2011 U.S. News Ranking of the Best B-Schools

by John A. Byrne on

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business edged out Harvard Business School to gain first place honors in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report ranking out today (March 15). The two premier schools were in a dead tie in the ranking last year.

The top ten saw only slight changes. The big news already reported due to a sneak preview: Yale University’s School of Management cracked into the magazine’s top ten by tying New York University’s Stern School for tenth place. Yale was 11th last year, while NYU was ninth. Wharton, No. 5 in 2010, moved up two places to grab a tie with MIT Sloan School at number three.

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management dropped one spot to fifth place, to fall into a tie with its long-time rival, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, which also had been ranked fifth in 2010 by U.S. News.

The U.S. News ranking has come under heavy criticism of late from none other than bestselling author and New Yorker staffer writer Malcolm Gladwell who recently attacked the magazine’s methodology. His conclusion: the ranking is largely the result of completely arbitrary judgments made by the magazine and have little if anything to do with the quality of the schools or the programs they offer. Nonetheless, the U.S. News ranking–while not as influential as either BusinessWeek or The Financial Times–does carry considerable weight among the general public. (One other note: As a marketing ploy, U.S. News claims this is a 2012 ranking to give it greater shelf life. It is based on 2010 data and released in 2011 which is why we label it a 2011 ranking.)

U.S. News said it surveyed more than 430 accredited master’s programs in business to come up with its ranking. Typically, the magazine ranks 100 schools. This year, it has 111 schools that are ranked. The magazine only ranks U.S.-based schools, unlike BusinessWeek, The Financial Times, or The Economist which publish global rankings, either combined or separate.

The magazine ranks U.S. schools every year, using a vast amount of information and data. The methodology takes into account its own survey of B-school deans and MBA directors (25% of the score), corporate recruiters (15%), starting salaries and bonuses (14%), employment rates at and three months after graduation (7% to 14%, respectively), student GMATs (about 16%), undergrad GPAs (about 8%), and the percentage of applicants who are accepted to a school (a little over 1%).

How does U.S. News decide how much to weight each of these factors? Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News, once told a reporter that the weights are based on “our accumulated judgment.” Explains Morse: ” Our rankings aren’t social science in the sense that we’re not doing peer-reviewed rankings; we’re not submitting our conclusions and our weighting system to a group of academics and letting them decide if they are right or wrong. We do meet regularly with academic experts about the relative importance of the factors that we use.”

So how did Stanford edge ahead of Harvard this year and break through last year’s tie? According to U.S. News, Stanford bested its East Coast rival on the “recruiter assessment” survey (gaining a 4.6 out of 5.0 score vs. Harvard’s 4.5), on its acceptance rate of applicants (6.8% vs. Harvard’s 11.2%, on average starting salary and bonus ($131,949 vs. $131,759), on average undergraduate GPAs (3.69 vs. 3.67) and average GMAT scores of incoming students (728 vs. 724), and on 2010 graduates employed three months after graduation (92.4% vs. 90.1%. There is only a significant difference in one of these measures–the percentage of applicants accepted–which can easily be attributed to Stanford’s much smaller intake of students and the allure of California, factors that have nothing to do with the quality of one institution over another.

Harvard, meantime, bested Stanford in only one of the metrics used by U.S. News to rank business schools: percentage of MBAs employed at graduation (78.6% vs. Stanford’s 75.8%). The two schools had identical “peer assessment” scores of 4.8 out of 5.0. All told, the differences between the two titans of graduate business education was two index points–Stanford was awarded 100 points and Harvard was awarded 98 points. By the time you reach the last school in U.S. News’ top ten, which is Yale University’s School of Management, the index score falls to 81, the peer assessment score drops to 4.1, and the recruiter assessment score hits 4.0 (see the next page for a full table of the data used by U.S. News to rank schools).

1 2 3 4 5 Next
  • Adam

    yuck – michigan, tied for #14. Ross has decreased selectivity to fill up its pretty new building. Also, seems its job placement took a bigger hit than other top schools.

  • Joe

    Yeah, California with some of the highest unemployment in the nation, highest cost of living, and worst state budget crisis is buckling too. Placement is taking a long time, and many forecast the economic problems will hit California much longer than other areas. NorCal got hit harder in some ways.

    Berkeley is planning to expand the building to allow for more admits and you can assume selectivity, and probably rankings will suffer along with it. Better to streamline and concentrate on the fundamentals in an unpredictable and stagnant job market one would think. All these buildings do look nice nevertheless, even if they do cost over $50 million! Is Warren Buffett putting his name on these?

  • Scott Foster

    Mr. Byrne,

    In the latest rankings UNC is slightly ahead of Emory. Is there enough difference in the brands to make up for the fact that when I visited both schools I felt a better fit a Goizueta? I am having a hard time deciding which one to attend since my colleagues are saying the UNC Brand is superior while I just liked the curriculum and facilities and the overall fit at Emory.

    I would appreicate any advice you could share.
    Thanks.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Scott,

    If you feel that Goizueta is a better fit for you, I would go there. These are both very good schools with superb MBA programs. You can’t make a bad decision here.

    It’s definitely true that the UNC-Kenan-Flagler brand is stronger and has been that way for many, many years. I think that’s more important than looking at a school’s standing in any single ranking which is a snapshot of the school’s current position only. If you go back to 1988, when I created the BusinessWeek ranking, you’ll find UNC on every single top 30 list. Emory only cracked the list in 1998–ten years after it was created. And in every single ranking, UNC has been rated higher than Emory.

    If you average out the BW rank for these two schools over the years that Emory has made the list, UNC comes in at a rank of 16.5, while Emory is at 23.0. The highest rank UNC has ever achieved in the BW survey was in 1988 when it was eighth. The highest rank for Emory was in 2004 when it was 20th.

    As you know, we rank UNC 18th, with an index score of 78.4, and Emory at 20th, with an index score of 75.8. Those raw scores show that currently the schools are very close together and the differences in reputation and overall quality may not be meaningful.

    Bottom line: I would give UNC an edge on reputation and overall quality, but if you feel more comfortable at Emory I think that’s an important reason to choose Goizueta.

    One piece of advice: Call up admissions at each school and ask them to give you the names and phone numbers of three alums you can talk to about your decision. This would only take a couple of hours of your time and would seal the deal, either way.

    Good luck on your final choice and congrats on gaining acceptance into terrific MBA programs.

    Best,
    John

  • Scott Foster

    Mr. Byrne,

    I appreciate you taking the time to give me all this helpful advice. I will certainly recommend your website to everyone.

    Thank you,
    Scott

  • Chris

    Dear Mr. Byrne,

    I have been accepted to MBA programs at both UC Irvine and Univeristy of Arizona. I have been offered a half tuition scholarship to the Eller School at UA, but feel drawn to the Merage School of Business because of their curriculum. My research has given conflicting results on their statistics regarding job placement and starting salary. I would appreciated any advice you can offer me.

    Thanks in Advance,

    Chris

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Chris,

    Congrats! That’s great news. Here’s my honest take: This is a case where rankings don’t help as much as you’d expect. Yes, Irvine is ranked slightly higher by us: 56th versus 59th for Arizona. That’s not much of a difference to make a decision on, especially when Arizona is willing to discount its tuition by half. The more telling stats about the underlying quality of these schools show that UC Irvine is the better school. Irvine’s average GMATs are 62 points higher, 673 vs. 601. Irvine’s acceptance rate is much lower: 27.9% vs. 50.5%. These stats clearly tell you that Irvine’s students are of higher quality. So they are your incoming stats. Now let’s look at the output. Last year, 82% of Irvine graduating MBAs had jobs within three months of commencement vs. 62% at Arizona–a difference of 20 percentage points. The starting salaries at Irvine were $75,236, slightly higher than the $70,282. But the more interesting difference in starting pay was that only one of 64 graduating Arizona students received a starting bonus. At Irvine, 10 of 99 earned bonuses which averaged $9,600. Call Irvine’s admissions people and tell them you’re trying to decide between Eller and Merage. Tell them you really want to go to Irvine but Merage is willing to discount your tuition by half. What can they do for you? Whether they help you with a fellowship or not, I would go to Irvine. Good luck.

  • Sarah

    Mr. Byrne:

    I am deciding between Georgetown and North Carolina. I received a partial scholarship at Georgetown ($20K per year). I will be moving from GA, so the scholarship partially balances the more expensive living costs in DC. Looking over the total costs, I expect to save between $15K and $20K at McDonough.

    I like the atmosphere at Carolina much better but am having a tough time rationalizing the added debt.

    Would you offer your thoughts?

    Thanks.

