Dartmouth’s Tuck School vs. Harvard Business School

Admissions: Both HBS and Tuck are highly selective schools. Harvard sends offer letters to just 12.2% of its applicants, while Dartmouth accepts 18.8%. Harvard’s average GMAT score for the Class of 2011 is 719 versus an average of 712 for Dartmouth.

Admission Stats Dartmouth Harvard
Average GMAT 712 719
GMAT Range 580–790 490–800
Average GPA 3.53 3.67
Selectivity 18.8% 12.2%
Yield NA 89%


Enrollment: Dartmouth’s class size is less than half that of Harvard, resulting in a more intimate and close-knit community environment. The numbers for women, international and minority students are for the Class of 2011.

Enrollment Stats Dartmouth Harvard
Total MBA Enrollment 510 1,837
Women 33% 36%
International 30% 36%
Minority 18% 22%


Poets&Quants: Though you might expect a lot more poets at Tuck, you’d be surprised to discover that students at Dartmouth with undergraduate degrees in the humanities are few: 26% versus Harvard’s 40% or Stanford’s 47%.  On the other hand, Tuck is much more open to enrolling business undergrads than Harvard. About 41% of Dartmouth’s Class of 2011 have business or economics undergraduate degrees, making them the biggest single chunk of the class, while only 26% have such degrees at Harvard.

Undergrad Degrees Dartmouth Harvard
Humanities 26% 40%
Engineering/Math 27% 33%
Business/Economics 41% 26%


Jobs and Pay: Even these two elite business schools were impacted by the severe recession of 2009. Nearly a third of Dartmouth’s Class of 2009 didn’t have jobs when they graduated and nearly a quarter of Harvard MBAs were in the same boat. Grads from both schools fared much better three months after commencement, but these numbers are rare lows for the two of the best business schools in the world. Starting pay for Tuckies is third best, after only Stanford and Harvard. The estimates of median pay over a full career come from a study by PayScale done for BusinessWeek and do not include stock options or equity stakes by entrepreneurs. Harvard grads were first in this study, while Dartmouth grads came in fifth, behind HBS, Wharton, Columbia, and Stanford. The flow of grads into higher-paying finance careers at Wharton and Columbia help those schools on this measurement.

Job & Pay Data Dartmouth Harvard
Starting salary & bonus $128,282 $131,219
MBAs employed at commencement 69.2% 76.8%
MBAs employed 3 months after commencement 82.8% 87.3%
Estimated median pay & bonus over a full career $3,146,032 $3,867,903
  • 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.