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Two rankings, two approaches

Yet another media publication has ranked business schools. U.S. News focuses solely on the U.S. and only surveys American business schools. Nevertheless, the main results still resemble most of the other major rankings. The U.S.News Business School Ranking 2012 places Harvard and Stanford as the top business schools.

They have tied in the first spot for the third time in five years. Harvard Business School and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business are no surprises, but it gets more interesting when looking further down the list as several lesser known business schools moved up considerably this year. These newcomers are the Rice University Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business and the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business that both tied on 25th place (both gained nine ranks!); and the University of Rochester William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration that moved from 45th to 37th in the rankings.

Another interesting ranking was published by the Princeton Review. They’ve published their 2012 Edition of The Best Business Schools and surveyed 294 business schools. The ranking is refreshingly different, as it thinks outside the box and doesn’t offer a ranking in terms of overall quality. It rather picks certain key areas like “best campus environment” or “best administered” (see below). Stanford University tops two of these rankings as well – “best career prospects” as well as “toughest to get in”, whereas the University of California-Berkeley offers the “best classroom experience” and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has the “most competitive students” according to the survey.

But is Wharton really the most competitive school? According to U.S. based website Poets and Quants it is typically schools located in big cities that tend to bring out the most competitive instincts in students. The editor John Byrne suspects that this is partly because they can disappear in the city during their two-year experience and often feel less connected to the university and their classmates.

The website also offers an interesting piece of “historic” information. When BusinessWeek began surveying MBA students in 1988, it asked, what percentage of classmates students would like to have as friends. The schools that scored highest in this regard were Yale, Dartmouth, North Carolina, Northwestern and Stanford. At the low end grouped Columbia, Chicago, NYU, and Wharton, the Princeton Review’s number one school with the most competitive students.

Sources:
U.S. News-Education
The Princeton Review
Poets and Quants

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