    Sarah

  • KM

    Mr. Byrne, I very conflicted in my decision between UCLA and UNC. My focus is finance and while US News newest rankings have UCLA at 14th, the other ranking lists are all over the place with regards to these two schools. Averaging out the lists in 2010 and excluding the intl outliers, its seems that UCLA has a very slight edge over UNC. 17.5 vs. 17. Can you please provide me with your thoughts on both campuses, reputation, quality of curriculum, etc. Ive been to both and I think both are solid fits for me so I’m interested to hear your thoughts and recommendations.

    Thanks,
    K

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    KM,
    First off, congrats. Those are two of the world’s best business schools. Either way, you can’t really make a mistake here. UCLA has more of a reputation for finance. In the most recent specialty rankings by U.S. News & World Report, UCLA is ranked eighth in finance, ahead of Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan, and Duke, among other schools. This list is based solely on the opinions of business school deans and MBA directors. Interestingly, UNC does not make the finance list of some 24 schools.
    So that is one data point, given your focus on finance.

    Otherwise, these schools are so evenly matched as evidenced by our composite ranking (with UCLA at 17 and UNC at 18), that a general B-school ranking won’t really help you with your choice. So I think it really comes down to UCLA having a better reputation in finance and then two questions: Where do you want to work and where would you prefer to spend the next two years of your life? West Coast or East Coast? Los Angeles or Chapel Hill?

    Good luck. Don’t stress too much over the decision, though, because as I wrote, these are two of the world’s best business schools. You can’t make a bad decision here.

    Best,
    John

  • Tim

    Mr. Byrne,

    Let me start off by saying that I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE!

    I’m torn trying to decide between the following programs:

    – Michigan-Ross EMBA
    – Notre Dame EMBA
    – UNC Online MBA

    Michigan and Notre Dame are my two favorites (& tied for first), with UNC a distant second.

    Which program has the stronger reputation nationally – Michigan or ND? I know Michigan is higher ranked and has a large alumni base, but Notre Dame has a very loyal alumni base as well.

    I’m originally from the West Coast and in my experience, even though Stanford, UCLA, and Univ. California-Berkeley were higher ranked than USC, USC grads did VERY well due to their networking connections.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thank you in advance…

    Tim

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/sarah/ sarah

    Mr Byrne,

    I have received an admit from Thunderbird, Moore and Fordham(NYC). Though Thunderbird is perceived as the better brand among these, but, the latest USNews ranking shows Moore surging far ahead with Thunderbird slipping considerably down. Moreover, Thunderbird’s location(for employment purposes) and employment rates are dismal. Moore has a very high employment percentage and is a better brand than Fordham
    . Also, Fordham appeals since it has a nice reputation in marketing ad finance(my desired focus areas) combined with the best location to get a job. Please provide your thoughts. I am an international student. My focus is on getting a job, and a better brand name too.
    I would highly appreciate your advice on this.

    Thanks
    Sarah

  • yo tim!

    Tim bro,
    imperial online MBA is something to consider( like me, the american tuition is a damper!) I saw you mentioning UNC online ( I looked at it, and it is cool) but it is not imperial. One of the top premier institute of the world( over all ranking comes under 10 in the world after ox,cam there is imperial period.).
    If you are considering online nothing like imperial.

    UK executive mba’s and full time from top 3 to 5 schools are also tremendous these days(cam/ox/lbs/imperial than host of others who do 1 year full time and executive as well)

    There are others pen state and stuff which are damn good as well.
    But they don’t match imperials reputation!

    so take a look!

  • yo tim! follow up!

    jesus christ!
    the online mba at UNC is around 90k( it is some how gonna go to 100k man! you have to travel 4 times).
    Imperial MBA IS 25k pounds or 35k US max( only one residency so get it done for under 50k).
    If you are hell bent on blowing 100k.

    Why not cornells accerlated mba which can be done for around 85k ?( cant beat ivy league reputation!).

    If you are ready to spend above 100k, try your asssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss……….ssssssssssssss to get in to top schools either ivy league or mit/stan/berk(booth/(kellog/stern).

    At least something on the resume must raise eyebrows and I bet all the above mentioned barring kellog/stern( gets you nod,booth a touch( booth has plenty of nobles in economics but…..! these schools are rated high then they deserve because they already exist in financial circles).

    considering all this imperial looks cheap and it raises eye browses hell yeah in the world( american’s wont object when it comes to overall ranking of the school).

    So take a open look again as you are pushing 100k here!

  • Bruce Vann

    We’re not supposed to price things for what they cost. We’re supposed to price them for what people are willing to pay for them. Right now they thing that people are willing to pay that for an online MBA program. Maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re wrong. idk

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/tim71/ Tim

    Thanks everyone for you info and advice!

    John, what are your thoughts?

    Tim

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Tim,

    Sorry for the delay in getting back. Based on what little I know about you (have no idea where you live, what you want to do with the EMBA, how tricky a commute might be given your work/life balance issues), I can only tell you that in this case a ranking is a beautiful thing. Why? Because in your case there is a big difference between Michigan and Notre Dame. We rank Michigan sixth in the U.S. versus 22nd for Notre Dame. Our index number for Michigan is 87.7 on a scale of 0 to 100. Notre Dame is 45.0. That is a very big difference in overall quality and reputation.

    Just look at the underlying stats for Michigan vs. Notre Dame. Michigan is a slightly smaller program: 110 vs. 183. Michigan is more international: 19% vs. only 5%. Michigan has more women: 21% vs. 12%. Michigan’s EMBA students are a year older: 38 vs. 37. What all this tells me is that Michigan’s students offer greater diversity and likely more interesting professional experiences to be shared in the classroom. A lot of the learning in an MBA program is through and with your fellow classmates. If you’re deciding between these two schools, I think Ross is a no-brainer.

    As for UNC, this is a brand new program. It would be an exciting adventure to be a player in a debut program that will break new ground online. Because it’s UNC, it also will be world class. So that is certainly another option for you. But based on your comments, it seems that the real decision here is between Ross and Mendoza. Good luck!

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/tim71/ Tim

    John,

    Thank you so much for your insight! Your website has saved me countless hours of research with the information you offer.

    I also looked at the Cornell and Northwestern EMBA programs, but wasn’t comfortable traveling to NYC/Chicago every other week. Especially if Northwestern’s program has 30 hours per week of homework (rumor?).

    Details about myself:
    I’m 37 yrs. old, work for a Fortune 500 company, and responsible for leading twenty-three direct reports with P&L responsibility of over $100 million. I work around 60 hours per week, but would cut-back to around 40-45 when school starts. I plan on paying for the program myself, with no corporate support.

    I was really impressed with Ross. Do you feel they have a strong name on the West coast? I’m guessing YES.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Tim,

    Yes. Michigan’s Ross is a brand that travels very well. By the way, not sure if you know this, but we also have an “executive” version of Poets&Quants devoted to the coverage of Executive MBA programs, exec education, and part-time MBAs. It’s at: http://PoetsandQuantsforExecs.com.

    Good luck to you.

    Best,
    John

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/tim71/ Tim

    Sorry, forgot to add that I live in the Midwest and commuting is not a problem; I’m just not comfortable traveling every other week for a weekend of classes.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/sarah/ sarah

    Mr Byrne,

    I am an International student. Would much appreciate your gudinace on this:
    I have received an admit from Thunderbird, Moore and Fordham(NYC). Though Thunderbird is perceived as the better brand among these, but, the latest USNews ranking shows Moore surging far ahead with Thunderbird slipping considerably down. Moreover, Thunderbird’s location(for employment purposes) and employment rates are dismal. Moore has a very high employment percentage and is a better brand than Fordham
    . Also, Fordham appeals since it has a nice reputation in marketing ad finance(my desired focus areas) combined with the best location to get a job. Please provide your thoughts. I am an international student. My focus is on post mba employment, and a better brand name too.
    I would highly appreciate your advice on this.

    Thanks
    Sarah

  • Arjun Singh

    Hi John,
    First of all, let me say that this website is very informative and useful to not only myself but also to countless others. I have a question: Do you know which of the top 15 business schools are receptive towards accepting early career applicants (between one and two years of work experience at matriculation in a non management consulting or investment banking setting)?

    Thank you very much,
    Arjun

  • Sarah

    Mr. Byrne:

    I am deciding between Georgetown and North Carolina. I received a partial scholarship at Georgetown ($20K per year). I will be moving from GA, so the scholarship partially balances the more expensive living costs in DC. Looking over the total costs, I expect to save between $15K and $20K at McDonough.

    I like the atmosphere at Carolina much better but am having a tough time rationalizing the added debt.

