Winners & Losers In 2013 Forbes MBA Ranking

UC-Davis Graduate School of Management

UC-Davis Graduate School of Management

The typical MBA student at UC-Davis Graduate School of Management is 28 years old, with five years of work experience on average, a median GMAT of 680 and an undergraduate grade point average of 3.19. Those stats wouldn’t boost UC-Davis in many rankings, but the school showed the single biggest improvement in Forbes’ new biennial 2013 ranking of the best MBA programs.

UC-Davis climbed 22 spots to place 50th out of 70 ranked schools, up from a rank of 72 in 2011. The jump made the school the biggest winner in the Forbes’ survey published today (Oct. 9). Other big gainers include Boston University School of Management, up 17 places to finish 44th, the University of South Carolina’s Moore School, also up 17 spots to place 53rd, and Temple University’s Fox School, which gained 14 places to reach a rank of 59th, from 73rd in 2011, the last time Forbes ranked MBA programs.

All told, only seven out of the 70 U.S. MBA programs ranked by Forbes moved up ten or more places, giving those schools a significant boost in buzz and prestige. “The movement is terrific,” said Hugh Courtney, dean of Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business, which jumped ten places to a rank of 55. “I always like to be higher but it is headed up in the right direction. It’s certainly indicative of significant improvements we’ve made in recent years.”


Schools that either gain or lose the most ground in Forbes’ biennial ranking of the best business schools are more often than not non-Top 25 MBA programs. That’s because the underlying return-on-investment numbers Forbes uses to rank schools tend to be closer to each other further down the list. So small changes in those numbers can cause fairly big swings. Of the 70 U.S. MBA programs ranked by Forbes this year (four fewer than 2011), ten schools moved up or down in double digits–none of them ranked in the Top 25 by Forbes. Forbes ranks one-year and two-year MBA programs at 24 non-U.S. schools separately.

For UC-Davis to climb 22 places since the last Forbes survey required some rather big changes in the five-year total gain number that Forbes uses for its ranking. The five-year gain is the cumulative additional earnings an MBA received after subtracting out forgone earnings, tuition and fees, and the presumed salary one would have had without the degree. At UC-Davis that number zoomed to $38,200, from only $7,000 in 2011. The payback period for an MBA at UC-Davis shrank to 4.0 years from 4.8 years, while the median annual salary of a Class of 2008 grad last year was $125,000, up from $114,00 in 2011.

The Top 25 U.S. schools showing the biggest gains were Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, which leapt eight places to finish 19th, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School and UCLA’s Anderson School, which both moved up seven spots to place 16th and 13th, respectively, and North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, which rose five places to finish 11th.

The Top 25 schools to suffer the biggest falls? Yale’s School of Management plunged seven spots to 18th this year from 11th in 2011. The University of Virginia’s Darden School dropped six places to finish 15th, while New York University’s Stern School of Business fell five spots to end up in 23rd place. In comparison, the school showing the biggest drop in the Forbes ranking this year plunged 16 places from 50 to 66th place.

Biggest Gainers on Forbes 2013 MBA Ranking


School                                       Change  2013 Rank  2011 Rank
South Carolina (Moore)+175370
Boston University+174461
Temple (Fox)+145973
Washington Univ. (Olin)+133447
Purdue (Krannert)+122840
Northeastern (D’Amore-McKim)+105565
San Diego StateNew64NR
Utah (Eccles)New65NR
Colorado (Leeds)New70NR

Source: Forbes 2013 & 2011 rankings

Of the five most influential MBA rankings, Forbes is the only one to base its entire methodology on one simple measure: return on investment. The magazine surveys alumni five years out of school and asks them what they are currently making. Forbes then compares the alumni income at each school to MBAs’ opportunity costs–two years of foregone compensation, tuition and required fees. It calculates a payback period for how long it takes the degree to earn out.

