Table: How the Report Cards Get Graded

This was a tough year to graduate from an MBA program. Jobs were scarce, and total pay packages at the Top 30 schools were 12.6% lower than in 2000, slipping to $110,970 from $126,930 two years ago.

The letter grades on the ranking tables that follow are based on graduate and corporate-recruiter surveys from the 70 U.S. schools we surveyed this year and from the 219 companies that answered our questionnaire. New this year is a grade for ethics. Grads rate schools on their emphasis on ethics. Recruiters rate which schools grads demonstrate the best business ethics. We also added a column detailing the percentage of grads at each school who had at least one job offer by graduation and another highlighting months of work experience of a school's students.

The top 20% in each category earned themselves As. The next 25% got Bs, the next 35% got Cs, and the bottom 20% got Ds. Schools with too few responses got an NA.

2002 Rank

School

2000 Rank Corp. Poll Grad. Poll Int. Cap. Annual Tuition* % Accepted

Enrollment***

Median Pay**

Thousands

% Grads w/offer

Avg. Work Exp.

Months

MBAs Graded by Recruiters

Schools Graded by Grads

Women Intl. Min.**** Pre-MBA Post-MBA Ethics Team. Anal. Curric. Ethics
1

NORTHWESTERN (Kellogg) Evanston, Ill.

2 2 1 18 $32,800 13% 31% 32% 19% $60 $119.8 83 60 A A A A A
Grads rave about the close-knit Kellogg culture and the school's all-around responsiveness. Recruiters also rank it among the best
2

CHICAGO Chicago

10 5 3 16 32,956 15 27 34 6 60 119.4 75 51 A A A A A
After bleak results in the past few years, students' high marks helped Chicago climb. Recruiters love grads' financial and analytical skills--as well as global scope
3

HARVARD Boston

3 1 14 6 36,770 10 35 34 22 75 134.6 81 48 A A A A A
Earns top spot with recruiters. Grads complain about an aloof administration but have no knocks for the legendary connections and clubbiness among alums
4

STANFORD Stanford, Calif.

11 7 5 1 33,300 8 38 28 12 80 138.1 81 52 A A A A A
Ascends to No.4, one of the biggest upward movers in the Top 30. Recruiters and students alike praise the school's top-flight focus on teaching
5

PENNSYLVANIA (Wharton) Philadelphia

1 3 12 8 34,946 13 33 39 9 65 124.5 76 70 A A A B A
Drop in student and recruiter satisfaction pushes the perennial powerhouse off its throne. Stratospheric expectations left some grads deflated
6

MIT (Sloan) Cambridge, Mass.

4 8 11 2 32,470 13 25 35 7 65 121.8 82 60 A A A A B
Students applaud the strong faculty and class offerings but note that professors are sometimes unavailable. Recruiters laud grads' tech and analytical savvy
7

COLUMBIA New York

7 4 17 7 32,154 11 35 27 11 60 123.6 73 51 A A A A C
Hit hard by events in NYC, the B-school expanded programs in real estate and social enterprise and maintained Wall Street links, keeping recruiters happy
8

MICHIGAN Ann Arbor

6 6 13 13 32,686 19 28 30 11 58 115.2 66 65 A A A A A
Drops again because of a skid in student ranking. But grads cheer the number and quality of on-campus recruiters, and employers remain hooked on the school
9

DUKE (Fuqua) Durham, N.C.

5 9 9 4 31,350 19 32 34 17 50 113.6 76 60 A A A A B
Grads compliment career counseling and job placement efforts. Teaching in core courses leaves a bit to be desired. Recruiters say it improved the most
10

DARTMOUTH (Tuck) Hanover, N.H.

16 12 4 11 33,578 14 28 30 18 60 122.1 74 56 A A A A A
Received high marks from students as one of the best all-around programs. Good general management focus woos recruiters
11

CORNELL (Johnson) Ithaca, N.Y.

8 13 2 12 30,975 22 27 28 9 55 116.4 67 60 A A A A B
Student satisfaction is up. But in a tough economy, a new building and curriculum don't make up for recruiters' having to put in a time-consuming trek to Ithaca, N.Y.
12

VIRGINIA (Darden) Charlottesville

9 11 6 14 30,844 18 28 28 8 50 119.1 79 67 A A A A A
Grads praise the career-placement office and highlight strength of teaching. Recruiters still like the school, but mainstay consulting firms hired fewer grads
13

UC BERKELEY (Haas) Berkeley, Calif.

