Forbes released its biennial business school rankings recently in the form of three lists: best business schools within the United States, best one-year international programs, and best two-year international programs. The Forbes rankings are based solely on business school graduates’ median returns on investment—in this year’s case, those of the Class of 2014, which includes 17,500 alumni representing more than 100 schools.
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business claimed the top spot among U.S. programs for the first time in the history of the Forbes ranking. Meanwhile, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which placed first in the 2017 Forbes ranking, was ranked fifth this year. The rest of the top ten finishers among schools in the United States were largely similar to the previous ranking, with Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University remaining among the top tier with only minimal changes in their rankings. The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan entered the top ten in tenth place this year after its 12th place ranking in 2017. Conversely, the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, was ranked ninth in 2017 but fell to 11th place this year. Among the full list’s top risers was the Marshall School of Business at the University of South California, which was ranked 21st this year, compared with 33rd in 2017.
The Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development, better known as IMD, was ranked first among one-year international programs for the second time in a row. Such international powerhouses as INSEAD (which was ranked first in 2015), the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, the SDA Bocconi School of Management, and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford also ranked within the top five, largely unchanged from the previous ranking. Among two-year international business school programs, London Business School reigned supreme for the sixth time in a row. As with the one-year international program ranking, the rest of the top five finishers on the two-year list were nearly identical to those in the 2017 ranking, featuring such schools as HEC Paris, IESE Business School, CEIBS, and ESADE Business School.