How MBAs Rate Their Business Schools

Master teacher Yiorgos Allayannis at work in a Darden classroom

Master teacher Yiorgos Allayannis at work in a Darden classroom


Every school differentiates itself in specific ways. Darden, for example, considers teaching excellence to be the hallmark of its program. Apparently Darden MBAs agree that the school is fulfilling its promise here. According to survey respondents, Darden earned the highest marks for faculty, with its 4.83 score edging out Fuqua (4.82). Poets&Quants reported in 2012 that Darden stresses teaching quality in hiring, evaluating, and rewarding faculty. True to “whatever gets measured gets done,” Darden faculty value teaching over research. And this modus operandi filters across the school. “The teaching environment at Darden is exhilarating,” Yiorgos Allayannis, a rock star finance professor told Poets&Quants in a past interview. “It focuses you to be the best you can be because your colleagues are such tremendous teachers.”

MBAs are looking to be challenged. So it comes as little surprise that several programs known for highly demanding curriculum, such as the University of Chicago (Booth) and the University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler), also boast the highest scores for teaching. In a “Team Fuqua” culture, marked by collaboration and supportiveness, it’s natural that professors are described as caring, down-to-earth people whose doors are always open.

In fact, student and alumni respondents ranked faculty higher than any other category, with 21 of the 26 MBA programs sampled giving them a collective score of 4.5 or higher. It wasn’t all sunny, however. Par for the course, LBS and HEC Paris scored faculty the lowest. Surprisingly, Wharton–the cradle of rock star professors–pulled down a 4.45, a mark that correlates with other teaching rankings that show Wharton lagging behind many of its peer schools in this area.