Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. Almost Ballerina
GRE ..., GPA ...
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Darden | Mr. Engineer Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Public Finance
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Systems Change
GMAT 730, GPA 4
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Airline Captain
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Startup
GRE 327, GPA 3.35
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
GMAT 725, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Energy Reform
GMAT 700, GPA 3.14 of 4
Ross | Mr. Verbal Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3

Harvard Falls To Lowest Rank Ever In U.S. News MBA Ranking


While the economy is crashing as COVID-19 continues to spread, last year’s graduating class of MBAs had nothing less than a stellar year. Some 21 of the top 25 schools posted job placement rates of 90% or above within three months of graduation. The best rate—98.9%—was again reported by the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Virginia’s Darden School was right behind Foster with a job rate of 96.3%, followed by Michigan Ross at 96.0%, Northwestern Kellogg at 95.5%, and USC’s Marshall School at 95.2%.

The top 25 exceptions mostly narrowly missed the 90% mark and tend to be more of a reflection of the self-confidence of graduates and a strong job MBA job market than any indication of a lukewarm reception. In this top group, the only schools with employment rates below 90% were Stanford and Harvard, both at 88.5%, UCLA at 87.3% and UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School at 87.0%. Another sign of the MBA job market’s strength can be found in the starting salaries and sign-on bonuses being awarded to graduates. Average salary-and-bonus packages are well into the six-figures at 47 of the top 51 schools (see Starting Pay & Employment Rates At The Top 50 Business Schools).


In addition to the overall MBA ranking, U.S. News also publishes specialty rankings for business schools on such common disciplines as finance, accounting, and marketing. These lists are based solely on the magazine’s peer assessment surveys to business school deans and MBA directors. Each respondent is asked to nominate up to 15 programs for excellence in each listed specialty. The schools receiving the most votes in each discipline are then numerically ranked by U.S. News. A school must receive and least seven nominations to make each list.

This year, U.S. News added several new categories, including business analytics, one of the hottest growth areas in MBA curricula, as well as real estate and project management. 

The top schools in business analytics? MIT Sloan leads the pack, followed by Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business,  and the UPenn’s Wharton School. They are followed by No. 6 Stanford GSB, No. 7 Chicago Booth, No. 8 NYU Stern, and tied for No. 9, Purdue Krannert and UC-Berkeley Haas. In all, 33 schools are ranked in this new category.


Not surprisingly, Wharton leads in real estate, followed by UC-Berkeley Haas, NYU Stern, Wisconsin, and Columbia Business School.

For product management, U.S. News came up with an odd mix of schools. MIT Sloan led the parade as the best in the field, with Stanford second, Michigan third and two schools—Arizona State and Boston University—tied for fourth place. That is all the schools U.S. News ranked in this new category.

In accounting, UT-Austin came in first, followed by the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Wharton, Brigham Young and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

The top five in finance are Wharton, Chicago Booth, NYU Stern, Columbia Business School, and MIT, exactly the same as last year. Those powerhouse finance departments were followed by No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Harvard, UC-Berkeley and No. 9 Michigan, and No. 10 Santa Clara University.


U.S. News’ ranking for excellence in management puts Harvard at the top, followed by Stanford, Kellogg, with the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Dartmouth’s Tuck School.

Rounding out the top ten are No. 6 UVA Darden, No. 7 Wharton, No. 8 Duke Fuqua, No. 9 Columbia, and No. 10 UC-Berkeley Haas.

Northwestern’s Kellogg School topped the MBAs for students interested in marketing. After Kellogg, there was No. 2 Wharton, No. 3 Michigan, while Duke and Stanford were tied for fourth place. Chicago Booth came in sixth, followed by No. 7 Columbia, No. 8 Harvard, No. 9 NYU Stern, and No. 10 UCLA Anderson.

For international business, the University of South Carolina’s Moore School came in first, just as it had last year. Harvard and Georgetown tied for second place, with NYU Stern fourth, and Wharton fifth on this U.S.-centric list. One revealing surprise here: The one U.S. business school that has made substantial efforts to globalize itself, Yale University’s School of Management, came in 12th, below St. Louis University, George Washington, and Florida International University. Those results go to show that the specialty rankings have limited value and remind users to treat this and all rankings with a very big grain of salt.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.