Top 10 Best Business Universities for MBA in the US – 2023 Ranking

Havard University is the best of the business universities for MBA in the US

Top 10 best business universities for MBA in the US.

Even after one has obtained an undergraduate degree in business administration to attain the apex of one’s career in management or to be able to start and build a global brand it is still important that one seek to obtain an MBA.  And when you talk of MBA there are certain universities that are renowned for that. And in this post we shall look at the top 10 best universities for MBA in the US. So if you are looking for an option for your MBA programme a look at any of the top 10 best universities for MBA in the US will be a good guide.

But before I go ahead with the shortlist of the top 10 best business universities for MBA in the US let me first explain the methodology used for selecting the best business universities for MBA in the US.

Methodology for the Ranking of Best Business Universities for MBA in the US

Quality assessment includes two qualitative indicators that total 40% of a school’s ranking.

Peer assessment score (weighted by 0.25): Business school deans and directors from each AACSB-accredited MBA program rated other programs’ academic quality on a scale of 1 to 5. With 1 been marginal and 5 been outstanding.  There is also a provision for “don’t know” for schools they did not know enough about to evaluate. A school’s score is the average of all the 1-5 ratings it receives. The survey was administered by U.S. News in fall 2021 and early 2022. And 46% of those surveyed responded.

Recruiter assessment score (0.15): Corporate recruiters and company contacts rates full-time MBA programs’ academic quality on a scale from 1 to 5 also. As usual 1 represents marginal while 5 means outstanding. Once again there is room for “don’t know” for schools they did not know enough about to evaluate.

A school’s score is the weighted average of all 1-5 ratings it received in the three most recent years of survey results. Programs receiving fewer than 10 cumulative ratings over three years received an assigned value matching the lowest average score achieved by any ranked program that garnered at least 10 ratings and display an “N/A” instead of a recruiter assessment score in the directory. U.S. News administered the recruiter survey in fall 2021 and early 2022. Recipient names were supplied to U.S. News in summer 2021 by MBA programs previously ranked by U.S. News and those eligible to be ranked.

Placement success

Placement success includes three ranking indicators on employment and earnings that in total contribute 35% to each school’s overall rank.

U.S. News uses the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance Standards for Reporting Employment Statistics as the basis for defining how MBA programs should report full-time MBA employment statistics and other career information. These includes starting base salaries, signing bonuses, and what proportion of MBA graduates have jobs at graduation and three months after. Using these standards has helped U.S. News ensure prospective students have accurate and comparable employment information for each school.

There are two distinct indicators on employment rates for 2021 graduates of full-time MBA programs. The first is employment rates at graduation (0.07). And the other is employment rates three months after graduation (0.14). In total, employment factors comprise 21% of each school’s rank.

Note that for both indicators, graduates not seeking jobs or for whom no job-seeking information is available are excluded. If the proportions of graduates for whom no job-seeking information is available and who are not seeking jobs are high, the information is not used in calculating the ranking.

Mean starting salary and bonus (0.14)

This is the average starting salary and bonus of 2021 graduates of a full-time MBA program. Salary figures are based on the number of graduates who reported data. The mean signing bonus is weighted by the proportion of those graduates who reported a bonus because not everyone who reported a base salary figure reported a signing bonus.

Student selectivity is composed of three admissions indicators that total 25% of each school’s rank. Schools’ reported GMAT and GRE data is only available via a U.S. News Business School Compass subscription.

Mean GMAT and GRE scores (0.1625)

This incorporates the averages of GMAT scores and (when applicable) GRE quantitative, verbal and analytical writing scores of full-time MBA students entering in fall 2021. Schools’ mean GMAT scores and each of the mean GRE scores were converted to 0-100 percentile distributions specific to their exams. U.S. News then weighted these percentile distributions based on the proportions of new entrants submitting the GMAT vs. GRE exams.

For example, if 80% of a school’s test-takers submitted GMAT scores and 20% submitted GRE scores, its 0-100 GMAT percentile distribution would be multiplied by 0.8 and its 0-100 GRE percentile distribution would be multiplied by 0.2 – then the two adjusted values are combined for the final score. This means U.S News did not convert GRE scores to GMAT scores or vice versa in its calculations.

