2013 The Economist’s MBA Ranking

Chicago's Booth School of Business

Chicago’s Booth School of Business

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business has topped the The Economist’s full-time MBA ranking for the second consecutive year. The new global ranking out today (Oct. 10) by the British magazine follows yesterday’s publication of Forbes’ biennial MBA ranking.

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School took second place again, while UC-Berkeley’s Haas School jumped into third from sixth place last year. Rounding out the top five were No. 4 University of Virginia Darden School and No. 5  IESE Business School in Spain, which rose four spots from ninth last year.

The big three–Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton–all suffered declines in the 12th MBA ranking published by The Economist (though the magazine incorrectly stated that it was the 11th survey). Harvard fell to sixth place from fourth. Stanford, declared the best business school in the U.S. by Forbes yesterday, slipped to ninth from eighth. And Wharton, which was ranked 13th in the world by The Economist last year, fell further behind–to 15th behind such schools as the University of Queensland in Australia, New York University’s Stern School, and HEC Paris.


Among the Top 25 schools providing the biggest boost in salaries are HEC Paris, which graduating MBAs saw their pre-MBA salary jump 149% to $123,964, IESE Business School, where pay rose 153% to $117,260, Hong Kong University, where pay jumped 154% to $94,371, and York University, where starting MBA salaries were 157% higher to $89,200, according to The Economist.

Only MBAs from two U.S. schools in the Top 25 delivered increases above 100% of pre-MBA pay: Emory University’s Goizueta School, where starting MBA salaries of $103,453 this year were 103% above pre-MBA pay, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School, where starting MBA pay was 114% higher at $107,700.

 The Economist, however, may have made some errors in its calculations. According to the magazine, graduating Wharton MBAs experienced only a 21% increase over their pre-MBA salaries. Given the $120,702 average starting salary at Wharton, that is just not possible. It would mean that MBAs at Wharton quit jobs that already paid them an average above $90,000 a year to attend the school’s MBA program. Only yesterday, Forbes pegged the pre-MBA salary of a Wharton student at $80K.


Eight of the top ten spots on this year’s list belong to American universities. North America and Europe accounted for most of the schools in the top 25. The highest placed school from outside North America or Europe is the University of Queensland, which is ranked 14th. The University of Hong Kong tops the list of Asian schools, climbing from the 41st spot in 2012, to 24th in this year’s ranking.

The Economist’s methodology arguably produces the most peculiar results of the five most influential rankings of business schools. It takes into account new career opportunities (35%); personal development/educational experience (35%); increasing salary (20%); and the potential to network (10%). The figures are a mixture of hard data and the subjective marks given by the school’s students who are surveyed by the magazine.

Measuring MBA programs on those dimensions should insure that Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and London Business School do well. Yet surprisingly, year after year they tend to lag in The Economist ranking. In fact, Harvard, Stanford and Wharton have never topped this ranking even though it has been published every year since 2002. London Business School, ranked by Forbes yesterday as having the best two-year MBA program outside the U.S., was ranked 11th in the world this year by The Economist. Yale University’s School of Management, ranked 26th last year by The Economist, again failed to make the magazine’s top 25 list. It slipped to 28th place.


A further complication is that even among the top 25 schools this year, there are some massive–and unexplained–jumps in the rankings. For example, the University of Queensland rose 13 places in a single year to gain its 14th place finish. The University of Hong Kong jumped 17 spots to get to a rank of 24 on the list. On the other hand, IE Business School in Spain plunged 28 places to finish 50th from a rank of 22 only a year ago, and Hult International Business School also fell 28 positions to finish 59th (See The Topsy-Turvy Economist Ranking).

Columbia Business School and MIT Sloan both slid five places to rank 10th and 12th, respectively. York University’s Schulich School in Canada fell six spots to finish 22nd from 16th last year. Among the gainers were UCLA’s Anderson School, up five places to 18th, and New York University’s Stern School, up four spots to eighth.

  • kellogg

    There are too many indians applying to American schools, I do agree. This is taking spots away from worth Americans. We never take care of our own. And yes, I know about the Diversity of thought.. but not when 85% of your graduates are Indian

  • Equivocation

    So,you are blaming your MBA for being unemployed for 6 years???

  • Lefty

    And, I think that if Orange’s case were the case that it might be true. Would you rather have the Harvard MBA? Of course. But, it depends what you want to do with it.

  • Lefty

    It’s such a surprise that an East Coast MBA student is arrogant and doesn’t consider other people’s opinions. Maybe that’s why people would rather go to Booth.

  • Disappointed with IESE

    Folks who wish to work in the United States in their careers should NOT attend IESE Business School. IESE is not recognized as a prestigious or rigorous program by US companies located in the US. I graduated from IESE and was unemployed for basically six years, and it sucked, hard. Very few business people had even heard of IESE, and those who did know of the program wondered why I had not gone to LBS rather than some school in Spain. The most humiliating interactions when people thought I had gone to an “internet school” like Phoenix.

    The leadership at IESE tout their close relationship with Harvard. I have since been to Harvard and a close IESE-Harvard relationship is simply not true in any significant context. I realized that the professors and admissions people name dropped Harvard without any real connection or influence. At the Harvard Business School PhD program, for example, there is one current IESE MBA graduate in the program and she gained admission only because Pankaj Ghemawat – an expensive hire IESE made in 2007 – personally recommended her to the PhD program. Anecdotally, I have asked professors, students, and administration workers at Harvard if they have ever heard of IESE – I asked this specifically because IESE personal emphasized their Harvard connection so heavily during my MBA studies – and I found about a 1% name recognition.

    One other bad result of the IESE emphasis of a close relationship with Harvard is that any professor who teaches at IESE who has in fact a Harvard degree is untouchable. While I was actually at Harvard, two professors were fired out of ten that I had as they received low student ratings. IESE needs these Harvard professors to improve their name, and on the whole, these professors are worse than the mostly UCLA trained professors that populate the school. One particular professor who was trained at MIT, Harvard’s technical cousin in Boston, had the most arrogance that I have ever encountered in another human being. Rather than being demoted or fired, he has consistently been promoted since my MBA. He was not a good teacher – and teaching students is a necessity at a top MBA program. The point is, there is a certain class of people who are untouchable at IESE, and this makes for a weaker program. In IESE’s defense, many institutions have this weakness.

    If you are not religious and wish to work in Latin America for your career, and never wish to work in the United States, IESE might be a reasonable choice. By the way, the New York Center on 57th street is meant to be a marketing tool for Spanish companies that IESE has a prestigious New York address. The Spanish companies then in theory spend $12,000 per week to have their managers go to executive training program in New York. This is all fine, but I must emphasize again, IESE has no significant presence nor recognition in the United States.

    There is a more sinister aspect to IESE that only affected two people in my class that I know of – and I was one of these people.

    If you are religious, I recommend you stay far away from IESE and the 40% of professors who are Opus Dei. There is no “sense of privacy” at IESE like many Western students might normally expect. I am not claiming that IESE monitors students’ email or any other NSA type behavior, yet I experienced a continuous, systematic, organized, and strong attempt to recruit me to the Opus Dei movement. It was as if several professors were in on this effort together, and when I turned them down for the final time shortly before my graduation, I was completely cut off from the resources of the school.

    Was it Mark Twain who said we see events with more clarity the farther away we are from them? I realized later that early on in my MBA studies one of the professors had noticed that I would sit silently before lunch just outside the campus chapel – this was one of the few quiet places on the cramped campus and I used this time and place to meditate on my own thoughts. Specifically, several professors and a few other people at the school, one of whom is my best guess for the replacement for dean for Jordi Canals in a few years, took a systematic effort to “love bomb” me, and otherwise use manipulative techniques that are now widely spread on the internet vis-a-vis Opus Dei recruiting practices.

    Interestingly, due to my past training I was familiar with the manipulate techniques. I rejected to take the steps to join Opus Dei, and when I needed help in the following years I was completely cut off from the IESE community. There is no way to prove a particular intention, but until I sent a nastygram to the dean, IESE did not send my transcripts to Harvard. In other words, due to my suffering and not finding a decent job, I was able to see with utmost clarity that these professors had never really “loved” me or even were in any way my “friend”. When I needed help they turned their backs, completely, finally, and even brutally.

    OK, so no one should go to a MBA program and expect “love.” Who would think differently at Booth or Wharton. I am telling you that IESE is worse. In my experience they only respect power, and they use religion as a tool to trick the gullible. I imagined Jesus running through the classrooms turning over the desks and whipping the greedy Opus Dei members.

    Yes, I really imagined this in my fantasies. Some years later I told a priest, if I wanted to pursue the love of money at all costs, I would have gone to a pagan school, not a Catholic one with Jesus and Mary statues in every room.

    I need to also make a note that it might have been my expectations that were off. For example, Harvard still is a “Puritan Institution” but the puritans of 1630 Boston would only find the hard work ethic consistent. Likewise, IESE might be “Catholic” only in a historical sense. Yet, if that was the case, why did Opus Dei try so hard to recruit me?

    I want to emphasize that I only witnessed this recruiting effort practiced on one other student during my MBA. There were several gay classmates who had no problem fitting in to the classroom experience, many quite liberal people, Muslims, Jews, Protestants, and other diverse students who were not targeted by Opus Dei. Nor were these people harassed in any way that I could tell.

    Looking back with the clarity of time, I feel that the Opus Dei professors and administrators miscalculated my reasons for sitting outside the chapel every day. It was an unusual action for me to take, and just as I perceived IESE as a faithful Catholic institution, they may have thought that I was weak, vulnerable, or perhaps especially pious, and that their interpretation of my state of mind meant that I was susceptible to the recruitment efforts. The whole experience was quite distasteful.

    Speaking of faith, there is a crucified Jesus and Virgin Mary statue or painting in every room. Again, IESE was tolerant of all faiths and of those with none at all. However, I was offended when IESE openly taught about using peoples’ religion against them – to gain business contacts, or other business interests. This cynicism that the professors displayed was stomach churning. In one example, I sat in my chair crooked so that I could stare at Jesus’ suffering face while he suffered on the statue cross while listening to the finance professor tell us to make sure that all of our customers were up their necks in debt. Another speaker told us the advantages and disadvantages of certain religious traditions regarding making business contacts. I asked, “which religion should I then join?”

    It all disgusted me.

