Overview (by Hjort)
LBS started life as an autonomous institution within the University of London called the London Graduate School of Business Studies. The Franks report led to the the creation of two schools for the academic education of managers in the United Kingdom: University of Manchester and LBS. The rise of the applied social sciences, including applied economics, sociology, and psychology legitimized the scientific study of the human aspects of management. Although the Franks report did not encourage the 2 year MBA, LBS choose to conduct a two year program. LBS also became the more research oriented program, at least in the first few decades of operation.
LBS is well known as a school for both its international character and its strength in finance.
- FT 2003 ranked LBS #7 worldwide - between INSEAD and NYU. The prior year it was ranked between NYU and Northwestern. If hypothetically assigned to the US, LBS would have been ranked #6 in the US for 2003 - roughly in the lower portion of the US ultra elites.
- FT 2005 ranked LBS #5 worldwide.
- EIU 2003 placed LBS #23 worldwide - between York and HEC Paris. If hypothetically assigned to the US, LBS would be ranked #16 in the US. This is roughly between the US Elite and the US trans elite.
- EIU 2004 placed LBS #33 worldwide - between Warwick and Edinburgh and just ahead of Emory.
- FT 2005 ranks LBS #91 in Value for Money.
Application Process Overview (by Paul)
LBS has an extremely efficient and streamlined application process. I have applied for the MSc. in Finance and from the time they received my application, it took only 1 week before they said I was shortlisted for an interview. Although it took 3 weeks before they could put me in contact with an alumnus(something beyond their control due to unavailability of many of them), I got an admit 2 days after my interview.
I believe that if you have been shortlisted for an interview from LBS, it is a very good sign that you will get an admission. Just make sure that you rehearse your letter of intent and be coherent in what you say. Also, it seems true that European B-schools, similar to Canadian schools, tend to automatically favor higher GMAT applicants so it would be wise to get the highest GMAT score possible for these schools (at least get their average GMAT). It is said though that INSEAD already rejected 800 applicants so just make sure you prepare well for the interview. Here is a good website on accepted.com on how to prepare for the interview.
Another thing for London is that there is a lot of paperwork to fill out before moving but I assume it might be similar with any other schools. They seem to require a lot in terms of personal financial information in order to open a bank account so be ready to provide it and prepare yourself 2-3 months in advance.