Top Private Equity Schools
List of Top 25 Schools for Private Equity
A common question for students hoping to enter the private equity industry is what is the best private equity school? While many students enter private equity through various business schools, and attending a top-tier business school can dramatically help one’s chances of working in private equity, there are some schools that offer a specific focus on private equity. For example, Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School introduces business students to private equity through their Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital.
While attending a recognized business school is helpful for a career in private equity, it is not required and many professionals working in the private equity industry have taken unique paths to private equity that may or may not include earning an MBA or studying finance even. Some general partners at private equity firms or hedge funds have different backgrounds than what is stereotypical for the industries, for example the successful hedge fund manager, David E. Shaw has an advanced degree in computer sciences.
For those hoping to enter private equity, some schools increase your chances by reputation, others by directly preparing students for buyout modeling and fund operations. Private equity is a challenging environment and an educational background is valuable to entering the industry but it is open to anyone who has the desire to learn the skills necessary to succeed, a passion for working in the private equity industry and a strong work ethic. Our Private Equity Training Program is a great supplement to an MBA. To learn about our online private equity certification program which provides participants with a strong background and education in private equity, follow this link.
List of the Top 25 Private Equity Schools
- Harvard Business School- Private Equity and Venture Capital: Harvard Business School is respected as one of the best in the world (if not the best). HBS offers a five day long program on private equity and venture capital in the fall. October 31–November 4, 2010 (HBS Campus) for a cost of $9,250. Additionally, Harvard offers Private Equity and Venture Capital – Asia, June 8–11, 2011 (Tsinghua-SEM, Beijing, China) $7,750 USD. For information on these programs see this page.
- Dartmouth offers a private equity focused Masters in Business Administration. This still stands out to me as one of the most concentrated schools on private equity. Also the Tuck School of Business is friendly to private equity students, offering internships in the industry, private equity clubs and private equity fellowships.
- University of Pennsylvania: Wharton is a great business school for private equity with Wharton Private Equity Partners, a fourteen year old association representing 2,500 alumni. This group also holds interesting private equity related events and lectures. For more info on WPEP, see here.
- University of Chicago Booth School of Business: Through the University’s Private Equity/Venture Capital club students enjoy a variety of year-round social events, invited presentations, and panel discussions featuring speakers from a wide range of industries. Booth’s PEVC club also provides a forum for students to share experiences and discuss mutual interests in entrepreneurship, venture capital, and private equity. Finally, the club aims to enhance the sense of community at the Chicago Booth. For more information on University of Chicago’s Private Equity and Venture Capital Club see this link.
- The University of North Carolina Kenan Flagler: Now, this school deserves to be seriously considered simply because it offers its students an awesome opportunity to run a private equity fund. I wrote on this previously when one of the students approached me, and since then the students have launched a second private equity fund. Read that article for more information on the student-led private equity fund.
- New York University: I spoke with a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business this year and he expressed his interest in expanding the school’s programs and lectures on private equity. This is in addition to the current offerings on private equity such as the recent 5th Annual NYU Stern Private Equity Conference that took place this past March. This event and others are put on by the Stern Private Equity Club. See here to learn more.
- Columbia University Business School: I have been really impressed by Columbia’s Private Equity Program which links alumni working in private equity with current Columbia students. From their website: ‘In 2007 Columbia Business School launched the Private Equity Program, which serves as the School’s primary point of contact with the private equity industry, unifying students, alumni and the business community into a single network. The program is dedicated to forging ever closer ties with the private equity industry by reinforcing the School’s commitment to linking theory with practice and by engaging alumni who continue to lead the development of the private equity and venture capital industries worldwide.’
- Duke University: Despite Duke University’s shying away from private equity in its investments, the Fuqua School of Business is very dedicated to educating its students for careers in private equity. Like other top-tier business schools, Duke runs a large private equity club as well as an asset management club and venture capital club. ‘The Duke Private Equity Club is a student-run organization committed to enhancing the connection between the private equity industry and the entire Duke University community of students, faculty and alumni. Throughout the year the club sponsors events that provide educational, career and networking opportunities for its members.’
- Northwestern University Kellogg Business School: Kellogg seems to provide a pretty good education in private equity with PE veterans on the faculty but really it is just a quality business school that is worth consideration no matter what your end goal is.
- Yale School of Management: Yale graduated Stephen Schwarzman (but just as an undergraduate, he went to HBS for business school). But still, this is a solid business school and it hosts a popular conference on private equity every year for the last ten years that is coming up this November. See here for more information.
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- University of Virginia Darden School of Business
- Cornell University
- Georgetown University
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Michigan
- University of California, Berkeley
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Texas, Austin
- University of Southern California
- Indiana University
- Arizona State University
- Emory University
- University of Rochester
- Carnegie Mellon University
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