Let’s get down to business!
That is some of the best business programs in the nation (and the world!).
A master’s in business administration (MBA) generally exposes graduate students to advanced-level coursework in topics like accounting, marketing, product development, and leadership.
One of the best features of many of the United States’ best MBA programs is its inclusion in many joint degree offerings.
It is not uncommon for MBA students to simultaneously pursue a JD, healthcare management degree, or cybersecurity degree.
Some of the best MBA programs in the US aspire to meet the demands of fast-evolving industries.
Full-time MBA programs can take up to three years, while degree candidates can alternatively pursue evening or weekend part-time MBAs.
Most programs on this list offer face-to-face instruction, though some MBA options are available online.
If you graduate from one of the top MBA programs in the country, you can expect to learn a very high salary, usually exceeding $100,000 per year.
Companies like Microsoft, J.P. Morgan, and Deloitte are known for hiring graduates from these top-tier schools.
This ranking was created as an aggregate of other ranking lists published by major outlets online.
The sources for those rankings are at the end of this article. Let’s start with our investigation of the ten best MBA programs in the US – we’re willing to strike a deal that one of these schools is an ideal fit for your career aspirations!
10. NYU Stern School of Business (New York, NY)
With nearly 20 business degree programs, NYU offers specialized MBAs like the Andre Koo Tech MBA, which challenges students to deepen their expertise in leadership, accounting, marketing, and strategy.
The technology core engages students in classes like DevOps and Software Engineering, an offering not likely seen in competitor schools’ course descriptions.
MBA students participate in experiential learning opportunities each semester; in the context of the tech MBA, they will innovate and launch their own novel technological solutions for real-world contexts.
From a summer design immersion in NYC to a winter West Coast immersion in Silicon Valley, tech MBA candidates gain invaluable exposure to successful American companies.
Alternatively, the one-year fashion MBA prompts students to examine consumer behavior, build a portfolio in luxury marketing, and anticipate the trends of next-generation fashion. Seasonal immersions take place in Europe.
Overall, full-time MBA graduates earn a median salary of $170,000, which includes a median signing bonus of $35,000.
9. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (Berkeley, CA)
Home to the second-oldest business school in the country, UC Berkeley connects MBA students to Career Management Group advisors, who serve as mentors in candidates’ pending job searches.
Amenities of the CMB include hundreds of on-campus interview opportunities, thousands of web-based job postings, and fun events like alumni mixers, job fairs, and career panels.
In the full-time MBA program, students mix electives with program requirements.
In the first year of study, they might enroll in courses like Data Decisions, which aims to strengthen their statistical analytical skills, and Leading People, which introduces various strategies for motivating and influencing clients, employees, and target consumers.
Already working in the business world and looking to learn new skills or achieve a higher leadership role?
The evening and weekend MBA options may be ideal for your schedule. Cohorts of 70 students earn their MBA in as little as 2.5 years, though they can take up to five.
8. Yale School of Management (New Haven, CT)
Students enrolled in Yale’s prestigious two-year MBA program spend the first year immersed in core classes and the second year delving into electives tailored to their specific interests.
In the first year, for example, students will learn accounting basics, bone up on probability modeling, and role-play complex negotiation skills.
The ‘Raw’ Case Approach is a cornerstone of the Yale SOM curriculum.
Such cases, like the SELCO case, prompt students to examine a real-life business dilemma, meet with stakeholders, evaluate products and services, and perform other tasks in order to propose solutions.
Another unique initiative – the Silver Scholar Program – positions students in full-time work practicums where they will gain invaluable business acumen.
They spend their first year building foundational skills before entering the work year, then returning to campus for the culminating activities of the MBA.
7. MIT Sloan School of Management (Cambridge, MA)
If you think MIT’s reputation is founded on its technology programs alone, think again!
The Sloan School of Management enrolls nearly 1,300 students across 11 degree and non-degree programs for aspiring and proven business leaders and everyone in between.
Alumni have founded companies like HubSpot, Zipcar, and E*Trade, to name a few; additionally, various Fortune 500 companies have offices only minutes from campus, which sets students up to secure one-of-a-kind internships.
One perk for international students, in particular, is the chance to extend their studies by two years after graduating.
During the MIT Sloan Intensive Period, MBA candidates pause their course sequence to participate in hands-on activities like ethics workshops and leadership challenges for an inclusive world. Independent Activities Period (IAP) takes four weeks in January, wherein MIT MBA candidates can pursue special interests outside their degree program.
6. Columbia Business School (New York, NY)
Students from more than 123 countries gravitate to the Columbia Business School, which centers its curriculum on current topics like 21st-century finance, sustainability, and digital transformation.
More than 725 alumni start-ups (like Beyond Meat) originated in the halls of Columbia, and 95% of the school’s MBA graduates secure employment within three months of concluding their degrees.
Columbia’s emphasis on technology exposes students to AI and machine learning, as well as different coding languages.
The Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing challenges students to determine how to best (carefully) capitalize on emerging blockchain and cryptocurrency trends.
From board rooms and mail rooms to trading floors and retail spaces, Columbia MBA candidates gain experience working in various business settings in New York, a major hub for investment banking, entertainment, and tourism.
With 30-70 students per cohort in the executive MBA program, Columbia degree candidates can expect to engage in complex discussions driven by diverse perspectives.
5. University of Chicago Booth School of Business (Chicago, IL)
Nearly 1,200 students are enrolled in the full-time MBA program at the University of Chicago, while slightly more participate in the evening and weekend part-time MBA options.
The Booth School of Business distinguishes itself from its competitors via dynamic joint degree programs, like the combined MBA and MPP (master’s in public policy).
In this sequence, U of Chicago graduate students will emerge from the program armed with the skills to lead large-scale government bureaus, non-profit organizations, and consulting firms. Coursework includes topics in analytical politics, advanced statistics, and the principles of microeconomics.
After graduating with an MBA from the University of Chicago, students gain lucrative positions in companies like Amazon.com, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey & Company, Inc. (which hired 22, 53, and 61 students in the most recent graduating cohort, respectively!).
After three months post-graduation, 96.8% of MBA degree-holders had received a job offer, with the majority of graduates entering consulting, investment banking, and private equity industries.
4. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (Evanston, IL)
Not too far from Chicago, Northwestern offers a competitive MBA. Degree candidates benefit from a comprehensive feedback process tailored to help them strengthen their areas of needed improvement.
A brand new evaluation helps them understand factors that could derail their careers. Coaching support and mentorship is central to this degree program.
Over 250 Northwestern master’s candidates choose to venture into full-time exchange programs in one of 20 countries, making Northwestern’s exchange programs some of the largest among its competitors.
For those seeking shorter-term opportunities, evening and weekend exchange programs are available, and more than 60 part-time students take part in them annually.
Flexibility is the name of the game at Kellogg. Not only can students pursue a one- or two-year MBA, but they can also engage in the MBAi Program, a joint degree merging studies in engineering and business administration.
Graduates of this course sequence typically go on to hold top leadership positions in industries focused on robotics and machine learning.
3. Stanford Graduate School of Business (Stanford, CA)
Moving back to the West Coast, Stanford’s GSB boasts proximity to Silicon Valley, one of the strongest economies in the nation and, arguably, the world.
MBA students can anticipate intimate class environments, abundant small-group projects, and individualized career coaching. We’ve mentioned dual degrees previously, but at no other school on this list do more students enroll in them (at Stanford, one out of every six students go for dual degrees!).
Stanford’s emphasis on experiential learning places students in Action Learning Program (ALP) courses, where they collaborate to resolve mock crises in different contexts.
For example, the Public Policy Lab focuses on homelessness in California and challenges students to research the problem in order to make targeted recommendations to California lawmakers.
In the Real-Time Analysis & Investment Lab, degree candidates move across 24 workstations set up to replicate a trading floor (preparing them for fast-paced careers in investment banking).
2. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Welcome to the first business school in the world.
Graduates of this illustrious institution earn a starting salary between $130,000 and $165,000, making the tuition investment worthwhile!
Many MBA graduates – close to 15%, to be exact – accept positions outside the United States immediately after graduating.
The full-time MBA at Wharton lasts 20 months, which includes a 3.5-month summer internship if desired. Degree candidates can customize their course of study from 18 majors, and almost 40% choose to double-major.
Options include the Wharton + School of Advanced International Studies Dual Degree, a three-year MA/MBA dual degree program offered in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University.
Students commence the program by enrolling in fixed core courses, such as Leadership: Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership.
In this interactive course, MBA students participate in a collaborative simulation designed to help them build their individual leadership brands.
On the other hand, flexible core classes allow students to specialize in an area of interest, like corporate finance or legal studies.
1. Harvard Business School (Cambridge, MA)
730+ students from more than 60 countries enroll in Harvard’s elite Business School each year, spreading across the MBA, executive education, and online business programs.
The HBS curriculum is predicated upon a case-based approach, wherein students act as decision-makers in mock business contexts.
Additionally, MBA candidates at Harvard can expect to engage in multimedia simulations and other FIELD projects.
FIELD – or Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development – challenges year one MBA students to link up with a global partner company in a one-week immersion, where they meet with company executives and their consumers.
They literally sit in the room where big decisions are made, including hiring, policy, and new product discussions.
Entrepreneurship is unsurprisingly normal at Harvard, with more than half of graduates developing at least one venture.
HBS boasts the highest number of companies founded by female graduates and the most capital raised by females compared to its peer institutions.
This ranking was made as an aggregate of other lists published by major outlets. Here are the sources used for our ranking: