Organizations and individuals have been ranking business schools for years. In the US, a whole industry has arisen focused on the business of ranking universities and colleges, including undergraduate business schools (e.g., Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes and US News & World Report, to name just a few). In Canada, there are no specific rankings focused exclusively on Canadian undergraduate business programs.
MacLean’s Magazine, however, does conduct an annual ranking of Canadian universities for their "undergraduate experience," and The Globe & Mail also publishes their "University Report." As well, Canadian Business ranks business schools by the payback for obtaining a degree and subsequent employment acquired, while the Social Science Research Network ranks business schools based on research activity.
Therefore, although indirectly, Canadian undergraduate business schools are indeed ranked! How then should these rankings be interpreted? First, the ranking reports often come with detailed data to support conclusions, and while data collection may be criticized, the editors of these reports usually make an effort to ensure that statistics are comparable. So the reports can be used by you to compare institutions and schools on the basis of the data provided.
Second, the statistics that come from the rankings can also suggest topics that need to be studied in more detail. For instance, if you find that a high percentage of students participate in an international exchange and that most go to South East Asia, you might want to explore during a school visit why few students go to the EU.
All university rankings have one other thing in common. – they are a list of institutions and schools. Scanning the list might suggest a business school that you had not considered or perhaps even heard of. Used this way, the rankings can help expand your list of schools that can then be researched in more detail.
However, you should never judge a school based on business school rankings alone. Business school rankings are important, but there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. Schools that are less prominent may have a program that suits your needs better than any nationally ranked schools. Lesser known regional schools can also be a good choice if you wish to remain close to home while undertaking your studies. Often times, these schools have the strongest relationships with local industries and employers. Once you have accumulated this information, you can create your own business school rankings.