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IE Business School


IE Business School is a graduate school located in Madrid, Spain. It was founded in 1973 under the name Instituto de Empresa and since 2009 is part of IE University.

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Last Sourced: 2017-08-01
This Article has been Edited for Accessibility

IE Business School

IE Business School is a prestigious graduate school located in Madrid, Spain. It was founded in 1973 under the name Instituto de Empresa and since 2009 is part of IE University.

IE Business School runs MBA, Executive MBA, master's degree programs in finance and management, executive education programs, PhD and DBA programs. Approximately 1,900 students from 90 countries undertake degree programs at IE each year. There are approximately 5,600 annual participants in the school's executive education programs. The school has offices in 28 countries and approximately 40,000 alumni residing in 102 countries.

IE Business School is recognized as one of the leading business schools in the world and offers one of the most prestigious international MBA programs. The Financial Times has ranked it as the best Business School in Europe in 2012 and 2013, and the school's International MBA, Global MBA, and Executive MBA programs have consistently ranked in the top tier of global business programs.


IE Business School is centrally situated in Madrid's financial district (Barrio de Salamanca). The IE campus currently occupies a total surface area of some 28,000m2 distributed amongst 17 buildings along and near Calle Maria de Molina (between metro stations Gregorio Marañón and Avenida de America).

Partner universities and institutions

IE Business School has MBA student exchange programs with 53 international universities. These include Chicago Booth School of Business, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, ESSEC Business School in France and London Business School in the UK.

IE Business School has dual degree options in collaboration with the Yale School of Management as well as the MIT Sloan School of Management. As of March 2010, IE and Brown University have started to offer the IE Brown Executive MBA (which since 2014 awards a double degree from both IE Business School and Brown University). Since 2014 IE also offers a new blended MBA with Singapore Management University.

The school partners with University of Chicago Booth School of Business to run the Global Senior Management Program (GSMP). The school also has an agreement with Babson College to run joint executive education programs in the field of entrepreneurship, and partners with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the Global Consultancy Program. Additionally, IE has an agreement with Northwestern University School of Law, with whom it runs a Master of Laws, and the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with whom it runs a dual degree in the fields of business management and international relations.

It is one of the founding members of SUMAQ, a network comprising business schools in Spain and Latin America.


IE's international full-time MBA was established in 1983. It runs for 12 months and has two intakes each year in the months of January and September. Each year, more than 600 IMBA students graduate in December and July respectively. The program is divided into four terms, two core, the Labs period and an elective along with a pre-program covering quantitative methods and financial accounting. The program has a flexibility for students to choose the Spanish version or an English version with electives in English or Spanish respectively. The IMBA November 2012 intake consisted of 92% international students and 68 nationalities with an average work experience of 5 years. Students can choose from around 80-100 electives during the elective period as well as a broad set of alternative offerings such as Consulting Projects with a Corporate Partner for the Business Impact Lab, Business Accelerator for Start-Up Lab, International Exchange Programs, Internships and Volunteering Projects.

The Global Executive MBA Program at IE is a blended program which combines online periods with onsite modules in Spain, China, USA and Brazil. In addition to traditional MBA components, the program has a special focus on Asian markets, sustainable development, and the liberal arts.

The Global Executive MBA Program runs for 13 months, and the average age of participants is 37 years old. The average class size is 32 students, comprising typically 20 nationalities.

The Executive MBA has a duration of 15 months and is offered in two different formats, both combining residential modules with interactive online classes. It consists of five building blocks: Soft skills, Hard skills, Networking, Career Management and Entrepreneurship.

Considered as the best online MBA in the world by the Financial Times, the Global MBA delivers a learning experience which combines interactive online teaching via video conferences and debate forums, with short face-to-face periods at the IE Campus in Madrid. The Global MBA runs for 15 months and the average age of participants is 30 years old.

Master in Management

The Master in Management is for people with 0–2 years of work experience. It is a 10-month full-time program with two intakes (February and September) which can be extended to 13 months if the student wants to take part in the so-called Beyond Border Experience. During the third term, students study one of the following business specializations: International Business, Sales & Marketing or Digital Business. Students can also opt to do a Dual Specialization by doing an additional specialization, do an International Exchange program, or join the IE Venture Lab, i.e. undertake research or a consultancy project.

Masters in Finance and Advanced Finance

IE offers both pre and post-experience specialized masters in finance. The Master in Finance is a pre-experience, 10-month course designed by capital markets professionals with a practical approach to the subjects covered. The first two terms are dedicated to the core curriculum, which covers the key topics in finance. During the third term students choose elective courses.

Students can avail of preparation classes for the CFA Level I exam. IE Master in Finance students have five scholarships available per calendar year to enable them to take CFA level I, and five students are selected per annum to take part in the CFA Research Challenge. Students may participate in micro-finance projects in Ghana. Students have the option of going to New York with students from other Finance programs.

The IE Master in Finance program was ranked No. 2 globally in the 2012 Financial Times Masters in Finance ranking (Pre-experience), and has an average GMAT entry score of 690.

Ninety per cent of students in the MiF program are non-Spanish (from approximately 30 countries).

Doctoral programs

IE Business School has both Ph.D. and DBA programs. The Ph.D. and DBA programs are very similar in content but the DBA program focuses more on the application of academic research to practice of business whereas a Ph.D. focuses more on the development of new theories relating to the practice of business. IE Business School accepts a maximum of 15 DBA students per year; the average intake is 5 students. The director of the Ph.D. program is Professor Angel Díaz Matalobos.

Executive education

Approximately 5,600 participants attend open and in-company programs at IE Business School each year.

The English edition of the Advanced Management Program (AMP) was created in 2003, and the Global Senior Management Program (GSMP) in 2004. The GSMP is a joint venture with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


IE is accredited by the three leading accreditation entities for business education: USA-based AACSB, London-based AMBA and Brussels-based EQUIS. IE is one of the three triple-accredited business schools in Spain and one of the 57 schools in the world with Triple accreditation.

It is the first European institution to form part of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.


IE Business School runs the International Center for Entrepreneurship and Ventures Development, a portal for member schools, investors and entrepreneurs. IE is the Spanish arm of the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) Report, which studies the relationship between levels of innovation, the creation of new businesses and economic growth worldwide.

The school's Venture Lab is a support framework for students' business projects and its venture network gives students access to facilities and advice in order to facilitate the implementation of their start-up ideas. Business plan development is a core component of all master's degree programs at IE Business School.

Twice a year, IE hosts a Venture Day in April and November. This consists of several panels conducting conferences and workshops about various aspects related to entrepreneurship. Investors from PE firms, incubators, accelerators, as well as dignitaries attend the event. The finalists of the Venture Lab also have the opportunity pitch in front of various investors and thus, the Venture Days are the main entrepreneurship events at IE. Former Venture Days tool place in international locations including Madrid, Shanghai and São Paulo.

List of successful startups launched at IE Business School:

MBA Honoris Causa

The Alumni Association of IE Business School awards honorary MBAs to key players in the corporate and institutional world in recognition of outstanding services to the global society and their role in building effective relations between business theory and practice.

Additional Resources

  1. Faculty []
  2. Economic Environment []
  3. Master In Finance []