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Poets & Quants Top Business Schools

Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business


Location: 1311 S. 5th Street Waco, Texas 76706

Admissions Office: (254) 710-4163



Hankamer School of Business

Baylor’s curriculum is a full-time, 16 or 21-month commitment, specifically designed so students may attain their MBA degree at an accelerated pace. Included in the program are an intrinsic ethical focus, an unexpected vibrant entrepreneurial community with a public service Prisoner Entrepreneurship Program, and an renown Healthcare Administration specialization ranked 16th in the nation

The program involves an integrated curriculum incorporating general management theory, multidisciplinary applications, personal development, and practical management skills. Students who are new to business education start Baylor’s MBA program by taking an Integrated Management Seminar to prepare them for graduate-level business courses.

The degree consists of 35 credit hours of core, 15 credit hours of electives and 3 credit hours for an internship. The three-semester core curriculum focuses on “Define, Discover and Deliver” – each semester is designed around one of these key themes.

According to Laurie Wilson, director of Baylor’s graduate business program, Hankamer looks for applicants with self-awareness and an idea as to where they are heading in their careers.

“We look for passionate and motivated students who are very intentional about what the want to study and how the MBA program will benefit them and move them forward in their careers,” Wilson said. “The best applicant will come in with a plan and know why the MBA is going to benefit them, how Baylor will help them with their career goals – it’s all about demonstrating in the interview that they understand their own path well.”


The Baylor entrepreneurship community is larger and more active than one might expect from an MBA program located in the city of Waco, Texas. The program for entrepreneurship is dedicated to the multifaceted teaching and active practice of new venture creation with an array of opportunities for young entrepreneurs.

“We approach entrepreneurship on multiple fronts. There are young students (at Baylor) seeking an MBA that are really early in their careers and aren’t necessarily going to have their own businesses at this point,” Wilson said. “We offer classes on innovation, utilizing entrepreneurial skills, understanding how venture capital works, and others.”


The living and learning programs within the entrepreneurship program are keynote features for students. Hankamer features an Entrepreneurship Living-Learning Center where students live in a housing complex complete with academic support for entrepreneurially geared students from various fields of study. The living community is something one would expect to find in an Silicon Valley start-up think tank living situation.

In the realm of venture creation, Baylor offers the Baylor Angel Network which is an investor network intended to provide early stages of capital to entrepreneurs who have developed start-up oriented business plans at Baylor.

The crown jewel of the entrepreneurial community at Hankamer is the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise. The center’s primary goal is to serve as means of outreach and support to the local, national and global business community so as to facilitate new entrepreneurial opportunities for students. Various programs, research and publications come out of the center’s efforts, and in addition the center leads initiatives that enhance the academic, business, networking and leadership abilities of Baylor students, specifically those working in startups.


As is the case with many MBA programs, Hankamer seeks to apply to their students not just an array of case studies and simulations, but also an opportunity to solve problems in the real world of business. At the start of the semester, students have the opportunity to participate the Focus Firm program, which gives students actual company experience worthy of any resume.

The company features as the “focus firm” change year to year, and have recently included such names as: 3M, AT&T, Darden Restaurants, Dell, Dish Network, Microsoft, Patagonia, Wal-Mart, and others. Students spent 10 weeks of their semester researching company-mandated projects, developing team responses, and recommending viable project perspectives.

“Experiential learning is critical to the success of any MBA program, including Baylor’s. We have projects that we get from partnering company’s that invest in Baylor students so that they have the opportunity to study a realistic problem and solve it.”


Baylor features as a main aspect of their identity an “Ethical Focus”, which aims to teach students the possible ethical consequences of various business decisions. The focus on ethics at Baylor is perhaps a consequence of a lack of ethics recently in the business world.

“You can pick up the Wall Street Journal on any given day and find some company that has a problem with acting ethically in business. Our professors take example like this and integrate it into their curriculum, prompting students to think about what is ethical in their field.” Wilson said.

According to Wilson, however, the ethical focus is not a recent addition to the program in response to a lack of ethics in the business world, but rather an integral part of Baylor’s character ever since its founding.

“The Ethical Focus is ingrained in who we are. We don’t have a class on ethics, but we really do look at each discipline and intentionally bring up ethical dilemmas that might arise in that given discipline,” Wilson said. “Our ethical focus is not a response to anything in current events – it’s always been who we are!”

The ethical focus at Baylor is multi-faceted. There is no class specifically on ethical business decisions; instead, the focus on ethics is integrated class to class in more specific contexts. In a finance class, it can be about what makes shareholders happy in regards to ethics. In an organization behavior class, it can be about how ethical choices affect employees and their moral – questions like, how do ethical choices affect worker moral, come up in these contexts.

“These are the types of ethical choices we want our students to be capable of making,” Wilson said.


To the same tune as the ethical focus at Baylor, the program also features another keynote program in public service – the Prisoner Entrepreneurship Program (PEP). Baylor students volunteer their business knowledge in this prison outreach effort in an effort to teach inmates the skills needed to run a business upon their release from prison.

“The program aims to get prisoners who are at the end of their terms and help them show to that they are ready to return to the private sector and be productive members of society,” Wilson said. “Many of them don’t leave prison with adequate set of tools, so we give them an opportunity to go through a course, write a business plan, write a resume, and build confidence in themselves along the way.”

The program boasts an employment rate exceeding 93% and a recidivism rate of less than 5%. Although the program has the benefit of being highly selective in who is admitted from the prison population, which may enhance the numbers, the positive impact is nonetheless indisputable.


Lastly, Baylor is perhaps most well known for its Robbins MBA Healthcare Program. The specialization within Baylor’s MBA program is a portion of the Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership and ranked No. 17 in the U.S News & World Report 2016 graduate school rankings of healthcare management programs.

“It’s a very narrow industry and not many programs offer the specialization. It’s a dynamic industry that occupies a rather large portion of our national GDP. I think we are making an impact is this particular area as a result of the education students get here and the specialized coursework students take here.” Wilson said.

Unlike many similar programs, the Robbins Healthcare Program requires a seven-month paid executive residency with one of several leading progressive health organizations. The residency placement at Baylor is an impressive 100%. Interestingly enough, and undoubtedly worth noting, the programs mission statement states the that he aim of the program is to promote academic excellence, stimulate intellectual activity and to encourage “community excellence in a Christian environment.”

Reputation: The Latest Rankings

Ranking 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Poets & Quants N/A 77 86 84 78
U.S News 65 65 N/A N/A N/A
The Economist N/A NR NR NR NR
Businessweek N/A 77 N/A NR N/A

Source: P&Q analysis

Parsing the Rankings: The Hankamer School of Business fell two places in the 2013 Poets&Quants ranking of the best U.S. MBA programs to 86th from 84th a year earlier. In the following year, Hankamer subsequently rose nine spots to 77th in Poets & Quants rankings. Hankamer also accomplished a No. 65 rankings in U.S News in 2014, as well as a No. 77 rankings in Businessweek. Laurie Wilson, director of Baylor HSB’s MBA program, takes rankings with a pinch of salt.

“Well, rankings are a reflection of success – definitely. We respect them but do not take them as the only thing that identifies the excellence of a school,” Wilson said.

Application Deadlines (Fall Entrance)

Round Apply By Decision Date
Single Choice Early Action*
and Scholarship Priority
November 1st November 15th
Early Decision and
Scholarship Priority
  February 15th March 1st
International Applicant Deadline  February 15th March 1st
General Admission and
Scholarship Deadline
April 15th May 1st

Source: Baylor Hankamer School of Business

The Outcome

Baylor’s outcome numbers are solid. The percentage of graduates with job offers at graduation rests at 72.2%, with over 94% receiving offers within three months of their graduation. The base salary for graduates remains on trend with previous years at $71,840 and so does the average base signing bonus of $7,313.

The student body at Baylor’s HSB is small and focused with no change in sight for the student/faculty ratio, according to Wilson.

“It should be kept the same. We have a great study/faculty ratio right now and we want to maintain that. We would rather see an increase in quality rather than quantity.”

Tuition & Fees (full-time): $34,480 per year

Average GMAT: 629
GMAT Range (10th-90th percentile): 554-716
Average GPA: 3.43
Acceptance Rate: 37.4%
Mean Age: 25

Full-Time Enrollment (full-time): 87
International: 13.8%
Female: 32.2%
Minority: 18.4%

Class of 2014 Employment Information:

Average Base Salary: $71,840
Average Signing Bonus: $7,313
Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers at Graduation: 72.20%
Percentage of MBAs With Job Offers Three Months Later: 

The Network

The Baylor HSB Alumni Network is expansive given its relatively small annual student body size. An especially notable item in the HSB’s arsenal in regards to alumni relations is a weekly two-minute podcast on current business events involving alumni and current students. The Baylor Business Review Magazine and other news pieces also adorn the alumni network’s publications section.

In addition to its informational pieces, the Baylor HSB alumni network also aids those seeking to further their careers by network. The Baylor Business Network allows students to attend networking events in their home city.

“We have Baylor Business Network and then we have chapters throughout the state in all the major cities so that alumni can organize themselves with a little assistance from the university, however they mostly are autonomous. Our MBA students are able to participate in the networking events with the alumni community, even without being alumni themselves.”

From Baylor: 

Baylor – A Partner On Your Journey

Where you choose to earn your MBA is an important decision.  Baylor can be a valuable partner on your journey to achieve your highest personal and professional potential. We invest in the intangible assets of developing leaders who can communicate professionally, work in teams and approach business situations with integrity.

Baylor offers a 16-month accelerated track and a standard 21-month track. You can concentrate your MBA degree in a particular business discipline or seek a specialization in Healthcare Administration or Entrepreneurship.  You also have the option to enter the program at a time right for you – summer, fall, or spring – depending upon your undergraduate degree.

Solve Problems for Real Companies

Each semester, Baylor MBA faculty members choose a national or multi-national company to serve as a Baylor Focus Firm. Working directly with company executives, students prepare research, critically assess and recommend viable solutions to an identified dilemma.

Manage Real Money

MBA students can engage in real-dollar portfolio management and securities research in the Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center, a state-of-the-art classroom that simulates the environment of an investment firm and has access to the latest tools and data used by finance practitioners around the world. The Philip M. Dorr Alumni & Friends Endowed Investment Fund is one of the largest student managed portfolios in the nation with a market value exceeding $5 million.

Assess Real Business Plans

Venture Capital Associates is a unique internship program that provides MBA students hands-on experience working at the Austin, Texas-based venture capital firm, G-51. Students interact with G-51 and are immersed in evaluating new business plans for potential investment, conducting market research and making recommendations to G-51 managers.

Gain Real Healthcare Experience for Healthcare MBA

Baylor’s Robbins MBA Healthcare Program is unique among others in the nation for its required Executive Residency and its accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).  It also connects MBA students with senior healthcare executives who serve on our Healthcare Advisory Council and come to campus weekly to meet specifically with students.

Compete in the New Venture Business Plan Competition

The Baylor New Venture Competition is a business plan and speed pitch competition promoting entrepreneurship and small business development. Underwritten by an anonymous gift to the Business School, it provides students with expert feedback and the opportunity to win prizes to help fund their ventures.

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