Tag: US News

While WashU Olin showed stronger job placement results in its Full-Time MBA program and tightened the selectivity among PMBA students year over year, both programs declined in the latest ranking of graduate business programs by US News & World Report.

Those declines came, in part, in the wake of significant changes in US News‘ methodology for both rankings. Olin’s Full-Time MBA fell from 29th to 37th, tying in that ranking with programs from Penn State and the University of California-Irvine. The PMBA dropped slightly, from 19th to 20th year over year.

In the case of the FTMBA, some of that decline came thanks to changes in the US News methodology, which reduced the weight of a survey-based quality assessment by peer schools and recruiters and increased the weight of employment rates, mean starting salaries and bonuses.

“Across many dimensions of this latest US News MBA ranking, Olin held steady or improved in the raw numbers. That’s good news,” said Gisele Marcus, professor of practice in diversity, equity and inclusion and Olin’s interim co-lead in the graduate programs office. “The overall results of this ranking can serve as another reference point as we gauge where the MBA marketplace is headed. We know what we have to do.”

For example, Olin increased employment rates, starting salaries and bonuses year over year. Still, the heavier weighting for those measures resulted in a decline in that dimension relative to other programs. Meanwhile, Olin’s quality assessment by recruiters and peers stayed steady year over year, but that dimension counted substantially lower in the overall ranking.

Meanwhile, Olin’s PMBA program was able to be more selective, choosing students with higher test scores, better grade-point averages and more work experience than the year before—dimensions, again, that counted for less under the new US News ranking methodology. Olin was also penalized because fewer students submitted graduate admission test scores than the methodology allowed.

Indeed, in its coverage, Poets & Quants referred to US News‘ 2023 ranking as “topsy-turvy,” noting that under the new methodology, b-school powerhouses Stanford and Wharton slipped down the rankings year over year, while Harvard stayed at fifth. The US News changes “caused plenty of wild swings up and down the ranking, particularly for smaller MBA programs with larger numbers of international students,” the site wrote.

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.

Olin’s undergraduate program remains at #14 for the second consecutive year on the U.S. News ranking. The BSBA finance program is ranked #16 and marketing is #21. The undergraduate business school rankings are based solely on the judgments of deans and senior faculty at peer institutions gathered via a survey conducted in the spring.

U.S. News changed its methodology this year by using survey responses from the two most recent years instead of the current year only. In 2015, 37 percent of those surveyed responded. The rankings of the specialty areas such as finance and marketing are based solely on the spring 2015 survey and respondents are asked to nominate the 10 best programs in each business area. For a complete explanation of the undergraduate business programs methodology, click here.

U.S. News also released its survey of Best Colleges. Washington University in St. Louis was ranked #15 in the National University category. For the methodology used in this ranking, click here.

The 2014 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings places Olin among the top undergraduate business schools in the U.S. with significant gains in all categories.

Best Undergraduate Business Programs  #13

Entrepreneurship #15

Finance  #15

Management  #21

Marketing  #16

Washington University ranked #14 out of the 270 National Universities in the country that U.S. News ranked. National Universities are defined as schools that strongly emphasize research and provide a full range of undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. programs.

Significant changes were made to the ranking methodology this year, but there was little movement among the highest-ranked schools. However, after a two-year tie with Harvard University, Princeton University is now the sole No. 1 National University in the country.

With nine highly ranked schools, California has the most top schools in one state and is the only West Coast state that is home to top 50 National Universities. On the East Coast, Massachusetts and New York trail close behind with seven and six universities, respectively. Twenty-eight states do not have a school in the top 50.

Limited rankings data is available on the U.S. News site; full access to rankings is behind a pay wall.

Photo: BSBA Olin Business Council celebrated the undergrad program’s Bloomberg Businessweek #4 ranking in March.

U.S. News & World Report released its graduate school rankings this week and all three of Olin’s MBA programs moved up to secure spots in the top 25.

Here’s how this year’s numbers compare to last year’s ranking:

Program     2014       2013

MBA               21                22

PMBA             16                21

EMBA             14               19

Methodology for computing the rankings differs for each type of program.  The full-time MBA ranking is based on the broadest database while Executive MBA and PMBA are primarily based on surveys of business school deans and directors.


The full-time MBA ranking is weighted in the following manner:

Peer Assessment  25.00%
Mean GMAT Score  16.25%
Recruiter Assessment  15.00%
Employment Rates 3 Months after Graduation 14.00%
Mean Starting Salary and Bonus  14.00%
Mean Undergraduate GPA  7.50%
Employment Rates at Graduation  7.00%
Acceptance Rate  1.25%

Limited rankings information is available on the U.S. News website; complete rankings are available for purchase on the site.