Kellogg Claims No. 1 Part-Time MBA In Bloomberg Businessweek Ranking

UC-Berkeley's Haas School of Business

UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business

Why are the results so dramatically different? In contrast to Businessweek, U.S. News surveys the deans and directors of those programs and asks them to rank rivals on a five-point scale, with one meaning “marginal” and five reflecting “outstanding.” That poll accounts for half of the weight in its methodology. The magazine also throws in the average GMAT and GRE quantitative and verbal scores of part-time MBA students (15 percent), average undergraduate GPA (5 percent); work experience (15 percent); and the percentage of the business school’s MBA enrollment that is part time (15 percent). And unlike Businessweek, U.S. News is willing to acknowledge ties when the underlying index scores that determine numerical rank are the same.

Businessweek is basing its results solely on two surveys of students and alumni. While those results are helpful, they are also often compromised because the respondents know their answers will be used to rank their schools. So you can’t expect them to be brutally honest about their experiences. After all, their answers effectively help to determine the reputation of the brand on their diplomas.

The results of those surveys are at least somewhat suspect. U.S. News‘ No. 1 part-time program at UC-Berkeley is ranked 16th by alumni and fourth by students. The No. 2 program, according to U.S. News, Chicago Booth, ended up ninth in the student survey and third in the alumni poll. No. 3 Kellogg was second among students and ninth among alumni. No. 4 NYU was 57th among alums an 44th among students. And No. 5 UCLA Anderson rated third by students an seventh by alumni.

It’s important to note that the differences among these numerical ranks are very small, so small in fact that in most cases they are not statistically different enough to justify an actual numerical rank. So readers should apply some discount to their value. In fact, given the widespread volatility of the Businessweek ranking over the five times it has been done, a prudent person would have to discount heavily.

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