US News and World Report 2008 MBA Rankings

On Friday, US News and World Report released their 2008 rankings for top full-time business schools. The top twenty programs are:

1. Harvard
2. Stanford
3. Wharton
4. MIT
5. Kellogg
5. Univ of Chicago
7. Tuck
8. Haas
9. Columbia
10. NYU (Stern)
11. Univ of Michigan (Ross)
12. Duke (Fuqua)
12. Univ of Virginia (Darden)
14. Cornell (Johnson)
14. Yale
16. UCLA (Anderson)
17. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)
18. UNC (Kenan-Flagler)
18. Univ of Texas – Austin (McCombs)
20. Emory (Goizueta)

The rankings are based on scores in Peer and Recruiter assessments, GPA, GMAT, acceptance rate, starting salary, etc. As such the rankings of the top schools tend not to change significantly from year to year. This year Tuck and Stern made the biggest jumps. You can read about US News and World Report‘s full methodology here.

Rankings are certainly interesting to see, however you should never select schools on rankings alone. Instead research schools through websites, school visits, information sessions, and conversations with current students and alums to learn more about the specifics of their programs. Pay attention to academic specialties, size, location, teaching method, career services, and student environment. Selecting schools based on your fit with each program program will increase your chances of admissions because schools are looking to see if you are fit too and, of course, lead to a more satisfying business school experience. So use the rankings as an opportunity to find some schools that you may not have previously considered.

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