HEC Paris

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HEC Paris
Hautes études commerciales de Paris
HEC Paris.svg
Motto Apprendre à oser
Motto in English
The more you know, the more you dare
Type Business school
Established 1881; 136 years ago (1881)
Endowment €48.7 Million [1]
President Henri Proglio[2]
Dean Peter Todd[3]
Academic staff
Students 4,000
Location Jouy-en-Josas, France
Colors Blue and White          
Affiliations CEMS
Université Paris-Saclay
Website www.hec.edu

HEC Paris (Hautes études commerciales de Paris) is an international business school located in Paris, France. It is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious and selective graduate schools in the world, it was consistently ranked 1st in Europe from 2006 to 2013, and 2nd in Europe from 2014 to 2016 in the Financial Times ranking of European Business Schools [4][5][6]. In 2016, Forbes ranked HEC Paris 3rd globally for its International Two-Year MBA programme [7]; in The Economist 2016 Full-Time MBA rankings, HEC Paris's MBA programme was ranked 9th worldwide [8]. The admission to HEC Paris is extremely competitive with an acceptance rate of 8% [9].

HEC Paris has notable alumni in business and politics; in 2017, HEC Paris has been ranked 3rd worldwide and 1st in Europe by the Times Higher Education for producing most successful CEOs of the Fortune Global 500 companies (closely behind only two top American Universities: Harvard and Stanford) [10]. In 2011, 12 of the 40 largest French publicly traded companies have an alumnus of HEC Paris as CEO (or equivalent) [11].

Among the most selective French grandes écoles, and traditionally seen as the most reputable business school in France,[12] HEC offers its flagship Master in Management – Grande école program, MBA and EMBA programs, eleven specialized MSc programs, a PhD program, and executive education offerings. Its pre-experience Masters in Finance programme has consistently ranked 1st worldwide by the Financial Times since the rankings began in 2011 [13]. HEC Paris is the founding member of CEMS - Global Alliance in Management Education and holds the triple accreditation (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS) [14].


HEC Paris was created in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the model of French grandes écoles and has progressively become one of the most selective graduate schools in Europe. On average, it has been ranked as the best business school in Europe by the Financial Times[15] since the ranking's inception.

The school grants a Grande Ecole degree (MSc in Management), pre-experience master's degrees, an MBA, two EMBA and offers a PhD program, it has several double degree agreements (Public Policy, Management, and Technology, International Business, Sustainable Development, Environmental Development, Management Studies, Business Administration, Law and Diplomacy) with foreign business schools and universities as well as other French institutions.

As is also the case for other top French grandes écoles, HEC's reputation relies on its highly competitive entrance exam, a concours jointly organized with other French business schools, among the 9,500 students sitting the concours after 2 years of preparatory classes, HEC has an admission rate of 8% and a yield of 99.7%.[16]


In 1819, ESCP Europe became the first business school created in the world.[17] Yet, many of the most prestigious French Grandes Écoles already existed, for example, the Arts et Métiers ParisTech, the École Polytechnique, the ENSTA and the École Normale Supérieure were created before or during the French Revolution.

Château of HEC at Jouy-en-Josas.

Most business schools were created decades later, at the end of the 19th century, and were less attractive than universities. Established in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce (CCIP), the École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) wanted to be in the fields of management and trade what Centrale Paris was in the field of engineering; in order to gain recognition from the academic world, the school offered lessons similar to what was taught in secondary education and few classes in management.

In 1921, the school introduced the case-based method of the Harvard Business School, but most of lectures remained theoretical; in 1938, HEC program was lengthened to 3 years.

Due to French corporations demand for North American style management education, at the end of the 1950s the case-based method was generalized and a one-year classe preparatoire was created to prepare the entrance examination which had become difficult. An evidence of the recognition of the diploma is that only 9% of HEC students also attended university in 1959, whereas 47% had done so in 1929.

HEC Paris campus.

In 1964, French President Charles de Gaulle inaugurated a new 250-acre (1.0 km2) wooded campus in Jouy-en-Josas. In 1967, HEC launched its executive education programs, at that time, the CCIP wanted HEC to become an MBA school like Harvard. Since the alumni opposed this project, the CCIP established a new school in 1969, the Institut Supérieur des Affaires (ISA). Yet HEC and ISA joined forces in the "Centre d'enseignement supérieur des affaires" the following year. This group changed its named to "Groupe HEC" in 1989.

Women have been accepted at HEC only since 1973. Only 27 girls were accepted that year and "HEC jeunes filles" (HECJF), another school dedicated to women, disappeared, its alumni are officially considered as graduated from HEC. HECJF alumni include, for example, Édith Cresson, the first and to date the only woman to have held the office of Prime Minister of France.

During the 1970s, HEC began to become global, it signed a partnership with the New York University and the London School of Economics in 1973, and has recruited foreign students since 1975. In 1988, HEC founded the CEMS network with ESADE, the Bocconi University and the Cologne University.

In 2015, the school will adopt a new legal status to allow private investors to join the Board.[18]


    Area 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
University ranking
  Mines ParisTech : PRWU
# of CEOs of Fortune Global 500
  World 3rd 3rd         4th 6th 5th 7th  
  The New York Times
Survey of CEOs and Chairmen
  World         9th          
Business School
  Financial Times Business School   Europe 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
  QS Business School   World 12th 14th 13th
Grande Ecole – Master in Management
  L'Express   France 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
L'Expansion 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd
Le Point 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st  
Challenge 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd
Le Figaro & L'Etudiant 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Financial Times Grande Ecole   World 2nd 2nd 4th 4th 4th 3rd 2nd 1st 1st 1st
  CEMS (Majeure)         2nd 2nd 1st 3rd 2nd  
Master in Finance
  Financial Times (Pre-experience)   World 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st          
Master in Business Administration
  Financial Times     World 20th 15th 16th 21st 21st 18th 18th 18th 29th 18th 18th  
    Europe         6th 6th 10th      
Wall Street Journal   World                 9th 16th
The Economist     World 9th 5th 4th 8th 14th 14th 9th 14th      
    Europe 1st 1st 2nd 4th 4th 3rd 6th      
QS     World           7th 9th      
Forbes     World 3rd                  
Businessweek     World 11th                  
Executive Education
  Financial Times EMBA   World 3rd 3rd 1st 4th 3rd 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd 2nd  
Ex. Education 7th 2nd 3rd 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd 5th      

HEC was consistently ranked as the top business school in Europe in the 11-year period between 2006 and 2016 in the Financial Times ranking.[19] Additionally, HEC is ranked 3rd worldwide (behind only Harvard and Stanford) for the number of alumni holding a CEO position in Fortune 500 Global companies.[20]. In 2017, the QS World University Rankings ranked HEC Paris 12th worldwide for Business & Management Studies, 39th worldwide for Accounting and Finance, and 55th worldwide for Social Sciences and Management [21]

In 2011, The New York Times ranked HEC Paris among the ten best universities in the World according to a survey of chief executives and chairmen of leading companies, and the first outside the Anglo-Saxon world.[22]

In 2013, Challenges Magazine ranked HEC Paris as the best business school in France.[23]

Grande Ecole – MSc in Management

The Financial Times publishes a ranking of Masters in Management, and constantly ranks the Grande Ecole degree among the top 3 programs worldwide (2nd in 2016[24]), the CEMS MiM, a European programme offered to the students of the Grande Ecole is also ranked in the top 3.

Master in Finance

The Master in Finance (pre-experience) is consistently ranked 1st in the world by the Financial Times.

Master in Business Administration (MBA)

The Master in Business Administration is generally ranked among the top 20 programs worldwide:

Forbes Ranking

International MBA Ranking
2016: 3rd worldwide [25]

Bloomberg Businessweek Ranking

Full time MBA ranking 2016: Top Ranked Non-U.S
2016: 11th worldwide [26]

Financial Times Ranking

Global MBA Ranking
2016: 20th worldwide (7th in Europe) [27]

The Economist Ranking

The Economist Which MBA? Full time MBA ranking 2016
2016: 9th worldwide (2nd in Europe) [28]

The HEC Paris MBA curriculum was redesigned in partnership with Bain & Company in 2012. The curriculum is divided into two phases; the Fundamental Phase and the Customized Phase with the former focusing on developing knowledge in the business discipline while the later allowing students to customize the program according to their professional objectives. CEO Series (Speaker series), 3-day MBA Tournament and off-campus leadership seminar at the St-Cyr Military Academy are designed to develop leadership skills in MBA Students.[29]

Executive MBA

HEC offers a joint EMBA with the London School of Economics and the NYU Stern School of Business which is constantly ranked among the top 3 programs worldwide by the Financial Times.

Executive Education

HEC Paris was ranked #2 in the world in the Executive Education 2015 ranking of the Financial Times.[30]

Notable HEC Paris people[edit]

Notable HEC Paris faculty and staff[edit]

Notable HEC Paris alumni[edit]

HEC Paris has many famous graduates:

Business :

Politics :

Academics :

Media :

Student life[edit]


HEC is located on an 110-hectare woodland campus in Jouy-en-Josas, 16 km. (10 miles) southwest of central Paris, close to Versailles. Jouy-en-Josas is served by the RER Parisian suburban train, the campus is built around a 19th-century Chateau, which is currently used for Executive Education classes.

Lodging is provided in one of ten dormitories (Bâtiments) providing basic but furnished rooms. Everyone eats together at the University Restaurant, which serves two meals a day in a soup kitchen setting. Grande école and Specialized Master students have classes in the Bâtiment des études (Batzet), while MBA students study in a specially designated building. There are two on-campus bars: Zinc, which is located on the second floor of the Cafeteria (or Kfet), and the Piano Bar, which is adjacent to the MBA residence hall, the campus also boasts several sports fields and two lakes.


There are around 130 clubs or "associations" on campus.

The HEC Student Council (Bureau des Élèves in French or BDE) is in charge of the social entertainment on campus, it is also in charge of coordinating all club activities and representing the students in front of the campus administration. The BDE organizes weekly events such as POWs (Parties Of the Week), lunches and dinners, speakers, and sport events. HEC parties which usually are organised every Thursday are some of the most recognized ones among all French schools and universities, the BDE is composed of a 40-student team that is elected each year in April and for which the competition among students creates the well-known Student Office Campaign.

The HEC MBA Council is in charge of all social activities related to the MBA student body, it manages the MBA's Piano Bar in Expansiel Building (Building A), coordinates and sometimes funds all MBA club activities (speaker events, sports events, dinners etc.), works to expand the HEC MBA brand, develops campus and alumni relations, sets up the new MBAs' integration week, and generally relays student concerns and needs to the administration. Elections for MBA Council are bi-annual so as to accommodate both January and September MBA intakes.

Alumni association[edit]

The school alumni association, Association des diplômés HEC Paris was founded in 1883 and gathers alumni of the different institutions of HEC Group: École HEC Paris, MBA HEC Paris, HEC Paris Executive MBA, Mastères HEC Paris and Doctorat HEC Paris. Each degree is associated with a letter and the year of graduation.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Notre rapport d’activité 2016 est disponible!" (PDF). Fondation HEC Paris. May 2017. p. 22. 
  2. ^ http://www.hec.edu/About-HEC/Governance-structure/The-President
  3. ^ http://www.hec.edu/About-HEC/Governance-structure/The-Dean
  4. ^ Financial Times - European Business School Rankings 2014
  5. ^ http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/european-business-school-rankings-2015
  6. ^ http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/european-business-school-rankings-2016
  7. ^ "Best International MBAs: Two-Year Programs". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-06-22. 
  8. ^ http://www.economist.com/whichmba/full-time-mba-ranking
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/alma-mater-index-2017-who-educates-global-business-elite
  11. ^ "Les HEC prennent le pouvoir", Le Nouvel Observateur
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/masters-in-finance-pre-experience-2016
  14. ^ Triple accredited business schools (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS)
  15. ^ European Business school rankings 2009, Financial Times
  16. ^ Statistics on entrance exams and choices made by admitted students or Official statistics
  17. ^ "Andreas Kaplan: European Management and European Business Schools: Insights from the History of Business Schools". European Management Journal. 32 (4): 529–534. doi:10.1016/j.emj.2014.03.006. 
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ Financial Times - HEC Paris at the top
  20. ^ https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/alma-mater-index-2017-who-educates-global-business-elite
  21. ^ [4]
  22. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/10/20/education/20iht-SReducEmploy20-graphic.html?ref=education
  23. ^ Le top 25 des meilleures écoles de commerce, Challenges, December 20, 2013
  24. ^ http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/masters-in-management-2016
  25. ^ "Best International MBAs: Two-Year Programs". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-06-22. 
  26. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-best-international-business-schools/
  27. ^ http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2017
  28. ^ http://www.economist.com/whichmba/full-time-mba-ranking
  29. ^ Interview with HEC Paris MBA Director of Communication
  30. ^ http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/executive-education-open-2015
  31. ^ Delcambre, Alexis (3 December 2016). "Rémy Pflimlin, ancien président de France Télévisions, est mort". Le Monde. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°45′29″N 2°10′13″E / 48.75806°N 2.17028°E / 48.75806; 2.17028