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HEC Paris vs. INSEAD for MBA: Which Has Better ROI

Updated on 08 November, 2023

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

Study Abroad

In the realm of business education, two renowned institutions stand out prominently: HEC Paris and INSEAD. These are among the most reputed institutions in France. Obtaining an MBA in France can offer a range of valuable opportunities and benefits that contribute to a well-rounded and internationally respected education. The global exposure, exciting post-graduation options, robust business ecosystem, and the chance to improve your language and networking skills are a striking blend for individuals aspiring to excel in the world of business.


HEC Paris vs. INSEAD: Overview

Both institutions offer highly esteemed MBA programs, fostering the growth and refinement of future business leaders. 

HEC Paris is a 340-acre campus in Jouy-en-Josas, a 15-mile drive from Paris, amalgamating the best of rural and urban worlds. Nestled in the forests of Fontainebleau, INSEAD's Europe campus, its first, is a similar blend of modern and verdant surroundings. 

Considering both are top-ranked programs, this blog post dives into the program structure, rankings, eligibility, fees, placement statistics, and frequently asked questions to help aspiring MBA candidates make an informed decision between HEC Paris vs INSEAD.

HEC Paris vs INSEAD Full-time MBA Comparison
Duration16 months 10 months
Locations France France; Singapore; and Abu Dhabi 
Fees €90,000 (USD 95,720 approx)€98,500 (USD 1,04,761 approx)
  • FT Global MBA Rankings #17 MBA 2023
  • QS Global MBA Rankings 2023 #4
  • FT Global MBA Rankings #2 MBA 2023
  • QS Global MBA Rankings 2023
Eligibility and Admission Requirements 
  • Undergraduate degree with 2 years of work experience
  • Strong GMAT scores (690)
  • English proficiency tests like TOEFL (100) or IELTS (7.0)
  • Transcripts, Essays, Application Fee (approx. US$298), LoRs, Resume
  • Undergraduate degree with work experience of 2-10 years
  • Strong GMAT scores (650-750) and GRE scores (330)
  • English proficiency tests like TOEFL (105) or IELTS (7.5)
  • Transcripts, Essays, Application Fee (approx. US$239), LoRs, Resume
Placement Statistics (for 2022)
  • 92% reported accepting job offers within 3 months of graduation
  • Overall Mean Salary Package of USD 115,827
  • 94% reported accepting job offers within 3 months of graduation
  • Overall Mean Salary Package of USD 113,700 

Study in France: 

HEC Paris vs. INSEAD: Program Structure and Duration

HEC Paris and INSEAD both provide intensive MBA programs designed to equip students with a comprehensive business skill set. The program duration differs, with HEC Paris spanning 16 to 18 months and INSEAD offering a fast-paced 10-month program. HEC Paris’ three MBA options: (i) a full-time MBA program (16 months), a part-time Executive MBA program (18 months), and a part-time Trium Global Executive MBA (18 months) emphasize a broad-based approach. INSEAD’s MBA program focuses on an accelerated, full-immersion experience.

HEC Paris vs. INSEAD: Rankings

HEC Paris and INSEAD consistently secure top positions in global MBA rankings. HEC Paris often finds itself within the top institutions on various lists, including the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking, owing to its strong reputation in Europe. INSEAD, renowned for its international diversity and innovative curriculum, frequently ranks highly globally, solidifying its reputation as a global business powerhouse.

HEC Paris vs. INSEAD: Eligibility and Admission Requirements

Both institutions have rigorous admission criteria. HEC Paris has a five-week application process that ensures a quick response and looks for candidates with a minimum of 2 years of work experience, a bachelor's degree, and a competitive GMAT/GRE score. Complete applications are reviewed by a pre-selection jury before interviews with HEC Paris alumni, followed by a final review by the admission jury.

INSEAD, on the other hand, seeks individuals with an average of 2-10 years of work experience, along with a bachelor's degree and GMAT/GRE scores. They also stress an individual's ability to contribute to the program, motivation to succeed in an international setup, and if you display leadership potential. Proficiency in English is a must for both schools, often demonstrated through TOEFL or IELTS scores.

HEC Paris vs. INSEAD: Fees

HEC Paris fees for full-time MBA is €90,000 (USD 95,720 approx). Meanwhile, a part-time executive MBA costs €97,000 (USD 1,03,165 approx). INSEAD's full-time MBA program typically costs €98,500 (USD 1,04,761 approx).

These figures exclude additional expenses like accommodation, travel, and materials. Scholarships and financial aid options are available at both institutions to support deserving candidates.

HEC Paris vs. INSEAD: Placement Statistics

Both HEC Paris and INSEAD boast impressive placement rates. Graduates of HEC Paris often secure roles in various industries, with consulting, finance, and technology being popular choices. HEC Paris MBA graduates have on average doubled their pre-MBA salaries and can anticipate a mean salary of USD 115,827 (INR 96,06,691). INSEAD graduates, known for their global exposure, also excel in diverse fields, including strategy, entrepreneurship, and marketing, and can expect an overall mean salary of USD 113,700 (INR 94,30,278) across a range of sectors. High average post-MBA salaries and signing-on bonuses are indicative of the value both institutions bring to graduates.

Recommended Article: Breaking the Norm – IFA Paris Student Shares Her Journey


In the decision-making process between HEC Paris and INSEAD for an MBA, candidates must introspect on their preferences, career goals, and learning style. HEC Paris offers a more extensive academic journey that is suited for a career in Finance, while INSEAD provides a swift, impactful experience that may be beneficial for those looking to build a career in management consulting.

Read More About Study in France & Paris:


Which program has a shorter duration, INSEAD or HEC Paris?

INSEAD offers a 10-month MBA program, making it notably shorter than HEC Paris' 16 to 18-month program

What is the average work experience required for admission?

HEC Paris typically seeks candidates with a minimum of two years of work experience, while INSEAD looks for individuals with an average of 2-10 years of work experience.

Are scholarships available for MBA at HEC Paris and INSEAD?

Yes, both HEC Paris and INSEAD offer scholarships and financial aid options to eligible candidates based on merit and need.

What industries do MBA graduates usually find employment in France?

Graduates from HEC Paris often enter industries such as consulting, finance, and technology. INSEAD graduates excel in fields like strategy, entrepreneurship, and marketing.

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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