Ranking The Best EMBAs In New York Metro

Three of the top ten Executive MBAs in the U.S.—Columbia Business School, NYU’s Stern School of Business, and Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management—are all based in Manhattan.

When it comes to rankings of Executive MBA programs, there are far fewer credible options than for traditional MBA programs. So you’ll have fewer ranking sources with a smaller number of schools that make the cut.

In fact, among the three major rankings–along with our own composite list–only five of the nine EMBA programs in the New York region earn a rank with Columbia Business School clearly in the lead (see table below) and in front of both NYU and Cornell which are tied in second place. Not surprisingly, given the overall Ivy League brand value of Columbia, the school’s Executive MBA has been ranked ahead of every other offering in the market since the very first EMBA ranking published by Businessweek magazine in 1991.

On that list–based on surveys of the latest EMBA graduating classes and business school deans–Columbia was ranked seventh in the nation but first in the New York metro area, ahead of New York University’s Stern School of Business EMBA program which ranked 11th overall. They were the only two players in the New York market ranked on that inaugural list of the top 20 programs. Both schools, by the way, scored well in a survey of deans’ opinions by Businessweek, with Columbia ranked third best in the U.S. and NYU at sixth.

Ranking The Top EMBA Programs In New York

Just five of the nine business schools in the New York metro area are ranked among the best, with Columbia Business School leading the pack of prestige programs, ahead of NYU Stern and Cornell Johnson, whose EMBA programs are tied for second.

NYC Metro Rank P&Q Overall Rank U.S. News Rank FT Rank Economist Rank
1. Columbia Business School 4 4 8 15
2. Cornell (Johnson) 6 12 13 11
2. NYU (Stern) 6 7 10 19
4. Rutgers Business School 24 NR 24 27
5. Fordham (Gabelli) 50 NR NR 36

Notes: For Poets&Quants’ 2019 ranking, the latest U.S. News, Financial Times and The Economist rankings are equally weighted,. The ranks shown for both the Financial Times and The Economist are their U.S. ranks, not the program’s global ranking.


While schools go up and down from one ranking to the next, over time they generally stay surprisingly static. It’s hard for a newcomer to break into the rankings party against entrenched big brands with large alumni and employer networks. So when you look at rankings over a longer period, the best schools tend to remain the best schools. And also remember that only a tiny fraction of MBA programs even get a rank. The vast majority of business schools and their programs have never been ranked by either national or global media.

Of course, rankings only tell you so much. Almost all of them are somewhat flawed and highly limited in what they measure. They also tend to correlate with price so that programs that are ranked higher often cost the most. Afterall, high rankings do create greater demand.

So take all of this with a big pinch of salt and realize that unranked schools can offer you a highly valuable experience at a far more affordable price point. What you sacrifice is brand value, plus the likelihood that the students and alumni aren’t going to come from as many prestige, well-known companies.


Another way to look at rankings is to see how the schools in a region matchup on lists that assess the traditional full-time, two-year MBA programs that tend to get the most attention in the business school world. How a school fares on the traditional MBA lists tends to be a proxy for a school’s overall reputation, anyway. That’s why they are often referred to as the “show” rankings for the long shadow they cast over the school’s entire portfolio of programs and courses. While they don’t measure the EMBA experience, they do give you a strong sense of the school’s standing in a market.

On this basis, you won’t be surprised to learn that Columbia is still at the top of the heap, followed by Cornell, NYU, Rutgers, Fordham, and Baruch. Those are the only schools whose full-time MBA programs gain rankings from the five most influential MBA lists: U.S. News, Forbes, Businessweek, the Financial Times, and The Economist.

What’s more interesting, perhaps, than who makes the list and who doesn’t is the gap among the schools. Columbia’s full-time MBA program is ranked seventh in the U.S. when Poets&Quants’ combines all of the five most credible rankings into a composite list. Cornell is 13th, while NYU is 16th. Rutgers makes the list at a rank of 50th, Fordham places 56th, and Baruch comes in at 70 (see below table).

How The New York Area Schools Rank Based On Their Traditional MBA Programs

School P&Q Rank U.S. News Forbes BW FT Economist
Columbia 7 9 R6 7 5 9
Cornell (Johnson) 13 15 10 10 11 16
NYU (Stern) 16 13 21 13 13 15
Rutgers 50 44 52 61 47 NR
Fordham (Gabelli) 56 63 70 64 NR 52
Baruch (Zicklin) 70 55 NR 83 NR NR

Notes: Ranks for both The Financial Times and The Economist surveys are U.S. only, not the overall global ranks. P&Q composite ranking is not a simple mashup of all the rankings but weighted based on the credibility of each of the five most influential rankings


Connect with our executive MBA partner schools.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.