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The Economist Releases 2019 Best MBA Rankings

The Economist has released their 2019 best MBA rankings for full-time programs.  The University of Chicago Booth School of Business claimed the top spot once again, and the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management was replaced by Harvard Business School for second place. Kellogg only dropped to fourth, but HEC Paris took a giant leap from #13 in 2018 to #3 in 2019.  The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School rounded out the top five, but Stanford Graduate School of Business fell out of the top 5 to 8th this year.

UCLA’s Anderson School of Management shifted from 8th in 2018 to 6th this year.  The number 7 spot saw another California school, UC Berkeley Haas—up from position 11 in the 2018 rankings.  The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business stayed in the top 10 at position 9 (just down from 7 last year). IESE Business School rounded out the top 10 though they had landed at #6 in 2018.

School Name2019 Ranking2018 Ranking
Chicago Booth


Harvard Business School



HEC Paris



Northwestern Kellogg






UCLA Anderson



Berkeley Haas



Stanford GSB



Michigan Ross






Clear Admit Co-founder, Graham Richmond, observed, “The Economist‘s MBA ranking has been known to raise more than a few eyebrows in light of how it differs from the likes of U.S. News, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and the Financial Times—specifically in that there always seem to be at least a handful of ‘surprises.’  This may be related to the methodology’s reliance on student feedback—or ‘customer satisfaction.’  With that said, the ranking has increasingly begun aligning with some of the other major rankings out there and seems a bit less eccentric with each ranking season that passes.”

Big and Small Shifts in the Ranking

HEC Paris had the largest jump into the top 5 this year, but the other schools at the very top should be familiar—four out of five were also in the top 5 last year.  Berkeley Haas cracked the top 10 this year while the rest merely shuffled spots compared to last year.  However, other leading programs did see some more dramatic shifts.  Columbia Business School, which was 10th in the 2018 rankings, tumbled to 15th.  UVA / Darden, which had also been in the top 10 last year, fell to 16th.  The Yale School of Management was ranked 14th last year, but dropped another 7 spots for the 2019 ranking.  INSEAD (#22) and London Business School (#25) sit well behind HEC Paris, IESE and Bocconi, which curiously doesn’t align with what applicants have been reporting on MBA DecisionWire.

Richmond adds, “Needless to say, this year’s big winners are clearly Chicago Booth (holding onto their #1 ranking), HEC leaping from #13 to #3, and Berkeley / Haas, landing in the top 10 at #7. One final thing to note is that 23 of the top 30 schools are U.S. MBA programs, which suggests that the U.S. is still home to the lion’s share of the very best business schools.” 

You can see more information about the methodology to determine the rankings here.

Posted in: Clear Admit's MBA Ranking News, MBA Feature, MBA News

About the Author

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Lauren Wakal

Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.

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