2011 Financial Times Ranking of the Best B-Schools


The methodology, moreover, does not include the three most important criteria to judge student quality: undergraduate grade point average, GMAT or GRE score, and finally pre-MBA compensation. U.S. schools tend to have significantly higher mean and median GMATs than non-U.S. schools so the lack of this measurement tends to diminish the ranking of U.S.-based institutions in the FT list.

Nonetheless, winners are understandably enthusiastic when the Financial Times highly recognizes a school. Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean of London Business School, said in a statement: “We are very proud to have retained the top spot. This is a great tribute to everyone associated with the School who has helped us maintain our quality.”

London said the rankings highlight the global nature of its school, with specific reference to the high proportion of international students (92 percent) and faculty (85 percent). The school reported an employment rate of 91 percent for MBA graduates within three months of graduating in 2010, a ten percentage point increase on the 2009 figures. London also took the second spot for aims achieved, highlighting that the school delivered on the students’ objectives.


School & FT Rank P&Q BW Forbes News Econ
1. London Business School 1 5 1 NR 19
1. Pennsylvania (Wharton) 4 3 5 5 8
3. Harvard Business School 1 2 3 1 4
4. INSEAD 2 1 1 NR 23
4. Stanford 2 5 1 1 7
6. Hong Kong UST 23 NR NR NR 52
7. Columbia 5 9 6 9 12
8. IE Business School 5 3 3 NR 22
9. MIT (Sloan) 8 10 14 3 13
9. IESE 4 12 3 NR 5
11. Indian Institute of Mgt. NR NR NR NR 85
12. Chicago (Booth) 3 1 4 5 1
13. Indian School of Business 33 NR NR NR NR
14. IMD 3 7 2 NR 6
15. New York (Stern) 12 18 17 9 14
15. Yale School of Mgt. 14 21 10 11 24
17. CEIBS 17 NR 4 NR 100
18. Dartmouth (Tuck) 6 14 2 7 2
18. HEC Paris 6 14 7 NR 9
20. Duke (Fuqua) 10 6 13 14 28
21. Esade Business School 7 4 8 NR 20
21. Northwestern (Kellogg) 7 4 8 4 16
23. Singapore School of Business NR NR NR NR NR
24. Michigan (Ross) 13 7 18 12 25
25. California-Berkeley (Haas) 9 8 12 7 3
26. Cambridge (Judge) 9 10 4 NR 30
27. Oxford (Said) 11 16 5 NR 71
28. SDA Bocconi 13 18 8 NR 65
29. Manchester Business School 12 17 2 NR 61
30. Cornell (Johnson) 15 13 7 18 33
31. UCLA (Anderson) 17 17 19 15 37
32. City University (Cass) 14 NR 6 NR 53
33. Nanyang Business School 27 NR NR NR 69
34. Cranfield School of Mgt. 8 13 9 NR 15
35. Australian School of Business 20 NR 9 NR NR
36. Rotterdam (Erasmus) 26 NR NR NR 57
37. Imperial College 40 NR NR NR NR
38. Emory (Goizueta) 20 22 22 27 36
38. Georgetown (McDonough) 23 33 31 24 50
40. Maryland (Smith) 36 42 29 45 NR
41. Lancaster Management School 16 NR 7 NR 89
41. Virginia (Darden) 11 11 9 13 11
41. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 16 15 23 16 21
44. Rice (Jones) 27 29 47 39 41
44. Texas A&M (Mays) 29 30 24 33 NR
46. Toronto (Rotman) 21 8 NR NR NR
46. Western Ontario (Ivey) 22 6 NR NR NR
46. Illinois-Urbana-Champaign 45 46 63 42 NR
49. Texas-Austin (McCombs) 19 25 11 16 43
49. York (Schulich) 10 9 6 NR 10
51. Vanderbilt (Owen) 28 37 30 36 46
52. Rochester (Simon) 35 43 37 27 93
53. Melbourne Business School 32 NR NR NR 41
53. California at Irvine (Merage) 56 NR 58 36 NR
55. Durham Business School 39 NR NR NR 55
55. Vierick Leuven Gent 41 NR NR NR 47
57. McGill (Desautels) 15 11 11 NR NR
58. Warwick Business School 25 NR NR NR 34
59. Penn State (Smeal) 42 44 28 48 56
60. University of Cape Town GSB NR NR NR NR NR
61. Hult International 36 NR NR NR 27
62. North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) 18 16 15 21 40
63. Wisconsin School of Business 30 34 35 27 54
64. IPADE Business School 28 NR 5 NR NR
64. Southern California (Marshall) 22 26 32 20 18
64. Iowa (Tippie) 48 NR 20 42 66
64. Arizona State (Carey) 46 49 56 27 NR
68. SP Jain Center of Mgt. NR NR NR NR NR
68. Boston University 37 38 61 31 42
68. Thunderbird School 53 45 NR 62 80
68. Birmingham Business School NR NR NR NR 68
72. Ohio State (Fisher) 40 32 39 21 NR
73. Indiana (Kelley) 21 19 25 23 35
74. Strathclyde Business School 31 NR NR NR 75
74. Purdue (Krannert) 38 41 45 36 90
74. Boston College (Carroll) 43 50 46 39 NR
77. INCAE Business School NR NR NR NR NR
78. Wake Forest (Babcock) 41 48 34 46 59
78. Univ. College Dublin (Smurfit) 38 NR NR NR 31
80. South Carolina (Moore) 62 NR 67 62 92
80. Notre Dame (Mendoza) 25 24 38 31 39
80. British Columbia (Sauder) 24 NR 10 NR 79
83. California-Davis 58 NR 68 42 60
84. Babson (Olin) 54 39 NR 54 NR
86. William & Mary (Mason) 50 47 49 75 NR
86. Washington (Foster) 32 31 40 33 32
88. Southern Methodist (Cox) 34 12 33 49 78
88. Edinburgh Business School 50 NR NR NR 75
90. Bradford School of Mgt. NR NR NR NR NR
91. Brigham Young (Marriott) 33 27 16 33 NR
92. Pepperdine (Graziadio) 78 NR 75 82 NR
93. Georgia (Terry) 47 36 50 59 87
94. Leeds University NR NR NR NR NR
94. Florida (Hough) 55 NR 54 39 99
96. Politeonico di Milano NR NR NR NR NR
97. Georgia Institute of Technology 39 23 44 26 NR
97. IAE Business School NR NR NR NR NR
99. Kaist College of Business NR NR NR NR NR
100. EM Lyon Business School 19 NR 11 NR 38



