US News MBA Rankings Best Business Schools
After an unexpected one-week delay, the 2023-2024 US News MBA rankings of the best business schools have finally arrived. For the second consecutive year, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business took the top spot among full-time MBA programs. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School comes in at No. 2 and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School at No. 3.
According to Poets & Quants, US News & World Report postponed publication after many deans “screamed foul” after seeing an embargoed copy of the ranking. “Without explanation, U.S. News’ final MBA ranking significantly changed the positions of many schools,” writes P&Q editor-in-chief John A. Byrne. “In fact, 84 business schools saw their rank change by at least one position, up or down.”
US News MBA Rankings for the Top 20 B-Schools
|Business School||2023-24 Ranking||2022-23 Ranking|
|Kellogg School||2||3 (tie)|
|Wharton School||3||1 (tie)|
|MIT Sloan||4||5 (tie)|
|Dartmouth Tuck||6 (tie)||11|
|Stanford GSB||6 (tie)||3 (tie)|
|UM Ross School||8 (tie)||10|
|Yale SOM||8 (tie)||7|
|NYU Stern||10||12 (tie)|
|Columbia||11 (tie)||8 (tie)|
|Duke Fuqua||11 (tie)||12 (tie)|
|Berkeley Haas||11 (tie)||8 (tie)|
|Cornell Johnson||15 (tie)||15|
|USC Marshall||15 (tie)||19 (tie)|
Source: US News & World Report
This year’s methodology changed significantly to place more of an emphasis on outcomes. Half the rankings formula evaluated institutions on the successful placement and earnings outcomes of their graduates—up from 35% previously. Here’s how US News explains the shift in focus.
“As education costs continue to soar, students and their families are placing more emphasis on the results that education can bring. Therefore, the ranking factor weights for this edition feature an increased emphasis on outcome measures and a reduced emphasis on reputation. U.S. News took this approach based on knowledge that employment and earnings outcomes are the driving force behind why many individuals seek to further their education, especially in business.”
A Real Head-Scratcher
Even casual observers will be surprised to see Stanford’s Graduate School of Business tied for 6th place in this new ranking. The GSB’s stronghold in the top three MBA programs has long been established across multiple rankings for several years.
This result is a quirk of the US News MBA ranking’s new quirky methodology, says Byrne. There’s no argument that Stanford GSB is the most selective MBA program in the world, with its 8.6% acceptance rate. Stanford also outranks Booth in average GPA, median GMAT, and starting salaries and sign-on bonuses.
Yet this time around, “Stanford was especially disadvantaged because U.S. News put greater weight on placement statistics,” Byrne explains. “Three months after graduation, 83.8% of Stanford MBA had jobs vs. a much more impressive 95.6% rate at Booth.”
“The stat does not reflect a preference for hiring companies for Booth MBAs,” he notes. “What it does reflect is that fewer Stanford grads go into jobs from mainstream MBA recruiters, preferring positions in venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, and startups, all of which recruit and hire very few newly minted MBAs and do not employ them on a typical MBA recruiting schedule. Stanford MBAs are so confident in their ability to land the jobs they really want that they are willing to hold out for them.”
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