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Top 10 Secure In New U.S. News Ranking

rankingIf Fuqua, Darden or Yale’s School of Management had any hope of cracking the Top Ten in U.S. News & World Report’s forthcoming ranking of the best graduate schools of business, they will have to wait until next year.

In a sneek peek its ranking expected to come out on March 11th, of the best graduate schools of business, U.S. News disclosed that last year’s Top 10 schools firmly remain in its new Top 10. The magazine published an alphabetical list of the ten highest ranked full-time MBA programs without their numerical ranks.

Schools that had a chance of breaking into the Top 10 party include No. 11 Duke University’s Fuqua School, No. 11 the University of Virginia’s Darden School, No. 13 Yale University’s School of Management, and possibly UCLA’s Anderson School and Michigan’s Ross School of Business, both tied for 14th place.

UNDERLYING INDEX SCORES FOR MANY SCHOOLS ARE VERY CLOSE

Based on U.S. News‘ underlying index scores for the schools, all of them are within one to five points of last year’s No. 10 school, New York University’s Stern School of Business. According to U.S. News, Stern had an actual “ranking score” of  87 to achieve its numerical rank of tenth place. Duke was right on its heels with an index score of 86, with Darden at 85, and Yale at 84. Both UCLA and Michigan had a score of 82.

Last year Yale fell behind NYU, Duke and the University of Virginia to land in 13th place, from tenth a year earlier. Yale recently made good progress in The Financial Times’ latest ranking, climbing four places to finish tenth. But the improvement was largely due to performing better in several of the FT’s international metrics–things that are not measured by U.S. News.

The fact that Fuqua, Darden and Yale failed to to edge their way into U.S. News’ Top 10 shows how entrenched the top of the rankings have become. MBA programs that are widely recognized as the best have brands that are nearly unshakeable. That’s especially true at the top of a list where the core metrics, such as average GMAT and GPA scores, starting salaries and bonus, and placement rates, often change little from year to year.

WHAT U.S. NEWS MEASURES

U.S. News’ methodology takes into account a wealth of proprietary and school-supplied data to crank out its annual ranking of the best business schools. The magazine does its own survey of B-school deans and MBA directors (25% of the score). This year, U.S. News said about 43% of those surveyed responded, but it did not reveal how many deans were actually surveyed or how many replied.

It also does its own survey of corporate recruiters (accounting for 15% of the overall ranking and for which 16% of those surveyed responded), starting salaries and bonuses (14%), employment rates at and three months after graduation (7% to 14%, respectively), student GMATs and GREs scores (about 16%), undergrad GPAs (about 8%), and the percentage of applicants who are accepted to a school (a little over 1%). This will be the second year U.S. News will include GRE scores in its ranking methodology.

U.S. News said it surveyed 453 accredited master’s programs in business to come up with this year’s ranking. In alphabetical order, here are the Top 10 highest-ranked business schools with their rank from last year:

School (state)
8) Columbia University (NY)
9) Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)
1) Harvard University (MA)
4) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
10) New York University (Stern)
4) Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)
1) Stanford University (CA)
7) University of California—Berkeley (Haas)
6) University of Chicago (Booth)
3) University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

The actual ranking and score of these and other graduate schools – including those offering full-time, part-time and executive MBA programs – will be available March 11.

DON’T MISS: YALE FALLS TO 13th IN U.S. NEWS 2013 RANKING or POETS&QUANTS’ 2013 RANKING OF THE TOP 100 U.S. SCHOOLS