Whether you want a Master of Business Administration or an undergraduate business degree, it makes sense to consult the experts when choosing a school. Major publications have surveyed students, professors and employers and parsed data on grades and starting salaries to rank the top U.S. business colleges and graduate schools. One publication even ranked the schools based on social media activity.
"U.S. News and World Report"
"U.S. News and World Report" ranks business schools annually based on evaluations by deans and corporate recruiters, starting salaries and employment rates for new graduates, standardized test scores and grades. On the 2014 list, Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business tied for the top spot. HBS offers almost 30 MBA specializations and 77 percent of MBA students were employed when they graduated. Stanford GSB offers seven MBA and Ph.D. degrees in business. Coming in third was the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, both tied for fourth place.
The "Bloomberg Businessweek" website ranks undergraduate business schools based on corporate recruiter and student surveys, starting salaries of graduates and academic quality. In 2013, "Businessweek" named the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business the best undergraduate business program for the fourth straight year. The average Notre Dame graduate went on to work for firms such as Deloitte Consulting and Ernst & Young. Second place went to the University of Virginia's McIntyre School of Commerce. Spots No. 3 through 5 went to the Cornell University's Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management, Washington University in St. Louis' Olin Business School and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business has the best full-time MBA program in the world, according to "The Economist," which based its 2012 rankings on student surveys, the employability of graduates and career services available to students. Founded in 1898, the University of Chicago is the second-oldest business school in the U.S. and has a reputation for research and teaching quality, with six Nobel laureates among its past and present faculty. The MBA program at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business of was ranked second, noted for general management, teamwork and a one-to-five student-teacher ratio. Rounding out the top five best MBA programs were the University of Virginia's McIntyre School of Commerce, Harvard Business School and Columbia Business School.
"Forbes" ranked business schools in 2013 strictly on their social media followings. Emphasizing the importance of online engagement of students as business schools face increasing competition from online competitors, the publication added up each school’s followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Harvard Business School led the pack with a cumulative total of 254,595 followers. Stanford University's Graduate School of Business scored a cumulative 247,552, blowing away the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, which came in third with 125,548. In fourth place with 103,870, was the University of Virginia's McIntyre School and in fifth was Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management with 75,119.
- The Economist: Which MBA? Top 25
- Forbes: Business Schools Social Media Ranking 2013
- Harvard Business School: About Us, Facts and Figures
- Stanford Graduate School of Business: MBA program
- The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management
- Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
- University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business
- Paul Marotta/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images