BusinessWeek’s 2013 Top Part-Time MBAs

Chicago Booth

Chicago Booth’s downtown location for its part-time MBA program

In the Midwest, the top school is Chicago Booth, which rose nine spots to eighth overall. In the Northeast, the winner was Worcester, which finished 16th overall. 


The biggest winners and losers this year in BusinessWeek’s ranking? The part-time programs that made the most progress were he University of North Carolina-Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics, up 37 places to finish 13th overall, Rollins College’s Crummer Graduate School of Business, up 35 places to finish ninth, and the University of South Florida and Indiana University Southeast, which both shot up 31 spots, to 36th and 42nd, respectively.

On the down side, the biggest drops were felt by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School, down 36 places to 56th, the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, dropping 29 spots to 54th, and Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, which fell 27 places to 47th overall.

BusinessWeek said 17 schools were eliminated from the ranking due to an insufficient student response rate: DePaul, California State University, Northridge, Pacific Lutheran, University of Louisville, Bentley, University of Rochester, St. Louis University, Virginia Commonwealth, Florida International, Clemson, Baruch College, University of Oklahoma, Gonzaga, Mercer, Georgia Regents, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Rutgers-Camden.

So what should applicants make of the BusinessWeek ranking? It’s just another data point, and not a very reliable one. It counts for something, to be sure, but given the less-than-credible results over the four ranking years, you shouldn’t put took much faith in it–no matter how reasonable the methodology might appear below.

BusinessWeek measures student satisfaction by surveying part-time MBA students at participating schools—those who have recently graduated or are nearing graduation— about their academic experience. Academic quality is determined using six equally weighted measures: average GMAT score, average student work experience, the percentage of teachers who are tenured, average class size in core business classes, the number of business electives available to part-timers, and the percentage of students who ultimately complete the program. To gauge post-graduation outcomes, BW determines the percentage of student survey respondents from each school who say their part-time MBA program was “completely” responsible for their having achieved career goals. The student survey contributes 40 percent of the final ranking, with academic quality and post-MBA outcomes contributing 30 percent each.

(See following page for tables showing how the latest BusinessWeek ranking compares to U.S. News)

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