How The M7 Rank Against Each Other
You might expect the M7 schools to all rank naturally in the top seven positions of the most credible rankings. But you would be wrong. Because rankings are based on often flawed and misinformed methodologies, the media organizations that crank out these lists often have M7 schools outside the top seven.
In fact, several highly prominent lists have some of the M7 institutions far back in the pack. Columbia ranks 8th according to The Economist, 10th in U.S. News & World Report, and 11th in Bloomberg Businessweek. The Economist, whose rankings earned some much-deserved criticism last year, has Harvard fourth (behind the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business), Columbia 11th and Wharton 12th. U.S. News & World Report‘s 2017 survey put most of the M7 in the top seven, but Columbia Business School landed 9th.
Of course, looking at the overall standing of a school in MBA rankings doesn’t give you the most complete picture of the strengths and weaknesses of an MBA program. Another way to look at these rankings is to parse them by category, and that’s exactly what we’ve done in taking U.S. News’ specialty ranking and showing how each of the M7 schools fare. These rankings are determined by a survey of business school deans and MBA directors.
The final table on the page parses some of the more telling data from the different rankings, from Forbes‘ highly conservative estimate of the payback period for the degree (it fails to conclude scholarship grants) and U.S. News‘ surveys of corporate recruiters and academics to The Financial Times‘ alumni recommendation and academic research rankings.