The 13th annual ranking of Global MBA programs by the Financial Times (FT) released on January 31 has London Business School and the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania tied at top position, followed by Harvard Business School at number 3.

Rounding up the top 5 are INSEAD and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Wharton, which had consistently held the top position from 2001 to 2009, had dropped to second position last year because of lower alumni earnings during the recession. This year, data collected by the publication shows that earnings have picked up again, pushing the weighted, three-year-average salary - one of the most important criteria used for the ranking - to $171,550 for Wharton graduates.

The FT considers three main areas on which to rank schools: alumni salaries and career development, the diversity and international reach of the school and its MBA, and the research capabilities of each school.

The Global MBA rankings also include ratings of schools on some niche areas of specialization. This year, the top schools identified in these areas are:

Finance: Stern School of Business, New York University

International Business: Thunderbird School of Global Management

Accountancy: Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University

Entrepreneurship: Babson College

Corporate Social Responsibility: Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame

General Management: Darden School of Business, University of Virginia