The Top 100 U.S. MBA Programs of 2011

The 2011 Poets&Quants Ranking of the Best MBA Programs in the U.S.

2011 P&Q Rank & SchoolIndex2010 RankBWForbesU.S. NewsFTEcon
1. Harvard Business School Boston, MA100.0121224
2. Stanford GSB Stanford, CA98.8252137
3. Chicago (Booth) Chicago, IL98.5313562
4. UPenn (Wharton) Philadelphia, PA98.04344110
5. Columbia New York, NY95.0595946
5. MIT (Sloan) Cambridge, MA95.081010358
7. Northwestern (Kellogg) Evanston, IL94.974751112
8. Dartmouth (Tuck) Hanover, NH93.66146791
9. Berkeley (Haas) Berkeley, CA92.398137135
10. Duke (Fuqua) Durham, NC91.610612121013
11. Virginia (Darden) Charlottesville, VA90.31111913203
12. Michigan (Ross) Ann Arbor, MI89.213714141219
13. Cornell (Johnson) Ithaca, NY89.015138161415
14. Yale School of Mgt. New Haven, CT88.414211110816
15. New York (Stern) New York, NY88.31218181079
16. UCLA (Anderson) Los Angeles, CA85.0171720141517
17. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) Pittsburgh, PA83.8161523181911
18. UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Chapel Hill, NC81.7181616193028
19. Texas-Austin (McCombs) Austin, TX81.3192517172420
20. Emory (Goizueta) Atlanta, GA80.1202222231618
21. Indiana (Kelley) Bloomington, IN76.2211927233823
22. USC (Marshall) Los Angeles, CA73.6222639213414
23. Georgetown (McDonough) Washington, DC73.2233335251726
24. Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI71.5303429283127
25. Vanderbilt (Owen) Nashville, TN71.1283733282521

Notes: The rankings for The Financial Times and The Economist are for U.S. ratings, not those publications’ global or North American regional rankings.

(See next page for schools ranked 26 through 50)

  • Seema

    I am international student enrolled for MBA program full time at argosy university San Diego campus. but i am shocked with the reviews plz let me know more about the program.

  • vicky


    I have a score of 600 on GMAT and have average scores in my acads. I am a postgraduate in computer science and now after 9 years of work experience (in India, US and Europe) I want to do my MBA. I have a lot of extra curricular activities on my profile including a new venture of my own which is shaping up slowly. Is it worth applying at Emory (considering my low GMAT score) ?


    10 is a double digit number and 1 – 9 single digit number 🙂

  • Cherie A


    Can you tell me, what made Kellstadt (DePaul University) come in at No. 99?

    Also, does the ranking for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have any correlation to the University of Illinois at Chicago campus? I always see rankings for UI-UC but I never really come across info on UIC (Chicago).

    Thanks so much for all of your work.

  • MBA Candidate

    Hi John.. We are still waiting for your Chicago Booth Vs Wharton smackdown… its long due. Would be great to have it as that’s a choice a lot of people are making currently.

  • fonanie


  • gillmic

    Current top 10, with updated data, would be:


  • Jack Tao

    Cornell (Johnson) will be top 10, maybe as high as 7, in the next five years. That is the unbiased truth. They are under-rated due to their size and location. Their win and development of the Cornell NYC Tech campus to compete with Silicone Valley will be the game changer. Already being one of the elite schools in engineering, medicine, law and hotel mgmt, the school has huge plans in the coming years to be a powerhouse in tech and business. The word is that they will have some of the best intellectual/human capital. Bill Gates is already erecting a new CS building in Ithaca next to the b-school and behemoths like Google already jumping on the bandwagon by partnering with them and creating a Cornell campus in their headquarters.
    This is coming from someone who is totally neutral and a F100 global corporate recruiter. Plus, Cornell’s brand is way more recognized internationally abroad than some of the schools in the top 10. Forbes got it right. Mark my word.

  • guest

    as a Wharton grad from a decade ago, my preferred order back then was H/S/W; I was admitted to Chi, MIT as well, and passed them to go to Wharton; had I been admitted to H or S, I would have taken them.

    That said, I graduated when the market was at the bottom, and many of my fellow Wharton MBAs went on to accept sub-optimal jobs, and some of them still have not succeeded anywhere close to their potential. And I think this was hardly unique to W. I dont think it would have mattered much if I or they had gone to other top schools instead of W. But who knows..

  • As a Goizueta faculty member, I’d suggest that this critic needs to recheck his data analysis. Our MBA programs’ CMC placement results, especially in the past few years, have been cited as among the best.

  • Jake Murray

    My dad is bigger than your dad….who cares! All of you care way too much about rankings. Rather, it seems more wise to use them to learn about a school and where they stand in a general sense. It’s just very petty the way prospective and current students debate the rankings. We all know HSW are the top schools, but after that there are like 12 schools that are considered best of the best. OK, now go find which one you like the best. 

  • Nahid Islam

    Anybody give me the information which university will be better for MBA course in USA as well as the cost,requirements etc……………………………???????????????????????

  • Kumar

    Are you saying that Foster School of Business is much better than HBS/Stanford/Wharton combined in sending graduates to Amazon and Microsoft?! Is it really true?

  • Question

    Does anyone have thoughts on the program at Georgetown McDonough?

  • I highly recommend Goizueta MBA program. I completed the 1YR MBA program this year. 

    – All of the large consulting, finance and marketing companies/firms recruit on campus. –  The employment numbers are outstanding (Within one month of graduation over 90% already have job offers).  – Nearly 40% of the class is international, that are from dozens of countries.- Integration of innovative learning experiences into the curriculum.  (Keystone leadership experience, Goizueta Leadership Academy, Mandatory international course, Mid-Semest foreign and local modules, directed studies, cross-school course availability, Centers (Marketing Analytics, VC, Alt. Investments, Real Estate, etc.).- The most substantial benefit is that MBA alumni are expected to assist current students in their career search.  I found the alumni exceptionally helpful and willing to assist.  (This is a strong contributor to the high employment statistics).

    Here are a couple of articles about the program from a student (inside) and publisher (outside) perspective:

    JM Gordon

  • Knowing Insider, Here is a partial list of companies that International MBA Graduates from Classes of 2011 and 2010 are currently working at:

    Adobe Systems, McKinsey, IBM, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, eBay, PayPal, SAP, Facebook,
    Intuit, Citibank, Coca Cola, Suntrust Bank, Colgate-Palmolive, ExxonMobil, American Airlines, Amazon….

    To the best of my knowledge, Class of 2012 also has a comparable (or better) record. Does this look like the job placement record of a school, whose placement for internationals is “just terrible” as you say? If you were actually an “insider”, you would already know this, but your claim that 2/3 of the class is from India/Korea made it obvious that you are not.

    Yes, Not everyone gets into his/her dream company, and International students do face some additional challenges, but that is true for every business school in the country! Personally, as an international student, I had an awesome experience at Goizueta,and would highly recommend this program to anyone.

  • Joe He

    As an international student at Emory Full Time MBA program, I am very surprised by this post for someone claims that Job placement is the weakness of the program. In face, it is the strongest part of Emory’s MBA program and one of the biggest reasons international students chose to attend Emory.  

    The data is public in the career report as below:

    If you compare the job placement rate within 3 months after graduation between students of Emory and students of other top schools, you will find Emory did an excellent job placing its students, 

    I personally enjoy the experience at Emory MBA very much. Particularly, the CMC is doing a good job and they are serious and responsible about international students’ job placement, which is very satisfactory to me. 

  • Miller

    As a recent graduate of Emory’s Full Time
    MBA Program, it sadden me to see someone who claims to be an “insider”
    make such ignorant comments like “usually sponsored unmotivated”
    students.  For those reading this, rest assured that this individual’s
    short sightedness is not representative of the Goizueta Community. 

    Facts are facts, and yes, during the
    recent economic recession, major corporations reduced or eliminated sponsoring
    visas for international students post-MBA. 
    With that said, I know for a fact that international students in my
    class secured jobs across all industries including IBanking, Commercial
    Banking, Management Consulting, Technology Consulting, and Brand
    Management.  In addition, many
    international students returned to their home countries for employment
    opportunities that were not available to them pre-MBA.  

    The job-hunt for any MBA is a JOB.
     No student, domestic or international, should enter a program thinking
    they are guaranteed a job.  

  • Olga Rissin

     I am a graduated international student at Goizueta and I would completely disagree. Goizueta has a very competitive program that is being continuously improved by students, faculty and staff. International students are a very diverse group. In my class they represented more than 14 different countries. And in terms of the job placement stats, Goizueta is highly ranked, because year after year over 97% of GBS grads are successfully placed within three months after graduation.

  • Knowing insider

    My advice for international students avoid Goizueta as job placement is just terrible. On top of that, they claim a 34% of class are internationals but in reality 2/3 of them are only from India (desperate high competition) and Korea (usually sponsored unmotivated) students. The only reason Emory is more or less successful in attracting the others is that it provides more funding.

    All they do is just reverse engineer rankings and artificially boost the score.

  • ChrisR

    By the way it looks like it’s spelt WILLAMETTE

  • ChrisR

    Rollins, Hofstra, American U, and Williamette make the list thanks to Forbes!  Brandeis thanks to The Economist. Hahahaha.  I’d put much more weight into the Financial Times and USN ranking!

  • Craig in the ATL

    Go Dawgs! Woof Woof Woof!

  • Joe

    “The index score for Booth this year is 98.5, just .3 behind Stanford
    Graduate School of Business. A year ago, the difference in the index
    score between Stanford and Chicago was twice that level”

    – Does this mean that the rumored ascent of Chicago into “everyone’s top 3” is no longer just a rumor?

  • Paramia

    The most comprehensive report about salaries and hiring of MBAs worldwide: 

  • Mario

    another performance for a Harvard MBA grad, see JP Morgan results here: 

  • MBAwatcher

    agree Owen is rising, and the mother uni is 17th national university in US NEWS, however, Penn State offer is very attractive (full tuition + 18 k). Owen placed 4 into Goldman Sachs last year,  few top programs did so, and this year I think they sent 5 for an internship also. Owen is graduate school (no undergraduate) with an endowment over $250m, means lots of resources and expecting good things. Boston Uni is near to HBS and MIT, I prefer to stay away of it.  WUSTL Olin is very prestigious as undergraduate school, not as an MBA although it has been ranked well (22 on US News) but the undergraduate program is stealing lights..

  • SP

    Congratulations on all your great offers.  I can not offer you my best advice, as I am aiming the application process in the fall, but as an MBA hopeful who is freaked out by debt- would you mind sharing your GMAT/GPA/Stats?  I don’t think you can make a bad decision in your situation, but I personally am drawn to Owen’s program based on reputation, location, and job placement.  

  • Paramia

    Why didn’t you complete to the ten??!! where is the tenth school!! what the secret behind nine?! why not eight or 10?!!!

  • Agree

    Wow I agree. It’s always the Chicago school students, either Booth or Kellogg students who always try to defend their schools and feel entitled/empowered by trashing other schools like Wharton, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Berkeley, NYU etc.

  • Karim

    Yes, it is on May 15th. interestingly, it is also for international students! but yes, agree on the funding issue.

  • Jimmy

    HBSboy – I’m reminded of this quote, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” Not sure the past beef btw Zxy and you, but your posts are condescending and immature. Is that what you were going for?

  • Life

    I think HBSboy makes the best point I have seen here in a while. HBS or Stanford do not make you. As an example, I have a friend with a HYP undergraduate degree, had decent grades but not stellar and did not get an IB or MC job post-undergrad, so did marketing instead. He was lazy at academia I guess but did great at his job and GMAT and so manage to get to Stanford with the goal of PE/VC. He hit a wall when he realized that his Stanford degree did not automatically mean he will get whatever job he wanted. He got an IB job but has been trying to make the move to the buy side, but no luck yet. I think he still gets frudtrated to see people who went to other bschool get the job he wanted, because in the end experience will trump the degree for the most part. Also another thing is that yeah maybe HBS and Stanford sent more kids to PE but don;t forget the you will be competing with the brothers from Carlyle and Blackstone for the post-mba job, so if you did not work at Apollo before, your profile is not that competitive.

  • HBSboy

    Your analytical skills are very questionable because your BS to prove to some other people the non-existent value of so called M7 schools over other top 10 schools stinks and your analytical skills are full of assumption errors. % or absolute numbers, whichever way you try to measure any school’s PE/VC placements is based on an assumption that all students are gunning for PE/VC jobs. If not, then there is no point of measuring the output only because we do not know the input. Logically, if there is less/more input, there will be less/more output. Without the knowledge of input, your argument becomes baseless. You are the one who deserves “DUH”.

    You “clearly” did not mention that you had BB IB+PE background after your West Point education. In fact, it comes across as your wish. I have never personally come across any West Point grads, working at BB IB/PE firms straight from their undergrads. You mean, West Point -> Army/Navy/Air Force/Whatever -> Kellogg -> IB/PE, which is possible but not common.

    Don’t worry about my cases at HBS because I already have my MBA from HBS with distinction.

    If a guy like you, based on your demonstrated analytical skills here, scores 51 on GMAT twice in a row or models LBO’s over 70 times, with the latter bearing no proof of your analytical skills by the way other than the fact that you were a monkey, then I should urge bschools to stop admitting kids like you based on GMAT quant score because there is a huge loophole in the GMAT quant exam.

    I look down on kids like you who look down on others, based on your superficialness, created somehow by attending some school in Chicago, which, relatively speaking, is not even that great either, depending on what people value more (perhaps some people value ivy league education, perhaps some people value NYC, perhaps some people have Harvard or bust mentality etc.).

  • Jimmy

    I doubt that scholarships are still available. Plus it is late for visa consideration. Plus I don’t have anything ready for the application… No really it its too late for this year ! (are you sure about this last deadline ? I was certain the last one was mid March).

  • Army

    HBSkid, yeah HBS sends more to PE/VC by # but I was trying to make a point that Stanford sends more to PE/VC on a % basis. Since # of class vary from x to y schools, isn’t % as total the right way to go? duh and you dare to question my analytical skills? 

    On your point 3, I question your reading comprehension… I clearly mentioned that I have BB IB + PE background and yet you mentioned that I don’t have the right experience? How do you deal with all those cases at HBS? 

    You mentioned my analytical/quant skills but you barely know me. Have you scored 51 on the Quant section of GMAT two times in a row? Have you modeled LBOs over 70 times? Probably not. In fact, I already secured my job at a PE shop which interned over the summer. 

    Lastly, you say that you are not the type to “look down” on people who go to schools in Chicago or NYC or whatever, but you were doing just that to me on this post. What a hypocrite…  

  • HBSboy

    Oh and just to add:

    What I meant to say was that top 10 and international schools like INSEAD or LBS will do just fine for anything really. And also, that the % you or I posted above don’t tell us anything because we do not know how many were really gunning for PE/VC roles and how many already had prior experience in PE/VC roles (the latter also matters because people with experience in PE/VC would have already strong network/work experience). 

    So stop discouraging other people here by being an ass because M7 nobody really cares. I went to HBS by the way and I never ever look down on people who go to schools in Chicago or NYC because that’s just not me although some of my HBS friends would not even think of them as schools when we get together for drinks. For some people, it’s HBS and the rest. For others, it’s top 10.

    And since you may not know, in the high echelon of power in America, Harvard, Yale and Princeton undergrads going to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT and other ivy-league institutions (maybe except Cornell) or even Berkeley are more of a norm than veering off to Northwestern, Chicago, Duke etc. It’s the whole prestige thing, which I don’t think you understand and you don’t have to.

  • HBSboy

    I am not sure what point you are trying to raise here but not all students at said top schools are looking to break into PE/VC after bschool. Your post seems to make a point that M7 schools are better at sending West Point grads to PE/VC roles but first of all, you need strong analytical skills to break into any financial sectors, especially PE/VC firms. With the current biased opinion you possess, anyone buying your product will be doomed even if somehow by connection, you luck out at getting a job! I wouldn’t hire you based on your analytics.

    1) HBS is indeed #1 feeder to PE/VC. It has been that way for a long long period of time. Based on top 20 or so PE/VC firms’ senior management’s educational background, one can easily deduce that HBS grads clearly outnumber any other top bschool grads. Check it out yourself. After that, you will see some Stanford, some Wharton, some Tuck, some INSEAD, some NYU, some Duke, some Yale, some MIT, some without any MBA degrees!, etc.

    2) Your quoted stats are a bit off: Wharton sent 7.65% (your round-up), HBS sent 14% (1% lower than your number because VC is already accounted for, due to their similarities to PE/LBO), INSEAD 4.8% (20% financial services then 24% PE/VC), Booth 4% or 5% depending on which category you look at (Hires by function or Hires by industry??), Haas sent 3.4% (

    From here, we can conclude that first of all, there are other, unfortunately for you, bschools in the top 10 or internationally-based, that do better than your darling M7 schools (NYU, Yale, Haas doing better than MIT, for example). Also, 1% or 2% or however small the number is, really is not a big deal.

    3) You say you are aiming at PE/VC. PE/VC firms straight out of bschools rarely visit bschools. Majority of the hires are through the applicants’ grunt work/networking. I’d say, if you are from army, as your post above indicates, it is extremely difficult for you to get a PE/VC job straight from bschool because you just don’t have the right background (i.e. prior IB or MC or PE/VC experience and it’s not like you went to the right undergrad). What’s worse, you don’t seem to have the right analytical skills!

    4) If you are looking to transition to IB from bschool, that is more likely. However, if really IB is your goal, then I’d say all finance-focused schools such as NYU Stern, Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Yale will do the job as well as HBS or Stanford. So what you posted about M7 is just not true. I will argue Stern will do much better in placing you in IB in the right location than Kellogg, Tuck, MIT and even Booth.

    5) If you are truly PE/VC minded, have a look at the following URL instead of trolling on poetsandquants, picking fights with strangers and trying to prove your point about M7 because nobody gives much weight to M7. Top 10 or ivy league schools will matter much more globally and publicly. (obviously unless you go to schools like Kellogg, which is not an ivy but a solid top 10 school)

    Good luck on your job search/dream! It sure won’t be easy. Try to beef up your quant skills/avoid assumption bias/ or just learn how to BS better because your BS stinks! 

  • Zxy

    Here is PE/VC Placement for Class of 2011 (from school employment stats):

    1. Stanford 21% 
    2. HBS 15%
    3. Wharton 7.7%
    4. LBS 7%
    5. Columbia 5.7%
    6. Kellogg/Tuck/Booth (tie) 5%
    9. NYU 3%
    10. Yale 2%
    11. MIT <2%
    12. Duke BB IB –> PE –> MBA (IP) = Doesn’t seem too bad to land a PE/VC job.

  • Hello

    From GI Joe to PE/VC?

    Wow. I haven’t seen anyonedoing that sort of jump. Good luck.

    You need IB or MC experience prior. Not GI Joe. 

    I guess the best school to go to IB though is finance schoolslike Wharton, Stern, Booth and CBS. Or you can go to Tuck, HBS, Stanford, INSEAD and such to go to MC or IB.

    Wow. You need much more than just luck to break into PE/VC from your previous work experience as an army brat.

  • SpecialForces

    Yale is not one of my target schools. That’s one of HSY’s target schools. I am not looking to apply to bschoolother than Harvard. That is it. But your post is ridiculous so I had to respond. I have lots of friends who have gone throughHBS 2+2 and Yale Silver Scholarthough.They will laugh at you when they see your post.

  • Gmatclubber

    Sorry. To go to PE/VC,there is a post on gmatclub about it. HBS is a clear winner but otherwise, Wharton, Tuck, Stanford, NYU Stern, Chicago Booth, even Duke all will place you in PE/VC. 

    MIT, Kelloggin fact will not place you well in PE/VC.Go to gmatclub.comand search for the post. It’s been debated.

  • GI Joe

    Hey, let’s quit this thing. They are all great schools. What matters most is the person behind the degree. I wish you the best in your career and/or application. Let’s stop. I’m tired of responding. They are all very good schools period. 

  • Guest2

    You said it right boy.. You acknowledge it as well by saying I need X or Y to upgrade my social status. Yes, I need Wharton, Kellogg, Booth, MIT, or CBS (M7) pedestal to excel in my desired field, PE/VC. My desired field don’t recruit much from schools outside of M7 + Tuck/Haas. Yes, you are also right that Yale’s new dean no longer participates in the formal annual M7 meetings. 

    Most people who are in the elite MBA circle know the term “M7”. It is even in Wikipedia bro. You probably don’t know cuz your target school is Yale…  AND The term M7 is also mentioned in Wikipedia…

  • HSY

    I have visited all three campuses. All three seem extremely hard but in fact, Yale and Stanford with their tiny class sizes and impressive class statistics, I am afraid my chances for all these three mega schools that produce leaders of tomorrow are slim.

    Yale may seem easier but in fact, from my research, a lot of rockstar candidates who get admitted to Kellogg or other top 10 schools have failed to gain their acceptance. Its yield may be lower than Harvard or Stanford at this point but I think that’s changing very quickly with their new curriculum, etc. At the end of the day, it’s Yale so..But really, these are the only three schools where you can get some sort of respect when you are the face of any government so…yeah. Thanks for wishing me luck!

  • Comeon

    First off, HSY did not talk about top 15-20 schools. He is talking about schools like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Stern etc. not supplying the data, hence the omissions in the link you provided. Nuff said.
    And, the very data you supplied do not really support your claim as he said, because 1) in consulting, Tuck seems below Duke or others, 2) in finance, Tuck seems below Duke, Michigan or Darden, 3) in technology, Michigan, Haas, Darden seem above Duke, Kellogg, Tuck, Columbia and MIT, 4) in marketing, Kellogg and Michigan seem above Wharton, Chicago, Columbia, Tuck, Duke, Haas and Darden.So this shows the following:- That the rankings in your own world (M7 vs. other  3 in the top 10) are not so clear cut or black and white.- That each school has its own strengths and really among the top 10, there really isn’t any difference.

    Lastly, I would add that in true general public’s opinion, including international audience, the only schools that matter are really Harvard, Stanford, MIT and Yale. The others truly people do not know much. Although if you want to include other ivy league schools, we can include Columbia, Dartmouth and University of Pennsylvania. I am not going to include Princeton, Brown or Cornell because the former two have no bschool and Cornell is truly a school that is on decline.

    Nuff said. Thanks. End of story..

  • SpecialForces

    Army/Navy/Marine, whatever pathetic GI Joe group you belong to, you sound like a black (almost said the N word) guy, who needs some “M7” (which the majority of people do not even know about) pedestal to upgrade your social status.
    Dartmouth, being the oldest graduate bschool, does not even participate this, what you call, an M7 get together. I am not even sure if this exists today. I would think it’s the new BMW.Yale’s dean came from Chicago. So I assume he’s suddenly not invited to those meetings?! I am thinking you must go to Kellogg or Booth, seeing how clingy you get to that M7 label because K or B do not really belong to anything else otherwise.

  • Air Force

    Good luck applying to your 3 schools. HBS/Stanford is a tough school for anyone to get in but Yale should be doable. 

  • Marine

    Your consulting link shows that M7 schools perform much better than top 20 schools in placing MBAs to MBB. Nuff said.

    Not sure which data you are looking at, as tech, corporate, finance, and consulting numbers look more impressive for M7 vs. top 20 or 15.

    Lastly, take your sorry complaints to various ranking sources (QS Top MBA, FT, Economist, Forbes, US News, BusinessWeek,,, P&Q compiled ranking, MBA DEANS of M7, and the general public. People out there already know that it’s: Mit/Cbs/Hbs/Kellogg/Booth/Wharton/Stanford (M7 no particular order)

    M7 is there for a reason, and that is why the deans of these seven peer school meet annually. Sorry they don’t invite other very good top 15-20 schools. Hey, I am not the one who created M7 or A8 so don’t hate. Thanks. End of story…

  • HSY

    I would look at this for top bschool consulting placements rather: 

    The Pre-MBA program you cited was only open to those 8 schools for URM’s, meaning Blacks/Hispanics/Natives. And who knows what the motives were. Perhaps, internally Bain had an issue of not hiring enough URM’s.

    This URM concept does not exist internationally so it automatically eliminates non-US programs such as INSEAD or LBS.

    Plus, the link you supplied actually shows Duke’s or Ross’ or Haas’ outperformance (doing better than more prestigious schools like Tuck or Kellogg either across the board or in majority of sectors), which in fact does not help reinforce your argument.

    Another faulty reasoning that you show is that you are assuming schools to supply all the data to Bloomberg. Some schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale and Stern, the ones you pointed out specifically, do not report how many get employed by who, hence complete omissions of the four. among the top 10.

    Also, one last thing. I agree with the posters above. I have personally an ambitious goal of running a government agency in the later stages of my career, after my early career stage in the private sector, such as Management Consulting and Private Equity. I would not expect any schools better than Harvard, Stanford or Yale, hence applying to only these three.

  • HSY

    I would look at this for top bschool consulting placements rather: 

    The Pre-MBA program you cited was only open to those 8 schools for URM’s, meaning Blacks/Hispanics/Natives. And who knows what the motives were. Perhaps, internally Bain had an issue of not hiring enough URM’s.

    This URM concept does not exist internationally so it automatically eliminates non-US programs such as INSEAD or LBS.

    Plus, the link you supplied actually shows Duke’s or Ross’ or Haas’ outperformance (doing better than more prestigious schools like Tuck or Kellogg either across the board or in majority of sectors), which in fact does not help reinforce your argument.

    Another faulty reasoning that you show is that you are assuming schools to supply all the data to Bloomberg. Some schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale and Stern, the ones you pointed out specifically, do not report how many get employed by who, hence complete omissions of the four. among the top 10.

    Also, one last thing. I agree with the posters above. I have personally an ambitious goal of running a government agency in the later stages of my career, after my early career stage in the private sector, such as Management Consulting and Private Equity. I would not expect any schools better than Harvard, Stanford or Yale, hence applying to only these three.

  • Life

    That is an awesome point. Also keep in mind that for example. UW sent more people to Amazon and Microsoft than HBS/Stanford/Wharton combined because of location. I know UW people who have the same job / title / pay and prob career prospect 9at least in Amzaon) as the Stanford HBS guy. Just a thought.

  • Life

    That is an awesome point. Also keep in mind that for example. UW sent more people to Amazon and Microsoft than HBS/Stanford/Wharton combined because of location. I know UW people who have the same job / title / pay and prob career prospect 9at least in Amzaon) as the Stanford HBS guy. Just a thought.

  • Karim

    Why next year? the last deadline is ahead on may 15!

  • Navy

    Hello: Bain & Co. only invited M7 + Tuck 1st yr MBAs to this event (eligibility per Bain & Co.): Bain & Company’s 2012 Diversity Pre-MBA Program, which will be held on June 28th-29th in Bain’s New York office. 

    I did say that all 15 schools will open up opportunities above, right? I just said that the degree of opportunities may vary a bit…

    By that, this is exactly what I mean: 

    Check out from consulting, financial, tech, corporate hires from these top schools. These firms all recruit at top business schools but opportunities vary depending on which school you attended. For example, consulting for M7 schools will be MBB heavy vs. Ross and Duke is non-MBB heavy. On each category, M7 schools generally do better than non-M7 schools. This probably means that one’s chance of landing at better and more prestigious firms increase with M7 vs. others.

    Conclusion: All great schools and most firms will come to top 15-20 schools to hire, but opportunities will vary depending on which school one attends. 

  • Jimmy

    You’ll really have an awesome time there. I am actually wait listed for Cornell but if I am not taken I will consider seriously to apply for Vanderbilt next year.

  • Dan

    These individual anecdotes are dangerous and this is certainly an aberration. If you would like to know more about Goizueta’s career placement, look no further than its job report. One angst ridden undergraduate student (at least a single poor experience with an MBA) should not become an indictment of the program. It is irresponsible. 

    Goizueta is top 10 in job placement, it owns the SE and is represented very well in the NE. Many of the companies students consider prestigious recruit on campus for banking, consulting and marketing. They didn’t move up to 19 in the rankings because the career placement record is trending downward. 

    That being said, choose Emory because you like it. All programs offer different experiences and have different strengths/weaknesses. The goofball who applies to Stern/Columbia/Tuck (one of these things is no like the others) is brand shopping, not program shopping. 

    If Marks advice is to not apply to Emory over Owen/Olin, that is nonsensical; if it is over Ross/Fuqua, that may be applicable. Context is important for such broad advice. 

  • Hello

    There is no room for K or B and even W to move up but plenty of room to move down.

    I myself have applied to HBS, Wharton and Yale, skipping Tuck due to its remoteness. I would never apply to K or B due to its lack of prestige and mid-westernness.

    But I do know lots of people who applied to Booth and Stern and many did choose Stern over Booth.

    I am not even sure which events you are referring to when you say “top recruiters only invite top 7 schools”. Top recruiters such as McKinsey or Bain recruit from top 10 and INSEAD and LBS etc. and even from Duke.

    You sound like an army brat who has no sense of what the real world is like. Don’t tell me you go to either K or B.

  • Karim

    Thank you so much. I really appreciate that.

  • Jimmy

    Was my last message not clear about that ?? 🙂 Vanderbilt !!! 🙂 (I’d love to live in Nashville…)

  • WHAT

    Oh… what are you talking about? K + B are not trending downward. They are both there at top 5. In fact, there is no room for them to move up b/c they only have HBS, Stanford, and Wharton above them. 

    Top 10 doesn’t matter? Then why not just apply to Stern or Yale vs. Kellogg, MIT, Booth, Columbia, Wharton, HBS, Stanford, Tuck, and Haas, schools that are definitely harder to get in than Stern or Yale. By the way, let’s not bring up acceptance rate BS for Yale and Stern. The quality of applicants that apply to Yale and Stern isn’t quite the same as top 8 schools. Just see how most candidates who get into top 8 schools also get into Yale, Duke, Ross, and Stern caliber schools. Hello?! There is a difference between top 10 (Yale/Ross/Stern/and others) vs. top 7 or 8 or 5….

    In fact, there are certain events in which top recruiters only invite top 7 schools to their event. Hello?! There is a difference my friend…. Again, if they are the same, why not go through the hassle and compete for a spot in top 7 or 8 schools when you can more easily get into SOM, Ross, Duke, Darden, Stern, Johnson and etc… Once again, there is a difference…

    However, I’ll leave it at that – all these top 10-15 schools are great and will open up many opportunities for anyone. The degree of opportunities may vary a bit though.

  • Comeon

    Kellogg, Booth are trending downward. Yale and Haas are trending upward. MIT, Columbia and the rest are more or less static.
    As long as it’s in Top 10, it does not matter at all/ in fact is funny to distinguish almost non-existent difference among the top 10. Every one of the schools got their own thing going and depending on applicants’ preference (such as East Coast based schools vs. West Coast based schools), the options are very limited to begin with (Harvard, Yale, Wharton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Stern ?)

  • Guest

    Jimmy, M7 is there for a reason. FT, as a ranking, is not reliable, and that’s why John doesn’t give FT as much weight as some other rankings. 

    I respect your opinion on taking Yale, Haas, Fuqua over Kellogg. It’s your life. But the MAJORITY of prospective MBAs will not take those schools over Kellogg. Sure you are not the only one, but there will always be a minority that could take Yale, Haas, Duke over these M7 schools (Booth, MIT, Columbia). 

    At the end of the day, it’s still H/S/W and the other 4 (Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, Sloan) M7 schools, then comes Tuck and Haas (A8 or whatever you call it)… Yale and Duke come in after Haas and Tuck… It’s the reality. 

  • Karim

    Thank you very much for your thought. in a global scale, which one you consider more recognized?

  • Karim

    Thank you very much John for your feedback. I also, noticed that Owen is a graduate school unlike Olin, so the efforts on Vandy MBA is much higher. It looks like Owen is very similar to Fuqua of Duke both established in 1969 and very strong in healthcare. Owen interestingly placed 4 last year to Goldman which I consider very strong signal. However, what make me confused is the high rank of the parent university of wash u in all the major ranking. and the long history of the school being established in 1917 is a plus and means higher recognised. I like the attitude at Owen to be on the top, they celebrated when they ranked 25 on the US News.  any how, thank you very much for your feedback and I believe I am heading there. cheers 🙂

  • Jimmy

    Well take FT ranking and you’ll see (I don’t even speak of non US but just take the US MBA in the FT ranking). As far as I am concerned I would prefer to enter Tuck, Yale, Berkeley or Duke rather than Kellogg (I don’t even mention Booth, MIT or Columbia) And I think I am not the only one !

  • Kenneth Kim4

    It is what it is. Kellogg is a solid top five without a doubt. What you think doesn’t matter, as compiled ranking speaks for itself. How can once 4th ranked school drop to 12th? It has never happened and it most likely never will.

    I think MIT is over ranked in US News. MIT Sloan’s reputation comes largely from MIT, the “engineering school”. I think MIT is fairly ranked at seven from the most up to date P&Q ranking that Army provided above. I clearly think Booth is overrated. Outside of finance, which they are behind Wharton, Booth really doesn’t have clear strength on other specialties. Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and Kellogg (other top 5 schools) however are pretty strong on multiple areas. They are much more well rounded schools with strengths in many specialties. I think Booth is getting a temporary hype from all those endowments. Booth seems to know their weaknesses and is trying hard to build other discplines outside of finance.

  • JohnAByrne

    I think that both Owen and Olin are two very good business schools. But in recent years, there has been a very deliberate and concerted attempt by the leadership at Owen to improve its MBA program. We rank it more highly than Olin, 25th vs. 41st, and I consider that a significant rankings’ difference. Go to Nashville.

