U.S. News Delays Publication Of Rankings

The top five MBA programs, according to U.S. News’ 2021 MBA ranking

Citing an “unprecedented” number of calls from school officials who saw an advance copy of U.S. News‘ graduate school rankings, U.S. News has decided to delay the publication of the lists by one week. The decision to publish on April 25th, rather than April 18th, reflects the editors’ concerns that the earlier publication would likely result in some calculation or data errors.

The embargoed ranking of MBA programs received by business schools showed huge swings for a number of programs. After changes to the publication’s MBA ranking methodology, more than 10 schools apparently moved 20 or more spots while six moved more than 30 positions in a single year. Dramatic changes in programs that rarely change year-over-year undermine the credibility of a ranking.

A spokesperson for U.S. News told Poets&Quants that the decision to hold back the controversial lists came as a result of its annual publication process. As part of its normal graduate school ranking procedures, the editors give schools an opportunity to review their data during an embargo period.


“This year, we received an unprecedented number of inquiries from schools and are devoting additional time to comprehensively address these inquiries,” the spokesperson added. “As a result, U.S. News will now publish the full 2023-2024 Best Graduate School Rankings on April 25, 2023.”

The additional time would give the organization more time to correct any data or calculation errors in the rankings after an outpouring of complaints by deans over the early results.

U.S. News is making its decision as controversy over school rankings continues to climb. This year’s graduate rankings will appear after a rankings revolt by leading law and medical schools that has yet to spread to the business school community. But that public boycott led by the likes of Yale and Harvard caused a stampede of law and medical schools to suspend their participation, stirring up even more controversy for U.S. News. The University of Michigan Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Duke Law School, The University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law and UC-Irvine’s School of Law among others followed. In response, the publication changed its methodology to prioritize measures that it said identify clear and transparent outcomes for prospective students, reflecting the input of more than 100 law school deans.

Rather than leave the boycotting schools out, U.S. News ranked them anyway using metrics that are mandatory for disclosure by the American Bar Association. In a preview published last week, Yale was tied with Stanford for first while Harvard was tied with the University of Pennsylvania for fourth place. Chicago was third. U.S. News took the same approach for the medical schools that walked, leveraging publicly available data from from the National Institutes of Health. Johns Hopkins University tops the med school list this year.

U.S. News attempted to spin its decision to delay the overall graduate rankings, including its business school lists, as one made for prudent reasons. “More than 100 million students and their families visit USNews.com each year to access easily-digestible data, information and advice that they can rely on to help them make the most informed education decision. We remain committed to publishing the best information available for those students,” according to the statement.


Last year, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and the Wharton School nudged aside Stanford Graduate School of Business to claim top honors. Stanford slipped to a third-place finish in a tie with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. Harvard Business School remained in a fifth-place tie with MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Among last year’s Top 25 winners, two business schools stood out for their improved MBA rankings: Emory University’s Goizueta Business School rose five places to rank 21st, regaining Top 25 status from its showing in 26th place in 2021. Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame jumped 11 places to rank 25th from 36th. Outside the Top 25, Washington University’s Olin Business School in St. Louis gained seven spots to rank 29th, while the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business rose eight positions to place 47th.

The new U.S. News ranking will be based on reputation and statistical surveys conducted in the fall 2022 and early 2023 of each program in the six largest graduate school disciplines.

DON’T MISS: Poets&Quants 2022-2023 MBA Ranking: A Surprising Change At The Top or A New Winner Tops Our 2022-2023 International MBA Ranking


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