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The Financial Times 2024 Global MBA Ranking: Wharton Returns & Lands at the Top

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The Financial Times (FT) released its rankings of the 100 best Global MBA programs for 2024. The Wharton School, which failed to make an appearance in the ranking last year, takes the top spot.

Top Ten Overall

Here are the top 10 MBA programs of The Financial Times 2024 Global MBA rankings (2023 positions are in parentheses):

Ranking School
1 The Wharton School (na)
2 INSEAD (2)
3 (tie) Columbia Business School (1)
3 (tie) SDA Bocconi (6)
5 Iese Business School (3)
6 (tie) Northwestern University Kellogg (9)
6 (tie) MIT Sloan School of Management (11, tie)
8 London Business School (16)
9 Cornell University: Johnson (8)
10 University of Chicago Booth (11, tie)

While Wharton made a notable return, HBS and Stanford GSB are absent from the top ten. Harvard Business School landed at 11th while, after a bit of scrolling, Stanford GSB appeared at #23.

SDA Bocconi, LBS, Northwestern Kellogg and Chicago Booth improved their standing over last year amid some shuffling. LBS leapt eight spots to occupy eighth while SDA Bocconi moves to share the third spot with last year’s #1, CBS. Chicago Booth and MIT Sloan cracked the top ten compared to last year, while Cornell Johnson holds onto a top-ten spot again.

“The top 10 in the FT ranking do represent a set of highly regarded, top-tier U.S. and European business schools. Of the six U.S. programs listed in the top 10, five are M7 schools (Wharton, CBS, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, and Booth). In addition, FT selected four of the leading European business schools (INSEAD, Bocconi, IESE and LBS). While it is a bit surprising that HBS is ranked #11, this ranking is close to the rankings of other M7 schools,” says Eliot Ingram, co-founder of Clear Admit.

“What is perplexing is why Stanford is ranked #23 in the 2024 FT rankings, the lowest ranking of the M7 schools,” notes Ingram. “It is also interesting that Stanford GSB declined 19 spots from #4 in the 2023 FT rankings when FT used the same methodology in both years. Looking at the FT methodology, it appears that Stanford was penalized for lower international metrics and ESG metrics. In addition, since fewer Stanford GSB grads accept typical post-MBA jobs, the school gets penalized for this as well. But still, it is surprising that the FT ranking methodology would generate this result for Stanford, particularly after giving it a higher ranking in 2023.”

FT Global MBA Ranking 2024: Top U.S. MBA Programs

The Financial Times MBA ranking looks at business schools worldwide, but this can be a challenging task in light of the vast differences from market to market. As such, we like to break out the regions to look at each one individually. In the U.S. market, the top 16 schools in 2024 (ranking in parentheses) are as follows:

  • The Wharton School (1)
  • Columbia Business School (3, tie)
  • Northwestern University: Kellogg School of Management (6, tie)
  • MIT: Sloan School of Management (6, tie)
  • Cornell University: Johnson (9)
  • University of Chicago: Booth (10)
  • Harvard Business School (11)
  • Dartmouth College: Tuck (12, tie)
  • Duke University Fuqua School of Business (14)
  • Yale School of Management (15)
  • University of Virginia: Darden (16)
  • UCLA Anderson School of Management (18)
  • UC Berkeley: Haas (19)
  • New York University: Stern (21)
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business (23)
  • University of Washington: Foster (30)

Michigan Ross does not appear to be included in the FT ranking this year, even though it was ranked 26 in the 2023 FT ranking. Washington Foster moved up from 32 to 30, leaving Carnegie Mellon Tepper (33, tie) and USC Marshall (33, tie) just out of view.

FT Global MBA Ranking 2024: Top European and Asian MBA Programs

Looking at Europe, the top 10 programs are as follows (2024 ranking in parentheses):

  • INSEAD (2)
  • SDA Bocconi School of Management (3, tie)
  • IESE Business School (5)
  • London Business School (8)
  • HEC Paris (12, tie)
  • Esade (17)
  • IE Business School (20)
  • ESCP Business School (25)
  • University of Oxford: Saïd (26)
  • University of Cambridge: Judge (29)

Ingram expands on the European rankings, noting, “We see many of the business schools one would expect to make the top 10 for Europe, with INSEAD, Bocconi, IESE, LBS and HEC Paris rounding out the top 5. Of the top 10 European business schools, ESADE saw the biggest movement up in the rankings from 30th overall in 2023 to 17th overall in 2024.”

For Asia, the business schools line up in this order (2024 ranking in parentheses):

  • CEIBS (21)
  • Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (24)
  • National University of Singapore (27, tie)
  • Fudan University School of Management (27, tie)
  • Indian School of Business (31)

There are many familiar names in the top five Asian business schools. CEIBS nearly cracked the top 20 again, and Fudan made a remarkable jump from #48 last year to #27 this year.

Ranking Methodology

While 142 schools participated in the 2023 edition, 132 met the participation criteria this year. FT ranks the top 100 MBA programs in the world using 21 different criteria. Eight of these are alumni-based, requiring at least a 20 percent response rate and a minimum of 20 responses total for inclusion, making up 56 percent of the ranking. Because of disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic, Financial Times considered schools with a lower response rate.

“The FT ranking methodology places a big emphasis on surveying alumni three years after graduation,” says Ingram. “This means that the FT ranking in 2024 is driven by survey results filled out in the fall of 2023 from Class of 2020 MBA graduates who may have experienced some pandemic-induced career challenges in the Spring of 2020 when the world adjusted to the onset of the pandemic. Thus, current MBA applicants reading the FT 2024 ranking might question whether the FT ranking is the best way to assess business schools in 2024 when the FT ranking relies so heavily on surveys from the Class of 2020 whose experience was very likely interrupted due to COVID.”

See here for more details on the ranking methodology.

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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.