U.S. News & World Report has announced its ranking of the 2020 Best Graduate Schools, and in the business school category, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School takes the sole No. 1 spot for full-time MBA programs for the very first time.
Wharton moved up two spots in the US News 2020 ranking after demonstrating high employment rates, starting salaries and bonuses for its graduates. Stanford Graduate School of Business also improved its rank to come in at No. 2.
Harvard University – the previous No. 1 full-time MBA program for three years running – ties at No. 3 along with University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and MIT Sloan School of Management. Here’s a look at the order line up in the new ranking:
US News Top Ten Best Business Schools
2. Stanford GSB
3. Harvard Business School (tie)
3. MIT Sloan School of Management (tie)
3. Chicago Booth School of Business (tie)
6. Kellogg School of Management (tie)
6. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (tie)
9. Yale School of Management
10. Duke Fuqua School of Business
Methodology of the US News 2020 Ranking
Factors that go into rankings include test scores, starting salaries and employment rates after graduation. Rankings come from statistical surveys of the programs, as well as reputation surveys sent to 475 AACSB-accredited MBA programs between fall 2018 and the beginning of 2019.
A total of 367 responded for the US News 2020 ranking. Of those, US News ranked 131 because they provided enough of the required data on their full-time MBA program to calculate the full-time MBA rankings, based on a weighted average of the indicators described below.
Last year, US News reduced the value of reported GPA, GRE and GMAT scores for full-time and part-time MBA programs and GRE scores in the education rankings if less than 50 percent of an entering class submitted these scores. US News believed this lack of data means the scores are not representative of the entire class.
MBA rankings are a tricky subject
For an analysis of this year’s rankings, check out this story by editor-in-chief John A. Byrne at Poets & Quants. Byrne shares what he considers the ten biggest surprises in the new US News ranking.
Most applicants put an enormous amount of credence in rankings when making their school selections, but the results aren’t always as clear-cut as they seem. Over at Find MBA, Seb Murray has a great piece today on why MBA rankings are set for a rethink.
It’s important to remember that the various media outlets publishing this information each have a specific focal point, which often differs from their competitors. At times, it can feel more like an “apples and oranges” comparison.
We encourage prospective applicants to think hard about the data points that are important to your own career path when determining the value of a particular ranking. You don’t have to go to the best business school of all. Just figure out which MBA program is the best one for you.