    Would you offer your thoughts?

    Thanks.

    Sarah

  • Sarah

    Mr. Byrne:

    I am deciding between Georgetown and North Carolina. I received a partial scholarship at Georgetown ($20K per year). I will be moving from GA, so the scholarship partially balances the more expensive living costs in DC. Looking over the total costs, I expect to save between $20K and $30K at McDonough.

    I like the atmosphere at Carolina much better but am having a tough time rationalizing the added debt.

    Would you offer your thoughts?

    Thanks.

    Sarah

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Sarah,

    UNC is the better school so if your gut is telling you to go there don’t be swayed by $20,000. Over the long haul, that money won’t make much of a difference–and the costs of living in Chapel Hill are well below the costs of living in D.C. One other thought: Call UNC admissions/financial aid, tell them about the Georgetown offer, and ask if they can do something for you. If not, you lose nothing by asking. And you may well be surprised that UNC might be able to help. Congrats on getting into both these schools. They have superb MBA programs, and you’re about to have one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Good luck.

  • Sarah

    Mr. Byrne:

    Thank you for your quick reply. Looking over my analysis, my total loan payoff (principal and interest) would be about $50,000 more at UNC.

    I want to be back in DC after graduation but am still drawn to Carolina. Does this extra cost – and the fact that I want to be in DC- change your opinion?

    Many thanks.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Sarah,

    Not at all. You are going to love Chapel Hill! Good luck.

    Best,
    John

  • Sarah

    Thank you. Last question, you can make an argument that Georgetown is fine school too — and that I wouldn’t be at a great disadvatage by attending MSB, correct? While not (domestically) ranked as high as Carolina, it is not a bad option, correct?

    Best,

    Sarah

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/bschool13/ bschool2013

    Sarah: Have you looked into the possibility of establishing North Carolina residency during your first year to get in-state tuition for your second year?

    If it’s possible, that’s a move that’ll save you about $23K in tuition.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Sarah,

    Georgetown is a great school and has a fantastic MBA program. You can’t go wrong by accepting their offer. But again UNC is the better school and program, consistently ranked above Georgetown, with first-rate leadership.

  • jen

    I’m accepted to both UCLA and Michigan Ross. I want to get in finance/investment management field in Asia. I currently live in Cali, and I am wondering if there is really that much difference between the two schools for finance

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Jen,

    That’s wonderful news. Those are two fantastic business schools with great MBA programs. UCLA clearly has an edge in finance and given its California location, I would think it’s a much better bet if you want to get into the finance/investment management field in Asia. U.S. News annually polls B-school deans and MBA directors, asking what the best programs are in specific categories. UCLA is always in the top ten. The latest poll shows UCLA as the eighth best place to study finance, ahead of Harvard, Kellogg, and Ross. I don’t always agree with the U.S. News results, but I do believe UCLA is the better bet for both the study of finance and your ultimate career goals. Good luck!

  • Carlos

    Hi mr Byrne,

    I have been admitted at Ross and Cornell. I am looking focus on investment banking in NY. I Love both schools and I am having a hard time deciding where to go. Do you have any advice? Thanks

  • James

    Tim,

    FYI . . . you can count on at least 20 (sometimes 30) hours of homework per week at Ross. It doesn’t let up from start to finish, so just know that going in. However you’ll get a top-notch education from world-class faculty, and you will have an awesome student experience. I highly recommend it!

  • Shivam

    Hi John,

    I am an international student right on the verge starting my application process. I have just started my research and from what I can see the results have shaken my confidence a bit. I scored 700 on the GMAT which I consider an average score. My question- Is my work experience (2.5 yrs next June) in a fortune 500 company in India good enough for any of the top 20 schools? And apart from the top 20 is it finanically advisable to spend that much money from a ROI point of view.
    Thanks,
    Shivam

  • http://www.business.rutgers.edu/emba Dan Stoll

    Hi John,

    I am from the Office of Communications & Marketing at Rutgers Business School. I saw your story on expensive MBA programs on Yahoo Finance, “Would You Pay $172,200 for This MBA?” and thought it would be helpful if the chart indicated that the figures given were for out-of-state rates. The Rutgers EMBA program tuition cost is $82,986 for in-state students vs. $111,362 for out-of-state students which is what your chart indicated.

    Thanks,
    Dan

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Dan,

    Very good point. Will do.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Shivam,

    It should be good enough, especially for a top 20 school. If you were looking to get into a top five, it may be another matter. Also, If you work in IT, you may have a larger problem–differentiating yourself from other applicants from India. But if not, you would be in much better shape. Good luck to you.

  • Dapot

    Hi John,

    Which one will you choose between Broad MSU MBA and Smith Maryland MBA?

    I’m very confuse on choosing between these 2 Business schools.

    If i rely my choice from BW Rank, surely i have to choose Broad. But, i’m expecting your point of you about this matter.

    I want to focus on Finance and still can’t decide between these two.

    Thanks

    Dapot

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Dapot,

    Frankly, this is a decision that is not easily decided on the basis of rank. As you probably know, we rank Broad at 31st and Smith at 36. But the difference between those ranks is awfully small: the respective index numbers are 61.4 for Broad and 56.4 for Smith. That’s not a statistically significant difference to consider. So I think more important is location. Being on the east coast, where the majority of finance jobs are, I would lean toward Smith Maryland. In terms of the faculty, Maryland is rated 11th in faculty research published in the leading finance journals. Broad is 32nd. So that’s quite a difference. This data is taken from the UT-Dallas rankings on faculty research. Overall, Maryland is number six versus 24 for Broad.

  • H

    Hi, John.

    I have a similar question as the previous posters, however with a twist. I am currently working full-time in D.C. and am debating which part-time program to attend: Smith (Maryland) or McDonough (Georgetown). I’ve been working for a few years in the finance/investments industry and want to continue to pursue this avenue (M&A, I-Banking, etc.). I see that G is consistently ranked higher (~25) for full-time, however M is consistently ranked higher (~30) for part-time. Anecdotal news/info/forums also appear to reveal M as a stronger program (Case Competitions, etc.). What criteria should I value most? What are some different data points that I should consider? What does your data show?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Shivam

    Hi John,

    Thank you for taking the time out and replying to my post. I really appreciate it. This site has been very helpful and I am here all the time. For what its worth I am in IT so as you pointed out I have a bigger problem in hand . However , I think I have the factors that distinguish me and I will be working on that. Than you again.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    H,

    These are both very good schools with excellent MBA programs. My take on this might be counter-intuitive. I would tend to disregard a part-time ranking, largely on the basis that rankings on a business school’s flagship MBA program tend to be those that are in the public consciousness. In other words, the flagship ranking of a school corresponds with a school’s reputation and image in a marketplace. So a Georgetown sheepskin here would have greater market value. I also believe the alumni network there is very strong, something that you would benefit from over the long-term. Good luck with your decision.

  • Craig

    Hi John,
    I live in Cincinnati and plan on applying to Ross and fisher for the EMBA program. Ross is 130k vs 80 k with OSU.
    Having a tough time justifying the extra travel time and the additional investment with Ross. What are your thoughts ? What would your recommend ? Thanks in advance
    Craig

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    That’s a tough one. Michigan, of course, is a much better program. But the $50K cost difference is substantial. One thing you could do is try to get Ross to narrow the gap between the two programs. It’s possible that they could discount from the sticker price of the EMBA. Even if they don’t, I would be likely go to Ross. What you find in a better program is that everything can be significantly better: the quality of your fellow classmates, the faculty, the curriculum, and the alumni network. So it’s not just one thing. It’s the long-term impact of a significantly better program that will count over time.

  • Bruce Vann

    Why is Duke ranked higher than Darden? Darden has higher recruiter rating, better employment percentage, high starting salary, and a higher average GMAT. There is no way that the opinion of peer institutions and 2.9 opints of selectivity should outweigh all of that.

  • Michael

    Hi John,
    I’m from L.A. but live and work in Mexico City (10 years now) and am looking at the EMBA programs from Kellog (Miami,) Ross, UNC (One MBA,) UCLA (new Americas Program with Adolfo Ibañez,) and Texas (Mexico City/EGADE.) Each progam is attractive for various reasons. Not that I’m hung up on rankings, but is the Texas brand that far off from the other schools I’m considering? Texas hold the advantage that I’d travel much less at a time when security is an issue here. The dissadvantage is that it’s not a monthly or modular program like the others, meaning I’m either tied to Mexico City for two more years or I’d have to come back every other weekend to Mexico or Austin if transferred. Further, the average age of students is quite young at the Texas/Egade program compared to the other progrmas. I’m 42. I have a great contact base in my industry, throughout Latam, and itnernational; so I’m a bit less focussed on developing my rolodex. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Michael

