Financial Times ranks Haas MBA program 12th worldwide

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The full-time MBA program at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business placed 12th in the world, according to rankings released this week by the Financial Times.

The Haas MBA program moved up two positions from 14th place last year and 13 positions from 25th place in 2011 in comparison to programs worldwide. The program maintained its seventh place among U.S. schools.

Haas faculty members were not surprised by the placement, noting that the rankings can vary slightly from year to year.

“It turns out that there is a tremendous amount of year-on-year variability, or you can think of it as noise,” said Haas professor John Morgan. “So the shift that we’ve seen till now probably reflects just random factors rather than anything that’s underlying about the quality of the program.”
The rankings were determined based on three major factors, including an alumni survey on career progress and satisfaction with the program, diversity of the program and intellectual capital of the faculty.

Students in the Haas MBA program thought the rankings were less important than finding a school where to which students felt they belonged.

“The rankings tell you one thing, but you’ve got to find for yourself the fit in the people and the culture,” said full-time MBA student Aaron Perez.

Harvard Business School ranked first, followed by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to round out the top three.

The full-time MBA program at Haas has seen a decline in applications recently, including a 2.7 percent decrease between 2011 and 2012. Applications to the part-time MBA program, which were not included in this ranking, increased 11 percent in 2012 compared to the prior year.

“We’re ranked higher in some studies and lower in others,” Morgan said. “I think you have to take a broader view than looking at one study and making conclusions. The fact of the matter is that opinion and reputation, which are largely reflected in this, are formed over years and decades and not over months.”

The Haas MBA program regularly places highly in rankings. The full-time MBA program was ranked sixth in North America by the Economist, ninth in the nation by and seventh in the nation by US News & World Report. The school was ranked second-best for Hispanics in 2012 by the publication Hispanic Business.

“We’re trying to improve continuously,” said Andrew Rose, an associate dean at the Haas School of Business. “We are working hard all the time to make this the best possible experience for our students.”

Mitchell Handler cover academics and adminstration. Contact him at [email protected]