Ten Biggest Surprises In Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2017 MBA Ranking

Wisconsin School of Business

3) The Most Undervalued Top 50 MBA Programs By Businessweek

At first glance, many of the numerical rankings assigned to schools by Businessweek can appear to be reasonable. What you really need to do is compare how these programs rank on this list with others. To do that, we took the top 50 schools according to Businessweek and juxtaposed them against Poets&Quants’ composite ranking which brings together all five of the most influential rankings weighted by our own view of each system’s credibility. We looked for the biggest gaps to identify the most undervalued programs by Businessweek.

The gaps expose ranks placed on schools by Businessweek that are clearly outliers. Their ranks are a misrepresentation of the true intrinsic quality of the MBA program at a business school. We consider a five-point gap to be significant enough to state unequivocally that the rank is without merit. Discard or at the very least discount what Businessweek appears to be telling you about the quality of the school and its MBA experience.

The most undervalued schools include publics and privates, some that might be on your target list of where to go. They range from such elite private players as Yale University’s School of Management and Georgetown University’s McDonough School to such stellar publics as the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. The biggest gap among the top 50 schools? It’s Wisconsin’s School of Business which nearly shut down its full-time MBA program this year but reversed its decision after protests from students and alumni.

UT-Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management

4) The Most Overvalued Top 50 MBA Programs By Businessweek

At the risk of offending a very good group of business schools who are basking in their Bloomberg Businessweek ranking, we have to do the flip side of the undervalued analysis. Naturally, you can look at this in two very different ways. On the positive side, you can argue that Businessweek discovered some hidden value in these programs. On the other hand, because Businessweek’s more upbeat view of these programs runs counter to most rankings you can say that the magazine is just plain wrong.

Adopt whatever perspective you wish to have on this. We believe these business schools are overvalued by Businessweek’s ranking (but also want to remind you that we are still talking about the top 1% of all MBA programs).

We applied the same analysis we used for the undervalued list, looking for the biggest gaps between our composite ranking and Businessweek. Interestingly enough, the two Top 50 schools with the biggest gaps both reside in the Lone Star State. Businessweek generously ranks the University of Texas Jindal School in Dallas 31st best in the U.S. Poets&Quant’s composite ranking puts it at 53rd, a sizable gap of 22 places. Then, Businessweek places Texas A&M’s MBA program 22nd in the nation, versus our 40th place finish for the school, a gap of 18 places.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.