Actual Global Undergrad Tier List

This is the most thorough tier list of institutions of higher learning's undergraduate programs, sorted by an aggregate of success rate into MBB, IBD and PE and international perception/prestige. Inaccurate metrics such as total placement, placement per capita, on-campus recruiting, geographical location or alumni base are eliminated from the aggregate data.

The metrics for schools in each tier fall within roughly 0.414 standard deviations of each other. Within tiers, there are no particular order of schools. This list only covers institutions of higher learning in developed countries (G7 + Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore and regions without developed status by FTSE nor MSCI, but has a sufficiently developed capital markets infrastructure on par with G7 countries).

Tier White

"A student from this school has roughly a 27-33% chance of breaking into MBB, IBD or PE in developed regions."

  • Oxford
  • Cambridge
  • LSE
  • Harvard
  • Yale
  • UPenn (Wharton only)
  • ETH Zurich
  • Tsinghua 
  • Kyoto 
  • Tokyo

Tier Gold

"A student from this school has roughly a 14-26% chance of breaking into MBB, IBD or PE in developed regions."

  • Dartmouth
  • Cornell
  • Princeton
  • UVA
  • MIT
  • Warwick
  • Imperial
  • UCL
  • HEC Montreal
  • Peking
  • Melbourne
  • TUM

Tier Grey

"A student from this school has roughly a 11-13% chance of breaking into MBB, IBD or PE in developed regions."

  • Georgetown
  • Notre Dame
  • Michigan (Ross only)
  • UToronto
  • St Andrews
  • KCL
  • Manchester
  • ANU
  • Sydney
  • Bocconi

Tier Brown

 "A student from this school has roughly a 3-13% chance of breaking into MBB, IBD or PE in developed regions."

  • NYU (Stern only)
  • Columbia
  • Chicago
  • UC Berkeley (Haas only)
  • Caltech
  • Queen's (Canada)
  • McGill
  • etc

Tier Black

"A student from this school has <3% chance of breaking into MBB, IBD or PE in developed regions."

I'm only going to include overrated schools that most would think are at least Tier Brown, well known or notable schools in this category, otherwise it would encompass pretty much every school in the developed world.

  • USC (Marshall only)
  • IU (Kelley only)
  • Stanford
  • Western (Ivey only)
  • Northwestern
  • etc

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Comments (102)

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  • Prospect in PE - Other
Oct 25, 2021 - 12:48pm

Also disagree. For STEM, it's probably Germany's best school - better than UCL in the UK for example. Subjects matter more in Germany than the UK/US, but you will stand a decent chance from there. Very little chance from Manchester for the UK.

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Oct 25, 2021 - 7:51am

Yeah - if you apply to MBB from Manchester they'll bin your CV without reading down the page..

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 25, 2021 - 12:49pm

you're anon buddy. summer recruiting going badly for you?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 25, 2021 - 12:08am

Western Ivey and Queens should at least be the same tier as uToronto if not higher. I don't know if anyone from uToronto goes to US banks. It is a good feeder for MBB though

Oct 25, 2021 - 10:50am

Western uses a 2 year program, meaning kids under x gpa are filtered out entirely, skewing data heavily in their favor because everyone in their b school has over ~3.8 gpa.

McGill and Queen's run the show domestically, why UToronto is by far the most represented international school found in Asia-Pacific, having even more presence there than McGill or Queen's does in Canada and the US combined.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 25, 2021 - 11:50am

Re your comment on UT in APAC, that is correct. UT has the most non-biz brand recognition out of any Canadian school. However, if we are talking about biz, UT is not really in the discussion. McGill and Queens are great schools, however, they do not "run the show" domestically. Ivey performs the best domestically, with Queens as a very close second. McGill is not considered to be in the same tier, however, they still do great regardless.

Side note, you placed HEC Montreal as the #1 school in Canada and in the same category as schools like Dartmouth/MIT? Anyone from Canada would read that and assume to be a troll

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Oct 25, 2021 - 2:09am

Your percentages are so off lmfao. My Harvard graduating class had just one single student who wanted IB but couldn't land a gig. I couldn't tell you how many kids ended up in IB/MBB/PE, but it was certainly more than two.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 25, 2021 - 2:46am

What methodology did you use? Also, I'm not so sure if including China and Japan is accurate given that almost no one attending a Western school considers those markets as their goal.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 25, 2021 - 12:37pm

Fair. Would still love to know what methodology you used though. How did you account for things like interest in these fields within the school population? Wouldn't that be what determines the odds of landing these roles?