  • Bad Impression UC Davis MBA

    My first post after visiting the school, I had a bad impression with UC Davis’ MBA as it makes you feel unprofessional and people there are not very friendly. When you ask their admission, maybe the student I met is a special case, but he seemed don’t care what you were asking and responded you without any feeling. Their restroom were all dirty, I mean all, as I tried to find a clean one, I checked from one on first floor to the third floor, all were not maintained. This kind of giving you a feel the quality of the student body who seems lack of caring and response to others, and the school management is not good in watching out the small but important details as to maintain a nice and clean environment. You know how you feel when using a dirty restroom at a place which makes you judge the overall impression of that place. The impression is no good at all, in addition, the student I talked to seemed can’t explain why they favor this school and chose the school, no particular good reasons for them. Overall, not feel attracted to the school.

  • Mike Mahon

    If you really have a personal beef, grow a pair and post your name.
    -Michael D. Mahon
    PS: Edit above, UCD Law ’98.

  • Robert Yetman Bad Instructor

    Arrogant. Belittes you. Teaches with fear and intimidation. Motivated by conviction. Uses ugly, inappropriate language and underhanded measures. Unorganized, lazy, does not teach, reads info from slides. I do not recommend this class or this bad instructor. Do not take this class with this professor. Professor Robert Yetman teaches the class based on his personal opinions and prejudice. Exams consist of memorization. This is a mean professor who doesn’t have office hours. Very rude, will interrupt student’s presentation and uses disrespectful language. Should be fired.

  • UC Davis GSM Awful Teacher

    Professor Robert Yetman of UC Davis GSM was rude, demeaning and made unprofessional comments throughout his classes. He makes very inappropriate or clearly demeaning and unprofessional comments. Not only was he a bad teacher, but was demeaning, rude and acted superior to his students. He’s really belligerant and aggressive. Professor Robert Yetman makes offensive remarks about women, esp homeless women and children. DO NOT TAKE HIM! I was a favorite student and I STILL had a problem with his favoritism and lack of professionalism. You won’t learn anything except his prejudices.

  • Michael D. Mahon

    I took Prof. Yetman for Business Taxation in 2012. He never displayed anything like the behavior indicated above. To the contrary, he was warm, interested in student learning, and had a lesson plan very conducive to learning, including some math, but mostly examples of where knowledge of tax laws can benefit companies deft enough to take advantage of them.
    With regard to the actual subject material we covered in class, I thought he was one of the best teachers I have ever had in any subject.
    In my study group, I was with three students from other countries, Chile, Lithuania, and India, and I daresay they all liked Prof. Yetman as well. There was never a single racist, condescending, or otherwise abusive thing that came up in the entire class. He did not make fun of Chinese, Indians, or Americans [sic].
    If some student wanted gratuitous help for personal business and was refused, that is totally unrelated to the class. I asked Prof. Yetman if he wanted to be an expert witness in a case I was working on, and my client easily could have afforded him, but he indicated that he was too busy. I believed him, and that was that. He is probably very busy, and it would not surprise me if he charges $600 an hour or more. He certainly would be worth it.
    I will say that he changed the grading policy toward the end of the quarter, which was unfair to those of us with real jobs who might want to coast through two months, then crush the final, rather than keep up with weekly assignments and quizzes, but that is a quibble. His grading was fair.
    Whoever made the allegation above is likely fabricating it all.
    -Michael D. Mahon, Esq., UC Law ’98, UCD GSM ’14

  • ActualGSMstudent

    I’m sorry you had such an unfortunate experience with the program. I won’t try to dissuade you specifically from your opinion as you are completely within your rights to express how you feel.

    That said, I would be doing a disservice to my school, as well as my community, if I didn’t address a few of the concerns you have brought to attention. Again, this is not for you but to those who are interested in attending the school. Keep in mind I am speaking specifically about the day time MBA program. I have no clue how the part time program works.

    “My classmates and I all immediately regretted our choice…”
    This is a strange thing to infer. If we all regretted our choice why are we still here? I won’t make the fallacy of trying to generalize our entire class but if my anecdotal evidence has as much weight as yours, it suggests we’re all pretty ecstatic at the school and are sad that we are already halfway through our first year!

    “The facilities were disappointing… the student lounge [was] designed for a capacity of about 50 people”
    Our school size is only 100 people. Our entire class isn’t there at all times. There is usually enough room for group projects considering we have a TA lounge, student lounge, great hall, conference rooms, and additional side rooms.

