The B-School Class of 2015: By The Numbers

And what about the makeup of the Class of 2015? At every Top ten school, the largest chunk of incoming students continue to come from financial services. Columbia Business School leads here with 40% of its first-year MBAs with financial backgrounds, including real estate. Wharton follows closely with 39% and then there’s a sizable drop off until you come to Harvard Business School with 31%. The biggest surprise in the numbers? Only 26% of the incoming MBA students at Chicago Booth, for many years known more as a finance school, have worked in finance. That is the tied for the lowest of any Top ten school with Kellogg.

Some schools provide more detailed breakdowns on their incoming students. Harvard, for example, leads in nabbing the most MBAs with private equity and venture capital experience (18%). That compares with 17% at Stanford, and 12% at Wharton. Columbia Business School reports that 7% of its incoming MBA students boast PE work experience.

Columbia, meantime, has the largest contingent of consultants in its new MBA class: 29%. That’s above Tuck (25%), Kellogg (24%), and Haas 22%). Harvard has the lowest percentage–just 19%, surprisingly low given the demand for MBAs from the big global consulting giants.

Portrait Of The Class of 2015  — Industry Backgrounds


2013 P&Q Rank & School   Consulting  Finance  CPG/Retail  Tech   Govt/Military/Non-Profit  Healthcare/Biotech
  1. Harvard19%31%6%11%12%6%
  2. Stanford20%27%11%12%13%5%
  3. Chicago20%26%6%6%11%3%
  4. Wharton20%39%10%6%11%NA
  5. Kellogg24%26%8%6%7%3%
  7. Columbia29%40%11%4%10%3%
  8. Dartmouth (Tuck)25%27%13%9%16%4%
  9. Berkeley (Haas)22%30%6%8%12%5%
10. Duke (Fuqua)18%21%3%4%13%6%

Source: Schools
Notes: An asterisk is an estimate

Portrait Of The Class of 2015  — Undergraduate Backgrounds


2013 P&Q Rank & School     Econ/Biz   STEM   Humanities/Social Science
  1. Harvard44%38%6%
  2. Stanford14%35%51%
  3. Chicago55%21%14%
  4. Wharton25%25%44%
  5. Kellogg46%30%22%
  6. MIT (Sloan)30%51%19%
  7. Columbia29%25%44%
  8. Dartmouth (Tuck)41%30%26%
  9. Berkeley (Haas)43%25%24%
10. Duke (Fuqua)47%33%18%

Source: Schools
Notes: An asterisk is an estimate

  • gaurav jain

    !hav to try hard!

  • JohnAByrne

    It’s hard to know if these numbers are directly comparable with each other because they sometimes don’t match exactly across all the schools. Each school breaks down its class the way it wants to rather than using a standard method so that the numbers would be easily comparable.

  • Grad

    I’m curious as to why HBS takes such few humanities majors (way less than the others). Is this a relapse from experimenting with more diversity?

  • jac2016mba

    The “Portrait of Class of 2015 – Undergraduate Backgrounds” looks weird for Harvard Stanford. The differences for the two schools for Econ/Biz and Humanities/Social Science are huge. I wonder if it’s a categorization thing and they are actually much closer? e.g. maybe the econ people for stanford are classified under humanities/social science.

  • MBASeeker

    Thank you for all of this useful info and all the work you do. Will this information also be provided for the schools in the 10 to 20 rank positions? Thx

  • john’s mother

    John goes deep into insanity

  • john’s mother

    John grinds camels

  • john’s mother

    John camels

  • john’s mother

    There is incorrect and inaccurate information due to a lack of proper care and lack of proof reading.

  • Guest

    John, thanks for great data analysis as usual. Isn’t absolute application volume more telling than the YoY growth? Booth shows a strong growth in apps, but in absolute terms the ranking is: H, S, W, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth. ROIs and GMATs aside, this shows where the people really try to get into.

  • FStratford

    The undergrad background speaks volumes: MIT is the STEM school, Harvard, Booth, Kelogg Tuck, Haas and Duke are Biz Schools, and Stanford, Wharton and Columbia are Humanities schools…

    Everyone else have STEM as a second’ish choice, but MIT likes them a lot.

  • ?

    Why are they combining programs for this statistic? It seems like you are comparing apples to oranges in this case. What is the YoY chg. for its two-year MBA program alone? Could that be the 1.1% increase? Maybe I’m missing something. Thanks.

  • JohnAByrne

    The latest update from Kellogg. The school is now reporting that applications to its two-year MBA and MMM programs were up 8.3% this past year to 4,964 from 4,583 a year earlier. This change is now reflected in the table above. We had earlier been told by Kellogg that the increase was only 1.1% but the communications person who relayed that information was wrong. So the 8.3% rise is more in line with the 9% the school reported in May before its round three deadline closed out.

  • JohnAByrne

    Thanks for noticing. We corrected the table. The problem is that many schools don’t make this all that easy to find and then some are more transparent than others. Columbia actually did a very good job of posting all the relevant info. I missed the data that would allow me to do the acceptance rate. It’s corrected now.

    As for the increase in apps and why we didn’t do a separate story, here’s what I think. A double-digit decrease or a double-digit increase at a top school seems to warrant a separate story. That’s why I wrote about the 19% plunge last year and am covering the 6.6% rise in a more comprehensive story about the top schools this year. But your question is a good one and I think it is worth a special mention in this story at the very least. So I did add a paragraph on it.

  • JohnAByrne

    Actually, we reported on Poets&Quants that applications to the full-time program at Kellogg were up about 9%. This is what we were told by the school back in May. But when we checked in again for the figures, the numbers in the table were confirmed by the school. We’ve been going back and forth with Kellogg for days now trying to get to the bottom of this.

  • LS

    John – didn’t Kellogg have a 12.9% increase in number of applications? This is not reflected in the table. The table says Kellogg merely had a 1.1% increase.

  • P&QJokes

    This top 10 list is weird…