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Top MBA colleges in the World | 2023 GMAT Business School Rankings

Top MBA Colleges in the World | 2023

Best Ranking GMAT GRE Business Schools

What defines a top MBA Program? Or rather, what pops in your head when someone mentions top MBA programs?

We can bet on something dear and precious that brand mammoths like Harvard, Wharton or the likes of Oxford Cambridge will be thrown around. But brand is just what comes after years of cultivating a culture of success and reputation.

In the world of MBA, which is a much younger degree program compared to your engineering or humanities Master’s degrees out there, the reputation and success is derived not so much as from the years of being around, but rather a medley of parameters that drive success.

Some of those are – brand (yes it still plays a big role!), faculty experience in academia and industry, class diversity, social and environmental responsibility, employment outcome measured well into years after graduation, and others.

This is why the popularity of MBA programs have gone well beyond the legacy of traditionally well reputed schools. Programs like INSEAD and ISB are considered in the same breath as HBS, Stanford, Said, Judge and so on.

At MBA Crystal Ball we are interested in finding out the answer to the question on every applicant’s mind – Which are the most consistently ranked MBA programs across the world?

In this article, we have cooked up a homegrown methodology to rank MBA programs based on their consistency in performance in one of the most respected MBA ranking bodies – The Financial Times (FT). That is, after we explain the methodology that FT follows in ranking global MBA, we will proceed to create a weighted ranking of b-schools based on their performance in the latest three years on FT.


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Methodology for the MBA Crystal Ball MBA Rankings

Changing with the growing need to be socially and environmentally responsible, FT’s ranking has begun emphasizing diversity, sustainability, and positive impact by business schools, besides the overall outcome of MBA, in ranking considerations.

Outcome, which still is the predominant factor, measures salary increases in combination with value for money, financial aid and expenses.

It also measures alumni recommendation, strength of networking, alumni career progress, gender parity, international student and faculty strength, diversity in education and employment background of students, and finally the carbon footprint of the b-schools.

All participating schools have accreditation from Equis or AACSB and the report is compiled using alumni surveys three years after graduation to track their progress and seasoned insights.

In this list below, we have used the weighted ranks from the recent three years of Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings and calculated an overall merit list from them.

The rankings carry most weight for the latest FT list, progressively decreasing in the previous two years. The purpose of the ranking is to establish schools that have consistently performed well.

So schools that are on top are top scorers over the latest years, descending to next, covering the top 75 business schools and their MBA programs.

Top MBA Degrees in the World – MBA Crystal Ball


Rank Business School Name Country
1 University of Pennsylvania: Wharton USA
2 Columbia Business School USA
3 INSEAD France/Singapore
4 Harvard Business School USA
5 Stanford Graduate School of Business USA
6 IESE Business School Spain
7 Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management USA
8 University of Chicago: Booth USA
9 MIT Sloan School of Management USA
9 University of California at Berkeley – Haas USA
11 Yale School of Management USA
12 London Business School UK
13 SDA Bocconi School of Management Italy
14 Cornell University: Johnson USA
15 HEC Paris France
16 Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business USA
17 CEIBS China
17 Dartmouth College: Tuck USA
19 New York University – Stern USA
20 University of Virginia: Darden USA
21 UCLA Anderson School of Management USA
22 National University of Singapore Business School Singapore
22 University of Cambridge: Judge UK
24 University of Southern California: Marshall USA
25 University of Michigan: Ross USA
26 University of Oxford: Saïd UK
27 International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Switzerland
28 Georgetown University: McDonough USA
29 Esade Business School Spain
30 Shanghai University of Finance and Economics: College of Business China
31 Washington University: Olin USA
32 IE Business School Spain
33 University of Washington: Michael G Foster USA
34 Indian School of Business India
35 HKUST Business School China
36 University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler USA
37 Carnegie Mellon: Tepper USA
38 ESCP Business School France/UK/Germany/Spain/Italy
39 Nanyang Business School, NTU Singapore Singapore
40 Imperial College Business School UK
41 Rice University: Jones USA
42 University of Florida: Warrington USA
43 Fudan University School of Management China
44 Emory University: Goizueta USA
45 Vanderbilt University: Owen USA
46 Alliance Manchester Business School UK
47 University of Texas at Austin: McCombs USA
48 Indiana University: Kelley USA
49 Indian Institute of Management Bangalore India
50 Shanghai Jiao Tong University: Antai China
51 HKU Business School Hong Kong
52 University of Rochester: Simon Business School USA
53 Ohio State University: Fisher USA
54 Warwick Business School UK
55 University of California at Irvine: Merage USA
56 Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad India
57 CUHK Business School Hong Kong
58 Singapore Management University: Lee Kong Chian Singapore
59 Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business USA
60 Pennsylvania State University: Smeal USA
61 Arizona State University: WP Carey USA
62 EDHEC Business School France
63 University of Notre Dame: Mendoza USA
64 George Washington University USA
65 Mannheim Business School Germany
66 Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) UK
67 University of St Gallen Switzerland
68 Indian Institute of Management Calcutta India
69 University of Maryland: Smith USA
70 WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management Germany
71 Boston University Questrom School of Business USA
72 University of Texas at Dallas: Jindal USA
73 ESSEC Business School France
74 Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Netherlands
75 Sungkyunkwan University GSB South Korea


