Yale SOM Makes U.S. News Top Ten


Yale University’s School of Management snuck its way into the top ten of U.S. News & World Report’s forthcoming ranking of the  est MBA programs in the U.S. In a sneak peak preview published today (March 9), U.S. News listed the business schools that will appear at the top of its new list to be released on March 16th.

That’s good news for Yale, which last year was in a tie for 13th with Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in this ranking, and not so good news for the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, which will slip out of the top ten. A year ago, Darden had nudged aside New York University’s Stern School of Business which had made the top ten.

For Yale to climb into the top ten, it had to jump over the MBA programs at Duke, Michigan, NYU and UVA. The last time Yale made U.S. News’ top ten was four years ago in 2012 when it secured tenth place. The school had ranked as high as 15th in 2005 and 2006. But under Dean Edward ‘Ted’ Snyder, Yale SOM has been making a strong case for being a top ten school, having improved in several rankings since he took over leadership of the school—long an also-ran among the elite in business education—in 2011.


A new point of differentiation for the school, emphasizing global business and tighter integration with the overall university, along with a new modern bulding has led to a substantial increase in applications to its MBA program and has boosted both the incoming and outgoing stats used by U.S. News to crank out its annual ranking. Average GMATs have risen to 721 from 719 (higher than Berkeley Haas, Columbia, and Michigan Ross). Average undergraduate GPAs have also climbed from to 3.6 from 3.5 (equal to Northwestern Kellogg and Chicago Booth). Over the past year, applications have jumped more than 25%, to 3,449 from 2,756.

All of the top ten schools on U.S. News’ updated list this year were listed alphabetically and not by their numerical rank so it’s not possible to know exactly where each school’s MBA program will end up. Last year, Stanford topped the list, followed by No. 2 Harvard, No. 3 Wharton, No. 4 Chicago Booth, and No. 5 MIT Sloan.

Rounding out last year’s top ten MBA programs were No. 6 Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, No. 7 UC-Berkeley’s Haas School, No. 8 Columbia Business School, No. 9 Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and finally UVA’s Darden.


While ups and downs in year-to-year rankings by U.S. News is not uncommon, the MBA programs that are near the very top of the 100 ranked schools tends to be far more stable than those in the second half of the list. A jump of at least three places from 13th is somewhat more unusual and it’s possible that SOM could move higher up the list given the school’s improvement in average GMAT score, acceptance rate, starting salary and bonus, and employment rates—all key metrics  tracked by U.S. News.

The release of the new ranking follows the publication in January of the Financial Times’ latest list. Once U.S. News comes out, business school administrators will get something of a break. The next major rankings by Bloomberg Businessweek and The Economist won’t appear until October and November, although Businessweek is expected to publish an undergraduate business school ranking later this month for the first time in two years.

U.S. News has ranked MBA programs every year since 1989 , using a vast amount of information and data. The publication said it surveyed 470 accredited master’s programs this year to come up with its ranking. The methodology takes into account its own survey of business school deans and MBA directors (accounting for 25% of the ranking), a poll of corporate recruiters (15%), average starting salaries and sign-on bonuses (14%), employment rates at graduation and three months later (respectively 7% and 14%), average student GMAT scores (16%), the average undergraduate grade point average for the class (about 8%), and the percentage of applicants admitted to the school (a little over 1%).

How does U.S. News decide how much to weight each of these components? Robert Morse, the veteran rankings guru at U.S. News, once told a reporter that the weights are based on “our accumulated judgment.” Explains Morse: “Our rankings aren’t social science in the sense that we’re not submitting our conclusions and weighting system to a group of academics and letting them decide if they are right or wrong. We do meet regularly with academic experts about the relative importance of the factors that we use.”

Last Year’s Top Ten According To U.S. News

SchoolGMATGPAAccept RatePayJobs at GradJobs Later
  1. Stanford7323.747.1%$142,83473.6%91.1%
  2. Harvard7263.6711.0%$144,75076.9%89.4%
  3. Wharton7283.6020.7%$142,57484.3%95.6%
  4. Booth7243.6023.5%$137,61587.4%97.2%
  5. MIT7133.5813.8%$142,93679.6%92.8%
  6. Kellogg7133.6023.2%$136,35780.7%88.6%
  7. Haas7173.6213.2%$140,93572.9%86.7%
  8. Columbia7163.5018.2%$139,00675.7%91.1%
  9. Tuck7163.5422.1%$142,48983.8%93.8%
10. Darden7063.5026.0%$136,47486.8%93.4%

Source: Schools reporting to U.S. News & World Report


  • jrd54

    i was, am, and always will be a finance douchebag. i dont try to kid myself about that fact. that said, i thoroughly loved my time at som and can attest to the fact that many of my friends and classmates were genuinely very socially conscience and active individuals. glad to see the school is starting to get recognized more in the rankings over the last few years =]

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  • Les Diables Bleus

    You sound insecure. #justsaying

    In any case, Yale is a phenomenal school that admits and graduates first rate students.

