Much like our list of top undergraduate programs for aspiring entrepreneurs , our 2015 ranking of the top fifty MBA programs in the United States is based on the firm belief that two years in a business program is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your career, whether that be in entrepreneurship or in the offices and boardrooms of the world’s great companies.

Update: We have just released our updated 2016 rankings. You can click here here to see the new ranking.

Our rankings are based on data related to the number of startups and job opportunities associated with each school, existing reputations, and the number of opportunities calculated against class size. If you want to work with the best, give your ideas their best opportunity for success, or any combination of the two, we believe the programs in this list are some of the best places in the country to start.

Temple University

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Temple University ’s Philadelphia campus was founded in 1884, but to date the university accounts for 400,000 students on nine campuses. Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review have praised Temple for having the most mentorship programs in the nation for their MBA students. Temple offers multiple MBA programs, including online and international opportunities. All these degrees can be completed in two years or less.

University of Georgia
Main Library in Spring

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Founded in 1785, UGA was the nation’s first state-supported university. The university currently comprises 17 schools and colleges. The University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business offers three MBA programs: full-time, professional, and executive. Although the main campus is located in Athens, the university has almost 40,000 acres in 30 Georgia counties. Nearly 35,000 students attended UGA in fall 2013, over 8,000 of whom were graduate students.

University of Arizona

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Since 1885, Tucson has been the home of the University of Arizona. The university hosts over 40,000 students total, and more than 200 of these are part of the Eller College of Management . Four MBA options allow for study in Tucson, Phoenix, or online. These degrees can be completed in 16 to 24 months. The University of Arizona has several focus options for the MBA, including a degree centered on sustainable energy.

Boston College

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A private Jesuit university in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Boston College has about 5,000 graduate students and just over 9,000 enrolled in full-time undergraduate programs. BC’s full-time and evening MBA programs offer tools such as internship opportunities and a Career Strategies team to prepare students for success in the corporate world. Classes are intentionally small in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College so that students can have access to individual attention and support. Honesty, integrity, and respect are some core values of Boston College’s business school.

University of California Irvine

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University of California, Irvine is located in southern California, roughly 40 miles from Los Angeles. Nearly 30,000 students attended the university in 2013. UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business offers several MBA options, one of which is the unique 21-month Health Care Executive program. Strategic innovation, information technology, and analytic decision making characterize the school’s visionary curriculum, which seeks to set UC Irvine’s MBA graduates apart from the rest.

Boston University

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Nearly equal graduate and undergraduate populations make up a total student body of about 30,000 at Boston University . The private research university, located on the eastern coast of the United States, spans 135 urban acres. In addition to entrepreneurship concentrations and numerous dual degree programs, BU’s advanced business administration degrees include programs in public and nonprofit management and health sector management. The School of Management also offers international study opportunities, trainings its students to take a global perspective in corporate decisions.

University of Maryland

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The University of Maryland is prominent in both size and quality. A Public Ivy institution less than an hour from Baltimore, UM is made up of 1,250 acres and 40,000 students. MBA offerings include full- and part-time programs as well as an executive MBA that can be completed at the Maryland campus or in Beijing. The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is one of few in the nation with a Center for International Business Education and Research.

Purdue University

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West Lafayette, Indiana is home to Purdue ’s main campus; however, there are four additional campuses in the state. The university, originally established for the teaching of agriculture, now includes 14 schools and colleges in addition to pre-medical and other pre-professional programs. For those working in science, engineering, or technology, Purdue offers a one-year MBA for STEM professionals. Several clubs and organizations within the Krannert School of Management at Purdue allow MBA students opportunities to put their growing leadership skills into practice.

Pennsylvania State University
Penn State

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Pennsylvania State University , commonly known as Penn State, has a current enrollment of 100,000 students across 24 Pennsylvania campuses. The University Park campus, with its 950 clubs and organizations, is known as Happy Valley and is situated in the central region of the state. In addition to an executive MBA, Penn State’s Smeal College of Business also offers an iMBA (or Intercollege MBA) through their online World Campus. The college’s yearlong Leadership Communications Program challenges students and forms them into confident and capable leaders.

