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Selecting the right university plays an important role in every student aspiring to be part of top colleges offering an MBA. While there are different factors to comparing two universities such as career prospects, location, placement opportunities, best country to study MBA, course modules, intakes in Europe, cost of study, and living are just some of the key points of comparison. HEC Paris and INSEAD are the best business schools that provide an amazing multicultural environment and quality education for students planning to study in Europe. Here is a blog on HEC Paris vs INSEAD to help you in making the right decision!

Also Read: Education in France and Public Universities in France


The first thing that comes to mind while comparing any two universities. It is the ranking. Various organizations rank universities all around the world. Here is a comparison of HEC Paris vs INSEAD on the basis of the ranking of the last few years:

Rankings ByHEC ParisINSEAD 
QS World University Rankings-Global MBA rank76
FT Global MBA rank193
Financial Times 2020 global MBA rank2(2 year)2(1 year)
Financial times 2020 global MBA rank93
Bloomberg Businessweek 20185225
The economist 2019322

Duration and Course Structure

Why is it important to know about the course structure and duration? There are many universities covering the same modules and following the same course structure in a shorter duration while there are some offering an additional certification or course. Here is the detailed comparison of HEC Paris vs INSEAD on the basis of course and duration:

HEC Paris

 HEC Paris offers MBA  with a summer internship opportunity and is of 16 months (2 years). This course is completed in 2 chapters: fundamental and customized. Fundamental phase- 8 months course covering the skills in business management, financial policymaking, entrepreneurship essential, and accounting.Customized period: Final 8 months focuses on students’ goals and aspirations. Students are provided to choose their own elective for their career. These include elective courses, international exchanges, specializations, and fieldwork. The intakes per year are January (ends by December) and September (ends by July next year).


INSEAD also offers an MBA with various internship opportunities. The course is for 10 months (1 year). This whole course contains 5 periods ending with exams, essays, and projects. First, the three phases include 14 courses including financial accounting, organizational behaviour, corporate financial policy, and macroeconomics in the global economy. The last two phases include customized courses with 75 electives over 10 subject areas. Electives also give an opportunity to travel abroad. There are two intakes in a year, begin by January and graduate by December that year or start in September and graduate by July next year. 


Also Read : European Universities Ready to Welcome Indian Students for Fall 2021!


HEC Paris has two campuses. One in Paris while the other one in France. 

Credits:- HEC Paris

INSEAD has three campuses, France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi.

Credits: INSEAD

Also Read: Let’s Explore Scholarships In Europe!

Cost of Study

What if you could have pursued the same course from a different university at a lesser cost? The first thing that comes to mind while pursuing a course abroad is the cost of study. The cost of study and additional expenses can depend on various factors. Here is the cost of study comparison of HEC Paris vs INSEAD


$78,000 (€ 66,000 approx. and ₹58 lacs approx.) tuition fees with a scholarship of $20,000. So total fees $58,000. Although candidates have to incur living expenses in France for 2 years. The fees for the intakes are different. For January intake the tuition fees amount to €76,000 and September intake fees are €78,000. Financial aid is also provided by the institution. 


 $94,000 (€82,000 approx. and ₹68 lacs approx.)  tuition fees with no scholarship, for 1 year (10-month program). However, candidates have to pay living expenses for 1 year only. The business foundation’s additional program of €1,500 ($1,789). The fees are to be paid in four instalments. INSEAD offers more than 100 internal scholarships. External funding is also available. Admitted students are eligible to apply under the International Loan Programme for Prodigy Finance as well as a number of other external fundings.


Before applying for any course it is strongly recommended to check the eligibility for the course. Here are the mandatory entry requirements to be fulfilled by every applicant aiming to study in HEC Paris or INSEAD

  • The average GMAT score for both HEC Paris and INSEAD is the same, that is 700 scores.
  • HEC Paris and INSEAD also evaluate an average work experience of 6 years as their eligibility criteria. 
  • Along with the GMAT, there are certain documents, and here is the list of prerequisites mentioned below:-
  1. Non- refundable application fee of €250 (approx. USD 298)
  2. GMAT/GRE Scores.
  3. English-language certification (TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, etc.)
  4. Two professional letters of recommendation
  5. Resume/CV
  6. Academic certificates from every recognized university the student possesses.


