HEC Paris

HEC Paris (French: École des hautes études commerciales de Paris) is a business school, and one of the most prestigious and selective grandes écoles, located in Jouy-en-Josas, France. HEC offers its flagship Master in Management, MSc International Finance, MBA and EMBA programs, specialised MSc programs, PhD program and executive education.[4]

HEC Paris
École des 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
TypeBusiness school, École consulaire
Established1881 (1881)
Endowment€53.1 million (2017)[1]
Budget€130.5 million (2017)[2]
ChairmanJean-Paul Vermès[3]
DeanÉloïc Peyrache
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] Along with ESSEC and ESCP, it forms the informal group commonly referred to as trois Parisiennes ('three Parisians').[6]


The château at HEC Paris

Founded in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce (CCIP) with 57 students in the very first class, the école des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris (HEC) aimed to be in the fields of management and commerce what Centrale Paris was in the field of engineering.

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 more 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.[7]

In 2017, HEC launched a portfolio of new dual degree programs called M2M with Yale School of Management, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Fundação Getulio Vargas.[8]

International rankings

Ranking 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Business School
FT – European Business Schools[9] 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st
QS (by Subject) – Business & Management Studies[10] 14th 12th 12th 11th 9th
QS (by Subject) – Accounting and Finance[10] 37th 39th 36th 17th 19th
Master in Management (GE-MiM) for FT—Master in Strategic Management for QS and The Economist (12 months program)
FT – Master in Management[11] 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd
QS – Masters in Management[12] 1st 1st 1st
The Economist – Masters in Management[13] 1st 1st
MSc in International Finance
FT – Masters in Finance Pre-Experience[14] 1st 2nd 1st 1st
QS – Masters in Finance[15] 3rd 2nd 3rd
FT – Global MBA[16] 15th 20th 21st 19th 9th
QS – Full Time MBA[17] 3rd 7th 7th
The Economist – MBA[18] 9th 15th 13th 3rd 3rd
Bloomberg Business Week – International MBAs[19] 11th 10th 4th
Executive Education
FT – Executive MBA (Trium HEC/LSE/NYU)[20] 3rd 5th 2nd 3rd 4th
FT – Executive MBA (EMBA HEC)[20] 6th 1st 3rd
FT – Executive Education – Customized[21][22] 2nd 7th 5th 3rd 2nd
FT – Executive Education – Open[23] 8th 12th 14th 11th 8th


Grande école Master in Management (MIM)

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 Sorbonne Universite, Sciences Po Paris, ENS Paris, and Ecole Polytechnique in France, and Yale University, HKUST, and FGV abroad.[24] 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.

MSc in International Finance (MIF)

The MSc in International Finance is ranked #1 worldwide for pre-experience programs (2020 FT Rankings).[25] This program caters to high-achieving graduates looking to succeed in a career in finance. Substantial contact time with world-renowned practitioners adds a new dimension to the traditional curriculum and provides students with an edge in an increasingly competitive environment.[26] The first semester is dedicated to Core and Advanced Core courses, whereas the second semester allows students to choose from a concentration of electives as well as a wide variety of free electives.

The program puts a strong emphasis on graduate placement. It provides a variety of workshops and events with banks and multinational companies, including a study trip in London, designed to increase networking and job opportunities.

The program has a 99% placement rate within 3 months after graduation, where 68% of students work outside of their home country, and an average salary of €66,000.

Students have the choice between (1) Business track: designed for students with a background in business, finance or accounting; or (2) Accelerated track: designed for students with a background in a quantitative field such as mathematics, engineering, physics, and econometrics.

Business track and accelerated track students have access to the same pool of electives in the Spring term and have the same career opportunities at the end of the program. In particular, they both have access to either a specialization in Corporate Finance or a specialization in Capital Markets (Spring term).

According to their choice, students will have access to a specific range of core and elective courses. While the first semester is dedicated to core and advanced core courses, the second semester allows students to choose from a concentration of electives as well as a wide variety of free electives.

12-18 month MSc / MS Programs

  • MSc Consulting and Coaching for Change (with Oxford University)
  • MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • MSc International Finance
  • MSc Managerial and Financial Economics
  • MSc/MS Marketing
  • MSc/MS Media Art and Creation
  • MSc Strategic Management
  • MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation
  • MSc X-HEC Data Science for Business
  • MSc X-HEC Entrepreneurs

Master in Business Administration (MBA)

The MBA program, created in 1969, has two intakes: September and January. HEC's MBA consists of 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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29][30]

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 US, 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.

PhD Program

The HEC Paris PhD in Management provides training for careers in research and academia.[31] It offers 7 specialisations and usually takes 4–5 years to complete. The specialisations offered are: Accounting & Management Control, Economics & Decision Sciences, Finance, Information Systems & Operations Management, Management & Human Resources, Marketing, and Strategy & Business Policy. As of December 2020, there are 59 students in the program, representing 18 nationalities. More than 90% of the students join an academic career on completion. All PhD students receive a full tuition waiver, a five-year cost of living scholarship and research support funding.


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

2018 Admission Statistics[32][33]
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%



HEC Paris has been offering a degree in entrepreneurship for more than 40 years, by creating HEC Entrepreneurs in 1977,[34] which has today become the MSc X-HEC Entrepreneurs, in partnership with École Polytechnique.[35]

Alumni entrepreneurship

Since the creation of HEC Entrepreneurs, HEC alumni have created more than 600 companies.[34] Between 2004 and 2013, the percentage of entrepreneurs per class jumped from 10% to 25%.[36]


In 2007,[37] HEC Paris created Incubateur HEC Paris, its startup incubator dedicated to supporting alumni-created startups. Currently directed by Antoine Leprêtre, the incubator has been part of the Station F campus since 2017.[38]

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.

HEC is the only top French Business School to offer a campus life to its students. Other business schools (including ESSEC Business School and ESCP) have buildings inside cities in which their students have to find apartments, sometimes creating tensions with the cities' inhabitants.


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.[39]

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Notre rapport d'activité 2017 est disponible!" (PDF). Fondation HEC Paris. May 2018. p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  2. "Enquête annuelle du MESR 2018" (PDF). CEFDG. April 2018.
  3. HEC. "Chairman".
  4. https://www.hec.edu/en
  5. "The Triple Accredited Business Schools (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS)". MBA Today.
  6. "HEC Paris est la plus prestigieuse et puissante des écoles de commerce post-prépa française.", Challenges
  7. "Un nouveau statut pour HEC : entretien avec Pierre-Antoine Gailly, président de la CCI Paris Ile-de-France". Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  8. HEC. "M2M Programs". HEC Paris. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  9. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. 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. "QS Business Masters Rankings: Management". Top Universities. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  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. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  17. "World University Rankings – Full Time MBA: Global 2019". TopMBA.com. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  18. "2018 MBA & Business School Rankings | Which MBA?". The Economist. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  19. Nasiripour, Shahien (19 December 2017). "These Are the Best International MBA Programs". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  20. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  21. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  22. http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/executive-education-customised-2019
  23. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  24. HEC. "Dual Degree Programs with Partner Institutions". HEC Paris. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  25. "Business school rankings from the Financial Times - FT.com". rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  26. "MSc International Finance". HEC Paris. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  27. MBA, HEC-. "16-month Curriculum". HEC – MBA. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  28. "HEC MBA Brochure" (PDF). HEC Paris MBA Program. 2018.
  29. MBA, HEC-. "International Exchanges". HEC – MBA. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  30. MBA, HEC-. "Double Degrees". HEC – MBA. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  31. "Doctoral Program". HEC Paris. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  32. Berrou, Nicolas (13 October 2018). "Comment intégrer HEC ?". Business Cool (in French). Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  33. Hazlehurst, Jeremy (31 October 2018). "MBA Acceptance Rates at Top European Business Schools | Page 2 of 2". Poets&Quants. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  34. "HEC Entrepreneurs souffle ses 40 bougies". HEC Paris (in French). Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  35. "MSc X-HEC Entrepreneurs". HEC Paris (in French). Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  36. "De plus en plus de créateurs d'entreprise à HEC". www.letudiant.fr (in French). Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  37. "Incubateur HEC Paris". Les Echos Solutions Business (in French). Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  38. Manceau, Jean-Jacques (14 April 2020). "Les Écoles De Commerce Championnes De L'Entrepreneuriat". Forbes France (in French). Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  39. "Who you know, not what you know". The Economist. Retrieved 18 January 2019.