Wharton, which is not listed in FT's 2023 Global Full Time MBA ranking published on Feb. 12, was previously ranked No. 1 in 2022 and has been ranked No. 1 for ten of the past 25 years. The 2023 ranking placed Columbia Business School at No. 1 out of 100 schools worldwide.
In response to a request for comment, Wharton said that the school was unranked by FT this year because it failed to reach FT’s alumni survey respondent threshold.
“On Tuesday, February 7th, 2023, the Financial Times (FT) informed Wharton that we would not be included in their 2023 Global Full Time MBA ranking due to not reaching the threshold for alumni survey respondents for inclusion,” Wharton wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
A primary component of FT’s MBA ranking system is derived from alumni surveying. FT surveys alumni three years after they graduate from the school, meaning Wharton’s MBA Class of 2019 would have been surveyed.
In order for schools to be eligible for FT’s MBA ranking, a minimum of 20% of that school’s MBA alumni must reply to FT’s survey. Wharton’s MBA class of 2019 enrolled 863 students. Therefore, FT would have had to receive responses from at least 20% of that class, or at least 173 students.
In its statement, Wharton wrote that FT was responsible for reaching out to alums for the ranking.
“To confirm, Wharton provided the requested School-level survey data, as well as alumni contact information for the specified years, in accordance with our data and privacy policies," Wharton wrote. "We also continued our practice of allowing the FT to conduct all alumni outreach related to their ranking."
FT’s MBA ranking is based on 21 categories, of which weighted salary and salary increase hold the highest weight. Other factors include value for money, research ranking, and the percentage of faculty who hold a doctoral degree.
According to Poets&Quants, a business education publication, Wharton’s failure to enter the rankings could represent dissatisfaction of Wharton’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Wharton is not the only school to see a change in its inclusion on the rankings: 17 schools that are ranked this year were not on the list last year.
Wharton's exclusion from the ranking also comes after FT changed its methodology this year to place more weight on a school's "diversity and sustainability" and less weight on salaries.
Rounding out the rest of FT’s top 5 MBA programs this year is Insead at No. 2, Iese Business School at No. 3, with Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business tied for No. 4.
Wharton's MBA program is currently ranked No. 1 by U.S. News, No. 7 by Bloomberg, No. 4 by Fortune, and No. 5 by Forbes.
The Financial Times did not respond to a request for comment by publication.