What’s the benefit of pursuing a course abroad, if you can’t land your dream job? The placements record of HEC Paris and INSEAD has been terrific and ranks among the top institutions in Europe for its job fairs and internships. Here’s everything you need to know about placements in HEC Paris and INSEAD:

HEC Paris

  1. Almost 230 participants cleared their MBA from HEC Paris in the year 2018. 
  2. 93% reported themselves with a job offer within 3 months of their graduation date!
  3. 78% were even placed during on-campus placements and alumni networks.
  4. The overall mean salary as calculated was $120,700 which is ₹89 lacs per annum!
  5. The highest salaried industry was finance with a $125,305 annual package. Second, comes consulting services with an average salary of $114,900 per annum.


  1. 1020 participants in two classes completed their MBA program in 2017, and 2018.
  2. 91% reported getting at least one job offer after 3 months of graduation.
  3. 55% got a placement through on-campus networking and alumni recommendation.
  4. The annual mean salary as calculated was $ 110,400 (₹80 lacs).
  5. The management sector amazed us with the highest package of $113,800. While financial services came second with an annual package of $ 112,900! 

Which is the Better HEC Paris vs INSEAD?

From the above, it is quite clear that INSEAD will help students to get a career in the management sector while HEC Paris is the best for financial services aspirants. If you want to stay in France and work then HEC Paris is the best option for you. However, if you want worldwide exposure, try INSEAD for sure. The Alumni network of INSEAD is bigger in comparison giving a wide range of career opportunities. English is mandatory for both institutions. Hence candidates must ensure they clear at least an A2(basic) level in an official language as their “exit language” in order to graduate.


Which school offers a better international experience?
Remember that selecting the right business school is a highly personal decision, and it’s crucial to consider factors such as program curriculum, faculty expertise, campus culture, and your own career goals when making your choice between HEC Paris and INSEAD. Conduct thorough research, visit campuses if possible, and reach out to current students and alumni to gain a deeper understanding of each school’s strengths and how they align with your aspirations.

HEC Paris and INSEAD are both renowned for their international environments, but there are some differences between them. HEC Paris has a strong global presence and offers a diverse student body with a wide range of nationalities, providing an excellent opportunity to interact with people from various cultural backgrounds. On the other hand, INSEAD is specifically known for its focus on international business and has campuses in multiple countries, allowing students to immerse themselves in different business contexts and cultures. Ultimately, both schools offer excellent international experiences, but the choice may depend on whether you prefer a single-campus experience with a diverse student body (HEC Paris) or multiple-campus exposure (INSEAD).

How do the programs differ in terms of duration and format?

HEC Paris and INSEAD offer different program formats, which can be a crucial factor in deciding between the two. HEC Paris has a traditional two-year full-time MBA program, providing students with an extended period to deepen their knowledge and engage in internships or other extracurricular activities. INSEAD, on the other hand, is well-known for its intensive one-year MBA program, which is ideal for those seeking a quick return to the job market or those who want to minimize the time spent away from their careers. The one-year format at INSEAD is challenging but offers a focused and rigorous learning experience.

Which school has a stronger alumni network and career opportunities?

Both HEC Paris and INSEAD have impressive alumni networks and strong ties to the business community. However, INSEAD’s global reach and reputation for producing successful international business leaders have resulted in a particularly vast and influential alumni network. This extensive network can be a significant advantage for career opportunities, especially for those interested in pursuing an international career. HEC Paris also has a robust alumni community, primarily concentrated in Europe, and offers strong career services and recruitment opportunities. The choice between the two may come down to your career aspirations and preferred geographical location for your future job prospects.

This was all about the HEC Paris vs INSEAD. If you are planning to study MBA abroad and need help with the application process, top universities, and any other information. Our experts at Leverage Edu are just a call away.

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