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Worldwide MBA Programs divided into tiers

Hey guys,

I have been doing research on MBA programs but I've never come across a global tiered system for MBAs based on prestige/placement/quality, etc. By a tiered system I mean that you group the schools into tiers, and if you get into a school in a higher tier you would almost automatically choose that over a school in a lower tier, while two schools in the same tier would be debatable.

I have put this together and want community input (if I've messed anything up please let me know), as I prepare to look into MBA applications and choose where I'm going to apply.

It is not in an order ranking just in clusters

Tier 1 (M7 + LBS and INSEAD):

HBS
LBS
Stanford GSB
Chicago (Booth)
Penn (Wharton)
MIT (Sloan)
Northwestern (Kellogg)
Columbia
INSEAD

Tier 2 (top 12-13 US schools + top 3-5 internationals):

Dartmouth (Tuck)
Yale SOM
Virginia (Darden)
Duke (Fuqua)
Michigan (Ross)
Berkeley (Haas)
IESE
HEC Paris

Tier 2.5 (rounding out the top 15 US schools):

UCLA (Anderson)
Cornell
NYU (Stern)

Tier 3 (rounding out the top 20 US schools, along with some other top 10 internationals):

UT-Austin
UNC
Carnegie Mellon
Georgetown
Emory (Atlanta)
IE Business School
Cambridge (Judge)
Oxford (Said)
ESADE

Tier 4 (lower tier US schools - top 25, outside of the top 20 - and feeders for Toronto/Canada)

Notre Dame
WUSTL (Olin)
Indiana (Kelley)
Rice
Washington (Foster)
Western (Ivey)
Toronto (Rotman)
Queen's (Smith)

I'd love your input.

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Comments (355)

Best Response
Aug 4, 2016

Forget pursuing an MBA. You're destined for a top role at US News.

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Aug 4, 2016

LBS at 2 overall is laughable and stern should be in tier 2

Aug 4, 2016
Frank Slaughtery:

LBS at 2 overall is laughable

They're not meant to be ranked in order just into clusters.

Aug 4, 2016

gotcha - i didn't look into the international schools at all but I'm not sure LBS/INSEAD should be above tuck or haas

Aug 4, 2016
Frank Slaughtery:

gotcha - i didn't look into the international schools at all but I'm not sure LBS/INSEAD should be above tuck or haas

Okay so are the M7 plus Tuck and Haas kind of in a class of their own, then the T15 and top 5 international schools?

Aug 4, 2016

I played this game and read a million "rankings" over the past 5 years while trying to figure out where I wanted to go. Take it for what it's worth, but it depends on what you're trying to do/where you are. GENERALLY accepted (and this depends if you include international prestige and regional influence), Tuck (due to small class size/alum base) and Haas do not rank above LBS/INSEAD.

I haven't even looked at tier 2 (this is a circle-jerk exercise any way you look at it), but his tier 1 is correct -- again, in GENERAL application.

EDIT: Took a look at tier 2, and I agree -- Stern should be in there.

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Aug 4, 2016
egsc:

I played this game and read a million "rankings" over the past 5 years while trying to figure out where I wanted to go. Take it for what it's worth, but it depends on what you're trying to do/where you are. GENERALLY accepted (and this depends if you include international prestige and regional influence), Tuck (due to small class size/alum base) and Haas do not rank above LBS/INSEAD.

I haven't even looked at tier 2 (this is a circle-jerk exercise any way you look at it), but his tier 1 is correct -- again, in GENERAL application.

EDIT: Took a look at tier 2, and I agree -- Stern should be in there.

Thanks for your input that's actually good advice.

I know it's mental masturbation but I figured some community input would give me better insight

Aug 4, 2016

Poets & Quants is an aggregator site full of so-so articles, but their end-of-the-year rankings I found to be pretty useful. Don't use it as gospel, as the list above stands, but the site gives you a good idea of recent happenings in regards to perception of programs.

For example, NYU got dinged hard this year by US News because they did not report all of the necessary information on time, and the past few years a lot of people have been placing Booth over Wharton in rankings (even though I've heard from several admissions consultants that the OVERALL quality of applicants is still below Booth's). The perception of Booth has improved partly due to their ex-dean Ted Snyder's doing, who's been working the same magic for Yale SOM since jumping over there.

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Mar 29, 2018

Hi what about MBA at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign?

Aug 4, 2016

Where's the Canadian Tuckie Troll at? We need to make this thread pop.

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Jan 13, 2018

Not convinced about the international ranking here. HEC probably needs a drop and IE and Judge need a bump. Something like this:
LBS=INSEAD>Judge>Said=IE=IESE=ESADE

Mar 29, 2018

Hi what about MBA at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign?

Mar 29, 2018

Unranked, it's not a very strong program.

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Mar 29, 2018

I think tier 1 bracket should make some slight changes

tier 1: H, S W
tier 2: C C M N
tier 2.1: LBS INSEAD

the rest move down 1 tier
Looking at the 2 european mba they seem to hire quite many people with some very typical non-fldp like corporate jobs... nothing special and placement is very bipolar
some went mbb/bb ibd/pe some just land at fldp-like post-mba program

Mar 29, 2018

H/S are definitely considered a tier above Wharton; Booth is generally considered a peer school to Wharton. Look at P&Q's consolidated rankings and it's pretty stark. 7 of the past 8 years Harvard or Stanford have been 1st and 2nd place. All 8 of those years Wharton and Booth were also in the top 4. No other school has cracked top 4 in the consolidated ranking in that time frame. 6 of those 8 years Booth has been ahead of Wharton. Likely for 2018 too based on US News ranking.

I'd say it's-
T1.1: H/S
T1.2: Wharton, Booth, INSEAD
Then etc as listed

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Mar 29, 2018

I put several spaces between S and W to indicate the gap even t1 bracket. Got cut after posting lol

Mar 29, 2018

Why is it that Americans get such a raging hard-on for MBAs from American schools? You cannot make a ranking like this because it is so America-centric. Maybe this order works for the US but it is COMPLETELY fucked up for recruiters in Europe.

Where is Bocconi? St. Gallen? These are top European business schools which carry more weight in Europe (and to some extent around the world) than any of the tier 4 schools mentioned and even some of the US schools in tier 3.

Even on a global scale, are you seriously telling me that recruiters prefer UCLA and Haas to Said or Judge? Come on man...

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Mar 29, 2018

Probably because MBAs are the exception to the rule in Europe. Europeans tend to come to the US for an MBA more often than the reverse. While this maybe US-Centric it just reflects the reality that MBAs are more established here.

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Mar 29, 2018

But I would be curious to know how many of those Europeans then go on and stay in the US. If the answer is a lot, it shows that to make it in the US, an American MBA helps. If lots go and then come back to Europe straight after finishing their American MBA then I'm not sure. From what I've seen, Europeans who stay in Europe tend to do their MBAs in Europe at the top B-schools

Mar 29, 2018

I am not from the States. In Asia actually no one cares about the European schools in graduate level... If its ug, it is acceptable if u met people who are more knowledgeable. But for masters, ur best bet is to start in europe and transfer unless u are attending insead or lbs.

For UCLA, maybe not. But for Haas is definitely way more represented than said and judge. Said and Judge are ok for their MFE and MPhil Finance program. But for the mba programs, I haven't really seen someone came from there. Yale and cornell are much more represented than the 2.

Mar 29, 2018

I agree with the undergrad point but the point that in Asia no one cares seems off. Perhaps this may be for Asian firms but you're telling me that the Asian office of a BB or MBB would strongly prefer an American MBA to a European one in cases where the schools are close? Haas and Ross or Fuqua would be seen much better than LBS or HEC? I doubt that. Then again, I don't have recruiting experience in Asia so I'm speculating but that seems off to me.

Mar 29, 2018

LBS and INSEAD are the only two exceptions because quite a number of Asians attended. Hiring decisions at entry levels are mostly done by those who are Asians who went to US/UK/Canada schools.

Very senior MD might be Europeans from European schools but most of the people in charge (vp/ed/associate who screen resumes) are Asians who attended English speaking undergrad institutions. So the hiring is highly skewed towards US/UK (less so) schools.

The language skill u acquire from continental european schools does not set u apart from other candidates because u would almost never use them in Asian offices. On the other hand, coming from m7 (or even yale mba) would give u a WOW factor to the client. So the answer is obvious here.

I am working at a BB and this is what I see. I have friends who graduated from continental schools but they are a very small group of minority in this industry. This is the same in other BBs (at least at another one that I have interned)

Mar 29, 2018

Also I want to add that the information cost to hire European schools are too high. First you have to fly in, BBs in HK/SG actually do organize recruitment session and final interview in London/NY. For a class of 20-40 people (this is whole class size in HK+SG and remember half of them may come from HK/SG/China schools), it is just not worth to host more sessions in European countries. European school grads will have a much harder time to land a job in Asia fresh out of mba because the Asian population there is lower and because many banks just don't bother to focus this area.

Another thing is benchmarking European schools is difficult. Even within European schools, it is hard for recruiters to rank HEC/Bocconi/St Gallen/ESSEC etc. Comparison with American schools are even harder. It is just not worth the effort to study these schools and interview the only 5-6 Asian students who are studying there.

For Asians who went to these schools and want to work in Asia in the long run. The best bet would be interning in the regional office of these schools. And try to aim for return in the regional office/London, and lateral back in 2 or 3 years time. It is just very difficult to return to Asia from there. Might help a lot if u fly to London to impress them in info session though.

This may be a problem due to sample or maybe just due to people's biases but it is hard to tell.

Mar 29, 2018

This is fair enough but what about non-Asian applicants? Would an American with a Ross MBA applying for Hong Kong or Singapore really stand out that much more than a French from HEC?

May 4, 2018

@marc2 has it right here. The kind of profiles G-I Pharma is mentioning are simply not common amongst the movers and shakers of Asia. Overall, Asia has a bias towards the English-speaking world, and the view of prestige in Asia is almost a direct 1:1 match to that in the English-speaking world. In that sense, while a Ross MBA isn't the dream job candidate for your typical Hong Kong banking MD, Bain partner or F500 APAC CFO, "University of Michigan" is still widely respected, and in that sense would be more competitive than any candidate from a European school except for LBS and INSEAD, which have strong brand name recognition and alumni networks in Asia.

Frankly, continental European business schools are top regional players, meaning their main sphere of relevance is London and a max 1,000km radius from wherever they're located. In this sense, they are very much like top regional MBAs in the US. For example, UT Austin and Emory Goizueta are Top 20 schools overall in the US, but for working in the South, from Texas to Georgia, in almost any industry and function, they are very well represented and put you pretty much on equal footing to get an interview with someone from a top 10 US school. This is pretty much the definition of what a top regional school is, and it applies to European schools too.