For the second consecutive year, if a school’s combined percentages of its fall 2021 entering class submitting GMAT and GRE scores was less than a 25% threshold of all its new entrants, it received less credit on this ranking indicator. Operationally, weighted percentile distributions were adjusted downward by the proportion of the percentage of the student body that submitted test scores in relation to the 25% threshold. For example, if 20% of the entering class submitted test scores, then the final composite GMAT and GRE 0-100 percentile distribution used in the rankings was multiplied by 20/25 or 0.8.

Mean undergraduate GPA (0.075)

This is the average undergraduate GPA of students entering the full-time program in fall 2021. Schools reporting that fewer than 50% of their entering students submitted average undergraduate GPAs had their values adjusted downward based on the proportion that submitted relative to 50%. For example, if 25% of the entering class submitted undergraduate GPAs, the undergraduate GPAs were reduced in value in the ranking model by 25/50 or 50%.

Acceptance rate (0.0125)

This is the percentage of applicants to the full-time program in fall 2021 who were accepted. Lower acceptance rates indicate greater selectivity.

Overall Rank

Scores on the above indicators were standardized so that each school’s calculated values were compared with the means and standard deviations of all other ranked schools. This created standardized scores, or z-scores, that reflected the number of standard deviations each school’s value was relative to other ranked schools. U.S. News weighted the indicator z-scores as outlined above, summed them, then rescaled so the top school received 100; others received their percentage of the top score. Graduate business programs were then numerically ranked in descending order based on their scores.

Schools Listed With a Ranking Range

U.S. News numerically ranked the top three-quarters of the MBA programs’ schools. For schools in the bottom quarter of the rankings, U.S. News elected to only display the bottom quartile ranking range. Schools listed with a ranking range are listed alphabetically.

U.S. News will supply schools listed in the ranking range with their numerical ranks if they do submit a request.

Unranked Schools

To receive a numeric rank or ranking range in the Best Business Schools rankings, a program needed to have campus-based offerings, provide U.S. News enough statistical data for use in the rankings and report that at least 50% of its 2021 graduating class were seeking employment. For the second consecutive year, 10 graduates from the 2021 graduating class needed to be seeking employment for a school to be rank eligible.

If a school is listed as unranked, U.S. News did not calculate a rank for it. Programs marked as unranked are listed alphabetically below those marked with a ranking range.

Specialty Rankings

U.S. News produced 13 standalone rankings of popular specialties. These areas are offered through concentrations and coursework that award credit toward schools’ MBA program degrees. The Best Business Schools rankings do not assess fully specialized master’s in business programs such as a master’s in accounting or project management.

The ranked MBA specialties are the following: accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems, international business, management, marketing, nonprofit management, production/operations, project management, real estate and supply chain/logistics management.

These rankings, as well as an additional ranking of executive MBA programs, are based solely on ratings by business school deans and directors of AACSB-accredited MBA programs from the list of schools surveyed. They were asked to nominate up to 15 programs for excellence in each area listed.

Schools receiving the most votes in each specialty are numerically ranked in descending order based on the number of nominations they received, as long as the school or program received seven or more nominations in that specialty area. This means schools ranked at the bottom of each specialty ranking received at least seven nominations.

Part-time MBA Programs

As part of its Best Business Schools survey, U.S. News also collected data on part-time programs, when applicable. This data was not incorporated into the full-time MBA program ranking but was applied toward a distinct 2023 Best Part-Time MBA Programs ranking. Part-time program data was also published in each school’s Best Business Schools directory profile, including new outcomes data this year on employment and earnings of the 2021 graduating class. This part-time MBA outcomes data is for informational use only and was not used in the ranking.

So here now is a list of the top 10 best business universities for MBA in the US:

1. Harvard University

The first on our list of the best business universities for MBA in the US is Harvard University. It overtook the UK’s London Business School to come first in the business and management ranking this year. And it is ranked third in the world overall in the QS World University Rankings. Harvard Business School (HBS), founded in 1908, owns Harvard Business Publishing, which publishes the famous Harvard Business Review magazine. It has an enrolment of just over 2,000 students on MBA and doctoral program. So Harvard rightfully earned its place as first on the best business universities for MBA in the US.

