QS World University Rankings - Global MBA Rankings Methodology

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Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jan 21, 2021 12:33 IST

QS MBA Rankings Methodology

QS MBA Rankings Methodology: As the name suggests, the QS Global MBA Rankings talk about the top MBA Universities in the world for a given year and is one of the most searched online. The QS Global MBA Rankings use six benchmarks that are further divided into multiple indicators to capture university performances and a list of top-performing MBA universities in the world are derived for a particular year.

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QS Global MBA Rankings – Parameters

The following parameters/indicators along with their weightage are used to determine the quality of





QS Global Employer Survey


Employment Rate


Entrepreneurship and Alumni Outcomes

Alumni Outcomes




Return on Investment

10 Year ROI


Payback Month


Thought Leadership

QS Academic Reputation


Research Impact


Percentage of faculty with PhD


Class & Faculty Diversity



Now let us closely examine what each criterion includes


The Employability criteria has the maximum weightage of 35 % and is broadly divided into two sections, QS Global Employer Survey and Employment Rate. Let us examine each one individually.

  • QS Global Employer Survey: The QS Global Employer Survey forms the backbone of the ranking methodology. In the survey, employers are asked to select the schools that they are mostly like to hire from. The survey is over 20 years old which only speaks of the success it entails. Universities can also contribute to the survey by providing up to 400 employers that recruit their graduates.
  • Employment Rate: The employment rate takes into account the employment rate of students, three months after they have graduated from their university and is based on MBA CSEA standards.

Entrepreneurship and Alumni Outcomes

This particular criteria takes into account the desire of students wanting to set up their own shop and alumni presence in different firms and accounts for 15% of total weightage.

  • Entrepreneurship: To take into account the growing desire of students wanting to start their own business after graduation, entrepreneurship has been added to take this desire into account. Universities report this figure based on MBA CESA standards.
  • Alumni Outcome Index: The alumni outcome index takes into account the universities/colleges associated with over 50,000 CEOs, executives, and board members at the biggest companies in the world including Amazon, Apple, AT&T, ExxonMobil, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, and PepsiCo among others. This information is directly sourced from the public domain upon verification.

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Return on Investment

This parameter is broadly divided into two aspects, the 10-year Return on Investment (ROI) and payback month and carries a total weightage of 20 percent.

  • 10 year ROI: The ten-year return on investment takes into account the average post-MBA salaries against average salaries before enrolment along with other factors such as forgone salary as well as tuition and cost of living. The percentage of graduates accepting employment within three months of finishing their studies is also taken into the computation.
  • Payback Month: This is the time taken to pay back the entire cost of education. The shorter the payback period, the more points the university receives.

Thought Leadership

The thought leadership is divided into 3 components, QS Academic Reputation, Research Impact, and Percentage of faculty with Ph.D. They together contribute to 15% of the total weightage to the QS MBA University Rankin.

  • QS Academic Reputation: This takes into account the reputation of an MBA Program based on university and business school nominations of academics from around the world for the last 5 years.
  • Research Impact: QS uses Elsevier’s Scopus database to assess the research intensity of schools. They look at the last five years and analyze thousands of research papers.
  • Percentage of faculty with Ph.D.: Here the number of faculty with a doctoral degree is taken into account. 

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Class and Faculty Diversity

As the name suggests, this particular parameter looks at the diversity within a program. This factor takes into account the percentage of female students and faculty members, the percentage of international faculty overall at the business school, and the international mix of students for the MBA program.

This is a very modest understanding of the methodology of the QS University Rankings for our readers for Top MBA Universities. Students who are looking for an in-depth analysis can always refer to the official website or get in touch with us in the comments below for further guidance.

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About the Author
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

With over 8 years of experience in overseas education, Rahul Singha has been previously associated with prominent education houses. He is also responsible for keeping a sharp eye on education policies of major study... Read Full Bio


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