Updated 2021 Target School Tier List

Updated the list based on what people were saying / my own thoughts

Tier S++ (Super Target)

Harvard / Yale / Princeton - HYP
Wharton - UPenn's undergrad business school - 4yrs

Stanford - The most prestigious western school

Tier S+ (Target)
UPenn / Dartmouth / Columbia - Mid-tier Ivies. Non-Wharton UPenn is still a target school.               

Duke - The most prestigious southern school
UChicago - The most prestigious midwestern school                                                                 

Georgetown  - Undergrad business school but also SFS & CAS - 4yrs                                                            

Cornell Dyson - Part of the Ivy League. Undergrad business school - 4yrs

Tier S (Target)
NYU Stern - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
Cornell / Brown - Part of the Ivy League. Non-Dyson Cornell is still a target school.
UMich Ross - Public School. Undergrad business school - 4yrs
UVA McIntire - Public School. Undergrad business school - 2yrs

Tier A+ (Low Target to Top Semi-Target)

Williams - The most prestigious LAC
Notre Dame Mendoza - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
UCB Haas - Public School. Undergrad business school - 2yrs
Amherst - A great LAC

Tier A (Semi-Target)

WashU Olin - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
Middlebury - A great LAC - not as well known as Williams/Amherst
UNC KF - Public School. Undergrad business school - 3yrs
Indiana Kelley IBW - Public School. Undergrad business school - 4yrs
USC Marshall - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
UT Austin McCombs - Public School. Undergrad business school - 4yrs
UCLA - Public School
CMC - A great LAC - not as well known as Williams/Amherst
Emory Goizueta - Undergrad business school - 2yrs
BC Carrol - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
CMU Tepper - Undergrad business school - 4yrs

Tier A-/B+ (Low Semi-Target to Non-Target)

Bowdoin - A great LAC - more recognizable than the LACs listed below
Wake Forest
Washington & Lee / Colgate / Hamilton / Wesleyan - Great LACs

Tier B (Non-Target but still recognizable) Not in order

Colby / Bates / Davidson - Good LACs
Georgia Tech Scheller
BU Questrom
College of William and Mary Mason
Northeastern D'amore McKim
U of Illinois Gies
Ohio State Fisher
Penn State Smeal
U of Florida
U of Maryland Smith
U of Minnesota Carlson
Miami of Ohio
U of SC Darla Moore
Baruch Zicklin
U of Georgia Terry
Fordham Gabelli

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Comments (32)

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 20, 2021 - 8:55pm

Please. Just get into the best school you can get into.

And for prospects just focus on your recruitment instead of trying to feel better about your schools ranking,

Aug 25, 2021 - 10:53am

Stern and Ross place better than MIT/Duke/Georgetown/Chicago are in the top 3-4 schools in term placement every year with hard data to back that up

Penn CAS while still great is not better than many of the top undergrad b schools

Stanford is a tech feeder school but not great for IB (obviously can still make it but talked to many folks from here who said they had a hard time recruiting into some finance roles). Likewise MIT is excellent for Quant finance but you won't see many in front office roles like IB / ER etc. These kids are too smart for that and on a different level. 

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Aug 25, 2021 - 2:02pm

This is not really true for Stanford. Has excellent placement to top BBs and top EBs in both east and west coast, but not much so for lower tier BBs or MMs. Great for PE. Not much competition from the student class either given consulting / tech is more popular. 

Aug 25, 2021 - 4:02pm

Ross/Stern don't out-place nor do they have the prestige of MIT/Duke/Georgetown/Chicago. You are also forgetting the class sizes at Ross/Stern are bigger and those r hardo finance schools.

I would generally consider it a bad decision to take Ross/Stern/UVA over the above. If you don't believe me, find out during PE/VC/GE recruiting lol

Aug 25, 2021 - 7:11pm

Lot of Ross/Stern on in all areas including buyside and lot of UVA especially in HFs. The sheer networks of these schools are huge and a lot of recruiting is a numbers game

I went through PE/VC/GE recruiting several years ago - nobody cares about whatever presumed prestige you think those schools have

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 25, 2021 - 4:19pm

You're biased bro put it where it belongs among S/ A+, move Notre Dame up to S and BC to A+, Emory has shit placement I would put it down one

Aug 25, 2021 - 9:32pm

Wharton and Harvard stand notably above Yale/Princeton in terms of both IB and MBB placement in terms of both raw numbers as well as adjusted for school size. Not trying to rank one over other but if purpose is to identify programs with highest rate of opportunities then this is true. It may be self selecting as W/H population may be more IB/consulting centric but that wasnt a qualifier in the original post

  • 1
  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Aug 26, 2021 - 4:24pm


  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Aug 27, 2021 - 11:09pm

This kid literally made a post about target schools as a high school sophomore 3 years ago. Holy shit. Imagine being that much of a hardo and only getting into Georgetown.

Aug 27, 2021 - 11:35pm

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  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Aug 27, 2021 - 11:55pm

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