    “Administration and professors are extremely rude and unprofessional”
    Granted I have only been here for 6 months but I have never seen a lack of professionalism at this school on the part of the administration. Now if we are talking about classmates while we are outside of school? That’s a different story, we all need to blow off a little steam for happy hour right? Also, a specific example would be nice.

    “Students could not WAIT to get out of Davis as soon as class ended”
    Because the school is so team oriented it’s nearly impossible to “get out of Davis” even if we wanted during the middle of the week. We have group meetings at least once a day, we have club meetings once a week, several of us have standing lunch dates, we have happy hour every Thursday, we schedule parties/get-togethers at least every other week. However I’ll agree with you that we love getting out of Davis on occasion a well. Sacramento has a vibrant young professionals community. Lake Tahoe is only 2 hours away. Yosemite is 3 hours away. San Francisco is only 90 minutes away. Napa is an hour away. Do we take advantage of all our opportunities? Heck yes! And we enjoy these outings with our friends from the school!

    “People are selective socially”
    This has to hurt the most… mainly because it’s so far from the truth.
    We’ve made the BIGGEST effort to include everyone in the festivities. While hesitant, the international students didn’t attend all of our events initially but they have slowly come around. Students with families attend our social gatherings. Even the individuals who aren’t the prototypical MBA type A personalities are invited and welcome to every event. We make every effort to include everyone. Check out our UC Davis MBA ambassador’s blog to see the level of inclusion. I would be happy to share Facebook pictures with all of our events but having us dressed as Street Fighter characters probably wouldn’t help my cause about professionalism.

    For what it’s worth I wish I had a chance to get to know you. I would have made an effort to talk to you. There was only one girl that decided not to attend the GSM after the first week and if it’s you I remember trying to talk to you. I asked if you were from the Big Bang Competition. We joked about the confusion between the competition and the TV show. It was pleasant and had no clue you were disappointed.

    With all of this said, even if it isn’t with UC Davis I hope you find success in your future endeavors.


    My first post after visiting the school, I had a bad impression with UC Davis’ MBA as it makes you feel unprofessional and people there are not very friendly. When you ask their admission, maybe the student I met is a special case, but he seemed don’t care what you were asking and responded you without any feeling. Their restroom were all dirty, I mean all, as I tried to find a clean one, I checked from one on first floor to the third floor, all were not maintained. This kind of giving you a feel the quality of the student body who seems lack of caring and response to others, and the school management is not good in watching out the small but important details as to maintain a nice and clean environment. You know how you feel when using a dirty restroom at a place which makes you judge the overall impression of that place. The impression is no good at all, in addition, the student I talked to seemed can’t explain why they favor this school and chose the school, no particular good reasons for them. Overall, not feel attracted to the school.


    Robert J. Yetman of UC Davis uses dirty, underhanded schemes to scam, trick and mislead students. Robert Yetman of UC Davis discriminates and harasses his students. Robert J. Yetman self-proclaims himself as “clever”, “I made all the right decisions in life….I worked really, really hard…Chelle and I drive a BMW of course!”. He yells at students that their work is “garbage”, students are “cookies out of a factory” and to “shut up, put your head down and work!”. He makes offensive comments toward women as “cute” with “above average intelligence or no intelligence”. A student asks him for help with tax returns in his class, he yells angrily “Can you afford me?!!”, flickers his eyes at him and slams the door shut. Robert Yetman is corrupt, greedy, and unscrupulous. Robert Yetman of UC Davis has an ugly character and he is an awful human being. He makes fun of homeless women and children and focuses on stereotypes of Indians, Chinese, and Americans. A student even lost $20,000+ in tuition and job opportunities, and had to drop out of school because of his constant harassment and discrimination. Robert Yetman ONLY cares about students’ wallets than students themselves. He manages the school as a corporate style “leader” to steal from students. UC Davis GSM is desperate and struggling where they have to create new programs to continue to steal from students. He would cut off students’ arms and legs to increase the UC Davis Graduate School of Management low ratings and funds. It’s a WASTE of federal and California’s taxpayers’ funds toward his salary as the faculty director and administrator of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.


