Top On-Campus MBA Programs Named in 18 Categories
Best Career Prospects – Harvard University; Toughest to Get Into – Stanford University

Indiana University Bloomington is #1 Online MBA Program

NEW YORK, October 31, 2017—The Princeton Review®, known for its college rankings in dozens of categories based on how students rate their schools, is now expanding its coverage of business school programs. Today, the company is releasing the 2018 annual ranking lists of business schools. Available on the company’s website, The Princeton Review reports the top 10 ranking schools in 18 categories of interest to students applying to on-campus MBA programs. In addition, the company is announcing the result of its 3 rd annual ranking of the top 25 online MBA programs for 2018. The lists are available at along with FAQs about the basis for each ranking and the company’s detailed profiles of the schools.

"We want to offer students a truly robust resource to find information about business school programs,” said Robert Franek, Editor-in-Chief, The Princeton Review. “Students who came to us for help selecting their college can now find equally comprehensive information on our website about choosing a business school program. We want students to be aware that on-campus and online MBA programs have different strengths and they can use that information to find the best business school for their interests.”

“Top business schools now offer online MBAs, and employers do see them as credible and valuable,” added Mr. Franek. “For working professionals unable to move to a 'brick and mortar' campus for an MBA, these schools offer an opportunity to learn from some of the world's best business school professors and earn their degree from anywhere in the world."

How Do On-Campus MBA Students and Online MBA Students Differ?

  • Age of student population: On-campus students are younger; the average age is 28 while the average age of online MBA students is 34. 
  • Work experience: On-campus MBA students average 5 years of work experience; online MBA students average 11 years.
  • Starting salary: The average starting salary for students at top on-campus MBA programs is $115,000 vs. $107,000 for students at top online MBA programs.        

On The Princeton Review website (, students can find detailed profiles of the business schools, which include admission, academics, financial aid, campus life and career/employment information. In addition to the profiles and the rankings, the site includes helpful business school advice articles about taking the GMAT, crafting a stellar MBA application, and finding a program best tailored to your goals. The Princton Review also provides lists of undergrad and graduate schools best for entrepreneurship studies.

“Our purpose is not to rank schools hierarchically or crown any school as ‘best’ overall. Our goal is to provide school profiles combined with multiple rating scores and ranking lists to help applicants choose the best business school for them,” added Mr. Franek. “Their program offerings vary considerably, and we salute and highlight those distinctions in our profiles.”

Top On-Campus MBA Programs

The Princeton Review tallied its lists based on its surveys of 23,000 students attending 267 business schools. In these categories, the following schools were ranked #1:

  • Best Career Prospects – Harvard University
  • Toughest to Get Into – Stanford University
  • Best Professors – University of Virginia
  • Best Classroom Experience – Stanford University
  • Most Competitive Students – Acton School of Business
  • Best Campus Environment – University of Virginia
  • Best Administered – Acton School of Business
  • Greatest Resources for Women – Stanford University
  • Greatest Resources for Minority Students – Howard University
  • Most Family Friendly – Brigham Young University
  • Best Green MBA – University of Vermont

In addition, this year’s survey of 23,000 students evaluated their schools to find the best MBA programs in 7 new categories for (schools below were ranked #1):

  • Best MBA for Consulting – Northwestern University
  • Best MBA for Finance – Columbia University
  • Best MBA for Human Resources – University of Florida
  • Best MBA for Management – Stanford University
  • Best MBA for Marketing – Northwestern University
  • Best MBA for Nonprofit – Columbia University
  • Best MBA for Operations – Carnegie Mellon University

Top 25 Online MBA Programs

The Princeton Review surveyed more than 4,700 online MBA students at more than 75 business schools offering online MBAs to come up with this year’s list of Top 25 Online MBA programs. They are:

  1. Indiana University Bloomington
  2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  3. Temple University (PA)
  4. University of Southern California
  5. University of Florida
  6. Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
  7. IE University (Spain)
  8. Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
  9. Arizona State University
  10. Babson College (MA)
  11. University of Texas at Dallas
  12. North Carolina State University
  13. Auburn University (AL)
  14. University of Utah
  15. Pepperdine University (CA)
  16. James Madison University (VA)
  17. Hofstra University (NY)
  18. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  19. University of South Dakota
  20. Jack Welch Management Institute (Strayer University) (VA)
  21. University of Arizona
  22. University of North Texas
  23. Syracuse University (NY)
  24. Northeastern University (MA)
  25. University of Massachusetts Amherst

Among students surveyed at the top 25 online MBA programs:

  • 56% were receiving financial assistance from their employers to pay for their degree: they reported their companies were covering 62% of the degree cost
  • 34% reported receiving a promotion while earning their online MBA
  • $107,000 was the students' average base salary upon graduating from the program
  • 30% was the average salary increase graduates reported they received after completing the degree


On-Campus MBA Rankings:

The Princeton Review’s ranking list tallies factor in data from its surveys of business school students completed during the 2016-17, 2015-16, and 2014-15 school years. The survey (completed at asks students about their school’s academics, student body, and campus life, and their career plans. On average, 86 students at each business school were surveyed for the 2018 lists. All institutional data used to tally these ranking lists was collected in 2016-2017. The school profiles of the 267 business schools include school ratings (scores from 60-99) in five categories based primarily on institutional data. Among them are rating scores for “Admissions Selectivity” and Career statistics, which factor in data on graduates’ starting salaries and employment. A description of the methodology is at    

Top 25 Online MBA Ranking:

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on its surveys in 2016-2017 of more than 75 business schools offering online MBAs (at which a majority of their program was online), plus surveys of over 4,700 students enrolled in the programs. Survey methodology and criteria for this ranking was based on input from business school content editors at The Princeton Review as well as an advisory board of administrators at several of the nation’s leading online MBA programs. The criteria focused on five core areas: academics, selectivity, faculty, technical platforms, and career outcomes. Data points were weighted in more than 60 unique fields to determine the final ranking. A description of the methodology is at    

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev.


The Princeton Review



To interview Robert Franek or David Soto about The Princeton Review’s business school rankings, please contact Amy Briskin.