Stanford Graduate School of Business is the best business school in the United States according to the latest US News MBA Ranking released today.
Stanford retains its number one ranking, followed by fellow M7 Business Schools, Wharton, in second, and Chicago Booth, in third.
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, in fourth, Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan, in joint-fifth, make up the top five best US MBA programs.
The US News MBA Ranking is the only major MBA ranking of 2021 so far to rank every big-name US business school.
Best Business Schools in the USA
Stanford’s success in the ranking can be attributed to its super-competitive admit rate—the Stanford MBA acceptance rate is 8.9%—and the impressive salaries MBA students earn after graduation, at over $176,000 including bonuses.
Stanford has the highest class average GMAT score, at 733, and average GPA, at 3.8, underlining the quality of the Stanford MBA class.
The US News MBA ranking can be viewed as the most definitive list of the best business schools in the USA.
While the 2021 Financial Times MBA Ranking and Economist MBA Ranking are notable by their absences, with five of the M7 schools—Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT Sloan, and Columbia—boycotting both rankings, only Wharton and MIT Sloan declined to provide data for the this year’s US News list.
Those schools, that opted out of the US News MBA ranking due to the impact of COVID-19, are still included in the list based on historical data.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is Wharton and MIT Sloan who recorded the highest employment rates among US schools (based on pre-COVID data) with 93.5% of MBA students at each school employed within three months of graduation.
More impressively, Kellogg, Tuck, and Chicago Booth recorded employment rates of over 90% despite COVID-19.
After Stanford, compensation (salary + bonus) is highest at NYU Stern and Dartmouth Tuck, ranked joint 10th overall, followed by Kellogg, Chicago Booth, and Wharton.
Harvard has the second most competitive MBA acceptance rate after Stanford, at 9.2%, and one of the highest class average GMAT scores at 727.
However, Harvard falls short for its employment rate of 82.5%, the lowest of the US News top 10. Harvard’s fifth-place finish overall is its second worst performance in the US News MBA ranking, a slight recovery from last year’s sixth place.
Winners & Losers
The biggest climbers in the US News top 25 are Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, which rose four places to 21st, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, which moved three spots to joint-16th with Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.
Dartmouth Tuck entered the top 10, moving up two places from the previous year, while USC Marshall jumped above LA rival UCLA Anderson to 16th. UCLA Anderson dropped four places to 26th overall.
There are rarely big movements in the top tiers of the US MBA Ranking, however some lower-ranked schools made significant gains.
Purdue University's Krannert School of Management jumped a massive 36 places from 80th to 44th this year. Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, rose 16 places to 64th, while Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School rose 15 spots to 68th.
The biggest losers in the US News list include Temple University’s Fox School of Business, which fell 22 places to 84th and Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business, dropping 21 spots to 74th.
Best business schools for finance, marketing & more
US News ranks business schools across different specialisms in its Specialty Rankings, although these do not contribute to the overall ranking.
According to US News, the best business schools in the USA for finance are Wharton, Chicago Booth, and NYU Stern. Harvard, Stanford, and Kellogg offer the best general management programs.
Stanford is second for entrepreneurship, with Babson College Olin Graduate School of Business ranked first.
The best business schools for accounting are the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, Gies College of Business at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Wharton.
Kellogg, Wharton, and Stanford lead the list of best business schools for marketing, while Yale School of Management is the best place to study nonprofit management.
MIT Sloan offers the best MBA for classes in production and operations management and if you want to work in supply chain, Michigan State University Eli Broad Graduate School of Management is your best bet.