Scott Edinburgh
March 31, 2021

Personal MBA Coach’s Take on the 2022 US News MBA Rankings

Stairs to a prestigious MBA program

With the recent release of the 2022 US News and World Report’s Best Business School Guide, MBA rankings are top of mind for all MBA hopefuls. While MBA rankings are just one factor to consider in the MBA decision-making process, Personal MBA Coach would like to share our thoughts on this latest list.

As Personal MBA Coach recently shared with Business Because readers, average ranking over time is far more important than fluctuations from year-to-year. It is important to keep this in mind as you review this year’s changes.

Somewhat surprisingly, given the fluctuations seen in recent years, all of the top 10 schools from the 2021 US News & World Report rankings remained in 2022’s top 10 list. Dartmouth Tuck (now tied with NYU Stern for 10th place) is the only newcomer to this year’s top 10 list.

2022 Full-Time MBA Rankings: What Changed and What Remained the Same

Once again, Stanford GSB has secured the #1 spot in the US News & World Report MBA rankings. This year, however, it is the sole holder of this position. While Stanford GSB and Wharton shared 1st place in the 2021 rankings, Wharton has dropped to #2 this year. Similarly, while Chicago Booth has earned 3rd place again this year, Kellogg (which shared the #3 spot with Chicago Booth last year) has fallen to #4.

Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan round out the top 5. Though the #5 spot is a repeat ranking for MIT Sloan, Harvard Business School celebrates a slight increase from its previous and lowest-ever position of 6th place.

Columbia Business School jumped slightly from 8th to 7th place. Berkeley Haas also secured 7th place, maintaining the same position from the previous year. For the third year in a row, Yale SOM finished 9th. Rounding out the top 10, NYU Stern secured 10th place for the second year in a row, joined this year by Dartmouth Tuck.

Duke Fuqua retains 12th place this year, while Michigan Ross dropped from #12 to #13. UVA Darden shares 13th place with Michigan Ross, falling from its past position of #11.

Cornell Johnson, Carnegie Mellon Tepper, USC Marshall, UCLA Anderson, Texas McCombs, and UNC Kenan-Flagler completed the top 20, in that order, with Tepper and Marshall tying for 16th place, and Anderson and McCombs tying for 18th.

Again, it is important to remember that changes over time are more significant, and these rankings vary from year-to-year and guide-to-guide. For instance, this year’s Financial Times Global MBA Rankings offer very different results than those shared above, in part due to the omission of Harvard Business School, Wharton, and Stanford GSB from their list.

The constant shuffling at the top demonstrates the growing competition among elite business schools. The average GMAT score range among the top 10 schools’ class of 2022 admits was just 13 points (from 720 to 733). Similarly, there was a small variation in average GPA, ranging from 3.5 to 3.8.

There are no longer just a few top programs to consider. While the M7 business schools receive a lot of attention, there are many compelling full-time MBA program options outside of the M7. Personal MBA Coach’s average client applies to five to seven programs to maximize their chances of acceptance.

Beyond MBA rankings, it is essential to consider factors including location, culture, areas of specialization and job placement. Just because a particular business school has a high position in general rankings does not mean that it will better prepare you for your next job. Consider your post-MBA goals and learning style and explore specialized rankings depending on these aspirations.

Finally, available financing also should be a key consideration since you may be able to secure more funding from one school versus another. Last year, Personal MBA Coach’s clients earned over $6M in MBA scholarships. Depending on your personal circumstances, you might be better off selecting a school with a slightly lower ranking if it offers a more favorable financial package. Some M7 schools are very generous with scholarships while others award them much more sparingly.

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