The Best Traditional MBA Programs Ranked for Students in 2023

The Best Traditional MBA Programs Ranked for Students in 2023

Find the best Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs, perfect for students interested in advancing their careers in accounting, finance, human resources, organizational administration, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • The MBA is the most popular graduate degree due to its versatility and the opportunities it provides for career advancement.

  • The best on campus MBA programs will offer a combination of academic excellence, prestige, and influence.

  • We rank the best MBA programs based on the real-world impact of professors, students and alumni.

When it comes to business schools, reputation can be very important. After all, earning an MBA from an elite institution like Harvard Business School, the Chicago Booth School of Business, or Columbia Business School can carry a lot of weight in both education and the business world. Countless other prestigious institutions like Yale University, Dartmouth College, and New York University are home to top business schools.

But how can you choose the best business school for you?

How MBA Students Can Find The Best Graduate School Degree

Top business schools will typically be highly reputable as well as highly influential. MBA rankings published by sites like U.S. News & World Report place a heavy weight on reputation surveys alongside factors like acceptance rate and graduation rate.

By contrast, Academic Influence measures excellence with a unique metric called Influence. Influence-based MBA rankings spotlight the real-world impact of a school’s students, alumni, and faculty members.

The resulting ranking does reflect some of the same outcomes as the annual U.S. News rankings. For instance, top business schools like Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the Columbia Business School, The Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business, and other highly prestigious business schools rank both for reputation and Influence.

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Why We Rank MBA Programs Based on Influence

The Influence metric is a more objective and transparent way of measuring actual student success. Ranking for Influence is a great starting point as you search for the best business school for you. This is because the real-world influence of your professors, classmates and fellow alumni can translate directly into value business networking opportunities.

This makes Influence a particularly meaningful metric for prospective business students.

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The Best Online MBA Degrees

Many of the best business schools also offer a wide range of online part time MBA programs as well as full time MBA programs online with self-pacing and asynchronous distance learning opportunities. To learn more about your options, check out the best online master’s programs for MBA students.

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50 Best On-Campus MBA Degree Programs

If you prefer the more experiential learning approach that comes with a traditional on-campus business school education, read on for a look at the best business schools for earning your MBA...

  1. #1

    Harvard University

    Cambridge , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    4%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

  2. #2

    Stanford University

    Stanford , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    4%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1495/33

  3. #3

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

  4. #4

    Columbia University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $64K

    Acceptance

    4%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

  5. #5

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    4%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1545/35

  7. #7

    New York University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    49K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1455/32

  8. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1490/34

  9. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1420/32

  10. #10

    Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1470/33

  11. #11

    University of Chicago

    Chicago , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1535/34

  12. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    38K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

  13. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    46K

  14. #15

    Duke University

    Durham , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

  15. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    29%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1340/29

  16. #22

    Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore , MD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    27K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/35

  17. #32

    Syracuse University

    Syracuse , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    22K

    Syracuse University’s Online Degrees

    BPS in Creative Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BPS in Knowledge Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BPS in Cybersecurity Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  18. #36

    Babson College

    Wellesley , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1360/29

  19. #38

    Florida State University

    Tallahassee , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    37%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    41K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1285/29

    Florida State University’s Online Degrees

    BA in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminology
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Safety and Security
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  20. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    73K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/24

    Arizona State University’s Online Degrees

    BA in Applied Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • Project Management
    • Health Sciences
    • Required Credits: 111-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business
    Degree Concentrations
    • Communication
    • Sustainability
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Educational Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business
    • Community Health
    • Family and Human Development
    • Global Studies
    • Health Innovations
    • Personal Health
    • Political Science
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  21. #47

    University of Arizona

    Tucson , AZ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/25

    University of Arizona’s Online Degrees

    BA in Africana Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Administration of Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Care, Health and Society
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Emergency Medical Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Cyber Operations
    Degree Concentrations
    • Engineering
    • Defense & Forensics
    • and Cyber Law & Policy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Early Childhood
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies in Economy and Industry
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies, in Arts, Media and Entertainment
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies in Global and Intercultural Understanding
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Global Media
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Government and Public Service
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Human Rights Practice
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Literacy, Learning and Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Information Science and ESociety
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Law
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Regional Commerce
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Intelligence and Information Operations
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Philosophy: Ethics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Biology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nutritional Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Spanish
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies in Sports and Society
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sustainable Built Environments
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies in Social Behavior and Human Understanding
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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What to Look for in the Top Business Schools

Before choosing a school of business for your MBA, there are few factors you’ll need to consider:

Accreditation

Business school accreditation is extremely important when it comes to choosing your MBA program. Accreditation provides assurances that you are getting a quality education, receiving current course material, and gaining access to qualified faculty members. Moreover, only graduate students earning MBAs from business schools with accreditation from Department of Education-recognized accreditors will be eligible for financial aid.

Reputation

Depending on your career goals, the reputation of your MBA may be important. Earning an MBA from a highly reputable graduate school can significantly improve your chances for career advancement and a top salary. Many business leaders will carry marquee names like Stanford University and Columbia University on their MBA degrees.

Availability of Online Classes

MBA students with an interest in taking some online courses should find out what programs and courses may be available through distance learning. Working adults pursuing their MBA may also want to determine the availability of both part time MBA programs and full time MBA programs.

Financial Aid

All prospective MBA students should fill out their Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. As an MBA student, you may or may not be eligible for federal financial aid, state-based financial aid, or even assistance directly through the financial aid office at your grad school.

While graduate students are typically not eligible for as many financial aid opportunities as undergraduate students, it’s important to complete your FAFSA. You may be able to offset at least some portion of the cost for your MBA.


How to Get into a Top MBA Program

Test Scores

Many MBA programs will require you to submit GRE Test Scores. These can impact your chances of admission.

Undergraduate Degree

You need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year program. This undergraduate degree can be in any subject. You don’t necessarily have to major in business. to pursue an MBA program.

Undergraduate GPA

The typical graduate level business administration program will include a requirement for a minimum GPA—usually 3.0.

Why Attend an MBA Program Through One of the Best Business Schools in the U.S.

MBA programs are extremely popular for a reason. Business administration is a gateway to countless careers in the business sector. However, many of the top careers are highly competitive. Business leaders will typically earn their master’s degree in order to compete for top roles. Attending a top school of business can significantly improve your chances of ascending to a leadership role and earning executive level pay.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executives are among the best paid professionals in the labor market. Top executives earned a median salary of $98,980 in 2021. While a bachelor’s degree can technically qualify you for many roles in business, most leadership roles are held by those with an advanced business degree.

What’s the difference between an MBA and an Executive MBA?

And if your career goals include business leadership, you might consider a specialized concentration such as the executive MBA program. The executive MBA program will typically be reserved for those who have already attained some level of leadership in their field.

For instance, the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University describes the executive MBA as an excellent fit for “leaders and experienced executives.”

If you are a working professional with an interest in attending business school, the executive MBA may be a good fit for you.

Considering an Online MBA Program?

Before you launch into business school, it’s worth also considering MBA programs that offer fully online master options. Many of the best business schools offer an array of online courses. And if you are working to balance job responsibilities while attending business school, an online MBA program may make it possible to manage everything at one.

As with the traditional MBA, the online MBA program can prepare students for leadership opportunities and specialized roles in their organization. The online master’s program in business administration is a particularly versatile degree. And if you’re considering an executive MBA, many online programs are geared toward graduate students who have already made significant advancements in their career.

Going to online business school or online school of management makes it possible to balance your current workplace responsibilities with your graduate level coursework. In fact, if you don’t think you can handle a full time MBA program with your work schedule and personal responsibilities, many online business schools offer a wide range of part time MBA programs as well as full time MBA programs with self-pacing and asynchronous distance learning opportunities. To learn more about your options, check out the best online master’s programs for MBA students.