The top 25 universities for getting a front-office job at Morgan Stanley

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The latest in our series on top universities for high-paying finance jobs looks at Morgan Stanley, which, like most investment banks, hires only a select few applicants – 2%, if you want to make it on to an internship alone. Knowing the universities that the firm targets can be of help.

As you’ll notice from the rankings below, Morgan Stanley makes many of its front-office hires from some of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. and the U.K. But while the names and order are similar to the rankings we put together for J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley appears to be less elitist than its closest competitors. Our research suggests that the bank employs fewer alumni from some top universities than J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Morgan Stanley is also less top-heavy when it comes to Ivy League schools and seems to recruit from a larger pool.

As an example, Goldman Sachs employs nearly twice as many Harvard grads as Morgan Stanley, despite Morgan Stanley having a bigger footprint. The story is similar at Oxford and Cambridge, which both actually ranked higher with Morgan Stanley yet still have fewer alumni working there than at its two closest competitors. Perhaps Morgan Stanley is less obsessed with the name on the degree than the person and their experience. – Or maybe more graduates of Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton and Stanford just prefer Goldman and J.P. Morgan.

However, it’s worth noting that Morgan Stanley seems to have a particular affinity for two other top schools that tend to steer more graduates into banking: NYU and the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton). More graduates of those two schools work at Morgan Stanley than at Goldman Sachs. The same can be said about UPenn when comparing its number of alumni to that at J.P Morgan. As with the other two banks, Morgan Stanley does quite well with Columbia grads. Meanwhile, degrees from Georgetown, Duke, UCLA and UC Berkeley should also set you up with a strong network at Morgan Stanley in particular.

The rankings below are based on the total number of alumni from each school currently working at Morgan Stanley, courtesy of LinkedIn. We then cross-referenced those numbers with employment data from our own internal database that allows us to break down the percentage of graduates from each school who work in front-office roles. Schools like Cornell and Baruch College have plenty of alumni working at Morgan Stanley, but a higher percentage work in middle or back-office positions, dropping them down the list a bit. We also took into account total enrollment numbers from each university.



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