  • Jimmy Seba

    I won’t hesitate a second between those two I would definitely pick Vanderbilt: best ranking, best reputation, best link with companies and best campus environment (Nashville must a be a dream place to live in).

  • Jimmy Seba

    I am surprised to see Kellogg so well ranked. In my mind, Kellogg was the best MBA of the early 90’s in front of Harvard and Stanford but dropped dramatically since then. Today I would rank it no more than number 10 maybe more around number 12 in the US. I am also surprised to see Columbia at this rank as I thought that Columbia was clearly MBA number 4 behind Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. Booth is also overestimated and I saw it as MBA number 6 behind MIT and the Top 4 I mentionned.

  • Karim


    This is second time I ask for advice and no body replied! plz I need your thought before the deposit deadline..
    I am international student and will be sponsored to do MBA. I applied toOlin Business School at Washington university in saint Louis and Owen school of management at Vanderbilt, and accepted from both. I really find it very difficult to decide which one is better. I will be back to work in ASIA upon completion my study. which school and parent university of the two is better in your opinion? I am very grateful for your advice.kind regards

  • Joey

    I disagree with you on both points.  CMC appears to be one of Emory’s strengths with top-10 job placement rates and very high starting salaries, which are particularly impressive given the fact that salaries ignore cost of living differences and a number of students work outside of the northeast.  As to campus recruiting, the diversity and depth of employers coming to campus looks very strong as well.

  • Army

    If Financial Times and US News rankings were updated with 2012 results, this is how P&Q ranking for the top nine schools would look TODAY.
    BW 25%, USN 25%, Forbes 25%, FT 15%, Economist 10%

    1. Harvard
    2. Stanford
    3. Chicago (Booth)
    4. U of Penn (Wharton)
    5. Northwestern (Kellogg)
    6. Columbia
    7. MIT (Sloan)
    8. UC Berkeley (Haas)
    9. Dartmouth (Tuck)

    John, can you please update P&Q rankings when new data comes out? You can always finalize 2012 P&Q ranking when BW comes out with their ranking in November 2012 and Economist in October 2012. Let’s please have the rankings up to date. Thanks. 

  • Army

    If FT and US News rankings were updated with 2012 results, this is how P&Q ranking for the top nine schools would look like TODAY.





    U of Chicago (Booth)

    U of Penn (Wharton)

    Northwestern (Kellogg)


    MIT (Sloan)

    UC-Berkeley (Haas)

    Dartmouth (Tuck)

  • # Nobel Prizes?

    Ever heard of self-selection

  • Karim


    good morning,

    I am international student and will be sponsored to do MBA. I applied to Olin Business School at Washington university in saint Louis and Owen school of management at Vanderbilt, and accepted from both. I really find it very difficult to decide which one is better. I will be back to work in ASIA upon completion my study. which school and parent university of the two is better in your opinion? I am very grateful for your advice.

    kind regards

  • Bethany

    Agreed – I am an undergrad Emory Goizueta alum, and recently had a 2nd year MBA call me for an informational interview….which I was more than happy to take but this poor guy was seriously desperate and just casting his net blindly. He had done no research on the company and asked for me to refer him after a 5 min conversation. I am seriously ashamed of my alma mater and highly discourage others from dropping $100K+ to attend. 

  • Mark Zilber

    I strongly suggest not applying to Emory, CMC is the worst and many top companies do not consider the school as core (no campus recruiting)

  • Chowbeyprakash

     I have following admits, plz give ur inputs. thanks.


    1.Georgia Tech (Full tuition + 13K stipend total for 2 yrs)

     2. WashU Olin (No Scholarship, but non-cosigner guaranteed loan)

    3. Boston University (95% Tuition waiver)

    4. Penn State Smeal (Full tuition waiver plus 18K stipend for 2 years)

    5. Vanderbilt Owen (95% Tuition waiver)

    6. Carlson MBA (Full tuition waiver).




    1. Pure prestigewise ranking (disregarding the financial aids) withint the
    US (prestige as in average, i.e. Recruiters, General public, academics


    2. Ranking taking into account the financial aids given to me.


    3. Ranking purely by placement chance/percentage for an
    international(especially Indian) student.

  • usmcapplicant

    Hi John,
    I’m used your website as one of my main sources for information in determining where and how I focus my application attention.  Thanks a lot for the hard work.  My question is regarding Johns Hopkins new MBA programs.  They are currently not AACSB accredited, but are working towards that accreditation.  Given the prestige of the school, what do you anticipate their initial rankings to be?  How many years do you think it will take for them to reach the level they’ve achieved in their other academic departments?  And lastly, do you think an MBA from Johns Hopkins will carry more weight in the medical community than an AACSB school in the top 30? 
    Thanks for any information you can provide and I look forward to your upcoming articles!


  • kingfalcon

    My understanding is that McCombs is really strong in the Texas area, partially because of a lack of competition in the region. Penn State, on the other hand, has to compete with all the fantastic schools in the North East. On top of that, I’ve heard quite a bit about McCombs, but almost nothing about Penn State, so I say go with McCombs (assuming you want to end up in the South).

  • passionformba

    Can you guys please help sharing your view on Penn State vs Texas A&M? Really need some perspective, have to decide very soon.

  • RC

    As a couple of astute posters have mentioned, I just wish they would do away with ranking each school and list them in tiers.  If the #10-#16 all have:  students with high GPAs, 700+ GMATs, teachers who rotate among schools (e.g. few years at Michigan, then Duke, etc.) and graduated from H/S/W/Booth, and administrators who go from school to school (e.g. Sally Blount from NYU to Northwestern), HOW MUCH DIFFERENT COULD THESE PLACES BE? 

    These rankings have changed very little through time.  Sure, there are sone onesies/twosies, but they are almost carved in granite.  Let’s face it, if someone donated $600 million to Duke or Darden, would it really help them move far up, if it did at all?

  • Michael Gill

    When will this be updated to reflect the new US News rankings?

  • Jimmy

    Thanks for the advice. I am surprised when you write “Most students interview” because I think it was absolutely mandatory to enter Johnson Full-Time MBA program. I exchanged some emails with a student: Lev who is the current President of the Euro Club. I should ask him. Thanks again.

  • Lane

    Up until last year, Booth’s application required a Powerpoint presentation, in addition to the usual essays. It probably hasn’t been getting the added boost of “Hail Mary” applications many under-qualified applicants make to top schools. Just my guess… 

  • CCO

    As a current Johnson student, that might not be the best approach.  Most students interview.  There should be an admissions officer that handles your file and that would be the best person to speak with.  You could also ask to speak to current students to learn more about the school and the culture.  If that is something you havent done already, it would be a very good way to demonstrate your interest in Johnson and might give you some additional insight into what to expect while here.

  • undecided123

    tks jay, yeah I noticed these characteristics in my visits for interview in both schools, but for sure MIT is more prestigious. But now received a 50% scholarship for DUKE!

  • JohnAByrne


    I’m not entirely sure. But that’s a perfectly legit question. Call up admissions, ask for the director, and pose that question. It might actually help you get noticed, too.

  • JohnAByrne


    I have nothing against QS Top MBA. I just consider it obscure and not nearly as influential and followed as the five major rankings: BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Financial Times, and The Economist. Those rankings shape reputation and image, and that’s why our composite index is based on them. 

  • Jimmy

    Hello John. Sorry to use the comment of this article to ask a personal question but that’s a significant one ! I just learned today that I am wait-listed with Cornell but I am extremely surprised as I was not invited to interview. I thought you had to interview first to be added to a wait list. Does it mean they can consider to invit me for next round? or does it mean I can be accepted without being interviewed ? Thanks in advance for your help. 

  • Ree698

    go for Duke, better environment and better school overall..MIT is excellent but Duke Fuqua made it in just 40 years, this counts for them, atmosphere and bonding between students are just unmatched..u’ll never regret it.. 

  • Hahaha… I love it when people with masters’ degrees spout internet agast and vitriol.  They try to sound so civilized, but it totally doesn’t work!

  • Vapedr

    I want to go to the college that has the most girls with legs like hers!

  • MBA in Siberia?


    I find it funny because the only people who always need to defend their school by stating repeatedly that it is a top school are Booth students/fan/alumnis… Apparently it is not that obvious by itself.

  • Jay

     Unless Duke is offering a substantial scholarship I would choose MIT. More prestigious school with a stronger placement record in top consulting firms. MIT sent more students to the big three last year than Duke (55 to 36) despite a smaller class size. Plus, when I went for an interview, students raved about the collaborative culture, and “niceness” of the student body.

  • Maki

    Hi John,

    Have you considered including QS Top MBA Ranking to your P&Q MBA Ranking data? QS Top MBA provides good ranking methodology. This also ranks MBA programs by region and specialty. Even wikipedia mentions QS Top MBA ranking results when wiki refers to the MBA ranking of top MBA programs.

    I think adding QS ranking data to the existing P&Q ranking source (US News, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Finantial Times, and the Economist) could add depth and create more comprehensive list.

    Could we expect to see new 2012 P&Q MBA ranking with QS Top MBA data in the mix as well?


  • undecided123

    Can someone help me here? I have to decide between MIT and DUKE. I have visited both schools, they are both great schools. MIT has its characteristics, specially because is MIT, but at Duke I felt that people were more collaborative and welcoming. I want to go on the operations and strategy consulting industry, which one should be the best for my future? career changer here.

  • Jay

    MIT Sloan

  • Maki


    Have you considered adding QS MBA Ranking to your P&Q Ranking? Adding this source on top of US News, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Financial Times, and the Economist can add more depth to P&Q ranking.  

    QS Top MBA ranking provides reliable ranking methodology. It also has a nice ranking of MBA by specialty and region. I think adding this data to your P&Q ranking will definitely make P&Q ranking more comprehensive. Could we see new P&Q ranking with this data added starting 2012?

    Thank you!

  • Maki

    I agree on Booth’s momentum but I am not so sure about Booth catching upto HSW in terms of brand. When Kellogg ranked #1 (’88, ’90, ’92, ’02, ’04) in BW for the longest time and ranked #3-4 in USN around the same time, even Kellogg didn’t quite unseat Wharton. It was HSWK.

    Look, Booth is a great school but HSW is here to stay and it most likely will. In order to see Booth really make some significant stride in breaking into the top 3, Booth will need to come in for #2-3 spot in USNews consistently while maintaining its top spot in BW (difficult task). Booth came far from #9 in USN ’93 to tie Kellogg and MIT in ’12, but Booth will need to consistently top Kellogg and MIT year over year in USN first to really make more convincing case that they can establish HSW caliber brand. Thus far, Booth has never ranked past #4 in USN. Since ’90 Booth has never topped MIT in USN and Booth only topped Kellogg once. Beating MIT and Kellogg in USN year over year will be difficult, especially when USN is so reluctant in making huge ranking shifts. Just a thought…

  • MBAseeker

    Can anyone please tell me which colleges are best to do an MBA in Information Technology field Or in Operations ? I am specifically looking for the colleges which are known for their top rank branch,,!! Please suggest..!!

  • Jumonelso

    Lol   these Wharton comments.  If Chicago Booth was placed on the East Coast, trust and believe , its yield would surpass Wharton’s..not many people even want to be in the cold midwest..I’ve spoken to recruiters and Booth is in the TOP. Several students I’ve known have gotten into Chicago and Harvard, and it is a tough decision for them.  Chicago and Wharton are pretty much on the same level as far as target schools for finance.  Wharton and Chicago are pretty much a matter of location , as Wharton has the advantage being closer to New York. Harvard has the Brand power.
    sucks for Wharton

  • method

    You think that’s the dean’s minivan parked out front in the picture?

  • Definitely go to the school ranked 20, especially if it has offered to pay two-thirds of the cost.

  • b e

    should you choose a school that is ranked #20 with a 2/3 scholaship or school ranked #45 with full ride?

    both schools are strong in the area of interest.

  • Prabhu

    What does anyone think about Robert Smith, University of Maryland? I can do MBA with financing opportunities through my wife as she is part of the MD State University System. I am a civil engineer currently at a consulting firm providing professional engineering services to large municipalities. I have an interest in understanding the financial aspects of governmental agencies, funding agencies, policies that drive projects.

    Please share your thoughts.


  • john B


    Mario’s advice is better. Duke, as far as reputation, has a broad reach — even as far as Europe. I’d make a list of five mentors you admire. Go to them and ask them for advice, opportunities you’ll face, etc. (find mentors from far-and-wide… East Coast, West Coast, Europe, etc.) Unless they’re UVA alumns, they’ll probably say Duke. Though, really, it won’t matter in the end because, really, all organizations (including the one you want to lead someday), just want competent, hard working people. Wherever you go, good luck.

  • Cobra Kai


    If you have the stats and work experience to get into a top school, you should do so unless you have other personal reasons for wanting to be Seattle.

    Since the PNW is devoid of a top 15-20 school, those companies realize they have to recruit out of their region (i.e. Amazon recruits from top schools coast-to-coast).

  • Pbateman

    What are people’s thoughts on university of Washington? Seems to always be in the 30-35 range, but also seems ideal for the pacific northwest where I would try and target job wise.

  • James Earl Jones


    If you have the time, visit both and find which fits best. While similar on paper, I visited both and found that there was a big difference in the overall student bodies (Darden has about 100 less per class), and the Veteran’s club at Darden is much more engaged than at Duke. My 2 cents.

  • Mario


    go for Duke..this school is gaining momentum..and military friendly.. However, if you are a case method fan..Darden is good..

  • I’m currently debating between duke and Virginia. I’m coming out of the military trying to switch careers into banking. Anyone have any insight?

  • Mario


    at INSEAD_and based on ex_ you will have a keys not a key… 😉

  • D

    My intent is not to convince you, but caution you. I’m not affiliated with either school, but as an independent observer I can see the recent differences in quality of their grads.

    To your point about some students in China not knowing about Booth, that might very well say more about them than the school. Those that are not well connected or successful in business might only know those schools with strong undergraduate brand names. I can honestly say that 3/4 of my friends have probably never heard of Booth…but I will also not likely cross paths with those friends during the course of my professional career. So, should I really consider their advice when choosing a school? Should I consider the advice of my high school math teacher as well? (A little overboard, I know, but I wanted to drive home the point.)

    So who’s opinion does matter? The prospective employer’s. If your target employer has never heard of Booth, then they probably don’t hire many (if any) MBAs, and chances are you would be overpaying for an MBA no matter where you went. However, among those employers that actively recruit MBAs, I think you’ll find that Booth is not only known, but among their most highly targeted schools.

    Bottom line, prestige matters for the un-informed, while the informed pay closer attention to a school’s recent ability to produce capable and well balanced graduates that are highly valued in industry.

  • Gosh


    Well actually it is the opposite! It is because I’m not that young anymore that I care so much about the prestige because my opportunity cost is quite high. I want my MBA to open some specific doors, not simply enter finance or change industry. so I need a good key 🙂

  • Mario


    loving prestige will be deceased once you get older and more involved in real is just a factor for the youngsters whom still have no responsibilities..with time you will forget all that..the earlier you realize this the better your performance in this tough life.. 😉

  • Gosh

    I forgot: prestige is not lagging: it is actually ongoing. If Booth is going up the ladder of prestige then you would have to explain to me why both the number of applications and yield have not risen for the past 10 years… In my opinion it its precisely because Booth has everything (great facilities, great faculty, great students, great energy, great rankings) except prestige. I was in China for work last week, I talked about MBA with students and they told me they dream of HBS/Stanford/Wharton/CBS (yes I was surprised to hear CBS) but I’ve never heard Booth. Sorry but it is reality. And that will be very hard to change…

    But please don’t get me wrong: Booth is a TERRIFIC school!! I just don’t think it is top3.

    Enjoyed that discussion!

  • Gosh


    I don’t really understand why you talk about Wharton here? My question was about Booth, not Wharton, I was wondering why Booth would be number 3 with such poor statistics? In my view it is illogical. But if you ask my opinion, then Wharton and Booth are not in the same category, as I see Booth as on par with CBS/Kellogg/MIT but not HBS/Stanford/Wharton.

    In any case, I don’t see why Wharton would have passed its prime? Do you mean because of some rankings alone? You are right, I don’t really respect rankings because they are pointless: any credible ranking should have HBS number one because what people look for is the brand, first and foremost. But none of them has HBS number one! Is it credible? No. So do you really think that if the BW ranking was ranking HBS number 10 people would not go there anymore? No, they would laugh at it and continue applying to HBS. So why should we trust them when they say Booth is number one? It is not credible at all to even pretend Booth is better than HBS/Stanford and nobody believes it. Look at the yield!

    On the other hand, if I may I think you care too much about rankings: the mere fact that Booth is number 1 of the BW ranking will not by itself make it top3, sorry. Kellogg was number 1 for years but it is still behind HBS/Stanford/Wharton because prestige is something different than % of women students, GMAT or happiness of alumnis.


  • JM

    John – Can you let us know if a comprehensive list of part time program rankings is in the works? Several publications have listed these rankings, and seeing an aggregate as you have done with the FT rankings would be very helpful. I probably speak for most working professionals when I say that PT programs have become much more important over the past few years.


  • D


    I’m not quite sure what you’re advocating, as it seems you hate rankings but love the “prestige factor” that influences applications. To defend Booth a bit, regardless of their yield or application stats, they are clearly among the best in the game at shaping well balanced and extremely capable graduates. To a large extent, the same cannot be said for Wharton these days. Many of their recent grads that I have encountered have tried to let Wharton’s brand speak on their behalf (i.e. they couldn’t contribute much to the team, but they were also the one’s tossing out their school’s name three times a day.) With graduates like this burning their way through companies, it is only a matter of time before perceptions of a school start to change.
    Unfortunately for both Booth and Wharton, the “prestige factor” is a lagging indicator. The impact on Booth is clear, as it keeps them from being able to hold an undisputed top-3 spot for many, many years. However, the impact on Wharton is actually worse in practical terms. Top-tier business school candidates are likely going to be aware of the most recent trends with Wharton, and they are not likely to want to associate themselves with a school that is past its prime. This leaves Wharton with a less-qualified pool of applicants that are attracted primarily to the legacy brand, resulting in a future graduating class that is less likely to perform like a traditional Wharton grad and more likely to talk about being a Wharton grad. This is a vicious cycle where the prestige once associated with Wharton is cheapened by the ever increasing number of graduates who place undue emphasis on where they went to school rather than what they can do.

  • Gosh

    If Booth is that great, why is it eighth in the number of applications received (less than all other top B-Scools), has a 60% yield (far below most other top schools) and has an acceptance rate that is so high compared to other top schools (22%)? My datas come from the Poetandquant website. In my opinion, with that kind of numbers, Booth is at the bottom of the top, clearly not top3 and looks more like a safety school than like a clear top3… So why do you consider it so good? Do you really think rankings are that important?? Thank you

  • Henry


    This might not be the place for this, but I was hoping to hear what Poets and Quants thought of the Tufts Fletcher School’s Master of International Business program. If anyone else can weigh in I’d really appreciate it too. Thanks.

  • This should be obvious

    Vladimir, your posts don’t make sense. The banking post is particularly asinine.

  • jay

    Does anyone know when BW will publish its 2012 MBA rankings?

  • Vladmir

    If banks were Business Schools:

    Goldmansachs —>Stanford
    JP Morgan —> HBS
    Morgan Stanley –> Wharton
    BOAML –> CBS
    HSBC –>LBS

  • kravishankar

    Many Thanks

  • Vladmir

    Booth and Insead are two totally different schools with totally different approachs.
    Yes Booth has been rated very highly the last couple of years as per Chicago’s major push ahead on the rankings. However, Wharton is the defacto finance school of choice. I would however say that Booth will be giving CBS a run for its money. Booths faculty are world renowned and Booth has a smaller class which means it is not a factory like CBS (800+). More imp, which I’ll write abt later is how unsustainable the finance schools are. CBS has over 50% going into finance. This industry is not expanding, indeed its contracting. Booth has abt 41% so it has better options.
    Now on INSEAD VS BOOTH. Chicago vs Fonty / Sing. 1 yr vs 2 yr. Arguably the best faculty in the world vs good faculty. Finance and quant focused school with great flexibility in the curriculum vs on yr of action packed courses at Insead. Rankings wise, Insead is in a different bracket. Its like a bulge bracket (Booth) vs a UBS (super strong in Europe and Asia) but weaker in the US. But most imp of all, I think Booth will give u better options. Alot of consultancies recruit from there. You’ll get the best of both worlds from Booth. Insead will be more one dimensional. If you have offers from both, congratsulations !

  • kravishankar

    tks. Booth is ranked 3rd as per your rating and if you take an average of all rankings it is 2nd……then why is wharton perceived above booth..

  • Kravishankar,

    Not until November of 2012. This latest ranking was only recently published in December.

  • kravishankar

    when will the 2012 ranking be declared

  • Mike


    FYI. The link at the bottom of each page (located in the black section) to the Top 100 US Programs still links to last year’s article and rankings.


  • Birchtree


    Great information as usual…very much appreciated! Any new updates on timing for the new P&Q EMBA Rankings?
    Thanks Again!

  • Brian,

    Shortly. We really should have released the list with the U.S. list, but fell behind. Hope to get this out by the end of the week. As for a composite list, it’s really hard to do it in a sensible way.

  • Brian


    When do you expect to release the top 50 non-US MBA programs and do you plan on making a composite US/non-US ranking?

  • jay

    To add on to the comment above, the Rice link also directs users to an apple page.

  • Hi John,

    Short articles linked on each of the listed school is very useful.
    I should let you know that the hyperlink for the two schools (mentioned below) takes me to apple’s website ( the url can be seen by putting mouse over the school’s name):
    26. Ohio State (Fisher)
    27. Notre Dame (Mendoza) Notre Dame,


  • JC

    Actually, the rankings should be (if you average equally the 5 major rankings):
    1) Harvard ( 9 / 5 = 1.8)
    2) UChicago (17 / 5 = 3.4)
    3) Stanford (18 / 5 = 3.6)
    4) UPenn (22 / 5 = 4.4)

  • Sean

    John, on your point of desirable location, I thought it interesting if you go through the top 25 you have schools in major cities like Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Austin, and Nashville placing on the mid to lower end of the scale. One can argue that Goizueta, CMU, McComb, and Owen churn out students that are equal to some of their counterparts and have the program/infrastructure to rival as well. But that yield (excluding scholarship effect) is really just driven by the desirability of where the school is. Who the heck wants to live in Pittsburgh? Atlanta? Yikes.

    Another point is the size of some of these schools. The rankings may not fully account (but includes implicitly through recruiter ranks, for example) for how size varies dramatically across the schools. If you believe business school is about partying, networking and learning, then it’ll make absolute sense that 900 person class Harvard is #1. But if you are more interested in intimate (100-200 per class) but high level environments to maximize learning of fundamentals (with some partying/networking thrown in), then schools like Goizueta, McDonough, and Kelley are better fits.

  • Snakehead,

    That’s really due to two reasons: 1) We didn’t merely merge all the ranks to come up with an overall rating, and 2) This is a dynamic list in the sense that each school is competing with each other on the basis of the assigned raw scores and not the ranks.

    Schools on each of the five major rankings were scored from a high of 100 to a low of 1, the numerical rank of the 100th school on any one list. Then, those sums were brought together, weighting the BusinessWeek ranking 25%, the Forbes ranking 25%, the U.S. News & World Report rankings 25%, the Financial Times rankings 15%, and The Economist ranking 10%. These differing weights reflect the authority and credibility we believe each of these rankings have in the business school universe.

    Using that system gave Wisconsin a score that was converted into an index with the high score being 100.0 awarded to the No. 1 school Harvard. Wisconsin scored 71.5 on this index, just above the 71.2 scored by Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Business and just below the 73.2 scored by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

  • Jose

    @Rebecca “The FT’s ranking is extremely well regarded internationally”

    I’m from a Western European country. Here FT is almost the only ranking people know about. The reason is because FT uses to rank very well European schools (and particularly the schools from my country) and because of that the ranking appears in the national newspapers every time it ranks well one of our schools. However, BW, US News, Forbes rankings didn’t use to rank international schools, or when they do, they don’t put very well our schools. Therefore, they never appear in any media here.

    In my view FT is a ranking totally flawed and many people out of the US are mislead about what schools are the best because of this crappy ranking.

  • ablabmcz,

    Again, this is all comparative. Wisconsin’s relatively strong showing across all five rankings is what lifts it up.

  • ablabmsz

    {moderator: errors fixed below}

    I came here from a brag piece at UW’s website: It diminishes cred that its position at 24th is higher than any of its input rankings. I see how that may have happened but it also weakens the surface validity of the entire list, should anyone look down that far 😉

  • ablabmsz

    I came to the list from a brag piece at UW’s website. It diminishes the cred of its position at 24th is higher than any of its input rankings. I see how it may have happened but it also weakens the surface validity of the list, if anyone looks down that far 😉

  • Snakehead

    Hi, just a quick question. What methodology are you using to create the index? I don’t understand how Wisconsin can be ranked #24 when the inputs are 30, 34, 29, 28, 31 and 27. Unlike its neighbors in your ranking (e.g., Georgetown, Vanderbilt, etc.) Wisconsin doesn’t have even one number that could pull its average up to explain its ranking.

    Thanks for shedding light on this.

  • Rebecca,

    First, some history. It’s a dubious distinction to be sure, but I created the BusinessWeek ranking in 1988, the first regularly published rankings of business schools. I’ve been a long-time observer of graduate business education since then, writing three guidebooks for MBA education and co-authoring one for executive education. I have studied each of the major methodologies used by these five organizations to rank schools and strongly believe the FT and the Economist ranking systems to be less credible than BW, U.S. News, and Forbes. Nonetheless, the FT (which is better than The Economist) does carry considerable clout, but largely because of its brand dominance in the U.K. than for its business school methodology. Although it must be said that non-U.S. schools favor the FT methodology because it is biased in favor of non-U.S. schools. For an analysis as to why I see it this way, check out Ranking the Rankings. We also recently ran a story on the Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranking which may interest you: Why Schools Are Saying No To Aspen

  • Ramses

    This should be obvious, this is a great effort but I disagree with your analysis. Haas is a good try but still makes it top 10 @ #9. NYU is a top 10 defacto. They got a 90k alumni (network) base worldwide, great placement and reputation. If they worked so immensely hard on their yield why then its only 50+% and not 60-70%? This is a bit stretched I think and therefore that’s why it has reasonably created so much discussion and attention.

  • Jay,

    Truth is, there are flaws in every ranking system. The primary reason I’m giving BW a 25% weight is that it measures something that is really important and isn’t measured elsewhere or otherwise available to the general public. You can see GMAT scores, GPAs, acceptance rates, job placement success, starting pay. All that stuff is in the open marketplace and an organization ranking schools isn’t doing much work putting them into a weighting system and ranking schools by those measures as important as they are. But no one is attempting to measure what graduates think of their MBA experience nor what corporate recruiters think of the graduates they hire (yes, I know U.S. News attempts to do this last part but that is the most flawed piece of their methodology because of the way they do this survey of recruiters). So BW is putting important and differentiated information into the marketplace. Is it flawed? Yes. Is it so badly flawed that it is useless? Not at all. I totally agree that SMU has an odd rank this time around. So does SMU, by the way. I agree with you that these other quirky findings have some issues with them, too, which I’ve attempted to point out in various articles. But there is some real value here.

  • Rebecca

    Hi, I wondered what the rationale is for the weighting of the ranks:

    “BusinessWeek, U.S. News and Forbes each have a weight of 25%. The FT is at 15% and The Economist is at 10%.”

    The FT’s ranking is extremely well regarded internationally, even more so than the US-centric publications. Any reason it wasn’t given equal billing given the importance of international business?

    On a related topic, do any of the rankings take into account percent of students from International locations? I wonder how international students may skew the post-graduate salaries.

    Ditto with percentage of students taking non-profit, government, or socially conscious career paths. Have you considered adding in the Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes rankings?

  • Bostonian

    “this should be obvious” – conspiracy theory 🙂 Did you work on admissions before?

  • Birchtree

    justwondering, I think you raise a good point regarding why so much attention on Stern. Speaking for myself only, I addressed Stern a number of times because several posters were quite upset about its placement at #15, and I am interested in that hard to define line between a school’s ranking/reputation and actual admissions selectivity-as they can be quite variable. I kept referencing Stern in my comments because of the interest displayed in these/those comments. Incidentally, I do believe that BW and Forbes under-ranked Stern by putting it at #18 in each of their respective rankings but that is neither here nor there…You make a very valid point about brand, reputation, and network, which can be very much at odds with admissions rates, Noble Prize Winners, yields etc…

  • justwondering

    Why is Stern so frequently mentioned in the chat? I’ve never experienced anyone in New York caring that someone went there or being particularly impressed with the place next to the traditional top ranking schools. I don’t know what else truly matters with business school other than reputation, brand, and network. I mean, three Noble Prize winners is certainly a nice-to-have, but you can’t write that on your resume when you graduate from there….

  • This should be obvious,

    Thanks for your really thoughtful perspective.

  • tsiro
  • tsiro

    Thanks to stats released by P&Q the yield % may also be affected by the % of students receiving scholarships. For instance at Ross, 75% receive scholarships- therefore the high yield above. Therefore, I think this is also a very important factor into the equation of yield %.

  • On NYU’s ranking: As everyone knows, the P&Q ranking is a composite rating based on the five most influential rankings of MBA programs. So it’s a reflection of the the most-followed and most-credible rankings currently published. I believe that a composite is a more accurate way to look at a school’s overall reputation and image, but like each of these rankings upon which it is based, there is no perfect ranking system.

    As for NYU’s ranking, Stern is a great school and has been a great school for a very long time. And acceptance rates are an important indicator of quality. But you have to remember that NYU is a major beneficiary of its location. A lot of applicants see New York as a highly desirable place to spend two years. It’s one of the reasons why the top schools in California–Stanford, Berkeley and UCLA–are so selective. If you put any of these schools in a less desirable locale, all of them would suffer a significant decline in application volume, including Stanford. So you can’t judge overall quality or standing merely on the basis of an acceptance rate.

  • Gosh,

    BusinessWeek, U.S. News and Forbes each have a weight of 25%. The FT is at 15% and The Economist is at 10%.

  • new guy

    tsiro – good analysis. You are probably right. Yale’s yield is 45.1%.

  • This should be obvious

    I’m not sure what the confusion is, and why everyone is focusing so strongly on Stern, when it exhibits the same characteristics as Berkeley Haas. Haas has a higher GMAT/GPA average than Stern, a lower admissions rate, and UC Berkeley is overall a more influential institution from a research point of view than Stern. Yet both suffer in rankings compared to Wharton, Booth, Kellogg and Columbia; this is even more notable in Stern’s case, because of the decidedly pro-East Coast nature of the rankings. I will show you what you all seem to be missing, which “new guy” has begun to do.

    There are three key factors that affect the admissions rate, and they are not real reflections of competitiveness or quailty: yield, GMAT, and location.

    Location is the easiest: Stern and Haas are in amazing locations (The Village in Manhattan and the sunnier, wackier, more intellectual side of the Bay Area), which are a draw for students all over the East Coast and California. That drives up applicant volumes for a finite number of seats. Their locations also afford them direct access to big banks and media for Stern, and the tech culture for Haas – both appealing job markets.

    Next comes the GMAT, which accounts for 16% of their USNews raw score. A school’s ranking is the result of a joint effort across administrative departments and usually led by the dean, but where the Admissions Office can help the most is with the GMAT score. Your chances at Stern and Haas become severely handicapped with a sub-700 score, and conversely, you do yourself a real favor with a dazzling score. Compare this to HBS, which truly doesn’t care once you clear 700 and is willing to admit many in the 500 range, or to INSEAD and Wharton, which focus on subscores for competence more than the overall scores for cosmetics. All three are considered better programs than Stern and Haas.

    Finally, yield. Stern and Haas are extremely yield-conscious, as is Columbia (its 72% yield is anomalous). With so many applicants, Haas and Stern get to pick and choose who comes into the class, and they are both notorious (Stern more so) for picking and choosing based on yield, making “why this school/prove to us that you have done your homework” an INTEGRAL component of their application. They’ve already weeded out poor GMATs: yield-management immediately allows them to weed out applicants who aren’t truly passionate about their program. If someone has taken the time to properly research the program, it must be some indicator of interest, right? They don’t want to admit you if they know you’re capable of getting into Booth, Wharton or Columbia and have applied to their program as an afterthought. By fine-tuning their yield, they can ensure that they admit the minimum number of students in order to fill their class (and tuition coffers) while sporting the lowest possible acceptance rate, thereby cultivating an aura of exclusivity.

    Based on this alone, they are able to sort through high application volumes because they are reputed programs in ultra-popular locations; they use GMAT averages to boost their rankings and weed out candidates; they use demonstrated applicant interest to ration the admits they give out and ensure that they’re giving spots to students who truly want to come.

    Fine schools, but these strategies don’t really make for a Top 5 reputation, contrary to what some of you are saying. And based on the employment reports, it sounds like recruiters (who are the other half of the customer base) don’t think so either. Remember, year-after-year corporate recruiters view business schools as big-volume headhunters; schools are recognized for their ability to filter out the kind of talent that corporations want, but don’t feel like seeking out on their own. Based on who they hire, it looks like there are more than 5 programs that do a better job at enroling the kind of candidates that corporations want to hire.

  • Gosh

    BTW, could you disclose the weightings of the different rankings? Thank you John

  • Gosh

    Hello John,

    just wondering why you were using the Economist Ranking? From what I know, this ranking is not highly regarded, better than the Wall Street Journal ranking, but not that better?

