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US News Releases 2020 Online MBA Program Ranking

It’s a new year, and a new round of MBA rankings to come out. As usual, the first major MBA ranking to hit the press is US News’s ranking of online MBA programs.

The ranking of online MBA programs is interesting not just because it deals with the most modern way of obtaining an MBA (on the internet!) but because it has been the subject of scandal in recent years.

For several years running, the first-place online MBA program in US News’s rankings was Temple University’s Fox School of Business – until it emerged that Temple had been misreporting information about how many online MBA applicants provided GMAT scores with their applications.

The fallout from that controversy led to Temple being booted from US News’s online MBA rankings and the school’s dean stepping down. Now, Temple is back in the online MBA rankings but is no longer in first place. Rather, it finished at an unspectacular eighty-eighth.

Instead, the top nine programs of 2020 are:

1. Indiana University Kelley School of Business
1. University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
3. Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business
4. University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business
5. University of Southern California Marshall School of Business
6. Pennsylvania State University World Campus
6. University of Mississippi School of Business
6. University of Texas, Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management
9. Villanova University School of Business

I say “top nine,” because after that things start to get complicated. As can be seen from the full rankings, there is a five-way tie for tenth place, followed by a three-way tie for fifteenth.

Although the number of ties in this year’s ranking is unusual, US News’s top online programs of 2020 are similar to last year’s. For example, Indiana and UNC were one and two in 2019 and now find themselves in a two-way tie for 2020’s top spot.

Interestingly, US News’s top schools for an online MBA don’t overlap extensively with the business schools generally considered to have the most selective full-time brick-and-mortar programs, even though the online ranking methodology considers some similar factors as popular rankings of “traditional” MBA programs.

That goes to show that an online MBA and traditional full-time MBA aren’t interchangeable. They have different strengths, and fill different roles for people looking to move their careers forward.

At EXPARTUS, we can help you figure out what type of MBA and what schools in particular are a good fit for the unique details of your situation. Just contact us and ask us for a free MBA application assessment!