What does it take to get admitted to the top-ranked business schools in the US according to the Bloomberg Businessweek’s latest ranking?  

Well, let’s find out.

What is the Bloomberg Businessweek ranking?

Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking actually comprises several country rankings which list the best business schools in the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Canada. The business weekly magazine does not compile one single ranking that includes the best schools around the world like the Financial Times and the Economist do.  

The rankings for 2021-22 are based on 19,955 surveys from students, alumni, and recruiters.

Different rankings use different methodologies. When compiling theirs, Bloomberg Businessweek relies heavily on information provided by graduating students, recent alumni, and companies that recruit MBAs. Schools contribute with employment and compensation data. The rankings are based on five indexes that capture key elements of business school education: compensation, learning, networking, entrepreneurship, and now, diversity, which only applies to US schools.

Top schools in the US and their admission requirements

#1. Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford again topped the ranking thanks to its high scores in compensation, networking, and entrepreneurship. The Stanford MBA is arguably the graduate business program most difficult to get into. For 2019-2020, the acceptance rate was 7%, the lowest for any top MBA program in the world.

When it comes to exam requirements, Stanford accepts GMAT or GRE as aptitude tests, while those who need to provide proof of English skills can do so by taking the TOEFL exam or the IELTS. Needless to say, average scores are pretty high. The average GMAT score of the MBA Class of 2022 GMAT was 733, and for TOEFL it was 113.

Applicants are also required to write two personal essays. Currently, the topics are: What matters most to you, and why? and Why Stanford?

Then there is the interview, which precedes the offer of admission. While being invited to an interview is a positive sign, it does not guarantee admission.

Round

Application deadline

Decision by

1

9 September 2021

9 December 2021

2

5 January 2022

31 March 2022

3

12 April 2022

26 May 2022

#2. The Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth College)

Tuck accepts both the GMAT and the GRE, without preferring one test over the other. The GMAT average for the latest admitted class was 724. Non-native English speakers need to submit scores for either the TOEFL, the PTE Academic, or the IELTS to demonstrate English-language proficiency.

If Tuck is your dream school, prepare to write three obligatory essays. Here are the latest topics:

  1. Why are you pursuing an MBA and why Tuck? (300 words)
  2. Tell us who you are. (300 words)
  3. Tuck students are encouraging, collaborative and empathetic, even when it is not convenient or easy. Describe a meaningful experience in which you exemplified one or more of these attributes. (300 words)

If the admissions commission finds your application interesting, you will be invited for an interview. During the interview, applicants will be asked questions grouped around Tuck’s four criteria: smart, accomplished, aware, and encouraging. You can learn more about the questions and how to best prepare for your admissions interview in the school’s blog.

Round

Application deadline

Decision by

1

27 September 2021

9 December 2021

2

3 January 2022

17 March 2022

3

28 March 2022

5 May 2022

Check out: Gain Admission to Bloomberg’s Top Ranked Business Schools in Asia

#3. Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School, a regular feature across top MBA rankings around the world, has kept its 3rd spot in the Bloomberg Businessweek ranking. The school requires GMAT or GRE test results, with the median total score for Class of 2023 being 730. You will need to provide TOEFL, IELTS or Pearson Test of English (PTE) results if English is not your native language.

When it comes to essays, Harvard Business School requires just one. The topic for the Class of 2024 is: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program? There is no word limit. The admission office gives the following advice: “Don't overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don't know your world can understand.”

After the essay has been submitted and reviewed, applicants may be invited to interview. Within 24 hours of the interview, candidates are required to submit a written reflection. The school is quite tight-lipped about what this written reflection is, saying only that detailed instructions will be provided to those applicants who are invited to the interview process.

Round

Application deadline

Decision by

1

8 September 2021

9 December 2021

2

4 January 2022

30 March 2022

2+2*

28 April 2022

 July 2022

*The 2+2 program is a way for current students, either in college or a full-time Master’s degree program, to apply to Harvard Business School on a deferred basis.

 

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