2017 MBA Rankings | Finding the Top MBA School Rankings in the U.S.


Obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is rapidly becoming a valuable asset.

How can you set yourself apart from the competition? Going through MBA ranking systems of the top MBA schools can leave you overwhelmed with options.

Everyone has an opinion on the order of MBA school rankings and which are the best MBA schools in the USA.

In order to make it easy for you to decide which are the best MBA schools, we’ve done some research and come up with three different MBA rankings.

The first set is an MBA ranking based on prestige, as many argue that it’s all in the name; therefore, the best MBA schools are those that are well-known.

Conversely, the second set is an MBA ranking based on which are the best MBA schools for affordability if you’re interested in pursuing your MBA at one of the top MBA schools without getting into debt. Finally, the third set is an MBA ranking focused on online MBA rankings.

We’ve included the yearly tuition for full-time students for each school.

Now let’s break down the MBA rankings for you!

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2017 MBA Rankings

Click on any of the below links to go directly to that specific MBA ranking:


Most Prestigious MBA Ranking

This is probably the most common MBA ranking system you will see, as there is weight in the names of some of these reputable, top MBA schools.

However, there is a great financial cost to these universities, so it’s best to weigh all factors when considering whether to apply solely based on the MBA ranking.

1. Harvard University ($61,225)

In terms of placement on multiple MBA rankings, Harvard University consistently tops the list. This should come as no surprise, as Harvard is almost synonymous with academic excellence.

Graduate students at Harvard Business School receive a hands-on educational experience through the case method.

The case method provides scenarios with true-to-life problems that students must resolve as a team. There are additional field study teams where smaller groups of students assess the success of existing businesses, as well as immersion trips that are packed weeks of studying business in another country over winter breaks.

For these reasons, MBA ranking systems continuously place Harvard as the top MBA school and one of the best MBA schools in the USA.

Being one of the top MBA schools means that a degree from Harvard will open numerous possibilities for management positions and entrepreneurial opportunities. At graduation, 81.0 percent of graduates of the full-time program are employed.

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2. Stanford University ($64,050)

Falling not too far short from Harvard, Stanford’s MBA program is among the top MBA rankings. Departments and concentrations include:

  • Accounting
  • E-commerce
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • General management
  • Manufacturing and technology management
  • Sports business
  • Supply chain management/logistics
  • Quantitative analysis/statistics and operations research
  • Technology

Stanford’s MBA ranking is so high because of the multiple facets of business that its MBA program allows students to pursue. As one of the best MBA schools, Stanford has consistently seen 71.7 percent of graduates find employment at graduation.



3. University of Chicago ($63,980)

One of the top MBA schools, the University of Chicago has a great community of students involved in their MBA program. Beyond the regular program for which they have a high MBA ranking, there is also an executive MBA program.

This is completed in 21 months in Chicago, London, or Hong Kong, if you want to check out the business environment in a global setting over the course of your studies. They state that 86.5 percent of graduates are employed after graduation from the full-time course.

4. University of Pennsylvania ($64,920)

MBA school rankings regularly place the University of Pennsylvania on their list as one of the best MBA schools.

The Wharton School was the first business school in the U.S. and has the largest alumni network in the country. Here, 80.8 percent of graduates find employment after graduation from this top MBA school.

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($65,446)

Although the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is most famous for its science and technology education, it is also one of the best MBA schools for students who wish to study with a more global perspective.

There are many opportunities for students to study abroad. Unique to the school and what makes its MBA ranking well-earned are the Action Labs that allow students to address real-world problems in the U.S., China, and India.

As one of the best MBA schools in the USA with an international focus, MIT also has joint staff and student “Consumption Functions” which celebrate other cultures’ food, music, and dancing. At graduation, 86.1 percent of students have a full-time job offer.

6. Northwestern University ($64,059)

Having such a prestigious MBA ranking is only natural for Northwestern University, as the MBA program is top of the line in terms of research opportunities and student organizations available beyond the MBA program itself.

Students can either pursue a full-time or part-time MBA at Northwestern, one of the best MBA schools in the USA. In fact, 86.3 percent of students who graduate from this top MBA school are employed upon graduation.   

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Most Affordable MBA Ranking

Now, let’s take a look at some of the cheaper options for obtaining your MBA without sacrificing the MBA ranking of your school. These are still some of the best MBA schools in the USA that you can attend in-person.

