Eighteen years ago, BusinessWeek unveiled its first ranking of MBA programs, under then-Management Editor John A. Byrne. The rankings struck a chord with B-schools, recruiters, and students, whose participation in the biennial survey -- and avid use of it -- turned our rankings into the most prestigious and widely used. Now they serve readers not only in print but on a dynamic channel at BusinessWeek.com, which includes news, information, rankings data, and the Web's liveliest user forum on business education. Since the early 1990s, we've also ranked Executive Education and Executive MBA programs as midcareer education has taken off.
With Executive Editor Byrne once again as our guide, we continue in this tradition with the most comprehensive ranking ever of U.S. undergraduate business programs. The timing couldn't be better: These days, corporate recruiters are increasingly offering jobs to undergrads, and many college programs look more like their MBA counterparts.
It has been a huge effort, to say the least. Associate Editor Louis Lavelle and his team first identified 84 colleges that met stringent quality criteria, then surveyed nearly 100,000 business majors, asking them to rate their programs on everything from curriculum and faculty to facilities and grading policies. To find out how students fared after graduation, the team surveyed 2,000 recruiters and studied starting salaries. We also tapped into our storehouse of data to determine which schools send the most students to top MBA programs. Of the 61 programs in the final cut, the Wharton School came out on top.
Full rankings are available in these pages and at BusinessWeek Online. There you'll also find school profiles, slide shows, Q&As, and interactive tools. And our nationally syndicated TV show, BusinessWeek Weekend, goes on campus to talk with professors and students. We hope you find it all...educational.
Stephen J. Adler, Editor-in-Chief