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U.S. News & World Report 2013 Business School Rankings Recap

Our post yesterday about the rosy employment outlook for current MBA grads was drawn in great part from data collected by U.S. News & World Report for its annual ranking of best business schools, released last week. In case you missed it, Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business once again tied for first, marking the fourth time in five years those two schools have shared the top spot. Last year, Stanford edged ahead enough to bump HBS down to number two, but no such luck this year.

In a now crowded field, U.S. News has been in the business school rankings business since before most everyone else. Its rankings are based on a weighted average of several indicators, including overall program quality, peer assessments, recruiter assessments, placement success, mean starting salary and bonus, average GMAT score and GPA and more.

To compile this year’s rankings, 441 master’s programs accredited by AACSB International were surveyed in fall and early 2012, 393 of which responded.

Rounding out the top 10 full-time programs this year were the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (3), MIT Sloan’s School of Management (4), Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management (4), the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (4), UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business (7), Columbia Business School (8), Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business (9), and the Yale School of Management (10). The only significant shifts here were that Tuck slipped down two spots (falling from 7th last year) allowing Haas and CBS to each climb, and that New York University’s Stern School of Business, which tied for 10th last year with Yale, fell to 11th.

In addition to its best overall business school rankings, U.S. News also ranks MBA programs according to a range of 12 specialties, including international, part-time and executive MBA programs, as well as subject specialties such as accounting, finance, nonprofit and supply chain/logistics.

U.S. News cited a few noteworthy findings as part of the 2013 rankings. For example, it pointed to Kellogg’s announcement that it will scale back its two-year MBA program and increase its one-year MBA program as
part of a trend among business schools to add fast-track MBA options like those more common in Europe.

There were also some shifts in the part-time MBA rankings, where changes to the methodology meant the introduction of factors such as how the number of part-time students at a school compares to the number of full-time students, entering part-time students’ average undergraduate GPA, average GMAT score and average months of work experience. In the past, the part-time rankings have been based primarily on peer assessments from b-school deans and program directors.

With this new methodology, Kellogg claimed the number one spot for itself, no longer sharing it with Chicago Booth, as it had last year. This year, Booth shares second place with Haas, which moved up from third. Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business gets accolades for greatest advance in the part-time rankings this year. The D.C. school shot up from 21st to 14th.

As always, those of us at Clear Admit encourage prospective applicants to use rankings as just one component in a thorough investigation of schools and programs when trying to assess where to apply. To access the complete U.S. News 2013 Best Business Schools rankings, click here.

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Posted in: MBA News, Rankings News

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