The 20 Most Popular MBA Programs -- That Most People Have No Chance Of Getting Into

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YOU might not think an MBA is worth it, but judging by the number of applications received this year, a lot of other people believe otherwise. With the recession in full swing, MBA programs have never been more popular.

The nation’s 476 MBA programs reportedly received 200,000 completed applications as of late June.  The weakest schools received fewer than 10 applications, but the strongest received upwards of 10,000.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), top-tier schools received an average of 1,554 applications this summer. 

Harvard, in particular, is on a roll.  It received the second most applications ever this year, up 5% from last year.  Although Harvard might seem like the best program, you have a better shot of getting in there than you would Stanford.  Stanford receives 2,000 less applications than the Ivy rival, but they accept a mere 6.5% to Harvard’s 9.5%.

So which schools are the most popular of all?

Note: Ranks were determined by number of applications reported by PoetsandQuants.com. *An asterisk indicates that the number applies for the full-time Class of 2012 entering this fall. All other numbers are for the previous year.

20. Georgetown (McDonough)

Applicants: 1,729

Seats: 250

Percentage of seats per applicants: 14%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

19. UNC (Kenan-Flagler)

Applicants: 1,873

Seats: 300

Percentage of seats per applicants: 16%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

18. Cornell (Johnson)

Applicants: 2,002*

Seats: 275

Percentage of seats per applicants: 14%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

17. USC (Marshall)

Applicants: 2,224

Seats: 220

Percentage of seats per applicants: 10%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

16. Texas-Austin (McCombs)

Applicants: 2,284

Seats: 260

Percentage of seats per applicants: 11%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

15. Virginia (Darden)

Applicants: 2,689

Seats: 310

Percentage of seats per applicants: 12%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

14. Michigan (Ross)

Applicants: 2,697

Seats: 500

Percentage of seats per applicants: 19%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

13. Yale

Applicants: 2,790

Seats: 225

Percentage of seats per applicants: 8%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

12. Dartmouth (Tuck)

Applicants: 2,573*

Seats: 260

Percentage of seats per applicants: 10%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

11. UCLA (Anderson)

Applicants: 3,041

Seats: 360

Percentage of seats per applicants: 12%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

10. Duke (Fuqua)

Applicants: 3,506*

Seats: 450

Percentage of seats per applicants: 13%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

9. Berkeley (Haas)

Applicants: 3,626*

Seats: 240

Percentage of seats per applicants: 6.6%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

8. Chicago (Booth)

Applicants: 3,843

Seats: 590

Percentage of seats per applicants:
15%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

7. New York (Stern)

Applicants: 4,625

Seats: 370

Percentage of seats per applicants: 8%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

6. MIT (Sloan)

Applicants: 4,782*

Seats: 400

Percentage of seats per applicants: 8%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

5. Northwestern (Kellogg)

Applicants: 5,587*

Seats: 635

Percentage of seats per applicants: 11%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

4. Pennsylvania (Wharton)

Applicants: 6,819*

Seats: 860

Percentage of seats per applicants: 13%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

3. Columbia

Applicants: 6,885

Seats: 740

Percentage of seats per applicants: 11%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

2. Stanford

Applicants: 7,536

Seats: 385

Percentage of seats per applicants: 5%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

1. Harvard Business School

Applicants: 9,524*

Seats: 910

Percentage of seats per applicants: 10%

Source: PoetsandQuants.com

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