Harvard Business School Tops Bloomberg Businessweek Ranking
For the third straight year, Harvard Business School reigned supreme in the annual Bloomberg Businessweek “Best Business Schools” ranking, topping the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and MIT Sloan School of Management. In joining HBS on the medals podium this year, those schools both saw significant gains over last year, climbing from sixth and seventh respectively.
Rounding out the top five this year is the University of Chicago Booth School of Business —holding steady year over year at fourth—and Stanford Graduate School of Business, which fell from second place in 2016 to fifth this year.
The methodology Bloomberg Businessweek uses to arrive at its annual MBA ranking involves weighting each of five principle factors. Employer surveys account for 35 percent of a school’s score. Alumni surveys account for another 30 percent. And a combination of current student surveys, salary rankings, and job placement together account for the remaining 35 percent of the final score.
Ten out of the top 20 ranked schools in the 2017 Bloomberg Businessweek ranking advanced at least one spot over last year. Wharton and Sloan each managed to leap four spots, boosted by high praise from employers and hefty salary benefits for recent graduates. The University of Washington Foster School of Business also managed to jump from 19th to 15th overall this year, thanks largely to its top ranking as the nation’s best business school for job placement.
The Cornell S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management and the UCLA Anderson School of Management both saw a rankings jump of three spots, with Johnson moving up to 13th and Anderson coming in at 19th.
The year’s biggest winner, however, may be the Penn State Smeal College of Business, which jumped a whopping 12 spots from last year’s 37th to come in at 25th in 2017. It wins the award for the year’s biggest overall rankings increase. The USC Marshall School of Business also saw a momentous climb this year, sidling up eight spots from 38th last year to 30th this year.
In the latter half of the rankings came another one of this year’s biggest risers, with the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia jumping 11 spots from last year, up from 65th overall to 54th. Elsewhere, the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, and the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management all saw a jump of at least seven spots in the new ranking.
Once Mighty, Now Fallen
Stanford GSB, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, and Jones School of Business at Rice University may all be feeling a wee bit dizzy. Last year Stanford shot up to second from seventh the year before, but this year it finds itself demoted to fifth. Duke’s Fuqua School, which last year celebrated a momentous jump from eighth to third, this year fell back down to seventh. Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, which had one of last year’s biggest gains, rocketing up nine spots to break into the top five from a mere 14th place finish the year before, this year finds itself at seventh. Similarly, Rice Business, as the Jones School likes to be called, which last year catapulted 11 spots to number eight, this year slipped to tenth. But at least all maintained their footing within the top 10.
Emory’s Goizueta Business School and the Texas A&M Mays Business School, for their part, slipped out of the top 20 altogether. Goizueta slipped just slightly, from 20th to 21st, and Mays slid from 18th to 22nd. The University of Virginia Darden School of Business also stumbled, slipping from 12th last year to 17th this year. But the Charlottesville school at least managed to remain in the top 20, thanks in part to strong scores in the student survey and salary categories.
No school, however, lost more ground than the George Washington University School of Business, which fell an eye-popping 14 spots from last year, losing its place among the top 50 business schools in the United States.
Bloomberg BW has made multiple changes to its methodology in recent years, resulting in significant volatility in terms of where schools fall on the list even when not much has changed year over year at the individual schools themselves. This has led many to question the credibility of the ranking overall. That said, Clear Admit’s Alex Brown found this year’s results easier to swallow than some in recent years. “This ranking seems more reasonable to me this year,” he says. “Each of the M7 programs are in the top 10, and the schools I would consider in the top 16 are all in the top 20.”
You can view the complete 2017 Bloomberg Businessweek rankings here.