This list makes for a great place to launch your search for a suitable program.

As you seek study opportunities, remember to seek strong evidence that the path matches your personal interests, learning objectives, and career aspirations. A lower-ranked or unranked program might make an ideal match, so use this list as a jumping-off point rather than a final, definitive resource.


1. Cornell University

Private university in Ithaca, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

A member of the world-famous Ivy League, Cornell University has produced some of the most successful, accomplished, and famous business leaders in U.S. history.

SC Johnson College of Business

Cornell's widely praised MBA programs favor immersion learning models, which combine strong classroom-based grounded in business theory with intensive field placements. Learners can arrange work-study partnerships with prestigious organizations in a long list of sectors, from investment banking and corporate finance to business consulting and sustainable industry.

Students have the option of enrolling in a two-year standard program, a one-year accelerated program, a dual-degree program, or their choice of three different STEM-focused residential study paths. Cornell reports that 94% of its 2019 graduates received job offers within three months of graduation, while 2019 alumni working in the United States secured an average base salary exceeding $136,000 per year.

Cornell's MBA Specializations

Asset Management/Investment Research | Brand Management | Consulting and Strategy | Corporate Finance | Data Modeling and Analytics | Emerging Markets | Entrepreneurship and Innovation | Investment Banking | Leadership and Ethics | Private Equity and Venture Capital | Sustainable Global Enterprise | Technology Product Management


2. Baruch College

Public university in New York, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Also known as Bernard M. Baruch College, this acclaimed Manhattan-based institution is part of the City University of New York system.

Zicklin School of Business

Baruch College features top-ranked MBA programs in four formats: a traditional full-time, classroom-based program as well as an evenings-only MBA, an executive MBA, and an executive MBA with a concentration in healthcare administration. Uniquely, learners in all MBA programs engage in capstone projects that develop and deliver real business proposals and plans to major New York companies.

Typical program lengths span from 20 months in the accelerated executive MBA to 36 months for students in the evening MBA program. Learners complete intensive 48-credit or 49.5-credit programs delivered on flexible day, evening, weekend, and hybrid schedules and formats.

CUNY Baruch's MBA Specializations

Accountancy | Healthcare Administration | Self-Designed Specializations


3. Binghamton University, SUNY

Public university in Binghamton, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Located in the outskirts of the upstate New York city of Binghamton, this branch of the SUNY system has been called a "public Ivy" to denote its quality of education.

SUNY Binghamton School of Management

SUNY Binghamton operates one of the most accessible MBA programs in New York for students of diverse academic backgrounds. Learners with existing undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in any subject can enroll in a four-semester MBA or an accelerated one-year program. Five other formats are available to students with specific academic backgrounds:

  • – A one-year MBA for business majors
  • – Management/MBA 4+1 programs for undergraduates in SUNY Binghamton's School of Management
  • – Harpur/MBA 4+1 programs for undergraduates in SUNY Binghamton's Harpur College of Arts and Sciences
  • – Watson/MBA 4+1 programs for undergraduates in SUNY Binghamton's Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • – A 15-month, New York City-based executive MBA for working professionals

SUNY Binghamton's MBA Specializations

Business Analytics | Finance | Leadership/Consulting | Management Information Systems | Marketing | Supply Chain Management


4. Columbia University

Private university in New York, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Founded in 1754, this prestigious Ivy League institution ranks among the oldest universities in the United States. Its alumni include three U.S. presidents and investing legend Warren Buffett, among many other luminaries.

Columbia Business School

Columbia's MBA programs feature adaptable, highly relevant curricula that support professional success in any industry or field. The business school's learning models emphasize the immediate, practical application of theory and stress the value of entrepreneurship. Each program embraces a cross-disciplinary core curriculum, which faculty regularly review and update to optimize its relevance and value.

Learning formats include a standard MBA and an accelerated executive MBA program for working professionals. In both cases, graduates join a large alumni network that includes more than 40,000 members across 100 countries.

