2014 has been the most volatile year for Business Schools and Full-time MBA Ranking. US News gave #1 rank to Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton; Financial Times ranked Harvard in the top position, The Economist rewarded Chicago Booth, and Businessweek interestingly chose Duke Fuqua School of Business. To make it easier for you to analyze top MBA programs, we have created an aggregate ranking list for top MBA programs.
Since US News only ranks US-based Business Schools, we have excluded the data. Businessweek has a separate ranking list for US and Non-US Schools, but their Full-time MBA ranking has combined the two, and this has resulted in many tied positions. We have used ranking data from Businessweek, The Economist, and The Financial Times for ranking Top MBA programs.
Only six schools - Chicago Booth, Stanford, Harvard, IESE, Wharton, and Columbia, have featured in the Top 10 ranking in all the three ranking publications. Duke Fuqua full-time MBA program - Businessweek’s #1 MBA program, fairs in the top 25 ranking in The Economist, and Financial Times Global MBA ranking list. Ivey School of Business, another Businessweek #1 program, ranks at the #89 position in Financial times but is not featured in the Economist MBA ranking.
Who has impressed us?
IESE and Chicago Booth have impressed us the most. Their consistent performance in all the three ranking publications shows the value that the program offers, considering the diverse ranking methodology that the three publications have used. It is easy to assume that top MBA programs will remain in that position. Among the big players, only Harvard and Stanford have remained in the top 10 position in all the three publications, and we cannot discard their staying power. But if we compare the acceptance rate of Harvard, Stanford, Booth and IESE, the latter two gives MBA aspirants a better chance to experience a top quality MBA program.
IESE also ranks #1 in F1GMAT’s Top European MBA programs based on Actual Increase in Salary – an index where we have considered % increase in salary with the base salary, instead of looking only at % increase in salary, which can be manipulated with the geographic spread of the MBAs.
The program that we would like to watch closely is the ESMT Full-time MBA in Germany, which has debuted at #3 in the latest Businessweek MBA ranking. The program is featured at #89 in the Financial Times, but made an impressive #26th position in The Economist Global MBA ranking. Next year’s placement data will reveal the staying power of ESMT, Berlin.
If you look at the Top Full-time MBA programs in the list, US based schools dominate the top 25 ranking with schools from Spain (IESE, IE and ESADE) taking the 2nd position, and the schools in France(Insead and HEC Paris) featuring at #3.
Aggregate Ranking: Methodology
It is unfair to rule out programs if it is not featured in one ranking publication, despite doing well in the other two publications. To set up a realistic ranking, we have ranked the ‘not featured’ school at 101 since the ranking considers Top 100 Full-time MBA programs. One good example is that of Rotman School of Management. The Rotman MBA is ranked #11 for Businessweek, and #51 in the Financial times, but it is not featured in The Economist. With the 101 ranking, the aggregate ranking for the school is #48 – a more realistic representation of its position in the MBA landscape.
Top 10 MBA Programs – Total Cost
We have explained how to calculate Return on Investment by using Net Present Value in our MBA Research Guide. Cost alone should not be a factor but set realistic expectation based on the funding opportunities. If your chance to get a scholarship is low, the value of the MBA program can go down drastically. We have used a common opportunity cost - $165700 for two-year MBA programs and $77000 for 1-year MBA programs. For international students, the opportunity cost will vary according to the industry and location.
An MBA, even from a top Business School will give you a positive return only after 3 years. For those who want to get a sense of the debt that you would be incurring immediately after an MBA, we have ranked Top 10 MBA programs by Cost that includes a column – Debt in $, which takes into consideration the cost, median post-MBA salary, and opportunity cost.
Reference: F1GMAT MBA Research Guide, Businessweek MBA Ranking, FT MBA Ranking, The Economist MBA Ranking, US News MBA Ranking
|Rank||Business School||Cost ($)||Salary ($)||Opp Cost($)||Debt in $ (Post-MBA)|
|1||University of Chicago: Booth||189866||115000||165700||240566|
|2||Stanford Graduate School of Business||206870||125000||165700||247570|
|3||Harvard Business School||190000||120000||165700||235700|
|4||University of Pennsylvania: Wharton||195084||125000||165700||235784|
|5||Columbia Business School||192936||110000||165700||248636|
|6||Iese Business School||70726||143168||77000||4558|
|7||London Business School||177875||156553||96250||117572|
|11||Northwestern University: Kellogg||177614||110000||165700||233314|
|12||Dartmouth College: Tuck||187100||116000||165700||236800|
|13||University of California at Berkeley: Haas||160431||111000||165700||215131|
|Rank||Business School||Businessweek||The Economist||Financial Times|
|1||University of Chicago: Booth||3||1||9|
|2||Stanford Graduate School of Business||4||9||2|
|3||Harvard Business School||8||6||1|
|4||University of Pennsylvania: Wharton||2||11||4|
|5||Columbia Business School||5||10||5|
|6||Iese Business School||8||5||7|
|7||London Business School||4||15||3|
|11||Northwestern University: Kellogg||7||14||15|
|12||Dartmouth College: Tuck||15||2||20|
|13||University of California at Berkeley: Haas||19||7||11|
|16||Duke University: Fuqua||1||25||17|
|17||New York University: Stern||22||8||17|
|19||University of Virginia: Darden||20||3||27|
|20||IE Business School||2||36||13|
|21||University of Michigan: Ross||9||20||23|
|22||Cornell University: Johnson||13||23||27|
|23||Esade Business School||19||24||22|
|24||Carnegie Mellon: Tepper||10||22||34|
|25||University of Cambridge: Judge||6||52||16|
|26||Emory University: Goizueta||18||17||41|
|27||University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler||12||35||33|
|29||Rice University: Jones||25||33||35|
|30||University of Texas at Austin: McCombs||23||32||39|
|31||Indiana University: Kelley||16||31||47|
|32||University of Oxford: Said||7||69||23|
|33||Georgetown University: McDonough||24||42||36|
|34||Hong Kong UST Business School||18||62||29|
|35||Cranfield School of Management||13||53||46|
|37||Vanderbilt University: Owen||30||29||59|
|38||University of Maryland: Smith||17||51||50|
|39||Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University||25||60||39|
|40||University of Washington: Foster||37||30||58|
|41||Melbourne Business School||27||40||68|
|42||Washington University: Olin||26||47||64|
|43||National University of Singapore Business School||22||95||32|
|44||University of Southern California: Marshall||21||64||65|
|45||University of Rochester: Simon||38||58||55|
|46||Warwick Business School||101||37||25|
|47||Pennsylvania State University: Smeal||40||61||62|
|48||Rotman School of Management||11||101||51|
|49||Manchester Business School||26||101||43|
|50||Imperial College Business School||23||101||49|