The McDonough School of Business’ full time MBA program fell two spots to 26th in the country while its part-time MBA program surged 34 spots to fourth in the country, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s business school rankings released in October.
The drop and rise of the full and part-time programs, respectively, can be attributed to a new rankings methodology. The criteria now includes a survey of former MBA students who are six to eight years removed from graduation.
Jonathan Rodkin, Bloomberg Businessweek rankings and research coordinator, explained that the new methodology behind the rankings was a result of a multi-year reevaluation of past criteria. The former model placed greater emphasis on components of the school itself, such as faculty or test scores, whereas the new rankings reflect graduate employment success post-graduation. The new methodology will be used for the foreseeable future, Rodkin said.
“The last couple years have featured a top-to-bottom evaluation and rethinking of the rankings methodology,” Rodkin said. “In the future, we don’t anticipate big changes like this.”
There are five components to the rankings methodology. Three areas incorporate data collected from surveys with seniors about to graduate, alumni who graduated six to eight years ago and companies likely to hire MBA program graduates. The other two categories are job-placement rates, which measure how likely a graduate will find work, and salary information.
Rodkin explained that the new rankings seek to reflect how well a business school’s MBA programs create career opportunities for its graduates. Bloomberg added an alumni component to evaluate how graduates thought their education had helped them.
“We can track [alumni] career progression over time,” Rodkin said. “[Bloomberg asked about] their program in how it helped increase their earning potential and how it helped them prepare for various aspects of their working life.”
Prashant Malaviya, senior associate dean for MBA programs, said the higher ranking for the part-time MBA program can be directly attributed to alumni satisfaction. The MSB’s part time MBA program was ranked second in the country for graduate satisfaction with their current work, according to Bloomberg’s list.
Specifically, Malaviya cited the MBA Evening Program as successful among alumni. The MBA Evening Program course is taught over 34 months for a total of 60 credit hours, with classes offered two evenings a week Monday through Thursday.
While the drop of two places for the full-time MBA program was a disappointment, Malaviya cited recent trends in the full- time program, such as recruitment of students with greater diversity and experience, as reasons to expect a future increase in ranking.
Malaviya noted that the MSB completely renovated its full time MBA program in 2012, aiming to offer a more inclusive and global experience. Malaviya predicted that Georgetown’s ranking might improve with time after more graduates who are beneficiaries of this updated program reach the market.
“Georgetown’s MBA programs are in a cycle of continuous improvement,” Malaviya wrote in an email to The Hoya. “As the world changes, so does the way we do business. So, we strive to improve our program every year.”
In an article announcing the rankings, Rodkin and Business Education Editor Francesca Levy explained that the measures are particularly relevant due to high interest in receiving MBAs.
Rodkin and Levy cited the new methodology as key to aid applicants in choosing business schools.
“More graduate degrees in business are awarded each year than in any other field in the U.S.,” Rodkin and Levy wrote. “New business schools are accredited by the dozen every year. [We need to] identify the best ones.”
Among similar rankings, the U.S. News and World Report ranks the MSB’s full-time program 24th in the country while its part time program is tied for 13th.
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