Most Selective Business Schools

  1. MBA Applications Down
    1

    MBA Applications Down

    The gangbuster growth of business school applications during the recession appears to be a thing of the past for two-year full-time MBA programs. This year, application volume was down at 21 of the top 30 full-time MBA programs, according to data collected by Bloomberg Businessweek. The decline in applications is a trend that appears to be accelerating, with eight additional schools reporting declines in application volume this year over 2010. Applications were down at seven of the top 10 business schools, including the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, Harvard Business School, and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

    Stanford saw the biggest dip in application volume of the top 10 schools, with 586 fewer applications this year, an 8 percent decline from 2010. Still, some of the top 30 schools managed to buck the downward trend. Dartmouth University's Tuck School of Business, University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and University of California, Los Angeles' Anderson School of Management, reported substantial increases in applications, with each school receiving more than 200 applications over last year's total.

    The downward spiral in application volume at the top 30 schools is mirrored in the business school world at large: 67 percent of two-year full-time MBA programs surveyed by the Graduate Management Admission Counil (GMAC) reported a decrease in applications this year, up from 47 percent in 2010. A skittish economy, coupled with candidates unwilling to leave their jobs, may be causing some to hold off applying to business school, GMAC noted in its latest survey of application trends. "The impact of economic uncertainty on admissions trends for full-time MBA programs may still be underway," GMAC said in the report.

    The smaller pipeline of MBA applications this year meant that getting into some of the top business schools has become easier. Two-thirds of the top 30 business schools admitted a larger percentage of applicants this year, up from one-third the year before. The University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management had the biggest slip in selectivity of the top 30 schools, admitting nearly 41 percent of students, up from 30 percent in 2010. More typical were the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management, both of which saw selectivity slip five percentage points. Even Stanford, the most selective of the top 30 business schools, became slightly easier to get into, accepting 7 percent of all applicants, up one percentage point from 2010.

    The following list provides a more comprehensive picture of how application trends shook out at each of the top 30 schools, with a breakdown of application volume, selectivity, and yield or the percentage of accepted applicants who ultimately enroll. The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, where applications fell more than 5 percent this year, to 6,442, declined to supply selectivity and yield figures and is not included in this slide show. The schools are listed from least selective to most selective.

    Photograph: MCT via Getty Images

  2. Brigham Young University
    2

    Brigham Young University

    Marriott School of Management

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 401 (476)
    Selectivity : 52 percent (47 percent)
    Yield: 71 percent (71 percent)
  3. University of Minnesota
    3

    University of Minnesota

    Carlson School of Management

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 538 (452)
    Selectivity : 40.9 percent (30 percent)
    Yield: 45 percent (52 percent)
  4. Indiana University
    4

    Indiana University

    Kelley School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 1,179 (1,217)
    Selectivity : 38 percent (42 percent)
    Yield: 48 percent (41 percent)
  5. University of Notre Dame
    5

    University of Notre Dame

    Mendoza College of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 969 (1,086)
    Selectivity : 37 percent (33 percent)
    Yield: 44 percent (46 percent)
  6. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    6

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Kenan-Flagler Business School

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 1,720 (1,764)
    Selectivity : 38 percent (36 percent)
    Yield: 44 percent (45 percent)
  7. Southern Methodist University
    7

    Southern Methodist University

    Cox School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 606 (565)
    Selectivity : 37 percent (35 percent)
    Yield: 48 percent (66 percent)
  8. Michigan State University
    8

    Michigan State University

    Broad Graduate School of Management

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 508 (602)
    Selectivity : 36 percent (29 percent)
    Yield: 50 percent (47 percent)
  9. Emory University
    9

    Emory University

    Goizueta Business School

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 968 (1,037)
    Selectivity : 35 percent (33 percent)
    Yield: 41 percent (39 percent)
  10. University of Michigan
    10

