Tag: rankings

Poets & Quants 2022 MBA ranking puts Olin at #23.

Citing a major overhaul of the WashU Olin MBA and placing Olin’s program among “the most surprising moves up and down the list,” Poets & Quants ranked Olin #23 in its recent list of the top full-time MBA programs in the United States.

The new ranking shows continued momentum for WashU Olin’s program among the MBA ranking publications. Indeed, the Poets & Quants ranking reflects that momentum, as it is a composite of the five most influential lists of MBA programs.

Those include US News, the Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and the Economist, which published its last ranking of MBA programs in 2022. The P&Q ranking was released on December 26.

Olin moved up six spots in the P&Q ranking, again reflecting the program’s strong employment statistics, its faculty research and teaching, its commitment to diversity and entrepreneurship and its focus on global business savvy.

The ranking’s value as a composite shows an overall trend of improvement across the board, moderating the volatility that can sometimes occur in rankings. P&Q cited Olin’s MBA overhaul, which included a focus on global business education and included additional flexibility in coursework and timing as well as the addition of a STEM designation.

Photo of Brookings Hall against a bright blue sky with the Financial Times logo in the top left and the words "2022 EMBA Shanghai: #9" in the lower left.

Buoyed by strong representation from female students, strong international course experience and very strong salaries for graduates, WashU Olin’s Shanghai-based Executive MBA program rose substantially in the Financial Times’ latest ranking of similar programs for 2022.

The ranking, released in October, showed a marked increase in the program’s performance in the FT ranking over the previous two years. In 2021, Olin’s ranking suffered when pandemic-related issues prevented the program from enrolling a class in time. The year before, in 2020, Olin ranked 16, so its rise to the top 10—in the year of its 20th anniversary—was significant.

“Olin’s joint EMBA program in Shanghai with Fudan University has long been one of the gems of our school,” said Anjan Thakor, interim dean at WashU Olin. “I’m thrilled to see the hard work of so many, and the dedication of our students, recognized by the results of this ranking.”

Daniel Elfenbein, Olin professor of organization and strategy and associate dean for the EMBA-Shanghai program, acknowledged the “tremendous challenges for effectively engaging with students” through COVID-19.

“Thanks to the flexibility of our faculty, our students and our Fudan partners—and the incredibly hard work that each of these groups has put in—the EMBA-Shanghai program remains one that we can be tremendously proud of,” Elfenbein said. “These rankings validate that hard work, and they reflect the impact that our program continues to have in global executive education.”

Program on the vanguard

Olin was on the vanguard among business schools when it partnered with Fudan University in 2002 to launch the first-of-its-kind Executive MBA in China, placing American business faculty members in front of Chinese nationals to teach global business principles.

At the time, China was just entering the World Trade Organization, and its economy was the sixth largest in the world. Today, China’s economy is ranked second, and the program counts more than 1,000 students among its graduates.

Among the highlights of the 2022 Financial Times ranking:

  • The incoming class in the joint Shanghai-based program was 42% female, placing Olin 15th among schools.
  • Alumni salaries were strong, averaging $398,893, moving Olin up from 10th to sixth in that dimension of the ranking.
  • In international course experience, Olin rose substantially, from 39th to 22nd.
  • The WashU-Fudan program also showed continued strengths in its ranking for work experience (10th) and its Financial Times research ranking (eighth).

“The fact that our program continues to soar is a testament to the commitment and passion of everyone involved—students, staff and faculty,” said Markus Baer, professor of organizational behavior and Olin’s vice dean of executive education. “We are excited about the future and what we can accomplish in the years to come.”

One area of opportunity centered in curriculum content hours focused on environment, sustainability and governance issues. Nearly 13% of Olin’s curriculum centers on those issues—similar to previous years—but its ranking in that category fell, indicating an increase in curriculum hours among other schools.

Northwestern University, the China Europe International Business School, Tsinghua University/INSEAD, HEC Paris and ESCP Business School took the top five spots in the 2022 ranking. Rounding out the top 10 were programs including a three-way joint program among HEC Paris, New York University and the London School of Economics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Chicago; WashU Olin; and the University of Navarra.

WashU Olin shot up 17 spots in the latest Bloomberg Businessweek MBA ranking released on September 15. Olin was ranked 21st, largely on the strength of improvements in post-graduate MBA compensation figures and the learning, networking and entrepreneurship dimensions of the survey.

The ranking also recognized Olin’s strength in entrepreneurship, where the school ranked third—a marked increase from its 54th-place ranking for that dimension in 2019 on the heels of three consecutive No. 1 rankings for MBA entrepreneurship by Poets & Quants.

WashU Olin last participated in Bloomberg’s ranking in 2019, before the pandemic. The publication canceled its 2020 ranking because of the pandemic; Olin opted not to participate in 2021. Bloomberg’s “Best B-Schools” ranking is based predominantly on student, alumni and employer surveys.