1. Brigham Young University ($23,940)

If you decide to pursue an MBA at one of the best MBA schools for your investment, Brigham Young is the option for you. Not only is the program easier on your wallet, but the university is respected and ranked number 27 in the U.S. News & World Report MBA ranking for business schools.

2. University of Wisconsin—Madison ($14,476)

Tied with Brigham Young at number 27 in the U.S. News & World Report MBA school rankings, the University of Wisconsin at Madison is also an affordable option with a high MBA ranking. As the University of Wisconsin is one of the top MBA schools, its graduates rank number 9 in most satisfied graduates by Forbes.

3. University of Minnesota—Twin Cities ($36,140)

Also at number 27 on U.S. News & World Report’s MBA rankings, UMinn rightfully earns their place on this list of affordable and respectable institutions to get your MBA. The school is focused on international education and experiential learning.

4. Arizona State University ($23,654)

The school of business at Arizona State is one of the largest business schools in the U.S., but beyond that is also one of the best MBA schools in the USA. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school at number 35 for having one of the top MBA programs.

5. Temple University ($30,375)

Some may be surprised to hear that Temple University has a cost-efficient and well-rounded top MBA program, but this fact would not shock you if you knew that U.S. News & World Report ranked the school at number 41 among top MBA schools. This MBA ranking reflects the positive reputation Temple University has for preparing business leaders and entrepreneurs for success after graduation. 

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Best Online MBA Rankings

Up to this point, we’ve looked at the best MBA schools for in-person attendance. But what if you want to attend one of the top MBA schools from home, whether for personal or career reasons?

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Many top MBA programs taken in an online format can still offer similarly beneficial opportunities to you in terms of opening the door to higher positions of employment. Here are the online MBA rankings that could be good options for you to consider.

1. Temple University ($1,245/credit)

Beyond having a successful MBA ranking as one of the affordable top MBA schools, Temple University also is at the top of online MBA rankings for U.S. schools. This is a great option for those who already have a job to further better themselves at one of the best MBA schools in the USA. Students have access to rigorous content, renowned business department faculty, high-definition video presentations, and web-conferencing technology beyond the weekly live online classes. All of these contribute to making Temple University rise in the online MBA rankings.

2. Indiana University—Bloomington ($1,300/credit)

With the online program at IU-Bloomington, students are able to experience the ultimate flexibility in getting their MBA from one of the top MBA schools. The MBA ranking for the school largely stems from this flexibility, as students are given a window of 2-5 years to complete the program. Online MBA rankings recognize IU-Bloomington as a top MBA program for high-caliber working professionals who wish to work with the prestigious faculty of the school.

3. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill ($1,510/credit)

Online MBA rankings place UNC-Chapel Hill as one of the top MBA online programs. Students not only have the flexibility of taking courses from home; they also work with faculty to develop individual career management plans that tailor to their specific professional goals. The alumni network of dedicated Tar Heels fans is another great resource from attending one of the best MBA schools online.

4. University of Florida ($1,208/credit)

The University of Florida has a high MBA ranking among online programs, as there are quarterly campus visits required that help students stay on track and get the help they need. Students also have access to a career counselor that can advise them in regards to their next career move. This top MBA program is cohort-based, allowing students to enrich and expand their personal network.

5. Arizona State University ($1,102/credit)

Last but not least, Arizona State is another of the best MBA schools that pays off to attend in person or online, according to online MBA rankings. A unique characteristic of the program is that 100 percent of the students are already employed when they enroll. Arizona State is one of the top MBA schools specifically for working professionals. There is an on-campus orientation required, an experience that builds a community of collaboration and communication.

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Conclusion: MBA Rankings

What’s most important about deciding to obtain your MBA is up to you. Do you want to look at the MBA ranking of a school, the cost, or whether it’s a flexible online program? Would it fit your career and life goals to attend full-time, part-time, or online? There are multiple facets to consider, but all of our listed top MBA schools would be good choices.

Hopefully, our MBA rankings gave you a little clarity and will help you get a start to obtaining an MBA degree. The commitment and hard work required of you will be great, and sometimes you may question if it’s really worth it. However, employers will certainly notice your investment of time and energy and recognize your efforts upon completion of a top MBA.

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