UGA’s Terry College of Business makes big jump in new M.B.A. ranking released by the Financial

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business was ranked Monday as the 11th best public business school, 33rd best U.S. business school, and 56th in the world by the 2006 Global M.B.A. rankings announced by the Financial Times of London.

The newspaper’s ranking considers all full-time MBA programs at accredited universities in the United States and abroad.

As was the case with The Wall Street Journal’s latest M.B.A. ranking, the Terry College made one of the most significant gains of any school that was ranked the past two years by The Financial Times. The Terry M.B.A. program climbed 26 spots in the ranking, from 82nd in 2005 to 56th this year. Only the University of Washington had a bigger gain within the top 100.

“Our faculty regularly draws on their personal research and their joint work with doctoral students to improve the relevance and rigor of the Terry M.B.A. curriculum,” said Terry College Dean P. George Benson.  “Our dramatic rise in the Financial Times’ top 100 is confirmation of the strength of our research faculty and the progress we have made in enhancing student admissions, career services, job placement and diversity.”

Della Bradshaw, a business education editor at the Financial Times, said the Terry M.B.A. program improved its ranking in all of the job-related measures, such as salaries reported by alumni, job placement within three months of graduation, and survey responses by recent graduates.

“(Terry) is also an incredibly good value for the money for a U.S. school,” she added.

In fact, UGA’s MBA program was judged to have the third best “value for the money” of any U.S. business school. The Times measured value by calculating the salary earned by alumni three years after graduation and comparing it against the overall cost to enroll, including tuition and fees and the “opportunity cost” of not working for the duration of the full-time program.

The Terry College also ranked in the top 20 globally for its “doctoral rating,” which the Times measured as the number of doctoral graduates produced by a business school in the past three years with additional weight given to Ph.D. graduates who are hired into faculty positions at another top 50 business school.

The annual Financial Times ranking was first published in 1999 and is based on three broad sets of criteria to measure M.B.A. program performance: (1) the career progression of alumni from the school (e.g., salary increases, placement success); (2) diversity (e.g., percentage of international and female faculty and students); and (3) how effectively the school generates new ideas (e.g., doctoral graduate placement, research rating).

The Times reported that this year’s top 100 ranking includes 57 U.S. business schools, 27 European schools, seven Canadian, two from Australia, two from China and three from Latin America. Singapore and South Africa are also represented.

Despite a recent global trend of declining applications for full-time M.B.A. programs, the Financial Times survey found that enrollment in a ranked program remains a sound investment in professional advancement. Alumni of more than 70 of the 100 ranked schools (including Terry) reported “doubling their money” — meaning salaries that graduates of the class of 2002 are earning today are more than twice the salary they gave up to pursue an MBA.