Harvard University
Harvard University

2. Stanford University

The second on our list of the best business universities for MBA in the US is Stanford University. Stanford ranks fourth in the world for business and management. Stanford University has one of the most selective business schools in the US, with only around a 7% acceptance rate. It is widely known for producing a remarkable number of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs from its alumni. And it is located at the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, home to a range of famous high-tech corporations and start-ups.

Some of the top business leaders produced by Stanford University include world’s richest man Elon Musk, Google founders Larry Page and Serge Brin. Others are Yahoo founders David Filo and Jerry Yang, and also Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom to mention but a few.

3. University of Pennsylvania

The third on our list of  best business universities for MBA in the US is The University of Pennsylvania. It is ranked fifth worldwide for business and management. Its business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is the oldest of its kind in the US. It was established 1881 through a donation from industrialist Joseph Wharton. It has around 5,000 students and 94,000 alumni worldwide. Some of the Alumni has emerged as top CEOs, including for brands such as Google and Apple.

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

4th on our list of the best business universities for MBA in the US is the prestigious MIIT.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – which tops the overall QS World University Rankings – comes sixth in the world business and management ranking. Its Sloan School of Management has an enrolment of approximately 1,600 students and follows the university motto “mens et manus”, or mind and hand. This slogan emphasizes the need to find practical solutions to real-life problem.

5. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

University of California comes 5th on our list of best business universities for MBA in the US.

The school ranks twelfth in the world for business and management. Its Haas School of Business, named after former Levi Strauss & Co. president and chairman Walter A. Haas, is the second-oldest business school in the US (founded in 1898). It educates about 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students.

6. Yale University

Yale University’s Yale School of Management climbed 10 places in 2016 to rank sixteenth among the world’s top business schools. And that has earned it 6th position on the list of best business universities in the US. The school was founded in 1976 and has only around 668 students enrolled. From the 2017-2018 academic year, the school will offer a new one-year master of management studies in systemic risk. That is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

7. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Back to California, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)’s Anderson School of Management also improved its position this year, climbing five places to rank seventeenth for business and management. The school bases its ethics on looking to the future to ‘share success, think fearlessly and drive change’. Established in 1935, it has around 37,000 alumni worldwide.

8. New York University (NYU)

Ranked joint nineteenth in the world for business and management, New York University’s Stern School of Business is one of the oldest and most prestigious business schools in the US. Founded in 1900 as the School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance, it changed its name in honor of alumnus and benefactor Leonard N. Stern in 1988, and is located on the university’s Greenwich Village campus in New York City.

9. University of Chicago

Sharing nineteenth place with NYU among the world’s top business schools, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business was the first US business school to offer an executive MBA program (in 1943) as well as the first to offer a PhD in business (1920). Seven of Booth’s faculty members are Nobel Laureates and the school has around 49,000 alumni across the world.

10. Columbia University

Ranked joint twenty second in the world for business and management, Columbia University is another New York City-based institution, located in Manhattan and therefore the heart of the US’s global business hub. Founded in 1916, it celebrates its centenary this year with a range of events, and prides itself on being ‘at the very center of business’.

10. Northwestern University

The final on the list of our best business schools for MBA in the US is Northwestern University.

The final of these top US universities for business is Northwestern University. The university shares twenty second place in the world for this subject. Its Kellogg School of Management was established in 1908 under a different title, gaining its current name in 1979 in honor of John L. Kellogg (the son of the founder of the Kellogg’s cereal company) for his donation to the school.

Other top US universities for business

If you’re looking to study a business and management degree in the US, your options don’t end here – there are many more top US universities in this field. The University of Michigan, Duke University, Cornell University and University of Texas at Austin all feature in the global top 50 for business and management, while 13 more US institutions feature in the top 100.

As you can see, Harvard University leads in the best business universities for MBA in the US. Closely following it in second place is Stanford University. And in third place is University of Pennsylvanian. So if you are at the verge of making a decision for your MBA program you now have an idea of where to choose from.

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