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Best Business School Programs

Best Business Schools 2016  July 13, 2017 – 05:38 pm
Best business school programs

An MBA can get you access to hot internships, sprawling alumni networks, and the most desirable jobs in the market.

More graduate degrees in business are awarded annually than in any other field in the U.S., and new business schools are accredited by the dozen every year. How do you find the program that will make you stand out in the job market—and justify the huge expense?

To guide you, here’s our annual ranking of full-time U.S. MBA programs (international rankings are coming soon), based on data we compiled from more than 1, 000 recruiters, 15, 000 alumni, and 9, 000 recent graduates. On top of that, our Ranking Index Score shows, for example, that Stanford grabbed the No. 2 spot this year but was in a dead heat with several other programs, while Harvard was the clear No. 1.

We continue last year’s focus on how well the schools channel their graduates into good jobs and, with a new survey of MBAs after graduation, offer more insight into what grads can expect from their careers.

And the money? It’s, like, way more than you thought.

The average student starting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management earned $80, 000 the year before. Add two years of lost wages to Kellogg’s cost of attendance and you get—or lose—$351, 876 during your studies. The typical first-year Harvard Business School student earned $90, 000 before enrolling. Two years of forgone wages plus the cost of attendance brings the total cost of the degree to $384, 200.

Is it worth it? Read on.

Rank School Employer survey rank (35%) Alumni survey rank (30%) Student survey rank (15%) Salary rank (10%) Job placement rank (10%) Ranking index score

We used two years of wages even though students don’t always forgo work for exactly 24 months and might do an internship during the summer break. Similarly, we calculated cost of tuition by taking the 2016-17 cost of attendance and multiplying it by two. For public universities, we entered the cost for nonresident students. And we didn’t try to factor in financial aid (for example, more than half of Harvard students receive aid). Also, schools compile their cost of attendance subjectively, so we recommend readers use our figures to get a general sense of how much an MBA can cost at these institutions.

Only schools that provided a cost-of-attendance figure were included. The forgone wages are larger than the reported cost (housing, health insurance, tuition) at the majority of programs we ranked.

Below are several charts of aggregate results for such things as debt levels and first jobs from full-time MBA programs in the U.S. and abroad. Type a school name into the search box to dive into an individual MBA program. (The forgone wages for our Real Cost figure are pulled from our Student Survey; the pre-MBA salary numbers were configured based on our Alumni Survey.)

Our Full-Time MBA rankings comprise five elements. So it’s possible to rank highly without knocking every category out of the park. For example, Stanford which is the No. 2 school on our list, ranked No. 57 for job placement. The chart below lets you explore where each school landed on every rankings measure.


Employer Survey (35%) Alumni Survey (30%)Student Survey (15%)Job Placement Rate (10%) Starting Salary (10%)


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