Columbia's MBA Specializations

Accounting | Decision, Risk, and Operations | Entrepreneurship | Family Business | Finance | Healthcare and Pharmaceutical | Management | Leadership and Ethics Management | Marketing | Media and Technology | Private Equity | Real Estate | Retail and Luxury Goods | Social Enterprise | Value Investing


5. New York University

Private university in New York, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Based in an urban campus in New York's Greenwich Village, NYU counts 38 Nobel laureates, 31 MacArthur Fellows, and 17 billionaires among its alumni.

NYU Stern School of Business

At NYU, business professionals can pursue a general MBA on a full- or part-time schedule, with full-time students following a two-year timeline and part-time learners completing requirements in 2-6 years. Both general programs consist of 60 credits, while two 52-credit specialized programs offer targeted instruction to those eyeing careers in fashion and luxury marketing, and the technology sector.

Graduates of NYU's full-time MBA class of 2019 went on to earn a median salay of $140,000 per year. More than half of the program's 2019 general MBA graduates went on to work in consulting or finance.

NYU's MBA Specializations

Fashion and Luxury | Technology


6. University at Buffalo

Public university in Buffalo, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide by the Center for World University Rankings, UB consistently ranks as the top public university in the state of New York.

University at Buffalo School of Management

UB's MBA programs embrace what the school refers to as "action learning," which guides students to form collaborative partnerships with peers as they apply classroom theory to the business world. The core curriculum, developed with the input of business leaders, recruiters, faculty, and alumni, emphasizes teamwork and communication while maintaining an international focus.

Esteemed publications including Forbes, Businessweek, and U.S. News & World Report all place UB in the top 10% of AACSB-endorsed business schools.

UB's MBA Specializations

Analytics | Finance | Healthcare Management | Information Assurance | Information Systems and E-Business | International Management | Management Consulting | Marketing Management | Operations and Supply Chain Management


7. SUNY at Albany

Public university in Albany, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

UAlbany is one of only three universities in New York to hold prestigious programmatic AACSB accreditations in both business administration and accounting.

University at Albany School of Business

UAlbany's MBA programs prepare students for the world of business with hands-on learning and career-focused training. In addition to a traditional full-time MBA, learners can also enroll in evening and weekend programs designed for degree-seekers balancing their studies with weekday commitments.

Each first-year student engages in an ecology-oriented capstone project that encourages students to identify innovative solutions to sustainability challenges facing modern enterprises. Second-year students proceed into field placements, mentorship programs, and advanced research that synthesizes and applies learning.

UAlbany's MBA Specializations

Cybersecurity | Entrepreneurship | Finance | Human Resource Information Systems | Information Systems and Business Analytics | Marketing


8. University of Rochester

Private university in Rochester, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

This small private research institution has earned nationwide acclaim for its elite business, political science, economics, chemistry, and music programs.

Simon Business School

Rochester's Simon Business School supports a trio of prestigious MBA programs: a 22-month, 26-course, full-time MBA; a 20-course, part-time alternative to the standard program; and an 18-course, cohort-style executive MBA. Candidates require only three years of relevant work experience for admission consideration.

High-profile publications bestow Rochester's MBA programs with extensive accolades: Bloomberg Businessweek gives the school an "A" grade for instructional quality, while The Economist ranked the school in the top 10 among MBA programs for return on educational investment.

Rochester's MBA Specializations

Asset Management | Banking | Brand Management | Corporate Finance | Management Operations | Pricing Strategy and Technology | Product Management | Venture Capital and Private Equity


9. Fordham University

Private university in New York, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Founded in 1841, Fordham University brands itself as New York's Jesuit university. Nearly half of its total student body studies at the graduate level, speaking to the school's excellence in professional education.

Gabelli School of Business

Fordham offers an outstanding balance of accessibility, educational excellence, and prestige. Its graduate division in the Gabelli School of Business has held AACSB accreditation since opening in 1969, and members of its 2019 full-time MBA class gained entry with average GRE scores of 305, GMAT scores of 659, and 5.3 years of professional experience.

