Harvard Business School has taken first place for the sixth time in seven years in the new Poets&Quants ranking of the best MBA programs in the U.S. Stanford is in second place, Chicago Booth is in third, and Northwestern Kellogg and UPenn’s Wharton School are tied for fourth.
This is also the sixth out of seven years that Booth has ranked higher than Wharton since 2010. In addition, this year Booth beat Wharton in four of the five rankings that make up the P&Q composite list: U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, and The Economist. Only The Financial Times ranked Wharton above Booth.
P&Q’s composite list combines the five most influential business school ranking in the world, and weights each to account for the view of each publication’s authority. Combining these rankings helps to diminish flaws in each ranking and show each program’s true position.
Other highlights from this year’s ranking include:
• All top ten schools from last year remain in the top ten this year.
• With some slight changes, all of the top 20 schools from 2015 are in the 2016 top 20.
• Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business had the largest jump this year, climbing 16 places to rank 83rd from 99th in 2015. Other winners include University of Connecticut, jumping 10 places to 63rd, and Brigham Young, Boston College, and Pepperdine University which each rose nine places this year.
• University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics plunged 25 places from 70th in 2015 to 95th this year. UC-San Diego’s Rady School of Management dropped 21 places to a rank of 82nd from 61st in 2015. University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business lost 12 places this year, dropping from 64th to 76th.
• Over seven years or rankings, Yale SOM has shown the biggest gains, climbing from 14th in 2010 to 10th this year. Kellogg has risen three places during the same time period, from seventh to fourth. Changes as the top of the rankings are especially important as significant gains or losses are difficult to maintain.
2016 Top 20 Programs:
Keep in mind that although rankings get tons of publicity, you want to find the program with the best overall fit for YOU. That may not be the highest ranked program. Furthermore, it’s easy to say “I want to go to the top 5 or the top 10,” but you also have to qualify and show that you are not only competitive, but will be an asset to any program you apply to.
MBA admissions is much more than the sum of test scores, GPAs, and acceptance rates, but those are useful numbers when you are assessing your competitiveness. Yes, you also need to be sure that your target programs will help you achieve your professional and educational goals and that you’re a “fit,” a more nebulous concept. However, to assess overall competitiveness, use Accepted’s B-School Selectivity Index.