Kellogg Wins Top EMBA Honors

KelloggThe Executive MBA program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management yesterday (Nov. 7) nudged aside the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business to claim the No. 1 spot in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s new EMBA ranking..

After winning the top spot in six consecutive rankings by BusinessWeek over a span of eight years, Kellogg lost it for the first time to rival Chicago in 2011. To snatch the EMBA crown back, Kellogg had to move up two spots from a rank of third two years ago. Chicago then slipped to second place

This year, there were some unusual gains and losses in the top ten Executive MBA programs. Southern Methodist University’s Cox School, for example, jumped four spots to claim third place from seventh last time. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which fell to ninth two years ago, climbed back up to fourth. Columbia Business School, one of the biggest players in the EMBA space, lost four spots to finish sixth.


BusinessWeek ranked 42 EMBA programs in all, from Kellogg at the top to No. 42 Fordham University in New York. The magazine also listed 21 other programs without a numerical rank, labeling the group second-tier. The ranking is the last one reported and managed by a veteran pair of editors at BusinessWeek. Associate Editor Louis Lavelle and Staff Editor Geoff Gloeckler, who both took charge of the business school rankings projects in 2005, left the magazine yesterday (see BusinessWeek’s Core B-School Team Out).

As is often the case, some of the biggest changes occurred farther down the list. Notre Dame’s Mendoza School gained a dozen places to finish 15th this year, up from 27th in 2011. It was the single biggest improvement by any ranked program. Other schools gaining significant ground included IMD, which rose nine places to a rank of 19th, and Pepperdine University, which picked up eight places to finish 23rd.

Several schools rose out of the second-tier status when BusinessWeek last did its ranking to gain a numerical rank: Rutgers University climbed all the way to 26th place, while Boston University landed in the 30th spot.


On the other hand, Washington University’s Olin School fell 11 positions to a rank of 31, down from 20 two years ago, while the Thunderbird School of Global Management also dropped 11 spots to finish 27th from 16th last time. Oddly enough, only a month ago Washington University got the highest possible rank for a standalone EMBA program rated by The Financial Times. With an overall rank of sixth, it was the highest ranked standalone EMBA program on the FT’s list.

Businessweek uses two measures in its methodology to rank EMBA programs: a satisfaction survey of graduating students and a poll of EMBA directors that asks for feedback on which programs they view as the best. The student survey calculation includes three years of data, encompassing the last three ranking cycles (2009, 2011, and 2013). Schools that fail to receive any points in the directors’ poll measure are not ranked. Instead, they are assigned “second tier” designation.

BusinessWeek said nine schools were eliminated from the ranking due to low student response rates. They are the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University at Buffalo, the University of Iowa, Virginia Commonwealth, the University of Colorado at Boulder,Villanova, Kennesaw State, Maastricht School of Management, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

(See following page for the top 25 EMBA programs in the world, according to BusinessWeek)

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