The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.
Although MBA applications have historically increased in poor economic conditions, the Graduate Management Admission Council's 2011 survey of graduate business school application trends found that about two thirds of full time, two-year MBA programs saw decreases in application numbers.
According to data from 133 ranked, full-time MBA programs that reported application volume to U.S. News for the fall 2011 entering class, the average number of applicants was 884. Harvard Business School led the pack with 9,134 full-time applications. The school with the fewest full-time applicants was the College of Business Administration at Abilene Christian University, which had 28 full-time applicants.
[Check out the MBA Admissions: Strictly Business blog.]
Among the 10 schools with the most full-time applicants, the average number of applications was 5,414. Eight of the 10 highest ranked schools in the U.S. News Best Business Schools rankings made the top 10 list for full-time applicants. The other two, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, which ranked 9th overall, and the School of Management at Yale University, ranked 10th overall, were among the top 15 schools for greatest number of full-time applicants.
Each of the top 10 schools for full-time applicants saw a decrease in full-time applicants in fall 2011 over fall 2010, with the exception of the Business School at Columbia University, whose application numbers rose from 6,666 in 2010 to 6,669 in 2011.
Schools designated by U.S. News as Unranked were excluded from this list. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for Unranked programs because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked.
Below are the 10 schools with the most full-time applicants for fall 2011:
|Business school (name) (state)||Full-time applications||U.S. News b-school rank|
|Harvard University (MA)||9,134||1|
|Columbia University (NY)||6,669||8|
|Stanford University (CA)||6,618||1|
|University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||6,442||3|
|Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)||5,305||4|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)||4,490||4|
|New York University (Stern)||4,416||11|
|University of Chicago (Booth)||4,169||4|
|Duke University (Fuqua) (NC)||3,452||12|
|University of California—Berkeley (Haas)||3,444||7|
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Business School Compass to find data on acceptance rates and much more.
U.S. News surveyed more than 400 schools for our 2011 survey of business programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Business Schools rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools.