Dartmouth’s Tuck School vs. Harvard Business School

The most obvious similarities between Dartmouth Tuck School of Business and the Harvard Business School is that they are both in New England, offer a general management approach to the MBA, teach largely on the basis of case study, boast some of the best classroom teachers in business education, and have access to the world’s leading and most prestigious employers of MBAs. They differ in another important aspect as well: both institutions are almost completely focused on full-time MBA education. There’s no part-time MBA program, no Executive MBA program, and no business undergraduates to distract the core mission of delivering the best possible full-time, two-year MBA experience. So the faculty, with the exception of their executive education work, isn’t pulled in as many directions as they are at other B-schools.

Top Ten Reasons to Go to Dartmouth?

  1. You didn’t get into Harvard, but were lucky enough to get into Tuck, one of the five best MBA programs in the world.
  2. The MBA alumni network is arguably the best and most supportive of any business school.
  3. You want a premium MBA experience at a school that is completely focused on the full-time, two-year MBA and not a host of other programs that detract from it.
  4. You thrive in smaller, intimate settings.
  5. You prefer a highly collaborative and supportive student culture.
  6. You want to create important and enduring relationships with fellow students.
  7. You want to create important and lasting relationships with faculty.
  8. You want a general management perspective.
  9. You like small towns and tend to dislike big cities.
  10. You adore the outdoors.

Top Ten Reasons to Go to Harvard?

  1. It’s number one. And if you’re from the U.S. or outside the U.S., you’ll never have to explain why you went there.
  2. It’s number one for lots of reasons: incomparable resources, prestige scale, the status of its alums, and the very best faculty most attuned to real business, not merely academic research.
  3. You want a premium MBA experience at a school that is completely focused on the full-time, two-year MBA and not a host of other programs that detract from it.
  4. You thrive in a large environment and don’t mind being a small fish in a bigger pond.
  5. You think the case method of teaching is the greatest invention ever discovered in education.
  6. You want an MBA with a general management perspective.
  7. You like the idea of competing with people in and outside the classroom for attention, grades, internships, and jobs.
  8. You don’t mind living up to extremely high expectations that are inevitable the moment you say you have a Harvard MBA.
  9. You dislike small towns and enjoy major yet manageable cities.
  10. You love Boston or want to live in Boston and root for the Boston Red Sox.

  • You should do these battles in video format!

  • danition69@gmail.com

    This article is from 2010, which is when Tuck was in top 5

  • Randy B.

    Tuck is not top 5. Unless you got a full ride at Tuck, I don’t see why anyone would not go to Harvard.

  • Whaaa?

    How is Tuck considered one of the five best MBA programs in the world when it’s not even considered one of top 5 schools in the US?? Tuck vs. Harvard? Really?

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  • Dtg03


    When is the next installment due and what programs will it be? This is a great series! I know they are labor intensive so my intention isn’t to rush, just curious.

  • Daniel
  • Rob callum

    C’mon John, you gotta do UCLA vs USC. This is an age old rivalry and I’d love to see this smack down

  • Rahul

    Thanks a lot John for this insightful comparison. These two are my top targets and I am sure to attend one of them starting 2013. Q: Do both HBS and Tuck consider candidates with a post graduate business education (not an MBA though)? Also, from an affordability perspective which one is better – average student debt at graduation? Would be great if you could share your views on these. Thanks in advance. Rahul

  • Richard,

    Good luck with your decision. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

  • Richard W

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! These are the exact two schools that I have my heart set on, but couldn’t decide which one I liked more. This definitely helps summarize a lot of my intuitive thoughts.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Sandy,

    Believe me, I’m frustrated that I haven’t gotten them out. But they require a lot of work including updates of 150 school profiles. And there has been a lot of other urgent stuff that I felt was important to bring to the readers.

  • Sandy

    I have been eagerly waiting for those rankings, I thought you wanted them out by Nov first week. But you have since then certainly published some great articles that demystify this MBA myth, which have been much more important. So the wait hasn’t been too long!

  • Sandy,

    Yes, Tuck was ranked first by The Economist this year and second last year–before the smack down was published. Obviously, we need to update and will as soon as we get our next big project–the new rankings–out.

  • Sandy

    Thanks John,
    Tuck ranked 6th by the Economist? I thought it was #1 this year and within top 4 in last year’s ranking. Both the schools comparable on a long term basis. Do you think it is the number of CEO’s and recruiters that sets HBS so further apart from its peers?

  • AmericanMBA

    Harvard way ahead of Tuck. Hardly have i known anyone taking Tuck over Harvard. Even heard of people taking Kellogg over Harvard on basis of ‘school fit’ of collaboration. May be useful for those who have gotten a lot of $$$ from Tuck and nothing from Harvard but otherwise not on par schools.

  • Anuj Datta Roy

    Quite an excellent comparison giving intricate details not covered by others. Good job!!

  • Arthur Dullsworthy

    HI John, I notice the data here for percent employed of the classes at both Harvard and Dartmouth 3 months after commencement are dramatically inconsistent with your other article on the MBA job market. See my point?

  • Will do, for sure. Just need to find the time over the next few weeks.

  • Daniel


    Thanks for these really awesome insights into what makes Tuck and HBS special. I’ve been really enjoying your pieces covering the top business schools.

    I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind going a little bit down the rankings to talk about your thoughts about schools in the 10 to 20 range. I’m a student at Cornell Johnson and would really like to hear your thoughts on whats good and whats lacking for schools like our’s and how we could improve.

  • chris walters

    The economist ranking is actually out of date.