UVA Darden Highlighted by Poets & Quants as School Where Graduates Get the Highest Pay

19 April 2019

By Jay Hodgkins

After U.S. News & World Report released its Best Business Schools 2020 ranking, placing the University of Virginia Darden School of Business No. 3 for highest compensation among all U.S. business school 2018 graduating classes, online B-school news site Poets & Quants broke down the pay rankings with an in-depth look at compensation trends for graduates from MBA programs.

The publication noted that the gap in compensation between “elite schools” and the pack is getting broader by the year.

It’s the big question: Which school confers an MBA with the greatest money-making power? Even those who go to business school wanting to change the world for the better would prefer to be well-compensated while they go about it.

It will surprise exactly no one that the best bang for your B-school buck comes at the elite schools. In 2018, according to data reported to U.S. News & World Report, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania had the top average pay (salary plus bonus), at $165,528. (Wharton also saw the biggest five-year increase in average pay among the top 10 ranked schools, at 16.1%.) Wharton unseats Stanford Graduate School of Business, which was the top school in 2017; a year later, Stanford is No. 2 in the pay sweepstakes, at $162,704, followed by the University of Virginia Darden School of Business ($160,711), Harvard Business School ($159,314), and MIT’s Sloan School of Management ($159,245). The average for the 10 highest-ranked schools: $156,837.

Read the full Poets & Quants report on MBA graduate compensation trends. 

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Molly Mitchell
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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia