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Stanford & Wharton Share the Throne of Best Business School in U.S. News 2021 Rankings

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While Wharton held the #1 spot of the Best Business Schools list from U.S. News & World Report last year, it is now joined by Stanford GSB at the top of the 2021 rankings. Northwestern Kellogg shot up three spaces to join Chicago Booth at #3.  Then, MIT Sloan rounds out the top 5.  Harvard Business School, which usually appears in the top 5 of any b-school ranking, landed in sixth this year (for more about this surprising result and others in the rankings, see our expert analysis).

Top Ten of U.S. News Best Business Schools Rankings

Here is a quick view of the top 10 of the 2021 U.S. News Best Business Schools rankings (2020 rank in parentheses):

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (1)
1 Stanford Graduate School of Business (2)

3 Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management (6)
3 University of Chicago Booth School of Business (3, tied)

5 MIT Sloan School of Management (3)

6 Harvard Business School (3)

7 UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (6, tied)

8 Columbia Business School (6, tied)

Yale School of Management (9)

10 NYU Stern School of Business (12, tied)

For Clear Admit’s key takeaways about the shifts and shake-ups in the U.S. News Best Business Schools rankings, see our expert analysis here.

The Next Ten on the U.S. News Rankings List

Let’s continue with the rankings from U.S. News, taking a look at the next group of top MBA programs from #11 to #20.

11 University of Virginia Darden School of Business (12, tied)

12 Dartmouth University Tuck School of Business (12, tied)
12 University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business (10, tied)
12 Duke Fuqua School of Business (10, tied)

15 Cornell Johnson School of Management (15)

16 UCLA Anderson School of Management (16)

17 USC Marshall School of Business (17, tied)

18 UT Austin McCombs School of Business (19, tied)

19 CMU Tepper School of Business (17, tied)

20 UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School (19, tied)
20 University of Washington Foster School of Business (21, tied)

For a longer list of the U.S. News rankings, visit our page.

Note: The methodology U.S. News uses to compile its annual ranking of best U.S. business schools can be seen here. Largely unchanged in recent years, its rankings are based on a weighted average of three groups of criteria. Quality assessment, weighted at 0.40, includes a combination of peer and recruiter assessments. Placement success, weighted at 0.35, takes into account mean starting salary and bonus and employment rates for full-time MBA graduates. Lastly, student selectivity, weighted at 0.25, looks at measures like average GMAT/GRE score and GPA and acceptance rate.  U.S. News surveys programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

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.