Over the course of a career, what's an MBA worth? A lot depends on what you studied, where you studied, and of course the career you pursued. But to give you a rough idea, Bloomberg Businessweek asked PayScale to crunch the numbers. What follows isn't a prediction but a look at the median cash compensation (salary and bonus) earned by graduates of our top-ranked U.S. MBA programs who received their degrees over the past 20 years. On average, graduates of all 57 programs earned about $2.4 million over the two decades, or $122,513 a year. The graduates of the 10 programs with the highest earnings took home nearly $3.2 million apiece, or $159,122 a year, while the remaining 47 schools averaged $2.3 million, or $114,724 a year.

Methodology Note: The salary data in this slide show were supplied by PayScale, which collects them from individuals through online pay-comparison tools. For each school, PayScale tallied the median cash compensation—including base pay and bonuses, while excluding stock and options—for MBA graduates at five points in their careers. Years of experience includes pre-MBA experience, and individual categories include MBAs with more or less experience. The data are based on a sample of 29,000 MBA graduates from the 57 top schools; most median figures shown represent approximately 200 to 1,000 actual salaries per school. Using the median salaries and average annual growth rates for each school, Bloomberg Businessweek calculated a rough estimate of earnings over the entire 20-year period.

Photograph by Steve Dunwell/Getty Images

Over the course of a career, what's an MBA worth? A lot depends on what you studied, where you studied, and of course the career you pursued. But to give you a rough idea, Bloomberg Businessweek asked PayScale to crunch the numbers. What follows isn't a prediction but a look at the median cash compensation (salary and bonus) earned by graduates of our top-ranked U.S. MBA programs who received their degrees over the past 20 years. On average, graduates of all 57 programs earned about $2.4 million over the two decades, or $122,513 a year. The graduates of the 10 programs with the highest earnings took home nearly $3.2 million apiece, or $159,122 a year, while the remaining 47 schools averaged $2.3 million, or $114,724 a year.

Methodology Note: The salary data in this slide show were supplied by PayScale, which collects them from individuals through online pay-comparison tools. For each school, PayScale tallied the median cash compensation—including base pay and bonuses, while excluding stock and options—for MBA graduates at five points in their careers. Years of experience includes pre-MBA experience, and individual categories include MBAs with more or less experience. The data are based on a sample of 29,000 MBA graduates from the 57 top schools; most median figures shown represent approximately 200 to 1,000 actual salaries per school. Using the median salaries and average annual growth rates for each school, Bloomberg Businessweek calculated a rough estimate of earnings over the entire 20-year period.

Photograph by Steve Dunwell/Getty Images

Top B-Schools for MBA Pay

What's Your MBA Worth?
What's Your MBA Worth?

Over the course of a career, what's an MBA worth? A lot depends on what you studied, where you studied, and of course the career you pursued. But to give you a rough idea, Bloomberg Businessweek asked PayScale to crunch the numbers. What follows isn't a prediction but a look at the median cash compensation (salary and bonus) earned by graduates of our top-ranked U.S. MBA programs who received their degrees over the past 20 years. On average, graduates of all 57 programs earned about $2.4 million over the two decades, or $122,513 a year. The graduates of the 10 programs with the highest earnings took home nearly $3.2 million apiece, or $159,122 a year, while the remaining 47 schools averaged $2.3 million, or $114,724 a year.

Methodology Note: The salary data in this slide show were supplied by PayScale, which collects them from individuals through online pay-comparison tools. For each school, PayScale tallied the median cash compensation—including base pay and bonuses, while excluding stock and options—for MBA graduates at five points in their careers. Years of experience includes pre-MBA experience, and individual categories include MBAs with more or less experience. The data are based on a sample of 29,000 MBA graduates from the 57 top schools; most median figures shown represent approximately 200 to 1,000 actual salaries per school. Using the median salaries and average annual growth rates for each school, Bloomberg Businessweek calculated a rough estimate of earnings over the entire 20-year period.

Photograph by Steve Dunwell/Getty Images
1. Harvard University
1. Harvard University

Harvard Business School
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $122,000
5 Years' Experience: $136,000
10 Years' Experience: $169,000
15 Years' Experience: $217,000
20 Years' Experience: $224,000
Career Total: $3,639,643

Harvard Full-Time MBA Profile

2. University of Pennsylvania
2. University of Pennsylvania

Wharton School
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $123,000
5 Years' Experience: $146,000
10 Years' Experience: $164,000
15 Years' Experience: $181,000
20 Years' Experience: $214,000
Career Total: $3,460,707

Wharton Full-Time MBA Profile

3. Stanford University
3. Stanford University

Graduate School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $123,000
5 Years' Experience: $129,000
10 Years' Experience: $166,000
15 Years' Experience: $187,000
20 Years' Experience: $220,000
Career Total: $3,432,013

Stanford Full-Time MBA Profile

4. Columbia University
4. Columbia University

Columbia Business School
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $111,000
5 Years' Experience: $117,000
10 Years' Experience: $149,000
15 Years' Experience: $187,000
20 Years' Experience: $191,000
Career Total: $3,164,298

Columbia Full-Time MBA Profile

5. Dartmouth College
5. Dartmouth College

Tuck School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $121,000
5 Years' Experience: $128,000
10 Years' Experience: $147,000
15 Years' Experience: $170,000
20 Years' Experience: $174,000
Career Total: $3,107,417

Tuck Full-Time MBA Profile

6. Northwestern University
6. Northwestern University

Kellogg School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $113,000
5 Years' Experience: $119,000
10 Years' Experience: $139,000
15 Years' Experience: $167,000
20 Years' Experience: $204,000
Career Total: $3,069,620

Kellogg Full-Time MBA Profile

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sloan School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $120,000
5 Years' Experience: $125,000
10 Years' Experience: $143,000
15 Years' Experience: $165,000
20 Years' Experience: $169,000
Career Total: $3,029,653

Sloan Full-Time MBA Profile

8. University of Chicago
8. University of Chicago

Booth School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $110,000
5 Years' Experience: $115,000
10 Years' Experience: $137,000
15 Years' Experience: $156,000
20 Years' Experience: $215,000
Career Total: $3,004,828

Booth Full-Time MBA Profile

9. University of California, Berkeley
9. University of California, Berkeley

Haas School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $114,000
5 Years' Experience: $117,000
10 Years' Experience: $141,000
15 Years' Experience: $167,000
20 Years' Experience: $171,000
Career Total: $2,976,382

Haas Full-Time MBA Profile

10. Yale University
10. Yale University

Yale School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $101,000
5 Years' Experience: $125,000
10 Years' Experience: $144,000
15 Years' Experience: $156,000
20 Years' Experience: $172,000
Career Total: $2,939,871

Yale Full-Time MBA Profile

11. University of Virginia
11. University of Virginia

Darden School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $97,300
5 Years' Experience: $108,000
10 Years' Experience: $142,000
15 Years' Experience: $166,000
20 Years' Experience: $191,000
Career Total: $2,937,835

Darden Full-Time MBA Profile

12. Duke University
12. Duke University

Fuqua School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $102,000
5 Years' Experience: $104,000
10 Years' Experience: $131,000
15 Years' Experience: $159,000
20 Years' Experience: $170,000
Career Total: $2,781,032

Fuqua Full-Time MBA Profile

13. New York University
13. New York University

Stern School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $94,400
5 Years' Experience: $102,000
10 Years' Experience: $129,000
15 Years' Experience: $158,000
20 Years' Experience: $176,000
Career Total: $2,750,304

Stern Full-Time MBA Profile

Photograph by Will Halsey/Bloomberg Businessweek
14. Cornell University
14. Cornell University

Johnson Graduate School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $94,600
5 Years' Experience: $97,400
10 Years' Experience: $129,000
15 Years' Experience: $158,000
20 Years' Experience: $180,000
Career Total: $2,738,723

Johnson Full-Time MBA Profile

15. Carnegie Mellon University
15. Carnegie Mellon University

Tepper School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $97,900
5 Years' Experience: $101,000
10 Years' Experience: $130,000
15 Years' Experience: $151,000
20 Years' Experience: $158,000
Career Total: $2,673,352

Tepper Full-Time MBA Profile

16. University of California, Los Angeles
16. University of California, Los Angeles

Anderson School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $98,200
5 Years' Experience: $103,000
10 Years' Experience: $129,000
15 Years' Experience: $140,000
20 Years' Experience: $171,000
Career Total: $2,662,331

Anderson Full-Time MBA Profile

17. University of Michigan
17. University of Michigan

Ross School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $102,000
5 Years' Experience: $104,000
10 Years' Experience: $121,000
15 Years' Experience: $141,000
20 Years' Experience: $157,000
Career Total: $2,604,044

Ross Full-Time MBA Profile

18. Emory University
18. Emory University

Goizueta Business School
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $90,400
5 Years' Experience: $94,400
10 Years' Experience: $116,000
15 Years' Experience: $153,000
20 Years' Experience: $164,000
Career Total: $2,573,954

Goizueta Full-Time MBA Profile

19. Vanderbilt University
19. Vanderbilt University

Owen Graduate School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $86,400
5 Years' Experience: $95,300
10 Years' Experience: $113,000
15 Years' Experience: $153,000
20 Years' Experience: $168,000
Career Total: $2,562,743

Owen Full-Time MBA Profile

20. Georgetown University
20. Georgetown University

McDonough School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $90,800
5 Years' Experience: $101,000
10 Years' Experience: $114,000
15 Years' Experience: $146,000
20 Years' Experience: $160,000
Career Total: $2,552,660

McDonough Full-Time MBA Profile

21. Notre Dame University
21. Notre Dame University

Mendoza College of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $77,200
5 Years' Experience: $96,100
10 Years' Experience: $121,000
15 Years' Experience: $150,000
20 Years' Experience: $162,000
Career Total: $2,546,294

Mendoza Full-Time MBA Profile

22. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
22. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Kenan-Flagler Business School
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $92,600
5 Years' Experience: $95,700
10 Years' Experience: $110,000
15 Years' Experience: $147,000
20 Years' Experience: $157,000
Career Total: $2,506,915

Kenan-Flagler Full-Time MBA Profile

23. University of Southern California
23. University of Southern California

Marshall School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $81,800
5 Years' Experience: $95,900
10 Years' Experience: $115,000
15 Years' Experience: $139,000
20 Years' Experience: $165,000
Career Total: $2,484,016

Marshall Full-Time MBA Profile

24. University of Texas, Austin
24. University of Texas, Austin

McCombs School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $79,900
5 Years' Experience: $91,800
10 Years' Experience: $115,000
15 Years' Experience: $138,000
20 Years' Experience: $164,000
Career Total: $2,449,480

McCombs Full-Time MBA Profile

25. Rice University
25. Rice University

Jones Graduate School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $82,000
5 Years' Experience: $98,500
10 Years' Experience: $120,000
15 Years' Experience: $136,000
20 Years' Experience: $140,000
Career Total: $2,434,747

Jones Full-Time MBA Profile

26. Boston University
26. Boston University

School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $74,500
5 Years' Experience: $82,300
10 Years' Experience: $106,000
15 Years' Experience: $143,000
20 Years' Experience: $155,000
Career Total: $2,337,482

Boston Full-Time MBA Profile

27. Georgia Institute of Technology
27. Georgia Institute of Technology

College of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $79,200
5 Years' Experience: $82,000
10 Years' Experience: $103,000
15 Years' Experience: $141,000
20 Years' Experience: $157,000
Career Total: $2,331,195

Georgia Tech Full-Time MBA Profile

28. Babson College
28. Babson College

Olin Graduate School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $75,100
5 Years' Experience: $87,100
10 Years' Experience: $112,000
15 Years' Experience: $136,000
20 Years' Experience: $144,000
Career Total: $2,327,542

Olin Full-Time MBA Profile

29. Purdue University
29. Purdue University

Krannert School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $73,600
5 Years' Experience: $89,300
10 Years' Experience: $114,000
15 Years' Experience: $132,000
20 Years' Experience: $142,000
Career Total: $2,318,329

