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Wharton has consistently ranked at or near the top of U.S. News and World Report's best MBA program lists. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Penn's Wharton School and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business tied for first in U.S. News and World Report's 2021 ranking of full-time MBA programs.

The graduate school rankings “assess the preparedness of a school's incoming students and the career or academic outcomes of a school's graduates,” according to a U.S. News press release

Wharton graduates earn an average starting salary and bonus of $172,016, which is the highest among the top 10 United States MBA programs. The Financial Times estimates the average salary for a business school graduate is $142,000.

This year, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business tied for third.

U.S. News highlighted Wharton's alumni network, which is the largest in the country, as well as the school's employment opportunities and joint degree offerings. 

Wharton has consistently ranked at or near the top of the list in recent years. In 2020, Wharton held the sole top spot for the first time, with Stanford following in second. In 2019, Wharton fell into third place after sharing the top spot with Harvard the year before.

The rankings are based on expert opinions and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research, and students. U.S. News ranked 477 business schools that responded to their survey with sufficient data to calculate the rankings.