This year's Poets&Quants' ranking of the best full-time MBA programs in the U.S. proves that the best business schools tend to stay put: There isn't a single difference between the top eight MBA programs in the new 2013 composite ranking and the top eight in 2012. What's more, all top 10 schools remained firmly in the top ten this year.
The steadiest institution is still Harvard Business School, which took the top spot for the fourth year in a row. Despite less-than-flattering publicity generated by a New York Times' feature on gender inequality at Harvard, an MBA from the school remains the quintessential credential in business. No rival beats Harvard in the formidable resources it brings to the game: the outsize number of superstar professors, the diversity of its course offerings, the stellar quality of its students, the size and scope of its campus, and the achievements of its alumni.
This year's entering class at Harvard, moreover, is one of school's most impressive ever. Drawing from an applicant pool that was up 3.9% last year to 9,315 hopefuls, Harvard welcomed just 941 incoming MBA students, with the highest percentage of women ever at 41% of the class. The median GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) score was a hefty 720, while the average undergraduate grade point average for the newest crop of MBA students was an impressive 3.67.