The Best Business Schools in the U.S., Ranked
U.S. business schools foster tomorrow's corporate leaders. Aspiring entrepreneurs and ambitious professionals alike are drawn to them due to the unrivaled opportunity they offer.
Among them, a select group of institutions stands out. They are revered for their cutting-edge programs, distinguished faculty and impressive track records. The following business schools are the best in the country for their Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programs, as they are where innovation and business acumen converge to shape the leaders of the future.
15. Cornell University (Johnson)
Location: Ithaca, New York
Year founded: 1865
Annual cost: $76,690
Note: Rankings are based on the best business schools from the 2023–2024 U.S. News and World Report.
Bottom Line: Cornell University (Johnson)
There are a wide range of business majors to choose from at Cornell's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Those include accounting, business analytics, consulting, economics, entrepreneurship, health care administration and not-for-profit management — but those are only the tip of the iceberg.
No matter what you choose, the school has a great track record — over 85 percent of graduates find jobs in their chosen field.
14. University of Virginia (Darden)
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Year founded: 1955
Annual cost: $68,974 (in-state, full-time)/$71,112 (out-of-state, full-time)
Bottom Line: University of Virginia (Darden)
Students at the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business Administration learn via the case method. They are assigned in groups of about six (i.e., Learning Teams) their first year.
Students can choose from over three dozen clubs, career-focused or study abroad through Global Business Experiences in far flung locations such as Barcelona and Bahia, Brazil. Over 90 percent of students find jobs in their chosen field after graduating.
11. University of California, Berkeley (Haas) (Tie)
Location: Berkeley, California
Year founded: 1898
Annual cost: $67,424 (in-state, full-time)/$76,433 (out-of-state, full-time)
Bottom Line: University of California, Berkeley (Haas)
The Haas School of Business' proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley allows nearly 80 percent of students to land jobs in tech or finance. However, should they decide to go global (a third of MBA students are international), they'll find business courses with a more international focus. Furthermore, the school's Haas@Work program allows students to take projects at companies both local and worldwide.
A student can achieve an MBA in just 21 months full-time or in three years if they attend part-time. And business professionals can earn an MBA in just 19 months through the school's MBA for Executives program.
11. Duke University (Fuqua) (Tie)
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Year founded: 1969
Annual cost: $71,750
Bottom Line: Duke University (Fuqua)
There's something for everyone at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. It offers courses and programs in everything from accounting and consulting to economics, general management, leadership and marketing, among others.
And nearly 90 percent of full-time graduates are employed.
11. Columbia University (Tie)
Location: New York, New York
Year founded: 1916
Annual cost: $80,472
Bottom Line: Columbia University
Columbia's Business School is one of the world's largest and is the only Ivy League business school in New York City. It offers a variety of programs, including consulting, economics, finance, health care administration, international business, portfolio management and real estate, among others.
With more than 47,000 alumni in 133 countries and about 70 alumni clubs globally, Columbia University has produced over 100 Nobel Prize winners, nearly 30 heads of state, 29 Academy Award winners, nine Supreme Court justices and three U.S. presidents.
10. New York University (Stern)
Location: New York, New York
Year founded: 1900
Annual cost: $82,326
Bottom Line: New York University (Stern)
Stern School of Business students seeking an MBA are grouped in blocks of about 60 before classes even start. They take core courses together, eat lunch together once a week and compete with other blocks in the yearly Block Olympics. When outside of their block, they take electives courses across all schools.
At Stern, students receive an MBA in general management and can specialize in up to three areas as well as complete dual degrees. Students also have a whopping 40 organizations to choose from, and Stern's New York City location allows them access to job opportunities that are too numerous to mention.
8. Yale University (Tie)
Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Year founded: 1976
Annual cost: $79,000
Bottom Line: Yale University
The Yale School of Business is known around the world for its many opportunities for students and the successes of graduates — about 85 percent of which find jobs in their chosen field.
Students have the opportunity for involvement in the International Center for Finance, the Center for Business and the Environment, and the Center for Customer Insights as well as have access to several clubs. All students must complete the school's Leadership Development Program and meet a requirement in global studies, which will involve some time overseas.
8. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Ross) (Tie)
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Year founded: 1924
Annual cost: $68,196 (in-state, full-time)/$73,196 (out-of-state, full-time)
Bottom Line: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Ross)
"Action-based learning" is the name of the game at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business — students learn to identify important business issues, ask questions and become successful leaders.
Ross features several centers and institutes as well as 70 student-run clubs and organizations, including a women’s initiative for female students. Over 91 percent of students are gainfully employed after graduation.
6. Stanford University (Tie)
Location: Stanford, California
Year founded: 1925
Annual cost: $76,950
Bottom Line: Stanford University
With its combination of academic excellence, a faculty consisting of accomplished scholars and seasoned industry pros, extensive industry connections and a culture of innovation, Stanford is a world-renowned business school.
The first year of the two-year MBA program allows students to build their general management knowledge. There is also a global experience requirement that allows students to engage in worldwide issues to understand the complexities of global management. Electives, seminars and courses at other Stanford schools are available to students in the second year.
6. Dartmouth College (Tuck) (Tie)
Location: Hanover, New Hampshire
Year founded: 1900
Annual cost: $77,520
Bottom Line: Dartmouth College (Tuck)
While the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth offers as many options as the bigger business schools on this list, it's much smaller and, therefore, more intimate. Here, students are grouped into small study teams, and hands-on learning begins almost immediately. In the first year, students apply classroom learning to real-life company challenges.
Tuck students are highly sought-after recruits by consulting firms. In 2021, nearly 40 percent of the school's MBA class went into the field and earned median base salaries of $165,000.
5. Harvard University
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Year founded: 1098
Annual cost: $73,440
Bottom Line: Harvard University
One of the most prestigious business schools in the world, Harvard Business School teaches grad students the case method, encouraging them to become problem-solvers in their studies and discussions of real-life business issues. Students can also apply what they've learned in the classroom in the field, which enables them to work in different cities around the world at real firms.
If students wish to supplement their education, there are nearly 100 clubs they can join where they can assume leadership positions. MBA and PhD students can also enroll in joint degree programs with other schools at Harvard.
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Year founded: 1914
Annual cost:$80,400 (tuition only)
Bottom Line: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
This prestigious business school is notoriously hard to get into — out of the 5,798 students who applied in 2017, only 11.5 percent were admitted.
As Sloan's courses are global in nature, students have ample opportunities to study abroad. Sloan's Action Labs allow students to solve real issues for U.S. businesses as well as those in China and India. The business school's student organizations and business clubs are also global.
And that's not all: Sloan also offers a $100,000 Entrepreneurship Competition for student business plans.
3. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Year founded: 1881
Annual cost: $77,500
Bottom Line: University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
Wharton is known for its prestigious faculty, diverse student body, and vast alumni and partner network. Students have a wide range of programs and resources available that teach them how to make critical decisions and handle the stresses of the business world.
The school also has outdoor trips called Ventures. Students can take trips to exotic places like Mount Kilimanjaro and put their leadership skills on display. Those who wish to stay closer to home can flex their muscles at over 150 student organizations and 25 campus research centers.
2. Northwestern University (Kellogg)
Location: Evanston, Illinois
Year founded: 1908
Annual cost: $78,276
Bottom Line: Northwestern University (Kellogg)
The Kellogg School of Management has a variety of graduate degree programs from which to choose. Its courses focus on teamwork and learning through experience. Students have the opportunity to participate in international field research and study abroad.
There are more than a dozen research centers available to students, including the General Motors Research Center for Strategy in Management and the Center for Executive Women, as well as more than 100 student organizations.
1. University of Chicago (Booth)
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Year founded: 1898
Annual cost: $77,841
Bottom Line: University of Chicago (Booth)
For the 2023-2024 season, Booth is the top dog. While there are a number of programs to choose from, its curriculum has just one required course for all students: Leadership Effectiveness and Development. Through teamwork, conflict management, interpersonal communication and presentation, this program lets students assess their leadership skills.
Nine faculty members and alumni of Booth have won the Nobel Prize in economics since 1982, and nearly 96 percent of graduates accept a job offer in the six figures soon after graduation.