Krannert Full-Time MBA Profile

30. Thunderbird School of Global Management
30. Thunderbird School of Global Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $73,300
5 Years' Experience: $82,000
10 Years' Experience: $113,000
15 Years' Experience: $132,000
20 Years' Experience: $154,000
Career Total: $2,310,004

Thunderbird Full-Time MBA Profile
31. Southern Methodist University
31. Southern Methodist University

Cox School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $81,200
5 Years' Experience: $83,300
10 Years' Experience: $108,000
15 Years' Experience: $133,000
20 Years' Experience: $146,000
Career Total: $2,297,950

Cox Full-Time MBA Profile

32. Boston College
32. Boston College

Carroll School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $73,900
5 Years' Experience: $85,000
10 Years' Experience: $107,000
15 Years' Experience: $138,000
20 Years' Experience: $143,000
Career Total: $2,294,833

Carroll Full-Time MBA Profile

33. Rutgers University
33. Rutgers University

Rutgers Business School
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $64,900
5 Years' Experience: $81,400
10 Years' Experience: $109,000
15 Years' Experience: $135,000
20 Years' Experience: $147,000
Career Total: $2,255,356

Rutgers Full-Time MBA Profile

Photograph by Andy Kropa/Redux
34. University of Maryland<br />
34. University of Maryland

Smith School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $68,500
5 Years' Experience: $79,100
10 Years' Experience: $107,000
15 Years' Experience: $133,000
20 Years' Experience: $150,000
Career Total: $2,243,946

Smith Full-Time MBA Profile

35. Brigham Young University
35. Brigham Young University

Marriott School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $67,400
5 Years' Experience: $87,700
10 Years' Experience: $104,000
15 Years' Experience: $130,000
20 Years' Experience: $137,000
Career Total: $2,215,988

Marriott Full-Time MBA Profile

36. University of Washington
36. University of Washington

Foster School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $78,000
5 Years' Experience: $85,800
10 Years' Experience: $114,000
15 Years' Experience: $119,000
20 Years' Experience: $129,000
Career Total: $2,211,093

Foster Full-Time MBA Profile

37. College of William & Mary
37. College of William & Mary

Mason School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $71,700
5 Years' Experience: $73,200
10 Years' Experience: $111,000
15 Years' Experience: $119,000
20 Years' Experience: $145,000
Career Total: $2,157,535

Mason Full-Time MBA Profile

38. University of Georgia
38. University of Georgia

Terry College of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $50,800
5 Years' Experience: $76,900
10 Years' Experience: $107,000
15 Years' Experience: $135,000
20 Years' Experience: $139,000
Career Total: $2,152,967

Terry Full-Time MBA Profile

Photograph by Georgia/Collegiate Images
39. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
39. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

College of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $69,600
5 Years' Experience: $73,500
10 Years' Experience: $106,000
15 Years' Experience: $130,000
20 Years' Experience: $134,000
Career Total: $2,151,460

Illinois Full-Time MBA Profile

40. Washington University, St. Louis
40. Washington University, St. Louis

Olin Business School
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $71,600
5 Years' Experience: $80,400
10 Years' Experience: $103,000
15 Years' Experience: $125,000
20 Years' Experience: $133,000
Career Total: $2,151,254

Olin Full-Time MBA Profile

41. George Washington University
41. George Washington University

School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $60,300
5 Years' Experience: $74,600
10 Years' Experience: $98,700
15 Years' Experience: $138,000
20 Years' Experience: $141,000
Career Total: $2,151,204

GWU Full-Time MBA Profile

42. University of Minnesota
42. University of Minnesota

Carlson School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $74,700
5 Years' Experience: $77,100
10 Years' Experience: $101,000
15 Years' Experience: $123,000
20 Years' Experience: $138,000
Career Total: $2,138,568

Carlson Full-Time MBA Profile

43. University of Rochester
43. University of Rochester

Simon Graduate School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $64,300
5 Years' Experience: $76,600
10 Years' Experience: $110,000
15 Years' Experience: $120,000
20 Years' Experience: $138,000
Career Total: $2,132,862

Simon Full-Time MBA Profile

44. Michigan State University
44. Michigan State University

Broad Graduate School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $77,700
5 Years' Experience: $85,400
10 Years' Experience: $102,000
15 Years' Experience: $106,000
20 Years' Experience: $144,000
Career Total: $2,125,919

Broad Full-Time MBA Profile

45. Wake Forest University
45. Wake Forest University

Schools of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $72,600
5 Years' Experience: $81,100
10 Years' Experience: $97,100
15 Years' Experience: $123,000
20 Years' Experience: $135,000
Career Total: $2,124,378

Wake Forest Full-Time MBA Profile

46. Ohio State University
46. Ohio State University

Fisher College of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $66,400
5 Years' Experience: $78,300
10 Years' Experience: $104,000
15 Years' Experience: $120,000
20 Years' Experience: $139,000
Career Total: $2,121,970

47. Indiana University
47. Indiana University

Kelley School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $61,700
5 Years' Experience: $80,300
10 Years' Experience: $106,000
15 Years' Experience: $120,000
20 Years' Experience: $132,000
Career Total: $2,106,639

Kelley Full-Time MBA Profile

48. Pennsylvania State University
48. Pennsylvania State University

Smeal College of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $67,600
5 Years' Experience: $79,600
10 Years' Experience: $105,000
15 Years' Experience: $119,000
20 Years' Experience: $129,000
Career Total: $2,103,183

Smeal Full-Time MBA Profile

49. Arizona State University
49. Arizona State University

Carey School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $65,100
5 Years' Experience: $77,500
10 Years' Experience: $99,700
15 Years' Experience: $118,000
20 Years' Experience: $143,000
Career Total: $2,094,048

Carey Full-Time MBA Profile

50. Northeastern University
50. Northeastern University

College of Business Administration
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $62,700
5 Years' Experience: $75,800
10 Years' Experience: $104,000
15 Years' Experience: $118,000
20 Years' Experience: $128,000
Career Total: $2,055,512

Northeastern Full-Time MBA Profile

51. Tulane University
51. Tulane University

Freeman School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $70,000
5 Years' Experience: $72,500
10 Years' Experience: $109,000
15 Years' Experience: $115,000
20 Years' Experience: $119,000
Career Total: $2,043,345

Tulane Full-Time MBA Profile

52. Case Western Reserve University
52. Case Western Reserve University

Weatherhead School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $55,600
5 Years' Experience: $79,900
10 Years' Experience: $99,300
15 Years' Experience: $120,000
20 Years' Experience: $125,000
Career Total: $2,030,950

Weatherhead Full-Time MBA Profile

53. University of Wisconsin, Madison
53. University of Wisconsin, Madison

School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $70,900
5 Years' Experience: $77,800
10 Years' Experience: $94,600
15 Years' Experience: $111,000
20 Years' Experience: $126,000
Career Total: $2,004,322

Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Profile

54. Howard University
54. Howard University

School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $65,800
5 Years' Experience: $78,600
10 Years' Experience: $97,300
15 Years' Experience: $110,000
20 Years' Experience: $121,000
Career Total: $1,986,353

Howard Full-Time MBA Profile

Photograph by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images
55. University of Pittsburgh
55. University of Pittsburgh

Katz Graduate School of Business
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $54,500
5 Years' Experience: $72,300
10 Years' Experience $94,800
15 Years' Experience: $106,000
20 Years' Experience: $134,000
Career Total: $1,923,432

Katz Full-Time MBA Profile

56. Texas A&M University
56. Texas A&M University

Mays Business School
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $58,700
5 Years' Experience: $70,200
10 Years' Experience: $90,100
15 Years' Experience: $112,000
20 Years' Experience: $116,000
Career Total: $1,880,832

Mays Full-Time MBA Profile

University at Buffalo
University at Buffalo

School of Management
Median Cash Compensation:
Less Than 2 Years Experience: $48,900
5 Years' Experience: $66,700
10 Years' Experience: $91,700
15 Years' Experience: $108,000
20 Years' Experience: $110,000
Career Total: $1,802,235

Buffalo Full-Time MBA Profile

Courtesy University of Buffalo