Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Wharton and Dartmouth Top New MBA Ranking of the Best Business Schools by PoetsandQuants.com

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A new MBA ranking from PoetsandQuants.com is the most authoritative look at the best business schools ever. Created by John A. Byrne, "the dean of rankings" who began BusinessWeek's influential list in 1988, it tracks the top 50 U.S. B-schools and the top 30 schools outside the U.S.

Harvard Business School is the best B-school in the United States if not the world, according to a new ranking published by http://PoetsandQuants.com. Among the top U.S. schools, Harvard is followed by Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, the University of Chicago's Booth School, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, and Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. Meantime, PoetsandQuants.com named London Business School the best academic institution granting an MBA degree outside the U.S.. Right behind London is IESE in Barcelona, Spain, IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, and INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Why Harvard? "For years, it has attracted the very best faculty and students," says John A. Byrne, editor-in-chief of http://PoetsandQuants.com. "The newest students entering this fall came from an exceptionally talented pool of 9,524 applicants who competed for just 910 seats. It was the second highest number of applications that Harvard ever received, and the average GMAT score for the entering class is a record 724, five points higher than the previous year. Even more amazing, the entire applicant pool to Harvard now has an average GMAT above 700. Many of its alums are among the most powerful and influential business people in the world. Just as importantly, Harvard has the vast resources to make the MBA experience unmatched. The school is a university onto itself with 33 separate buildings on 40 acres of property."

To some long-time watchers of MBA education, there may be little surprise at seeing the Harvard Business School and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business at the very top as No. 1 and No. 2 of the list of U.S. schools. The most influential ranking by BusinessWeek, however, has never had either Harvard or Stanford in the top spot. Through 11 rankings over 22 years, BusinessWeek has awarded that accolade to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management five times, to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School four times, and to the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business twice. In the global MBA rankings published by The Financial Times, Harvard last ranked first back in 2005. The highest rank Stanford has ever achieved in The Financial Times ranking is third and that was four years ago in 2007.

London placed first among non-U.S. business schools due to the stellar quality of its faculty and students, and how it has smartly leveraged its location in the financial center of Europe. "In the past few years, London has come on very strong, surpassing in prestige what had long been thought of as the best business school in Europe, INSEAD," says Byrne. "Because the student population and faculty ranks reflect an amazing geographic diversity, London offers the quintessential international MBA experience."

The http://PoetsandQuants.com ranking is based on dozens of surveys and polls, along with a massive wealth statistical data ranging from average GMAT scores of incoming students to the compensation packages awarded graduates. "The beauty of this methodology is that each of the five major MBA rankings—BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times, Forbes, and The Economist—are brought together for the very first time," adds Byrne. "By blending these rankings using a system that takes into account each of their strengths as well as their flaws, we’ve come up with what is arguably the best and most reliable ranking of MBA programs ever published. In many cases, the differences in ranks in these other surveys are statistically insignificant, but you can't tell because the underlying data isn't revealed. We publish the index numbers behind every rank, so you know how are ahead or behind a given school is."

For example, even though Harvard is ranked first with an index number of 100, No. 2 Stanford has an index of 97.8, No. 3 Chicago is at 96.8, and No. 4 Wharton has an index of 95.6. "So within the relatively tight range of 4.4 index numbers, you have four of the best business schools bunched very close together," says Byrne. "It's so close at the top in terms of overall quality, it may make little difference to most people."

The composite index also naturally accommodates some of the wild disparities found from one survey to the next. Consider the University of California’s excellent Anderson School of Management. The Economist ranks it 50th, well behind L.A. rival the University of Southern California and the University of Notre Dame. The Financial Times puts UCLA at 33rd. BusinessWeek rates it 14th, U.S. News at 15th, and Forbes at 19th. "Those are some pretty big differences of opinion on UCLA’s Anderson School, some valid, some not so credible," says Byrne. "We think it’s the 16th best school in the U.S., a rank that is the sum total of all of them, adjusted for the authority we believe the major rankings have."

See attached file for a list of the top 25 business schools in both the U.S. and outside the U.S., according to PoetsandQuants.

For more information on the rankings, methodology, and schools, go to http://poetsandquants.com    


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