The Economist Full-time MBA Ranking for 2021 was recently published. At a first glance, the Economist MBA ranking will be surprising for anyone. All M7 schools are missing from the list (Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Columbia Business School, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MIT Sloan School of Management).  Additionally, many of the world’s best schools including the M7, INSEAD, London Business Schools, and others did not participate in this MBA ranking.

The elite group of schools snubbed the Economist’s full-time MBA ranking this year as COVID-19 exacerbated a longer-term rankings fatigue felt by many schools. And it’s not just renowned US schools that are missing. 49 of the best business schools in the world were either ineligible or declined to participate this year, and a further 13 decided against surveying their students and alumni.

The broad areas on which programs are assessed are the creation of new career opportunities, personal development opportunities and educational experience, salary enhancement, and networking potential.

Economist surveys thousands of MBA students about why they decided to enroll in a full-time MBA program. They gather responses from current MBA students and a school’s most recent graduating MBA class. This makes up 20% of the final tally. Students rate their school on things like faculty quality, facilities, and career services. The remaining 80% comes from surveying schools on their graduates’ salaries, average GMAT scores, and the number of registered alumni.

As many schools have not participated- European schools have gained from this point. IESE Business School tops the list (climbed 9 places), followed by HEC Paris and then Ross Business School. NYU Stern has earned the 4th position- a jump of good 13 positions from last year. The top 10 schools are split between the US (5 places) and European (5 places) schools.

Europe is represented further in the top 10 by SDA Bocconi School of Management in 6th, EDHEC Business School in 7th, and Switzerland’s IMD International Institute for Management Development in 10th. EDHEC and IMD climbed a whopping 25 places this year.

From the US, Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business climb a huge 18 places to 5th; University of Washington’s Foster School of Business climbs 12 places to 8th, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business rise 22 places to 9th.

As explained, this year, there’s no Harvard, no London Business School, no INSEAD, no Columbia Business School, no Wharton, no Stanford in the Economist’s latest MBA ranking. Add to that the UK’s University of Cambridge Judge Business School and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

As evident from the Economist Ranking, the MBA rankings have been heavily disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, the significance of the rankings has become questionable.

ARINGO MBA Admissions Consulting will continue to create and share a joint ranking table containing all major Full-Time MBA Rankings from the Economist, Financial Times, US News, Business Week, and Forbes. You can find this joint ranking table here:

Here is the list of top 20 schools according to The Economist:

Ranking School Country Rank change from the last ranking:
1 IESE Business School Spain 9
2 HEC Paris France 1
3 Michigan: Ross USA 6
4 NYU: Stern USA 13
5 Scheller College of Business USA 18
6 SDA Bocconi Italy 7
7 EDHEC Business School France 25
8 Washington: Foster USA 12
9 Carnegie Mellon: Tepper USA 22
10 IMD Switzerland 25
11 Carlson USA 28
12 Florida: Warrington USA 18
13 Indiana: Kelley USA 13
14 Georgia: Terry College of Business USA 18
15 Hult USA 23
16 Kenan-Flagler Business School USA 18
17 Warwick Business School UK 7
18 Vanderbilt: Owen USA 11
19 Wisconsin School of Business USA 27
20 ESADE Business School Spain 20