Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Hail Mary 740
GMAT 740, GPA 2.94
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
SDA Bocconi | Mr. Pharma Manager
GMAT 650, GPA 3,2
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. London Artist
GMAT 730, GPA First Class Honours (4.0 equivalent)
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Young PM
GMAT 710, GPA 9.64/10
Wharton | Mr. Indian VC
GRE 333, GPA 3.61
MIT Sloan | Mr. Tech Enthusiast
GRE 325, GPA 6.61/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Midwest Dreamer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Foster School of Business | Ms. Diamond Dealer
GRE 308, GPA Merit
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Undergraduate GPA
GMAT 720 (Expected), GPA 2.49
Stanford GSB | Ms. Try Something New
GMAT 740, GPA 3.86
Darden | Mr. Military Missile Defense
GRE 317, GPA 3.26
Wharton | Mr. Army Bahasa
GRE 312, GPA 3.57
Harvard | Mr. Consulting To Public Service
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Strategy To Real Estate
GMAT 750, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Ms. Standard Consultant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. 1st Gen Brazilian LGBT
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2

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.