2020 Best Graduate Schools Badge

25 Best MBA Programs 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

Highlighted below are the top 25 colleges that offer an MBA, based on the median salary of this program’s graduates one year after completion. With a median starting salary of $181,600, Northwestern University outranks the other schools on the list. Stevens Institute of Technology MBA students graduate with $34,476 of student debt, the lowest median debt of the ranked schools. Starting median salaries for graduates from these schools range from $119,200-$181,600.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Evanston (IL) Evanston (IL) $54,620 $126,328 $181,600
#2 #2 New York (NY) New York (NY) $48,390 $61,500 $167,700
#3 #3 Philadelphia (PA) Philadelphia (PA) $38,630 $41,000 $165,700
#4 #4 Hanover (NH) Hanover (NH) $53,829 $41,000 $163,100
#5 #5 Berkeley (CA) Berkeley (CA) $29,233 $61,248 $160,600
#6 #6 Chicago (IL) Chicago (IL) $58,968 $79,602 $152,900
#7 #7 Stanford (CA) Stanford (CA) $51,354 $41,000 $150,100
#8 #8 Charlottesville (VA) Charlottesville (VA) $30,342 $94,229 $148,100
#9 #9 Ithaca (NY) Ithaca (NY) $29,584 $104,888 $142,300
#10 #10 New York (NY) New York (NY) $45,426 $92,080 $138,300
#11 #11 Durham (NC) Durham (NC) $54,712 $72,549 $136,700
#12 #12 Los Angeles (CA) Los Angeles (CA) $28,048 $80,468 $135,200
#13 #13 New Haven (CT) New Haven (CT) $42,100 $79,780 $134,900
#14 #14 Ann Arbor (MI) Ann Arbor (MI) $47,006 $49,075 $132,700
#15 #15 Pittsburgh (PA) Pittsburgh (PA) $44,667 $96,000 $127,600
#16 #16 Austin (TX) Austin (TX) $22,564 $68,974 $127,200
#17 #17 Atlanta (GA) Atlanta (GA) $42,628 $61,089 $126,200
#18 #18 Chapel Hill (NC) Chapel Hill (NC) $29,423 $75,576 $124,900
#19 #19 Houston (TX) Houston (TX) $38,438 $35,315 $123,200
#20 #20 Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $50,012 $100,193 $123,100
#21 #21 Atlanta (GA) Atlanta (GA) $30,578 $78,597 $122,800
#22 #22 Los Angeles (CA) Los Angeles (CA) $45,561 $84,916 $122,100
#23 #23 Hoboken (NJ) Hoboken (NJ) $37,250 $34,476 $122,000
#24 #24 Seattle (WA) Seattle (WA) $28,881 $47,771 $120,800
#25 #25 Nashville (TN) Nashville (TN) $47,686 $87,776 $119,200

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

#1
Evanston (IL)
Median Salary $181,600
Median Debt $126,328
Annual Tuition $54,620

There are numerous ways to pursue a Masters of Business Administration at Northwestern’s Kellogg School, including a full-time MBA program, an evening and weekend program, and an Executive MBA program.

The full-time track also has one-year and two-year options, allowing those who’ve already completed requisite coursework as an undergraduate or graduate to bypass core class requirements and get started on advanced courses. The two-year option allows for more flexibility and immersion, building on a base of nine core courses in areas such as accounting, marketing, finance, and operations, and over 1,000 specialized electives and experiential learning opportunities to choose from. The program also focuses on growth-minded leadership, including a required pre-term course on Leadership and Crisis Management before the start of their second year.

A total of seven majors are available to students to choose from, including Accounting, Economics, Operations, Marketing, and Strategy, as well as several pathways such as Data Analytics, Growth and Scaling, and Social Impact. For those pursuing an evening or weekend MBA, they may choose Monday-Friday evening classes or Saturday morning and afternoon classes. Traditionally, the program takes between roughly one to five years, though the average completion time is about two and a half. Kellogg’s Career Management Center has the distinguished honor of being the only center of its kind to be in the top 20th percentile for MBA graduate satisfaction over the past 24 years, and helps its graduates find employment with over 500 companies every year. 

Visit Northwestern University's website.

Median Salary $167,700
Median Debt $61,500
Annual Tuition $48,390

Columbia Business School’s New York City location gives students in the Master's of Business Administration the advantage of close proximity to leaders across industries. The school’s faculty is made up of 150 full-time members and over 100 adjuncts, all thought leaders and practitioners who are influential in a variety of industries across the world.

The core curriculum focuses on such subjects as Managerial Statistics, Business Analytics, Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance, Managerial Economics, and Global Economic Environment, and are taught with case-based lessons and collaborative learning models. Columbia offers over 325 elective options for business students to develop their specialization, with popular courses including Applied Value Investing, Foundations of Entrepreneurship, Healthcare Industry in the 21st Century, and many more. There are also over 4,000 graduate-level courses available across the University, and several dual-degree tracks as a result, such as those in Architecture, Dental and Oral Surgery, Journalism, Law, and Social Work among others. Within the MBA, students can choose from multiple career-focused paths that include Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Family Business Program, Leadership and Ethics, Management, Private Equity, and Real Estate.

At Columbia, students are assigned to a cluster of 65 to 70 students from all over the world who all take their first-year core classes together, and are further divided into learning teams of roughly five students who work as a team to complete assignments for core courses. Students also benefit from the Career Management Center which helps with everything from workshops and seminars to finding internships and full-time employment. 

Visit Columbia University's website.

#3
Philadelphia (PA)
Median Salary $165,700
Median Debt $41,000
Annual Tuition $38,630

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School offers a Master's of Business Administration degree through two different methods. The traditional, full-time MBA program is available at the Philadelphia campus, and the Executive MBA which is available in either Philadelphia or San Francisco. The regular MBA program is a 20-month long program with a 3.5-month summer internship, whereas the EMBA requires an additional 4 months.

Students of both programs have access to specific career counseling, workshops, resources, and campus recruiting services, though internships are not available for EMBA students. Wharton’s MBA program core is extremely flexible with a wide range and depth of courses, allowing students choices in close to 200 electives, as well as choices within the core. This leads to the choice of one of 18 majors, including Accounting, Actuarial Science, Business Analytics, Business Economics and Public Policy, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Finance, Health Care Management, Marketing, Multinational Management, Real Estate, Statistics, and many others.

Students can take advantage of dual-degree programs, as roughly 40% of students do, or study abroad with a Global Modular Course, or the Global Immersion Program. The MBA program also caters to non-traditional students who may not have a background in consulting or finance. Pre-term courses are available for the first-year that provide students with a foundation for moving forward. Students also have access to a personal network of over 98,000 alumni, as well as the assistance of a dedicated expert career management team.

Visit University of Pennsylvania's website.

#4
Hanover (NH)
Median Salary $163,100
Median Debt $41,000
Annual Tuition $53,829

The wide array of academic experiences for those pursuing a Master's of Business Administration through Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business includes team-based project work, experiential and global learning opportunities, case-based courses, independent study, and small-scale research-to-practice seminars. The core curriculum focuses on analytics, corporate finance and capital markets, managerial and global economics, marketing, organizational behavior, strategy, communications, and operations. A required first-year project provides the opportunity for students to apply classroom concepts to a real-world business challenge, and required electives allow students to explore the ethical and social challenges of business.

Beyond the required curriculum, there are over 100 elective courses to choose from, allowing students maximum flexibility in shaping their education around their interests. Tuck also offers several experiential learning opportunities for MBA students, such as the OnSite Global Consulting field-study course where students work with companies and NGOs operating outside the United States, or Global Insight Expeditions to selected countries to provide access to people and organizations that help shape the global business environment. Students have the chance to connect with local businesses and non-profit initiatives through Tuck Community Consulting, providing them with real-world experiences in consulting, as well as chances to apply business skills and volunteer in the community.

There are several joint and dual degrees available, such as MD, Masters of Public Health, PhD, and MEM programs that can be pursued in combination with an MBA. Joint degrees are also available through partnerships with Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, Harvard University, and more. 

Visit Dartmouth College's website.

Median Salary $160,600
Median Debt $61,248
Annual Tuition $29,233

The University of California - Berkeley offers a full-time Master's of Business Administration through its Haas School of Business, allowing you to further your career or launch a new one with the assistance of support by career services that grants you access to jobs at some of the most selective firms in the world.

There are also certificate programs within the MBA program, including an Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Real Estate, a Certificate in Business Analytics, and an Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Food Systems. Two concurrent degrees are available for students to apply for in addition to the regular MBA curriculum: a Masters of Public Health, and a Masters of Business Administration and Engineering. In addition to the core coursework, electives are available in the areas of finance, marketing, corporate social responsibility, health management, energy and clean technology, real estate, technology, and more. A strong emphasis is placed on general management fundamentals for the foundation of the program, and special focus is given to effective teamwork, both as a leader and as part of a team.

Students take at least one of nearly 20 Applied Innovation courses, which offer experiential, hands-on learning and projects with leading firms and organizations in the Bay Area. The program also features a notable faculty whose research has garnered recognition internationally, including two Nobel Prizes in economics. Students also have the opportunity to experience an exchange program with Columbia Business School in the fall of their second year.

Visit University of California -  Berkeley's website.