Top 10 MBA programs in the U.S.

Which schools have the best job placement records and strongest programs? Here's this year's Poets&Quants ranking of the best MBA programs in the U.S., and a look at a few that have lost significant ground.

1. Harvard
Index: 100
2010 Rank: 1
Average GMAT: 727
Acceptance rate: 12%
Median base salary: $120,000
Suggested two-year budget: $168,000

When people think about the MBA degree, the very first school that immediately springs to mind is Harvard. HBS is synonymous with the degree and literally sets the pace for the industry. It's why everything it does instantly makes news -- both good and bad. And Harvard's new dean, Nitin Nohria, has immediately injected new energy and enthusiasm at the school.

Within 12 short months since assuming leadership of HBS last July 1, Nohria has racked up accomplishments that would have taken some B-school deans a decade or more. They include crafting and then communicating a new agenda for the school, pushing through significant changes to the MBA program amid concerns from some that he was moving too fast, and raising millions of dollars in donations, including a $50 million gift from India's Tata Group and its philanthropic interests.

Percentage of MBAs with job offers at graduation: 94%

By Poets&Quants @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 08 2011: 2:15 PM ET
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