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Stanford GSB Edges Out HBS, Wharton in 2016 U.S. News & World Report Rankings

stanfordStanford’s Graduate School of Business took the number one spot in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of the nation’s best MBA programs, released yesterday, knocking Harvard Business School (HBS) to second and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School to third. Last year, the three powerhouse schools tied for first place, but slight differences on core metrics caused HBS and Wharton to slip this year.

U.S. News uses multiple core measurements to compile its rankings, with the greatest weight given to quality assessments by deans and MBA directors at peer schools and corporate recruiter survey scores. Wharton’s scores slipped in both these regards, as well as in average pay for its MBA graduates, precipitating its drop this year in the rankings.

Stanford came out ahead in terms of average GMAT/GRE scores (732), average undergraduate GPA (3.75) and overall selectivity. (With an acceptance rate of just 7.1 percent, it was by far the most selective school of all those ranked, with HBS accepting 11 percent and Wharton, 20.7 percent.) These leading metrics helped the West Coast school edge out HBS this year.

Average salary and bonus, another core metric employed by U.S. News, varied very little among the top 10 schools. HBS was tops in this regard, at $144,750, MIT was second, at $142,936, and Stanford was a close third, at $142,834. But not far behind at all were Wharton, at $142,574, and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business (ranked ninth overall), at $142,489.

The top 10 MBA programs as ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2016 are as follow:

  1. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  2. Harvard Business School
  3. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
  4. University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  5. MIT Sloan School of Management
  6. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
  7. UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business
  8. Columbia Business School
  9. Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business
  10. University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business

As always, those of us here at Clear Admit encourage prospective applicants to use rankings as just one of many means of evaluating target business schools.

View the complete 2016 U.S. News & World Report MBA Rankings.