In the rankings, Stanford tends to edge out Dartmouth. The only major ranking where Dartmouth bests Stanford is by The Economist which places Tuck at sixth and Stanford directly behind at seventh. Of the five major rankings, we consider The Economist the least credible due to its odd methodology. The P&Q rank–which factors into consideration all the major rankings weighted by their individual authority–puts Stanford at number two and Dartmouth at number five. These are the up-to-date rankings from each ranking organization.
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Historical Rankings by BusinessWeek:
If any schools have a legitimate complaint about how they’ve performed in the BusinessWeek ranking, it’s definitely Dartmouth and Stanford. Over a 22-year period and 11 biennial rankings, BusinessWeek has never ranked either of these two highly prestigious business schools higher than number 3 and only Dartmouth reached that high on the survey once–in its inaugural year of 1988. The best Stanford has ever achieved in the BusinessWeek survey is number four. Over the years, however, Stanford has clearly outperformed Dartmouth as the chart shows. Still, Stanford has had a highly inconsistent run, going as low as number 11 in 2000 and as high as number four in three different surveys in 1994, 2002, and 2004. The answer for this lackluster performance for such a stellar institution is understandable. BusinessWeek measures customer satisfaction. While students rate these schools very highly, recruiters often have other issues. At Stanford, some recruiters dislike the fact that so few of the school’s MBAs are on the open market. Too many of them are headed for newer companies or directly become entrepreneurs that recruiting at Stanford is often frustrating for many companies. At Tuck, the graduating class is so small in comparison to other major business schools that Dartmouth is disadvantaged in the BusinessWeek survey due to its methodology. As bad as Stanford’s showing is over the years, Dartmouth has had an even more disappointing run in the BusinessWeek survey, ranking as low as 16th in 2000. In only three surveys has Dartmouth ranked at a single digit level: it came in at number three in the inaugural 1988 ranking and number six in 1990 and 1992. Since then, Dartmouth has been ranked 10th on four different occasions, and even worse, 11th, 12th, and 13th in three other ranking years. We think Tuck and Stanford have both been shortchanged by BusinessWeek’s methodology.
Historical Rankings by The Financial Times:
Unlike BusinessWeek’s rankings, The Financial Times includes business schools from all over the world. So the FT is ranking both Stanford and Dartmouth against such places as London Business School, which ranked number one in this survey in 2010 and 2009, and INSEAD, which ranked fifth these last two years. Stanford has done much better than Dartmouth in the 11 surveys charted below, ranking third on five occasions, fourth in four separate years, and no higher than sixth in 2009. Dartmouth, on the other hand, has never had a higher rank than 7 in 2005 and has been ranked as low as 15th twice and 13th on three occasions, including the past two consecutive years. Tuck’s showing in the Financial Times survey is a reflection of the methodology’s attempt to measure what the newspaper calls “the diversity and international reach” of the school. Among other things, the FT takes into account what it calls “international mobility,” “international experience,” and “international board,” factors that favor European schools where countries are not much larger than most states in the U.S.