Duke Fuqua: The iPhone Of B-Schools?

Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

If Harvard Business School is the Walgreens of business schools, and The Wharton School is the Discover Card, then Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business appears to be the iPhone of the world’s best business schools. Believe it?

Fuqua is the latest school to subject itself to a survey that spits out a net promoter score, a measurement of stakeholder loyalty and satisfaction. And the administrators at Fuqua must be more than pleased with the school’s eye-popping score of 67—right on par with the iPhone (67) and just below Apple itself (70)–and even more joyful that net promoter numbers for a couple of more highly selective rivals pale in comparison.

In February, Harvard Business School’s MBA student newspaper, The Harbus, reported the school scored a net promoter score of 41. In March, The Wharton Journal reported Wharton’s score of 51. “In the spirit of friendly competition, we ran our own survey and compared the results,” The Wharton Journal stated, speaking of Harvard’s score. “At 51, our NPS score is almost 25% higher than HBS, putting us squarely in the company of brands such as Discover Card (52) and State Farm (45).” Harvard’s 41 is more akin to Walgreen’s (42) and State Farm (45).


Well, not so fast. Duke’s Fuqua appears to be getting the last laugh, even though Fuqua Dean William “Bill” Boulding insists the net promoter score was a piece of a bigger survey and the purpose was to get a better sense of “where things stand with alums”—and not meant to be competitive with other schools.

“I put this in the category of good news that suggests that we’re doing at least some of the things in the right way,” Boulding says. “We didn’t actually collect the data in response to the data collected at Wharton and Harvard. We contracted with an outside firm without knowing this would be a measurement collected.” Boulding says it’s important for a business school to know how their alums are doing and if they need any support from the school.

The survey, conducted in April by Northstar Research Partners, had 252 of the school’s alumni participate. The report was released to Poets&Quants from the school this week. It should be noted that the integrity of Fuqua’s survey most likely carries more weight since an independent research firm undertook it, compared to the online school newspaper polls at HBS and Wharton. It’s also important to consider that the newspapers surveyed current students, while Fuqua took the pulse of alumni.

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  • Les Diables Bleus

    Why are you even wasting your time responding to that person?

  • FRAN

    As 780, you are probably mentally ill, weird, and childish person.

  • Hedge67

    the fact that you were not able to figure out which ranking I meant (I intentionally didn’t name it on hope you search and know it) , proves to me your ignorance and naive..

  • badjob1123

    You do realize that it’s most likely because the students at Fuqua enter into the program with a lower salary than students at M7 schools? I mean, Fuqua is a really good school but saying dumb things like this just make its (presumed) students and alumni sound bitter…

  • Fuqua>M7

    And Fuqua still has an incredibly high ROI. Perhaps they actually teach you something of value at Fuqua. Don’t know whether the same can be said of your M7 B-school…

  • Duke Grad

    FuquaFisher… that is probably the most short sighted comment I’ve read. I can *MAYBE* see it for the 1 year MMS degrees.. or even the nursing program, but according to your comment.. Duke’s most famous alums such as Tim Cook and Richard Nixon would not be considered Duke alums because they didn’t go there for undergrad? Hah you are a joke!

  • FuquaFisher89

    Les Diables Bleus, i typically support you in past comment sections as a fellow Fuqua grad (I am presuming you are) but man you have actually lost it, it sounds like you are arguing with yourself.

    I went to Duke undergrad thats why I have such deep Duke roots, but as a fuqua alum I’m not sure why you are even so passionate about the school, Duke alumni’s dont even really consider Fuqua students Duke alums. So go chill out man

  • bluboy

    As a 780 GMAT, I’m probably smarter then most of the commenters. So I can rightfully say that GMAT score’s bullshit. I didnt have a quant course since high school, but test really well. GMAT means absolutely nothing! I can not even type well.

  • nothing_to_see_here

    It’s not exactly apples to apples, the HBS and Wharton survey polled current students, Fuqua polled Alumni. I’m willing to bet that HBS and Wharton’s score will improve if they poll their Alumni base. People always have fonder memories of their school days after they get out, especially if their career worked out the way they’ve imagined – which for HBS or Wharton grads, should be far more often than not.

    My guess is that all the top schools would score around the 60-70s NPS range if they all poll alumni. Obviously as a Fuqua alum, I’m very proud of the school and what it has accomplished. But Dean Boulding is doing the right thing to downplay this.

  • Kroostoff

    Show me the ranking.

    Emory is a good school for people who are mediocre. It is not in the same conversation as the M7 or top 10 schools.

  • MBA Applicant

    Guys, it’s just a survey… Congrats to Fuqua, and also to HBS and Wharton – schools like to compare themselves with you because they know you are the best.

