Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2015

The MBA Rankings: What You Need to KnowFinancial Times 2015 global MBA rankings  were released this morning. Let’s see how our top schools fared this year…

Top 25 2015 Global MBA Programs (last year’s rank in parentheses)

1. Harvard Business School, USA (1)
2. London Business School, UK (3)
3. UPenn Wharton, USA (4)
4. Stanford GSB, USA (2)
5. INSEAD, France/Singapore (5)
6. Columbia Business School, USA (5)
7. IESE, Spain (7)
8. MIT Sloan, USA (8)
9. Chicago Booth, USA (9)
10. UC Berkeley Haas, USA (11)
11. CEIBS, China (17)
12. IE Business School, Spain (13)
13. Cambridge Judge, UK (16)
14. HKUST, China (14)
15. Northwestern Kellogg, USA (15)
16. HEC Paris, France (21)
17. Yale SOM, USA (10)
18. NYU Stern, USA (17)
19. ESADE Business School, Spain (22)
20. IMD, Switzerland (12)
21. Duke Fuqua, USA (17)
22. Oxford Saïd, UK (23)
23. Dartmouth Tuck, USA (20)
24. Michigan Ross, USA (23)
25. UCLA Anderson, USA (26)

The big news is how little the top 10 changed. More significant movement occurred outside the top 10, as is typical of most rankings. Here are some highlights:

• New to the top 10 in 2015 is UC Berkeley Haas which climbed one spot from 11th place last year to 10th place this year.

• Yale SOM, on the other hand, lost its top-10 berth and fell 7 places from 10th place last year to 17th place this year.

• Big jumpers in the top 25 include HEC Paris which moved from 21st place in 2014 to 16th place in 2015, and CEIBS which jumped from 17th place last year to 11th this year.

• IMD fell 8 slots this year from 12th place to 20th place. For possible reasons behind the drop, please see “5 Key IMD Officials Resign.”

• 7 of the top 10 business schools in 2015 are programs in the USA, which is the same number as last year.

• This is the third year in a row that Harvard Business School snagged the first place position.

• Further down the rankings (top 50), we see more big jumpers, including Imperial College Business School (UK) which jumped from 49th place in 2014 to 34th place this year; Manchester Business School (UK) which went from 43rd to 35th place; The Lisbon MBA (Portugal) which jumped from 52nd to 36th place; and Lancaster University Management School (UK) which jumped from 77th place to 50th place.

• The school that fell the most in the top 50 was Warwick Business School (UK) which fell from 25th place in 2014 to 38th place in 2015.

• Overall the FT rankings reflect the growing strength of Asian and European business schools.

The Financial Times rankings measure average salaries of alumni along with several other factors. Its lead article on the rankings notes that “the financial returns from completing a full-time MBA have fallen over the past three years and while a graduate can still expect to nearly double their salary, the average boost to earnings is down by almost a third from the qualification’s heyday.” It continues to explain that this is particularly true among b-schools in the U.S. (which account for 50 of the top 100 global programs). For an excellent critique of the FT methodology, please see P&Q’s analysis.

Here are some additional highlights from that article:

• In 2015, MBAs who were three years post-MBA reported salary increases of 92%. This is compared to 110% in 2012 and 153% in 2002 and 2003.

• In 2003, b-school alumni from 82% of programs ranked saw salary increases of more than 120% over 4-5 years post-MBA. This year, only 7% saw the equivalent increase.

• A factor contributing to this trend is the drop in MBAs heading into finance and banking (25% in 2015 compared to 29% in 2005). Survey respondents from the finance sector reported an average salary of $152,000 compared to the overall average salary of respondents of $133,000.

My take:

In terms of the flaws in the FT rankings, I suggest you see Poets & Quants excellent critique.

I also suggest you read “Boost to earning from MBAs falls.” The article reflects on the decline in earnings increase from the MBA as well as the weakness in the graduate business education market outside the top tier.

The two are related. Grads from the top business schools by definition snag the highest salaries and sometimes the biggest increase in salaries. The lower ranked schools are struggling to compete, keep themselves affordable, and provide an ROI. Consequently several traditional two-year programs have closed – notably Thunderbird and Wake Forest. One-year programs and specialized masters are increasingly popular and experiencing increasing recruiter demand along with ROI.

For you as a prospective student, you need to focus not on the overall trend in salary increase for MBAs, and not even your ROI today vs what it maybe could have been 13 years ago when you were middle school, but your anticipated return on investment today and which degree is most likely to maximize it.

Frankly 92% increase in salary can be a phenomenal increase depending on where you start at and what you paid for it. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving since the increased salary continues and usually climbs annually for the rest of your career.

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?
Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.


Related Resources:

MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know
2014 BusinessWeek Rankings
The Benefits of an MBA According to John Byrn

Med Student Interview with Amanda: “Be as Prepared as You Can Be”

Read more Med student interviews!This interview is the latest in an blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Amanda Xi…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What’s your favorite non-school book?

Amanda: I was born and raised in metro-Detroit. During my Sophomore year of high school, I stumbled across an ad for the Acceleration to Excellence Program at Bard College at Simon’s Rock (Great Barrington, MA) and applied for it. By the Spring of that year, I was offered the full-tuition scholarship and made the decision to drop out of high school to attend this college early.

After I completed my Associate’s Degree, I transferred into the Biomedical Engineering program at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) where I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Before starting medical school at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, I worked at Terumo Cardiovascular Systems as an engineer for a few months – it was a great way to confirm that medicine was definitely a better fit for me than engineering.

My favorite book tends to be the one I’m currently reading. Today, that’s Atul Gawande’s new book, Being Mortal. I developed an interest in biomedical ethics over the course of medical school and his book does a great job encouraging medical professionals, caretakers and patients to take a moment to reflect on end-of-life planning.

Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year? What is your favorite thing about that program? Least favorite thing?

Amanda: I’m currently a 4th year medical school student and part of the Charter Class at Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan. My favorite thing about the program is how receptive administration has been over the course of the last 3.5 years in accepting and implementing our feedback.

When I started at OUWB, I knew that I signed up to be a guinea pig and as expected with any new institution, there were definitely bumps along the way (this is my least favorite thing). But this wasn’t a big issue for me because we had supportive faculty and staff working on every issue from the moment it surfaced.

Accepted: Do you know what you’ll be specializing in? Have you had any clerkships that have stood out?

Amanda: I applied to Anesthesiology residency programs this last fall. We had an elective month during our 3rd year; because I had an interest in the field (I later learned that engineers tend to naturally gravitate toward the specialty), I decided to do a clerkship in it. From Day 1, it was clear that the field was a good fit – I enjoyed the intellectual discussion, procedures and environment. Additionally, I felt comfortable working alongside the anesthesiology residents and attendings, which was important to me because I would be spending the rest of my life working with this group of individuals!

Accepted: Can you share some residency application tips with our readers?

Amanda: Be as prepared as you can be. That’s the best advice I can give – the process has a lot of little things to consider (e.g. which programs to apply to, how many, letters of recommendation, when to take Step 2, away rotations, etc), but if you start planning your 4th year during the winter of your 3rd year, nothing will surprise you when you start July 1.

Obviously if you are not sure what specialty you want to apply to, this is a bit more difficult, but you can still plan to do away rotations/sub-internships in the specialties you’re interested in and ask for letters in support of multiple specialties.

If you perceive that certain parts of your resume may hold you back (e.g. Step 1 score), think of ways you can show improvement (like taking Step 2 early). Make sure to ask the students in the year ahead of you about their experience and for specific advice tailored toward your situation.

Accepted: Looking back on the med school application process (if you can remember that long ago!), what would you say was your greatest challenge? What did you do to overcome that challenge?

Amanda: I submitted my primary and secondary applications on the later side, so the greatest challenge for me was trying to stay positive despite having no interviews for many months then later being waitlisted at the first two institutions I interviewed at. I didn’t get my first acceptance until 9 months after I started the process, so it was a tough time for me. I turned to my support system to keep me afloat and in the end, it all worked out.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When and why did you start blogging?

Amanda: I started the summer before M1 year as a way to reflect upon the application process and answer any questions about attending a brand new medical school. It evolved into a cathartic outlet for me and the inspiration for my Capstone research project on social media. I slowed down in 3rd and 4th year to free up time for my other commitments, but hope to get back into the swing of writing more regularly when I start residency.

The direction of my entries may end up evolving away from a day-to-day discussion to more scholarly reflections upon current events in healthcare, but we’ll see! I’m also hoping to start a video blog series with advice on applying to medical schools and getting through medical school.

Accepted: Can you recommend a nice coffee shop on or around campus that you recommend for studying or meeting up with friends?

Amanda: I’m a Starbucks fanatic, so just about any one will do for me!

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of medical school admissions services.

You can read more about Amanda’s journey by checking out her blog, And thus, it begins. Thank you Amanda for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Do you want to be featured in’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school story with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Residency Personal Statements. The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

Residency Applications: How to Match

Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted – 6 Tips for Waitlisted Applicants

• Residency Application Tip: Settling, and How To Avoid It

Round 3 or Next Year Webinar Reminder!

Don’t forget to register for Wednesday’s webinar, Round 3 vs. Next Year: The MBA Admissions Debate. Remember – this is a MUST-attend webinar for anyone facing the difficult decision of applying to b-school R3 or next year.

Register for the upcoming webinar!

During the webinar, Linda Abraham, founder & CEO of, will provide the pros and cons of each option, as well as loads of examples of how she would advise different applicants with various profiles/backgrounds.

Mark your calendars!

Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST

Reserve your spot now The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Pre-Med Summer Undergraduate Research Programs

Often top medical schools in the U.S. offer pre-med summer undergraduate research programs. The purpose of these programs is to expose ambitious, talented college students to graduate-level medical research, usually over the course of 6-12 weeks over the summer. These programs generally provide generous stipends, as well as free housing and compensation for travel expenses. Students work closely with faculty members on research, usually resulting in a large, final project that’s presented at the end of the summer term.

Below are some of the top undergraduate research programs in the U.S. But first, a few notes:

  1. Each program awards students a stipend (detailed in the chart), as well as free housing. Some also cover travel costs and provide other subsidies, which are specified below.
  2. Each program requires applicants to submit an online application. See the specific applications for details as the number of essays/personal statements differ per program (generally ranging from one to three essays).
  3. While none of these programs require students to have a minority or disadvantaged background, nearly all of the programs explain that this background is sought and a plus in the admissions process.

Here are a few highlights from the different research programs:

Summer Programs 1

Summer Programs 2

Summer Programs 3

Summer Programs 4

Interesting in applying? Here is application information:

Summer Programs A

Summer Programs B

Summer Programs C

Are you interested in pursuing a career in medicine? We have more pre-med resources where this came from! Continue reading our blog and check out our catalog of medical school admissions services. We are happy to help you achieve your dreams!

Related Resources:

Navigating the Med School Maze
Where Should I Apply To Medical School?
Medical School Admissions: MD vs DO Programs The Premier Admissions Consultancy

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Cornell Tech Student Interview: Where CS Meets the MBA

Want to read more student interviews?  Click here!This interview is the latest in an blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Will Hester, an M. Eng. Cornell Tech student in NYC.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What’s your favorite non-school book?

Will: I was born and raised in Austin, Texas. I went to the University of Texas at Austin and was conferred two degrees: A Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a focus on Software Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

My favorite non-school book is Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (never read it for school, believe it or not).

Accepted: Can you tell us about the new program you’re in? How did you choose Cornell Tech? Why was it the best match for you?

Will: Cornell Tech is a pretty unique graduate program. In addition to the individual MBA and CS curriculum, there is also a co-curriculum led by Greg Pass, former CTO at Twitter. The co-curriculum consists mainly of exercises and projects done in groups of both CS and MBA students. Most notably during the fall semester, we were all split into groups of 4-5 half-MBA, half-CS company project groups, in which we worked closely with companies like AOL, Bloomberg, eBay, Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft just to name a few. All the while the co-curriculum is conducted in a very fast-paced, startup-like atmosphere (we are constantly encouraged by faculty and guest speakers to follow the startup path, be it start one’s own venture, or join a startup post-graduation).

Cornell Tech was the best match for me because I knew I wanted to pursue my masters in CS, but I also wanted some business education without going all-out trying to get an MBA as well. I always have had an interest in startups, so the faster-paced, smaller nature of the program was extremely attractive. I could not be happier to be at Cornell Tech.

Accepted: If you could change one thing about the program, what would it be? 

Will: If I could change one thing about the program, I wish we were already in the future campus.

Accepted: Can you talk about your program’s relationship on campus with the Cornell Johnson MBA students? Can you explain why some people would choose Cornell Tech and some Cornell Johnson? 

Will: The CS students have a very close relationship with the MBA students. There’s a set time every week for us to work side-by-side on our company projects, and several learning exercises we work together on. The Cornell Tech MBA program is exclusively a 1-year program, whereas the normal Johnson MBA program in Ithaca has both one- and two-year options. The biggest difference between the Ithaca and Cornell Tech programs is that Cornell Tech is much more entrepreneurial/startup-focused. Our guest speakers are mostly serial entrepreneurs, and the projects are fast-paced and you typically build a real product with the CS students.

The Cornell Tech MBA students are in Ithaca for courses with the other Johnson one-year MBAs for three months over the summer before coming to the NYC campus. Additionally, the Cornell Tech MBAs spend a couple of weeks over winter break in Israel, working with Israeli startups.

Accepted: Are you involved in any clubs or competitions on campus? 

Will: Since the program is very new, Cornell Tech doesn’t have many official, established clubs. We are in the process of founding them. The most well-developed club is probably the Disruptive Technology Club.

Accepted: What do you plan on doing once you graduate? 

Will: I accepted a job with a Boston-based fantasy sports company called DraftKings, where I will start in July.

Accepted: Can you tell us about some of the projects you’ve been involved with lately?

Will: At Cornell Tech, I was part of a group with one other M. Eng. CS student and two MBAs in which we spent a semester working on a mobile application for AOL using beacons. At Cornell Tech, we’d meet with the other company project teams every Tuesday to see what everyone else was working on and receive help from industry specialists, entrepreneurs, and each other if we needed it. Once a month, we have a “hack day” on campus. All students participate in a 24-hour hackathon with their company project team and show off what they accomplished at the end. My AOL team developed an Android and iOS messaging application in which users can send messages to a particular user and location combination, so the recipients won’t receive the message until they are physically near where the message was sent to. We placed Bluetooth Low Energy beacons all around campus to provide locations that messages could be sent to.

Outside of school, is my most notable project. JustGotGood provides text message alerts for NBA games that are triggered when a particular game is within X points with less than Y time remaining, where the user defines X and Y.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages.

You can read more about Will’s journey by checking out his About Me page. Thank you Will for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Download our free report on choosing the best MBA program! The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

Honing in On the Cornell Johnson MBA: An Interview with Ann Richards
Leadership, Tech & Forte: IV with a Cornell MBA Student
Johnson at Cornell University 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips