Feb 2, 2011

Financial Times 2011 MBA Rankings

Ranking frenzy has started all over again for many MBA aspirants, students and schools with the release of FT's 2011 MBA ranking. The new rankings can be found on FT's website. However, before we look at the top 10 schools, let's go back to our previous post on Business School Rankings - Which one to look at? and see what does FT ranking really measures:

The Financial Times
It has surveyed graduates three years after graduation and gathered data directly from the schools since 2000. The FT ranks schools based on three factors; Performance of the MBA program, Diversity and the Research rating

Financial Time's Website explains in detail its ranking methodology, however, here is a summarized version of it:

1. The schools should be accredited ones and have a full time MBA program for last 4 years with first class graduated three years back.
2. It surveys alumni (from three years back for e.g. for 2011 ranking, FT surveyed Class of 2007) and current students.
3. Ranking are based on 20 criteria within these three areas: (1) Alumni salaries and career development, (2) Diversity and International Reach, and (3) Research capabilities.
4. Also the overall ranking is influenced by the ranking from the previous three years.
5. Alumni were surveyed on data points such as “Weighted salary (US$)”, “Placement success rank”, “Alumni recommend rank” and “International mobility rank”.
6. Schools were surveyed on criteria  such as “Employed at three months”, “Women faculty”, “International board”,  “International experience rank” and “FT doctoral rank”.
7. For the research part, the research papers written by faculty in 45 journals over the past three years are counted. Schools are awarded points per number of papers and weighted for faculty size.

So let's see the Top 10 MBA programs, as ranked by FT:
1. London Business School
1. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
3. Harvard Business School
4. Stanford GSB
6. Hong Kong UST Business School
7. Columbia Business School
8. IE Business School
9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
9. IESE Business School

Since "internationalism" is one of the important factor in FT ranking, many of the top 10 schools are European schools that are more diverse in terms of different countries from where their students are coming in and different locations their alumni land up after MBA education. 

So what does it mean for you? It could be substantial if you are one of those who are heavily influenced by the MBA rankings or nothing if you know what you want from your schools and have shortlisted schools based on your requirements.


  1. I'm surprised not to see Thunderbird on the list. I know that they were ranked #1 by Financial Times for their International Business full time MBA. Considering Thunderbird is one of the best International Business Schools you'd think they would be in the top for their MBA programs, and more so since they are ranked #1 by Financial Times for a program and possibly more. It's hard to keep up with all of the rankings available.

  2. The reason may be because FT gives 40% weightage to how much the alums of the schools make 3 years after graduation. And compensation depends more on what field students go into (IB, marketing, etc) after graduation. Both these factors work against Thunderbird when compared to the other top B schools.