Don’t rely on MBA rankings alone

Best colleges have a tendency to show up in multiple ranking lists such as those provided by Financial Times, US News, QS Global MBA, Bloomberg Businessweek, etc.

In that respect, rankings provide easy and reliable access to shortlist schools for applications.

The idea is simple, if schools and their MBA programs have a habit of consistently featuring well on rankings, the fact that most methodologies involve parameters of success and effectiveness of the program can be used as a badge of credibility.

The caveat is that completely relying on rankings alone without doing your due diligence can lead to misinformation.

– Firstly, you need to be aware of the methodology of the particular ranking list you are referring to. If you are seeking a list for a particular specialty, or you want more weight on certain skills that employers want, how will that ranking address those in evaluating their list?

As in our list here, our methodology is looking for consistent appearance in FT’s rankings and a drop in one year, for whatever reason unrelated to quality, can cause a drop from this ranking list.

– Every ranking sources information from differently. Some rely on alumni feedback while others rely on employer feedback. Some rely on both but have specific weights to define which one is more important to them.

How do they align with what you are looking for? And do you see the same schools showing up in multiple lists regardless of the source to indicate an overall good reputation?

For instance, the lack of elite names from FT rankings in 2021, or Wharton’s exclusion in 2023, are not due to their sudden fall from grace in those years.

FT’s 2021 ranking omitted a good number of typically popular schools for a lack of alumni survey participation during the Covid Pandemic.

Many top b-schools, including M7 business schools, boycotted rankings in response to the job disruption during the pandemic.

That is the reason stalwart names like Wharton, HBS, Stanford, etc. that are usual fixtures as best schools in business education, didn’t participate and hence didn’t appear in the 2021 FT MBA rankings.

Ranking methodologies rely on surveys. In FT’s case, the lack of sufficient alumni responses, could be caused by reasons not necessarily related to quality of MBA education.

– Also, how can you ensure a 100% that schools themselves re not resorting to tactics to inflate their reputation?

Read How important are MBA Rankings?

If you are using rankings to sort your best choice for MBA, you should understand what makes them feature in the list.

And whatever school you choose, whether they rank high or not, you should definitely research them, drilling down to the factors that align with your interests (Read How to research business school and MBA programs?).

MBA education should encompass a variety of aspects that help train future leaders. Beyond career and salary growth, it should transform students to become problem solvers, creative thinkers, communicators, and confident managers with hard and soft skills to match.

And most of all the best fit MBA college, that may or may not feature among the toppers, will help position your needs in the program, regardless of the rank.

Find out which one matches you and let us help you out with professional queries, if you have any on this email ID.
info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Check these out for further reading.

MBA Programs with the best Return on Investment
Best MBA in USA
Best Business Schools in Europe
– Best MBA in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Germany, and Australia

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