Darden | Ms. Teaching-To-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Government Consultant
GMAT 600, GPA 3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Space Launch
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Ms. PMP To MBA
GMAT 710, GPA 3.72
INSEAD | Mr. Media Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.65
Harvard | Mr. Renewable Energy Investing
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Mr. Sales Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.00
Stanford GSB | Mr. LGBTQ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.58
Duke Fuqua | Mr. 2020
GMAT 630, GPA 3.92
MIT Sloan | Mr. Generic Nerd
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Cambridge Judge | Mr. Versatility
GMAT 680, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seller
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Hustler
GMAT 760, GPA 4
Chicago Booth | Mr. M7 Aspirant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.79 / 4.00
MIT Sloan | Ms. MD MBA
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Journalist
GMAT 690, GPA 2.8
Tepper | Mr. Family Biz
GRE 329, GPA 3.46
Stanford GSB | Just Jim
GRE 335, GPA 3.99
Stanford GSB | Ms. Aspiring Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8 (Highest Honor)
Harvard | Mr. Amazon Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Economics
GRE 330, GPA 9.68/10 ~ 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. AI & Robotics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Test Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.74
Kellogg | Mr. Andrew
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Masters To MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
NYU Stern | Mr. Bioinformatics
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7

The Vertigo In The Financial Times 2015 MBA Ranking


Even so, a big advance for a school is worth the popping of a few champagne corks and the publication of a news release touting your progress. A big decline is typically greeted by silence. So who’s crowing from the rooftops and who is as quiet as a church mouse?

The champagne is certainly flowing at Fudan University School of Management in Shanghai which jumped 28 places in the rankings to a tie in 55th place with neighbouring Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Antai school of business which rose 22 places itself. Lancaster School of Management in the U.K. soared 27 spots to rank 50th, while ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) in Germany gained 26 positions to place 63rd. Among the U.S. schools, the biggest gain was recorded by Babson College, up 22 places to a rank of 73rd from No. 95 last year.

Besides those free falls by Rochester, Minnesota and Illinois, Penn State’s Smeal School of Business plunged 24 spots to a rank of 86 from 62 a year ago. The Melbourne Business School fell 22 positions to 90th from 68th in 2014. And of course, a number of MBA programs fell entirely off the list, having experienced double-digit drops to miss the top 100 entirely.


Among the ten schools that did a disappearing act this year was last year’s No. 57 Peking University-Guanghua, No. 61 Hult International Business School, No. 66 York University’s Schulich School, No. 75 Texas A&M, and No. 79 Coppead in Brazil. All those schools would have had to fall by double digits to slip off the top 100 entirely. In Peking’s case, the drop suggests a fall of at least 44 places. For York’s Schulich School, the disappearance means the school’s MBA program had to plunge at least 35 spots in a single year.

Also missing from this year’s list were five other MBA programs that all had ranks in the 90s in 2014. They are Tulane University’s Freeman School, which had been ranked 92nd last year, Brigham Young University’s Marriott School, which was ranked 93rd, Wake Forest University, which announced last October that it was exiting the full-time MBA market and had been ranked 94th. Also off the list were EMLyon in France and UC-Davis in the U.S., respectively ranked 95th and 98th a year ago by the FT.

And the newcomers who replaced those schools? Most incredibly, the Chinese University of Hong Kong emerged from nowhere–at it wasn’t even on the FT list last year–and was ranked 30th, above such elite schools as the University of Virginia’s Darden School and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School. The University of Iowa’s Tippie School made the list this year with a rank of 63.

The University of San Diego’s tiny MBA program made its debut on the FT list at a rank of 66, quite an oddity given the fact that the school only enrolls 40 full-time MBA students a year. Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Australia came back at a rank of 68th, while Southern Methodist University’s Cox School landed in the 76th spot. Queen’s University School of Business of Canada and the University of Alberta both tied for 86th place. And Notre Dame University’s Mendoza School placed 89th. Finally, Birmingham Business School and the University of South Carolina’s Moore School came in at 95 and 96, respectively.

Fudan University School of Management

Fudan University School of Management

The Biggest Winners In The 2015 Financial Times Global MBA Ranking

SchoolGain2015 Rank2014 Rank
Fudan University+285583
Lancaster School of Management+275077
ESMT European School of Management & Technology+266389
Shanghai Jiao Tong+225577
Babson College (Olin)+227395
St. Gallen+216788
University College Dublin (Smurfit)+187391
Durham Business School+187997
The Lisbon MBA+163652
Imperial Business+153449
Arizona State (Carey)+117687
Wisconsin Business School+117081

Source: P&Q analysis of the 2015 Financial Times Global MBA ranking

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.