  • Bad impression UC Davis MBA

    Bad impression with UC Davis MBA

    Things I wish I had known about the UC Davis MBA Graduate School of Management

    As a former graduate student, I also had really bad impressions of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM). I don’t recommend anyone to attend the UC Davis MBA. It was a huge mistake. After the first week my classmates and I all immediately regretted our choice in attending UC Davis. The administration and professors are extremely rude and unprofessional. Be aware that there were some very serious issues with the program and faculty going on. Even the facilities were disappointing. So many students were crammed to use the student lounge designed for a capacity of about 50 people. The study and computer room on the 2nd floor is so small like a janitor’s closet. The school seems desperate and struggling for business. You know there is something wrong if the school needs to advertise on ads and
    billboards at SF subway stations, billboards by the freeway, Sacramento Airport and at the back of buses.

    There’s nothing around except for cows, agriculture, farmlands, acres and acres of flatland, a middle of nowhere quaint, small town… Students could not WAIT to get out of Davis as soon as class ended. Clubs and events are almost empty or nearly empty. Recruiters even complained. People are very selective socially, very cliquish, insular
    community. I gave the school a chance and it was a huge mistake. Regrettably, it turned out to be a horrible experience. My classmate and I dropped out as a student after a few weeks. It just wasn’t worth it. With all these considerations, you may still want to pursue this program as an option, but I highly suggest you avoid this program at all costs.

  • ThanksButNoThanks

    Justin, your comments show your level of education. As an undergraduate transfer student, your perspective isn’t really helpful and maybe you should take your rants to another website. This article speaks about the quality of the UCD MBA program, which clearly you know nothing about.

  • Justin

    infinity Stars.

    Terrible college with awful surroundings. Remember folks, as my UCDAVIS
    professor told me when I first started here last year, “a 4.0 at Davis, is
    a 3.0 at Berkeley.”

    DO NOT COME TO UC Davis. Terrible and tired professors with no clout in writing
    recommendations. THE WORST T.A’s possible since they are all miserable for
    accepting Davis as their grad school.

    But what about the social scene you might be asking. There is none. Unless you
    want to pay ridiculous fee’s for joining sororities and frats then you’re stuck
    with the friends you were placed with in the dorms for the next 2-4 years. Or
    you can join the sad and pathetic sports teams, IM’s as well. The people who
    play on these teams are trying to go pro, and will never make it. And with
    heads that far in the clouds non-sport-players are bound to get douche-bagged.

    But don’t get me wrong, Davis is known for its vet school, some bio-sciences,
    and couple food majors. But trust me, a transfer human science major, that’s
    all they’re good for. I’ve met people from poli sci, communications, anthro,
    sociology, philosophy, etc., Just like them, we are all miserable here since
    the education is terrible. There are no professors with groundbreaking studies,
    theories, suggestions that provoke us to learn. I learned more at my former
    Junior College. None of the studies, books or articles I read for classes have
    made me want to pursue more in-depth of the subject. These classes have made me
    run to Amazon and buy books off people’s recommendations in reviews. I can
    honestly say I have learned more reading books recommended by random people on
    the net than by my professors. And thats not saying that one just enjoys books
    that one chooses. I have kept and refused to sell back the textbooks from my
    former JC. I enjoyed them greatly and recommend them to my classmates when they
    need to escape from nonsense presented to us by UCD.

    I need to stop here and buy a 6-pack. Just writing this review has made me want
    to drink the pain away of being a UCD student.


  • CreepCat

    Whether or not I agree (I do not necessarily) but I do think the best policy is to watch ALL rankings and to NOT just tout the one that rates your favorite or favorites best. All have value, including this one.
    So this is why I said that I like the P&Q composite ranking best because it smoothes out variances, which many schools witness accross all of the rankings publications, to get tot he most credible blended perception of a school.
    To that end, NYU ranks # 14 in P&Q, which seems reasonable when you look accross all of the publications.
    Personally, I believe NYU will likely bust into the top 10 again as the financial industry refreshes.
    But it is clear, that many think it is in roughly that top 10 to 15 range at this moment. Even USN has them at # 11.
    This is why I favor P&Q, but it is unwise and unfair to simply ignore rankings that do not agree with personal opinion, because there are many valid reasons. As also with Yale, which USN ranks as #10, and P&Q puts at 15, as blended against the opinions of BW, Forbes, etc…

  • Norbert Weiner

    So NYU at 23 is a fair place for that school. Hogwash!

