The US News and World Report annually releases MBA rankings for graduate business schools in the United States. The rankings evaluate the quality of full-time MBA programs based on several factors, including academic excellence, reputation among peers and career outcomes and include categories such as the best MBA programs for entrepreneurship, finance, marketing and non-profit management.
The ranking methodology considers data such as acceptance rates, mean GMAT and GRE scores of admitted students, student-to-faculty ratios and average undergraduate GPAs. US News also factors in post-MBA employment rates, average starting salaries, and the percentage of graduates employed within three months of graduation.
The key takeaways from the US News MBA rankings
- The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business took the top spot in the overall rankings, followed by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. At graduation, 90.40 percent of Booth graduates of the full-time program were employed, with an average base salary of $165,887. For Kellogg graduates, the average base salary was $158,938, and for Wharton graduates, it was $166,391.
- The specialty rankings saw some notable changes, with MIT Sloan taking the top spot in the finance category, Kellogg ranking first in marketing, and Harvard Business School leading in the non-profit management category.
- The ranking also highlights the top MBA programs for entrepreneurship, including the Stanford Graduate School of Business, MIT Sloan, and the Ross Business School.
- The ranking methodology places a heavier emphasis on recruiter assessment scores and starting salaries than in previous years. Consequently, the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business jumped from 33rd to 23rd overall, due in part to high recruiter assessment scores. Additionally, the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management fell 10 spots to 41st overall, largely due to lower recruiter assessment scores.
- The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business climbed 9 spots to rank 5th overall, its highest ranking ever. Stanford Graduate School of Business fell 1 spot to 4th overall, marking the first time since 2013 that the school has not ranked in the top 3.
- The specialty rankings saw some notable changes – the Ross Business School took the top spot in the supply chain management category and the McCombs School of Business ranked first in the energy category.
While the US News MBA rankings are a valuable tool for prospective MBA students, students should research schools thoroughly and consider other factors such as program fit, location and cost. Your IMS consultant can help you choose the right fit, assessing universities based on your specialisation. To review your profile with IMS, click here.