Resources › For Students and Parents What Are Business School Tiers? First Tier, Second Tier, and Third Tier Business Schools Share Flipboard Email Print For Students and Parents Business School Choosing A Business School Business Specializations Business Degree Options Business School Admissions MBA Programs & Rankings Business Careers and Internships Student Resources Homework Help Private School Test Prep College Admissions College Life Graduate School Law School Distance Learning View More By Karen Schweitzer Business Education Expert Karen Schweitzer is a business school admissions consultant, curriculum developer, and education writer. She has been advising MBA applicants since 2005. our editorial process Karen Schweitzer Updated March 08, 2017 Some of the organizations that rank business schools use what is known as a "tier" concept. The concept was originally used in conjunction with U.S. News rankings to differentiate top business schools from other business schools. It has since been used by other organizations, such as BusinessWeek.Most business schools dislike the term "tier," and in recent years, a number of organizations have retired the term for one reason or another. However, it is still used in certain circles.First Tier Business SchoolThe term "top business school" is another way of saying first tier business school. A first tier business school is "above" second tier and third tier business schools. Although every organization is different, most consider a first tier business school to be any school that is in a top 30 or top 50 ranking. Read more about first tier business schools.Second Tier Business SchoolSecond tier business schools fall below first tier business schools and above third tier business schools. Most people label business schools that are below the top 50 but above the third tier as "second tier business schools." Read more about second tier business schools.<br/>Third Tier Business SchoolA third tier business school is a school that falls below the first tier and second tier of business schools. The term third tier often applies to business schools that are not ranked among the top 100 business schools. Read more about third tier business schools.