MIT’s Sloan School vs. Harvard Business School

Historical Rankings  by BusinessWeek:

The biggest question is how come Harvard has never placed number one in the most influential MBA rankings published. Over a 22-year period and 11 biennial rankings, BusinessWeek has never put Harvard at the top of its carefully watched lists of the best MBA schools. Just as surprisingly, MIT has had one of the most inconsistent runs of any top business school in the Business Week survey, coming in as low as 15th in the inaugural ranking in 1988 and in 1998 and climbing as high as fourth in 2000. Harvard, with its largest graduating classes and east coast pedigree, has definitely been ranked far more consistently over the years. HBS has generally came in the number three spot, going as high as two twice and as low as number five on three different occasions. It’s important to remember that  BusinessWeek measures customer satisfaction. While students rate these schools very highly, recruiters often have other issues. At Harvard, some corporate recruiters balk at the price tag. At MIT, the BusinessWeek methodology may put the school at a slight disadvantage due to its smaller size.

Historical Rankings  by BusinessWeek

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 Harvard 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. Over the years, HBS has bested MIT in all 11 years charted below. Yet, Harvard has topped this list only twice in 11 years (the biggest winner in the Financial Times surveys has been Wharton which has been ranked first on nine separate occasions and second twice). MIT has never had a higher FT rank than fourth, way back in 2000,  and has been ranked as low as 14th in 2007.

Historical Rankings by The Financial Times


MIT and Harvard are two of the most selective business schools in the world. There are only other schools that reject a higher percentage of applicants than these two: Stanford and Berkeley. Getting a yes from MIT’s Sloan School has become increasingly more difficult in the past three years, a period when applications have risen by 55%. MIT now gets 12 applications for every available seat. For the class entering in the fall of 2010, applications were up 15% over the previous year. Harvard also had the second highest number of applications ever received for the same class. Harvard’s average GMAT score for the Class of 2011 is 719 versus an average of 711 for MIT.  An asterisk indicates the 10th to 90th percentile only and not the full range of GMAT scores.

Admission Stats MIT Harvard
Average GMAT 711 719
GMAT Range 650–760* 490–800
Average GPA 3.57 3.67
Selectivity 14.2% 12.2%
Yield NA 89%



MIT enrolls less than half the students of Harvard, resulting in a more intimate and close-knit environment (even though Sloan’s total enrollment is larger than such top schools as Stanford, Dartmouth, Berkeley, Yale, and Carnegie-Mellon. The numbers for women, international and minority students are for the Class of 2011.

Enrollment Stats MIT Harvard
Total MBA Enrollment 792 1,837
Women 36% 36%
International 37% 36%
Minority 27% 22%



MIT’s image as a quant school keeps a lot of poets away. “We find that people with soft backgrounds who we think would not only do well but would turn out to be great graduates turn us down out of fear over the rigor of the program,” says Rod Garcia, MIT admissions director. Harvard, in fact, pulls nearly double the percentage of poets than Sloan does. Instead, MIT tends to get a significantly higher percentage of students with computer science, engineering, math, and science undergraduate degrees. No surprise. Yet, a remarkably high percentage of the Class of 2012 are composed of engineering graduates alone: a full 37%. The numbers tell you a lot about the quant-intensive intellectual milieu of MIT.

Undergrad Degrees MIT Harvard
Humanities 21% 40%
Engineering/Math 47% 33%
Business/Economics 32% 26%

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