MBA Rankings – The 50 Best MBA Programs in the World

In the world of business, the MBA is king. top 50 mba programs in the world

There are many options available to those who want to take their career to the next level with an MBA degree. This article considers general programs and concentrations that are highly desirable to today’s employers.

General programs provide an overall education in advanced business concepts and are good for an individual who needs a broad basis with some added customization options. The executive MBA (eMBA) is geared towards individuals with at least 5-10 years of work experience who would like to take the next step in their careers.

Featured Top-ranked Programs

1. Liberty University Online MBA
2. Grand Canyon University Online MBA
3. University of North Carolina Online MBA

The Finance concentration is important for those interested in advancing through the ranks of financial advisors and planners within their companies. A Marketing concentration is exactly what it sounds like; it focuses on various marketing strategies and prepares individuals for executive marketing positions and top corporate leadership.

Our rankings also explore the top campus-based and online schools. Many major business schools around the world have begun offering online distance education options so students who need the flexibility of an online program do not have to sacrifice quality or attend less reputable institutions. Some of the lists of top schools for various concentrations may seem redundant at first glance because they include many of the schools from the general lists, but the goal of each section is to fully flesh out the top schools in each of the areas and also to give attention to schools with extremely high quality programs in a specific concentration that have not necessarily made the general top ten lists.

MBA Rankings -The Top 50 Best MBA Programs

As a basis for these rankings, we considered publicly available information about accreditation, the availability of important concentrations, highly-sought awards and rankings, admissions difficulty, and graduate placement rate. See individual section introductions for more specifics, and note the “Spotlight” sections with each of the #1 ranked programs providing further insight into the basis for selection.

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Top Ten Campus Based MBA Programs

These are the top business schools in the U.S. Each of these schools offers a range of the most important concentrations. These schools are extremely high quality and are among the most selective when it comes to admission. If you have the chops, the resume, and the desire to attend one of these titans of business education, there is little reason not to. We evaluated these schools based on the depth and prestige of external rankings and accolades as well as the employment rate for graduates.

1. Harvard University – Harvard Business School

harvard best mba#1 Spotlight: Harvard offers one of the oldest, most prestigious programs in the country and is ever committed to academic excellence and the success of their students. This is why Harvard University has been placed at number one on this list for overall MBA programs.
Summary: Harvard offers the best programs in the world, with a wide variety of options for specialization combined with a top notch program and 83.2% of graduates of the full time program employed before graduation.
MBA Rankings: US News and World Report #1, Forbes #1
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

2. Stanford University – Stanford Graduate School of Business

Summary: Another top university with a wide variety of choices as to specialization, 75.6% of students are already employed upon graduation. High quality, competitive students.
MBA Rankings: #2 US News and World Report, #2 Forbes
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

3. University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School

Summary: One of the most respected business schools in the country, the high quality of education and variety of programs– all highly ranked — combined with 82.1% of students employed before graduation, make this one of the best MBA programs in the world.
MBA Rankings: #3 US News and World Report, #4 Forbes
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

4. University of Chicago – Booth School of Business

Summary: Elite general program, wide variety of specializations, from one of the most respected schools in the country, 82.1% of students employed upon graduation.
MBA Rankings: US News and World Report #4, Forbes #3
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

5. Dartmouth College – Tuck School of Business

Summary: Respected school, elite program, wide variety of choices, small school, 82.8% of students employed before graduation.
MBA Rankings: #6 Forbes, #9 US News and World Report
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

6. Columbia University – Columbia Business School

Summary: Strong program, high return on investment particularly for part time students, 75.3% of students are employed upon graduation.
MBA Rankings: #5 Forbes, #8 US News and World Report
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

7. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

Summary: Wide variety of options, basic MBA can be completed in one year, many joint programs offered including MBA-Ph.D. and MBA-J.D., strong part time programs with high return on investment, 83.8% of students are employed upon graduation.
MBA Rankings: US News and World Report #4, Forbes #7
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

8. Yale University – Yale School of Management

Summary: Very high return on investment, wide variety of elite programs, offers a wide variety of international and national hands on experience, 69.8% of students employed upon graduation.
MBA Rankings: #11 Forbes, #10 US News and world Report.
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

9. University of Virginia – Darden School of Business

Summary: High return on investment, a variety of quality programs, small enrollment, 83.2% of students employed before graduation.
MBA Rankings: #9 Forbes, #13 US News and World Report
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

10. University of California Berkeley – Haas School of Business

Summary: Strong programs, very affordable for in state students, 71.7% of students are employed before graduation.
MBA Rankings: #7 US News and World Report, #13 Forbes
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

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Top Ten Online MBA Programs

It is becoming more and more common for high level business schools to offer online programs to students constrained by time and proximity. Some of these top schools are located in Spain, The United Kingdom and even Australia and offer United States students a global perspective in addition to being some of the best business schools available outside the United States.

Top-ranked Featured MBA Programs
1. Liberty University Online MBA
2. Grand Canyon University Online MBA
3. University of North Carolina Online MBA

The benefit of online business schools is increased flexibility and the ability to attend without relocating to your school of choice. The online format of delivery has been gaining recognition in recent years, and with some of these big players stepping up and offering programs, it seems online programs only stand to gain more and more traction.

1. IE Business School (Spain)

ie business school top mba ranking#1 Spotlight: IE Business school is considered one of the best institutions in all of Europe and the quality of its programs are indisputable. Triple accreditation means that the degree is respected wherever the student may go. This sort of distinguished reputation is rare when pursuing online degrees.
Summary: IE Business school is one of the worldwide leaders in business education and also offers an online MBA program. Located in Spain, the primary language for programs is still English.
MBA Rankings: #5 in Europe, #1 in Spain by the Financial Times, #1 Non-US 1 year Business School by Forbes, #2 Executive MBA in Europe and #7 Worldwide by the Financial times, #1 Executive MBA in Europe and #6 worldwide by Business Week, #1 Distance Learning MBA Worldwide by The Economist.
Accreditation: AACSB (USA), EQUIS (Europe), and AMBA (UK).

2. University of Maryland – Robert H. Smith School of Business

Summary: One of the oldest distance learning MBA programs available, UMUC has been doing this for a long time and it shows. UMUC offers an extremely high quality program, a one year track is also available, flexibility and quality are the focus of this institution.
MBA Rankings: #1 Distance Learning MBA by the Sloan Foundation, #44 Best Business Schools ranking by US News and World Report, #17 Best Part-Time MBA Programs by US News and World Report.
Accreditation: International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

3. Thunderbird School of Global Management

Summary: Offers 19 and 28 month study tracks, takes full advantage of cutting edge distance learning technology including web based classes, interactive chats, and forums providing ample opportunity for interaction with professors and classmates from all over the globe. Two intensive one week international seminars are required, with options to select from many worldwide locations. Emphasis during these week long international seminars is on broadening cultural horizons and gaining hands on international experience.
MBA Rankings: #1 in International Business by Financial Times 2012, #1 in International Business by US News and World Report 2013, #3 Best Executive MBA Programs by The Wall Street Journal 2010.
Accreditation: NCA Regional Accreditation and AACSB International Accreditation.

4. University of Florida – Warrington College of Business Administration

Summary: Focused on a complete, professional and flexible program. Offers a one year option for qualified students. Highly regarded distance learning elements by The Economist. The University of Florida is also a member of both GMAC and EFMD
MBA Rankings: #1 overall by The Economist, #3 program content, #3 quality of fellow students, #1 distance learning elements.
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional Accreditations.

5. Arkansas State University – College of Business

Summary: This is a strong online program geared toward working professionals, committed to offering a high quality MBA degree to those without the time for a full time program or the location for a part time, on campus program. Focus is on maintaining quality and reputation while offering convenience.
MBA Rankings: #63 Best Universities in Southern Region by US News and World Report Overall. Member of US News and World Report Distance Learning Honor Roll, #1 Faculty Credentials and Training, #9 Student Engagement and Accreditation.
Accreditation: AACSB International Accredited, Regionally Accredited.

6. Warwick Business School (United Kingdom)

Summary: Emphasis not only on high quality online education but also on developing a school specific social network to provide students with global networking opportunities. High emphasis on collaboration and faculty involvement in online discussions.
MBA Rankings: #3 Distance Learning MBA by The Economist, #27 Worldwide, #9 Europe and #4 in the UK by The Financial Times.
Accreditation: Rated Excellent by The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. AACSB (USA), EQUIS (Europe), and AMBA (UK) accredited.

7. Clarkson University – School of Business

Summary: This program focuses on providing an alternative learning circumstance for those for whom the traditional setting is not an option. Clarkson pays special attention to their online offerings, providing faculty training in online instruction giving the student an approach to education that is tailored to the medium.
MBA Rankings: Member of the US News and World Report Distance Learning Honor Roll; honor roll rankings include #2 Faculty Credentials and Training, #4 Student Engagement and Accreditation. #97 Overall Ranking among all business schools by US News and World Report. Listed as one of The Princeton Review’s Best 296 Business Schools.
Accreditation: AACSB International Accredited, Regionally Accredited

8. Curtin Graduate School of Business (Australia)

Summary: Another high quality business school this time located in Australia. Highly ranked and regarded, Curtin offers a quality online MBA program focused on flexibility, personal development, and overall quality education experience.
MBA Rankings: #58 Worldwide by The Economist, #4 Distance Learning MBA by The Economist. Ranked #2 Globally in the Student Quality sub-category in the The Economist ranking for Distance Learning MBA.
Accreditation: EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development) CEL (teChnology Enhanced Learning); EFMD-EPAS; AMBA; IAAB; and Regional and National Accreditations in Australia.

9. Gardner-Webb University – Godbold School of Business

Summary: A new online program, Gardner-Webb has received instant recognition from US News and World Report for the high quality of their student services and technology support. All business school lectures are made available for online streaming and the focus of the degree is on providing a flexible and engaging program for distance learning students. They also allow on campus students to enroll in online courses, filling out the online program with local students allowing for more student interaction in the online setting.
MBA Rankings: Member of US News and World Report Distance Learning Honor Roll; #1 Student Services and Technology, #15 Faculty Credentials and Training, #27 Student Engagement and Accreditation, #47 Regional Universities South by US News and World Report.
Accreditation: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), Licensed by the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education.

10. Central Michigan University – College of Business Administration

Summary: Carrying the benefit of the respect accorded to state university graduate programs, Central Michigan is a good online MBA option. The business school is recognized by US News and World Report. Central Michigan’s MBA program also offers a few specializations allowing students to tailor their education to meet specific needs.
MBA Rankings: #3 Student Services and Technology US News & World Report. Also listed (though unranked) on the list of best overall business schools by US News and World Report.
Accreditation: AACSB and Regional accreditations.

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Top 10 MBA in Marketing Programs

The Marketing concentration is a powerful one as it is one of the largest aspects of most businesses. Marketing is an essential part of every business regardless of whether they specialize in retail or commercial business to business sales. Businesses are constantly on the lookout for people with extensive experience and quality education to head up marketing departments and initiatives.

Top-ranked Marketing MBA Programs
1. Liberty University – MBA – Marketing
2. American InterContinental University – MBA – Marketing
3. Ashford University – MBA – Marketing

Strong marketing programs are offered by many of the top schools in the country. However, there are many strong programs on this list from institutions that offer quality programs that are more accessible than many of the major universities.

1. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

kellogg graduate school of management top mba rankings#1 Spotlight: Northwestern University’s Kellogg GSM is consistently rated among the best in the country but the marketing concentration is something special.
Summary: Traditional two year program, accelerated one year program and part time options provide flexibility to the student’s circumstances. Northwestern is consistently rated in the top business schools across concentrations and overall.
MBA Rankings: #1 Business Week, #1 US News and World Report
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

2. University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School

Summary: Consistently listed among the top schools in our nation, The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business school is, not surprisingly, rated highly in its concentrations as well as its overall programs. UPenn provides students with challenge after challenge and the environment is full of some of the most competitive, talented and driven individuals to be found.
MBA Rankings: #2 US News and World Report
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

3. University of Washington – Foster School of Business

Summary: Offers much flexibility in courses of study allowing students to build an MBA distinctly suited to their own needs. The University of Washington has one of the premier MBA programs in the marketing concentration nationwide.
MBA Rankings: #2 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

4. Duke University – Fuqua School of Business

Summary: Offering flexibility of choice, students may earn a weekend MBA designed for working professionals as well as a traditional MBA. Duke is a well regarded university offering top notch programs, faculty and fellow students, fostering an atmosphere of competition and quality collaboration.
MBA Rankings: #3 US News and World Report
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

5. Stanford University – Stanford Graduate School of Business

Summary: Stanford offers many exciting student clubs and initiatives that can complement the strong MBA programs. Experienced managers can earn their MBA in as little as ten months.
MBA Rankings: #4 US News and World Report
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

6. Boston College – Carroll School of Management

Summary: With an that focuses on real world management as much as management theory and strong concentration offerings, Boston College has world class faculty and an excellent marketing concentration.
MBA Rankings: #3 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

7. Babson College

Summary: Students at Babson may choose from one of four tracks to earn their MBA. One year full time, two year full time, evening MBA, and a fast track MBA option that combines on campus and web based learning, a fast program designed for the working professional and aspiring entrepreneur.
MBA Rankings: #4 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

8. Arizona State University – W.P. Carey School of Business

Summary: Arizona State’s marketing program is highly rated. The university also offers an online option for an amazing combination of quality and flexibility.
MBA Rankings: #5 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

9. George Washington University – School of Business

Summary: Offering a plethora of options including an accelerated program, George Washington University utilizes its incredible location in Washington D.C. to provide students with many exciting opportunities.
MBA Rankings: #6 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

10. University of Michigan – Ross School of Business

Summary: Offers part time program for either evenings or weekends in addition to the full time program. While the business college is highly ranked across the board, its marketing program is very well regarded.
MBA Rankings: #5 US News and World Report
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

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Top 10 Executive MBA Programs

The Executive MBA is a perfect option for those with lots of experience in the business world seeking to advance their careers into senior management. For more senior positions, many companies prefer to promote employees from within the company as they understand the company and have an established track record within the organization.

Featured Executive MBA Programs
1. Colorado Technical University – Executive MBA
2. Grand Canyon University – Executive MBA

The eMBA is designed to give students with experience the complementary education and credentials necessary to make them strong candidates for these positions, or to give them the education necessary to leverage a better position with another company.

1. University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School

top 50 mba wharton executive#1 Spotlight: Extremely high ratings across multiple publications make the Executive MBA at the University of Pennsylvania stand out. Highly competitive, motivated and successful students and faculty, combined with cutting edge education and philosophy make this program the best in the world.
Summary: Wharton offers one of the highest quality executive education programs available and they now offer it in two locations, their main Campus in Philadelphia and an alternate campus in San Francisco, bringing their high standards and quality to the west coast.
MBA Rankings: #1 CNN Money, #1 The Wall Street Journal, #1 US News and World Report, #9 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

2. University of Chicago – Booth School of Business

Summary: The University of Chicago offers a high quality Executive MBA program with focuses on finance, marketing, strategy and entrepreneurship. With campuses in Chicago, London and Singapore, the program offers students a chance to gain an international perspective in their 21 month program.
MBA Rankings: #2 CNN Money, #16 The Wall Street Journal, #2 US News and World Report, #1 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

3. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

Summary: Northwestern has two campus locations–Evanston, Illinois and Miami, Florida. Their program emphasizes a global perspective with classes in different locations taught by scholars and researchers that understand the intricacies of various locales.
MBA Rankings: #3 CNN Money, #5 The Wall Street Journal, #3 US News and World Report, #3 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

4. Columbia University – Columbia Business School

Summary: Columbia offers the high quality program expected of a top university combined with an international perspective available through partnership programs with London Business School and The University of Hong Kong. Their student body is competitive and diverse offering a wealth of perspectives.
MBA Rankings: #4 CNN Money, #9 The Wall Street Journal, #5 US News and World Report, #2 Business Week.
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

5. Duke University – Fuqua School of Business

Summary: Another one of the United States’ best universities, it is no surprise that Duke’s eMBA program ranks among the best in the world. Duke offers a strong program with options allowing for short residencies at several worldwide locations. The bulk of the program such as reading and much coursework is available via a distance learning.
MBA Rankings: #4 US News and World Report, #10 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

6. IE Business School

Summary: Located in Spain, IE Business School is one of the most well respected international business schools in the world. They offer online programs as well as campus based programs and their executive MBA is highly respected.
MBA Rankings: #4 Business Week, #24 The Wall Street Journal
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB, EQUIS (Europe), and AMBA (UK)

7. Thunderbird Global School of Management

Summary: Thunderbird’s global emphasis makes it one of the top choices of business schools in the world. Consistently ranked among the highest programs when it comes to an international focus, their EMBA is highly respected. Thunderbird has campuses and partnerships all over the world as well as offering a mostly online program.
MBA Rankings: #3 The Wall Street Journal, #16 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

8. New York University – Stern School of Business

Summary: Offers a 22 month program with classes every other Friday and Saturday. One of the best schools in the country with competitive, experienced students and faculty to learn from.
MBA Rankings: #5 CNN Money, #7 The Wall Street Journal, #7 US News and World Report, #13 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

9. University of Michigan – Ross School of Business

Summary: A high quality program offering a unique distance/residency hybrid learning experience. The short residency periods offer students networking opportunities and a chance to see each other and faculty face to face while still providing a largely distance based program for those that need flexibility.
MBA Rankings: #6 CNN Money, #15 The Wall Street Journal, #8 US News and
World Report, #6 Business Week
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

10. University of California Los Angeles – Anderson School of Management

Summary: The UCLA program is high quality and has a wide focus on cutting edge management and executive strategies as well as a global emphasis.
MBA Rankings: #7 CNN Money, #11 The Wall Street Journal, #6 US News and World Report, #5 Business Week.
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

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Top 10 MBA in Finance Programs

For those looking to make the jump from company CPA to a more advanced financial planning, analyst or management position, the finance concentration offers the competitive edge necessary to advance from the rank and file to management of a company’s financial divisions. The finance concentration also provides opportunities for self-starters to branch into consulting positions whether by freelance consulting or making a jump to a corporate consulting firm.

Top-ranked Finance Programs
1. American InterContinental University – MBA – Finance
2. Grand Canyon University – MBA – Finance
3. University of the Southwest- MBA – Finance

Individuals with the experience and education to analyze financial records are prized by companies as there are many uses for such individuals which can include the valuations of companies prior to mergers or purchases.

1. University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School

top 50 mba wharton executive#1 Spotlight: One of the oldest business schools in the country, Wharton does everything right. Ranked #1 in multiple concentrations by multiple publications, Wharton is simply the best at most of what it does and Finance is one of its best concentrations.
Summary: Consistently one of the top business schools in the country, the University of Pennsylvania finds itself with the top ranked finance program available.
MBA Rankings: #1 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

2. University of Chicago – Booth School of Business

Summary: The University of Chicago is excellent in many facets and its finance program is no exception.
MBA Rankings: #2 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

3. New York University – Stern School of Business

Summary: NYU Stern is a highly respected institution with competitive students and strong finance concentration in its MBA program.
MBA Rankings: #3 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

4. Columbia University – Columbia Business School

Summary: One of the top schools in the country, Columbia does everything well but its finance concentration is one of its highest rated programs.
MBA Rankings: #4 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management

Summary: MIT is more renowned for its engineering and sciences programs but its MBA program is one of the best in the world, its finance concentration one of the strongest concentrations offered.
MBA Rankings: #5 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

6. Stanford University – Stanford Graduate School of Business

Summary: Consistently rated among the best overall MBA programs both in general and its variety of concentrations, the program at Stanford is one of the best finance MBAs available.
MBA Rankings: #6 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

7. Harvard University – Harvard Business School

Summary: Perhaps the most well renowned university in the United States of America, Harvard is highly rated as a rule, offering some of the best programs in the world and its finance concentration upholds this tradition.
MBA Rankings: #7 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

8. University of California Berkeley – Haas School of Business

Summary: The California State universities are among the most well regarded of state universities. The MBA here, particularly the finance concentration, is considered one of the best in the country.
MBA Rankings: #8 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

9. University of California Los Angeles – Anderson School of Management

Summary: Another example of the strength of CA state universities, UCLA provides a strong program comparable to that of Berkeley in the southern portion of the state.
MBA Rankings: #9 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

10. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

Summary: Kellogg is one of the best business schools in the country and its finance program is no exception.
MBA Rankings: #10 US News and World Report Finance
Accreditation: Regional and AACSB

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