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2016 Poets & Quants MBA Ranking

Poets & Quants have published their 2016 MBA ranking, which combines data from five prominent rankings of business schools. This year’s top ten remain the same as last year, but with some switching around of places: 

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford GSB
  3. Chicago Booth
  4. Northwestern Kellogg
  5. University of Pennsylvania Wharton
  6. MIT Sloan
  7. Dartmouth Tuck
  8. UC Berkeley Haas
  9. Columbia Business School
  10. Yale SOM

2016 Poets & Quants MBA Ranking

The top three schools from 2015 – HBS, Stanford and Booth – all held onto their places this year. As Poets & Quants points out, Booth beat out Wharton in four of the five rankings this list is based on. 

Meanwhile, Kellogg edged up from fifth into a tie with Wharton. Tuck and Sloan also made gains while Columbia dropped from sixth to ninth. 

The Poets & Quants ranking is intended to iron out quirks from five major MBA rankings – U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Financial Times and The Economist. 

The thinking goes that while each of these rankings has methodological particularities that advantage some schools over others, merging the rankings balances things out and leads to a truer picture. 

However, the Poets & Quants ranking doesn’t simply average its five source rankings. It weights them according to how much “authority” it considers each one to have. So U.S. News is worth 35 percent, Forbes 25, Financial Times 15, Bloomberg 15 and The Economist 10. 

While the top ten remained fairly stable from 2015 to 2016, there was more volatility further down the list. For example, Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business picked up 16 spots, moving from 99 to 83, while Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics fell from 70 to 95. 

That said, Poets & Quants emphasizes that the most important patterns in the rankings aren’t the year-to-year swings but the trends that have emerged over the course of several years, which in some cases “reflect a school’s momentum forward or early decline.”

From this perspective, Yale SOM seems to be charting a steady upward course. Similarly, Booth and Kellogg appear to be nudging their way into the top of the bracket, breaking Wharton’s lock as one of the “big three” U.S. business schools. HBS and Stanford, for their part, have stayed ahead of the crowd.

For more data on long-term trends, see the Poets & Quants ranking. Also included are stats on the biggest winners and losers and on how each school’s score breaks down in terms of the five rankings used.