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Methodology: 2015 Best Business Schools Rankings

Find out how U.S. News ranks graduate business schools.

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All 453 master's programs in business accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International were surveyed in fall 2013 and early 2014. A total of 385 responded, of which 127 provided enough of the data needed to calculate the full-time MBA rankings based on a weighted average of the indicators described below. All 453 schools appear in the online directory.

[See the Best Business Schools rankings.]

Quality assessment (weighted by 0.40)

Peer assessment score (0.25): In fall 2013, business school deans and directors of accredited master's programs in business were asked to rate programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). Those individuals who did not know enough about a school to evaluate it fairly were asked to mark "don't know."

A school's score is the average of all the respondents who rated it. Responses of "don't know" counted neither for nor against a school. About 42 percent of those surveyed responded. Assessment data were collected by Ipsos Public Affairs.

Recruiter assessment score (0.15): In fall 2013, corporate recruiters and company contacts, whose names were supplied to U.S. News by MBA programs previously ranked by U.S. News, were asked to rate all full-time programs on a scale from "marginal" (1) to "outstanding" (5). Those individuals who did not know enough about a school to evaluate it fairly were asked to mark "don't know."

A school's score is the average of all the respondents who rated it. Responses of "don't know" counted neither for nor against a school. About 18 percent of those surveyed responded. For the purpose of calculating this year's rankings, the two most recent years of recruiter survey results were averaged and weighted by 0.15.

Placement success (weighted by 0.35)

Mean starting salary and bonus (0.14): This is the average starting salary and bonus of 2013 graduates of a full-time master's program in business. Salary figures are based on the number of graduates who reported data. The mean signing bonus is weighted by the proportion of those graduates who reported a bonus, because not everyone who reported a base salary figure reported a signing bonus.

Employment rates for full-time master's program in business graduates: This is the employment rate for 2013 graduates of a full-time master's program in business. Those not seeking jobs or for whom no job-seeking information is available are excluded.

If the proportions of graduates for whom no job-seeking information is available and who are not seeking jobs are high, then the information is not used in calculating the rankings. Employment rates at graduation (0.07) and three months after graduation (0.14) are used in the ranking model.

Student selectivity (weighted by 0.25)

Mean GMAT and GRE scores (0.1625): This is the average Graduate Management Admission Test score and average GRE quantitative and verbal scores of full-time MBA students entering in fall 2013. For the second consecutive year, we have used both GMAT and GRE scores in the ranking model for MBA programs that reported both scores. Using the GRE scores allows us to take into account the admissions test scores of the entire entering full-time MBA class.

Scores on the GMAT test range from 200 to 800. Only GMAT scores are shown on the ranking table. These data are only available via a U.S. News Business School Compass subscription.

Mean undergraduate GPA (0.075): This is the average undergraduate grade-point average of those students entering the full-time program in fall 2013.

Acceptance rate (0.0125): This is the percent of applicants to the full-time program in fall 2013 who were accepted.

Overall rank

Data were standardized about their means, and standardized scores were weighted, totaled and rescaled so that the top school received 100; others received their percentage of the top score. In order to be included in the full-time MBA rankings, a full-time MBA program had to have 20 or more of its 2013 full-time MBA graduates who were seeking employment.

For a school to have its employment data considered in the ranking model, at least 50 percent of its 2013 full-time MBA graduates needed to be seeking work. MBA programs that did not meet the employment criteria are listed as Unranked (see next page for an explanation of Unranked).