Wharton's Hold on the Top Spot in MBA Rankings

For Business Week magazine's annual issue naming the nation's "Best B-Schools," two populations are polled--corporate recruiters (from 326 companies that together hired over 8000 MBAs this year) and randomly selected graduates (from the 1996 class lists). The survey not only ranks schools overall but gives out grades on a "report card," and publishes the results for the top 25 of the 51 schools in the survey ( Business Week October 21).

The Wharton School stayed at the top of the list for the second year in a row, ranked as Number One overall in the eyes of corporate recruiters, and pulling a respectable fourth in the poll of graduates who, according to the numbers receive an average of 3.1 job offers, with 49% of them earning $100, 000 or more. On its report card Wharton draws A's for two of the skills recruiters look for (analysts and global view) and a B in one (team players). In the graduates' own grading of their schools, Wharton again earned two A's (for curriculum and placement) and one B (in teaching).

Yet teaching was one of the Wharton assets emphasized in an accompanying story, which cited Dean Thomas Gerrity, an innovative curriculum, and the intensive involvement of faculty and students together in the new curriculum that rests on integrated faculty involvement and student input. (A Philadelphia Inquirer story on October 12, based on preliminary proofs of the "B-School" issue, highlighted more fully the intricacies of academic leadership and faculty involvement that led to their headline, "The man behind the nation's hot graduate school of business."

Both the magazine and the newspaper reported an unannounced-as-yet plan, succinctly given in the Business Week table as "Dean plans new $100 million complex as Wharton builds its lead as Corporate America's top hunting ground; MBA applicants up 46% since 1994.

Behind Wharton in the 1996 survey come Michigan, rising fast (it jumped four places to land at second); Northwestern (now in third though it dominated the rankings from 1988 to 1992), and Harvard (fourth), and Virginia's Darden School (which took first place in the poll of graduates' satisfaction).


Volume 43 Number 9
October 22, 1996

Return to Almanac's homepage.

Return to index for this issue.