Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Engineer In The Military
GRE 310, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Mr. Renewable Energy Consultant
GRE 320, GPA 3.3
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Government Shipyard
GMAT 660, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Writer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Technology & Community
GMAT 650 Practice Test, GPA 3.05
Cambridge Judge Business School | Ms. Story-Teller To Data-Cruncher
GMAT 700 (anticipated), GPA 3.5 (converted from Australia)
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Backyard Homesteader
GRE 327, GPA 3.90
Kellogg | Mr. Military In Silicon Valley
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
INSEAD | Mr. Typical Indian ENG
GRE 322, GPA 8.8/10
Wharton | Mr. Chemical Engineering Dad
GMAT 710, GPA 3.50
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Long-Term Vision
GMAT 710, GPA 3.28
Yale | Mr. Hedge Fund To FinTech
GMAT 740, GPA 61.5
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthcare Operations To General Management
GRE 700, GPA 7.3
Tuck | Ms. Women-Focused Ventures
GRE 321, GPA 2.89
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Healthcare Worker
GMAT 670, GPA 4
Harvard | Mr. French Economist
GMAT 710, GPA 15.3/20 in the French grading system 3.75-4.0/4.0 after conversion
Stanford GSB | Ms. Independent Consultant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Stanford GSB | Ms. 2+2 Tech Girl
GRE 333, GPA 3.95
Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31

How The World’s Top Business Schools Teach Their MBAs

Lecture-based teaching remains highly popular at most business schools


Even so, the good old fashioned lecture-based class is very much alive and well. The school that claims the highest percentage of learning delivered via lecture is not surprising: it’s Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, which estimates that 50% of all the teaching is via lecture. The University of Southern California’s Marshall School is a close second, with 48%.

Those two schools are followed by a trio of institutions which say that 40% of the learning in their MBA programs is by lecture: UCLA’s Anderson School, Vanderbilt University’s Owen School, and Oxford University’s Said School. So if you like to sit back and hear a professor go on about a subject, these are the five schools to put at the top of your list.

And what about team project and experiential learning? For all the talk about team work at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, it’s somewhat surprising that the school says that team projects account for roughly 25% of the teaching at the school. That’s exactly the same amount claimed by Wharton for team projects.


In some cases, of course, there is a lot of overlap between these categories. Experiential learning can very well be defined as team projects. And these are rather imprecise estimates, anyway, that are based on the three top teaching methods at each school. That’s why the data fails to include numbers for each teaching method at a school. Simulations, which also account for a smaller percentage of teaching at many business schools, goes unreported as a result.

Some eight schools, nonetheless, reported that a quarter of their learning is delivered by team projects today: Kellogg, Wharton, Duke’s University’s Fuqua School, Georgia Tech, SMU’s Cox School, New York University’s Stern School, Georgetown University’s McDonough School and Oxford Said.

The school claiming the highest amount of learning delivered via experiential learning–30%–is Vanderbilt’s Owen School. That compares with only 5% at Harvard or 15% at Michigan’s Ross School. Think about that. Owen is claiming that it gives MBA students six times the amount of experiential learning in the Harvard MBA program or twice as much as Michigan, which has long claimed to be the pioneer in action-based learning, another way to describe the experiential method. Ross students put the core curriculum to work in the Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP) course, combining analytical tools with teamwork and leadership development on a consulting project with an actual firm or organization.

For MAP, students are assigned to five-person teams and then lent to a company and a project that starts in the third week of January. There are 150 possible projects to choose from, with a bewildering array of global companies, for the 500 first-year students. This isn’t part of a course and the experience is not optional, as it often is at other business schools. It’s mandatory, intense, all-consuming, and occupies your complete time for seven straight weeks. Each team has two faculty advisers who act as coaches on the project. Given Ross’ emphasis on action-learning, it’s actually surprising that team projects and experiential teaching doesn’t account for a larger part of the MBA program there.

(See following page for your table on how the world’s top schools compare) 

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