Best Business Degree

Updated April 12, 2018
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A business degree can increase your potential earnings and career outlook. The average gross salary for an MBA graduate is $108,000 and attendance at a top school can yield an average salary of $161,000. The schools on this list are some of the best MBA programs in the country. Each has been listed on one or more well-regarded annual school ranking lists by U.S. News and World Report, the Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg/Business Week, and the Economist.

1. Stanford Graduate School of Business

U.S. News & World Report gave Stanford Graduate School of Business first place for top business school in a tie with Harvard University and the University of Chicago. It also placed first in the rankings by the Financial Times as well as the second-best MBA program for women. The faculty is top-notch and includes three Nobel laureates and five recipients of the John Bates Clark Medal in Economics. The MBA program is known for innovation and tailoring the learning path for each student based on their individual needs and goals.

2. Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School is considered one of the top business schools in the world. It was named number one by Business Week for the third year in a row and number one by U.S. News and World Report (tied with Harvard and University of Chicago). The school prides itself on emphasizing its "six tenets" underlying the MBA program: global intelligence, learning in practice, entrepreneurship and innovation, a residential learning community, alumni relationships, and the school's publications and resources. The name Harvard carries prestige and graduates can boast of fellow famous alumni such as Michael Bloomberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and George W. Bush.


3. University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Ranked one of the top schools for MBAs, the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business provides students with programs in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong. The school is the Economist's number two MBA program internationally. The school stresses finding innovative approaches and boasts nine Nobel Prize winners on the faculty. It was the first school with an Executive MBA program.

4. University of Michigan Ross School of Business

The University of Michigan's Ross School of Business moved up on the annual U.S. News list into the top 10, ranking at number seven. Moreover, nine out of 10 of Ross' MBA specializations were listed in the top 10 business school specialty programs.

5. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business

Forbes' number one pick is the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. Graduates of the MBA program receive an average compensation of $225,000 which is more than any other business school. Wharton has programs in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Beijing. Wharton has a history of innovation. Some of its many firsts include the establishment of a research center at a business school, an MBA program with a specialization in health care management, joint MBA/MA programs in international management, and in management and technology and many more. It also is the top business school on Coursera.


6. Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management is a top five school according to Forbes and sixth by Financial Advisor News and U.S. News and World Report. The school reports a 94 percent employment rate for graduates with seven campuses internationally. Their international campus system is the largest network of any business school. The program is described as a "unique cross-disciplinary model" focusing on teaching students to tackle real-world scenarios.

7. London Business School

If you're looking to study abroad, the London Business School ranked number one in European business schools by Financial Times for four years in a row. It is the number two international MBA program on Business Week's rankings. The school has an international study body, and Americans make up 16 percent of the class, the largest group of non-native students.

8. Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business

With the demands of a busy work schedule, many students now seek out online MBA programs. Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business tied for first place with Indiana University at Bloomington for the best online MBA program. Carnegie Mellon's program is a hybrid which includes both online courses, live simulcasts, and immersive on-campus weekends.


9. Indiana University at Bloomington Kelley School of Business

Indiana University at Bloomington's Kelley School of Business online MBA program also ranks as the number one online MBA program for veterans. Students can earn dual degrees with online MS programs in business specializations, as well as study in partnership with business schools in seven other countries including Botswana, China, India, and South Africa.

10. MIT Sloan School of Management

Coming in at fifth place on U.S. News & World Report's list, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management reports almost a quarter of its graduates are company presidents and CEOs, and well-known alumni include former presidential candidate and Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former Citicorp Chairman John Reed. The Financial Times rates Sloan as the number two best MBA program for entrepreneurship and number nine on its MBA program list overall.

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Best Business Degree