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Michael,

    I can certainly understand your reluctance to travel a great distance to get an EMBA, but if you can get into a big brand school like UCLA, UNC, Ross or Kellogg, I would go that route. Why? You’ll generally find that these top-ranked programs attract the very best students and most of your learning will come from your fellow classmates. They usually put their best faculty into the EMBA program as well. As you have discovered the average age in the Texas program tells you that students in the UT program just don’t have as much work and managerial experience as they would in some of the other programs you expressed an interest in. If I were you, I would want to benefit from that greater experience and have more in common with students who are closer to your experience level. One other important consideration: If you’re going to invest the time and money in this, don’t do what’s easy. Go for it–all the way. This is a big decision, given the cost and the time, so commit all the way and get into the best possible program you can. Good luck.

  • Gryphon

    “Nonetheless, the U.S. News ranking–while not as influential as either BusinessWeek or The Financial Times–does carry considerable weight among the general public.”

    John, with all due respect, on what basis do either the BW or FT ranks carry more weight than USN? The aberrations in the BW ranking alone serve as the impetus for many applicants almost completely disregarding it. Neither HBS nor Stanford is in the top spot and Stanford is at serious risk of catching cooties from Fuqua as they occupy the 5 and 6 spots, respectively. Moreover, while SMU Cox may be a strong program, it most certainly isn’t a more desirable school than Tuck, Johnson, or Stern. I think many would argue that Cox is to Texas what Marshall is to California–a very strong regional school. I’ll leave the FT rankings out of it as they incorporate a wealth of European schools I am largely unfamiliar with. That said, I think if once accepts the position that rankings reflect consumer demand (i.e. applicants) based on the perceived advantages associated with them, I’m surprised at the supposition that BW ranking, which doesn’t reflect applicant desires, is more influential than USN rankings which more closely mirror applicants’ stated preferences.

  • Michael

    I appreciate your valued input John!

  • Shounak

    Hi, I want to know how Wake Forest MBA compares to the similar schools in its range i.e. schools in the 35-50 bracket. I know that the school has a new Dean who is the ex-Pepsi CEO and the school has really been moving up the rankings leaving behind its previous competitors such as William & Mary, Case Western far behind. Your take on this?

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    I’m keen on Wake Forest right now largely because of the new dean. I’ve interviewed him when he was CEO at Pepsi and can tell you that he is a highly competitive leader who will want to do whatever it takes to make Wake Forest the very best it can be.

  • Birchtree

    Mr. Byrne,

    Great website and so useful! Thank you.

    My question relates to the Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA Program and your thoughts regarding it’s positioning in the EMBA landscape. I am excited by the flexibility and access it offers while earning an MBA from Cornell and Queen’s, two premier Universities (one Ivy League). The courses look excellent and appear very rigorous. Is this a top quality program and one to pay close attention to? Will the rankings grow…I know it is penalized in some rankings due to it’s collaboration with another school…seems unfair?

    Also, how highly ranked do you envision the MIT Executive MBA Program will be? And is MIT a higher recommend?

    Thank you very much.

  • http://www.usu.edu/ Eric Schulz

    Do you have the 50 survey questions you used at BusinessWeek published anywhere? I’d like to get a copy of them, as we are creating a tracking study for the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, and it would be nice to be measuring the same things you were at BW.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Eric,

    I don’t but I can ask BW to see if we can get them and publish. In the alternative, I do have the 35 original questions, almost all of which are still on the survey. Let me see what I can do.

    Best,
    John

  • http://www.usu.edu/ Eric Schulz

    Thank you John. That would be great to get.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Eric,

    Contacted BW yesterday and discovered that it keeps those questions confidential. There is currently no place where you can find them. If you think it’s helpful, I could re-publish the core 35 questions that were made public years ago. Just about all–if not all of them–are still on the current questionnaire.

  • Bruce Vann

    12. Duke 78 4.3 4.1 23.7% 3.40 697 $118,923 63.6% 76.9%
    13. Virginia 77 4.0 4.1 26.3% 3.41 699 $119,278 69.0% 82.7

    Why is Duke ranked higher than Darden? I mean it’s a great school. Don’t get me wrong but Daren has higher gpa, gmat, starting salary, % employed at graduation, % employed some time after graduation. Duke beats Darden only in peer assessment and selectivity. I’m surprised that the other metrics don’t outweigh those two. Go figure.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Bruce,

    The peer assessment score is given the most weight of any metric by U.S. News. It counts for 25% of the methodology. That’s largely the reason why Duke is ranked just a tiny bit higher than Darden.

