HEC Paris

HEC Paris (French: École des hautes études commerciales de Paris) is an international business school established in 1881 and located in Jouy-en-Josas, France. Among the most selective French grandes écoles, HEC Paris offers its flagship Master in Management, MBA and EMBA programs, specialized MSc programs, a PhD program, and executive education offerings.

HEC Paris
Hautes études commerciales de Paris
MottoApprendre à oser
Motto in English
Literal: Learn to dare
Non-literal: The more you know, the more you dare
TypePrivate business school
Established1881 (1881)
Endowment€53.1 million (2017)[1]
Budget€130.5 million (2017)[2]
ChairmanJean-Paul Vermès[3]
DeanPeter Todd[4]
Academic staff
Admission rate6% (2018)
ColorsBlue and White          
Université Paris-Saclay

HEC Paris is the founding member of CEMS - Global Alliance in Management Education and holds the triple accreditation (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS).[5] With ESSEC and ESCP, it forms the informal group commonly referred as the 3 Parisiennes ("the three Parisians").


Established in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce (CCIP), the École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (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 the lectures remained theoretical. In 1938, the 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 préparatoire was created to prepare for 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.

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. Women have been accepted at HEC since 1973. Only 27 women were accepted that year and HEC jeunes filles (HECJF), another school dedicated to women, was closed. Its alumnae are officially considered as graduates of 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.

In 1988, HEC founded the CEMS network with ESADE, the Bocconi University and the Cologne University.

In 2015, the school adopted a new legal status to allow private investors to join the Board.[6]

In 2017, HEC launched a portfolio of new dual degree programs called M2M with Yale, HKUST, and FGV.[7]

International rankings

Ranking 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Business School
FT - European Business Schools[8] 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd -
THE - F500 CEOs Alma Mater Index[9] 5th - - - 3rd - -
QS (by Subject) - Business & Management Studies[10] - - 13th 14th 12th 12th 11th
QS (by Subject) - Accounting and Finance[10] - - 31st 37th 39th 36th 17th
Master in Management (GE-MiM) for FT -- Master in Strategic Management for QS and The Economist (12 months program)
FT - Master in Management[11] 4th 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd
QS - Masters in Management[12] - - - - - 1st 1st
The Economist - Masters in Management[13] - - - - 1st - 1st
MSc in International Finance
FT - Masters in Finance Pre-Experience[14] 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st -
QS - Masters in Finance[15] - - - - - 3rd 2nd
QS - Full Time MBA[16] - - - - - 3rd 7th
FT - Global MBA[17] 21st 21st 16th 15th 20th 21st 19th
Forbes - International MBAs[18] - - - - 4th - 2nd[19]
The Economist - MBA[20] 8th 4th 5th 9th 15th 13th 3rd
Bloomberg Business Week - International MBAs[21] - - - 11th 10th - -
Executive Education
FT - Executive MBA (Trium HEC/LSE/NYU)[22] 4th 1st 3rd 3rd 5th 2nd -
FT - Executive MBA (EMBA HEC)[22] - - - - - 6th
FT - Executive Education - Customized[23] [24] 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 7th 5th 3rd
FT - Executive Education - Open[25] 7th 3rd 2nd 8th 12th 14th 11th

HEC Paris has constantly been ranked the best business school in France,[26][27][28][29] and among the top in the world.[8][9]

HEC alumni include 12 CEOs of F500 companies - 2017 more than any other business school in the world and third institution only to Harvard and Stanford -,[9] several heads of states and governments, heads of international organizations, and other prominent figures in politics, business, and the arts.[30]

In 2017, HEC Alumni has been ranked by The Economist as the 2nd most powerful business school alumni network in the world.[31]


Grande école (Master in Management)

French students who attended a classe préparatoire are taught fundamental managerial sciences during their first year at HEC. Courses include economics, accounting, finance, law, psychology, sociology and mathematics (models, operations research, and statistics). During this first year, students can spend a semester in a foreign university (e.g. Wharton, Bocconi University, Trinity College Dublin, University of British Columbia, etc.). They can also enroll in a specific one-year program to get a bachelor's degree from a French university (see below).

Direct admissions, including international students, enter directly into the second year, where they begin a business intensive program. Courses include corporate and market finance, accounting, marketing, law, mathematics, management, human resources, and supply chain. Second-year students are also given the opportunity to spend one semester in a foreign university. At the end of their second year, students choose specific majors and must pass through a less competitive application process.

In order to graduate, students are required to have 8 months of internships. Since this is usually difficult during the summer, many students take a semester or year off for their internship, generally between the second and third year. The final year of study covers intensive courses in the chosen major.

HEC Paris has numerous double degree agreements with French and foreign institutions, including Sciences Po Paris, ENS Paris, and Ecole Polytechnique in France, and Yale University, HKUST, and FGV abroad.[32] Some of them only make degrees of the partner institution available to HEC students, while others also enable selected students of the partner institution to graduate from HEC.

