Stanford Falls Out Of New EMBA Ranking

StanfordexecedFor the first time in at least five years, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business fell off U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best Executive MBA programs in the U.S.

Why that development is especially surprising is because Stanford does not have an EMBA program. Yet, U.S. News last year ranked the prestige West Coast school No.13th. Stanford does have a one-year, full-time program for experienced managers that was called the Sloan program, but that is not considered an EMBA program. The school’s inclusion has long been a strong reminder to users of the ranking not to take it too seriously.

Unlike U.S. News’ full-time MBA rankings, which take into account such factors as GMAT scores, grade point averages, starting salaries and job placement rates, the EMBA ranking is based entirely upon a poll of deans and MBA directors. Those business school officials The are asked to name and rank EMBA programs, though they generally have no direct knowledge of these programs at other schools. Not surprisingly, they largely select schools on their overall reputations–which is how Stanford always ended up on the list. Obviously, someone at U.S. News is finally paying attention and took the school off the list this year. The magazine said that about 42% of those surveyed responded, though it failed to note how many deans and directors received its survey. (One other note: As a marketing ploy, U.S. News claims this is a 2015 ranking to give it greater shelf life. It is based on 2013 data and released in 2014 which is why we label it a 2014 ranking.)


For at least the fifth consecutive year, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School topped the list of the best, followed by No. 2 University of Chicago’s Booth School and No. 3 Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Otherwise, all Top ten EMBA programs were exactly the same as they were last year with just a few tiny and rather inconsequential movements. Michigan and Berkeley gained a place this year to respectively move into a rank of seventh and ninth. Columbia Business School, one of the major players in the EMBA market, and UCLA’s Anderson School both slipped one notch, respectively falling to fifth and eighth.

This year’s biggest winner was Cornell University’s Executive MBA program which rose six places to finish 13th, up from 19th in 2013. The University of Texas at Austin also rose four places, as did Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s Haub School of Business. Texas is now 13th, while St. Joseph’s is now ranked 15th.

The U.S. News ranking, published earlier this week on March 11, assigned numerical ranks to just 18 schools this year, down from 25 last year. So several schools fell off the list, including the University of Virginia’s Darden School, which had been ranked 12th last year, and MIT Sloan, which was ranked 17th last year by U.S. News. Other disappearing EMBA programs were Seattle University, Xavier University in Cincinnati, Marquette University, and UC-Irvine’s Merage School of Business, which was ranked 25th last year.

Unlike other rankings by such publications as The Financial Times, U.S. News does not rank schools outside the U.S. nor does it rank joint partnership programs run by two or more business schools.

U.S. News’ 2014 Ranking of EMBA Programs in the U.S.

2014 Rank & School YOY Change 2013 2012 2011 2010
   1. UPenn (Wharton) ——– 1 1 1 1
   2. Chicago (Booth) ——– 2 2 2 3
   3. Northwestern (Kellogg) ——– 3 3 3 2
   4. Duke (Fuqua) ——– 4 4 4 4
   5. Columbia Business School -1 4 5 5 5
   6. New York (Stern) ——– 6 7 6 6
   7. Michigan (Ross) +1 8 8 8 8
   8. UCLA (Anderson) -1 7 6 6 9
   9. UC-Berkeley (Haas) +1 10 9 9 7
   9. UNC (Kenan-Flagler) ——– 9 11 10 10
 11. Southern California (Marshall) ——– 11 10 11 12
 12. Washington Univ. (Olin) +2 14 19 NA NA
 13. Cornell (Johnson) +6 19 13 15 20
 13. Texas-Austin (McCombs) +4 17 15 18 14
 15. St. Joseph’s (Haub) +4 19 NA NA NA
 16. Southern Methodist (Cox) -1 15 21 23 14
 17. Emory (Goizueta) -2 15 15 13 11
 18. Santa Clara (Leavey) +1 19 15 15 18

Source: U.S. News & World Report 2014 EMBA ranking (called the 2015 ranking by U.S. News)


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