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

by John A. Byrne on


School Index Peers Recruiters Selectivity GPA GMAT Salary Employed Later
25. Ohio State 64 3.6 3.3 27.0% 3.4 676 $91,628 62.5% 94.6%
27. Arizona State 61 3.5 3.4 29.6% 3.3 672 $92,101 62.2% 89.2%
28. Ga. Institute of Tech 60 3.3 3.2 22.0% 3.3 678 $92,282 67.7% 95.2%
28. UC-Davis 60 3.1 3.4 23.9% 3.3 692 $96,295 67.4% 93.0%
28. Wisconsin 60 3.5 3.3 30.5% 3.4 675 $93,332 55.0% 87.4%
28. Vanderbilt 60 3.4 3.4 36.0% 3.4 673 $93,351 62.9% 82.9%
32. Brigham Young 58 3.0 3.2 44.3% 3.5 675 $97,207 62.2% 86.6%
32. Texas A&M 58 3.2 3.3 22.7% 3.4 646 $91,246 64.2% 92.5%
34. Boston College 57 3.3 3.1 32.8% 3.3 662 $91,282 66.7% 88.5%
34. Boston Univ. 57 3.1 3.2 28.0% 3.4 681 $90,157 68.4% 86.0%
34. Rice University 57 3.2 3.2 35.8% 3.4 672 $102,017 52.6% 83.5%
37. Illinois-Urbana 56 3.4 3.2 27.7% 3.4 641 $95,276 61.5% 81.5%
37. Notre Dame 56 3.3 3.4 33.0% 3.3 685 $96,490 48.2% 75.9%
37. Washington 56 3.3 3.1 31.3% 3.3 681 $91,593 64.5% 79.6%
40. Penn State 55 3.4 2.9 37.0% 3.4 650 $95,480 64.4% 81.0%
40. Tulane 55 3.1 3.3 40.7% 3.2 674 $78,443 75.0% 93.3%
40. UC-Irvine 55 3.3 3.1 27.9% 3.5 673 $76,981 51.4% 81.9%
40. Iowa 55 3.1 2.9 37.5% 3.4 657 $92,802 68.4% 94.7%
40. Texas-Dallas 55 2.9 3.3 20.7% 3.6 668 $74,540 55.6% 88.9%
45. Maryland 54 3.5 2.9 38.8% 3.3 670 $91,269 41.9% 80.6%
45. Rochester 54 3.3 3.3 33.5% 3.5 677 $78,083 41.5% 73.3%
47. Florida 52 3.3 3.2 26.6% 3.5 694 $75,403 35.5% 66.1%
47. Wake Forest 52 3.1 3.2 51.5% 3.2 653 $88,390 60.6% 91.5%
49. Michigan State 51 3.3 3.3 29.4% 3.3 636 $92,359 52.7% 72.0%
49. Purdue 51 3.4 3.3 33.2% 3.4 654 $89,655 48.4% 64.3%

SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report 2011 MBA Ranking

How to Read the Above Table:

School: To fit all the data in the table above, we used the shortest possible name of the school. That’s why some schools are identified by their university names and others by the name of the business school.

Index: The total score that U.S. News assigns to a school. U.S. News says the “data were standardized about their means, and school scores were weighted, totalled, and rescaled so that the top school received 100; others received their percentage of the top score.”

Peers: This is the peer assessment score (the highest possible score is a 5.0) that comes from U.S. News’ survey of “business school deans and directors” of accredited master’s programs in business. The magazine asks B-school officials to rate programs on a scale from “marginal” (1) to “outstanding” (5). A school’s score is the average of all the respondents who rated it. It accounts for the largest single weight in the survey, 25% of the final ranking.

Recruiters: This is the recruiter assessment score (the highest possible score is a 5.0) that comes from U.S. News’ survey of “corporate recruiters and company contacts” from MBA programs previously ranked by U.S. News. They are asked to rate full-time programs on a scale of “marginal” (1) to “outstanding” (5). A school’s score is the average of all the respondents who rated it. U.S. News averages the two most recent years of these results. It has a weight of 15% of the final ranking.

Selectivity: The percentage of applicants who are accepted for admission to the class that was entered in the fall of 2010. This metric is self-reported by the schools and has a weight of only 1.25% in the final ranking.

GPA: The average undergraduate grade-point average of students entering the full-time program in fall of 2010. This metric is self-reported by the schools and accounts for 7.5% of the final ranking.

GMAT: The average GMAT score of students entering the full-time program in the fall of 2010. Scores range from a low of 200 to a high of 800. This metric is self-reported by the schools and accounts for 16.25% of the final ranking.

Salary: The average starting salary and bonus of 2010 graduates of a full-time master’s program in business. U.S. News says that “salary figures are based on the number of graduates who reported data. The mean signing bonus is weighted by the proportion of those graduates who reported a bonus, because not everyone who reported a base salary figure reported a signing bonus.” This metric accounts for 14% of the final ranking.

Employed: Employment rate for 2010 graduates at graduation. Those not seeking jobs or for whom no job-seeking information is available are excluded. This metric accounts for 7% of the final ranking.

Later: Employment rate for 2010 graduates three months after graduation. This metric is given a weight of 14% of the final ranking.

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  • 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


    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.


  • http://www.usu.edu/ Eric Schulz

    Thank you John. That would be great to get.

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


    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


    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



  • 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


  • 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


    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.


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







  • 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.

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