One year MSc / MS Programs

  • MSc International Finance
  • MSc Managerial and Financial Economics
  • MSc Strategic Management
  • MSc/MS Marketing
  • MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation

Master in Business Administration (MBA)

The MBA program, created in 1969, has two intakes: September and January. HEC's MBA consists in a 16 month-long curriculum, with 8 months of core courses and 8 months of customized program, including several specialization options, exchange programs, and fieldwork projects.[33] A typical class is composed of some 250 students - 90% of whom are international students - with more than 52 nationalities represented in the 2017 graduating class.[34] The selection process seeks a balance between academic achievement, professional experience, international exposure, and personal motivation. Knowledge of French is not an entry requirement, but participants are highly encouraged to have a basic knowledge of French by the start of the MBA Program, while mandatory (during the first two core terms) and optional language courses are offered throughout the duration of the program. Exchange and dual degree programs are offered with about 40 international partner business schools, including HKUST, London Business School, Columbia Business School, Wharton, and Yale.[35][36]

Executive Education

Executive MBA

The HEC Executive MBA is a program for top executives with a minimum of 8 years of corporate experience, which prepares for general management positions (the average background experience of students is about 14 years). The Executive MBA is a multi-site program offered in Paris (France), Beijing (China), St Petersburg (Russia) and Doha (Qatar). The courses are split between theory, case studies, strategic project, leadership training, EU community campus and foreign exchanges in the US and Asia. Program partnering universities are NYU, UCLA, Babson College in the USA, Tsinghua University in China and Nihon University in Japan.

TRIUM Global Executive MBA

HEC also offers the TRIUM Global Executive MBA programme jointly with Stern School of Business of NYU and the London School of Economics. It is divided into six modules that are held in five international business locations over a 16-month period.


HEC Paris is considered among the most selective French grandes écoles. The number of applications has steadily increased over the years.

2018 Admission Statistics[37][38]
Procedure Applicants Admitted Acceptance Rate (%)
Grande Ecole (Master in Management)
Classes préparatoires (French concours, students enter in L3) 5,151 382 7.4%
French dual degree (students from French partner institutions) 421 82 19.5%
Direct admissions (students enter in M1) 6,520 271 4.2%
Total 12,092 735 6%
Total 2,231 391 17.5%

Student life


HEC is located on a 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 and the local bus service. The campus is built around a 19th-century château, 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 three on-campus bars: Le Zinc, which is located on the second floor of the former Cafeteria (or Kfet), Le Wunder Bar, which is located on the first floor next to the Kfet, and the Piano Bar, which is adjacent to the MBA residence hall. The campus also boasts several sports fields, gym facilities 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 students' Piano Bar in the 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 MBA students' integration week, and generally relays student concerns and needs to the administration. Elections for the MBA Council are bi-annual so as to accommodate both January and September MBA intakes.

Alumni association

The school alumni association, Association des diplômés HEC Paris, was founded in 1883 and gathers alumni of the different institutions of the 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. In 2017, HEC Alumni has been ranked by The Economist as the 2nd most powerful business school alumni network in the world.[31]

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Notre rapport d'activité 2017 est disponible!" (PDF). Fondation HEC Paris. May 2018. p. 24.
  2. "Enquête annuelle du MESR 2018" (PDF). CEFDG. April 2018.
  3. HEC. "Chairman".
  4. HEC. "Dean".
  5. "The Triple Accredited Business Schools (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS)". MBA Today.
  6. "Un nouveau statut pour HEC : entretien avec Pierre-Antoine Gailly, président de la CCI Paris Ile-de-France".
  7. HEC. "M2M Programs". HEC Paris. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  8. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  9. "THE Alma Mater Index 2017: who educates the global business elite?". Times Higher Education (THE). 19 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  10. "HEC Paris School of Management". Top Universities. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  11. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  12. Top Universities. 15 February 2019 https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/business-masters-rankings/management/2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. "Masters in Management 2017 Ranking". The Economist. 17 November 2017. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  14. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  15. "World University Rankings - Masters In Finance 2019". Top Universities. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  16. "World University Rankings - Full Time MBA: Global 2019". TopMBA.com. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  17. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  18. "Best International MBAs: Two-Year Programs". Forbes. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  19. "The Best International MBAs: Two-Year Programs". Forbes. Retrieved 20 November 2019. #2 HEC Paris
  20. "2018 MBA & Business School Rankings | Which MBA?". The Economist. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  21. "Bloomberg - Are you a robot?". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  22. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  23. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  24. http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/executive-education-customised-2019
  25. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  26. "Classement des Grandes Écoles de Commerce 2019". Le Figaro Etudiant (in French). Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  27. magazine, Le Point. "Grandes écoles de commerce - Classement 2018 - Le Point". Le Point.fr (in French). Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  28. "Le classement des écoles de commerce en 2018 - Écoles avec prépa - Challenges". Challenges (in French). Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  29. "Palmarès général des grandes écoles de commerce 2019 - L'Etudiant". www.letudiant.fr. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  30. "List of HEC Paris people", Wikipedia, 26 June 2018, retrieved 18 January 2019
  31. "Who you know, not what you know". The Economist. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  32. HEC. "Dual Degree Programs with Partner Institutions". HEC Paris. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  33. MBA, HEC-. "16-month Curriculum". HEC - MBA. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  34. "HEC MBA Brochure" (PDF). HEC Paris MBA Program. 2018.
  35. MBA, HEC-. "International Exchanges". HEC - MBA. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  36. MBA, HEC-. "Double Degrees". HEC - MBA. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  37. Berrou, Nicolas (13 October 2018). "Comment intégrer HEC ?". Business Cool (in French). Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  38. Hazlehurst, Jeremy (31 October 2018). "MBA Acceptance Rates At Top European Business Schools | Page 2 of 2". Poets&Quants. Retrieved 18 January 2019.

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