    IESE, the admission committee, and the Opus Die leadership would say, if they were to comment on my article, firstly that I am lying and probably mentally ill – Opus Dei tends to focus on the ad homonym attack first to destroy credibility of an opposition piece of data, and furthermore that I was a wrong fit for their program.

    I would agree on the wrong fit idea. Specifically, any student who is a conservative Catholic or Christian, or any monotheistic religious student who “Fears the Lord” should stay far away from IESE. There is a risk of learning the cynicism of Opus Dei – using religious terminology and practice for the purpose of avarice. This is surely a path to the darkest circles of hell.

  • Robert

    *and a troll.

  • Robert

    You are an idiot and troll. Get lost!

  • HBSaspirant

    Haas is better than Harvard – In your filthy dreams dumb guy!

  • Qwerty

    I’d go to a man who knows how to do his damn job! I don’t care if he’s from Stanford or Booth or shitty Harvard!

  • Robert

    Not unless he hires Admissions Consultant to gloss his application. But, since there are too many Indians applying to our schools, he is going to be disappointed by a lot of rejections.

  • Renault

    You very likely won’t get into any American school either.

  • R2D2

    “Disgusted” got disgusted for real so he just picked the same names as ‘Jacob’ and ‘Rebecca’ and posted his stupid messages. It is so OBVIOUS. What a loser!

  • Rebecca

    I’m sorry for my verbal diarrhea. I now concede Booth’s rightful place at the bottom of the M7.

  • Jacob

    Disgusted was right. I’m a poor loser in my parents’ basement.

  • Rebecca

    One must be careful of trolls who sound intelligent. I had a feeling I’m dealing with someone who is just here to vent out some anger, exhibiting long held grudges against a B-School. How uncouth of you!

  • Neelam

    Are you an Indian?

  • avivalasvegas

    Actually, Kotler teaches at Kellogg. I disagree that most Indians are aware of Booth.

  • Shankar Gupta

    “Some Indians” are not most Indians. And most of us are very well aware of Booth. Seriously?
    Philip Kotler – the famous marketing professor whose books are widely used is from Booth
    James O. McKinsey – The founder of Mc.Kinsey, which now boasts hiring top MBA graduates from all over the world is from Booth
    And the list goes on….

    Don’t make stupid conclusions!

  • Rebecca

    I agree, ‘raking’ (some novel concept) does lose its credibility after H&S. But, as far as ranking is concerned, H&S graduates do no better than other top B-School graduates when they come out.

  • Torn

    PS – saw your quote in Forbes print edition. Congrats on the P&Q plug in traditional media!
    acton Total Schlock!

  • Disgusted

    I’m sorry for being an idiot and a troll. Please like if you agree.

  • Fiona

    You and Albert are the biggest trolls here. Sending out anti-Booth sentiments as if it’s going to matter. Imbeciles of the highest order!

  • Doomsday

    Who are “elite” candidates? Do they have special powers? Or maybe they just die richer than the average middle class. Wharton has gone down though. Reputation works on mass psychology and now it’s not going well for Wharton.

  • Rahul

    Yeah… Kellogg is there. A lot of people do know about Booth. Of course, it is very recently that Booth has gained momentum because Raghurajan (a famous Booth Finance professor) became the chief of the Reserve Bank of India.

  • Jacob

    Don’t worry. I pay my taxes. IRS won’t trouble me. I’m beginning to pity you now.

  • Jacob

    I like your assumptions. Hardly matters. We both are strangers.

  • avivalasvegas

    I met with some Indians at my school and we talked about this. The top two are Harvard, Stanford followed by Kellogg, Wharton and MIT (overwhelmingly for Tech). Few know Booth in S. Asia although that may change given the school’s rise in rankings recently

  • avivalasvegas

    No assumptions…just extrapolations based on the tone and contents of your posts. Could also be just that you’re not used to discussion forums or that your ego is swollen after a long career or you have an obsolete parenting approach? Now those are assumptions 🙂

  • Disgusted

    The irony of your comment is hilarious.

  • Disgusted

    No one with $30 million in the bank goes on a message board and says they have $30 million in the bank. Troll. And I’ll leave it at that.

  • Rahul

    In India, we all dream of getting into Harvard, Stanford and Booth if we’re applying abroad. Then to a lesser extent Kellogg, MIT Sloan and Wharton. In Europe, LBS and INSEAD are our priorities.

  • Rebecca

    Do you even know how to talk to elders? You stupid idiot. I’d slap you so hard you’d remember it for the rest of your filthy life!

  • Rahul

    H&S are no match for IIM-A in India. CAT exam is way tougher than your stupid GMAT. I did not qualify for CAT, so I gave my GMAT and scored 750. Having failed to get into India’s top B-Schools, now I’m applying abroad. That is the story with IIT and BITS. You don’t get into IIT or any other good STEM college, then you apply abroad.

  • WallstreetJunkie

    As your name suggests, I think you are an imbecile.

  • Jacob

    I don’t care if I do not sound smart by your standards but having, at present, 30 million USD in the bank, I feel quite comfortable at this stage of my life. I’m proud to say that my son is doing way better than I ever did and perhaps more than you will ever do in your “disgusted” life.

  • Jacob

    You should have directed the reply to “Jacob”. I’m old enough to understand these little things. Anyway, of course, he had his say. I gave my opinion and he made the decision based on several feedbacks. Do not assume things.

  • Jacob

    Jacob here.

    What others consider is none of my business.
    Moreover, you said, ” This isn’t the 70s. ”
    Wow! Really? You do not say boy!

  • Torn

    Thanks for the reassurance John. Good points. Great site. I actually wasn’t thinking so much of actual major probs like stretching the faculty too thin and resulting quality issues…my concern is with the cachet, after all, that is why we go these schools, yes? Career stalled out, or desire for MBBIBDetc, the ultimate fix is prestige. So a monster UG program or big Exec contingent isn’t the primary threat, because they have to say BA or EMBA, but rather the menace of devaluation by 1) mass production and 2) a lower standard.
    For an awesomely Bschool analogy, see the Iron Prof series Wharton’s posted on Youtube. One on the Israeli organ donor market fits this problem – basically they instituted a system wherein persons who’d signed up to BE organ donors jumped to the front of the line when they later NEEDED organs (in front of non-donors). This raised the amount of donors…now here’s the analogous point – a loophole was later introduced wherein a person could sign up, but have the donation nullified later. This introduced cheating…now that the donation was cheapened and everyone could have it, the system crashed. The (FT) MBA was a vaunted institution when HBS/Tuck/Wharton started it a century ago. Now there’s a program on every corner, so elite names are needed to distinguish oneself…then a new problem emerged, the top schools wanted more $$$ and didn’t want to lower their selectivity standards, so BOOM 2nd program, backdooring in of the less-qualified.
    I mean no offense to PTers it works out great for them, of course wish I could do PT because of the keeping salary thing, but would not gain the status bump that is the primary objective. Is there no concern about this among schools w/PT programs? Will it never improve? That’s why I ask you a follow-up to a perfectly good answer. A start/stop date can’t go on a business card or school apparel, is there anything else?

  • haasforever

    THESE ARE THE TOP 3 SCHOOLS. Haas is better than harvard now.
    Every one knows what they stand for.
    I went at a goldman presentation yesterday, and they clearly said it, BTH or nothing. Same story on wallstreet oasis. These are the 3 top schools now, by far, the economist said it.

  • Andrew

    You seem to equate working in PE with being a more quality candidate, which is not necessarily true. People come to business school for various reasons, and hope to get different things out of the experience. So to assume that one profession is inherently “better” than another one is a very small minded way to look at things. For example if school A accepts someone who started a very successful non-profit (or any business) which is globally recognized and school B accepts a PE guy, it would be pre-mature to say School B is better because of that fact (regardless of cross-admit outcome). There are other issues that decide who gets in and who chooses to go where, and I think you’d benefit from a more nuanced analysis which doesn’t rely solely on your biases about success.

  • JohnAByrne

    You raise a really interesting perspective on graduate education. There is something to be said for full-time MBA experiences that are not distracted by massive undergraduate business programs, part-time evening classes, and overly aggressive exec education offerings. All of these things tend to absorb a school’s resources, siphon off some of the best profs (mainly in the case of exec ed), and by and large are a distraction for a premium full-time MBA program. The point you raise can be another issue, though in Booth’s case it is less so because your resume will clearly show you got the MBA in two years and the hiring firms that matter do know the difference.

  • Obaji

    John, Professor Eugene Fama of Booth School just won the Nobel in Economics. In his resume, he holds an MBA from Chicago, I believe he is one of very few MBAs graduate (in fact, perhaps the only one) who won this prestigious prize. I do not remember any other MBA graduate won a nobel! can you comment on this?


  • BoothandC

    Two Chicago Professors just won the Nobel Prize in economics! and yet, still there some people questioning why Chicago MBA is the best in most rankings. Those still live in state of denial 🙂

  • Torn

    John what is your professional opinion about the Part Time degree factory Booth operates downtown? For reference I’m looking at HSW, Booth, Tuck…really like Booth, but don’t understand how it’s getting all these higher rankings than all those schools that protect the integrity of their programs.

    Not saying this to slam Booth – from the UofC students I know, I believe its reputation “where fun goes to die” and think Booth would provide a more challenging experience than most, which is attractive. But have met tons of PTers that have boring jobs or seem barely competent, and they never advertise themselves as PT Booth grads, its always “I’m a Booth MBA”…

    I don’t want to be associated with this kind of less selective group, especially when it makes up a huge chunk of the overall alumni base. That may sound bad to some, but for a quarter million dollar investment its important. How do I talk myself into Booth, I really do like the place…

  • CreepCat

    Orange1 – I think we would both agree that is both statistically unwise and also unfair to start conceiving of hypothetical individual one-off cases to attempt to make a point like the one that I think we both agree with: that the point of aggregated statistics, and having a larger sample size, is to smooth out such outlier variances as the one you mention, to find a mean. So as you say ROI is not necessarily reliable at an individual level, but Forbes does not look at it on an individual level – they look in the aggregate at a large sample size for respective schools that allows data to mined in a reasonable manner. I am confident we would both agree on this.

  • Orange 1

    Creep. so lets say somebody who works at a bank in Indianapolis goes to Indiana University, gets in-state tuition, and then lands a solid MBA position. This will be a high-ROI situation with a large salary boost. So that means that IU should be better ranked than other schools. ROI as a statistic is not reliable for many individual situations.

