November 20, 2012

Booth ranks first for fourth straight year

For the fourth consecutive year, Booth took the number one spot on Bloomberg Businessweek’s list of the best M.B.A. programs in the U.S.

The rankings, which came out last week, are based on a weighted combination of student and employer surveys and a calculated “intellectual capital” rating. The surveys make up the bulk of the overall rating, at 45 percent each, while “intellectual capital” is worth only 10.

Booth placed 11th in the student survey, and fifth in intellectual capital, but was carried to the top by its excellent employer surveys, which placed Booth at the top out of 63 schools.

The student surveys ask graduates to rank various aspects of the school they attended—such as teaching quality, career services, and the abilities of their classmates—on a ten point scale. The responses from the student survey were also used to provide a letter grade to each school for teaching quality, career services, critical thinking, leadership skills, and caliber of classmates. Booth received an A+ for the first three categories, an A for caliber of classmates, and a B for leadership skills.

Employers are asked to rank the top twenty schools from which they have recruited on the quality of their graduates. The schools receive points based on employers’ rankings—20 for first, 19 for second, and so on—which are used to determine each school’s ranking in this category. The enthusiasm of employers for Booth graduates can be seen in the fact that 95 percent of Booth graduates are employed within the first three months after graduation.

Finally, the “intellectual capital” ranking is based on the number of articles each school’s faculty published, adjusted for faculty size, in 20 of the most prestigious business-related academic journals. Schools also receive points if a faculty member’s book was reviewed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or Bloomberg Businessweek.

“At this point, Booth is in a class by itself, especially in the eyes of employers. It is the top school in that part of the ranking,” said Businessweek editor Geoff Gloecker in a question and answer session with the public.

Other business publications, however, are not quite as Booth-friendly. U.S. News has Booth at fourth, tied with Northwestern’s Kellogg, and MIT’s Sloan, while Forbes ranked it third, behind Harvard and Stanford. Forbes’s methodology is based solely on statistics related to rate of return on the tuition and opportunity cost of an M.B.A. U.S. News has a more complicated system that includes factors such as acceptance rate, GMAT scores, peer assessment (that is, survey of the deans of other schools), and student selectivity, and weights recruiter surveys much lower than does Businessweek.