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7 Things You Need to Know About the 2017 U.S. News Business School Ranking

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4. Columbia Dips Two Spots

Columbia Business School (CBS) dropped to ten from the number eight spot, where it had sat since 2012. Whether the rising cost of living in New York or the declining interest among applicants in the financial sector affected any of the statistics used in determining the rankings is no more than conjecture.

CBS is one of the few schools in the top 10 that hasn’t recently unveiled a new building or substantially expanded its facilities, which could be a liability. Construction is underway for an impressive new Manhattanville campus, slated to open in 2018.

The most likely cause for CBS’s slip is the advancement of other schools, such as Yale and Tuck.

5. 2017: The Year of the Tie?

Aside from the cases discussed above, the top ten, as well as the spots 11 through 20, as a whole remained stable. Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management moved up two spots from 16 to 14. UNC’s Kenan-Flagler did the same, moving up from 18 to 16. Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School also jumped from 20 to 18.

Noticeable in this year’s top ten was the number of ties. There were three: Stanford and Booth for second place; MIT Sloan and Kellogg for fifth; and Tuck and Yale for eighth. This alludes to how evenly matched these school’s programs are to one another and how difficult it is for one school to stand out among the MBA pack leaders.

6. It’s Time to Get Global!

Fifteen or 20 years ago, the notion of a top MBA program existing outside of the United States was a relatively novel idea –- after all, the U.S. had invented the degree and was an unparalleled force in the global business world. Today, it is safe to say that this is no longer the case. There are now several MBA programs abroad that can easily be viewed as peers of the top U.S. programs, most notably, INSEAD and London Business School.

With U.S. programs stressing the benefits of traveling abroad, globalization, and the importance of being a global citizen, it is probably time that U.S. News follows this advice and breaks free from its U.S. centric rankings.

Foreign MBA programs are indeed part of many applicant’s discussions when considering where to apply and they should also be part of the U.S. News rankings.

7. A Flaw in the Methodology?

While Stanford’s drop into the number two spot and its tie with Chicago Booth could be cause for concern in Palo Alto, the reality is that the shift likely reflects a potential flaw in the rankings.  Because Stanford leads the trend of students going into tech and entrepreneurship rather than traditional consulting and banking fields, the school is in essence penalized by U.S. News methodology, which relies on ‘grades’ from corporate recruiters and other employment stats that favor larger firms over startups or entrepreneurial pursuits.

Stay tuned for more news and notes regarding the U.S. News MBA ranking.  In particular, we’ll be announcing the winner of our rankings prediction contest  tomorrow…

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