Oct 25, 2021 - 3:57am

Absolutely horrible list. While schools like ETH Zürich are well regarded it's not really a traditional target for non quant finance. Same goes for TUM, I think some of them go into MBB, but it's definitely not common and ppl from TUM in ibd or pe are even less common. St. Gallen, WHU and Uni Mannheim are all way better than TUM for getting into finance in the DACH area (Germany, Switzerland, Austria). I think the same applies to UofT, which is not target at all, even though it's highly ranked because of its research. St. Andrews, KCL and Manchester are Semi Targets at best, the only true UK targets are Warwick, Imperial, UCL, LSE, Oxbridge and LBS.

Oct 25, 2021 - 6:13am

Tell me you're racist without telling me that you're racist... What else can be expected from a guy with a user name that reflects pristenely three facts a) heavy inferiority complexes due to micropenis issues b) repressed homo impulses c) very strong pedo impulses... Fuck off and go back to rape dogs while looking at a portrait of your fhürer or however is written ( is a well known fact of the history of psychiatry that hitler's niece committed suicide because of the aberrant acts that she was forced to commit by her uncle even including dogs)

Oct 25, 2021 - 12:03pm

Ivey is massively overrated on forums like WSO because of the US centric nature of these forums. People working in the US see Ivey overrepresented in the states relative to their b school size, so they tend to think it's more of a "target" than Smith (Queens) or Desautels (McGill) who really dominate up north.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 25, 2021 - 12:50pm

I do agree that Ivey, Queens and McGill are used to having better placements, however, UofT is doing better and better now, there are people who got BBs this year given how limited the spots are in BBs in Canada. Besides, UofT is probably the most academically prestigious school and is known for its bell curve. A 3.8 at UofT and a 3.8 in other schools (besides waterloo) are incomparable, and uoft kids work way harder to get the same GPA. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 25, 2021 - 11:39am

As per usual, international schools are all WAY OFF.

Wtf is Kyoto doing in the top tier instead of Keio or Waseda? Wtf is ETH Zurich doing in the top tier? 

Wtf is Manchester doing lumped in with Bocconi. Where tf are the other UK semi-targets? 

Trash effort

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 25, 2021 - 12:07pm

It's so easy to get into IB from Northwestern. I would place it higher-literally don't know a single normal person who didn't get into the industry that wanted to.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 25, 2021 - 12:49pm

My graduating class would disagree with placements at literally every bank I can think of. Again, to each their own, but as mentioned from actually attending the school and having worked for 4 years, kids  are able to place anywhere from there and I didn't know anyone who was unable to break into banking that started on time (a few that missed the boat). Is there less interest broadly from the student body? Maybe. But it's not hard to get an interview coming from NU. Also, having been on the hiring end of things, it's going to be perceived better than stern/  umich/ any school ranked lower unless you are a direct alumni of that specific institution.

  • Prospect in PE - Other
Oct 25, 2021 - 12:49pm

UK is very wrong - if per capita, LSE is actually worse than Imperial, UCL and Warwick (go look at the career outcomes for LSE, 22% in all of finance and accounting out of how many trying?). And Manchester even being on this list is a joke. 

  • Consultant in Consulting
Oct 25, 2021 - 12:49pm

Lmao at HEC Montreal, if you include TUM might as well include other continental enginering schools like EPFL, TU Delft, Ecole Polytechnique. Engineering schools as targets is retarded most people do not care about banking/mbb there.

Also hate to break it to you but people have already done the dick measuring contest with the QS Ranking and THE Ranking

Oct 25, 2021 - 12:50pm

Totally biased take on my end because I went there, but not seeing Vanderbilt on any of these rankings always is just as reflective of the forum's bias. UChicago below Notre Dame and Georgetown? UChicago easily has one of the most revered economics departments in the US. 

Anecdotally, I completely agree with the Northwestern poster about everyone I knew that was set on going into IB or MBB landed it. Yes, there's no dedicated undergrad B-school (which is irrelevant in my opinion). Yes, the school is geographically in a massive recruiting void. Regardless, from my experience the kids that wanted to go for one of these specific routes all made it happen. 

My main qualm with the ranking is what the hell is your methodology behind the "probability of breaking in"? Are you assuming that every person at every school is gunning for only the industries you listed? That would clearly skew your numbers heavily in favor of schools with a larger population interested in these jobs, as they'd place higher in aggregate and relative % purely based on the self-selection into those programs. 

End of the day, anyone at a T20 in the US can break in given that's that's a goal they commit to along with the other universal set of pre-requisites (GPA, major, etc.). And limiting that to just T20 is being conservative. No comment on outside the US I have limited context there. 

Oct 25, 2021 - 12:50pm

Whoever made this has zero clue what they're talking about. Princeton is definitely white. No way in hell is UVA even remotely close to gold lol. And why tf is my alma mater Columbia in tier brown? Columbia students go straight to buy side and skip that beta IB life. Don't think Stern or Georgetown should be that low either. List was made by some UVA kid trying to steal clout. UVA kids make me laugh.

Oct 25, 2021 - 12:50pm

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