  • tsiro

    New guy, thank you for the yield info. I see Stern is #11 there. What is the Yield at Yale btw?

    As for NYU debade, I also agree it is easily a top # 10 school. As for the yield I suspect that due to the fact that its selectivity and overall requirements are at IVY league level, up to and including Wharton level, I assume that those who are accepted at NYU are also accepted by top 5 schoolls and they end up chosing those vs NYU. However, those who apply to Ross, for example, with selectivity of 32%, probably apply to other schools who are equally selective but not at top 5 level, making Ross a far better selection. This may be one of the reasons. Perhaps another reason is that NYU doesnt have a real campus but has buildings spread all over? I am not sure…a third reason may be the # 15 ranking itself that affects people’s decisions?

  • new guy

    I agree that Stern should be in the top 10; however if you look at NYU’s yield, its a bit lower than the other top ranked schools (note – yeild = the percent of students that get into NYU and agree to go)

    School Yield
    Harvard 84.30%
    Stanford 79.70%
    Columbia 72.20%
    UPenn (Wharton) 71.40%
    Michigan (Ross) 70.60%
    MIT (Sloan) 64.60%
    Chicago (Booth) 60.50%
    Cornell (Johnson) 58.60%
    Northwestern (Kellogg) 58.20%
    Dartmouth (Tuck) 54.50%
    NYU (Stern) 53.00%
    Duke (Fuqua) 52.90%

  • Waleed Khawaja

    I expected chicago booth to close the gap at the top two bschools, and it has. the recognition and power of its mba program is definitely increasing, but for its brand name to be as strong as HSW worldwide is just a function of time.

  • Birchtree

    lowe I appreciate the dialogue as well and certainly can understand why some question different o unexpected results. Stern is an exceptional school that has many compelling reasons to support it’s place in the top tier of business schools. I believe that time will allow Stern and others schools to move/be recognized within different rankings according to their own results and opinion. Again, this P&Q ranking, which I admire, weights 3 rankings (BW, Forbes, and USN) mot significantly. Accordingly and with respect to Stern, since they were ranked 18th in two of those rankings-15th in P&Q seems reasonable. What I am not saying is that Stern deserved to be 18th in those two rankings…I would have ranked them higher if I were doing the job, but P&Q is just using those ready established numbers. Perhaps the fight is with BW and Forbes not P&Q? Thanks everyone…

  • Bostonian

    Guys, are you aware that Stern is the ONLY university with 3 Nobel price winners on its active faculty? They just received one last month. Is this school ranked # 15?

  • lowe

    True but one needs to take into account the GMAT score requirements as well. Stern has 720 GMAT and 14% Selectivity and 4.5k+ applicants, therefore it satisfies all 3 criteria. However, the other schools do not. That’s why some people in this blog have been surprised by the rather severe discount of Stern’s ranking despite being highly competitive across all aspects. Very good discussion and analysis by the way very much appreciated.

  • Birchtree

    lowe thank you and I appreciate and share your thoughts. In no way did I mean to make Texas Tech seem representative. In fact, they were just the first on that selectivity rankings list that I included of a School that one might not ordinarily have in mind as highly ranked and thus a useful way to illustrate that admissions selectivity in isolation does not necessarily a predictor of ranking success or perception in the world. On that same selectivity ranking list UTexas-Dallas came in at #12, Georgia Tech at #14, and Texas A&M at #16. All fine schools I am sure but also not likely to be regarded as that highly ranked by many. So that again, I think selectivity is only one of many very important criteria (albeit an important one) that contributes to a ranking and broader market perception.

  • jimmy

    Stern’s global rank is # 2 in EMBA though

    It also has a stellar MSc in Risk management Program reflecting its global reputation as a finance powerhouse

  • lowe

    Birchtree, I looked at this list which is the most recent :

    I cannot find Texas Tech Rawls here.

    In your link, I also observe that they got only 275 applicants (30 enrolled!) and we know that top tier schools receive at least 3.5-4+K applicants. I do not think that Texas is a representative example. As to the other points I agree though, the noticeable imbalance is striking though. It appears that US news have carefully taken this into account.

  • Matty

    Love: You can find that full PDF here, the link is under the Editor’s Choice table:,dwp_uuid=a6183a4e-287c-11e0-bfcc-00144feab49a.html#axzz1gFBAeCJG …though keep in mind its a massive file.

    The top 5 in Finance are: Stern, Booth, Wharton, Columbia, LBS. I agree with your point that this should be reflected in the overall rankings, though I do think that in many ways it is reflected. The more finance-focused publications, FT and The Economist, have it ranked 7 and 9 in the U.S. USNews clearly recognizes this as well with its 10. BW and Forbes are more survey-based with rankings that flip around every year, but I can’t comment on exactly what they’re missing.

    I don’t think it really creates “asymetries” as you put, there is a huge demand for finance by aspiring MBAs, and thus Stern is very tough to get into. Seems pretty logical to me.

  • lowe

    In fact I was wondering about Stern as well. My question is that if there is so such a demand in the finance population of MBAs it should in some way reflect on its overall ranking as well, else it creates big “assymetries”. Do you have the link in FT Finance rankings? Cant locate it.

  • Matty

    Nathan, Birchtree: Here’s why Stern is so competitive to get into:

    US News Rankings for Finance: (Stern ranks 3)

    QS MBA Rankings for Finance: (Stern ranks 4 globally)

    And if you look in the full FT 2011 report, they ranked Stern #1 globally in Finance.

    Finance (banking, research, HF/PE etc) is probably the second most popular target for students going to get their MBA (after consulting). So although Stern is not a top 5 school overall, when it comes to Finance, it is one of the premier institutions. Perhaps more importantly, it is actually recognized across the board as a top 5 school, unlike the above rankings ranging from 7-18 overall. I think this is absolutely why it is so competitive to get in — you have thousands of aspiring MBAs targeting Finance and if you are, your best choice of school becomes: Wharton, Booth, Columbia, Stern (and of course Harvard and Stanford), in some order. The schools above Stern on the above list are fantastic institutions as well, no doubt about it, but if you’re targeting b-school you need to think hard beforehand about where you want to be and why, and different schools have strengths in different things.

    Hope that helps.

  • Birchtree

    nathan thank you as well. I understand and appreciate your questions/concerns. I think this strikes the frequent debate between admissions selectivity and actual ranking and perception. If rankings were determined solely on admissions selectivity things would be quite straightforward but also not entirely reasonable. Some schools have higher selectivity but are broadly agreed upon by most as having a less competitive rank. See the link below which shows Stern as having the 5th most selective admissions which confirms your points and others and yet the same survey also shows that Texas Tech Rawls comes in at #9. Texas Tech is a great school but most would debate that it is ninth in the US. Back to original point however, I think that it is incumbent upon prospective applicants to weigh whether or not to apply to a school like Stern which is considered globally to be a top management school regardless of it’s actual admissions rate based upon so many other criteria. The admit rate should be one criteria used to determine whether or not the effort is worthwhile.

  • nathan

    Thank you Birchtree. What raised my attention in fact is how there can be such a large disparity between selectivity % (14%) in a school (being top 5 most selective probably globally), yet being in top 15 business schools in terms of rankings vs other schools with 25%+ in selectivity, yet making them much higher ranked schools..The question is why would I apply to this school if I can have a double as much easier life (14% vs 25% selectivity in some schools making it at higher ranks) getting in to a much higher ranked school vs Stern. Something is odd here- Either market forces would have to drive its selectivity at around 15th most selective, or its rank would eventually have to make it top 10 easily, as we saw on US News Ranking and as we also saw on what happened with NYU Law School which has eventually reached top 5-6…

  • skeptical this time

    Interesting thing here about the brand, as well as the relationship between the “parent entity” and the “business school entity”. USNews and Businessweek are MUCH LESS RELEVANT, as parent publications, than the Financial Times (easily the most influential and widely-followed daily in global business) and The Economist (which has broad appeal amongst economists, policy analysts, common garden intellectuals and the business community alike). I think John, who should be praised for all his good work, should try to adopt a more worldly view (he can’t possibly end up like Sandy, who went as far as to say that US schools are more international than non-US schools!).

    However, Americans pay much more attention to the “business school rankings” of USN and BW, despite the lower influence and prestige of the parent publications. It feels like Wharton/Kellogg on one hand and Yale/Oxford on the other!

  • John,
    You should really take a look at, a intense one year program specifically for entrepreneurship out of Austin. Great teachers (all entrepreneurs), intense course work (you go through 300+ Harvard cases), and a unique “Life of Meaning” class which drives things like ethics, finding your calling and finding meaning in your work.

  • Birchtree

    I think the P&Q rankings do not seem odd at all-in fact they appear generally spot on in my personal estimation. With USN, BW, and Forbes weighted strongest in this system…Stern was ranked 18 by BW and 18 by Forbes and 10 by USN…so a rank of 15 seems entirely Reasonable…and it is only a 3 spot change from last year. The rankings move a few spots here and there every year. I am sure Stern will make up for it next year. Great schools jaw always bounce around a little. I do think the FT and Economist are credible rankings but in the US they are certainly less significant than BW, USN, and even o. Lesser extent Forbes.

  • nathan

    I generally agree with the above posts. Something is odd. Can you please give me an explanation to the excellent argumentation laid out by Bostonia above an, in extension, to my reply (scroll above).

  • Alex

    Joanne – “Brand name is not everything”…

    Brand name is HUGE. It drives up applications, lowers admission rates, increases accepted student stats, draws superstar faculty, brings in recruiters, and drives up starting salaries. It contributes to virtually every aspect of every ranking system.

    Don’t think so? Let’s look at the P&Q top 7 (which averages other rankings and is “the best of all”):


    And what do these schools have in common?

  • applicant

    Hi John, maybe my math got sloppy since i took the GMAT, but i don’t see how Kellogg is ranked below Columbia and MIT considering its average on the 3 rankings you consider most important is much higher than Columbia and MIT’s average. Also, the same goes for Columbia vs. MIT – i don’t understand (considering your methodology) how you reached the conclusion that they were tied since Columbia clearly seems to rank better in the end.
    Basically, would love if you could lay out an example of the calculations.

    Anyway, thanks for making the ranking, i definitely believe that in the end this your ranking is the most authoritative of all.

  • John P

    “Previously, we valued U.S. News slightly below BusinessWeek and Forbes because its surveys of both B-school deans and corporate recruiters is severely flawed”

    John, you are great, loved how you see things other don’t, and you even have what it takes to say it.

    25% weight o BW, Us News and Forbes is definitely fair.

  • Joanne

    US News is a lot about brand name, and brand name is not everything. In my view this year methodology is right, that’s the reason P&Q ranking is the best of all, it captures the good of the others.

  • jay


    Help me understand why you put so much weight into BW. You yourself say that “If a business school ranking fails to give Harvard its due, it’s merely the result of quirky methodology and little else. There is no business school in the U.S.–and especially the world–that can genuinely lay claim to having the best MBA program than Harvard.”

    BW has NEVER ranked HBS first. Plus, that “quirky methodology” placed:

    – Southern Methodist at #12, above Stern, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, and Dartmouth.
    – Duke and Michigan above Columbia and MIT (not to take anything away from Duke and MIch which are great schools)
    – Stanford at #5

    There are serious flaws with the BW ranking system. USNews is significantly more credible in my opinion.

  • Mark,

    I dislike methodology changes as well, but this one seemed to make sense. In retrospect, I was slightly overvaluing the BusinessWeek list. I don’t expect any changes at all next year.


  • Mark

    John .
    So, as Chicago Booth would be 2nd using last year methodology, you have changed it to give more weight to US News and keep Stanford second? Honestly this doesn’t sound right to me.
    Will you do the same next year?

  • Matty

    Agreed on U.S. News and BW, but not Forbes. When I was researching b-schools and speaking with admissions/students at different schools, I can say that Forbes was not on anyone’s radar.

    FT and The Economist are talked about more than you think — those are widely read publications in our world, and generally considered best in class. If you think their rankings are “odd,” just look at BW with Yale at 21 and Tuck at 14 — yet that ranking is considered “credible.” I’m not saying it isn’t, but FT and the Economist as powerful brands should be given more credit.

  • Student,

    There’s equal weight given to U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, and Forbes. Less weight is given to The Financial Times and The Economist whose rankings are generally considered not as reliable nor credible. Of course, all these rankings are flawed to some degree. But in my estimation–and as someone who created one of them back in 1988–I consider U.S. News, BW and Forbes to be the most authoritative and therefore to have the most impact on a given school’s overall image and reputation.

  • Student

    I honestly see no way that you can justify having Stern at #15. I know that this ranking is done as some sort of weighted average but it appears to be heavily weighing the two rankings (BW and Forbes) where Stern performed the worst. Within those two, Tepper, Kenan-Flagler, McCombs, and UCLA are all ranked above Stern. This does not seem right whatsoever.

  • Matty

    Re Stern: It has not one, not two, but THREE top 10 rankings, and yet you’ve got it all the way down at 15? Not Yale, Cornell, Michigan, Virginia, or Duke have three top 10s. And Cornell has 4/5 rankings 13 and below, and its up at 13. Odd formula.

  • wray1959

    Please consider compiling a ranking of part-time programs.

  • Skeptical this time

    How on earth does Columbia get 5th when your two most influential rankings (USN and BW) place it 9th? It appears to benefit from the volatility surrounding MIT Sloan and Kellogg (whom most feel are better than CBS) on one hand, and Tuck and Berkeley (whom most feel are peer schools) on the other. Overall, the top 9 make sense. Surprised by Duke being the school that rounds out the top 10. Interesting about Yale – a lot of raw data shows that it’s essentially the same calibre as Cornell and NYU, but it appears that Dean Snyder, the brand and its CBS-style admissions policy will help it become the school that rounds out the top 10 (ironically, it’ll happen the soonest on USN, that most slow-moving of ranks, thanks to the 25 per cent dean-assessment score).

  • JK Prez

    In India, we have one unique one year executive MBA program on 52 Sundays full day by top ranking university, may throw light/information on similar program by other global/USA top schools, may be in this article review or any other article by you

  • Alois de Novo

    John, less is more and more is less. See:

  • Jonathan

    Businessweek, Financial Times and the Economist are clown rankings.

  • I have a quick question. Who ranks better in the ethics and sustainable depratrment? Thank you!

  • Sandy

    Below is an excerpt from an article on this forum that talks about the flaws with FT ranking criteria –

    The FT uses a mix of 20 different criteria, including many that what could be considered “politically correct” metrics that have little to do with the actual quality of an MBA program. For example, the FT ranks schools on such factors as the percentage of women students and faculty, the number of women on a school’s advisory board, the percentage of international students and faculty, the number of extra languages required to be spoken at graduation, and the percentage of international directors on a school’s board. It also includes such things as the percentage of faculty with PhDs as well as the number of doctoral graduates from a school and how many take up jobs with the school that awarded their degree. What any of this has to do with the quality of the MBA or the MBA experience is open to question.

    I would not sweat about any of these considerations. I dont see a program like Tuck appointing more women to its board or offering PhD programs, just because someone thinks its an important parameter in ranking.

    Which school you go to is a very personal choice. If you know what you want and are passionate about it (I dont mean a PE/HF job), any top school will provide for opportunities for you to achieve your goals. Rest is all paralysis by analysis.

  • D


    Great work, and I love the detail provided on the dedicated site for each school.

    John actually discusses each school’s individual performance in more detail on their dedicated web page. Just click on the school’s link in the table.

  • Snake

    John, I would be curious to know your point of view on Tuck ranking two ranks lower?
    My interest for the program grew a lot after reading your articles and comparisons for this school and I am a little surprised by this (not that it changes my opinion 🙂 )

  • Matt

    Thanks for all the work you put into this, John. Speaking from a statistically-inclined perspective, I completely agree with your philosophy that taking a weighted average of the ratings filters out the noise. I have been eying the rankings off-and-on for the last year and a half and those double-digit jumps always give me pause.

  • Birchtree

    The P&Q rankings are so helpful in sorting through all the different rankings publications and in providing a more reliable rankings picture…many thanks! Also, any new updates from last on the upcoming P&Q EMBA Rankings…Thanks Again!

  • Lou,

    Luckily, we had it right when we crunched all the numbers. It was an error in the table which is now corrected. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Lou. Appreciate it.


  • Great job, John, but you got one of the BW rankings wrong. You ranked both Washington (Foster) and Washington (Olin) as 40. Olin is ranked 40, but Foster is 31, which is how it’s reported in several places on the BW web site, including our rankings & profiles page: I didn’t check the other rankings, but the whole table probably needs to be recalculated. Thanks.

    Louis Lavelle
    Associate Editor
    Bloomberg Businessweek

  • Curious,

    Very good. The departing dean did a fantastic job differentiating the school in a very crowded and competitive marketplace and admissions did a wonderful job attracting a smart, diverse group of early students. Unfortunately, the school was dealt a severe setback with the abrupt departure of the dean who, for whatever reason, started throwing his hat into the ring for several other university jobs. Much depends, therefore, on who the next dean of the Carey School will be. This is a very critical appointment for the school’s future. I’m optimistic Johns Hopkins will find someone who can build on what the previous dean accomplished and chart a new and stable course for what could be a very good business school.

  • nathan

    Bostonia, I think that the argumentation raised is very valid. I go back and check the recently published selection % and average GMAT levels and I see that indeed Stern stands at 719 Average GMAT and 14% admissions selectivity. It is indeed the 5th toughest school to get in and if I were to compare it with the ranks of other schools together with selectivity difficulty there is an unexplained huge disparity. This would indeed make a very interesting case. As an applicant, knowing that far easier schools to get in with 25-32% admissions rates mentioned above are much higher ranked, I would definitely prefer those and honestly I wouldn’t care less about the location. We are talking about a huge difference and inexplicable “imbalance” here. Thank you for raising this point out!

  • Mae,

    You’re absolutely right. Yes, we’ll look into that in the future. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Mae

    P&Q has been very helpful in providing information about the MBA admissions process and the different program rankings. However, some students are not suited for a full-time program. Will you be posting any articles and rankings for people more interested in pursuing a part-time MBA?

  • Curious

    One school I have been keeping an eye on and have been in touch with has been the Johns Hopkins. What is the outlook for a new program such as theirs?

  • Bostonian

    Thank you John. Yes would be very interesting to see the results because having a top 5 competitive school (as to your recent admissions % and GMAT score list) ranked top 15, it creates an assymetry and therefore one should ask “why should I apply to such a severely competitive school with insanely tough admissions criteria, if I have so many schools ahead of it such as : Duke (# 10), with 26% admissions and 698 average GMAT; Michigan (#12) with 32% admissions and 703 GMAT; Cornell (#13) with 27% admissions and 687 GMAT; Darden (#11) with 27% admissions and 701 GMAT; even Columbia (#5) with 716 GMAT and 16% admissions, and so forth.” You see, there is an “arbitrage” opportunity here- there is a much more competitive school, yet at much lower rating vs other schools so the question is “why bother apply and strain myself getting such high GMAT scores and make superb applications if I can get at a much higher rated school much easier?”. The reply could be that the city helps but so does it help Columbia. Keep in mind that if you are good, city doesn’t matter you may take a plane and move wherever or company may come on campus and I would prefer to go for instance to Cornell or Michigan with far better rating with far less effort…plus the cost of living is probably far less that in central NYC. It may possibly make sense to put higher weights on ratings from sources where the people think are more reliable than others such as, for instance, US News.

  • AJK,

    Absolutely. Yale is among a handful of the best global brands in all of education along with Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford. Yet, it’s School of Management has never been successful in leveraging the power of that brand. My bet is Snyder will make a big difference here as he has at both Chicago Booth and Darden. It may take two to three years, but I predict you’ll see the start with BusinessWeek’s 2012 ranking in the fall.

  • Curious,

    No impact at all on this list. But it’s likely to have some residual impact, particularly in rankings that solicit opinion. I would expect it to show up in both the BusinessWeek and U.S. News ranking because BW surveys corporate recruiters and because U.S. News surveys deans and MBA directors along with recruiters. I suspect you won’t be the only applicant to cross Penn State off your list. An application decline would drive up its acceptance rate and hurt the school in rankings that measure acceptance rates, including U.S. News.

  • jay

    Looks like the top seven shaped up to be the “M7” schools.

  • AJK

    do you see Yale making a big jump in the next couple of years with dean snyder shaping it? I feel that no school has more rankings upside with a strong administration and a powerful brand name.

  • Curious

    How much does a scandal like the one currently hitting Penn State hurt a program? While I know it wasn’t related in anyway to the MBA program, it actually caused me to take Smeal off my list of schools.

  • Bostonian,

    As you know, ours is a composite ranking. That means we take the five most influential rankings published by BusinessWeek, U.S. News, Forbes, The Financial Times, and The Economist and we combine them together assigning a different weight for each to take into account what we believe to be each individual’s ranking credibility and influence on a school’s image and reputation.

    The Stern School simply had a tough rankings year in 2011 and was the only top 25 school in the PoetsandQuants’ ranking to fall three spots to a rank of 15th from 12th a year earlier. No school among this elite group fell further. How come? The school lost ground in three of the four rankings that came out this year (BusinessWeek does its full-time MBA ranking every other year and this was the off year), dropping one place each in both the Forbes and U.S. News rankings and two places in The Financial Times’ latest global rating. The only bright spot was The Economist’s ranking which lifted Stern two places to 12th globally from 14th in 2010.

    The Forbes drop occurred because in that magazine’s estimation, the return-on-investment of the Stern degree didn’t match up as well against some other schools and slipped. U.S. News gathers up a lot of qualitative and quantitative information in its ranking so I would have to very closely look over where Stern lost ground, but among the things it measures is GMAT and GPA scores, job placement, starting salaries, and polls of B-school deans and corporate recruiters. Which one or several of these factors resulted in the fall would require a good bit of research because this is a dynamic list with all the other schools in movement as well. The Financial Times’ methodology is more vague and difficult to discern, though it puts more weight on how international a school is.

    Hope this helps.

  • method

    Glad to see you are using the US-only numbers out of the Economist and FT rankings this year. Looking good, nice work!

  • Bostonian

    Can you please explicitly tell us the rationale for downgrading NYU Stern so much? They are the 5th most competitive school to get into- there must definitely be a reason for it besides the location and they got a professor with Nobel Price in economics last month which adds to the big boost and prestige, in contrast to what you are suggesting.