MBA Rankings: Top Programs & More

At Stacy Blackman Consulting, we don’t encourage clients to focus too heavily on rankings when they’re making their MBA program selections. In fact, placing a heavy emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction for some applicants. Applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. Rankings for top MBA programs change each year and vary by ranking reports.

At the same time, MBA ranking reports in aggregate can help an applicant to see trends around MBA program brand and prioritize their reach versus reasonable program options.  Viewing the rankings across institutions and reports is more enlightening than focusing only one one year, one report.

We recently produced our own ranking hierarchy based on aggregate ranking reports and client demand.  We discuss reasons for why programs rank top here.

A high level summary between rival MBA programs follows below. For the most recent US News 2022 ranking summaries, check out their full time and part time MBA program lists here.

Request a free consultation with a Principal
on our SBC team to assess school fit and admit chances.

Harvard vs Stanford

In earlier rankings, Harvard tended to edge out Stanford. Stanford has come up in recent years by multiple ranking reports.

Poets & Quants 2020US News 2022US News 2021US News 2020US News 2019
Stanford11124
Harvard45631

Here’s our extensive comparison of admissions, culture, teaching methods and other key attributes of the Harvard and Stanford programs:

Harvard Business School vs Stanford: Which MBA?

Wharton vs Columbia

Wharton arguably has a better perceived brand globally and rankings reflect its reputation over Columbia. In recent years, the trifecta of HBS, GSB and Wharton is a common round one focus for candidates, as we see from 100s across our the client pool at Stacy Blackman Consulting. A few years ago, the elite candidates were only applying to HBS and GSB. Wharton has found its way to the trifecta.  Columbia isn’t quite at this level by perception; but, fit is everything.

Wharton comes out on top over Columbia on every major ranking out there. The school’s rankings almost always put it among the top five business schools in the world whereas Columbia comes in below that. Interestingly, across the Stacy Blackman Consulting client pool, we consistently see a high demand for Columbia, comparable to top 5 MBA programs.

Poets & Quants 2020US News 2022US News 2021US News 2020
Wharton3221
Columbia7786

Here’s our extensive comparison of admissions, culture, teaching methods and other key attributes of the Wharton and Columbia programs:

Wharton vs Columbia: Which MBA?

 

Kellogg vs Booth

Booth tends to have the advantage in rankings, though both schools are nip-and-tuck on various lists. Kellogg and Booth are consistently ranked as top 7 MBA programs. As the rankings are so close, it’s pretty much a toss-up.  Only two schools are consistently ahead of these two MBA programs: Wharton and Stanford.

Poets & QuantsUS News 2022US News 2021US News 2020US News 2019
Northwestern Kellogg54366
Chicago Booth23331

Duke Fuqua vs UVA Darden

Duke Fuqua and UVA Darden almost always fall in a similar ranking range, solidly within the top 15, though Darden has been gaining ground of late.

Poets & Quants 2020US News 2022US News 2021US News 2020
Virginia Darden11131112
Duke Fuqua14121210

MIT Sloan vs Berkeley Haas

As rankings suggest, these schools are typically ranked in the top 10. Poets&Quants– which factors into consideration all the major rankings weighted by their individual authority–awards MIT Sloan a rank of sixth, while Berkeley is right on its heels in the eighth spot, making it our highest ranked public university business school. Similar patterns can be seen via the US News annual rankings.

Poets & Quants 2020US News 2022US News 2021US News 2020US News 2019
MIT Sloan65545
Berkeley Haas87767

Request a free consultation with a Principal
on our SBC team to assess school fit and admit chances.