Stanford Graduate School of Business offers the best MBA program in the US, according to the 2021 Bloomberg Businessweek MBA ranking.
Stanford is followed by Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business in second place, while Harvard Business School takes third in the ranking of the best US business schools, which resumes after it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
All of the prestigious M7 Business Schools feature in the top 10. Stanford and Harvard are followed by Chicago Booth in fourth place, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Columbia Business School in fifth and sixth, and MIT Sloan in eighth. Wharton places ninth.
The remaining two spots in the top 10 are taken by University of Virginia Darden School of Business and University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business.
The Bloomberg MBA ranking is based on five categories, with schools assessed on their learning, networking, entrepreneurship, compensation, and diversity.
Bloomberg takes a different approach to other top rankings like the Financial Times and QS. To receive a score, schools are asked to rank which category is most important to them, as the first step in a two-part process.
A follow-up survey then asks a range of questions, which are paired with employment and compensation data to give schools a score out of 100. Schools are then ranked according to their scores.
Bloomberg MBA Ranking | Best B-Schools in the US
In 2021, Stanford’s number one ranking is buoyed by strong performances in the compensation, networking, and entrepreneurship categories. This gives the hardest MBA program in the world to get into an overall score of 100.
Tuck’s second-placed ranking owes to strong scores in the compensation and networking categories, while it trails behind Stanford primarily in the entrepreneurship category. Stanford’s world-renowned entrepreneurial pedigree saw it awarded the highest score among all schools for entrepreneurship.
Harvard is ranked third, mirroring Stanford with strong showings in compensation and networking. Harvard falls behind both Stanford and Tuck with a low score in the learning category.
Elsewhere, Chicago Booth ranks highly for compensation but a low diversity score brings its overall ranking down. Kellogg performs well in the networking category with only Stanford ranking higher among the top 10.
Columbia Business School also has a low diversity score, along with lower scores in learning and entrepreneurship. The school's high ranking is based on strong showings in the compensation and networking categories.
Berkeley Haas is consistent across compensation, networking, and entrepreneurship, though it is in the bottom three for learning among the top 10 schools. MIT Sloan has the second lowest learning score among the top 10, while Wharton is the lowest. Virginia Darden is the lowest performing school in the diversity category.
Across the top 10 schools, compensation and networking tend to be the highest scoring categories. Diversity, which features as a category in the Bloomberg MBA ranking for the first time, is the lowest scoring category.
Bloomberg MBA Ranking Top 10
Bloomberg MBA ranking vs US News, Financial Times
The Bloomberg MBA ranking's alternative methodology makes for an interesting comparison with rankings by US News and the Financial Times.
The strong performance of the M7 in the Bloomberg MBA ranking means results differ from the Financial Times, in which only two of the M7 took part as many business schools snubbed MBA rankings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The FT ranking placed Chicago Booth, Yale School of Management, and Kellogg as the top three US MBA programs, with Tuck in fifth place.
The US News ranking includes the M7, this produces similar results to Bloomberg as they take seven places among the top 10. Both US News and Bloomberg rank Stanford as the best MBA in the US in 2021.
Chicago Booth and Kellogg hold similar positions in both rankings. They’re placed third and fourth by US News and fourth and fifth by Bloomberg. Tuck’s strong showing in the Bloomberg MBA ranking is not matched by US News, who rank the school 10th in the US.
Top 10 US MBA Programs: Bloomberg vs US News, Financial Times
The main image in this article is credited to Bryan Hughes via Flickr and used under this license.