The Financial Times 2022 Global MBA Ranking: Wharton Returns on Top

Financial Times MBA Ranking

The Financial Times (FT) released its rankings of the 100 best MBA programs for 2022. While COVID kept several schools on the bench last year, a total of 151 schools participated in the 2022 edition.

“It’s important to remember that COVID took a toll on the rankings last year, but several programs seem to be making a comeback,” says Graham Richmond, Co-founder of Clear Admit. “For instance, six schools in this year’s top 20 were not a part of last year’s ranking due to COVID abstentions. Wharton even storms back to grab the top spot after skipping the 2021 rankings.”

Top Ten Overall

More than half of the rankings are U.S. programs. Here are the top 10 MBA programs of The Financial Times 2022 Global MBA rankings (2021 positions are in parentheses):

Ranking School
1 University of Pennsylvania: Wharton
2 Columbia Business School
3 (tie) INSEAD (1)
3 (tie) Harvard Business School
5 Northwestern University: Kellogg School of Management (6)
6 Stanford Graduate School of Business
7 University of Chicago Booth School of Business (3)
8 London Business School (2)
9 Yale School of Management (4 tie)
10 Iese Business School (4 tie)

Six of the 2021 top ten MBA programs stayed in the top ten this year, though only Northwestern Kellogg improved their standing amid the return of last year’s COVID absentees. Richmond adds, “The FT’s ranking is always interesting due to the fact that it attempts to combine schools from all regions and features some rather strange shuffling of the deck within the top tier. Even so, if we look at the regions within the rankings, we still see a number of expected outcomes, especially if we think of the general ‘tiers’ or groupings of schools and ignore some of the jockeying within tiers (M7, S7, etc.).  For instance, the first 18 U.S. MBA programs listed include all of the usual suspects – tracking the highly respected US News ranking in that market.” He continues, “The same phenomenon can be observed with the European schools in the sense that many would agree that the first 8 European programs featured in the ranking indeed comprise the 8 best offerings in that market – even if some may seek to debate the exact ordering of the group.”

“It may be a surprise that Stanford GSB isn’t in the top five, but because this ranking puts so much stock in alumni earnings, I think it makes sense,” Richmond reflects. “So many Stanford graduates pursue startups and entrepreneurship that they don’t have a big, traditional salary to point to in the first few years out of school, which has significant weight (20) in the FT rankings.”

However, it is no surprise that we see Wharton at the top. In previous years, Wharton has consistently ranked at the top of the FT list, largely due to the high salaries alumni make, which is a key metric for The Financial Times list. Wharton alumni, excluding those working in lower-paid sectors, reported the highest overall average annual income in 2021. Three years out of school, Wharton alumni earned an average $238,000 salary. Comparatively, the average salary for alumni of the 100 schools ranked this year was $161,000.

FT Global MBA Ranking 2022: Top Ten U.S. MBA Programs

The Financial Times MBA ranking looks at business schools worldwide. In the U.S. market, the top 10 schools in 2022 look significantly different from 2021:

  • University of Pennsylvania: Wharton
  • Columbia Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • Northwestern University: Kellogg School of Management
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • University of Chicago: Booth
  • Yale School of Management
  • MIT: Sloan School of Management
  • New York University: Stern
  • University of California at Berkeley: Haas

FT Global MBA Ranking 2022: Top Ten European and Asian MBA Programs

Looking at just programs outside the U.S., the top 10 MBA programs in Europe and Asia are as follows:

  • London Business School
  • Iese Business School
  • HEC Paris
  • SDA Bocconi School of Management
  • National University of Singapore Business School
  • University of Cambridge: Judge
  • IMD Business School
  • University of Oxford: Saïd

Richmond expands on the international rankings, noting, “When it comes to European MBA programs, we see many familiar faces at the top of the pack with INSEAD (3rd), LBS (8th), IESE (10th), HEC (11th), and Bocconi (13th). Interestingly, Cambridge, IMD and Oxford all finished a bit behind the leaders, all losing ground this year – especially Oxford, which fell a full 10 slots from their 2020 ranking and 14 slots from their 2021 result. Another noteworthy mover in the rankings was CEIBS, which has fallen into the #16 slot following top-10 showings in 2020 (#7) and 2021 (#5).”

Ranking Methodology

FT ranks the top 100 MBA programs in the world using 20 different criteria. Eight of these are alumni-based, requiring at least a 20 percent response rate and a minimum of 20 responses total for inclusion, making up 61 percent of the ranking. Because of disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic, Financial Times considered schools with a lower response rate.

See here for more details on the ranking methodology.

Don’t let FT have all the fun! Submit your own MBA rankings in MBA RankingsWire.

Originally published on our sister site, Clear Admit.

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