It’s been a good year at Poets&Quants. In 2017 we broke major news and hit major milestones in site traffic, here and at our undergraduate business school site, Poets&Quants for Undergrads, which recently published its second annual in-house ranking of BBA programs. At P&Q, in the last month alone we’ve published two new rankings, pieces naming our top dean and program, and a compilation of editors’ picks of favorite stories from the wealth of journalism we published in 2017.
Our top stories from the year that’s about to expire include pieces on the most reputable rankings — U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times, our own — and forecasts of schools, and MBAs, to watch in the future. We calculated and compiled data from far and wide for stories on GMAT and GRE scores, acceptance rates, job placement statistics, and much more. And of course we told the stories of MBAs, professors, deans, and others that inspire, amuse, and spur to action our readers. In short, we cover business education like no other site — the best, and for many the only, source for news on MBA and specialized master’s programs.
As they have since we launched in 2010, readers responded. Eleven stories this year eclipsed the 100,000 page view mark. Cumulatively, our top 10 stories of the year easily surpass the 1 million mark.
Thanks, P&Q readers! Without further ado, the stories you liked the most from 2017:
There’s a big surprise in the 2017 U.S. News MBA ranking out today (March 14).
For only the second time in 28 years, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School fought its way into a tie for first place with Harvard Business School. To capture the top prize, Wharton had to rise three places, jumping over both Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
The last time Wharton shared first in the U.S. News survey was three years ago when the Philadelphia-based school was in a three-way tie with HBS and Stanford. Wharton administrators have to be breathing a sigh of relief after Booth, building on years of momentum, surpassed the school on the U.S. News list last year for the very first time.
Psst … The word is out. Pass it along.
Think MBA education revolves around Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton? That’s natural. The troika has been perched atop many business school rankings for decades. They boast big-name alumni and faculty, fat endowments, and brand names that transcend culture, generation, and academic background. Despite their prominence, you couldn’t help but notice a subtle shift in 2016.
Look no further than the rankings. In Bloomberg Businessweek, Fuqua broke into the top three ahead of Wharton. Booth tied Stanford for second according to U.S. News & World Report. The biggest shock of them all? INSEAD leapfrogged the “Big Three” to rank first in the Financial Times ranking.
The Financial Times began ranking full-time MBA programs in 1999, offering what was then a novel global take on business education. For 17 straight years, the top of the British newspaper’s ranking was dominated by the likes of Wharton, Harvard, Stanford and home town favorite London Business School.
Then, INSEAD cracked the code, finishing first last year. Now the institution that bills itself “the business school for the world,” has done it again in the FT’s 2017 global MBA ranking. For the second consecutive year, the FT today (Jan. 30) named INSEAD’s accelerated 10-month program the No. 1 MBA experience in the world. Claiming this year’s top spot shows that INSEAD’s emergence is no one-time fluke in a highly influential ranking that is closely watched in Europe and Asia (see What INSEAD’s Repeat FT Win Means For The School).
What a difference a year can make.
Little more than a year ago at a crowded town hall meeting on the Wharton campus, Dean Geoffrey Garrett found himself addressing the concerns of Wharton MBA students who peppered him with questions on a number of thorny issues. Among all their worries, one especially loomed large: The school’s deteriorating performance in rankings.
Ever since Aussie Dean Garrett’s arrival in July of 2014, the school has lost ground in every major ranking with only one exception: the Financial Times where it eked out a one-place gain. Even more disturbing for Whartonites, Chicago Booth has outranked the school on six of the past eight Poets&Quants’ lists, giving rise to conversations that a new Big Three has emerged with Harvard, Stanford and Booth in that category. Last year, the Poets&Quants’ composite ranking saw Wharton tied for fourth place with Kellogg.
(Go to the next page for the P&Q stories that ranked No. 5 through No 10 in 2017.)