U.S. News MBA Rankings for 2015

U.S. News & World Report, which maintains arguably the most influential graduate school rankings in the world, has just released its new business school rankings for 2015. It’s far too easy for applicants to get caught up in the rankings, and to obsess over the fact that a school dropped three spots from one year to the next, but reality is that MBA rankings matter. They influence how recruiters look at schools, they serve as a signal to applicants and affect what caliber of applicants each school receives, and they give you an idea of where you stand relative to your target schools. You should never end your business school selection process with the rankings, but the reality is that you will probably start the process by seeing where schools sit in the MBA rankings.

Here are the top 25 American MBA programs according to U.S. News. Each program’s 2014 ranking (published in 2013) follows in brackets:

2015 U.S. News Business School Rankings

1. Harvard [1]
1. Stanford [1]
1. Penn (Wharton) [3]
4. U. of Chicago (Booth) [6]
5. MIT (Sloan) [4]
6. Northwestern (Kellogg) [4]
7. UC Berkeley (Haas) [7]
8. Columbia [8]
9. Dartmouth (Tuck) [9]
10. NYU (Stern) [10]
11. U. of Michigan (Ross) [14]
11. U. of Virginia (Darden) [12]
13. Yale [13]
14. Duke (Fuqua) [11]
15. U. of Texas (McCombs) [17]
16. UCLA (Anderson) [14]
17. Cornell (Johnson) [16]
18. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) [19]
19. U. of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) [20]
20. Emory (Goizueta) [18]
21. Indiana (Kelley) [22]
22. Washington U. in St. Louis (Olin) [21]
23. Georgetown (McDonough) [25]
23. Notre Dame (Mendoza) [27]
25. U. of Washington (Foster) [24]
25. Vanderbilt (Owen) [30]

(Yup, 26 schools actually made the “Top 25” in the U.S. News MBA rankings this year.)

What’s Changed Since Last Year?
Certainly, much of the chatter about this year’s MBA rankings will be about the fact that Wharton has edged into a three-way tie with Harvard and Stanford for the #1 spot. Also at the top, Chicago Booth managed to leapfrog MIT Sloan and Kellogg to take sole possession of the #4 spot. Despite some modest juggling, the same ten MBA programs that a year ago could say they were “top ten” schools are the same programs that can make this claim this year.

Outside of the top ten, Ross rose three spots to be just on the outside of the top ten, climbing from #14 to #11 (switching places with Duke’s Fuqua). Notre Dame’s Mendoza and Vanderbilt’s Owen climbed four spots and five spots, respectively, to break into the top 25. You can be sure that some champagne is popping in Indiana and in Tennessee this afternoon.

You can read more about 14 of the the most competitive business schools in Veritas Prep’s Essential Guides, 14 in-depth guides to the most elite MBA programs, available on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own MBA candidacy, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum.