To credit these ranking systems, however, where schools appear on different lists does not usually vary significantly. For example, Harvard Business School usually appears near the top of the list in most publications, so potential applicants who want to attend a top business school can be assured that, if Business Week reports Harvard as the number one school, another reputable publication will not have the institution near the bottom of their list.
Here are some common criteria that are used in measuring MBA school rankings throughout the United States and the world.
Although the methodology used by various publications to rank MBA schools has been criticized by some individuals and organizations, school rankings are still looked upon by students as important references when they are preparing to choose an MBA school. Different publications use diverse criteria to compile their lists, but many consider attributes of the school itself when they are researching the top MBA schools in the world.
Not surprisingly, the top-ranked schools for finance also usually appear near the top of ranking lists prepared by publications like Business Week. Wharton, for example, which is considered the top school for finance, was placed in the number two spot in Business Week's latest rankings of MBA schools. Therefore, if you choose an institution that is ranked as one of the best MBA schools, you can be relatively confident that their finance program will be strong as well.
Owned by McGraw Hill, Business Week has been ranking American and international MBA schools since 1988. In recent years, they have also begun to rank part-time programs as well.
Business Week is quite open about the methods they use to rank programs. Surveys administered to recent graduates are an important part of the process. They are asked 50 questions, and they rate a variety of aspects of their MBA study, such as the quality of instruction they received while in attendance. Feedback from recruiters is also an important part of the ranking process. They answer a similar survey as the one presented to students, and also provide information about the overall quality of graduates that they met with and/or hired during the recruitment process. Finally, the frequency at which scholarly writings of professors appear in academic journals is analyzed, with 20 journals considered. Points are also given to schools based on the reviews of professors' books in prestigious publications like The New York Times.
In 2006, the Kellogg School of Management, which was ranked as the top business school since 2002, was replaced by the Chicago Graduate School of Business as the top full-time MBA school in the country. The Wharton School of Business was placed in the number two spot, while Kellogg fell to number three. Columbia and Stanford were ranked among the top ten schools in the nation.
The next Business Week ranking will focus on the graduating class of 2008. While positions on the list vary between years, it is important to note that the top positions on the list, for the most part, remain relatively stable. Therefore, consulting a recent list is a good way for applicants to ensure they are applying to a reputable and recognized institution.
Last Updated: 05/13/2013