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virginia darden school of business

University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business  February 18, 2020 – 11:08 am
30 Most Impressive University Business School Libraries

Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 4th, 2016
Round 2: January 9th, 2017
Round 3: April 6th, 2017

Notes: NA = Not available, NR = Not ranked. The ranks by the FT and The Economist are global, while the rankings by P&Q, U.S. News, Businessweek, and Forbes are for non-U.S. schools.

Parsing The Rankings: A quick glance at Darden’s rankings will reveal just how scattered and silly the whole business school rankings game has become. The Economist puts UVA’s Darden School at number three in the world, behind only Chicago and Dartmouth Tuck. Rival British publication, The Financial Times, has Darden at a rank of 32nd in the world. Both results lack any credibility, largely due to the severely flawed methodologies followed by those two lists.

Just as troubling, however, is Darden’s 10-place fall in last year’s newly revamped Bloomberg Businessweek ranking. The school plunged to 20th place in 2014 from 10th in 2012 in what had been a biennial ranking (BW changed to an annual ranking effective this year). Of course, nothing of substance changed about the Darden program in the two years between the two rankings. What did change was Businessweek‘s methodology. The magazine overhauled its system of ranking schools and the changes severely biased its results. Among the alternations, BW for the first time allowed alumni recruiters to rank the schools they graduated from. Not surprisingly, schools that had more recruiters who returned to their old campus simply did better in the ranking than those that didn’t. It all led to truly wacky results, even allowing Duke University’s Fuqua School to finish in first place.

We would throw all those results out and look more closely at U.S. News, which ranks schools on a variety of measures, such as GMAT, GPA, acceptance rates, starting pay and employment, that more truly judge the quality of an MBA program. Over the past five years, Darden has done well by U.S. News, moving to 10th in 2015 from 13th in 2011. Of course, the school’s best showing comes from U.S. News and you can’t completely discount the noise from the other surveys.


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