Financial Times Top 100 Mba Programs - 2003 Rankings
Q: Emory improves to #22, UGA stays about the same at #80, but Georgia
Tech drops from #85 in the world to #94 in the world, the lowest
ranked U.S. business school on the list.
A:To provide a little balance here, Georgia Tech is hardly to be condemned for their placement in the Financial Times list. There are 57 US business schools listed in the FT rankings. On the one hand, 57th is not the greatest. OTOH, however, when comparing Georgia Tech to its cohort, which I will define as engineering schools in the USNews top 50 doctoral rankings, it comes out fine. (The consort is MIT, Cal Tech, Lehigh, RPI, Carnegie Mellon, and Case Western Reserve. This is pretty arbitrary, since several other top 50 schools have outstanding engineering programs, but I digress.) Within those seven, Georgia Tech ranks fourth among business schools in predominantly technical or engineering universities, loosely formulated. However, there's a bigger story here. Comparing the FT list to the USNews top 50: - 21 of the 57 schools improved their ranking in FT versus USNews, and four held the same ranking - 27 of the schools ranked within ten places of their placement on the other list (going off the top 123 in USNews). I used the FT ranking, not the placement within the US for this comparison. - Many schools - I didn't try to count this - had highly ranked business schools, but were outside the top fifty in the USNews rankings. And this is the important thing to consider. University Of South Carolina ranked 112th on the US News list, but was 23rd in the US among the FT list. Arizona State is rated third tier by USNews, 42nd in the US by FT. There are more examples. Why is that? Well, one reason is that it's easier to get big donors to bankroll a business school than a philosophy department, for example. I think 34 of the 57 USA schools ranked in the FT list had a colon in the name, most of which had donor names following it. (UC: Irvine would seem to be a typical exception, although I think the Irvine family gave a lot to the university.) Another reason is that business schools are independent, to a great degree, of the undergraduate university. In the case of Thunderbird, there is none. And several schools (like UCLA) don't have undergraduate business departments, but still have top B-schools. So...lists like this are not exactly meaningless, but you do need to keep things in perspective when choosing a B-school. Well, I don't know if the way you are defining your cohort is a particularly meaningful category to consider. Several elite primarily-engineering or primarily-technical schools don't run a business school at all - CalTech being the most important case. Many other schools have tremendously powerful technical/engineering programs but aren't primarily technical/engineering per se. For example, I think we'd all agree that Stanford and Berkeley are not primarily engineering schools, yet I think we also all agree that both have elite engineering programs. Many other schools fall into this category. Of those schools, some have no B-school at all (i.e. Princeton). Others have B-schools that by any measure outclass that of GT. For example, Harvard (yes, Harvard is in the top 20 of engineering PhD programs), Berkeley/Haas, Michigan, UCLA/Anderson , Northwestern/Kellogg, Stanford, Penn/Wharton, Illinois, UT-Austin, Purdue/Krannert, Cornell, Wisconsin, Columbia, and the list goes on. But I think the real proof of the pudding is to think about what kind of mindset you would be if you wanted to attend a B-school. Even if you came from a deep engineering background and you like engineering and you'd therefore prefer to get your MBA from a school that had a deep engineering tradition, I don't think that the fact that the school may not be predominantly engineering is really going to be a consideration. For example, I have trouble conceiving of a person who would not consider, say, Stanford B-school, on the grounds that Stanford does not have enough of an engineering orientation.
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