The only continental European schools that have managed to break out from this are INSEAD and the Spanish schools (IESE primarily, and to a lesser extent IE and ESADE - they attract a lot of students interested in the lifestyle experience, and have powerful reach into Latin America).

G-I pharma guy, I hand it to you that US geocentrism is frankly annoying and sympathize with your frustration, but trust me, European geocentrism exists too, and you seem to not be aware that you're speaking from within it.

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Mar 29, 2018

There are two types of people in this world: (1) those who went to HBS and (2) everyone else.

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Mar 29, 2018

"Work on your spelling" - Your friendly neighborhood Canadian

Mar 29, 2018

Hye CanadianEnergyBanker,
Thank you so much for your time. However, I am sorry for I didnt get your message. I will rectify any errors on my side.
Take care!
best,
Rahul

Mar 29, 2018

I think that once you go beyond US top 10 & LBS / INSEAD, the programs become very regional and their attractiveness really depend on the candidate and their goals so it's pretty much impossible to truly compare. For example, I would advise a Canadian wanting to stay in Canada to pick Ivey over a top 10-25 school in the US or an international school other than LBS / INSEAD (and perhaps IMD depending on the candidate), but I would not recommend to someone without ties to Canada to go Ivey period. Similarly, the schools you listed place very well in their local market, but have very little recognition outside of them. On the other hand, US programs ranked 10-25 tend to have much better international recognition.

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Mar 29, 2018

Thank you so much for your kind response! Would it be safe to assume that amongst US 10-25 B-schools and other International Schools, the growth trajectory in the initial years post-MBA would be similar?
For instance, say a Foster's Grad prospects in Seattle would be similar to a Cranfield MBA in UK or Ivey Grad in Canada?
Thank you so much once again for your time and inputs! Great help!!

Mar 29, 2018

Thank you so much for your kind response! Would it be safe to assume that amongst US 10-25 B-schools and other International Schools, the growth trajectory in the initial years post-MBA would be similar?
For instance, say a Foster's Grad prospects in Seattle would be similar to a Cranfield MBA in UK or Ivey Grad in Canada?
Thank you so much once again for your time and inputs! Great help!!

Mar 29, 2018

To be honest, I don't know that I know enough to truly have an informed opinion. You'd probably be better off checking out each school employment reports.

But I would say thought that the growth trajectories of grads already varies quite a bit within a given school so it really depends on what is your plan post graduation. For people wanting to work in industry, I would assume similar growth trajectories across the schools you listed, but if goal is finance or consulting, then some of these regional schools (particularity those outside the UK / UK) will offer much better opportunities for local students. For example, Ivey is a target for Canadian IB and MBB while a school like Cranfield will only be target for 2nd / 3rd tier consulting firms and for middle and back office roles at banks.

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Mar 29, 2018

Thank you so much, Mtnmmnn! I shall surely check employment reports and seek information from school seniors as well.
have great times ahead!
Best wishes,
Rahul

Mar 29, 2018

The simple answer is these programs are not comparable. If you're applying do you want to work in the US? Europe? India? Canada? If so then it is far easier to say what schools are "best" particularly in light of your needs/wants/background.

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Mar 29, 2018

Hye Guyfromct,
Thanks for your inputs. I agree that the international schools cant be compared to each other or to US schools in absolute terms. However, would it be right to deduce that, say, since Ivey has a better career placement record in MBB and other top-notch consultancy firms, it is better than Georgetown University, D.C. in consultancy.

best,
Rahul

Mar 29, 2018

I'm not willing to accept that assertion, namely because placement in Canada is vastly different than in the US. You're trying to compare apples and oranges. Also, how many of the consultants at Ivey were sponsored versus career switchers. If your goal is to be in the US then go to an American school

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Mar 29, 2018

Thank you so much Guyfromct!
It has been very insightful. I will try to get more details about career switchers' figure from Ivey.
I request you to provide further insights into how the US and American placements differ.

Thanks once again for your time!

Mar 29, 2018

I'm good on providing "further insights". Just look up the career stats or pony up for an admissions consultant. If you have a specific question e.g. I'm applying with a GPA of X and Y work experience what schools should I consider or how does Tuck compare to Haas for MBB placements people are more than willing to answer. However this is both research intensive and open ended.

You need to figure what you want to get out of the process and right now it seems like you have no clue. First and foremost, the schools in the top 15 aren't fungible they do differ and CBS offers a vastly different experience than GSB or even Stern. At this point it seems like you care only about getting into "the best school" you can. That's not a great way to go about this. You need to go to the school that best fits your needs. If you want IB, and the best school you get into is UF, you're better off not going to b school. The same is true if you want supply chain, but get into schools with no real expertise in the space, even if they are well ranked.

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Mar 29, 2018

Hye Guyfromct,
Once again, quite insightful and thanks a ton for sharing your inputs. I guess that I have irked you a bit, and if i have, i apologise. That was not the intention. You are partly correct in what you said. This thread is one such attempt for me to understand the difference between US and Canadian B-schools.
Being an international, I agree that I do not have much insights about how precisely CBS is different from NYU/GSB. And that is exactly where seasoned professionals such as you and forums such as WSO come into picture.
As far as your point of what I wish to get out of this process, I wish to continue in consultancy post-MBA. Working in past with Europe and US-based teams, I have decent idea about US market. However, I have no experience whatsoever with Canadian market. I talked about these two, in my previous comments, because I converted GT and McCombs this year and am gathering information about Ivey. Ivey has a history of placements in MBB with a major chunk of class in Consultancy sector, akin to Georgetown (which has a high percentage in Consultancy, except in MBB).
Hope, I no longer appear having "no clue" whatsoever.

Thanks a ton,
best,
rahul

Mar 29, 2018

how many of the consulting placements are undergraduate vs. MBA? the quality of MBA vs. Undergrads are just chalk and cheese for too many schools out there.

also if you want to get rid of "clueless", you need to be good enough to tell the difference between Booth & Kellogg, MIT Sloan & HBS, or Stanford vs. StanfordRejects.com. that's the proficiency you need to be able to see why YOU FIT into certain schools, which raises your admit rate proportionally.

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Mar 29, 2018

Hey Whattherock,
Thanks mate for your inputs. I totally agree with you. I have a couple of months to understand and evaluate where I fit before pushing in my applications for the Jan Round.
For Ivey, however, I was referring to the MBA placements.

Mar 29, 2018

yes it helps to think early. but the placements only happen in each tier.
Recruiters are like applicants, they are not interested in every one of the top 50 schools. they pick buckets and put their eggs in there.

if you are not admitted to the right tier of MBA schools - which for consulting would be ~30% in top15 and 5-10% in top15-30, then you know you're wasting time analyzing placements.

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Mar 29, 2018

For the US, use US News and Poets & Quants up until the top 16-20. Too hard to say after that. Don't trust European sources on US schools; too biased and don't know the market.

For Europe, there are no good rankings. The big 3 are INSEAD/LBS/IESE. They're peers overall but very different culturally. After that, it all becomes more regional/local. Don't trust English-language sources on global matters; too biased and overstate LBS.

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Mar 29, 2018

Thank you so much, jtbbdxbnycmad! That is indeed very insightful. Can you please help me out with comparing Canadian Schools as well? Especially, UofT, Queens and Ivey. Would it be wise to put them in 15-20 bracket when compared to US B-schools?

thanks so much once again!

Mar 29, 2018
jtbbdxbnycmad:

For the US, use US News and Poets & Quants up until the top 16-20. Too hard to say after that. Don't trust European sources on US schools; too biased and don't know the market.

For Europe, there are no good rankings. The big 3 are INSEAD/LBS/IESE. They're peers overall but very different culturally. After that, it all becomes more regional/local. Don't trust English-language sources on global matters; too biased and overstate LBS.

Would disagree that IESE really ranks up there with the other 2 there.
IESE is part of the same tier as Bocconi, HEC, St Gallen and possibly IE (superpowers in their own country, decent base in London, practically unknown outside of Europe)

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Mar 29, 2018

That's fine. I used to think like you when I was an applicant, but changed my mind later on. The change was driven by the alumni from these 3 schools at my BB, the exchange students I met at my Top 9 US MBA, and the MBB my (at the time) gf was at. IESE's representatives fared very favorably so for me the three schools are of comparable caliber. Agree on your description of the other tier of schools, but not that IESE belongs there.
To make this useful to the OP: this disagreement might suggest to you that this could be similar to the HSW dynamic in the US - some people think it's HSW, and others think W is a cut below HS.
No horse in this race: I didn't apply to IESE in my day, and I did apply to one of the other two, and got in. (If I had known what I know today, I would've switched that around)

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Mar 29, 2018

I'm not an applicant and I didn't go to any of the schools in question nor did I apply for any of them either. Just talking about its perception from an Anglo-centric point of view. If I went to most people I know in NY, they would know LBS, maybe INSEAD but not the rest of the schools we are talking about. As you said, each of our individual points of view will vary.

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Mar 29, 2018

Sorry for such a late reply. It's been busy. Anglo-centric is a fair caveat on your part. I'd contend that 1) the same people in NY who know LBS would actually have a hard time distinguishing it from LSE if you asked them to (they will know/assume that these are good schools for finance and based in London, and will liken them to NYU and maybe Columbia) and 2) you may want to see how IESE places in MBB across Latam, and you'll see that "practically unknown outside Europe" doesn't work when the elite of a region of hundreds of millions of Spanish speakers often studies in IESE (but not to the same extent with the other schools you grouped IESE with). Hence why I separate IESE from the other pack you mentioned (dominant in home country, decent in London), and I find it much closer to Insead and LBS. To be clear, I joined banking in New York, and you see very little of ANY of the three in NY, and as I said before, when I did encounter them, the IESE folks acquitted themselves very favorably.

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Mar 29, 2018

No one who knows anything looks at b-school rankings.

Mar 29, 2018

seriously dude look at where columbia is ranked.

Mar 29, 2018

I generally agree with Ideating but not on this point...we live in a highly competitive society and rankings are "important"...not sure if you are involved in the bschool admissions process but rankings are very important when considering future job prospects and ROIs drop dramatically as you drop down the list

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Mar 29, 2018
junkbondswap:

I generally agree with Ideating but not on this point...we live in a highly competitive society and rankings are "important"...not sure if you are involved in the bschool admissions process but rankings are very important when considering future job prospects and ROIs drop dramatically as you drop down the list

But I don't think anyone would claim that is because of the rankings. The rankings simply reflect which schools are better; the fact that they are correlated with opportunities does not mean that they cause those opportunities.

Mar 29, 2018

The reason that USNews rankings are held in the highest regards (higher than BW, or the garbage rankings from FT or WSJ) is that they factor in prestige -- a significant portion of the total pts come from deans at other business schools -- as well as yield (which schools were turned down in favor of others). Wouldn't you agree that these rankings generally reflect popular opinion?

The point of my post is just to let everyone know what to expect next Thursday (I think...all speculation right now). If you don't think they're important, that's fine by me.

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Mar 29, 2018

jbs - fully agree with you that future job prospects and ROIs drop dramatically.

However, lists like these are confusing at best, delusionary at worst. There are a bunch of similar lists by similarly prestigious institutions and they all have different rankings.

Think of it this way - if your friend gets into Northwestern and HBS, but Northwestern is ranked higher on the list: which school would you advise your friend attend to maximize his ROI post graduation?

Put another way, these lists don't drive ROI - those factors are prestige and alumni networks that take years to develop.

Mar 29, 2018

Meh, dropped three. Our undergrad got hit even more. Finance/accounting is our best by far so I'm sure that didn't help.

Mar 29, 2018

Yale's moving up! Definitely going to apply there if I do decide to apply to b-school in September this year.

I actually quite like the USNews rankings.

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Mar 29, 2018

Yale's moving up! Definitely going to apply there if I do decided to apply to b-school in September this year.

I actually quite like the USNews rankings.

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Mar 29, 2018

Just wanted to let you guys know the official rankings have Chicago and MIT tied at 5 (I previously had MIT 5 and chicago 6). Mags went on sale yesterday.

I know most ppl here don't care about the rankings, but the few who do care would probably prefer that they be accurate.

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Mar 29, 2018

The Holy Trinity of H/S/W has been tainted. The natural order has been disrupted. Oh no...

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Mar 29, 2018

World TOP 6 MBA

US : Harvard - Wharton - Stanford - Columbia

Non US : LBS(yeah not LSE) (UK) - INSEAD(France)

And PiperJaffrayChiang is a douche bag.
End of story.

Mar 29, 2018
SarahP:

World TOP 6 MBA

US : Harvard - Wharton - Stanford - Columbia

Non US : LBS(yeah not LSE) (UK) - INSEAD(France)

And PiperJaffrayChiang is a douche bag.
End of story.

PiperJaffrayChiang:

no Yale?

and... quadcore is a boutique scrub

SarahP is so correct my boy! How the hell does Yale come in any close to TOP MBA Program?

Mar 29, 2018

no Yale?

and... quadcore is a boutique scrub

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Mar 29, 2018

quadcore

LSE doesn't do MBA. you mean LBS?

also, i thought quadcore was a type of really weird soviet porn

Mar 29, 2018

quadcore

LSE doesn't do MBA. you mean LBS?

also, i thought quadcore was a type of really weird soviet porn

Mar 29, 2018

Business Week ranking methodology is bogus as is illustrated by its nonsensical results. (chicago #1 and ahead of HBS, Michigan ahead of Stanford, Duke ahead of MIT, Yale at #24, the list goes on.). Many of the others - FT, WSJ, etc. are even worse.

USNews is the only MBA ranking that reflects reality. Or at least is pretty darn close.

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Mar 29, 2018
ibleedexcel:

Business Week ranking methodology is bogus as is illustrated by its nonsensical results. (chicago #1 and ahead of HBS, Michigan ahead of Stanford, Duke ahead of MIT, Yale at #24, the list goes on.). Many of the others - FT, WSJ, etc. are even worse.

USNews is the only MBA ranking that reflects reality. Or at least is pretty darn close.

That's why I listed programs that were in the top 20 of all three rankings (by the way, I didn't post those programs in any particular order). I figured there would be more consensus that way.

Mar 29, 2018

ya, business week uses a lot of weird metrics.

Mar 29, 2018

.....

Mar 29, 2018

yale's MBA is not strong, but you still have the name which never hurts. They are building a new building and looking to revamp their business school in the coming years.

Mar 29, 2018

I think the differences between top 10 schools is so minor that is why they flip flop depending on what metric used to rank them. The job opportunities, quality of education and name recognition is going to be great at just about each and every school in the original post.

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Mar 29, 2018
AnthonyD1982:

I think the differences between top 10 schools is so minor that is why they flip flop depending on what metric used to rank them. The job opportunities, quality of education and name recognition is going to be great at just about each and every school in the original post.

Can we even reach a consensus on the top 10 though? I imagine the "top 10" would include about 15 different schools depending on who you ask.

Mar 29, 2018

Here's some more for the Worlds Best MBA List.

Spain: IE Buuiness School
China : CEIBS
Hong Kong: HKUST & HKU

Mar 29, 2018

I was keeping it to US programs only.

Mar 29, 2018

smart people there in Seattle... go huskies

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Mar 29, 2018

The more 'hawks fans in this community, the better

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Mar 29, 2018

My %ages:
30 - Salary & Bonus
25 - Dean & Director Opinion
25 - Average GMAT
10 - Student Selectivity
10 - Research

Outcome:
H/S/W/MIT/Berkeley/Booth/Col

Not far off from general "consensus". Wonder what dragged down Booth, though. I think that larger schools are discounted in my rankings by virtue of GMAT and Student Selectivity metrics.

