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while some discussion will invariably follow, i ask that we keep it civil and to the point (i.e. no flaming, trolling, name calling... basically if you see it done on the BW forums, don't do it here )
with that being said, i don't have any ties to any of these (and actually, i will only be applying to one of these, namely SOM). however, i voted for Haas primarily because of its great location to silicon valley, strength and reputation of its technology curriculum, and relatively low tuition (for in state students).
i do think yale has the potential to be the best out of this group, but not for another 5 years or so. from what i've read, the main reason yale is so low in most rankings is because as an MBA program, they are relative newcomers (i believe they've only been offering an MBA for the past 10 years or so; before that a degree in public management was offered). thus, their alumni base is mainly comprised of those working in nonprofits
if yale SOM can successfully rebrand itself (by leveraging all ties , including their prestigious undergrad, med school and above all law school), i think they have a good shot at leading this pack, and possibly moving into the next subcluster as well (sloan/CBS/kellogg) _________________
I think Fuqua is a good up and comer as well. It has a relatively young program, excellent undergrad reputation, good med and law school. It's one of the more globally focused elite programs, with in roads in Asia. With the economic power slowly shifting eastward, I think Fuqua had great potential.
I voted for Tuck but could easily make a good argument for Haas in that list as well. The one I'm most excited for (Darden) has yet to receive a vote but just being mentioned with the rest of those schools is good enough for me. Plus the school itself (campus, community) and the case method are enough to make me choose it over the rest
I know, crazy, I want to go to school in a smaller college town and be subjected to hours upon hours of case preparation. I promise I don't cut myself at night
...also applying to Fuqua and Ross from that last so also have a soft spot for them.
I did a compilation of MBA ranking using the following sources: US News ranking from 2000-2009 (35%) Business Week ranking from 2000-2008 (15%) FT ranking from 2005-2010 (15%) Salary ranking based on US News 1st year, FT 3rd year, and Forbes 5th year (15%) Forbes ranking 2009 (10%) University Prestige ranking (US News & Time-QS weighted) (7.5%) Economist ranking 2009 (2.5%)
And the rank order that emerges is interesting: Dartmouth- 8 (very close to Kellogg/Chicago/Columbia/MIT) UC Berkeley- 10 Duke/Michigan/NYU/Yale- 12 Cornell/Virginia/UCLA- 14 The next school is 18 (Carnegie Mellon)
The weighting I chose was subjective (because US News provides a more widely used and followed rank, I assigned 1/3 of rating); then I tried to give FT, BW, Salary, the same weight while leaving a bit room for Forbes, University Prestige, and Economist (least credible). In addition, I've also weighted the recent ranking heavier than older rank. During the process, I didn't play the weighting to derive the results I personally like, but I can't rule out any sub-conscious influence and agree the ranking IS SUBJECTIVE.
To be more objective, If I simply average US News 2000-2009, BW 2000-2008, and FT 2005-2010 with no weighting in any year and take a simple average of the three main ranking after assigning absolute rank (e.g. The raw 10 year average of US News rank is 1.3 for HBS and 1.8 for Stanford, but the absolute ranking will be 1 and 2, respectively), below is what it looks like for the top 16 (17 as reference to show the gap between 16 and next tier):
2 U Penn 2 Harvard 4 Stanford 5 Chicago 5 Northwestern 6 Columbia 6 MIT 9 U of Michigan 9 Dartmouth 10 Duke 11 NYU 11 UC Berkeley 14 U of Virginia 14 UCLA 14 Yale 14 Cornell 17 Carnegie Mellon
I personally don't like the detailed ranking, but it does cluster the ultra elite (2-6) and elite (9-14) very well.