Learners can opt for part-time programs with evening classes and executive MBA programs for employed professionals that meet one weekend per month.

Fordham's MBA Specializations

Accounting with STEM | Financial Technology | Information Systems


10. Manhattan College

Private university in the Bronx, New York, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Founded in 1853, Manhattan College relocated from its namesake borough to the Bronx in 1922, where it continues to function as one of the region's leading Roman Catholic liberal arts schools.

O'Malley School of Business

Manhattan welcomes students of all academic backgrounds to its O'Malley School of Business, which features some of the best MBA programs in NYC. Anyone with a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university qualifies for entry, with non-business majors taking a four-course MBA bridge program to seal knowledge gaps.

Learners can study full time or part time, in class or online. Experiential learning remains a major component of the Manhattan MBA experience, with degree-seekers participating in internships, entrepreneurship programs, and optional annual international study experiences.

Manhattan's MBA Specializations

Business Analytics | Finance and Economics | Organizations, Markets, and Sustainability


What New York's Best Schools Have in Common

The best MBA programs in NYC and New York state display several common characteristics: They all link students directly to valuable professional networks while delivering an excellent education that emphasizes transferable skills.

They also share these four important features:

  • Accreditation: Institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education signals each school's commitment to academic and intellectual excellence. Additional programmatic credentials provide added esteem.
  • Affordability: These top-ranked MBAs in New York all deliver highly favorable returns on students' educational investments over the long term.
  • High Average Salaries: Graduates of the leading MBA programs in New York tend to command appealing salaries that further boost each school's ROI and value proposition.
  • Prestige: A school's reputation can matter, especially in a competitive job market like business. These New York institutions all boast high status and desirable standing among employers.

What To Expect From NY MBA Programs

MBA programs vary in their typical graduation timelines, but generally take 1-3 years to complete. Some schools offer accelerated formats that lead to faster graduation, while others slow things down as they cater specifically to the needs of people balancing their current careers and families with the rigors of graduate business studies.

The number of courses in a given program depends on the school's credit structure. Business schools typically award 2-4 credits per course, and leading MBA programs usually range in length from about 30-72 credits. Thus, depending on the school, degree-seekers may take as few as 10 courses and as many as 24.

Concentrations also impact coursework, as different specializations emphasize different skills and proficiencies. In general, business schools increasingly favor case-study models that prompt students to apply their learning rather than passively participate in lectures and seminars. Delivery formats also vary, from traditional classroom-based programs to 100% online options, hybrid models that blend the two, and programs with optional or required experiential learning components.

Admission Requirements for MBAs

Business schools also vary with regard to their admission policies, but generally speaking, candidates should expect competitive requirements that set the bar for entry high. The more reputable and prestigious the school, the most exclusive its standards tend to be.

The best MBA programs in NYC universally list a four-year bachelor's degree among their admission prerequisites.

Even if not explicitly required, many schools favor applicants with undergraduate degrees in business, marketing, economics, accounting, management, or another closely related subject area.

In terms of grades, some schools specify minimum GPA cutoffs while others do not. In either case, highly regarded MBA programs usually look for applicants with undergraduate GPAs in at least the 3.0 neighborhood. The higher your grades, the better your chances of securing an offer of admission.

Additional application materials for top New York-based MBA programs almost always include GMAT and GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and resumes or CVs. MBA programs also increasingly prefer or require that applicants have multiple years of career experience in a related or applicable professional role.

Specialized MBAs

General MBAs carry a great deal of value and they equip learners with essential, highly transferable skills. Even so, many aspiring business professionals recognize the value of specialized credentials. Concentrated degrees prepare graduates for niche careers in targeted, specific areas of professional practice.

Finance is a particularly popular concentration among MBA students eyeing careers on Wall Street, but New York offers a complete array of employment opportunities for business specialists in other areas. These include MBAs in traditional areas such as:

  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business Intelligence
  • Operations/Supply Chain Management
  • Human Resources
  • Project Management
  • Healthcare Management

Programs continue to adapt to the changing needs of businesses and students, and also offer MBA concentrations in popular and emerging areas like:

  • Innovation Management
  • Environmental Management
  • Information Systems and Technology Management
  • Sports Management
  • Financial Technology (Fintech)

Businesses throughout the state constantly seek managers and executives with these and other specialized credentials. However, learners with highly specialized degrees are more likely to find the greatest concentration of opportunities in the New York City metro area.

Popular MBA Program Courses

MBA programs differ in their curricula and structure, especially if they focus on concentrated or specialized subject matter. The following sample curricula includes a list of classes learners commonly encounter in graduate business programs with generalist orientations:

  • Microeconomics of Management: For many businesses, microeconomic factors drive a great deal of their operational focuses. Thus, management-level professionals need advanced understandings of concepts like consumer behavior, market equilibrium, and costing.
  • Quantitative Analysis: In this course, degree-seekers cultivate advanced expertise with qualitative approaches to data analysis. Specific areas of study may include topics like matrix algebra, input-output modeling, and statistical measures of central tendency. It aims to equip learners with the numeracy skills to make sound, evidence-based managerial decisions.
  • Foundations of Leadership in Management: While MBA-holders qualify for a variety of professional roles, many of them find work in leadership positions at the executive level. These jobs carry high-profile responsibilities that demand cultivated leadership qualities, which good business programs teach through seminars that examine the theory and practice of sound organizational leadership.
  • Principles of Marketing: Business executives require, at minimum, a practical grounding in the essential concepts of marketing, even if their professional roles emphasize other areas. This course delivers vital knowledge of marketing basics like branding, demographic targeting and segmentation, pricing strategy, and product positioning.

The MBA Capstone or Thesis

Almost all graduate degree programs culminate with a major project that affords students the chance to display their integrated learning and mastery of fundamental knowledge. These projects typically take one of two forms: a capstone or a thesis.

In an MBA program, a capstone project normally involves a long-form investigative analysis involving case studies. Alternatively, it may deliver a deep exploration and review of independent research that examines established and emerging scholarship on a particular problem or question. Thesis projects share many of these features, but they remain more oriented toward theory than applied knowledge.

Given their focuses on practicality and professional practice, MBA programs tend to include capstone projects more often than thesis courses. Capstone projects normally span two semesters in the student's final year. Candidates carry out their capstone work under the tutelage of dedicated faculty advisors, with New York-based students enjoying convenient access to an excellent selection of academic and extracurricular resources.

What Jobs Can MBAs Get You?

Perhaps more so than with any other degree, people associate MBAs with well-paid professional success. Businesses and corporations continue to place high value on advanced business administration credentials when hiring for managerial and executive vacancies and promoting people from within.

New York is one of the nation's most important banking, finance, and economic centers, ensuring ongoing demand for MBA degree-holders.

Leading industries and sectors for MBA graduates include technology management, accounting, marketing, international business, and finance. These industries all thrive in New York City and the Empire State.

A 2018 Wall Street Journal article notes that professionals who earn MBAs can double their salaries, and that 75% of all students who earn the degree do so in order to change careers. Degree-seekers eyeing MBA-fueled career changes can consider the following popular occupations:


Management Consultant

Management consultants work independently or with consulting firms to provide expert evaluations and insights of clients' organizational structures and operational efficiency.

  • Required Education: MBA preferred
  • Job Outlook (2019-29): +11%
  • Average Annual Salary in New York: $112,280

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts typically work for companies in banking, financial services, wealth management, and investing. They analyze market and investing conditions, provide advice on investments and portfolio management, and participate in organizational economic forecasting.

  • Required Education: MBA preferred
  • Job Outlook (2019-29): +5%
  • Average Annual Salary in New York: $132,290

Marketing Director

Marketing directors manage marketing, advertising, and branding campaigns for their employers and the portfolio of products and services they offer. They also identify marketing priorities, administer marketing budgets, and contribute to strategic planning initiatives.

  • Required Education: MBA preferred
  • Job Outlook (2019-29): +6%
  • Average Annual Salary in New York: $186,350

Public Relations Director

PR directors build and manage their employers' or clients' media presences, increase brand and product exposure, and nurture long-term relationships with prominent influencers.

  • Required Education: MBA preferred
  • Job Outlook (2019-29): +9%
  • Average Annual Salary in New York: $174,240

Financial Managers

Financial managers work for corporations, private organizations, and wealthy individuals. They prepare detailed financial reports, guide the short- and long-term financial health of their employers, and identify, analyze, and recommend investment and economic growth opportunities.

  • Required Education: MBA or other graduate degree in business, economics, or finance preferred
  • Job Outlook (2019-29): +15%
  • Average Annual Salary in New York: $210,240

Selecting Your New York MBA Program

In the business world, bottom-line performance matters above all, and MBA candidates sometimes tend to use similar thinking to their program searches. External rankings matter and they have an impact, particularly among employers seeking job candidates with a competitive edge. However, program prestige is only one of many important considerations you should make when selecting an MBA in New York.

Specialized accreditations from exclusive organizations like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and International Accreditation Council for Business Education all add value to programs that hold these endorsements. Career services and alumni networks should also be considered.

Practical, structural, and admission-based program characteristics also make certain programs more appealing than others. A lesser-known school may host the exact specialization that most interests you, making it a better choice than a more general degree at a better-known institution. Program length often matters a great deal to busy working professionals, while admission requirements tend to interest prospective MBA students from non-business backgrounds.

Finally, economic metrics like the cost of the program and the earning potential of graduates also carry major importance for many candidates. Rankings tell only part of the story when it comes to determining a given study opportunity's prospective value. As such, drive your research beyond the surface in generating detailed profiles of the schools that best match your personal objectives and ambitions.

Should You Consider Online Schools in New York?

Online education continues to make increasing inroads as a practical alternative to traditional classroom-based learning. Many highly regarded business schools offer partially or fully online MBAs. These flexible programs offer particularly strong appeal to the large number of graduate business students balancing continuing education with the demands of busy careers.

When the virtual classroom first emerged, some employers held skeptical viewpoints with regard to the value of an online MBA. That has changed dramatically, particularly as schools have refined their curricula and program structures to bridge gaps in their networking and peer-to-peer interaction opportunities.

Today, online MBA programs offer educational value that aligns perfectly with that delivered by on-campus study paths. While a growing number of business schools offer 100% online completion options, many leading schools combine the virtual classroom with the proven value of residency-based experiential learning programs.

Because of this, New York-based online MBA programs continue to offer superior value. Learners gain direct access to the world-class work-study and practicum placements they offer in partnership with leading recruiters and employers. Most MBA candidates possess more than their fair share of the independent, self-starter characteristics successful online students display, making distance-learning options well worth careful consideration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are online MBAs respected?

Online MBAs carry value equal to that of their traditional alternatives. Most business schools do not even distinguish between online and in-class degrees in transcripts, virtually eliminating any functional distinction between the two.

How much does an MBA cost in New York?

In 2020, the cost of doing an MBA at a top-10 U.S. school was about $140,000 for a two-year program. Some New York-based MBAs are equally expensive, while others offer more affordable alternatives.

Is pursuing an MBA online worth it?

While many businesses and organizations continue to rethink conventional wisdom on credentialing, MBA degrees continue to carry a great deal of weight and prestige. They offer some of the best return on investment of any graduate university program.

Does New York have online degrees?

New York-based institutions offer MBA programs in a complete array of delivery formats, including partly, mostly, and fully online opportunities. Students can balance out online learning with in-person work-study placements and experiential opportunities.

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