It’s been a difficult year all around. The pandemic has disrupted everyday life, causing major economic dislocations, illness and death. It has also upended higher education, forcing universities to shift in-person learning to remote instruction.
COVID also has impacted rankings. Bloomberg Businessweek decided to put its annual MBA ranking on hold for the year. The Economist‘s MBA ranking is delayed, perhaps until early next year. And even when The Economist list comes out, missing in action will be all M7 business schools which decided against participating with the ranking.
Nonetheless, Poets&Quants‘ annual composite ranking for 2020-2021 is forthcoming, the 11th time since 2010 that we have published rankings of both the best U.S. full-time MBA programs and the best international full-time MBA options. Last year, Stanford Graduate School of Business topped the list for only the second time in ten years (see Stanford GSB Cruises Into First In 2019-2020 P&Q’s MBA Ranking). The P&Q ranking, among the most consulted in the world by MBA applicants, is a composite list of the five most influential rankings by U.S. News & World Report, the Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, and The Economist, with each list weighted by the credibility and authority it carries.
WILL STANFORD GSB RETAIN THE NO. 1 TITLE?
Given the disruptions caused by the pandemic, we’ve decided not to include the forthcoming Economist ranking. With at least the M7 schools refusing to participate, the resulting list will surely be an aberration. Instead, we’ve chosen to include The Economist‘s last full ranking in our composite calculations. We took the same approach with Bloomberg Businessweek, choosing to retain the magazine’s previous ranking due to the absence of a newly updated list this year.
When the new ranking is published on Monday (Dec. 7) will Stanford retain its title? Or will arch-rival Harvard Business School, Wharton, or Chicago Booth manage to take it away? Will there be any new entries in either the Top Ten or Top 25? Which schools will be among the biggest winners this year and which will end us losing the most ground? Will INSEAD hang on to its top ranking on our international list of the best full-time MBA programs outside the U.S.?
If you’re willing to guess, you should play our new MBA Rankings Fantasy Game. Guess the Top Ten in chronological order and you’ll be eligible to win several prizes from Poets&Quants. You can play here.
For now, however, here in this pandemic year is the 2020-2021 Top Ten in alphabetical order. One surprise is evident: No school in last year’s Top Ten list dropped out this year.