Sign Up For Your Free MBA Assessment Today!

Get Admitted

The Economist’s 2016 MBA Rankings

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

Move over, Harvard and Stanford! You’ve got nothing on Chicago, Kellogg and Darden — at least according to the 2016 Economist MBA rankings.

The Economist’s list is known for being the rebel among the major MBA rankings, and this year is no exception. For 2016, the top ten schools are:

1. University of Chicago Booth School of Business

2. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

3. University of Virginia Darden School of Business

4. Harvard Business School

5. Stanford University Graduate School of Business

6. Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

7. University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business

8. University of Navarra IESE Business School

9. HEC Paris

10. The University of Queensland Business School

The Economist’s 2016 MBA Rankings

You might notice some of the usual suspects missing from the top ten. For example, to find London Business School, which Financial Times put third in their 2016 MBA rankings, you’ll have to scroll all the way down to number 25.

Related  Kellogg Adds 11 New Courses

There’s a reason the Economist’s MBA ranking is unique. The methodology used emphasizes direct feedback from students and recent alums, which makes things unpredictable. When you survey students about B-school, you never know for sure what response you’ll get.


About 14 percent of a school’s ranking is determined by how students rate everything from their professors to their classmates to their school’s facilities. This approach gets at the heart of what kind of experience students are having, but it can also lead to some surprises.

Related  FT and Bloomberg Release European and International Business School Rankings


Some people are bigger fans of the Economist’s one-of-a-kind approach to ranking business schools than others. You probably won’t hear any complaints from the folks at Booth — they’ve dominated the Economist rankings in recent years, placing first five years in a row!


Other schools are less enthusiastic. This year, IMD Business School tried to opt out of the rankings, refusing to supply data to the Economist. The move came on the heels of the school’s precipitous decline from first place in 2008 to thirty-second place last year.


The Economist decided to rank IMD anyway, saying that “the school is of such renown that the ranking would have been seriously diminished without its inclusion.” And in the kind of plot twist you can only get from the Economist’s rankings, IMD rose nine spots to 23 this year.

Related  Said Joins Global Network for Advanced Management


In the end, we’re left with the same question rankings always bring up. It’s easy enough to put schools in order, but what do the numbers mean? What does it mean that number 10 Queensland beat out number 11 Columbia?


The safest approach is to take each MBA ranking as a way of getting a different perspective on how B-schools stack up against each other. And say what you will, there’s no denying that the Economist’s ranking does give a different perspective!

Related Posts

Shari Hubert Becomes Fuqua’s Head of Admissions Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has announced that Shari Hubert will be the school’s new associate dean of admissions. Hubert joins Fuq...
Forbes Releases 2017 MBA Rankings Forbes’s latest round of MBA rankings is out, with pleasant surprises for IMD and Wharton in particular. Forbes divides their rankings into three ...
Yale SOM Launches Dual Master’s Degree With Four Other Schools Yale School of Management has announced a new dual master’s degree, created in partnership with four other global business schools. Students parti...
HBS Gets $12 Million Toward Scholarships for First-Generation Students Two graduates of Harvard Business School’s MBA class of 1992, Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine, have donated $12.5 million to the school, the largest d...