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Minnesota (Carlson) has a very good program- strong IT, good endowment, good access to Midwest to firms etc. Minnesota was in the Near Elite Frontier cluster. As always, these clusters are just a "mindmap" of the general reputation of MBA programs- they should not be taken as sacred texts.
I think UCI merage should be definitely NE, if not TE Theres still few months left till US NEWS releases its 2012 ranking, but FT placed UCI MBA at 27th nationally, above USC @ 31st or something. agree?
I think that Rice should be added to the Near Elite cluster. Here are the school's individual rankings.
FT (U.S. Programs) -- 21 Economist (U.S. Programs) -- 25 Business Week -- 29 U.S. News -- 34 GMATClub Aggregate Ranking -- 23 (Higher than the other Near Elite Schools with the exception of Georgetown)
Compensation Ranking (from 2012 U.S. News Rankings) -- 21 (Higher than the other Near Elite schools with the exception of Georgetown and higher than 2 of the 5 Trans Elite programs)
When this list was created the Near Elite Frontier classification was absolutely correct. However, after the economic turmoil of 2008-2009 the Rice program has showed resiliency and continued to create strong career opportunities for students. The school also had a 32% increase in applications for the class of 2013 after the first two admissions rounds (which ended in January 2011). As many programs in this space have been desperate for applications for the class of 2013 Rice has actually managed to grow its applicant pool which should increase selectivity numbers and further enhance future rankings. As the Energy sector continues to become a more integral component of the global economy, expect the Jones School to continue its ascendancy.
I would put the Jones School up against the other schools on my profile from the quality of students, to the facilities, and to the availability of career opportunities. I was impressed with all of the programs and think that Rice needs to be in a similar cluster.
Which one is better among Georgetown and Notre Dame ?
At the near elite level, the schools are very regional. The jobs and opportunities available are local to the areas in the close proximity of the school. It is unlikely a Georgetown and Notre Dame candidates will be going against each other in recruiting. If you are looking at those two options, you should consider the types of employers/positions that are available from the school, and if the school location is appealing to you.