University of California Davis
Centennial walk in the quad

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The 7,309 acres comprising UC Davis makes it the largest of the 10 University of California campuses. Over 34,000 students are enrolled in this public research university located just west of Sacramento. The university emphasizes an inspiring and collaborative community atmosphere in both undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition to corporate responsibility and collaboration, the UC Davis MBA program seeks to teach value-based leadership, an appreciation for diversity, and a global perspective.

University of Florida

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The University of Florida is situated on a 2,000-acre suburban campus in Gainesville. The 160-year-old public university has over 30,000 students currently enrolled. U.S. News & World Report has rated the University of Florida’s MBA program as one of the top values in the nation, based on its high salary-to-debt ratio. UF has both traditional and working professional MBA options. Students can choose from two-year, one-year, and 10-month programs, including dual degree programs.

Rochester University

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Rochester , a private nonsectarian research university, was founded in 1850 in the state of New York and remains one of the smallest high-quality research universities, with a student to faculty ratio of 10:1. At Rochester, MBA candidates can complete a traditional two-year program, including a summer internship, or can opt for an accelerated 18-month program. Both programs have two tracks and 15 areas of concentration. The Simon Business School at Rochester emphasizes resilience in training its students for engaging in the science and art of management.

University of Texas at Dallas

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The University of Texas at Dallas was founded in 1969 and has 13,000 students on a 500-acre suburban campus. Downtown Dallas, one of the nation’s biggest business regions, is just south of the university. UT Dallas offers four MBA options, including online and executive programs. The full-time MBA can be completed in as little as 16 months, and 70 percent of graduates of this program are employed at graduation.

Texas A&M University

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Texas A&M is a public university in central Texas. With 45,000 undergraduate and 10,000 graduate students, A&M is the fourth largest university in the United States and the largest in Texas. The George Bush Presidential Library is located on the university’s 5,500-acre campus. Founded in 1876 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, A&M was the state’s first public institution of higher education. The full-time MBA program can be completed in 16 months at the College Station campus, but there are also 22-month professional and executive programs in Houston. Because personal attention is a priority at the Mays Business School, only about 80 students are admitted each year.

Michigan State University
MSU Beaumont Tower

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Although Michigan State University has undergone several name changes since its founding in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, this Public Ivy institution has gone by its current title since 1964. The campus is suburban and occupies 10,000 acres of East Lansing. Several MBA options are available through the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, including the traditional two-year track as well as more unique choices such as the Corporate MBA and the Integrative Management program. Michigan State business students also have access to international and experiential learning opportunities.

Rice University
Rice University

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Houston’s private William Marsh Rice University has a small urban campus and a total enrollment of about 4,000 students. The university’s 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio is one of the lowest in the country. The Jones Graduate School Entrepreneurs Organization connects alumni and students, providing them with opportunities for networking and mentorship. The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship encourages the startup of new technology companies by offering guidance and education. Such factors support Rice’s fourth-place ranking in the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine’s list of top graduate entrepreneurship programs in the U.S.

University of Minnesota

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Located in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota has more than 2,500 acres. Its 50,000 students put the university in second place for highest number of enrolled students in any higher education institution in the Midwest. UM’s Carlson School of Management gives MBA students various opportunities for experiential learning, such as their Global Discovery and Enterprise programs. The Office for Business and Community Economic Development also enables graduate students to collaborate with businesses and organizations in the community.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the state’s second-oldest public university. UIUC is a research-intensive institution less than three hours from such major cities as Indianapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis. The university owns the fifth-largest library in the United States, surpassed only by the Library of Congress, the Boston Public Library, Harvard University Library, and the New York Public Library. Substantial scholarships, a customizable curriculum, and the option to earn a joint degree characterize the Illinois MBA program.

Brigham Young University

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Brigham Young , sometimes called simply “The Y,” is one of the nation’s largest private universities and is located in northern Utah’s mountainous city of Provo. Operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, BYU was founded in 1875 and today has over 34,000 students on a suburban campus of 560 acres. The MBA program at Brigham Young emphasizes not only excellence in business education and practice, but the highly valued component of fellowship among students, professors, and alumni.

