If you want a near-guaranteed job out of business school – and you want that job to be on Wall Street – Harvard and Stanford shouldn’t be your top choices, despite the fact that they yet again topped the list of the best MBA programs in the country. Rather, it’s the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania that’s paradise for future bankers.
In its most recent study announced Tuesday, U.S. News & World Report ranked Wharton as the top business school for finance specialties, finishing a half dozen spots ahead of Stanford and Harvard, which ranked 6th and 7th, respectively.
Moreover, Wharton graduates earned the highest average starting salary and bonus in 2013, pulling in north of $141k in their first year. Meanwhile, graduates from University of Chicago (Booth) and New York University (Stern), the second and third-ranked MBA programs for finance, didn’t bring in more than $135k in their first year out of school.
Perhaps more importantly, nearly 94% of Wharton graduates were employed within three months of graduating. No other top-15 school held that high of a mark. Most were in the high-80s, in fact.
Interestingly, it’s much easier to get into Wharton than it is Harvard or Stanford. The acceptance rate at UPenn’s business school is nearly 19%, compared to 7% at Stanford and 11% at Harvard. You also don’t need the same grades, though you’ll still need high marks. The average undergrad GPA for Wharton enrollees was 3.6. At Harvard and Stanford, it was 3.7 and 3.73, respectively.
The one downside? You’ll need to make a big investment if you want to enroll. Average out-of-state tuition and fees for Wharton total more than $64k, making it the second most expensive MBA program in the country, behind Harvard. It seems you pay for what you get, though.
Top Ranked Finance MBA Programs
1. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
2. University of Chicago (Booth)
3. New York University (Stern)
4. Columbia University
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
6. Stanford University
7. Harvard University
8. University of California — Berkley (Haas)
9. Northwestern University (Kellogg)
10. University of California — Los Angeles (Anderson)