Despite the reported weakening demand for the MBA, in our experience, interest in top U.S. MBA programs remains strong. This week, the 2020 global MBA ranking announced by the Financial Times continued to show some volatility among the lower-ranked schools. However, the top ten remains well entrenched for another year.
After a four-year absence, Harvard Business School takes the top spot in the F.T. ranking, nudging Stanford down to 3rd place. Second-place Wharton School performed better this year after coming in 4th in 2019. Meanwhile, China Europe Business School (CEIBS) retained its position at 5th this year.
CEIBS performance in this latest ranking once again points to the growing strength of MBA providers in the Asia-Pacific region. GMAC had previously revealed applications from the area rose 8.9% in 2018, whereas U.S. demand dropped. In 2019, 73 percent of responding Chinese programs saw domestic application growth year-on-year, GMAC says.
The 2020 Global MBA Ranking Top Ten Programs
- Harvard Business School
- Wharton School
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- MIT Sloan School of Management
- London Business School
- Columbia Business School
- HEC Paris
- Chicago Booth School of Business
Individual Strengths Highlighted in the 2020 Global MBA Ranking
Top school: HBS
Highest salary: Stanford GSB
Top for research: Wharton
Top for international mobility: IMD
Top for career service: Renmin University of China Business School
Highest salary increase: Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
Most female faculty: U.C. at Irvine Merage
Top for international students: RSM Erasmus
The F.T. ranking weighs multiple different criteria. Salary and salary increase receive the most weight. Combined, it accounts for 40% of the ranking. Also, the ranking assesses each program’s research output, value for money, international mobility, and more. (See the Financial Times ranking methodology here.)
The mix of countries represented in this year’s Global MBA ranking is similar to 2019 and 2018. More than half of all ranked programs are in the U.S. Moreover, the gap between the top programs and everyone else appears to be growing. If the trend continues, we’ll likely see only a reshuffling at the top as a result.