No. 1 in value: Georgia MBA leads Financial Times’ global ranking

Terry’s Full-Time MBA receives record-high ranking; rated top program in the state

For those who’ve thought about the time it takes to earn an MBA from the University of Georgia, the cost-benefit calculation has never been clearer. It pays off.

The return on investment of a Georgia MBA compared to its cost is tops in the world, according to the latest MBA rankings from the Financial Times.

The London-based financial newspaper surveyed 132 full-time MBA programs at the leading graduate business schools and ranked the top 100 global MBA programs.

The Full-Time MBA at UGA’s Terry College of Business is ranked No. 20 in the U.S. and 5th among public universities in the U.S., and the Financial Times rated Georgia’s MBA the No. 1 value for the money worldwide.

The rankings calculated value by dividing the average alumni salary three years after graduation by the total cost of the MBA, which included tuition, lost salary, opportunity cost and other expenses.

“When you combine our high employment rate with the significant salary growth our graduates are seeing when they reenter the job market, and then compare the cost of our program to our peers — even without the financial support and aid we provide our students — we come out way ahead in terms of creating value for them. It’s very clear,” said Santanu Chatterjee, director of the Full-Time MBA program and Terry’s associate dean for diversity, international and master’s programs.

UGA’s rankings in the Financial Times are the highest ever reported for the full-time program since the newspaper began surveying and ranking 100 MBA programs in 2001. UGA also is ranked the top MBA program in the state of Georgia.

“The steady ascent of the MBA program has been remarkable, and it’s very gratifying to see it recognized, given the hard work that has supported it,” said Dean Ben Ayers. “Our MBA culture at the Terry College of Business focuses on collaborative success. It’s a testament to our outstanding students, the dedicated efforts of the MBA faculty, admissions, student services and career management teams, and the backing of the Terry alumni network. Our rise in the national rankings is a reflection of these efforts and the impressive employment success that’s followed.”

In its global rankings, the Financial Times placed the Georgia MBA at No. 40. Half of the higher ranked programs are based in other countries. The MBA rankings methodology considers 21 different measures, including average salary after graduation, career progression, alumni network, employment rate, faculty expertise, research productivity and several international components.

Georgia MBA graduates surveyed by the Financial Times gave the program a 9.41 “overall satisfaction” rating on a 10-point scale, which ranked 9th worldwide and 2nd among U.S. public universities. Terry College’s MBA career services ranked in the top 15 globally.

“MBA students come to Georgia to make an investment in their future. We in the college think of our ourselves as partners in that investment,” Chatterjee said. “The advantage of a program like Georgia’s isn’t just smaller class size and a lot of attention and support from faculty and staff. We provide customized and flexible services — personal coaching, mentorship, alumni connections and leadership opportunities. Each student can have their own path, and we can help them plan out their future.”

That concierge level of service has supported an employment rate for graduating classes that has exceeded 95 percent within three months of graduation. The Financial Times reported Terry College’s “salary percentage increase,” meaning the difference in alumni salary from before their MBA to now, averaged 186% for the Georgia MBA survey respondents. That percentage increase led all U.S. business schools in the top 100 and ranked 4th globally. The average post-MBA salary for 2020 graduates of the UGA program topped $143,000, according to the survey.

The 2024 edition of the Financial Times’ Global MBA rankings was published in February.