One year after standing solo in first place in the U.S. News & World Report business school rankings, Harvard Business School must share the spotlight with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the latest list, which was released yesterday. The 2018 rankings placed the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in third place—last year, the school tied for the second spot with the Stanford Graduate School of Business. This year, Stanford was fourth in a three-way tie with the MIT Sloan School of Management and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Despite the slight movement in positions, the latest top ten list featured the same schools as last year.
New York University’s Stern School of Business climbed to 12th place (tied with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business) after dropping to 20th last year—largely, the school’s dean said at the time, due to a single missing data point. Stern’s yo-yoing in the list demonstrates how small details can make a notable difference in rankings, and how one should always approach these lists with a touch of healthy skepticism. Great MBA programs deserve recognition, but keep in mind that rankings are far from the only defining factor when it comes to choosing the right program for you.