2014 U.S. News’ MBA Ranking

Locust Walk on a beautiful fall day just outside the Wharton School of Business

Locust Walk on a beautiful fall day just outside the Wharton School of Business

Just six months ago, The Wall Street Journal provocatively asked “What’s Wrong With Wharton?”

The answer is absolutely nothing, according to U.S. News & World Report’s new ranking of the best MBA programs in the U.S. published today (March 11).

For the first time ever, Wharton muscled its way into a three-way tie for first place with Harvard Business School and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. It was highest rank ever achieved by Wharton in the U.S. News survey. The school had finished as high as second place and as low as fifth and last year it was third.

Yet, just last September, the Journal had written a negative take on the highly prominent business school, quoting admission consultants who claimed the school had lost momentum and stature. But record-high average GMAT scores of 725–just two points shy of HBS–and stellar compensation and placement stats helped Wharton improve its standing in the U.S. News ranking.

Wharton MBAs earned average salary and bonus last year of $141,243, beating every other surveyed school including Harvard ($138,346) and Stanford ($137,525). The reported comp numbers by Wharton to U.S. News were especially surprising because they represent something of a reversal of the normal pecking order for MBA pay. In 2012, for example, HBS grads had average salary and bonus of $142,501, while Stanford MBAs landed salary and bonus packages of $140,459. Wharton trailed both schools, as well as MIT Sloan and Dartmouth Tuck grads, with a $138,302 average.

A slightly higher percentage of Wharton MBAs also were employed at graduation and three months later. Some 93.4% of Wharton’s MBAs had jobs 90 days after commencement, the highest percentage of any Top 10 school, for example, compared with 89.7% at Stanford and 89.4% at Harvard. Those tiny fractions add up in a ranking, allowing Wharton to boast its best U.S. News finish ever. Pay and placement rates account for 35% of U.S. News’ ranking.

How The Top Ten Compare On U.S. News’ Ranking Metrics


School GMAT (16.25% GPA (7.5%) Accept Rate (1.25% Average Pay (14%) Jobs At Grad (7%) Jobs Later (14%) Peers (25%) Recruiters (15%)
1. Harvard 727 3.70 11.3% $138,346 78.7% 89.4% 4.8 4.6
1. Stanford 732 3.73 6.8% $137,525 71.7% 89.7% 4.8 4.6
1. Wharton 725 3.60 18.7% $141,243 79.7% 93.4% 4.8 4.6
4. Chicago 723 3.58 21.0% $135,982 82.1% 90.8% 4.8 4.4
5. MIT 713 3.58 13.1% $137,057 80.9% 87.4% 4.7 4.5
6. Kellogg 713 3.54 21.6% $135,838 78.8% 91.0% 4.7 4.4
7. Berkeley 714 3.60 14.3% $134,078 74.0% 91.6% 4.6 4.2
8. Columbia 716 3.50 18.1% $137,654 74.9% 90.3% 4.4 4.3
9. Dartmouth 718 3.53 20.8% $139,036 80.8% 90.8% 4.3 4.0
10. NYU 721 3.51 16.0% $131,975 77.8% 93.2% 4.2 4.0

Source: U.S. News & World Report 2014 MBA Ranking

  • JohnAByrne

    Sorry for the confusion. As the story notes, U.S. News puts a 2015 tag on these rankings even though they come out in early 2014 just so that they are less perishable. The rankings are based on 2013 data and published in 2014 so regardless of what U.S. News calls them, they are 2014 rankings.

  • FYI

    FYI: Although labeled here as the 2014 MBA ranking, this is actually U.S. New’s 2015 ranking (released in March 2014).

  • killa

    All the banks, hedge funds and PE/VC shops look to Wharton first. Other MBA candidates simply don’t stack up, esp. in terms of quantitative skills and analytical ability. Even here at LSE, we all know Wharton’s the first place they look.

  • killa

    Lol, what is this dude smoking? He obviously doesn’t go to Wharton. Everyone at Wharton knows it’s a finance school… pretty much the only name in finance, to the point where Wharton is synonymous with Wall street.

  • whataboutmyinfo

    and thanks!