  • CreepCat

    Agreed! Brand is important but not applied in that manner

  • RealityandTruth

    Yale is Yale for law, Medicine, Humanities and other sciences, BUT for an MBA, NO it is not! it is an inferior program and needs time and effort to fix it. If we agree with you that Yale is Yale, then we should also say Oxford is Oxford, while in fact it is away behind LBS and IMD. some reality please.

  • Shaniqaua James

    Nonsense. Yale is Yale, just as Harvard is Harvard. Forget the rankings.

  • CreepCat

    I appreciate your adoration for Yale, as I have seen your posts in a number of places. It is a wonderful university, and it is tough when the rankings, like Forbes yesterday, and the Economist today, as well as many readers disagree with your vision. And I agree with you that USN will no doubt rank Yale highly due to its amazing GMAT and GPA scores, but I do think that ultimately Yale will really gain in the rankings, and in the minds of business school consumers, when the actual performance and perceptions of its graduates in the workplace meet or exceed those of the competitive set. Rightly or wrongly Yale has had a tough time shaking the legacy of its origins. I am sure in due time this will occur. However, please be mindful that schools, like Duke, or Michigan, or Cornell, or Virginia, or UCLA will and are perceived as just as strong or more so, even with weaker GMATs and GPAs, due to actual and/or perceived better performance in the actual workplace. So I would also pay attention to Forbes and BW and the Economist in addition to USN. P&Q is likely the best as it smoothes the differences.

  • CreepCat

    Agreed. I am so tired of people saying that USN is the best becuase it complies with their perception of how the schools should be ranked/ordered. For crying out loud, we are talking about business schools here! So let the schools stand on their own merits, and be judged by the performance of their graduates in the marketplace with respect to salaries and ROI, and not who got a 10 points more or less on their GMAT or GPA. NEWSFLASH: All of the top 20 business schools in the US have great and talented students academically! Boom – now what. We already know this folks at USN. So choosing a school, becuase they have a 5, 10, 15, or 20 point difference in GMAT is the definition of silly in my mind. If you are fortunate enough to be able to attend a top business school, pick such top school for some other reason than simply GPA and GMAT and ROI seems a best bet.
    I realize that Forbes is flawed, like all rankings – but it is pure, simple, and right in many ways.
    This is not to say that USN, BW, and others are not important – they are. But some of their more simple measures that guide there rankings are NOT what I am concerned about.

  • JohnAByrne

    With Babson, I have to assume that Forbes had an alumni response rate below 15% which caused the magazine to exclude the school. That also could be true with Fordham as well. Forbes doesn’t provide info on the schools it excludes due to a low response rate.

  • Realityman

    and here is the problem: Do you want a ranking that tells you what you like to hear? or you need ranking that built on solid data irrespective of your own perception or desire?!

  • Norbert Weiner

    Hmmm, NYU Stern is not the 23rd rank B school in the country and Yale is not 18th. I would think both went down because of issues in the financial industry. And UNC higher than Haas? Please. No matter how you slice it, US News, for all its flaws, is the closest representation to what most people actually think the ranking should be.

  • Nana

    What happened to Babson and Fordham? Did they not participate in the ranking?

  • JohnAByrne

    Yes, they are biennial. The last survey from Forbes came out in 2011. The next one will be released in 2015.

  • Steve

    Do the Forbes MBA rankings only come out every other year?

  • Merana

    Interesting results! I hope Yale learn that going for numbers of GPA and GMAT won’t help them rise on the ranking! just see the amazing job of Duke 8th place (with gmat 695) and compare it with the desperate of Yale (gmat 720) which landed 18th place!