    I don’t think any Fuqua students or alumni would seriously think Fuqua is a ‘better’ school than HBS or Wharton, at least not simply because of the Bloomberg ranking.

    As for other schools, there must be plenty of other measures or surveys that say you are the best.


    Btw, I used to think MBA students/alumni would be more mature than putting so much on rankings…

  • Hedge67

    in one of major MBA ranking, Emory is placed 13th best U.S MBA program, it is not my responsibility to treat your arrogance, read, search and get informed. Perhaps you only know Raj RajaRATnam rankings culture. stay there.

  • Whatthe

    Are u forreal? If GMAT scores equate to intelligence, most of this world must be fucking stupid. But then again, they are not. Hope u got above 700 on ur gmats so u can price urself on that… Life is much more than your GMAT scores buddy

  • FuquaGal

    Well done with equating people to numbers. Maybe this is the reason Fuqua has a high net promoter score. We don’t wander around P&Q trolling positive posts about other schools, and we definitely don’t do that at school here =)

    I prolly won’t be back here to see your reply, but have a good life and try and remember one scores doesn’t make for success or happiness in life.

  • Les Diables Bleus

    Please don’t address me.

  • DukeAlum

    Umm Les Diables Bleus I think you’ve been studying to hard man, maybe go take a break. You’ve literally snapped and started trolling yourself.

  • Les Diables Bleus

    Not sure who this other “Les Diables Bleus” person impersonating me is but ignore the troll clearly trying to put down Duke.

    You can dust him/her back into the trash with the other Duke haters.

  • Les Diables Bleus

    I’m sick of defending Fuqua day in and day out. WE GET IT. we aren’t as smart as the rest of the top 10-15 programs, but what we lack in intelligence we make up with charisma.

    I personally got a 640 and most of my buddies at Fuqua didn’t get over a 700 – and you know what, they are still some of the coolest, kindest people I have ever known.

    If you are only concerned with getting a job in MBB and surrounding yourself with very intelligent peers go to an M7, Yale, Darden or Tuck.

    But I’m happy with my choice coming to Fuqua!

  • Les Diables Bleus

    I just have to laugh at your myopic view of intelligence. For starters here are other forms of intelligence:

    Fluid Intelligence
    Spatial Intelligence
    Interpersonal Intelligence
    Linguistic Intelligence

    Have fun finding reality…

  • OhWow

    Well, in that case, who is to say which is the better test of intelligence? Some might say that it takes more intelligence to have a brilliant career than a higher GMAT score.

    Either way, if this is the elitist attitude and arrogance that comes with going to Harvard or Wharton, where you spend your Saturday’s poo-pooing other top ranked schools, I think I would just go to a state school if faced with the choice.

  • lol

    Yeah, its like when wharton kept on telling people that they are in the top3 when none of the rankings put them there.

  • apples oranges

    hmm… of course alums would respond positively because they think they can benefit from the numeric results vs curentstudents who think they can benefit from the change that might come from the results.

  • Whartonite

    Ugh I hate when people do this. Cite the absolute best ranking of a school out of the 10-15 rankings. It’s like duke grads saying they go to the number one school bc of the Bloomberg ranking.

    Btw what ranking put Emory at 13th? The Coca-cola mba rankings?

  • RichIeRich

    What is IIM-A? I think the point wasn’t that Duke students aren’t capable (I’ve worked with a few and they are awesome). It seems the point is they just on average do worse on a standardized test despite trying just as hard as say a Wharton student , the clear difference explaining this phenomenon is intelligence. That’s not to say Duke grads won’t be just (if not more) successful in their careers, they are just not as smart.

  • Kroostolf

    LOL. Emory, right…

  • Hedge67

    SO?!!, You know that Emory is ranked 13th best US school. It is a very top and ultra elite school by all measures.

  • FANbig

    and Stanford GMAT is much much much lower than IIM-A ! does that make IIM-A better than Stanford?! I noticed one thing, the younger you are the more emphasis you put in the GMAT, thats explain why many children are jealous of Duke being less insist on scores yet it ranked as First in a major MBA ranking. There is a world beyond tests boys, and knowing that world and mastering the selection of the well rounded candidates is perfectly done at Duke.

  • HbsGal

    Look at schools like Wharton, GSB, HBS and even Yale which have 80% median ranges with a low threshold at 700 and 690 respectively. That means in those schools only 10% of the class got below those numbers (those numbers are both on the level of fuquas MEDIAN gmat )

    And I’m sick of people downplaying the importance of the test. Listen kids at Fuqua had just as much time, resources and desire to do well on the GMAT compared to students at M7 schools…. but they didn’t …..why is that ….intelligence. Plain and simple.

  • M7er

    Fuqua average gmat score is on par with Emory’s lol.