Ohio State University

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Ohio State University , or OSU, was founded in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The campus is only a couple of miles from downtown Columbus. Its buildings, including 21 libraries, are architecturally diverse. Within a university of nearly 60,000 students, the Fisher College of Business admits around 150 MBA students per year in order to maintain an intimate learning community. Fisher offers full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs, as well as joint degrees and about 25 student organizations.

University of Wisconsin Madison

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The University of Wisconsin Madison was founded in 1848, the same year Wisconsin became a state. To this day, UW remains Wisconsin’s largest and oldest public university. The university offers several specialized MBA programs, including Arts Administration, Finance, Marketing, Real Estate, Risk Management, and more. There are plenty of opportunities to learn from and contribute to the community both on campus and within Wisconsin’s capital city of Madison.

Vanderbilt University

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A private university founded in Nashville in1873, Vanderbilt has over 6,800 undergraduates and nearly as many graduate students. All four of Vanderbilt’s MBA programs last two years, but each offers unique direction for current and future business leaders. One such program is the Americas MBA for Executives, which prepares participants for international business management, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. The Owen Graduate School of Management has more than 30 student organizations.

University of Southern California

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The main campus of the University of Southern California is located in Los Angeles and occupies just over 300 acres. The private research university was founded in 1880 and is the oldest in California. More than 21,000 graduate students and 18,000 undergraduates attend USC, and more international students currently attend USC than any other university in the United States. The Marshall School of Business has about 200 students and five MBA options that span from 12 to 33 months.

Arizona State University

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Arizona State University has several campuses in the Phoenix area. It was founded in 1885 and was originally called the Territorial Normal School at Tempe. Total enrollment is over 76,000, making ASU the largest public university in the United States. Within the W.P. Carey School of Business, multiple MBA programs are available, including evening and weekend programs, an online option, and a program in Shanghai.

Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech

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The Georgia Institute of Technology , or Georgia Tech, was founded in 1885 and has its main campus in Atlanta, the capital city. In addition to a general Master of Business Administration degree, the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business also offers MBA degrees in Global Business and in Management of Technology. These programs provide important opportunities for working in internships and learning from international travel. Studying in Atlanta also means being near some of the nation’s biggest businesses, such as AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Turner Broadcasting System.

University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame University

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Notre Dame is officially the University of Notre Dame du Lac, which is French for “Our Lady of the Lake”—i.e., the Virgin Mary. It is a Catholic university near South Bend, Indiana. One-year and two-year MBA programs exist within the Mendoza College of Business. The one-year program is recommended for those with an undergraduate business degree, while the two-year program is open to career changers with any undergraduate degree. All of Mendoza’s programs and courses emphasize integrity and the practice of consistently challenging oneself.

University of Washington

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A public research university in Seattle, the University of Washington —also UW, or “U Dub”—was founded in 1861 and is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. More than 28,000 undergraduates and 13,000 graduate students attend the University of Washington. MBA degrees are available through the Foster School of Business in work-compatible, full-time, and global executive categories. Studying near headquarters of major companies such as Starbucks and Microsoft allows business students the opportunity for a closer look at the way these corporations operate.

Georgetown University

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Dating to 1789, Georgetown University is the oldest Jesuit university in the United States. It is located in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Many U.S. government officials (including former president Bill Clinton) have graduated from Georgetown, and more than 10,000 graduate students currently attend the university. Four undergraduate and four graduate schools make up Georgetown, one of which is the Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business. The McDonough School offers several full- and part-time MBA programs and encourages pursuers of these degrees to participate in one or more of the many MBA-related extracurricular organizations.

Washington University at St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

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Also known as WUSTL or “Wash U,” Washington University in St. Louis includes four campuses adding up to over 2,300 acres. Washington University was founded in 1853 and has hosted several presidential and vice presidential debates. About 650 students are enrolled in the Olin Business School, one of WUSTL’s seven undergraduate and graduate schools. Within the Business School, students choose from five Career Platforms, which are made up of even more specialization options. International study, combined degree programs, and valuable research centers make Washington University in St. Louis stand out.

Indiana University

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Indiana University was established in 1820 and—with over 40,000 students—is the largest university in the state. IU’s main campus is located in Bloomington, but the Indianapolis campus is just an hour away. The Bloomington campus offers full-time and online MBA programs, as well as a 3/2 program that combines an undergraduate BS degree with an MBA in only five years. In Indianapolis there is an evening MBA and a Business of Medicine MBA designed for practicing physicians.

Emory University

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Emory University is a private university near Atlanta affiliated with the United Methodist Church. There are 14,500 students enrolled; almost half of these are graduate students. Two-year and accelerated one-year MBA programs are available through the Goizueta Business School, which has a student-faculty ratio of 5:1. Goizueta encourages alumni to mentor current students and urges current students to build their leadership skills through the Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy or by getting involved in campus organizations.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina

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One of the oldest public universities in the United States, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was chartered in 1789 and began admitting students six years later. MBA students at UNC are trained to lead responsibly, taking into account global perspectives and the needs of the community. The Kenan-Flagler Business School’s full-time MBA program requires that students learn the process of running a business by experiencing one year of its simulation. Executive and online MBA programs are also available.

Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon

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Founded in Pittsburgh in 1900, Carnegie Mellon University now has seven colleges and schools. About 6,200 undergraduates currently attend, along with 6,600 graduate students. In the MBA program offered by Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, students can choose elective courses only after their first year of studying basic business principles. A full-time MBA at Carnegie Mellon can be completed in 21 months, and a part-time online or on-campus degree takes 32 months.

Cornell University

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Cornell University was founded in Ithaca, New York, in 1865. Each college at Cornell sets its own admission standards and is nearly autonomous, but the university is still considered a unified institution. An intense immersion learning experience is a valuable part of Cornell’s one- or two-year MBA. Tech MBA, Executive MBA, and dual degree options also exist within the Johnson School of Management, as do more than 80 student organizations.

University of California Los Angeles

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UCLA is a public university established in 1882 in Los Angeles, California. The 419-acre campus, though urban, is only five miles from the Pacific Ocean. The university’s Anderson School of Management has several MBA options, including two with opportunities for international study. The first year of the full-time MBA is filled with foundational business courses, but the student can customize the degree by choosing electives for the second year.

Duke University

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Duke University was founded in 1838 by Quakers and Methodists, but today its Methodists ties are looser. Duke’s campus occupies over 8,000 acres of land in Durham, North Carolina. The Fuqua School of Business has four MBA programs, two of which are international. They all consist of the same basic curriculum, but they differ in schedule and location. There are also several possibilities for joint degrees with an MBA.

University of Texas at Austin

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The University of Texas at Austin is one of the country’s largest universities, with over 50,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The university was founded in 1883 and is the flagship state university of Texas. In addition to courses of study leading to an MBA degree, UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business offers leadership and experiential learning opportunities such as the Ventures Fellows internship program and study abroad programs for a second MBA. The University of Texas offers similar programs in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and Mexico City.

Yale University
Yale University

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Yale is a private Ivy League university founded in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut. Originally the “Collegiate School” for sacred languages and theology, Yale now has 12 different schools separated by fields of study. Yale’s School of Management heavily emphasizes training based on handling scenarios that could occur in the real business world. This “raw” case approach, complete with thorough background information about each situation, necessitates collaboration and critical thinking, both essential skills in the professional realm.

University of Virginia
University of Virginia

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The University of Virginia is a public institution founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville. UVA’s Darden School of Business operates by a case method, teaching using real-world scenarios. Darden’s community is strong and its faculty are highly ranked for their accessibility to students. Around 600 students are enrolled in the business school. These students can choose from 40 organizations and multiple opportunities to study abroad.

University of Michigan
University of Michigan

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The University of Michigan has been in Ann Arbor since 1837, although it was founded 20 years earlier in Detroit. Michigan’s Ross School of Business offers abundant opportunities for international travel. Leadership development at Ross emphasizes action-based learning, which encourages students to engage fully in their work. If employment rate is any indication, then the University of Michigan does well in preparing its business students for work, as 85 percent are offered jobs by the time of graduation.