  • DoDu

    you are a moron.

  • avivalasvegas

    Does your Son get to have a say? Personally, I’d take Stanford because their grads aren’t as obnoxious like the HBS crowd and not insecure as the Boothies in their new found Top 5 company.

  • avivalasvegas


  • FStratford

    you may have to pick a different letter to represent Haas, H is taken by HBS.
    C for Cal is confused with Col or Chic, B for Berkeley is confused with Booth.


  • Disgusted

    Yield is a statistic that can be gamed easily. Columbia does this with its early decision program. It also actively dings people it thinks will get into better schools. Sandy has mentioned this frequently in his chances write-ups. I think for schools like this, it’s best to look at the actual quality of the student body. In a different comment I chose to represent this through number of people (or percentage) coming in with PE experience (which is typically the most difficult/prestigious area to enter pre-MBA). HS and yes W absolutely blow Columbia and Booth out of the water, indicating one true measure of how elite candidates view the real rankings.

  • Disgusted

    You don’t sound as smart as your son. The correct thing for you to say in that situation would have been “throw out Booth and Wharton”. Nobody would seriously consider Booth in your son’s situation, absent a massive scholarship. Even then, I doubt it. This isn’t the 70s.

  • Robert

    Hahaha! Just becaause you have the freedom to type anything doesn’t mean you type bullshit. I’m an HBS grad. My dad is a Booth alumni. Clearly, you are an idiot. Not worthy to join any top B-School.

  • Jacob

    I’m sorry. My son got into HBS, GSB, Booth and Wharton. I strictly told him to throw Wharton’s offer of admission in the trash can. He chose GSB over the rest. I’m above 60 years old. I have seen Booth’s reputation rise and fall and again rise. In the 1970s, Booth used to get the creme de la creme of the business world. Times change. Now it’s HBS/GSB. No one can predict the future with 100 % certainty.

  • Katherine

    Then why are there some who succeed even without MBA let alone those who graduate from HBS or GSB? Though I admire those who get in but the best are out there in the real world (MBA or not) making a damn difference! Your viewpoint reeks of imbecility.


    I like your username. It shows in what you type.

  • WG15

    Also, I should note that I also ‘didn’t want to go to Wharton’ like a lot of people say- has some major brand issues, as mentioned in recent articles. But, after going through the admit process, learning more about the program, and meeting admitted students, I was thrilled to go, and am extremely happy here.

  • WG15

    Last spring I was choosing between Wharton, Booth, and Columbia. Equal scholarships at W and B and chose W. During the NYC mixers for admitted students, everyone at the Booth mixer -including alumni- told me it was obvious that I should go to Wharton, and were surprised I was even at the Booth mixer. If you want to be anywhere outside of Chicago or the Midwest, Wharton is the better choice, hands down.

  • Disgusted

    Your reasons make sense. I congratulate you on making the right decision for you. And for getting a job on the buyside coming out. However, lest people get the wrong impression, Wharton is far ahead in terms of attracting candidates with PEVC experience. For the class of 2014, the numbers of people from this industry are:

    HBS: 123
    Wharton: 83
    Stanford: 60
    Columbia: 32
    Kellogg: 30
    Booth: 29
    Tuck: 5

    To me, this is closer to a real ranking of B-schools for candidates interested in finance. Booth is good, but simply not in the same league as HSW.

  • VC

    We all know H/S are “better” than Booth. I did however choose Booth over Wharton due to the culture, location, and quality of professors. I now work in VC. One data point, but figured I would throw it…admittedly somewhat in the spirit of piling on Wharton while they are down with some negative publicity.

  • FStratford

    Apples and Oranges. If I say you are a murderer and your shirt stinks. Can I just say you are guilty because truly your shirt stinks?

  • haasforever

    Indeed, we all know that HSW changed to BTH (booth tuck haas), the 3 elitest schools as this ranking says

  • Poor_lad

    To be fair to him, all the stuff he mentioned about Chicago’s undergraduate school is 100% correct. You can read about it on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s webpage.

  • Asian Dude

    I would say there is H and S at the top and then there is maybe 5 schools after that all in similar levels and very hard to distinguish the best one (it depends on what your focus is). After HBS and Stanford, there is Wharton, Columbia, Booth and Kellog. A distant second away MIT, but very close.

  • MH

    After H and S Columbia is the next school with the highest yield. Early decision or not it is.

  • JWII

    I did not go to business school to get a better salary after school. I went to BS to grow academically and personally and as a side effect get a higher valuation in the job market (but never as the main goal or sole purpose). The most efficient way to achieve this is by surrounding yourself with the best, and the best are usually at Harvard or Stanford in general terms. Unless you want something more specific, such as finance (Wharton), investing (Columbia), the best people to surround yourself with are at Harvard and Stanford. The truth may hurt but it is the truth.

  • FStratford

    Yup, this is temporary. But they really need to quickly clean house. The past problem with the career office has been festering for years before they fixed it. Now its admissions… I hope they wont take another 5 to fix it.

    Great brand. They should protect it. Time to circle the wagons.

  • FStratford

    Your credibility is shot. How can you even come up with lies like this and pretend that you are sane.

  • HBS<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Booth

    can you name a harvard alum who donated $300m to his/her alma mater?!