For its ranking, the Financial Times surveys alumni from the Class of 2007 to track both their progress in their jobs and their increase in compensation. The FT said that nearly 70 per cent of alumni who took out loans to fund their MBAs are still in debt more than three years after graduating. The poll showed that the total bill for an MBA averaged $132,600 three years ago, including living costs, interest on loans and loss of earnings while studying.

Of the 1,370 graduates who completed the FT poll, 63 per cent said they borrowed money to fund their studies. On average, they ended up indebted to an average of 54 per cent of the total cost of completing the degree. More than three years after graduation, 69 per cent of alumni who took on debt had yet to finish paying it off, and more than a quarter still owed 60 per cent or more of the original loan, the FT reported. Yet in spite of the high costs, most alumni felt the MBA had been a good value. Asked by the FT  to rate the worth of their degree from one to five, with five representing extremely valuable, the average score was 4.4. There was little variation among alumni, regardless of the cost of the program or debt levels, and 56 per cent gave their degree a rating of five, the FT reported.

  • Ghosh

    Three facts that most non-Indians are not aware of :

    1. A majority of Indian students in the HSW trio are ones that are either ex-IIM grads or those that have attempted the IIM entrance (we call in CAT) and failed.

    2. Most Indians go for the US/EU B-schools to gain acceptability in International career paths, and Not because they consider HSW superior.

    3. In India, till date, the HSW alums are at best considered at par with IIM grads (unless they are IIT + HSW). The popular thinking is that you may be a prince or a pauper, IITs / IIMs judge you by PURE meritocracy. HSW’s first question, on the other hand, is who’s your Dad :).


  • Spearhead

    How does Darden get outranked by Emory, and Maryland! This ranking is a joke.

  • Common sense

    The point is emergence of this many non US based schools in various rankings. It certainly was not the case 10 years ago. Value is in the highlight not the rank……

  • Rich

    I’m going to start my own business school, admit a lot of homeless people, help them get a job, show infinite salary % increase, ask them to provide good FT survey when asked, and rank number #1 in FT. I just need to make sure I start my B-school in China or India since they are not in recession or my graduates may still be unemployed after graduation and my B-school will not rank #1.

  • Naoum,

    It’s impossible to know because the FT doesn’t provide info on the schools that fell off the ranking. It could be for something as odd as an inadequate sample size for the alumni survey or the school could have fallen short on any one of the key metrics used by the FT to rank schools. There are 20 such metrics! The school itself probably has the answer. I would ask the admissions office.

  • Naoum Barakat

    Guys, any idea to why Aston Business School wasn’t included in the global rankings for 2011? In 2010 it was ranked 73!


  • Delat

    To question how the diversity factor (%of women, international students etc) can influence the quality of an MBA reflects very poorly on poetsandquants´ common sense or MBA knowledge. The dynamics in a class with a significant % of women or internationall students are totally different from a class of “false heterogeneous” populations. This makes the MBA experience totally different!!

