Top rankings went to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School and Harvard Business School, with Duke University's Fuqua School of Business coming in fifth. Sloan moved up 11 places over its ranking of #15 in 1998, the most recent survey published by the magazine.
"Almost as dramatic as the neck-and-neck race between Wharton and Kellogg is the huge gain made this year by MIT's Sloan School of Management," wrote Jennifer Merritt in the magazine's cover story. "Sloan leapt all the way into the No. 4 spot from No. 15 in 1998, an astounding jump, making it the most improved of our top 30 schools.
"Students say Sloan's entrepreneurial environment and small size -- about 350 students per class -- make it an especially rewarding place to get an education," the article said.
Sloan's rise through the ranks may be linked to two changes in the methodology of Business Week's calculation of the ratings. This year 10 percent of the score came from a new measure Business Week calls "Intellectual Capital," measured by counting the number and types of papers published in scholarly and professional journals and by reviews of faculty books in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week. Sloan came in second in the Intellectual Capital category, close behind Duke University.
The other difference in the survey methodology comes from a change in the way Business Week gets input from corporate recruiters, who voted Sloan as the best source for top graduates in technology. Recruiters ranked Sloan eighth for top graduates in finance and for "global scope."
Sloan was also cited in the survey as having the second highest rise in student satisfaction.
"We have made substantial changes in our MBA program, to which students, alumni and recruiters have responded positively," commented Sloan School Dean Richard Schmalensee. "Sloan has gone through a lot of growth and change over the last several years, and our programs have become even stronger. It's nice to see the quality of our students and the superb work of our faculty and staff recognized."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 27, 2000.