  • HBS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Booth

    I don’t know about God, but the best MBA students in the world are definitely somewhere in baker library.

  • Jimmy

    You have only demonstrated that YOU had PERSONAL reasons to chose Booth over Wharton. But figures and stastics are stupid and stubborn. They indicate (please note that I use a “present time”) that Wharton is on a general point of view ahead of Booth (number of applicants, selectivity rate, rate of acceptance, salary, etc etc etc…). But given the gap between those 2 schools, I agree it is a present situation that could change in the future.

  • JohnAByrne

    You have to read our story: The Topsy-Turvy Economist Ranking!

  • JohnAByrne

    The truth is all rankings are flawed in some meaningful way. Of the five most important business school rankings, The Economist consistently has the oddest results. But the magazine is highly influential and very well read. So like it or not, The Economist’s ranking is followed and consulted with the result that it contributes to the reputation and image of a given school. That’s why I still include it, though it is weighted less than any other ranking on our composite list.

  • JohnAByrne

    Yale is no failure story. It’s a great school with terrific leadership. As far as rankings go, it’s also an under-appreciated asset with passionate faculty and superb students.

  • JohnAByrne

    It is not uncommon for schools to “adjust” reported numbers used by publications in rankings. It has an uncertain impact on any ranking dependent on self-reporting from a school. How do I know? When I managed BusinessWeek’s ranking–which does not rely on school reported numbers–I was often called by business school staffers who complained they are under pressure to “fudge” the numbers. You do this by taking out people who go into social sector jobs that are not in the mainstream to report higher comp numbers. You do this by taking out special case applicants whose GMAT and GPA numbers are not as impressive on the basis that they are anomalies. And sometimes, of course, a school gets caught. Just witness what happened at Tulane University’s Freeman School only last year.

  • Realstic

    if you are a business owner, wealthy man, and need a good manager for your own business or money, where will you go ? booth or wharton or harvard? be realistic and honest. what criteria would you first consider when recruit that manager?

  • JohnAByrne

    Let me assure you that no school can pay a publication to rank it higher. As flawed and mindless as many of these rankings are, they are all well-intentioned efforts by serious journalists to add information of value to readers. Sure, there is a commercial intent: their employers want to sell advertising in the education space. But there is just no way that Chicago or any other school can influence a ranking other than to pay attention to the metrics used by a specific ranking organization.

  • KaptainKapsize

    You appear to live in a state of denial. Have you even considered that some people won’t even apply to W because they wouldn’t go if accepted? I’m one of them. A trusted friend went to W, didn’t have a great experience, and suggested I not repeat his mistake. A married couple I know from undergrad (she went to W, he went to B) shared their experiences and she wished she’d gone to B instead. In my case (a two-person decision), B was also my choice because the parent school UChicago offers science research that’s way stronger than Penn’s. My wife, a scientist, worked with a UChicago prof who’s likely to win a certain medal from Stockholm in the next decade, and has already been considered. Did she even consider Penn as a destination for two years if I were to apply to W? Nope. Not on our radar. But why am I wasting time with this? You’ll likely continue to stay in your burrow of denial…

  • Disgusted

    That is a short term view. There’s only so high a salary can get in the first job post-B school, no matter where you started from. It would be more appropriate to see the long term career trajectories of the H/S superstars vs. the Booth career-switchers.

    I would argue that yes, given the fact that the network is the value driver of the school, the one that gets the best applicants is by definition the best long term.

  • Disgusted

    You can not name 50 people who picked B over W. Try again. And the PE/HF numbers speak for themselves. It’s not close. H and S cross admit are likely 95/5. W is probably around 80/20 I would guess.

  • boothie

    It was* and the gap*. Late night posting…

  • Albert

    Booth is definitely paying publications to rank it higher. Chicago as a whole has been having meetings with US News officials for years to ‘discuss’ how it can improve its ranking. It’s a shame that a school of its calibre has to resort to these gimmicks to attract applicants. Even the undergraduate division has been in the news for sending 10 pieces of mail per week to applicants who they would never admit (in an effort to get them to apply so that the school and reject them and appear more selective). Something horrible is going on at that institution. There is a mercenary drive to succeed using this incredibly flawed approach. It’s a shame really.

  • Economist_is_a_joke

    It’s like someone who was very, very, very drunk pulled names out of a hat and proceeded to scramble them to make the list look even more absurd. Melbourne over Wharton? Emory over Yale? The publication should just vow never to attempt this sort of thing again. It’s an absolute disgrace. Lunacy. Absolute Lunacy!

  • FStratford

    lol. are you mad?

  • FStratford

    A better school is not the one that gets the best applicants, its the one that provides the best opportunities for success to applicants, regardless of how they started. Harvard and Stanford’s success is not because of the school. Its because the incoming students were already successful. They would have been successful even if they did not go to harvard or stanford. In Uchicago’s case, you can argue that the school actually helped its graduates succeed – because of its academic rigor and its network – even when their students incoming stats are lower.

    from this vantage point, if youre not already a superstar, Harvard or Stanford is not the best school for you. And there are more non-superstars than superstars in the world.

  • DisgustedAboutWhat?

    You’re not doing your cause any favor. (A) You obviously care more about rankings than most, yet (B) you claim that “Booth has bought off every rankings magazine”… why are you even here again? Or is it the case that the only rankings you care about is the conventional mnemonic that HSW triumphs all? If so, I hate to break it to you but (relative) school reputation fluctuates with regularity… back in the 70-80s it was Harvard, Stanford, Chicago and then everyone else. To say that things have to follow certain order just for the sake of being so is, well, short-sighted.

  • dan

    Different currency, different entry/exit requirements, different government, different laws, different language…how ridiculous of them!

  • boothie

    As a Booth student, I will be 100% honest. If we do “cross admit”, Booth would not beat H or S. However, it has been beating Wharton continuously. I chose Booth over Wharton, and I’m definitely not alone. I can easily name 50 classmates from the top of my mind that picked B over W. So I don’t think Booth is the best school in the world. I didn’t get into HBS and didn’t apply to Stanford, but HBS was my top choice/dream school. HWS is dying though… It’s not that Booth is getting closer to H and S – but Wharton is just distancing itself from them. I would say it’s pretty much H and S, B and W. In 2 years or so, the gapped will have closed even more between Wharton and Booth. Also, for those who say PE and HF don’t recruit at Booth. Wrong. Maybe the east coast firms prioritize H and W, but west coast and great funds in Chicago recruit Boothies all the time. The administration is amazing as is career services and recruiters keep coming back for more. I was a tough choice between W and B, but I’m very satisfied with my choice.

  • Disgusted

    When I said cross-admit, I meant let’s compare what actual applicants decide when being admitted to both Booth and HSW. That is the true ranking that cuts through the BS. The vast majority of the value in an elite b-school is the network (ie the quality of your classmates). This network is what creates the lucrative job opportunities long down the road. There is absolutely no way more than a tiny minority admitted to Booth and any of HSW picks Booth.

  • Disgusted

    Salaries are lower at Booth than HSW both immediately and long term. A higher percentage of grads have higher quality offers from HSW than Booth. No idea what this “recruiter feedback” is. I wonder what the recruiters from the most coveted industries are saying (like buyside finance). Oh that’s right, they don’t say anything, they just hire almost exclusively from HSW. Booth accepts a higher percentage of lower-salaried applicants, and is able to churn them into jobs like banking, which looks nice on the ROI. HSW accepts the already more successful applicants, and therefore the immediate post-MBA salary bump on a percentage basis is not as high. Which means that is a stupid metric to use. How about taking the long term view.

  • DueOn

    for some credibility, please change your nickname 🙂

  • Alexander Bain

    I agree with you completely, except for the fact that this ranking does not use public opinion such as BW. That said I agree that this is always one of the worst ranking where a European institution wants to favor European schools.

  • JWII

    I agree! Great school, and lately relatively easy to get into + great financing/scholarships. I did not apply to Wharton but if I were applying this year instead of 5yrs ago Wharton would definitely be on my list. Good luck!

  • JWII

    all I’m saying is that Chicago is not a better school than HBS or Stanford. As WB says “Public opinion (such as the one used in this ranking) is no substitute for thought”. I would like to see the % of people that get accepted into Booth, Harvard and Stanford and pick Booth. I doubt there’s many, therefore proving my point that HBS and Stanford are better schools (in general terms – if you believe people make rational decisions) which this ranking does not reflect and therefore loses validity. Not to mention placing IESE, HEC, IMD above places like Wharton or Columbia. This ranking is a joke.

  • CreepCat

    Who cares about admit rates…that does not pay the bill
    Admit rates do not pay the bills…
    ROI and salary are what counts…Forbes is closest.
    Admit Rates are for College Confidential fiends!

  • Dodo

    oh yeah, we should exclude harvard and stanford from any ranking, they are untouchable and holy places, the god himself is somewhere in baker library !!

  • JWII

    Once you have Harvard and Stanford out of the top 5, the raking loses all credibility…..

  • TruthandReality

    Yes, if the business world works based on your logic! but, sorry the reality is so different. Salaries, Recruiters feedback, career progression are the important factors for the MBA down the road. at the end, people do a professional degree called MBA for career in business. What you mean is the perception of someone at his/her early twenties, and still in sweet dream 🙂

  • Disgusted

    This is a pathetic joke. Please stop giving it publicity. Booth has apparently bought off every rankings magazine out there. Here’s an idea: why don’t we publish actual cross-admit statistics between all these schools and see how Booth fares. Obviously no better than 4th, if that.

  • PullandPOLL

    can you change your nickname to add a little thing of credibility 🙂 please! that is so bad and remind me of yale som 🙂

  • doma

    I believe booth will be 2 or 1 tied with hbs or stanford in next year USN rank.

  • HammertimeNails

    Well the rankings game has been solved – according to a post on P&Q, USN is the best because it ranks schools in accordance with where Orange1 thinks people would go if they were accepted! I say this partly in jest as I think your posts are great and intelligent, but come on, you like USN best because it supports YOUR opinion of schools and their pecking order. Forbes (I will not defend the economist) uses a very simple and truly meaningful methodology which btw is the reason most of u swish to attend BSchool – money and return. As you have seen, others have different opinions about such pecking order. P&Q is best because it smoothes…
    I happen to like Forbes and BW best. Why because they rank my school best. What a surprise.


    I said I like Yale as University but as an MBA, NO I do not and I do not have yale graduates in my workplace. The point is that I really don’t like the bad work when giving all the resources to success. Can you explain why Yale SOM decided to change the name of its flagship program from MPPA to MBA in late nineties? are the pre naming alumni considered MBA alums or MPPA alums? Can you explain their too much focus on numbers of GPA and GMAT? It looks like they want to create the perception of 700 or higher on GMAT as threshold ! if that the case, do they really know what does an MBA mean? seems they got confused between MA Economics and an MBA!! when talking to admission staff, you will notice the cold feeling and the very naive vision to the outsider world!. OK, let us take more on numbers, do you really think that a salary of $144k after five years of graduation is really a top MBA salary? come on, this is desperate situation, and what makes it more strange is when hearing some Yale people (Snyder in conference 6 months ago, I guess) when hear them comparing themselves with Harvard! in which world do those guys do live in?! I again, I like Yale, but to consider it as comparable to Harvard or any other top Program, they need time, How much time? I believe it is at least the half of the date difference between Yale MBA and Harvard MBA: Harvard started in 1908 and Yale started in 1976, the difference is 68 years. its half is 34 years, so giving that Yale will do great, the nearest time that someone could say with confidence that Yale is nick to nick to Harvard is 2013+34 years which around the year of 2047!! that is good timing! why doing things in rush, grow slowly and grow good!

  • FStratford

    Ouch! More bad news for Wharton. If I am applying this year, Wharton would be a “value buy”….

  • FStratford

    Wow Booth is really consistent top 1/2 across all rankings except US News where it is 4(?). I think Booth has arrived. USNews is a lagging indicator since it is more of a popularity contest.

  • Orange1

    Well John tries to do that with his ranking but my two cents: the Economist and Forbes have the most outliers, meaning schools ranked where it does not make sense (MIT 12 on Forbes? Yeh right) followed by BW (Stanford 4 and Columbia 14th?). Anybody who has read my posts knows I respect John and Sandy, but I look at USN and FT as lined up where students would go if accepted at schools as the rank increases.
    Along another line, I wonder if Georgetown and Notre Dame are pretty close to Emory and Texas. Of course both those schools have fantastic undergrad programs so not sure why they don’t translate to higher ranked MBAs.

  • Orange1

    George, did some Yale graduate beat you up or screw you over at work? An MBA from there is nothing to sneeze about. But getting back to your comparison to Duke, so what if one has a 695 and the other a 705 or whatever? Isn’t that difference something like getting two or three more questions correct?

  • purpri

    aggregate use of rankings and there respective flaws are smoothed out

  • Surprised

    If it’s so flawed, why include it in your composite ranking?


    In contrast with BusinessWeek and Financial Times, The Economist separates schools in China from those in Hong Kong. They still treat Hong Kong as different country. This is so british!

  • gupta980

    economist just published the list of the remaining schools. interesting point: insead is on 26th place, but the ranking says it is in France, however, we heard recently that the school moved its headquarter to asia and the new director will be based there! why the economist considers it as French school?!!!

  • JohnAByrne

    That’s a very good sign. Emory has a superb MBA program and a terrific staff supporting it. And the school has made great progress in the past five years or so. Check out my story on this: Anatomy Of A Turnaround No One Knew Was Needed


  • JohnAByrne

    Yale failed to make the Top 25, though this is a pretty flawed ranking so I wouldn’t take it all that seriously. Yale was 26th last year. The Economist hasn’t yet published anything beyond the Top 25 so far.

  • AtlantaGUY

    Just quick note about Emory university, I notice this school’s ranking is very consistent in all rankings, always around 20! is that good sign or what?

  • professional


    Accusing a ranking has been fudged simply because you don’t agree with it? What are your supporting evidences?

    New career opportunities metric could very well work against schools like Harvard and Stanford given a good percentage of their students end up at the big3, IB or PE where as students from MIT or HAAS may have to seek other (still very good) options.

    Also given the recent negativity on Harvard parties, it’s not surprising that its Personal development may take a hit as well.


    People said yesterday, Yale is a failure story in MBA industry. Their program is complete joke, started and remained as MPPA, which no one in the business world could understand, and then when they realized their mistake changed it to MBA and when was that? 30 years later! a school that needed 30 years to figure out what went wrong is not that good school. and to fix that guess what did they do? Focusing too much on numbers, not to get the best students, not to produce people for “business and society”, NO, ust because they wanted to get very quickly the same numbers of Harvard, what they missed is that numbers alone won’t help them getting the best students, look at Duke with gmat avg 695 placed itself as top 10 school, while yale lacks the skills in admission process to select the bright students, they chose to work as machine in admitting students, and here is what they got! The problem with yale is that they have it all, money, brand, location, prestige, yet they couldn’t leverage that into excellent program. all what they were thinking of is just how to beat harvard. Harvard with program that is first in the world and has 100 years age, can not be easily beaten. even now when you look into yale curriculum it is strange and unclear , no body understand what they call “integrated” and that weird structure. I like Yale as university and I hope Mr Snyder can fix these problem, but he must remember that he needs time no less than 10 years to be on par with other top schools.

  • TruthandReality

    again, Chicago is the best business school in US! flawed or not flawed ranking, all say Chicago is the best.

  • Surprised

    Where is yale??