Those surveys are supplemented by school-provided data on student diversity for the diversity index and employment data used in its compensation index, which also includes alumni salaries. 

WashU Olin showed improvement across the board in the ranking, with particular strength in learning, networking and entrepreneurship. The diversity index is a new component of the ranking this year. Olin ranked 29th in that dimension.

“I’m gratified to see the continued hard work and dedication of Olin’s students, faculty and staff recognized with the improvement in this key ranking,” said Anjan Thakor, Olin’s interim dean. “We don’t chase rankings, but we’re always thrilled when they affirm what we know is great about Olin’s programs.”

Bloomberg’s compensation index factors in median compensation figures for graduating students and alumni and signing bonus data, as well as the percentage of students employed within three months of graduation.

“The experiential learning aspect of the program coupled with a class size which makes it easy to have engagement and forge alliances,” one student said in the survey. Another said, “Learning from some of the best academicians in the country. Diverse and collaborative culture. Strong emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership skills.”

In its surveys of students, recruiters and alumni, Bloomberg asks what was most important to them across a dozen options including “increase my earnings potential,” “build my professional network” and “learn how to start or develop a business.” The publication spells out its methodology here.

The Economist ranked Olin

WashU’s full-time MBA program soared 22 spots to rank 19th in the world, 15th in the United States, in The Economist’s 2022 “Which MBA?” ranking. The program’s impressive showing came on the strength of improvements across all four major categories in the magazine’s methodology.

The publication tallies surveys and other school-provided data across four broad categories: career opportunity, personal development and educational experience, salary and “potential to network.” Olin’s MBA program rose substantially in all four.

The Olin MBA program’s global immersion—a three-continent, 38-day dive into international business for the entire cohort—likely figured into the ranking. One key dimension focuses specifically on educational experience and factors in access to overseas programs. There, Olin rose from 28th to third. The global immersion debuted with the incoming MBA cohort in the summer of 2019.

“This shows the impact of Olin’s strategic plan. I am deeply gratified to see our creative, thoughtful and innovative update to the full-time MBA recognized in this way,” said Olin Dean Mark P. Taylor. “I’m proud of our team’s work to enhance the curriculum, strengthen career services and broaden our global experience.”

Olin’s commitment to diversity

The ranking also hailed Olin’s commitment to diversity, noting a jump of 44 spots to 29th for student and faculty diversity. Meanwhile, The Economist also noted Olin’s strength in career services, notably the diversity of recruiters tapping into Olin’s student body, strong improvement in MBA salary numbers and solid improvement for alumni career services.

Olin’s top 20 appearance in The Economist’s tally arrives only months after the Financial Times’ global MBA ranking placed Olin at 29th in the world and 20th in the United States. That capped a five-year trend in the FT ranking as Olin moved up 39 spots—a trend Poets & Quants noted had singularly distinguished Olin above other schools.

And in another 2022 ranking, Olin’s strength in several similar career metrics pushed its program into the top 30 by US News & World Report, leaping seven spots to 29th.

Brookings Hall with US News logo and #29 ranking in the full-time MBA list.

Drawing on the strength of several key career metrics—along with the demonstrated appeal of its program—WashU Olin’s MBA soared into the top 30 of the US News & World Report ranking for 2023.

Olin’s MBA program leaped seven spots to rank 29th in the magazine’s annual tally, in part thanks to continued improvement in MBA compensation and significant improvement in placement rates for newly minted MBAs.

“I am heartened to see the hard work of our faculty and staff recognized in this new ranking, reflecting the priority we place on career services,” said Olin Dean Mark P. Taylor. “The tightening of our acceptance rate also highlights the value and innovation applicants see in Olin’s unique approach to the MBA experience.”

That appeal shines through in Olin’s selectivity rate, which significantly tightened year-over-year: the program’s acceptance rate fell to 34% from 47%, reflecting broader interest in the program. Those numbers perhaps reflect excitement for Olin’s celebrated three-continent, 38-day global immersion, which introduces its MBA cohort to global business principles in different cultures.

Additionally, enthusiasm for the WashU MBA is bolstered by Poets & Quants’ ranking of MBA entrepreneurship programs, which placed Olin first for three consecutive years.

Meanwhile, the 2023 ranking also showed that Olin’s average starting salary and bonus for new grads rose to $134,336 from $132,261. At the same time, 94.4% of students landed jobs by three months after graduation, in contrast to 72.6% a year earlier. That, Dean Taylor said, reflects carefully planned upgrades to the Weston Career Center begun in 2018 coming into force, along with signs of the global pandemic beginning to wane.

The ranking comes on the heels of more positive ranking news with Olin’s strong showing in the Financial Times’ most recent global MBA ranking. The #29 placement in that ranking caps a five-year trend, with Olin moving up 39 spots—a trend Poets & Quants noted had singularly distinguished Olin above other schools.