Historical Rankings by BusinessWeek:
Over the years, Columbia Business School has performed slightly better than the Tuck School in the BusinessWeek rankings. Yet, it has never done as well as Dartmouth did in the inaugural 1988 survey when Tuck placed third and Columbia placed a disappointing 14th. Tuck’s weakest performance in the BW survey was in 2000 when it his 16th, while Columbia’s poorest showing was in 1988 when it drew that rank of 14th. Best showing for Columbia occurred in 1994 and 1996 when BusinessWeek ranked Columbia sixth. It’s worth remembering that both schools have a difficult time in this customer satisfaction survey: It’s hard to keep students and recruiters happy in New York City, given the less-than-adequate facilities at Columbia and all the distractions in New York. Dartmouth, on the other hand, is disadvantaged in the BusinessWeek survey due to its very small size. The methodology tends to favor larger schools that attract greater numbers of corporate recruiters who hire MBAs.
Historical Rankings by The Financial Times:
Unlike BusinessWeek’s rankings, The Financial Times includes business schools from all over the world. So the FT is ranking both Columbia and Dartmouth against such places as London Business School, which ranked number one in this survey in 2010 and 2009, and INSEAD, which ranked fifth these last two years. Columbia has done much better than Dartmouth in the 11 surveys charted below, ranking third five times. Columbia’s highest rank from the FT was second in 2007. It’s lowest: a current rank of sixth. Dartmouth, on the other hand, has never had a higher rank than 7 in 2005 and has been ranked as low as 15th twice and 13th on three occasions, including the past two consecutive years. Tuck’s showing in the Financial Times survey is a reflection of the methodology’s attempt to measure what the newspaper calls “the diversity and international reach” of the school. Among other things, the FT takes into account what it calls “international mobility,” “international experience,” and “international board,” factors that favor European schools where countries are not much larger than most states in the U.S.
Both Tuck and Columbia attract exceptional talent to their schools and are highly selective as a result. Dartmouth turns down 8 of every 10 applicants, and has an acceptance rate of just 18.8%. Columbia is even more selective, mainly because its location in New York City is highly desirable. Columbia sends offer letters to just 14.9% of its applicants, making it the sixth most selective business school in the world. That is a world of difference from where Columbia was in the early 1990s when it was accepting 47% of its applicants in 1992. Dartmouth’s average GMAT score for the Class of 2011 is 712 versus Columbia’s 713 average. * Estimate.