The World's Best Business Schools

stanford graduate school of business

Photo: (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Picking the right business school is more important than ever.The right school gives you an advantage in a tough market. The wrong school could be a critical waste of time and money.

Our survey has determined that the best program out there is Stanford Business School.

Harvard, which held the top spot for the past two years, came in a close second, with Wharton in third.

Our results are based on an extensive survey of the people who matter most to your future: real professionals. Over one thousand of our readers responded, of which 87 per cent had attended business school and 71 per cent had hiring experience.

Many respondents said a network of contacts was the most important thing you get out of business school (43 per cent); while others named the skills & knowledge acquired in courses (34 per cent) or the brand value associated with a school (23 per cent).

Besides the usual top American contenders, more international schools ranked in the top 10 category this year, with London Business School coming in at #5 and INSEAD ranking at #10. Respondents also suggested that we include other international schools next year, like Cambridge (Judge Business School), the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University, the Indian Institute of Management, the Indian School of Business and The University of Hong Kong (HKU).

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#50 University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Carlson scored a 1.94 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #28
US News: #30
Economist: #65
Forbes: #28

Last year's list: NR


#49 University of Washington (Foster)

Foster scored a 1.96 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #31
US News: #35
Economist: #35
Forbes: #36

Last year's list: #50

#48 Queen's University

Queen's University scored a 1.98 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #2 (Non-U.S.)
US News: NR
Economist: NR
Forbes: NR

Last year's list: NR

#47 Brigham Young University (Marriott)

Marriott scored a 1.98 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

Tiebreaker: Marriott had a 1.1% excellent rating with 7 votes, while Queen's University had a 1.1% excellent rating with 6 votes--a difference of only 1 vote.

BusinessWeek: #27
US News: #34
Economist: NR
Forbes: #15

Last year's list: #46

Comments: 'BYU's Marriott Business School is one of the best, and at a very affordable price. Why pay hundreds of thousands of dollars every year when you can pay just a couple thousand and have the same level of education as Stanford or Harvard.'

#46 Purdue University (Krannert)

Krannert scored a 1.99 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #41
US News: #42
Economist: #85
Forbes: #40

Last year's list: #43

#45 Washington University - St. Louis (Olin)

Olin scored a 2.01 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #40
US News: #22
Economist: #42
Forbes: #47

Last year's list: #36

#44 Ohio State University (Fisher)

Fisher scored a 2.02 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #32
US News: #25
Economist: #51
Forbes: #34

Last year's list: #40

#43 University of California - Irvine (Merage)

Merage scored a 2.02 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

Tiebreaker: Merage had a 1.0% excellent rating, while Fisher had a 0.8% excellent rating.

BusinessWeek: NR
US News: #49
Economist: NR
Forbes: #69

Last year's list: #40

#42 University of Western Ontario (Ivey)

Ivey scored a 2.05 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #6 (Non-U.S.)
US News: NR
Economist: NR
Forbes: NR

Last year's list: #49

#41 George Washington University

George Washington University scored a 2.06 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #52
US News: #57
Economist: #68
Forbes: NR

Last year's list: #42

#40 Babson College (Olin)

Olin scored a 2.07 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #39
US News: #61
Economist: NR
Forbes: #44

Last year's list: #39

Comments: 'Babson flies under the radar with great pride, almost like a stealth drone. Given the over-riding power of other school brands, Babson students come out swinging and ready to roll up their sleeves. Basically, 'Babos' are trained and more than prepared to take on bigger fish!'

#39 Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology scored a 2.09 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #23
US News: #32
Economist: NR
Forbes: #43

Last year's list: #44

#38 Indiana University (Kelley)

Kelley scored a 2.14 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #19
US News: #23
Economist: #39
Forbes: #27

Last year's list: #38

#37 University of Toronto (Rotman)

Rotman scored a 2.15 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #8 (Non-U.S.)
US News: NR
Economist: NR
Forbes: NR

Last year's list: #41

Comments: 'The city you're in matters. An MBA is partly about networks, and it's a lot easier to build a network when you can go meet professionals for quick coffee meetings whenever they are available. Going to Rotman I used to get down to Bay St. (Canadian Wall St.) after class or even in between class to meet people who would later be scanning my resume. These meetings were critical to me getting the job I wanted.'

#36 Boston University

Boston University scored a 2.17 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #38
US News: #37
Economist: #49
Forbes: #61

Last year's list: #35

#35 Vanderbilt University (Owen)

Owen scored a 2.17 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

Tiebreaker: Owen had a 2.0% excellent rating, while Boston University had a 1.4% excellent rating.

