The 2010 Businessweek ranking of MBA programs is out! For the third year in a row, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is the #1 program in the U.S. Booth’s phenomenal job placement rates, world-renowned faculty, alumni network, and excellent reputation among students and recruiters helped determine the ranking. Runner-ups include Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, and Stanford. In general, the top-ranked schools received excellent scores for corporate recruiting and had graduate placement rates in the high 80s or low 90s. Within the top 5 ranked schools, acceptance rates ranged from 6% to 22% and graduate starting salaries from $102,000 to $120,000. These rankings, based on tens of thousands of surveys, are one of the most highly regarded in the country–the other significant ones being the U.S News, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal rankings. Businessweek’s rankings are known for their statistical basis and their emphasis on school reputation (in the minds of students and recruiters); other rankings emphasize factors such as graduate starting salary to a greater degree.
The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the ranking.
How does Businessweek determine which schools are eligible for the ranking?
Businessweek looks at several statistics including but not limited to: age of the MBA program, enrollment, test scores, acceptance rate, and number of international and minority students enrolled. A program must be accredited to be considered for ranking.
When is the MBA ranking published every year?
The MBA ranking is published in late October or early November in even-numbered years. The last ranking was published in 2008.
What sources of data does Bloomberg Businessweek use to rank MBA programs?
There are three main sources of data are as follows: a student survey, a survey of corporate recruiters, and an “intellectual capital” rating which is derived from a study of faculty publications.
When and how are the student surveys conducted?
The student survey is distributed online in early May to student email addresses supplied by programs and is available for several months. Students are directed to a survey site where they can complete the survey, which consists of about 45 questions that require students to rate their programs on factors such as teaching quality, career services, alumni network, and recruiting efforts. Using the average answer and standard deviation for each question, a student survey score is determined for each school.
When and how are the recruiter surveys conducted?
Recruiter surveys are distributed in July. Businessweek creates a list of companies recruiting from the programs and identifies a single recruiting contact for each company (in some cases, more than one recruiting contact from a specific firm is asked to complete the survey for a particular school). These company representatives are directed to an online survey and required to rank 20 top schools. To determine each school’s recruiter score, each school is given a total number of “recruiter points.” 20 points are awarded for every No.1 ranking, 19 points for every No.2 ranking, 18 points for every No.3 ranking, and so forth. A numerator is calculated which consists of the sum of each school’s points from a specific recruiter multiplied by the number of MBAs hired that year by that specific recruiter. The denominator is the sum of the number of times each school is identified as a recruiting location multiplied by the number of MBAs hired by each recruiter. To determine the final “recruiter” score for the program, the numerator is divided by the denominator. The highest scoring programs receive the highest “recruiter” rankings.
How is the intellectual capital score determined?
Businessweek peruses 20 top academic journals for articles published by each school’s faculty. The journals are The Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing, Operations Research, Information Systems Research, Journal of Finance, American Economic Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Marketing Research, Strategic Management Journal, Accounting Review, Academy of Management Journal, Production & Operations Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Consumer Research, Review of Financial Studies, Administrative Science Quarterly and Marketing Science. Extended articles receive three points; short articles receive one point. Reviews of faculty-written books that appear in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg Businessweek are awarded 5 points each. The total number of points for each school is divided by the number of full-time faculty at each school to adjust for faculty size.
How are the various factors (the student ranking, recruiter ranking, and intellectual capital ranking) weighted?
The combined weight of the three most recent student surveys contributes to 45% of the final ranking; the three most recent recruiter surveys are combined for a total recruiter score that contributes to another 45%; and the intellectual capital ranking contributes to 10% of the aggregate ranking.
How is cheating discouraged?
Statisticians David Rindskopf and Alan Gross use a series of analyses to test the survey responses for results that have a low probability of occurring if students are answering honestly. A series of questionable responses may prompt investigation. Evidence of coaching at any school may be grounds for that school’s elimination from the ranking. Aside from supplying Businessweek with email addresses for their students, business schools do not play a role in determining the rankings and are not allowed to coach students (either directly or indirectly) on how to respond.