Top Business Schools That May Best Prepare Grads for a Covid-19 World



How do you judge a business school right now? Amid the Covid-19 pandemic’s carnage and horrific economic effects, traditional measures are out the window. Almost overnight, schools shifted to online education. Some are returning to physical classes, and some envision hybrid teaching. Face it: Many aren’t sure what will come next.

Which schools are managing best? It’s too early to tell, so we focused on what could matter most with so much up in the air. Creativity, innovation, and the skills to run a startup or small business should win out, regardless of Covid-19’s path. The same applies to an awesome alumni network and school brand. 

Diving into 14,191 surveys of student and alumni from our Bloomberg Businessweek 2019-20 Best B-Schools Ranking, we focused on four questions. Our two top-ranked schools, Stanford andDartmouth’s Tuck School, excelled in all four. So did UC at Berkeley’s Haas school. Chicago Booth, IE,Cambridge Judge Business School,HEC Paris,Notre Dame’s Mendoza school, andWilliam and Mary’s Mason, scored well, too. 

Survey Results

If you value innovation and creativity, which are especially important in today’s economy, Stanford, in Palo Alto, Calif., Cornell’s Johnson school, in Ithaca, N.Y., and Berkeley come out on top, according to our student surveys. Then the list diverges from the usual suspects. Milan’s SDA Bocconi, William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., Mendoza, in Notre Dame, Ind., andGeorgia Tech’s Scheller school, in Atlanta, follow. 



If the skills needed to start a company or run a small business are what you want in these most uncertain times, Stanford, Cornell, IE, and Berkeley constitute the top four in student scores, followed byMIT’s Sloan school in Cambridge, Mass.

In this dismal economy, the difference could be a helping hand, a piece of advice, a job, or a solid lead from your alumni network. Topping the list, according to alumni surveys, are: Dartmouth, in Hanover, N.H.,USC’s Marshall school, in Los Angeles, Stanford, Berkeley, and Notre Dame.


A school’s reputation matters, like it or not. So if you’re looking for the brands that matter most, alumni rank highest Stanford, Cambridge, MIT, Harvard, andPennsylvania’s Wharton school in Philadelphia. 


How This Works: Bloomberg Businessweek ranked 131 business schools around the world in 2019. Results were based on survey responses from graduating students, alumni, and recruiters, as well as employment data from each school. For this Quarterly Update, we focused on the 9,016 student surveys and 5,175 alumni surveys that were filled out last year. We then selected our top-tier schools globally, ranked them 1 to 50, and sorted results to see how students and alumni viewed the best of the best. We highlighted four questions and ranked only schools with more than 10 responses to these questions. A score of 1 is the lowest possible, and 7 is the highest.

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