BusinessWeek: #37
US News: #25
Economist: #34
Forbes: #33

Last year's list: #37

#34 Michigan State University (Broad)

Broad scored a 2.28 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #20
US News: #44
Economist: NR
Forbes: #19

Last year's list: #34

#33 Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird School of Global Management scored a 2.28 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

Tiebreaker: Thunderbird School of Global Management had a 3.0% excellent rating, while Broad had a 2.2% excellent rating.

BusinessWeek: #45
US News: #75
Economist: #87
Forbes: #54

Last year's list: #33

Comments: 'Hard to match Thunderbird's global focus, and they were doing it far before it became obvious.'

#32 University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

#31 University of Southern California (Marshall)

Marshall scored a 2.31 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #26
US News: #21
Economist: #22
Forbes: #39

Last year's list: #32

#30 Emory University (Goizueta)

#29 Georgetown University (McDonough)

McDonough scored a 2.45 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #33
US News: #24
Economist: #44
Forbes: #35

Last year's list: #24

Comments: 'I think the value of business school is dependent on where you want to get a job after. A Georgetown MBA probably looks great in DC or the mid-Atlantic where there are not tons of other MBAs. While a Georgetown MBA will be lost in Silicon Valley where there is a huge concentration of Stanford, Harvard, and Haas people looking for jobs.'

#28 University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)

UNC scored a 2.51 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #16
US News: #19
Economist: #47
Forbes: #16

Last year's list: #27

#27 University of Texas - Austin (McCombs)

#26 ESADE (Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas)

ESADE scored a 2.55 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #4 (Non-U.S.)
US News: NR
Economist: #17
Forbes: NR

Last year's list: #28

#25 IE Business School (Instituto de Empresa)

IE scored a 2.66 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #3 (Non-U.S.)
US News: NR
Economist: #24
Forbes: #3 (Non-U.S.)

Last year's list: #31

Comments: 'The IE Business School forms some of the best professionals I have met. They seem to have a better understanding of the international environment than students in the United States.'

#24 IMD (International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne)

IMD scored a 2.81 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #7 (Non-U.S.)
US News: NR
Economist: #3
Forbes: #1 (Non-U.S.)

Last year's list: #26

#23 Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

Tepper scored a 2.84 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #15
US News: #18
Economist: #16
Forbes: #23

Last year's list: #18

#22 IESE Business School (University of Navarra

IESE scored a 2.85 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #12 (Non-U.S.)
US News: NR
Economist: #10
Forbes: #3 (Non-U.S.)

Last year's list: #30

Comments: 'Set in a beautiful campus in one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, IESE provides a truly global exposure with students and professors from over 60 countries. It tests our decision skills while preparing us to be better managers in the world with its strong focus on ethics.'

'IESE is far ahead of other business schools in adapting to post-crisis educational needs. Business school is no longer just about names and networking and IESE ensures that its students are prepared and disciplined to be skilled and thoughtful leaders in a shifting world.'

'I was aiming to move from investment banking into the niche sector of impact investing and social entrepreneurship. Through IESE I was introduced to key players in that community and have since landed a job in exactly the sector I was aiming at. Without the IESE connections this would not have been possible. I would gladly repeat my decision to go to IESE Business School and would have no doubts about recommending the school to prospective students.'

#21 University of California - Los Angeles (Anderson)

Anderson scored a 2.87 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #17
US News: #15
Economist: #27
Forbes: #20

Last year's list: #21

#20 HEC Paris (École des Hautes Études Commerciales)

HEC Paris scored a 2.89 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #14 (Non-U.S.)
US News: NR
Economist: #14
Forbes: #8 (Non-U.S.)

Last year's list: #22

Comments: 'Value depends on geography - HEC Paris is immensely valuable if you want to work in France. Outside of France its cache is far less valuable (I work in London and it has very low value compared to LBS). LBS however seems to be a more global school. Also depends on sector - HEC is great if you want to work in luxury goods / strategy, finance less so.'

#19 University of Virginia (Darden)

Darden scored a 2.95 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #11
US News: #13
Economist: #4
Forbes: #9

Last year's list: #19

Comments: 'Ultimately an MBA is an investment and you should evaluate it based on two metrics: return on investment (financial) and the students' evaluation of the program. Although I am clearly biased, Darden scores very high on both accounts (Forbes' ROI metrics for the financial; many other surveys for student satisfaction).'

#18 University of Michigan (Ross)

Ross scored a 2.99 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #7
US News: #13
Economist: #30
Forbes: #14

Last year's list: #20

#17 University of Oxford (Saïd)

Saïd scored a 3.23 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #16 (Non-U.S.)
US News: NR
Economist: #60
Forbes: #6 (Non-U.S.)

Last year's list: #17

Comments: 'Said Business School provides a unique experience combining first-class professors, a 21st century approach to business, an unrivalled international network of colleagues, and an amazing connection to one of the world's oldest and best universities.'

'Said Business School is an extremely innovative school with a flexible curriculum, top-notch faculty, and a truly international student body (from every continent). They are very much focused on entrepreneurship and the VC community. And the prestige of Oxford is the cherry on the cake that opens doors all over the world.'

#16 Cornell University (Johnson)

Johnson scored a 3.33 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #13
US News: #16
Economist: #25
Forbes: #8

Last year's list: #14

Comments: 'Cornell's MBA program is the only program with a student-run venture capital fund. It's invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and has a good track record. It's called BR Ventures.'

'Cornell University is consistently the business school of choice, as proven by the number of hedge fund managers and Forbes' list of the Top 400 Billionaires in the World.'

#15 Duke University (Fuqua)

Fuqua scored a 3.41 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #6
US News: #12
Economist: #20
Forbes: #12

Last year's list: #13

Comments: 'Duke's Fuqua School of Business has a collaborative, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that continues to pay dividends and be exhibited by alums long after graduation.'

#14 Yale University

Yale scored a 3.42 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #21
US News: #10
Economist: #26
Forbes: #11

Last year's list: #12

Comments: 'Most business school rankings focus on criteria that were important to a pre-bubble economy. I feel like my business school and my experience was rooted in a curriculum that attempted to look forward and prepare for the changing paradigm of economic activity. Yale does a good job breaking the silo approach to business education and forcing you to participate in social osmosis with your peers. That combined with the fact that the people are chill made for two of the best and most intellectually rewarding years of my life.'

'Yale is grossly underrated -- very interesting, dedicated student body, trying to do creative things with the curriculum.'

#13 University of California - Berkeley (Haas)

Haas scored a 3.48 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #8
US News: #7
Economist: #6
Forbes: #13

Last year's list: #10

#12 New York University (Stern)

Stern scored a 3.48 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

Tiebreaker: Stern had a 15.7% excellent rating with 121 votes, while Haas had a 15.7% excellent rating with 116 votes--the difference of only 5 votes.

BusinessWeek: #18
US News: #11
Economist: #12
Forbes: #18

Last year's list: #15

Comments: 'Stern has a convenient geographic location in lower Manhattan as well as a technical emphasis on finance and accounting that are second to none, particularly with its staff of all-stars that Wall Street banks often look to for insight and training. These include: Aswath Damodoran (corporate finance), William Silber (finance), Nouriel Roubini (Economics) and Dhananjay Gode (accounting).'

'I feel that it is important to focus on the bottom line of going to business school. It is not the professors, no matter how good they are, the campus, no matter how nice it is, etc. that matter. What matters at the end of the day is what type of job are you going to obtain after business school. A school that opens the doors to your desired field is the ideal school for you. There is no single school, in my experience, that excels at everything. In my case, NYU Stern allowed me to make a 180 degree career switch, from a career in sales/marketing to Investment Banking. So for me, in terms of ROI, my school is the best school. The incredible network that I built and the life as a student in NYC was just a great sweet bonus.'

#11 London School of Economics

London School of Economics scored a 3.51 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: NR
US News: NR
Economist: NR
Forbes: NR

Last year's list: #9

Comments: 'LSE gets a 3 (for Americans) because we have some unfounded belief in its prestige. Meet any LSE 'MBA' student (I think technically they offer a Master's in Management) and you'll want to give them a 1.'

#10 INSEAD (Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires)

INSEAD scored a 3.62 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #1 (Non-U.S.)
US News: #NR
Economist: #19
Forbes: #2 (Non-US)

Last year's list: #16

Comments: 'INSEAD has the most diverse, most international, student body and alumni network. They are ALL multi-lingual.'

#9 Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Tuck scored a 3.69 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #14
US News: #9
Economist: #1
Forbes: #6

Last year's list: #8

Comments: 'Having started at CUNY Baruch and finished at Tuck at Dartmouth, I am not impressed by the distinctions between the curriculums; they are both largely vocational (although Tuck benefits from brand name professors such as Ken French, the curriculum doesn't really delve into enough depth to take advantage of such expertise). Rather, the distinction lies in the programs' reputations (don't bother if its not Top 10) and the alumni network that you gain access to post-graduation.'

#8 Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Kellogg scored a 3.83 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #4
US News: #4
Economist: #18
Forbes: #7

Last year's list: #7

Comments: 'I was lucky to get into Kellogg, and I had an amazing experience. I learned a lot from my classes, but I also learned a lot about where the value of an MBA really manifests: in the connections. Most MBA programs of any value teach similar lessons and methodologies--I have friends that went to 2nd and 3rd tier schools that learned the same substantive lessons as we did at Kellogg, but they simply don't have the same high calibre network that the higher ranked schools offer.'

#7 Columbia University

Columbia scored a 3.93 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #9
US News: #8
Economist: #7
Forbes: #5

Last year's list: #5

Comments: 'Columbia Business School's ivy league prestige and location in NYC with access to the best financiers, VC's, techies cannot be matched by most other top schools.'

'Columbia is the best b-school because the professors have been/are practitioners, the network is diverse, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are on campus daily, the faculty sincerely cares about the students and the students are smart and have social skills. '

#6 University of Chicago (Booth)

Booth scored a 3.98 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #1
US News: #4
Economist: #2
Forbes: #3

Last year's list: #6

Comments: 'The University of Chicago is where bulk of the modern finance theory was invented. Combine that with their strong alumni network and you get the best pound-for-pound b-school in the world!'

'My experience working with MBA graduates is that Chicago Booth candidates were the smartest and most hard working but HBS candidates had access to a larger alumni network and thus better opportunities.'

#5: London Business School

London Business School scored a 4.07 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #5 (Non-U.S.)
US News: #NR
Economist: #13
Forbes: #1 (Non-U.S.)

Last year's list: #11

Comments: 'In the ever increasingly global nature of the business world, an international degree from a top business programme proves to be most valuable. London Business School, with 90% international students from all over the world is one of the few that can be categorized as truly international.'

'Just as the Stanford GSB was the new HBS at the turn of the century, London Business School is quickly becoming the world's pre-eminent school for the calibre of its faculty and students, its international outlook, and the career-accelerating opportunities available to its alumni.'

'London Business School provides a great environment nourishing entrepreneurship. Initiatives like the business incubator provide a means for new businesses to get off the ground.'

#4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)

Sloan scored a 4.10 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #10
US News: #4
Economist: #11
Forbes: #10

Last year's list: #4

Comments: 'MIT's Sloan school has good things about its VC and independent programs for students to really go off on their own.'

#3 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

Wharton scored a 4.24 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #3
US News: #3
Economist: #15
Forbes: #4

Last year's list: #3

Comments: 'My two years at Wharton far exceeded my expectations. Not only does the school provide students with world-class management and technical skills, but it also offers a wealth of experiential learning opportunities through its vast network of student-run clubs, entrepreneurial programs, and school-sponsored leadership programs. I have also found that the Wharton brand is invaluable - prior to school I worked as a fundraiser for nonprofits and was ready for a career change. Earning a degree from Wharton opened up opportunities that were not previously available to me, and I ended up receiving multiple job offers from top consulting firms.'

'Wharton's unusually large array of majors and electives make it an excellent choice for those looking for a highly-tailored experience.'

#2: Harvard University

Harvard scored a 4.40 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #2
US News: #1
Economist: #5
Forbes: #1

Last year's list: #1

Comments: 'Differentiation is critical in the business world, and it's the same in the business school world: Harvard's emphasis on research, and it's continual innovation on the curriculum and pedagogical approaches to business education, is remarkably different from other schools. That's what guided my decision to attend, and it's something that should factor into more decisions.'

'Harvard is both among the most selective and has the largest graduating class of any of these schools listed. This means that students can find like-minded colleagues in almost any field in which they're interested. Given that I believe that networking is the primary value provided by a full-time MBA program, those two factors (tightly screened yet large student body) make Harvard an excellent choice.'

'If you're looking for someone with textbook answers, a broad network, and willful obedience, hire a HBS grad. If you're looking for someone with vision, an innovative drive, and exceptional interpersonal skills, hire a Stanford GSB grad.'

#1: Stanford University

Stanford scored a 4.45 out of 5 on Business Insider's rating.

BusinessWeek: #5
US News: #1
Economist: #8
Forbes: #2

Last year's list: #2

Comments: 'Stanford is an incredibly inspiring place to learn. They push their students to be the best they can be and accept an incredibly diverse group of students from all backgrounds and disciplines.'

'When you graduate from Stanford GSB you know precisely who you are, as well as who you are not. That pays more dividends professionally and personally than all the other assets combined.'

'With a sparkling new campus to add to its amazing culture, intimate, responsive network and world-class faculty, the Stanford GSB has become a no-brainer top-pick for most incoming domestic students. The school still has a way to go to build its brand outside the United States to rival Harvard's, and it's not yet clear which educational model will prevail.'

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