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MBA Rankings: The World's 50 Best Business Schools According To Bloomberg Businessweek

Harvard, Stanford and Duke Fuqua take the top spots — but there are big changes everywhere

By  Seb Murray

Thu Nov 17 2016

Harvard Business School has topped Bloomberg's MBA ranking for the second year on the trot.

And it wasn’t even close.  

Harvard had more than a nine point lead on its nearest competitor, up from less than two points in 2015.

HBS was rated No. 1 by the more than 1,000 corporate recruiters surveyed to create the ranking, and No. 3 among its alumni. Its graduates left with the second highest salaries.

Stanford's Graduate School of Business is at No. 2, edging out Duke University's Fuqua School of Business by .08 percentage point for its highest ever Businessweek rank. Fuqua is No. 3, having topped the ranking in 2014.

There were shocking changes in the 2016 list of the best business schools.

Jones Graduate School of Business leapt 11 spots to secure a top-10 ranking for the first time. That puts it ahead of elite schools including Yale School of Management and Columbia Business School.

UCLA Anderson School of Management fell nine spots to No. 22. UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School dropped seven places to No. 24. And University of Michigan’s Ross School does not appear in the top-10 for the first time since Businessweek started the rankings in 1988.

There were notable risers among the Ivy League. Stanford and Fuqua both shot up five places. Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business rose nine places to No. 5, its best ever performance.

It's not good news for all the elite schools. Northwestern’s Kellogg School dropped six places to No. 9. Chicago's Booth School of Business slipped two spots to No. 4, a 16-year low.

The biggest winners and losers are at the lower end of the ranking. Iowa: Tippie and American: Kogod rose by 20 and 10 spots respectively to place at No. 35 and No. 43. North Carolina State: Jenkins and Texas Christian: Neeley fell 40 and 18 places respectively.

Bloomberg ranks business schools based on certain metrics. It places a 35% weight on a survey of MBA employers; 30% on a survey of business school alumni; 15% on a separate survey of recent graduates; 10% on starting salary; 10% on job placement rate.

Bloomberg's MBA ranking follows other rankings that are closely watched by the business school community.

Chicago Booth topped The Economist's ranking in October. Harvard topped the U.S News list in March. The Financial Times is due to publish its 2017 ranking in January. INSEAD came first in 2016.

Rankings are important because they serve as a guide to applicants who need to distinguish between programs.

Schools are often evaluated on the perception of how elite or prestigious they are seen to be in the market.

However business school leaders play down the importance of rankings and have publically criticized their methodologies.