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Mar 29, 2018
YoshiIsAwesome:

My %ages:30 - Salary & Bonus25 - Dean & Director Opinion25 - Average GMAT10 - Student Selectivity10 - Research

Outcome:H/S/W/MIT/Berkeley/Booth/Col

Not far off from general "consensus". Wonder what dragged down Booth, though. I think that larger schools are discounted in my rankings by virtue of GMAT and Student Selectivity metrics.

Both Booth and Kellogg will be hurt by admissions rate numbers.

In my humble view, it's mostly a location thing, somewhat a medium/large student body thing.

This is a really cool toy.

I've always said that I have a "Top 9" view (M7 + Tuck + Berkeley). My first shot at this (I gave a value between 5 and 15 to each, with my top 3 factors being ROI, GMAT and Employer Opinion, gave me the top 9 I had in mind.

Order differed somewhat.

If you'd ask me my opinion, I'd say:
Stanford
HBS
Wharton
Booth
Sloan
Tuck
Kellogg
Columbia
Berkeley

What the calculator gave me:
HBS
Wharton
Stanford
Booth
Sloan
Berkeley
Columbia
Kellogg
Tuck

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Mar 29, 2018

There are a lot of distortions involved here causing your "ordered somewhat different" result. The ROI is over a 5 or 10 year time frame (don't recall) and so favors programs with a lower sticker price. Also, the employer opinion and career advancement survey results were super wonky so I decided to eschew those. If you put any one metric at 100%, you can see what its ranking is. Some of the survey-based metrics had Goizueta within the top 5 (not that it isn't a great school, but realistically I don't see it as being ranked that highly).

Everything still has to be normalized for school size and industry concentration. ROI is a good example of the fallacies that you encounter without doing so. For instance, the mean ROI says almost nothing about an individual's chances, as that assumes that they are entering with the mean salary and choosing a career path that pays the mean exit salary. Not really a great predicate on an individual basis.

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Mar 29, 2018

One thing that surprised me was how often Wharton came out on top in the combinations I selected. If you look exclusively and tangible inputs (salary, placement %, GMAT, etc.), a case could easily be made for Wharton as the top bschool.

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Mar 29, 2018

doesn't wage and job placement have a colossal correlation with GMAT and student selectivity?

Mar 29, 2018

I just randomly clicked on the link because I was bored. I selected student selectivity to 100% and got UC Davis in the top 5, so at first I thought it was clearly broken. Then I did almost 2 solid minutes of google searching and discovered that it's probably not inaccurate. But since everyone on this forum is obsessed with prestige I am surprised that folks aren't lining up in droves to submit their applications to UC Davis along with the biggies (Harverd, etc)

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Mar 29, 2018

I did 40% Alumni Advancement and 40% Employer Opinion - what the people who have gone through the program think about it and how much the people who are going to employ you are going to value it should be the two most important factors. You could also think of it as an "inside opinion" and "outside opinion". I also allocated 10% each to salary and selectivity to add some quant stats and to knock down slackers a notch.

ROI/Debt are not really an issue if you're looking for the best overall school, Faculty Research is simply irrelevant, Dean/Director opinion can be biased, Job Placement rate is not an indicator for top schools at all (because people are targeting more selective and hard-to-get jobs) and Average GMAT is not really an important thing in itself, only as a predicate, and in that form is already factored into the Employer Opinion/Salaries/Selectivity etc. Thus none of these get any points from me.

Results:

1 Harvard University
2 Stanford University
3 University of California, Berkeley (Haas)
4 Northwestern University (Kellogg)
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
6 Duke University (Fuqua)
7 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
8 Columbia University
9 Yale University
10 University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson)
11 Dartmouth College (Tuck)
12 University of Chicago (Booth)
13 University of Virginia (Darden)
14 Cornell University (Johnson)
15 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ross)

Overall not very surprising, except for Haas and Fuqua being so high and Booth being so low.

The latter might be potentially due to it having high GMATs, high faculty research, high opinion from other directors and high average salaries (as a result of a lot of alumni going into finance), thus topping many other rankings that favor these factors. Looks like it's not a super great experience for the alumni, and the alumni themselves are not a very good fit in the workplace (nerds not being able to connect with people?).

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Mar 29, 2018

I disagree with the statement that "faculty research is just irrelevant." I think it's a solid proxy for academic program quality. I think education quality is underrated, particularly in finance.

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Mar 29, 2018

I think the counter argument is that in business school, classes are far from the most meaningful things. People get a MBA to enhance their network, rebrand themselves, and/or get a better job. Most don't go to "learn" or "do research" in a traditional graduate degree sense. Are good professors superior to bad professors? Of course - but you rarely hear that taken into consideration when people are making business schools decisions.

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Mar 29, 2018

I would say that education is important, and it's actually high on the priorities' list, as long as it's practical. MBA is a professional/"doer" degree, but the opportunities to learn from how your classmates think about stuff, from industry/functional clubs and conferences, from good practice-oriented classes with experienced profs - this can all add up. Also things like thinking through an argument and defending it in class is something you are definitely going to need to do in the real business world a lot.

This is why the case method is by far superior. I can learn all the finance/econ/accounting theory I need from investopedia (it's a joke for anyone with a technical undergrad degree anyway), and things like strategy/marketing/management simply can't be meaningfully taught in a lecture format.

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Mar 29, 2018

Faculty research is a very, very bad proxy for education quality. Good researchers are not necessarily, and not even commonly good professors - actually, for the highly productive researchers teaching is a huge nuisance because it takes up valuable time and efforts. Furthermore, you're not going to be taught stuff they are researching in an MBA class, unless you take PhD-level seminars.

Best professors/educators are most often people with practical experience, and/or those actively engaged with the practitioners in their field (often doing some consulting on the side), those who dedicate a lot of time to developing case studies based on the real life stuff, designing classes and practical learning experiences, bringing senior people from their network to class et cetera et cetera.

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Mar 29, 2018

Did two setups.
One emphasizing subjective factors (1/4 each for alumni, faculty, dean, employer - I couldn't pick 3, otherwise I'd have left out faculty).
Top 9: H, W, S, M, K/Haas, Duke, B, Col
One emphasizing seemingly more empirical factors (1/5 salary, job, ROI, selectivity, GMAT).
Top 9: W, S, B, H, T, M, Haas, Col, K
Observations:
- Wharton does surprisingly well, considering how for everyone it's H/S and then W. Surprising too since there's a perception that it has negative momentum, but looking at this, Wharton is better than Stanford and only HBS is its peer.
- The M7 is a silly moniker, since Haas is as much of a peer as Columbia is.
- HBS and Booth are almost mirror images in terms of performance delta in subjective and empirical factors (HBS still wins; just an observation on their relative strengths and weaknesses).
- Obviously this is open to debate, but even though most of us are in finance (which supposedly is about numbers), I think the Anglosaxon world overall is predicated on the superiority of soft power.

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Mar 29, 2018

The interesting note about this year's BusinessWeek rankings is that they corrected some poor assumptions/oversights in their recruiter survey data crunching side, which smoothed out some of the anomalous or harder-to-swallow results from 2010 (namely, SMU Cox being rated so highly, above solid, even prestigious, schools such as Tuck or Stern). The Top 5 this year is pretty much everyone's top 5 - as always, there will be disagreement whenever HBS isn't number one, but in my mind BW's ranking has an overall shape that approximates broad, popular opinion in a broad brushstroke sort of way, but the individual rankings are the result of more granular analysis.

My view of business school rankings differs from my view of general undergraduate rankings. While most use "prestige" as the single most important factor for business school rankings (using the reasoning of "well, the education is a commodity and all the students have the same GMAT distribution across the top 10 and get similar jobs, so what really matters is the brand value"), I take an employer-and-compensation driven market approach. (I should add that some folks feel that students are the market and you should look at yield; input matters but I look more at output).

For me, the short-term career side is incredibly important so the jobs report, employer surveys and career returns are the most important factors, and resultantly I pay more attention to the rankings that emphasize these. More specifically, that means Forbes and BusinessWeek. USNews tends to be cited very often because its undergraduate ranking is the most widely known at a national level (zero currency abroad though), and also because it is the most conservative ranking that uses a comprehensive set of data that almost always results in H/S trading the top spot, and Wharton occasionally ceding the 3rd spot to "the next 3" (Chicago, MIT, Northwestern). This makes sense as the USNews ranking is the one that includes the most admissions-oriented data in its formula, and the schools tend to rank in that order. For USNews, I find all the data amusing, but look at the employer survey and jobs data the most.

It should come as no surprise that by and large, the top 5 or so in these three rankings include the same schools, and what matters is the order, and that is based on how the formula is computed. BusinessWeek tends to sort those top 5/6 schools in order of short-term job boost/satisfaction; Forbes looks at ROI (though its sample size/data set has obvious shortcomings); and USNews is the best proxy for admissions competitiveness and yield (though the latter can be gamed, with some notable examples).

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Mar 29, 2018

Oh yeah, the cheerleading note. The interesting for me is to see the difference between Student Cheerleading
Ranking and Recruiter Satisfaction for BW. Very telling (rank, school, student survey, recruiter survey):

1 Chicago (Booth) 11 1
2 Harvard 12 3
3 Pennsylvania (Wharton) 16 2
4 Stanford 8 5
5 Northwestern (Kellogg) 13 4
6 Duke (Fuqua) 22 7
7 Cornell (Johnson) 2 12
8 Michigan (Ross) 14 6
9 MIT (Sloan) 9 10
10 Virginia (Darden) 5 9
11 Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 3 17
12 Dartmouth (Tuck) 4 11
13 UC-Berkeley (Haas) 10 13
14 Columbia 20 8
15 Indiana (Kelley) 20 46
16 NYU (Stern) 7 16

After Stern I stopped...

The Top 5, in raw score, are the same schools as the Top 5 in recruiter score. After that it goes a little all over the place. I'm not sure I'd take Duke or Ross over Columbia, so Columbia, and to a certain extent MIT and Tuck, seem to be a bit punished by this ranking.

It's still a little hokey.

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Mar 29, 2018

Columbia 14th?? Doesn't make sense...

I'm definitely not liking Rice (Jones) heading down and not up according to BW. That sucks.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

Mar 29, 2018
pacman007:

Columbia 14th?? Doesn't make sense...

I'm definitely not liking Rice (Jones) heading down and not up according to BW. That sucks.

Rice will always play second fiddle to McCombs. It's still very well-respected in the energy world.

Mar 29, 2018
holla_back:
pacman007:

Columbia 14th?? Doesn't make sense...

I'm definitely not liking Rice (Jones) heading down and not up according to BW. That sucks.

Rice will always play second fiddle to McCombs. It's still very well-respected in the energy world.

