While Bloomberg Businessweek’s global ranking is still weeks away, they have just issued their 2019 US MBA rankings. We’ll dive into what’s changed and what hasn’t in the top 10 this year:
Stanford University Graduate School of Business
Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business
Harvard Business School
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
MIT Sloan School of Management
University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business
Columbia Business School
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
2019 vs 2018
Before we get into what’s changed, let’s discuss what’s stayed the same. Stanford, for the second year in a row, dominates the list of US MBAs, while Harvard continues to maintain its 3rd place spot. Outside of these two stalwarts, the other elite universities in the top 10 have moved around.
The biggest winner this year is Dartmouth, which, having fallen out of the top 10 last year, jumped 17 places to land in 2nd. Virginia Darden also made inroads, rising from 9th to 5th place. Kellogg also gained 2 spots, entering the top 10 in the 9th position. Finally, Chicago Booth moved up one spot to finish 4th.
On the other side of matters, only one of the losses pushed an MBA program outside of the top 10: Cornell fell from 10th to 11th. However, it was Wharton that experienced the biggest loss of the group, dropping from 2nd to 6th. MIT also suffered a sizable slide of 3 places, landing in 7th. And both Berkeley and Columbia dropped 2 spots to finish in 8th and 9th, respectively.
What does this ranking mean?
To understand these rankings, let’s consider Dartmouth’s performance over the last three years. In 2017, Tuck was ranked 7th, from the height of which it fell, in 2018, to 19th, before soaring up to 2nd this year. That means that its score changed 39 places over those three years. Does that volatility actually represent a change in the quality of the programs? Of course, it doesn’t. In fact, it only illustrates some of the problems behind Bloomberg’s ranking methodology.
As you dig deeper into the individual rankings, you’ll find that all of them are flawed in one way or another. As much as we might wish, none of them will be able to truly tell us which MBAs are the best. Despite that fact, rankings provide a wealth of information on MBA programs that would otherwise be unavailable. Used properly and carefully, that background data could help you establish a personal ranking that best meets your needs.
If you’d like help with selecting those business school programs that are most relevant to your future goals, feel free to contact us.