    University of Michigan

    Ross School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 2,929 (2,722)
    Selectivity : 32 percent (25 percent)
    Yield: 53 percent (71 percent)
  11. University of California, Los Angeles
    11

    University of California, Los Angeles

    Anderson School of Management

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 2,727 (2,458)
    Selectivity : 29 percent (29 percent)
    Yield: 48 percent (52 percent)
  12. Texas A&M University
    12

    Texas A&M University

    Mays Business School

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 554 (537)
    Selectivity : 27.4 percent (23 percent)
    Yield: 51.3 percent (51 percent)
  13. Cornell University
    13

    Cornell University

    Johnson Graduate School of Management

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 1,791 (2,001)
    Selectivity : 27 percent (23 percent)
    Yield: 56 percent (59 percent)
  14. University of Southern California
    14

    University of Southern California

    Marshall School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 1,826 (1,983)
    Selectivity : 27 percent (22 percent)
    Yield: 45 percent (50 percent)
  15. University of Virginia
    15

    University of Virginia

    Darden School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 2,269 (2,515)
    Selectivity : 26 percent (26 percent)
    Yield: 54 percent ( 51 percent)
  16. Duke University
    16

    Duke University

    Fuqua School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 3,452 (3,506)
    Selectivity : 26 percent (24 percent)
    Yield: 48 percent (53 percent)
  17. Georgia Institute of Technology
    17

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    College of Management

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 362 (445)
    Selectivity : 26 percent (21 percent)
    Yield: 61 percent (72 percent)
  18. University of Texas, Austin
    18

    University of Texas, Austin

    McCombs School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 2,253 (2,259)
    Selectivity : 25.3 percent (24 percent)
    Yield: 46.1 percent (48 percent)
  19. Rice University
    19

    Rice University

    Jones Graduate School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 715 (544)
    Selectivity : 25 percent (36 percent)
    Yield: 63 percent (56 percent)
  20. Carnegie Mellon University
    20

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Tepper School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 1,544 (1,540)
    Selectivity : 24 percent (27 percent)
    Yield: 53 percent (48 percent)
  21. University of Chicago
    21

    University of Chicago

    Booth School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 4,169 (4,299)
    Selectivity : 22 percent (22 percent)
    Yield: 63 percent (61 percent)
  22. Northwestern University
    22

    Northwestern University

    Kellogg School of Management

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 4,974 (5,270)
    Selectivity : 20 percent (19 percent)
    Yield: NA (NA)
  23. Yale University
    23

    Yale University

    Yale School of Management

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 2,823 (2,963)
    Selectivity : 19 percent (17 percent)
    Yield: 42 percent (45 percent)
  24. Dartmouth University
    24

    Dartmouth University

    Tuck School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 2,744 (2,528)
    Selectivity : 18 percent (20 percent)
    Yield: 54 percent (54 percent)
  25. Columbia University
    25

    Columbia University

    Columbia Business School

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 6,669 (6,666)
    Selectivity : 16 percent (15 percent)
    Yield: NA (NA)
  26. New York University
    26

    New York University

    Stern School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 4,416 (4,501)
    Selectivity : 13.6 percent (13 percent)
    Yield: 55 percent (NA)
  27. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    27

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Sloan School of Management

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 4,490 (4,782)
    Selectivity : 13 percent (13 percent)
    Yield: 67 percent (NA)
  28. University of California, Berkeley
    28

    University of California, Berkeley

    Haas School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 3,444 (3,627)
    Selectivity : 12.2 percent (12 percent)
    Yield: 56.2 percent (58 percent)
  29. Harvard University
    29

    Harvard University

    Harvard Business School

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 9,134 (9,524)
    Selectivity : 12 percent (11 percent)
    Yield: 89 percent (89 percent)
  30. Stanford University
    30

    Stanford University

    Stanford Graduate School of Business

    Admissions Stats 2011 (2010)
    Total Applications: 6,618 (7,204)
    Selectivity : 7 percent (6 percent)
    Yield: NA (NA)