Top Business Schools for Private Equity 2023

An MBA in Private Equity can lead to some very lucrative jobs, and that’s why it’s an increasingly popular specialization.

Private equity is a subset of finance and usually refers to private investors who invest in private companies. Closely related to private equity are venture capital and leveraged buyouts (LBOs), where investors fund new businesses or acquire stakes in existing companies, respectively.

Not many schools offer MBA concentrations in private equity, but usually, a school that's strong in finance will generally be strong in private equity. And in fact, private equity-bound students might also look into one of the best MBA programs for finance. However, some MBA programs offer electives in private equity, which can be popular among students who want to break into the field, as well as finance- and investment-minded students who are looking to learn more about the subject and how it can fit into their future career goals.

Beyond offering MBA electives, the best business schools for private equity might also host centers and institutes that produce research in the field, and can provide networking opportunities as well.

Private equity-bound MBAs can look for jobs at firms like the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, among others. More generalized financial services firm with broader investment portfolios may also need MBA grads with private equity skills.

Boston, Massachusetts 85 Followers 204 Discussions

According to Harvard, 21 percent of the most recent class of MBAs went into either private equity, venture capital, or leveraged buyouts; this proportion represents a steady increase since 2016, when it was just 13 percent. . Tellingly, most of the current managing directors in Bain Capital's private equity department have MBAs from Harvard.

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Stanford, California 96 Followers 171 Discussions

Private equity recruiting is strong among Stanford MBAs: in recent years, some 15 percent of school's MBA class went into the private equity field—one of the highest percentages of all schools that FIND MBA surveyed. Stanford offers some electives in this space, and there's a private equity club as well.

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London, United Kingdom 168 Followers 475 Discussions
London Business School (LBS)

With firms like CVC Capital Partners and Apax Partners nearby, London is a great place to be for students interested in a career in private equity. LBS leverages its prime location with the Coller Institute of Private Equity, which publishes research and hosts networking opportunities.

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New Haven, Connecticut 42 Followers 62 Discussions

Private equity recruiting for MBAs at Yale has been on the rise: some 5.8 percent of the MBA class of 2021 went into private equity or venture capital. The Private Equity & Venture Capital club hosts networking events and can help students make in-roads at PE firms. Many students interested in the sector pursue an internship in a private equity firm during the MBA. 

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Evanston, Illinois 71 Followers 205 Discussions
Northwestern - Kellogg

Students can choose from a number of finance and private equity electives. For further support, the Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital produces research in the field, and puts on an annual Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference.

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Fontainebleau, France 72 Followers 309 Discussions
INSEAD - Europe Campus

The school has strong connections with UK-based private equity firms – recruiters in past years have included Permira and Barclays Capital. The school's Private Equity Club provides a hub for private equity networking opportunities.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 67 Followers 172 Discussions
UPenn - Wharton

In 2021 almost 15 percent of graduates went into roles in private equity or buyouts– and typically, the graduates in these industries make more salary-wise than those in any other industry. The school also hosts the Wharton Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, which puts on events.

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Cambridge, Massachusetts 53 Followers 175 Discussions
MIT - Sloan

Sloan MBAs interested in private equity can connect with the Venture Capital and Private Equity Club, which provides info and hosts events. In recent years, up to nine percent of the school’s MBA grads have gone into private equity or venture capital; organizations like Hong Kong Private Equity Finance Association and Cowin Capital have recruited grads in past years.

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Chicago, Illinois 42 Followers 149 Discussions
Chicago - Booth

Two relevant student clubs and the school's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship help make Booth a hotbed for private equity networking. Private equity-related firms like Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse regularly recruit from the school.

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Beijing, China 12 Followers 66 Discussions

Just a few years ago, private equity in China was dominated by international firms like Goldman Sachs. However, in recent years, local Chinese private equity firms are beginning to gain traction. Likewise, Tsinghua's grads are going into the field in small but growing numbers. Perhaps as a nod to this increased interest, in 2017 Tsinghua launched the Institute for Global Private Equity.

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