Business School Rankings: Amazingly Stagnant At The Top

Whenever a new ranking of the best business schools comes out, anyone with an MBA and anyone wanting the degree flock to the web to check them out. Everyone wants to see if their school moved up or down the latest list. Yet, for the top schools in any ranking there’s often little to no change. A review of U.S. News’ rankings over the past 20 years shows that the list of the best is pretty static. Just check out the following charts to see just how entrenched the elite schools are. The first chart shows the number of times a school has been ranked a Top 10 school since the 1995 rankings: Number of Appearances in U.S. News “Top Ten” Over Last 20 Years: rankings Since 1996, seven schools have been in the top ten EVERY SINGLE YEAR! The super-elite M7 schools (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Booth and Columbia) have dominated the rankings as far back as I could get data. No wonder the competition for these programs is so high. Next, let’s see the “average” rank for these schools over the previous ten years: Average Rank Over 10 Years rankings It’s a close call, but HBS has a slight edge over Stanford GSB for the number one slot. Coming in at third is Wharton, followed by MIT Sloan, Kellogg, and Booth. UC Berkeley-Haas, Tuck, Columbia, and NYU Stern round out the remainder of the Top-Ten over the last decade. Let’s look back 15 years. Maybe something will be different?

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