  • LesBlueusthetroll

    Hahaha this kid ‘Les Diables Bleus’ is as sad as it gets. Thousands of posts lol get a life loser. You came on this page to troll, whereas in real life Yale SOM and its students just got unanimous validation that they are significantly better than you. I have nothing bad to say about Fuqua. It’s just not for everyone. When I visited students showed up late, were on their mobiles all class and no one participated. It was more like what I imagine an American high school would be like.

    A Fuqua students best job prospect is to work at Deloitte in Atlanta or some middle management corp finance role. I would never waste my money to go to a garbage program like that

  • DardenGuy?

    Holy hell you just got owned. wowwww

  • Les Diables Bleus

    Whatever you need to tell yourself to make it through the day…

  • YaleGal

    Lol as an SOM student it is so gratifying seeing us go up in every rank and see mediocre programs like fuqua plummet. Everyone I know that goes to fuqua is milktoast. Non-ivy undergrad, 690 gmat and two years banking at citi….ew. Have fun working at Deloitte in Atlanta.

  • Les Diables Bleus

    Whatever you have to tell yourself…

  • Asdfasdf

    “You clearly don’t know what news is”

    Dude… Byrne just OWNED you. You need to just walk away now with your tail between your legs lmao that was SAVAGE

  • BSG

    I’m pretty sure if it was any one of NYU/Duke/Ross making that jump instead of Yale, you’d still get crapped on for talking about it.

    Ignore the haters John.

  • Orange

    The comments from those clowns shouldn’t be a surprise. Any time a school jumps someone in the rankings, those affiliated with the schools that are passed get pissy. Diables Bleus is clearly a Fuqua guy, for example.

  • You clearly don’t know what news is. The only news in this list of ten schools is Yale’s appearance and Darden’s drop. Why do you have an axe to grind about Yale?

  • Biz_School_Guy

    Agreed….P&Q has become an unofficial spokesperson for Yale SOM…A sneak peek article on US News rankings has 2/3rd of it’s content on Yale…

  • Y

    I currently work at Yale but have been researching and visiting several different MBA programs for next fall. Anecdotally, I can confirm that SOM still has far more of a do-good, social sector-y, TFA-y vibe than any other top 15 school I’ve looked at. (No dog in this fight, by the way — I’m actually trying to get away from New Haven.) Can’t speak to the pre-Snyder years, though, so you may be right that the culture and make-up are /relatively/ more consulting/finance-oriented than in the past.

  • The shoe from Monopoly

    On the “ranking factory” comment, I think it’s a pragmatic way of approaching things.

    The most important aspect of business school is its brand name and network. They need and want high end graduates capable of hitting it out of the park like Tim Brown or Jacqueline Novogratz.

    Higher ranked schools may be more appealing to top end candidates who may end up becoming philanthropists or social entrepreneurs – because many applicants will make their decisions to enroll based on overall rankings AND many of these top schools more or less offer socially focused coursework, programs and even employment placement.

    To attract strong candidates, Yale needs to rank well, so certain compromises needed to be made. My guess is that they’re not only looking to make split decisions between Yale SOM and peer schools (Tuck/Ross/Stern/Fuqua) easier, but are also looking to steal mid to high end candidates from Booth, CBS and Wharton, higher ranked schools that has a stronger focus in consulting and finance.

    Say if Yale SOM is ranked 15th~17th and Wharton is 3rd~5th, even for someone who wants to go into a social enterprise, he or she may be more inclined to go to Wharton because of the ranking and prestige disparity. If that 10~12 spot gap is dropped to say, 3~4 spots, I think candidates may have a much tougher time deciding on where to matriculate.

    If they want their program to produce top end graduates who can make some real impact, they need to improve their reputation to attract a stronger pool of applicants and increase their yield. Unfortunately, that means they need to play the ranking game.

  • Back to Reality

    Yes changing the world by working in consulting/finance doing the same roles as other peer school, let’s not kid ourselves here and put down the SOM Kool-Aid

  • a

    No — the point is that the school has an institutional, formal mission statement and has since its founding. The article says that the school has a new mission, but that’s factually incorrect. Snyder talks frequently about the formal mission statement and how, despite other changes, the mission remains the same. P&Q should revise that sentence to make it clearer for its readers.

  • Les Diables Bleus

    You’re a little too enthusiastic about this.

  • yale joint degree

    the mission and culture remains as strong as ever. we, at yale som, are still striving to change the world. we simply are doing so from within the private sector, which we believe to be a better path to impact and change.

  • Um No

    Um no just look at the shifts in the types of backgrounds from their intake and where students are heading after SOM. Snyder is turning SOM into just another rankings factory. The social sector edge is slowly deteriorating. I am not sure why all the praise for Snyder except that he can fundraise his formula can be executed anywhere with enough $$$.

  • a

    “A new mission for the school…”

    SOM’s mission remains the same as it has always been: to educate leaders for business and society. The article is incorrect/should be revised accordingly.