Timothy Peck 6 min read 11th Grade, 12th Grade, School Rankings

Top 15 Best Colleges for Business Majors

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If you have dreams of starting your own company, becoming a leader of industry, or simply want to transition from college to a traditional corporate job, an undergraduate business degree is worth exploring. With so many opportunities available to students graduating with a business degree, it comes as no surprise that approximately one in five undergrads majors in business. 

 

See the complete list of top schools for business.

 

What is Business School?

 

Undergraduates pursuing business degrees are taught foundational skills and begin building professional networks that will carry them into employment, or help them work toward a graduate-level degree later. While building core skills is the primary purpose of an undergraduate business degree, many students will concentrate in a particular area. Typical concentrations include subjects such as accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, marketing, and supply chain management. 

 

Because business is such a wide-ranging degree, programs vary from school to school. Every institution has unique mission statements, course offerings, internship programs, and international opportunities. Students will find variety in how material is taught as well, with some schools prioritizing classroom learning while others focus on experiential learning. Business schools also differ in how they fit in with a college’s other programs; for example, Cornell’s Agribusiness Management Minor ties in with the school’s world-renowned College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

 

How We Made Our List and Rankings

 

We feel like the 15 schools listed below represent the gold standard for business majors. With that said, you should not treat this list as the end-all, be-all on the subject. For the 15 incredible schools on our list, there are tens of others that could have easily made it. Furthermore, just because a school is on this list doesn’t make it the best school for you; it’s important to take your fit factors into consideration, like size, location, and selectivity, among others. 

 

All that aside, we arrived at our rankings by considering a number of factors: 

 

Prestige: You don’t need to concentrate in marketing to know that graduating from a school like MIT gives you a leg up when applying to jobs. Along with name recognition, the schools below have robust and active alums who can help graduates get their foot in the door. 

 

Outcome: Outcome is one of the most easily measured metrics when comparing colleges for business majors. College is expensive, and graduates from the schools listed below find employment at a high rate and on average earn salaries well above their peers. 

 

Courses: From a multitude of concentrations to the opportunity to explore areas outside of the business world, we looked for schools that graduate intellectually-curious, well-rounded students prepared to lead in all types of industries.  

 

Experience: If all a student has done is read books for the past four years, they’re in trouble when it comes to making real-world decisions. The best business schools give students hands-on experience with real-world decisions so they are prepared to be a high-functioning employee immediately upon entering the workforce. 

 

Top 15 Best Colleges For Business Majors

 

Click on the school to jump to a link where you can learn more about the college and what it takes to get in. Keep in mind that this admissions data is for the entire university, and that stats may be different for colleges within each university (if applicable).

 

School Name Location Acceptance Rate (2019) Middle 50% SAT Scores Middle 50% ACT Scores
1. University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7.7% 1460-1550 33-35
2. Cornell University Ithaca, NY 10.6% 1400-1560 32-35
3. California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 6.4% 1530-1570 35-36
4. Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 14% 1480-1550 33-35
5. Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 15.4% 1460-1560 33-35
6. Brown University Providence, RI 7.1% 1440-1550 32-35
7. University of Notre Dame Notre Dame 15.8% 1410-1540 33-35
8. Georgetown University Washington, DC 14.5% 1370-1530 31-34
9. University of Virginia – Main Campus Charlottesville, VA 23.9% 1340-1500 30-34
10. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 22.9% 1380-1540 32-25
11. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 22.6% 1300-1470 27-33
12. New York University New York, NY 15% (2020) 1350-1530 30-34
13. University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 11.4% 1270-1490 28-34
14. Boston College Newton, MA 27% 1340-1480 (2018) 31-34 (2018)
15. Babson College Wellesley, MA 26% 1330-1490 29-34

 

1. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Acceptance Rate: 7.7%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 10,183

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1460-1550 SAT, 33-35 ACT

 

Learn more about UPenn and what it takes to get accepted.

 

2. Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, NY

Acceptance Rate: 10.6%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 15,182

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1400-1560 SAT, 32-35 ACT

 

Learn more about Cornell and what it takes to get accepted.

