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Thread: Top US universities for OB/Management

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    Top US universities for OB/Management

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    Hello everyone,

    First of all, as I am new to this forum, hello everyone reading this post

    I am a British student currently in my penultimate year. I know what the ranking for OB for the British unis is but not sure about the American ones.

    Is there even any ranking for the top 10 unis? Or is it simply the case that whatever university from the top 10 you apply to it is going to be amazing for OB anyway.

    The order I thought about would be Harvard, Stanford, MIT, UPenn, UC Berkley, Columbia, NYU Stern, Chicago, Yale.

    While I know there are rankings available online, there is simply this thing you just know from being in a particular country. So any advice on my list, whether you agree, disagree, would add or remove any universities, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

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    Re: Top US universities for OB/Management

    Be welcome. We are just a few here, but often a good few.

    Check past threads, because we have discussed and argued about rankings a lot of times, and some users really did write some great stuff.

    First, for PhD, top 10 means absolutely amazing programs in the US, extremely competitive. Even people with perfect profiles apply to a wider range. Usually, top 30 is still very optimistic.

    Second, many people use the UTD ranking as a starting point:
    Search by Journal, University, Author and Article - The UTD Top 100 Business School Research Rankings

    IMPORTANT: that is just a starting point. Relying too much on rankings of any kind is really a bad idea. I totally agree that applicants should think about their own way to develop a ranking, and then do it.

    For example, I'm a Marketing PhD student. Yeah, you can find some rankings for Marketing PhD. But not necessarily valid for Quantitative Marketing, and absolutely not for the topic I want to research. There are top 10 schools that are bad for me, since they do not care about the topics I want to study, and there is a school ranked around 50th that has one of the most important researchers for those topics.

    Your list of schools looks like a list of famous schools, not the best ones. I wouldn't be surprised to find some of the schools you mentioned being ranked 30th or 50th for PhD. And you will probably find among the top 10 some schools you never heard about.

    So, applicants usually start with a list like yours, because they are the schools we always hear about. But along the way, with more information, they start to drop some "top" schools and start to include some "unknown" schools. It sounds crazy to, for example, drop schools like MIT and Yale, and select schools like University of Georgia or Ohio State, but it can be really the right thing depending on the applicant's profile.

    PS - You can disregard any rankings for undergrad and MBA. They are almost completely useless for PhD, and can really get you in the wrong path.

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    Re: Top US universities for OB/Management

    I can only second Brazilian! Look this really depends on what you want to do. I have found that, especially for OB, it is hard to get a whole lot from the rankings. The first question you have to ask yourself is what type of OB you want to do (all schools have different names for this btw). Do you want to do OB/micro/psych research or OT/macro/soc, or are you more interested in the very interdisciplinary management approaches? What broad topic areas are you interested in? Try to figure out which schools have multiple(!) people doing research in the area and then try and see how those people compare to the general ranking of the department. Some schools have great people for your specific interest even though they wouldn't be regarded very strongly in the general OB sub-field.

    Chicago for example hasn't been taking students into their OB program for the last few years. Yale might look to be really far down the line in some of the rankings, but they are great when it comes to work on networks. MIT would be the perfect place if you want to do sociological work on hiring. Stanford is probably the safest bet of those schools as I've only heard great things about the OB faculty and since they have quite a wide focus as well. Harvard on the other hand is obviously extremely well known, but stories tend to surface that students are often left to fight on their own (some people might thrive in that environment, just be aware of it). Wharton, Columbia and NYU are great management schools that often take more interdisciplinary approaches.

    If you let us know what type of research you're looking at, we might be able to point you towards some names.

    TL;DR: Find research your interested in and look where those professors are. From there on make your way towards personalized rankings.

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    Re: Top US universities for OB/Management

    Quote Originally Posted by panaceum View Post
    While I know there are rankings available online, there is simply this thing you just know from being in a particular country. So any advice on my list, whether you agree, disagree, would add or remove any universities, would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
    There is certainly no definitive list and I'd argue that it is not even something you "just know from being in a particular country." My own program may or may not be top ten depending on who you talk to. I think that is true for half of the programs in any person's top ten.

    BrazilianPhD's advice is solid. Generally it is about finding a good match. Just about any school in the top 25 schools is going to give you a similar education and should position you well on the job market.

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    Re: Top US universities for OB/Management

    I can only second what the others said here. You really need to look at what you want to study. My school fits AppInfo’s description as well and might be top10 regarding some specialties, but probably wouldn’t be a good fit for people who want to study different things. Management/OB is just super broad. Have you thought about what type of research you want to do, as in micro/psych/OB, Macro/soc/OT, or do you want to do the more interdisciplinary general management research? If you let us know what kind of research you envision in a bit more detail, we might be able to help.

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    Re: Top US universities for OB/Management

    As someone who attends a "top" OB school, I'd say the OP's list is reasonable, not so much in the sense of order but pure membership. MIT is far better at OT, and possibly anyone else in the field, than they are at OB. I can't speak for Yale, having not really met anyone from SOM doing OB/Management only their OT group which is quite strong, but I've met folks from all the others and they are very well established in the field and their departments are highly respected. (It helps many of their faculty have dual appointments in psychology, behavioral econ, etc.) The OP may want to add Princeton's psychology group, INSEAD, or UMich onto the list as well. CMU is quite good as well for research into teams and learning. Duke is more strategy focused. UNC was historically and remains to this day strong in sociology.

    Also, these schools often have multiple departments that study "management" and you have to apply to one of them also. Stanford has 4-6 (GSB, Ed. School, Psych, Soc. Econ, Engineering's MS&E), Harvard has separate strategy and management groups as well as disciplinary dept's, Berkeley has their GSB, Psyc, Econ, but also a dept. within their E school that does technology and innovation management. I could go on.

    That said, it will matter what they want to study, as others have mentioned. Certain schools will reject you because you aren't the type they're looking for while others will accept you for the same reasons. Schools are trying invest in students that will succeed within the school's context and resources, and your fit is the ultimately calculus for acceptance.

    You can certainly shotgun all of them and see what happens, and indeed you will join the ranks of many who do. Moreover, a few may even give you call backs. But if you accept a position at one of these places without realizing what you're getting into, it'll be 4-6 years of pain. Assuming you don't just drop out. So don't step forward if you don't realize what hole you might fall in to.
    If we do our job right, we'll tell you something you already knew. If we do our job well, we'll tell you something you didn't. Unfortunately, the latter is often indistinguishable from doing our job poorly.

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