How Ranks MBA Programs

Ranking MBA programs is more art than science, more subjective than objective. This seems most evident at the top tiers in each ranking. Rankings from the five most influential publications offers a view into the strengths of each and in its totality creates an aggregated ranking that, in our opinion combining the most influential rankings evens out the flaws in each system and helps prospective MBA students to is well-rounded snapshot of the best MBA programs can offer. a diverse view of what each publications considers important. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.

At MBAGuide, we take a unique approach to rankings. Our MBAGuide composite list takes the five most influential business school rankings in the world: U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes,The Financial Times, and The Economist and instead of averaging the five equally, we weight each publication to account for what we consider their thoroughness in accessing the value of an MBA education and their authority. Bringing together all the data from these five fine publications provides a balanced view of the ranking landscape and creates a evens out the biases and inherent flaws each system presents on its own.

Publication Weight
US News 25%
Bloomberg Businessweek 20%
The Financial Times 20%
Forbes 20%
The Economist 15%

We then add our own ranking criteria for what we see are some of the most important criteria MBA students told they consider and re-factor the rankings:

  • Student to Faculty Ratio
  • Faculty with a PhD
  • Average GMAT Score
  • Tuition Costs
  • Part- and Full-Time Enrollment

We then offer easy-to-digest views of aggregated ranking criteria as follows:

  • Overall MBA Rankings – National, State, Online
  • Rankings by MBA Concentration – National, State, Online

We provide rankings by a number of important single criteria

  • Tuition – National, State, Online
  • GMAT Scores – National, State, Online
  • Student / Faculty Ratio – National, State, Online
  • Enrollment Type – National, State, Online
  • Faculty Strength – National, State, Online

And we provide rankings from over 28 MBA Concentrations

Regional Accreditation by the U.S. Department of Education

There is no official ranking of universities by the US governments. Regional Accreditation is the closest seal of approval that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Being regionally accredited help to ensure quality of education, standardized student curriculum. Having regional accreditation provides benefits to both the institution and to the students. Federal, State and local financial aid is mostly available to only those students attending a regionally accredited school.

AACSB Accreditation

Beyond the institution being regionally accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, many program types such as MBA are accredited by private institutions who ensure that the school program will meet rigorous academic standards to prepare students for real-world challenges. And this is yet another level of ranking that if you are seeking to earn an MBA, we advise that you attend and AACSB or the only official accreditation standards organization for MBA colleges and universities. Currently, AACSB accredits about 520 Masters Degree Programs in the United States.

How Important Are University Rankings?

With all the choices of US universities that are available, no single university – no matter how high the ranking – is the best fit for everyone. Rankings may give you a starting point for your decision, but there are many other factors that should you should consider when choosing a university. The very ‘best’ university is the one that is right for you.

Ranking Methodology for MBA Guide

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