school campus
‘The Columbia MBA was totally transformative professionally’ © Chris Taggart

Top MBA: Columbia
New York’s Columbia Business School is number one for the first time in the 25-year history of the FT MBA Ranking. Its success is partly due to alumni having the third-highest average weighted salary, at $226,359. The school also climbed five places to 15th in the career progress category, based in part on changes in graduates’ seniority levels. “[The] Columbia MBA was totally transformative professionally, personally, and opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me,” said one of the surveyed alumni. TM

Samuel Curtis Johnson Hall,  School of Management on the campus of Cornell University
© John Greim/Getty Images

Top for alumni network: Cornell: Johnson
Moving up nine places to eighth overall, Cornell: Johnson, in the US, is ranked top for its alumni network. This is a new category in the 2023 ranking, based on alumni’s rating of the network’s effectiveness in various criteria, such as helping to find internships and job opportunities. One graduate praised alumni for assistance in organising site visits to companies in many cities. The school is also ranked third for its careers service, according to surveyed graduates. TM

Darden School of Business

Best for carbon footprint: Virginia: Darden
The 2023 ranking introduced the carbon footprint rank to assess how schools tackle emissions. This new category was topped by Darden School of Business, ranked joint 17th overall. The US school achieved carbon neutrality partly by guaranteeing payments for electricity generated without fossil fuels, allowing the provider to fund a new solar plant that supplies the school. SS

ESCP Business School
© Ed Buziak/Alamy

Gender parity: ESCP Business School
Rising 25 places to 27th overall, France’s ESCP is the only school to achieve gender parity for the most recent MBA class. The school has increased its proportion of female students, as well as the number of women among its full-time faculty and board members. One graduate wrote that: “The programme was well structured [and it was] Interesting to get new ways of thinking and looking at problems.” LC

Robert H. Smith School of Business
© Tony Richards

Joint highest climber: Maryland: Smith
The Robert H Smith School of Business in the US is one of two equal highest climbers, up 28 places to 57th. The school improved its performance in several categories including its careers service, ranked 42. One graduate commended the “amazing” careers support: “I could never have gotten myself that many interviews and they even helped me negotiate my offers to get me an even higher salary.” WKC

A student walking by Goodes Hall
© James Hackland/Alamy

Joint highest climber: Queen’s: Smith
In equal 71st place overall, Canada’s Smith School of Business is the other biggest climber, sharing a rise of 28 places with its US namesake. Alumni praised the teaching of soft skills on the programme, such as conflict resolution and teamwork. One surveyed graduate said: “Owing to its small class size, I believe Queen’s has helped me connect with each and every MBA candidate . . . very well and at a personal level.” WKC

Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts at Amherst
© Yakoniva/Alamy

Highest new entrant: Massachusetts Amherst: Isenberg
Isenberg School of Management is the top new entrant, in 69th place. The US school’s impressive performance is partly due to it being the top MBA for value for money, a calculation that compares current alumni salary with income lost during study. Graduates also have the third-highest salary increase, at 188 per cent, from before the MBA to three years after it. SS


Top for sector diversity: AGSM at UNSW
The Australian school is the highest ranked for student sector diversity, a new category based on the range of industries students worked in at the time of admission. The school also improved its overall position from 98th to joint 95th, and in two other diversity metrics: percentage of international faculty and students. Alumni praised the networking opportunities and simulations on how to run a business. TM

Financial Times Global MBA 2023: the top 25 schools
RankSchoolWeighted salary (US$) *
1Columbia Business School226,359
3Iese Business School181,270
4=Harvard Business School235,019
4=Stanford Graduate School of Business248,669
6SDA Bocconi School of Management192,815
7University of California at Berkeley: Haas213,321
8Cornell University: Johnson193,293
9Northwestern University: Kellogg209,337
10Yale School of Management196,659
11=University of Chicago: Booth218,068
11=Duke University: Fuqua196,754
11=MIT: Sloan207,100
14UCLA Anderson School of Management192,256
15Dartmouth College: Tuck201,451
16London Business School182,254
17=HEC Paris172,393
17=University of Virginia: Darden191,160
19New York University: Stern198,024
21University of Southern California: Marshall181,385
22IE Business School165,391
23=University of Cambridge: Judge173,775
23=Shanghai University of Finance and Economics: College of Business181,274
25National University of Singapore Business School161,506
* Average salary three years after completion, adjusted for international purchasing power parity and variations between sectors

Quick facts

By Sam Stephens

Rank 1: Top class
New York’s Columbia tops the ranking for the first time, with the third highest average weighted alumni salary, at $226,359.

Rank 3: Worldly wise
Graduates of Iese in Barcelona are the most likely in the top 25 to have completed an internship or studied overseas for at least a month.

Rank 4=: High earners
Stanford alumni have the highest average weighted salary three years after completion, at $248,669 — some $10,000 more than the next school.

Rank 4=: Academic experts
Harvard tops the FT research rank for the second year running, partly based on the number of articles by faculty in 50 selected journals.

Rank 6: Best value
Of the top 25 schools, Italy’s SDA Bocconi is best for value for money, due in part to its relatively low tuition costs.

Rank 8: Well connected
The alumni network at Cornell: Johnson is top, based on factors including effectiveness as a source of career opportunities.

Rank 14: Bouncing back
Rising 12 places from its position in 2022, UCLA Anderson, in California, returns to the top 25 for the first time since 2020.

Rank 17=: Sector diversity
The recent class at HEC Paris has students from the widest range of industries of any school in the top 25.

Rank 17=: Carbon neutral
University of Virginia’s Darden tops the inaugural carbon footprint rank for its commitment to achieving net zero emissions.

Rank 22: Gender diversity
The school nearest to male-female parity among its faculty is IE in Madrid, with 49 per cent women.

Rank 23=: Earnings rise
Alumni who studied at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics saw the highest salary rise, at 207 per cent.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
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