Scott Edinburgh
February 17, 2022

Personal MBA Coach’s Take on the 2022 Financial Times MBA Rankings

Student Looking at Financial Times MBA Rankings on a iPad

The Financial Times recently released its 2022 MBA Rankings. Unlike last year’s Financial Times MBA rankings, which international business schools dominated, U.S. schools rose to the top this year. This shift is a reminder to pay attention to a school’s placement over the years, as rankings are always changing.

While Wharton was among the business schools that chose not to compete in last year’s Financial Times MBA rankings, the school returned to assume the top position in this year’s rankings. Following close behind, Columbia Business School took the second spot and Harvard Business School took the third. Like Wharton, these two schools did not participate in last year’s rankings.

Given the return of these top schools to the rankings, INSEAD dropped from first place to #4. In a minor change, Kellogg moved up slightly from #6 to #5. Stanford, which also did not compete last year, took #7. Chicago Booth and London Business School finished #8 and #9, respectively.

Yale SOM closed out the top 10 in the Financial Times MBA rankings. While there are numerous strong programs outside of the U.S., 8 of the top 10 programs this year are U.S.-based.

Part of this focus on U.S. business schools could be attributed to the high salary reports for U.S. MBA graduates. Additionally, international enrollment at U.S. schools is on the rise after these numbers took a large hit during the pandemic. Both trends may have contributed to the rise of U.S. programs in the latest Financial Times MBA rankings.

While these rankings can help MBA hopefuls build their target school lists, Personal MBA Coach likes to remind candidates that rankings are not the be-all and end-all. Below, we have shared some of our top tips to keep in mind as you review MBA rankings.

Need help determining which programs are right for you? Program selection is included in our Comprehensive Packages!

1) Look at MBA rankings to get an overview of the business school landscape.

If you are in the early stages of your MBA application journey, rankings can be useful to get a general lay of the land. Use these rankings to see what schools are out there, where they are located, and how they compare to one another.

2) Review statistics as an initial guide.

Statistics including acceptance rate, average undergraduate GPA, and average test scores of enrolled students will give you some strong benchmarking information. That said, these numbers should only be used as an initial guide since the whole applicant package is far more important.

Plenty of applicants with GPAs or GMAT/GRE/EA scores below average are accepted every year while others with higher statistics are not. This disparity is why we encourage candidates to apply to a range of programs (ideally 5 to 8 schools).

3) Consider average ranking over the years.

A school’s average ranking over time is important to consider when looking at MBA rankings. When you are applying to jobs down the road, recruiters likely will not know your school’s ranking when you applied, but they may look at its current standing.

Therefore, it is worth evaluating how the schools you are interested in have placed over time. Have they consistently stayed in the top tiers, or has their placement fluctuated greatly?

4) Analyze general trends.

While the latest Financial Times MBA rankings show Wharton, Columbia Business School, and Harvard Business School in the top three, other rankings scales are likely to show different results (see the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings and Bloomberg Businessweek rankings for reference).

Of course, certain schools will consistently place in the top ten, but the general list will vary from source to source. Keeping this in mind, as mentioned with ranking over time, the general trend across different ranking sources is the most significant.

5) Notice how rankings vary from one industry to the next.

While all MBA programs highlight strong general management education, each school has different areas of expertise. Thus it will be helpful to consider how schools perform in industry-specific rankings as well.​ Think about your MBA goals and check out rankings that pertain to these goals.

Are you looking for help with school selection? Along with MBA rankings, there are many factors to consider when building your target school list. Download Personal MBA Coach’s free Decision Making Guide to get more tips on business school selection.

School selection is part of our Comprehensive Packages. For those planning to apply to business school in September 2022, it is not too early to get started! Personal MBA Coach is already beginning to work with clients on round 1 MBA applications.

About Personal MBA Coach:

Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 15 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading sources including Poets&Quants.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing, and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers.

Last cycle, our clients earned more than $6.5M in scholarships!

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