  • indian

    I do not want to contradict anyone of you. Just wanted to make a short clarification. I see that most of you consider IIM as a school that accepts students without work-experience. However its not that program which FT has ranked above. Instead FT, in its 2011 global MBA ranking, has considered the new 1 year MBA program at IIMA which accepts candidates with around 10 years experience and wherein the class size is around 90.

  • Hmmmm

    Perhaps P&Q could do a follow and expand upon the “different methodologies” that account for a particular school’s ranking swinging so much from one publication to another. There isn’t much literature that says, “If you value Metric A [e.g. median income five years after graduation], then Magazine X is the best ranking system for you, if you value Metric B, then…”

  • Kellogg MBA

    Despite the on-going debate about rankings of global MBAs and the controversy that accompanies it, I personally do not find it surprising at all to see certain B-schools, especially Asian ones emerge in the top 20 list. As a matter of fact, though I do not fully agree with the weightings of the FT ranking criteria used, the list and ranking they compiled does make sense and is reflective of reality to a large extent.

    First of all, we have to realize and admit that the era where top US and European B-schools dominate the top 20 Global MBAs list is fading. This will even be more pronounced as the pace of gloablization accelerates. The changing dynamics of global economics and power is a good leading indicator of this phenomena.

    As the economic and political clout of emerging superpowers like China, India and Brazil accelerates, the emphasis and need for a more dynamic and educated population drives the hunger and pursuit of advancement in knowledge. Compare that with the fading economic and political dominance of the US and Europe, it is no surprise that top B-schools from these emerging nations are rising to international prominence. It is not to say that these schools were never great schools in the past and they miraculously “became” great schools because of their nation’s newly found riches amid changing global economic tides. For instance, Beijing and TsingHua University has long been recognized in China as the top 2 elite universities where only the brightest minds could attend (let’s face it, with a population of 1.4billion, competition for a place at these 2 Chinese universities is no less than Harvard or Wharton in the US, perhaps even more fierce). The same goes for the IIMs and ISB in India.

    With their growing economic strength, these nations are constantly pouring millions into improving their institutions of higher learning and hiring the best faculty from abroad. In addition, many nouveau riche who made the Forbes 100 richest list in the world are alums of these elite institutions and are giving back to their alma mater at increasing amounts and pace never seen before. Consequently, it is no surprise that these top institutions that were once elite national or regional universities at best a decade ago, are now challenging the global educational giants that never saw them as competitors in the past. Top US and European B-schools have to constantly upgrade and innovate in order not to lag behind. Self-complacency is their worst enemy.

    Schools in the FT list like Hong Kong’s UST, China’s CEIBS, Singapore’s NUS School of Business, India’s IIM and ISB are great examples of tomorrow’s rising star. They have always been known for their excellence regionally and they are now ready to flex their muscles on the global educational arena. Kudos to Financial Times for recognising the changing dynamics in higher education and reflecting that in their ranking polls. It is time for The Economist, Business week and Forbes (both rather US centric) to review their ranking methodology to better reflect reality.

  • Authenticity_questioned

    I see Kellogg School of Management as a great school. They are the 3rd best for General management placements including top spot in consulting placements and number one in marketing and brand management globally. Their Finance stream is also not bad and almost all the finance majors recruit there. In terms of students and culture they have real good reputation. Many people have said that Kellogg is on par with Wharton if not Harvard and Stanford. John, can you please tell me why does FT always rank Kellogg so low.. worst part is even below schools like IIM, ISB and Yale. I have an admit from Kellogg, MIT Sloan and Booth ( i dint apply to H,S, W). I was inclined to take Kellogg to focus on management consulting. On the other hand I had admits 2 year before from IIM A ( number 1 IIM in india) and my study revealed they are way distant from an International MBA. I am a bit confused with the rankings of FT. What are they trying to say?

  • crap_ranking

    As usual FT’s shady ranking continues! IIM’s can never be compared to international Business schools any day! They take a lot of college freshers who ‘only clear CAT to get in’ no overall development or work experience. And most of them do a US MBA again for making their progress. FT is worst as ever! Same is the case with ISB’s! Totally irrelevant ranking

  • John,

    A bit more accuracy here:

    “The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology broke into the FT’s Top 10, rising to sixth–a jump of 17 places from 23 last year and 17th two years ago when it appeared on the FT ranking for the first time. Barcelona-based ”

    UST was ranked #17, #16, #9 and now #6 in the last 4 years. 2007 it was not ranked (not enough survey responses). 2006 and earlier it was ranked in the ranged of #20-40

    the other major point which should be mentioned ALWAYS when commenting on the FT ranking is that FT calculates salary on a purchase power basis, i.e. the 175k for the IIM is a real USD salary of probably 50-60k multiplied by about 3x to reflect PPP.

    on a separate note and something to ponder: India has 7 top-ranked IIM. of the 200,000 applicants for these 7 schools, one has to be in the top 0.7-0.8% to make the admission…