  • http://www.google.com/ Lucy

    Gosh, I wish I would have had that ifnormoatin earlier!

  • Bruce Vann

    Thanks John. The Wahoo in me won’t agree with the measure but you’ve explained it well.

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Bruce,

    Thanks!

  • Michael

    Hi John,
    I posted a couple months ago. I´m the 42 year old American/L.A. born executive from Mexico City. I was looking at the emba programs at UT, Michigan, UNC, Kellogg (miami program,) and UCLA-UAI (americas program.) Anyways, I narrowed it down to UNC, Kellogg, and UCLA. I’ve been admitted to UNC and Kellogg and should be hearing from UCLA in a week or so. For me, it´s down to Kellogg and UCLA-UAI. I’m really drawn to the prestige of Kellogg, while the UCLA program, all costs in, should cost me about 50K less. As far as format, they couldn’t be more different. The Kellogg program is 24 mos long, with trips to miami once a month with two long summer breaks. The UCLA-UAI progam is modular with 6, 12 day modules, once a quarter, and I’m done in 14 mos with no work between modules except for two. As far as the modular format, I worry a bit about being sequestered for 12 days non-stop and not haveing any real study time alone – Time to step back and then nail the tougher material. Most people whom I ask, contemporaries, counsel me to go the the program (UCLA-UAI) which I can most quicly put in my rear view mirror considering my age and experience. I’d appreciate your perspective. Thanks, Michael!

  • florence odong

    Kindly guide me on admission for PHD at Harvard business school or Straford

    Regards
    Florence

  • Christie

    Does anyone know when the US News peer assessment surveys are sent to deans and MBA directors?

  • paras

    why they do not have 100% placements!!!???…..whats the average offer per student???

  • http://poetsandquants.com/members/jbyrne/ John A. Byrne

    Paras,

    That’s because some graduates will hold out for their dream jobs or simply can’t land a job within the reporting windows of “at graduation” and “three months after graduation.” Average offers are not reported–only average starting base salaries.

  • PARAS

    why they do not have 100% placements?????…whats the average offer per student during placements!!!

  • PARAS

    ELITE IIMs OF INDIA HAVE MORE THAN 1.4 OFFERS PER STUDENT WHO DO NOT HAVE MUCH CORPORATE EXPERIENCE THEN WHY THESE WORLD BUSINESS SCHOOLS HAVE SOME GRADUATES JOBLESS AT THE END OF MBA POST GRADUATION?????????? DO ALL STUDENTS ATLEAST GET OFFERS WHO PARTICIPATE IN CAMPUS RECRUITMENT DRIVE???

  • PARAS

    THANKS FOR THE ANSWER….WAITING FOR NEXT ANSWER!!!

  • PARAS

    SIR CAN LACK OF WORK EXPERIENCE BE COMPENSATED BY RELATIVELY HIGHER GMAT SCORE???????!!!

  • JK Prez

    Sir, is there any survey or research done ,about job/salary 2-3 years after so much talked about highly paid or offered salaries during campus placement to MBAs from elite business schools , how many were fired or promoted in 2-3 years of joining highly paid job, wish to know ratio of success or even continuity of job after 2-3 years

  • rdx

    @Paras – I don’t intend to be preachy, but typing in capitalized letters is akin to yelling (in real life, that is), and is viewed as being rude on the internet. And, you could probably go easy on those question marks, and exclamations as well.

    To answer your question, most schools do require a certain minimum number of years of work experience to be considered for admissions. A high GMAT score would definitely indicate an ability to take on the heavy academic load of an MBA program, but I doubt it would compensate for fewer real-life experiences – something business schools would look for you to possess in good measure.

  • Said Mohammad

    Amazing how Texas with a booming economy, so I hear, has the lowest MBA salary. I guess not everything is big in Texas.

  • Jrubin

    With no state income tax and a lower cost of living, employers don’t have to pay as high a salary to someone in Austin as you would pay in New York.

Partner Sites: C-Change Media | Poets & Quants for Execs | Tipping the Scales | Poets & Quants for Undergrads