Well it's actually fourth fiddle according to BW. SMU and A&M rank higher, I am almost certain that no one actually believes that Cox and Mays are better than Jones.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

Mar 29, 2018
pacman007:
holla_back:
pacman007:

Columbia 14th?? Doesn't make sense...

I'm definitely not liking Rice (Jones) heading down and not up according to BW. That sucks.

Rice will always play second fiddle to McCombs. It's still very well-respected in the energy world.

Well it's actually fourth fiddle according to BW. SMU and A&M rank higher, I am almost certain that no one actually believes that Cox and Mays are better than Jones.

Ah, I didn't even know that.

I would certainly take that with a grain of salt. I don't know a single person who would argue that either of those schools are better than Rice.

Mar 29, 2018
pacman007:

Columbia 14th?? Doesn't make sense...

http://gawker.com/5666747/columbia-business-school...
That's why.

Mar 29, 2018
cibo:
pacman007:

Columbia 14th?? Doesn't make sense...

http://gawker.com/5666747/columbia-business-school...
That's why.

There's no way that's real... right?

Mar 29, 2018
Finametrics:
cibo:
pacman007:

Columbia 14th?? Doesn't make sense...

http://gawker.com/5666747/columbia-business-school...
That's why.

There's no way that's real... right?

I imagine that email was meant for foreign students.

Mar 29, 2018
cibo:
pacman007:

Columbia 14th?? Doesn't make sense...

http://gawker.com/5666747/columbia-business-school...
That's why.

Unrelated note, but in this article next to the one about Columbia's uncleanliness (http://gawker.com/5961260/the-most-important-detai...),I found this gem in the comments:

"I'm reminded of the time I was at my father-in-law's country club a few years back. The place was full of stuffy yuppies so I thought it would be really funny to discretely poop in the pool, let it drop out of the leg of my trunks, and then get out and enjoy the ensuing chaos. I swam to the deep end where no one was swimming and emptied my bowels. Unfortunately I had not taken into account that I had only eaten oysters and coffee that day, so instead of a solid log my stool came out as an oily black cloud. People started immediately yelling and pointing. I wasn't close enough to anyone to blame someone else, so instead tried to look confused and disgusted like I had accidentally swam into a poop cloud that was already there. I could tell by their eyes that they did not believe me.
Anyway, love that this site covers pantshitting issues, there certainly isn't enough of that on the internet. Keep up the good work!"

Mar 29, 2018

The top 5 is right with the exception of booth being #1. Not even booth students think their school is better than HBS or Stanford. After the top 5, the ranking quickly falls apart and goes into bizarro territory. Duke at #6, Cornell at #7, and Ross at #8 is really weird. Regardless, almost no one takes those schools over mit, tuck, columbia, and i don't think that's going to change because of this ranking. At the end of the day, b-school applicants have a very clear idea of what the "real" ranking is and what type of opportunities are available at those schools.

Mar 29, 2018

Why is Yale SOM ranked so low? Did not even make the top-15.

Thoughts?

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Mar 29, 2018
lasampdoria:

Why is Yale SOM ranked so low? Did not even make the top-15.

Thoughts?

Probably because they didn't buy their soccer cleats from the most trusted brand names!!

I would have to say this list is pretty much junk, unless you sort by employer. It seems their methodology is a bit funky and questionable.

I was trying to find what the composition of 'Intellectual Capital' is, but had no luck. With that said, I'm trying to figure out just how Darden comes in at 32? I just don't buy that Olin, Smith, Hough and Carlson have more intellectual capital.

If you want a pretty decent ranking, just check out the one done by Poets and Quants. I think they have a pretty solid list.

http://poetsandquants.com/2011/12/08/the-top-100-u...
As far as your original question, it's really hard to say. The list clearly isn't accurate, in the traditional sense, so I wouldn't take it too hard. I think Yale is an up and coming program that has a lot of ground to cover. Maybe they will be a top 10 school one day but I do think your ability to move up the ranks is very limited. Just look at the top 4 or 5 schools for the last several years. They are virtually always the same, with just a move up or down by a spot or two. When the first 5, or 7, spots are occupied, the 5-10, or 7-10, spots are going to be hard to move into...which is why you have people structuring schools in tiers instead.

Regards

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Mar 29, 2018
lasampdoria:

Why is Yale SOM ranked so low? Did not even make the top-15.

Thoughts?

It's not a great school, period. People have been talking about Yale rising to the ranks of the top 10 in the same way that christian fundamentalists talk about the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Well, guess what. It hasn't happened and most likely won't happen. There is only so much that Dean Snyder can do, and I don't think their new building will help that much either. Fact of the matter is, SOM has a structural disadvantage. First, it's one of the youngest b-schools out there: founded in 1974 but did not even start giving out MBA degrees until like the late 90's or so. Second, as a result of that, Yale's alumni network is small and weak. And finally, it's still not that respected among recruiters, which is what counts.

Mar 29, 2018

Businessweek rankings are always horrible. I remember their ugrad bschool ranking putting Villanova in front of Wharton/Stern or something ridiculous like that.

There's no way MIT or Columbia is that low. Booth/Cornell are also too high.

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Mar 29, 2018
SanityCheck:

Businessweek rankings are always horrible. I remember their ugrad bschool ranking putting Villanova in front of Wharton/Stern or something ridiculous like that.

There's no way MIT or Columbia is that low. Booth/Cornell are also too high.

Booth should be #4 or #5 while cornell should be #14-15.