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.
MAJOR CHANGES AT YALE ARE BEHIND THE RANKINGS JUMP
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.
UPS & DOWNS ARE COMMON IN RANKINGS BUT LESS SO AT THE TOP
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
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Source: Schools reporting to U.S. News & World Report
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