New York University

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New York University , in New York City, is a private, nonsectarian institution with more than 20 schools and colleges on many different campuses around the world. The Stern School of Business, one of 15 NYU graduate schools, has full-time, part-time, and executive MBA options. However, Stern also offers a unique program called the TRIUM Global EMBA, which allows students to earn their degrees by complementing their education in New York with experience at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the HEC School of Management in Paris. MBA students have the opportunity to build relationships within the Stern School of Business, as the school divides all incoming students into community blocks.

Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College

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Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire. About 2,000 graduate students are enrolled at Dartmouth, and 560 of those are part of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. Tuck boasts a tight-knit community of MBA students and faculty. Much of the classroom activity here is geared toward team projects; lectures, discussion, and independent study, however, are certainly not neglected. Opportunities for leadership development and international travel are also available through Dartmouth’s business school.

Columbia University
Columbia University

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A private Ivy League university in New York City, Columbia is 260 years old and has a 300-acre campus. The Columbia Business School emphasizes innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit by providing courses with new approaches to education, as well as plenty of opportunities to get involved and make an impact through campus organizations. Although there are over 1,000 students enrolled in the Columbia Business School, they are divided into groups of about 65 so that these students have all of their classes together during the first year of the program.

Northwestern University

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Northwestern University has campuses in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois. It was founded by Methodists in 1851 and currently has more than 10,000 graduate students. The Kellogg School of Management has part-time MBA programs as well as one- and two-year full-time programs. World-renowned faculty, ample learning opportunities outside the classroom, and a culture of innovation make the Northwestern MBA programs appealing to students from around the world.

University of Chicago

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Private and nondenominational, the University of Chicago has been part of the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood since 1890. Chicago’s Booth School of Business encourages curiosity and teaches students to challenge previously held assumptions, especially when it comes to business leadership. The MBA program at Booth has only one course that is required for all students, which means that it is highly customizable to fit the interests and needs of individuals. Booth offers 14 concentrations to choose from as part of full-and part-time programs. A 21-month Executive MBA is also available.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology , or MIT, is a private research university in Cambridge, just three miles from Boston. The Sloan School of Management offers three MBA tracks and an informal community of mutual respect. The tracks include Enterprise Management, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Finance. At MIT, students of varying schools and backgrounds learn from each other through cross-disciplinary teamwork. The culture is collaborative, and the goal is to work together to use innovation and education to serve the nation and the world.

University of California Berkeley
UC Berkeley

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A prestigious public research university in San Francisco, the University of California Berkeley is located near such impactful companies as Google and Visa. The university has about 10,000 graduate students and 25,000 undergraduates. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business seeks to foster a culture of level-headed confidence, innovative thinking, lifelong learning, and service to the greater community. The full-time MBA program leads to a degree in 21 months, while the part-time finishes in three years.

University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania

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The University of Pennsylvania , or U Penn, is a private Ivy League university founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740. The campus is located in Philadelphia and takes up a total of 992 acres. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania offers 18 different MBA majors as well as joint degree options. The MBA program at Wharton runs by the Learning Team model, which trains students to creatively collaborate with others in working toward a common goal. Students are also divided into cohorts, and each cohort takes fixed courses together.

Harvard University

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Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University is a private Ivy League institution founded in 1636. The Harvard Business School uses the case method so that students can practice solving real-world problems. Students can grow as leaders through Harvard’s Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development, or FIELD Method. Students share their MBA experience with a community called a section. They also have the option of living on campus through HBS or Harvard University housing along with 80 percent of HBS students.

Stanford University
Stanford University

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Stanford , officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university in Stanford, California, about 40 miles south of San Francisco. More than 8,000 acres make up the suburban campus and nearly 9,000 students constitute the graduate population. The Stanford Graduate School of Business offers a customizable MBA program with up to 18 elective opportunities in the second year. Several study trips and exchange programs are also available so that Stanford MBA students can learn about the world in a way that will allow them to impact it for the better.

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