School v. School: Dartmouth Tuck or Columbia Business School?

Dartmouth or Columbia

It’s tough enough to decide exactly where and what you want to study. But when prospective b-schoolers begin to weigh less tangible but equally important factors like reputation, alumni network, and return on investment, that’s when the MBA selection process really becomes daunting. This is especially true when you size up two MBA programs of comparable stature.

We’d also argue that’s where the process becomes interesting. So don’t fret! Let our School v. School series to do some of the heavy lifting for you. See below for our blow-by-blow comparison of two reigning champions of business education: Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and Columbia Business School.

Dartmouth or Columbia: What is Right for You?

Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

Tucked … away in a small, rural campus in Hanover, New Hampshire, the Tuck School of Business boasts a tight-knit student body and an intimate setting. Over half its student body lives in campus housing, and MBAs belong to small group study teams that convene at the start of their programs.

Tuck consistently ranks among the top business schools in the country. U.S. News and World Report ranks Tuck 8th in management and 10th overall. Tuck offers a traditional full-time, two-year MBA with a variety of concentrations, as well as several short-term executive education programs.

Why Tuck?

What Is Missing?

  • The opportunities that come packaged with a major city and business hub are missing from Tuck’s rural setting.
  • While Tuck’s tuition is roughly $5,000 more than Columbia’s, its total costs are $110,173—over $1,200 more than Columbia’s per year.

Tuck vs. Columbia MBA Rankings

PublicationTuck School of BusinessColumbia Business School
U.S. News & World Report109
The Economist (Global)1211
Financial Times (Global)159
Bloomberg Businessweek197

Columbia Business School

Located in the heart of New York City, Columbia Business School—like Tuck—is one of the oldest in the country. Unlike Tuck, Columbia students are in immediate proximity to highly coveted networking, partnership, and placement opportunities of a global business hub.

Columbia’s Programs

Columbia also routinely ranks among the top b-schools in the country—10th in management and 9th overall. Columbia also offers a full-time two-year MBA with various concentrations, Executive MBA, Doctoral Program, an accelerated MBA, multiple Masters of Science options and Executive Education Programs.

Why Columbia?

  • The Executive MBA Program offers a traditional MBA program but on a schedule that accommodates full-time employment.
  • The Doctoral Program offers a Ph.D. in multiple disciplines and “prepares individuals who have a deep interest in shaping the business research and policy of tomorrow through academic research.”
  • First-year students can apply for admittance into the Value Investing Program where they learn to identify, value, research and manage investments.

What Is Missing?

  • Columbia is reported to have an intimidating 17 percent acceptance rate—compared to Tuck’s ever-so-slightly more accessible 23 percent
  • Only 18 percent of Columbia’s faculty members identify as women, compared to 23 percent at Tuck—both reflect a shamefully low national statistic.

Tuck vs. Columbia MBA Cost Per Year

 Dartmouth Tuck School of BusinessColumbia Business School

Both MBA programs are among the most elite in the country, and offer some pretty appeasing salary possibilities.

Tuck vs. Columbia MBA Salary

 Tuck School of BusinessColumbia Business School
MBA Graduate Salary Range (2018)$60,000-$215,000$52,000– $308,000
MBA Graduate Median Base Salary (2018)$130,000$130,000

With comparable tuitions, post-graduate salaries, and employment rates, they contrast most when it comes to class size. While Tuck promises a secluded and intimate B-school setting, it’s tough to beat Columbia’s location in a global financial capital.

For additional insight, be sure to check out the news at both Tuck and Columbia.

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About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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