 

3. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Location: Pasadena, CA

Acceptance Rate: 6.4%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 948

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1530-1570 SAT, 35-36 ACT

 

Learn more about Caltech and what it takes to get accepted.

 

4. Washington University in St. Louis (WashU)

Location: St. Louis, MO

Acceptance Rate: 14%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 7,751

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1550 SAT, 33-35 ACT

 

Learn more about WashU and what it takes to get accepted.

 

5. Carnegie Mellon University

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Acceptance Rate: 15.4%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 6,947

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1470-1560 SAT, 33-35 ACT

 

Learn more about Carnegie Mellon and what it takes to get accepted.

 

6. Brown University

Location: Providence, RI

Acceptance Rate: 7.1%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 7,043

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1440-1550 SAT, 32-35 ACT

 

Learn more about Brown and what it takes to get accepted.

 

7. University of Notre Dame

Location: Notre Dame, IN

Acceptance Rate: 15.8% 

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 8,617

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1410-1540 SAT, 33-35 ACT

 

Learn more about Notre Dame and what it takes to get accepted.

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8. Georgetown University

Location: Washington, DC

Acceptance Rate: 14.5%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 7,459

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1370-1530 SAT, 31-34 ACT

 

Learn more about Georgetown and what it takes to get accepted.

 

9. University of Virginia – Main Campus

Location: Charlottesville, VA

Acceptance Rate: 23.9%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 16,777

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1340-1500 SAT, 30-34 ACT

 

Learn more about UVA and what it takes to get accepted.

 

10. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Acceptance Rate: 22.9% 

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 30,318

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1380-1540 SAT, 32-35 ACT

 

Learn more about UMich and what it takes to get accepted.

 

11. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Acceptance Rate: 22.6%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 19,117

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1300-1470 SAT, 27-33 ACT

 

Learn more about UNC Chapel Hill and what it takes to get accepted.

 

12. New York University (NYU)

Location: New York, NY

Acceptance Rate: 15% (2020)

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 26,733

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1350-1530 SAT, 30-34 ACT

 

Learn more about NYU and what it takes to get accepted.

 

13. University of Southern California (USC)

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Acceptance Rate: 11.4%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 19,907

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1270-1490 SAT, 28-34 ACT

 

Learn more about USC and what it takes to get accepted.

 

14. Boston College

Location: Newton, MA

Acceptance Rate: 27%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 9,927

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1340-1480 SAT, 31-34 ACT (2018)

 

Learn more about Boston College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

15. Babson College

Location: Wellesley, MA

Acceptance Rate: 26%

Total Undergrad Enrollment: 2,361

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1330-1490 SAT, 29-34 ACT

 

Learn more about Babson College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

What to Look for in a Business School

 

With hundreds of schools offering undergraduate business degrees, finding the right school for you can be challenging. Here are a few characteristics to look for when considering colleges. 

 

Fit: Whether you’re pursuing a bachelor’s in business or in art, you’ll want to choose a school that meets your specific needs. For example, a student studying business at Cornell’s more rural campus is going to have a different college experience than someone studying at USC’s urban campus. Similarly, a student studying at a school like MIT with approximately 4,000 students will have a contrasting experience from someone studying among the 50,000+ students at the University Texas–Austin. 

 

Learning Style: Everyone learns differently, and it’s important to seek out a school that meshes with the way you learn. Do you thrive in small classes and require personal attention from teachers? A small school might make sense. Do you pick up skills better when you get first-hand experience with them, or are you able to simply read about an ability and apply it? Sit in a few classes and see if a school is suited to your style. 

 

Offerings: Different schools have different programs and offerings. As mentioned earlier, if you’re interested in Agribusiness, Cornell is an excellent choice; however, if you want to break into the film world, you’d be hard pressed to find a better program than USC’s Business Cinematic Arts. Similarly, if international business is an interest, it’s worth looking into a school’s study abroad program. 

 

Outcome: College is one of the largest investments most people make. Outcome is a reliable way of gauging how that investment will pay off in the future. Many colleges publish the percentage of their graduates who go onto employment or continue on to pursue a higher degree. Many also publish the average earnings of recent graduates. 

 

The are many more schools that are great for business! See the complete list of best colleges for business.

 

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Timothy Peck
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.