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Comments (63)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 17, 2020 - 9:49am

I'm shocked that people still look at US News, their rankings just suck all around. I could maybe see Stanford and Wharton being above HBS, but Kellogg, Booth, and Sloan as well? Come on.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Apr 7, 2020 - 12:06pm

do some research on the office that handles all the USNews Education rankings and you'll figure out that they don't even go to those schools lol. good luck making up facts

Mar 17, 2020 - 7:19pm

The rankings game is alive and well. My opinions (1) MBA education market is saturated and many schools are more into making $$ than delivering a good educational product. (2) Top 25 bracket offers good alumni network and some prestige, and they are still worth a shot for those who want to break the glass ceiling or pivot.

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Mar 19, 2020 - 9:24am

And tuck at 12 almost even more of a joke than Harvard at 6. Tuckies are some of the most badass MFers on the planet.

You might want to check how Tuck has been doing in the fast few years in terms of admissions. Their admit rate last year was 1/3 with apps and yield both collapsing. I dont think Tuck will recover from this given their remote location and dilapidated facilities. Tuck used to be a Top 10 school, not anymore.

Mar 17, 2020 - 7:31pm

Interesting to see HBS at #6, seems a little extra if you ask me. Agree with the above poster that Tuck is a little low.. should probably still be above SOM/Darden?

Either way, who cares. This stuff is just for brownie points


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Mar 19, 2020 - 1:08pm

Regardless of what US News says, the generally accepted rankings probably look somewhat like this:
Gold standard: HBS / Stanford GSB
Best of the rest: Wharton
Tier I A: Booth, Sloan, Kellogg
Tier I B: Columbia, Tuck
Tier II: Yale SOM, Haas, Stern, Ross, Darden, Fuqua (some might add Cornell here)
Tier III: Maybe don't go

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Apr 3, 2020 - 8:38am

Ahhh good point, I forgot Anderson. They belong in that Tier II for sure. Hear you on the Tier III as well - I'm in Consulting so I'm sure I'm biased toward Consulting targets, but great to hear IB is an option from those schools as well!

Apr 4, 2020 - 11:56am

I'm a second year at one of the schools you named for Tier 3 and we placed roughly 30 of 33 US candidates into IB internships. Definitely tough for internationals at my program to get into IB, but if you're a US candidate most land an internship and all land superdays.

Rough list of where we sent people (Not sending many to top banks, but you can still get IB):

  • Wells Fargo: 7
  • Harris Williams: 4
  • Houlihan: 3
  • BAML: 3
  • Piper: 2
  • Barclays: 2
  • Evercore: 1
  • RBC: 1
  • BMO: 1
  • Eastdil: 1
  • Jefferies: 1
  • Suntrust: 1
  • Stieffel: 1
  • KeyBanc: 1
  • BowString: 1

We had a few people get Evercore and MS offers, but turned them down as they wanted SF or Charlotte banking. Our class didn't send anyone to MS, GS, or JPM but there were 4-5 people that had superdays and either no one got an offer or decided to take other banks.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 4, 2020 - 11:23am

Tuck doesn't belong to Tier Ib. If anyone should be there with Columbia, it should be one of Yale/NYU/Berkeley.

Apr 7, 2020 - 11:35am

If you look at P&Q's consolidated for, basically, as long as they've been tracking, there are four schools that very consistently average out above the rest in terms of rankings across sources. HBS, Stanford, Booth, and Wharton. You can nitpick the individual rankings but I think that "tier" data is pretty striking over time.…

Most Helpful
Mar 21, 2020 - 5:10am

If you look at the rankings through the perspective of different MBA stakeholders, it makes more sense. As a Private Equity professional, I would say that HBS is indisputably the gold standard for PE and I would have gone had they not rejected me! However, there are a lot of individuals considering business careers well outside of PE for which HBS is not the obvious choice over a school such as Wharton or Booth. There are also a lot of employers that seek certain skill sets that are emphasized at some schools a lot more than others. For example:

You run Boeing. You're looking to hire young, bright talent in your leadership development program that will rotate the individual through sales, financial planning & analysis, marketing, operations, and a few other departments with the ultimate goal of finding potential future executives to lead these functional areas. You know that to be successful in this role, the individual needs to have a high degree of technical aptitude, an appreciation of global economics and its impact on the airline industry, shrewd negotiating capabilities, and the ability to segment/analyze the customer base, all while maintaining a humble demeanor. For a company such at this, the student body at Kellogg/Booth/Wharton could actually prove a better fit than HBS.

Flip it to the student's perspective. You're General Maximus Decimus Meridius. You've led the Roman army to victory against the Germanic tribes. You're looking for a career change and, quite frankly, you don't want to be Emperor. You are interested in joining a mid-size company and spending more time with your family. However, despite your badass military accomplishments and ability to lead others, you really don't know the first thing about business, finance, economics, marketing, or operations. You need a rigorous education rooted in technical competency over leadership development. For you, HBS is probably not the best choice, even though you're likely to get accepted.

These are just two examples, but the majority of MBA applicants and recruiters fall outside of the focus of this forum. So while HBS is probably the clear winner for those of us here focused on Private Equity, the MBA rankings take a much more holistic look at the opportunity provided by the schools to both the students and the recruiters.


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Mar 25, 2020 - 12:28pm

Meh while the general logic of this may seem to make sense the reality is that these business schools don't do much to change someone's strengths and the difference in education across the top schools itself matters very little relative to the person. The reality is that the best person to run Boeing could have gone to any of the schools but if that person is 25 and had the option to go to HBS, they are 95% going there over Kellogg/Booth/other non-S M7 so these rankings just don't really mean anything

Mar 25, 2020 - 3:25pm

Meh while the general logic of this may seem to make sense the reality is that these business schools don't do much to change someone's strengths and the difference in education across the top schools itself matters very little relative to the person. The reality is that the best person to run Boeing could have gone to any of the schools but if that person is 25 and had the option to go to HBS, they are 95% going there over Kellogg/Booth/other non-S M7 so these rankings just don't really mean anything

I don't disagree with you that the vast majority of cross-admits will choose HBS over Kellogg/Booth/Wharton etc., I know that I personally would have. However, that is not what the rankings measure. The rankings measure a combination of factors, including student satisfaction, employer perception, actual compensation trajectory, etc. I personally don't think the method is super effective at determining which school is "the best," but I do think it is valuable in that it provides direction to those who are less familiar with the MBA landscape.

I'll give you an example because I'm having fun with them in this thread! John Smith, an American, attended Ross for his MBA. John is relocating to Italy and recruiting at Ferrari. Luca Musseli, the hiring manager at Ferrari, gets John's Resume/CV and sees that he attended Ross. MBAs outside of Bocconi are relatively unknown to Signor Musseli, so he googles Ross and the MBA rankings. He see's Ross is ranked #12 and thinks: "Wow, that's pretty darn good" and proceeds to interview John. Alas, the MBA rankings have served their purpose.

So recapping because my thoughts were a bit scattered in this post:
1) The MBA rankings don't measure where cross-admits are likely to go. They measure a bunch of factors.
2) Those factors are imperfect, but are good enough to get a general assessment of the quality of an institution.
3) Knowing the general quality of the institution is valuable for a broad range of business folks. Whether it is someone unfamiliar with MBAs or someone that is looking to recruit an MBA needs to pick up to five schools to recruit from, these rankings are valuable.


  • 5
Mar 28, 2020 - 2:12am

Has anyone looked at the acceptance rate for the Top 15 schools? I was shocked to learn that Booth's acceptance rate is > 20% and Sloan's is MBA.

MIT probably has a stronger university brand, but a weaker business school brand (especially internationally) and that is influencing the spike as more people across the world put it in their 'second choice' or 'safety' category after HSW than people applying the same rationale to Booth.

Apr 1, 2020 - 8:00pm

lol no one is applying to anything at MIT as a safety and if the acceptance rate is M7 and Haas) are in Chicago and as MBAs are generally older, location matters more than it does when you're 17 deciding about ug. Some ppl are location agnostic (many im sure) but there is certainly a good chunk who are not. There are people in Chicago/Midwest who do not want to leave Chicago and there ppl on the East Coast who do not want to leave the coasts. In the pool of qualified MBA applicants, there are just many more on the east coast and therefore in that wanting to be on east coast bucket.

in talking to friends who are international students, i would also speculate that many perceive (rightly or wrongly) the coasts to be a bit more international friendly culturally - but that's anecdotal and i am from the US so can't super comment. this would bring up the applicant numbers though

All this being said, MIT/Booth are generally peers in terms of education/opportunities and picking one over the other imo should be based on preference/circumstances

Mar 21, 2020 - 6:54pm

I'm starting to think Stanford is pulling away from HBS as the gold standard.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 22, 2020 - 3:51am

Younger guy here. I was under the impression that the two schools specialize in different things. I don't think it would be reasonable to not consider them equals. Again, just a young guys take after a little bit of initial research.

  • Consultant in Consulting
Jun 21, 2021 - 1:59am

Doesn't matter. HBS and Stanford GSB only compete with each other. Right now Stanford is winning more cross admits, but who knows, maybe that will change. 

Apr 14, 2020 - 12:04pm

I'm starting to think Stanford is pulling away from HBS as the gold standard.

And still, their joint & dual degree offerings lack far behind HBS's, which has both a joint MS/MBA in Engineering and one in Life Sciences, and the joint degrees with the Kennedy School, on top of the usual JD/MBA & MD/MBA dual degrees.

  • Consultant in Consulting
Jun 21, 2021 - 10:07am

Perhaps, I think most people just view them as equal gold standards though.

Apr 3, 2020 - 8:01am

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