Harvard & Wharton Slump In New 2023 Businessweek MBA Ranking

Stanford Graduate School of Business

MBA students outside class. Photo Credit: Elena Zhukova

For the fifth straight year, Stanford Graduate School of Business came out on top of the 2023 Bloomberg Businessweek MBA ranking published today (Sept. 13). But the more surprising news on this year’s list is the continued rankings slump for Harvard Business School and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, widely regarded as the two other business schools that form the triumvirate at the top of the business education pecking order.

Harvard sunk to sixth place, falling four spots from last year, while Wharton slid to eighth, losing one notch from its seventh-place ranking a year earlier. It is HBS’ lowest ranking from Businessweek since 2014 when the school’s MBA program ranked eighth. The last time Harvard Business School took first place was in 2017. This year’s position for Wharton was its worst since 2021 when Wharton’s MBA program was ranked ninth by Businessweek.

With the two powerhouse MBA programs failing to make the Top Five, several other highly prominent business schools gladly took their place. Rounding out the Top Five was No. 2 Chicago Booth, tied in third are Dartmouth Tuck and UVA Darden, and No. 5 Columbia Business School.  Northwestern University’s Kellogg School placed seventh, slipping three positions,  while the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business was ninth and MIT Sloan finished tenth.

Listen To Our Business Casual Podcast: Fortuna’s Caroline Diarte-Edwards, Applicant Lab’s Maria Wich-Vila, and Poets&Quants Editor-in-Chief John A. Byrne offer a candid conversation on the ranking and how prospective students should use the ranking to inform their selection of MBA programs


In recent years, as rankings have come under heavy scrutiny, some of the darkest clouds have hovered over the Bloomberg Businessweek MBA list. That’s because the deputy dean of Yale School of Management has publicly questioned the validity of the magazine’s rankings after failing to replicate the rankings findings. Despite the harsh criticism leveled by Yale’s Anjani Jain, Bloomberg has stood by its ranking and its methodology. Jain will, not doubt, be back to crunching the magazine’s numbers once again, especially because Yale’s MBA program fell five places to finish 15th, its lowest Businessweek ranking since 2017 when it ranked 16th )see Anjani Jain’s latest analysis on this ranking).

Jain will be among plenty of critics. The love/hate relationship that business school deans have with rankings means that improvements are generally viewed positively, with news releases and public announcements, while declines are either ignored or the source of much behind-the-scenes grumbling. The MBA stakeholders at UVA Darden and Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business will be overjoyed.

Darden’s MBA program gained its highest Businessweek ranking ever, a third-place tie with Tuck. The highest Darden had ever gotten in the Businessweek ranking was fifth place in 1996. As recently as 2017, the school’s MBA program ranked 17th. Rice’s MBA program, meantime, zoomed up ten places to finish 19th. That’s not as good as its best year–2016–when the MBA program there was ranked eighth, an anomaly for sure, but it is still an impressive showing.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Top 10 U.S. MBA Programs

Overall Rank & School Compensation Rank Learning Rank Networking Rank Entrepreneurship Rank Diversity Rank
1. Stanford Graduate School of Business 6 7 5 1 20
2. Chicago (Booth) 3 16 13 4 37
3. Dartmouth (Tuck) 1 17 4 44 32
3. Virginia (Darden) 4 4 11 34 33
5. Columbia Business School 2 29 12 16 23
6. Harvard Business School 7 26 5 10 18
7. Northwestern (Kellogg) 8 13 8 15 24
8. Pennsylvania (Wharton) 5 55 17 21 10
9. Michigan (Ross) 9 9 3 29 26
10. MIT (Sloan) 12 23 35 3 8
10. UC-Berkeley (Haas) 15 6 15 6 16

Source: 2023-2024 Bloomberg Businessweek MBA ranking


Among the European schools, Businessweek has ranked Italy’s SDA Bocconi first, followed by Spain’s IESE Business School in Barcelona, Switzerland’s IMD in Lausanne, INSEAD in France and Singapore, with Britain’s London Business School in fifth place and Spain’s IE Business School in Madrid coming in sixth. That order–and the absence of HEC Paris–will come as a surprise to most of the European deans who generally regard INSEAD and London Business School as having the best full-time MBA programs.

In all, Businessweek ranks 75 U.S. programs, 20 in Europe, seven in Asia Pacific and five in Canada, all on separate lists. The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology ranks first in Asia Pacific, while Western University’s Ivey Business School leads the Canadian options.

Of course, every school’s rank is a function of the magazine’s methodology created by editors who have little knowledge of business education. This year, Businessweek assessed 110 full-time MBA programs around the globe based on data provided by participating schools as well as responses to survey questions by students, alumni and employers.The editors attempted to grade each program on five indexes: compensation, learning, networking, entrepreneurship and diversity. For U.S. MBA programs, the most weight is applied to compensation, 37.5%, while “learning” gets 26.3%, and networking is assigned 17.8%. Entrepreneurship is given an 11.4% weight, while diversity is scored at a 7.1% weight. Businessweek slightly alters these weights for schools outside the U.S.

Oddly, Stanford ranks sixth in compensation, according to Businessweek. Dartmouth Tuck finished first, once again proving that the school consistently punches above its weight. Tuck was followed by Columbia Business School, Chicago Booth, and UVA Darden. Ranking Stanford and Harvard at sixth and seventh (and Wharton fifth) seems strangely out of place in a category meant to measure compensation.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Top 10 European MBA Programs

Overall Rank & School Compensation Rank Learning Rank Networking Rank Entrepreneurship Rank
1. SDA Bocconi 2 7 1 10
2. IESE Business School 3 2 3 5
3. IMD 1 7 7 9
4 INSEAD 5 4 2 8
5. London Business School 3 10 6 10
6. IE Business School 7 13 13 2
7. Mannheim 9 4 4 16
8. University of St. Gallen 6 16 15 18
9. Cambridge (Judge) 8 14/td> 12 12
10. Oxford (Said) 11 12 11 7

Source: 2023-2024 Bloomberg Businessweek MBA ranking
* Bloomberg Businessweek did not assess diversity in non-U.S. programs

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