GyanOne’s guide to MBA Rankings

Ready to finally take the plunge and apply to B school? Deciding that you would like to seek business education at the master’s level is a key step in determining firmly the direction of your future career. At GyanOne, we believe that the next most critical step is determining the right B-school(s) to apply to. Here is our take on how one should approach the B school selection process:


Decide what is best for you: Unfortunately, a lot of people still pick schools as if they were dishes in a restaurant (“I’ll have what everyone’s having”). It is important to realize that B school selection does not subscribe to a ‘one size fits all’ formula. What is appropriate for your friend from college may not be appropriate for you. The two of you may have different achievements, grades, GMAT scores, and just plain preferences. Deciding to apply to schools based on others’ opinions is criminal. The only other people who you should perhaps bank on are admissions consultants (yes, I know we say this tongue in cheek, but it is also true). This is because they are professionals, and can help you identify the right schools based on your profile and preferences. Choosing the right admissions consultant is another matter, altogether, and in our blog we have noted some strategies that you can adopt in this regard.


Don’t look at just one parameter: When looking at a school, evaluate it holistically. Don’t just look at one parameter. Just because a school is ranked in the top five in a region does not mean it will be the best to help you reach your goals. Similarly, just because a school has an average GMAT score that is below your own, do not assume that you are an automatic fit for the school. Schools look at you from multiple perspectives, and you should look at them that way too. Assuming that one (or only a few) parameters on either side are enough for a sound decision is a mistake.


Create a portfolio: Far too many people apply to only a select few schools and then find that they need to wait for another year to get to their second choices. We recommend that you break up your choice of schools into at least three categories: stretch (or schools that you have a low chance of securing an admit with), target (or schools that you have a medium to high chance of getting into), and safe (or schools where you would get in under most circumstances barring a blunder in your application or interview). This will ensure that even if you do not get into the schools that are your first choice, you can still secure an admit with your lower preference schools and then decide. A final caveat here: a ‘safe’ school is not an undesirable school. It is just a school that is less desirable than others. If you are sure that you will not attend a specific institution no matter what, don’t apply there.


Create a schedule: Don’t just apply to any school that is still accepting applications. Look at school deadlines early in the application season, and then decide on when you will need to work on what application. If you are an international applicant, make sure that you apply in time for R1 or R2 applications.

For more tips and suggestions on the parameters to look for in a B-school, or to seek our suggestions on the B-schools that most suit your profile, get in touch with us here.

We list below some B-schools based on the geography they lie in. The list is not in order of prestige or rank.

Top US MBA Rankings

School name
Average undergrad. GPA
Average GMAT score
Average starting salary and bonus
1Stanford University Stanford, CA3.69728$131949
2Harvard University Boston, MA3.67724$131759
#3MIT - Sloan Cambridge, MA3.57718$125905
#3University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Philadelphia, PA3.5718$132579
#5Northwestern University - Kellogg Evanston, IL3.52714$123996
#5University of Chicago - Booth Chicago, IL3.52715$126779
#7Dartmouth College - Tuck Hanover, NH3.5716$128013
#8University of California - Berkeley Haas Berkeley, CA3.63718$120164
#9Columbia University New York, NY3.5712$123486
#10New York University - Stern New York, NY3.42715$121867
#10Yale University New Haven, CT3.52722$113226
#12Duke University - Fuqua Durham, NC3.4697$118923
#13University of Virginia - Darden Charlottesville, VA3.41699$119278
#14UCLA Anderson Los Angeles, CA3.53710$108806
#14University of Michigan - Ann Arbor ( Ross) Ann Arbor, MI3.4704$116201
#16Cornell University - Johnson Ithaca, NY3.25687$112039
#17UT-Austin - McCombs Austin, TX3.43684$108886
#18Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper Pittsburgh, PA3.23694$106066
#19UNC - Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Chapel Hill, NC3.3686$111327
#20Washington University in St. Louis - Olin St. Louis, MO3.48695$90767
#21University of Minnesota - Carlson Minneapolis, MN3.5694$97298
#21USC - Marshall Los Angeles, CA3.3690$101810
#23Emory University - Goizueta Atlanta, GA3.34680$100300
#23Indiana University - Kelley Bloomington, IN3.31664$101206
#25Georgetown University -McDonough Washington, DC3.37684$103676
#26Ohio State University - Fisher Columbus, OH3.4676$91628
#27Arizona State University - Carey Tempe, AZ3.31672$92101
#28Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA3.28678$92282
#28University of California--Davis Davis, CA3.27692$96295
#28University of Wisconsin--Madison Madison, WI3.36675$93332
#28Vanderbilt University - Owen Nashville, TN3.4673$93351
#32Brigham Young University - Marriott Provo, UT3.5675$97207
#32Texas A&M University - Mays College Station, TX3.4646$91246
#34Boston College - Carroll Chestnut Hill, MA3.33662$91282
#34Boston University Boston, MA3.35681$90157
#34Rice University - Jones Houston, TX3.36672$102017
#37University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign Champaign, IL3.4641$95276
#37University of Notre Dame - Mendoza Notre Dame, IN3.33685$96490
#37University of Washington - Foster Seattle, WA3.34681$91593
#40Pennsylvania State University - Smeal University Park, PA3.4650$95480
#40Tulane University - Freeman New Orleans, LA3.23674$78443
#40University of California--Irvine - Merage Irvine, CA3.48673$76981
#40University of Iowa - Tippie Iowa City, IA3.36657$92802
#40University of Texas--Dallas Richardson, TX3.60;668$74540
#45University of Maryland--College Park - Smith College Park, MD3.34670$91269
#45University of Rochester - Simon Rochester, NY3.5677$78083
47University of Florida - Hough Gainesville, FL3.51694$75403
47Wake Forest University - Babcock Winston-Salem, NC3.2653$88390
49Michigan State University - Broad East Lansing, MI3.3636$92359
49Purdue University - Krannert West Lafayette, IN3.36654$89655
51University of Arkansas--Fayetteville - Walton Fayetteville, AR3.33629$64993