The Rankings Explained

U.S. News & World Report
Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks full-time and part-time graduate business programs accredited by the AACSB International. According to their web site, full-time programs are ranked according to the following criteria:

  • Program quality assessment by peer academics. Weight = 0.25
  • Program quality assessment by recruiters. Weight = 0.15
  • Mean starting salary and bonus. Weight = 0.14
  • At-graduation job placement rate. Weight = 0.07
  • Job placement rate three months after graduation. Weight = 0.14
  • Mean GMAT of new entrants to full-time program. Weight = 0.1625
  • Mean undergraduate GPA of new entrants to full-time program. Weight = 0.075

The proportion of applicants for admission to the full-time program who were rejected. Weight = 0.0125

Part-time programs are ranked "solely on the basis of nomination by business school deans and MBA program directors. Schools that receive seven or more nominations are ranked, listed in order of the number of nominations received."

BusinessWeek publishes rankings for full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs every two years. Business Week's rankings are based on a combination of student and corporate recruiter surveys (each weighted at 45 percent), and an "intellectual capital component," which measures "school's influence and prominence in the realm of ideas" (weighted at 10 percent).

Wall Street Journal
Each year, the Wall Street Journal ranks business schools that are accredited by the International Association for Management Education, as well as any foreign schools that are recommended by its panel of "business-school deans, business-school associations, recruiters and career-services directors." The rankings are based solely on the opinions of MBA recruiters, who are asked to rate schools on a ten-point scale for each of 27 criteria having to do with the quality of each school and its graduates.

According to their web site, Forbes ranks MBA programs according to their average return on investment "by comparing the cost of attaining an MBA—foregone income and tuition—to the prospect of a bigger salary." Alumni from each of the schools provide pre- and post-MBA salary information that Forbes uses to make these calculations.

Financial Times
Every two years, the Financial Times ranks MBA programs based on over 20 factors, the most heavily weighted of which, at 20 percent each, are the current salaries of each school's graduates and the percentage of salary increase "from the beginning of the MBA to three years after graduation." The remaining factors, each weighted at 1-10 percent, include things like the percentage of women students and faculty, the percentage of international students and faculty, the number of faculty with doctoral degrees, and alumni recommendations.

 The Pros and Cons of Using College Rankings

Learn how popular college rankings can either help or hinder your search for a university.

College rankings can serve as a simple and quick way to find a college or university that meets your search goals and criteria. However, most people will tell you to take such ratings with a grain of salt. Are college rankings really all they are cracked up to be? Continue reading at

College Rankings: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Behind Assessing Higher Education

The All-Mightly Business School Rankings
For many applicants, recruiters, professionals, deans and admissions officers, business school rankings have become an obsession. While the rankings are helpful in some respects, most people take business school rankings far too seriously. The goal of many full-time business school applicants is to attend the best business school they are capable of getting into. But what does it mean to be the "best?" Continue reading at

Ranking MBA Schools & Programs
If you're planning to earn an MBA, then you're likely very analytical, resourceful, and thorough. So you probably are aware that there are many rankings scales for MBA schools and programs. But how much credence should you give any particular ranking? Continue reading at

George Mason University School of Business

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 10 percent of all AACSB accredited business schools, the School of Business is one of only 25 percent of business schools accredited in both business and accounting by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.




Main Campus
School of Business 
Enterprise Hall 
4400 University Drive, MS 1B1
Fairfax, VA 22030

AACSB Accreditation