18 16 10 3 22,153 11 30 34 5 60 115.0 72 62 B B A A A
Ranks near the top for introducing students to nontraditional recruiters. New dean will expand the school's scope beyond former entrepreneurial bent
14

YALE New Haven

19 20 8 9 30,365 15 30 39 8 50 110.2 69 48 B B B A A
Student satisfaction jumped 14 spots in the poll, the biggest rise in the top 30. Near the top in many areas except technology, which grads say is lacking
15

NYU (Stern) New York

13 10 20 32 33,016 15 38 34 11 57 113.3 72 52 A A A B B
With the appointment of a new dean, students hope to see better-quality teaching in areas other than already-strong finance. Recruiters say graduate quality is improving
16

UCLA (Anderson) Los Angeles

12 23 7 10 22,592 15 29 26 7 60 111.1 58 52 B B A A A
Location a benefit to students looking to network with West Coast recruiters--though many weren't hiring. Grads applaud strong entrepreneurship focus
17

USC (Marshall) Los Angeles

24 14 16 33 31,680 21 32 26 10 52 100.9 60 50 A A B B B
Grads like the focus on entrepreneurship but are skeptical about lack of attention to ethics. Recruiters say its MBAs are getting better
18

UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Chapel Hill, N.C.

15 15 18 27 28,930 30 30 30 11 50 103.8 68 60 C A B B A
Students give top marks to career-services office, which placed 100% of its first-years in summer internships. Inching up in the corporate poll
19

CARNEGIE MELLON Pittsburgh

14 18 22 15 30,700 26 26 38 14 50 108.0 70 54 A A A C B
Drops nine spots in student satisfaction with middle-of-the-road grades in nearly every category except for technology, where it sets the standard
20

INDIANA (Kelly) Bloomington

20 19 23 39 23,450 22 24 31 9 45 102.7 70 59 A A A B B
Students' former complaints about dated technology and cramped facilities have been answered with new Graduate & Executive Education Center
21

TEXAS (McCombs) Austin

17 22 25 24 25,006 29 25 26 7 51 104.0 64 60 C B B C C
With a new dean, new building, and new programs, the McCombs School is moving forward with innovative ideas after a tough year
22

EMORY (Goizueta) Atlanta

28 30 19 19 29,408 24 22 34 7 51 101.4 60 60 B B B A B
Grads say placement office is the best in helping them prepare for job interviews. Leaps from No. 26 in 2000 recruiter poll to No.17
23

MICHIGAN STATE (Broad) E. Lansing

29 17 28 29 20,250 22 24 35 6 37 90.3 69 52 C B B B C
Student satisfaction soared after a revamp in curriculum and refocus on the "experience" of attending B-school. Recruiters also noticed the improvement
24

WASHINGTON (Olin) St. Louis

23 33 21 20 30,290 35 20 36 10 45 106.1 58 60 NA B B B B
Student-conducted admissions interviews helped create one of the most diverse MBA classes in school history. Gains ground with recruiters but lost ground with students
25

MARYLAND (Smith) College Park

27 42 15 21 23,706 23 31 38 15 45 98.3 64 48 NA B B A A
Thanks to strong, well-rounded teaching, vaulted 10 spots in student ranking. But many new recruiters from 2000 failed to come back this year
26

PURDUE (Krannert) W. Lafayette, Ind.

25 33 26 22 23,032 26 22 36 9 45 99.9 73 41 B A A C B
Drops 15 spots in recruiter poll as technology falls out of favor. Students still applaud the school's efforts in helping them land jobs
27

ROCHESTER (Simon) Rochester, N.Y.

21 39 24 25 31,122 26 23 45 25 42 96.8 59 66 C B B B C
Students cheer the integration of coursework across various classes but complain about career placement. Slips with recruiters, too
28

VANDERBILT (Owen) Nashville

22 35 27 17 29,160 47 24 25 6 48 100.2 53 48 C A B C C
With just over half of 2002 grads receiving job offers by graduation, students not sure if investment was worth it. Recruiters' reaction: mixed
29

NOTRE DAME (Mendoza) South Bend, Ind.

NA 24 35 23 26,485 23 24 33 15 40 97.1 66 48 B C C C A
The Irish fight their way into the Top 30, boasting a huge alumni base and a strong curriculum. Students rank Mendoza among strongest in ethics
30

GEORGETOWN (McDonough) D.C.

26 28 32 41 30,000 23 29 35 13 45 105.0 50 52 C B B B A
Dips in student poll because of weak career center. Only half of grads received a job offer by graduation. Dropped from many recruiter rosters because of lackluster placement effort

* 2001-2002 (where applicable, out-of-state figures used)

** Post-MBA pay equals median salary, bonus and other compensation Data: BusinessWeek, Cambria Consulting

*** For combined years 2001-2002

**** Minority data does not include Asian-Americans

Research by Joshua Tanzer, Jennifer Merritt, Fred Jespersen, Brian Hindo, Jessica Loudon, Geoff Gloeckler, Ana Mantica, Rebecca Weber, Jens Stephan

Corrections and Clarifications ''How the report card gets graded'' misspelled the name of Kelley, Indiana University's Business School. Also, the descriptions for Emory University and Michigan State University were reversed: They should have read as follows: Emory: Student satisfaction soared after a revamp in curriculum and refocus on the ``experience'' of attending B-school. Recruiters also noticed improvement. Michigan State: Grads say placement office is the best in helping them prepare for job interviews. Leaps from No. 26 in 2000 recruiter poll to No. 17. $end

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