Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Social To Tech
GMAT 700, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. CPG Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Brolic Bro
GRE 305, GPA 3.63
Tuck | Mr. Running To The Future
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
London Business School | Ms. Audit Meme
GMAT 710, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Mobility Entrepreneur
GMAT 760, GPA 1st Division
Harvard | Mr. Cricket From Kashmir
GMAT 730, GPA 8.5/10
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Aspiring Consultant
GMAT 690, GPA 3.68
HEC Paris | Mr. Analytics Consultant
GRE 326, GPA 9.05/10
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Manager
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Tuck | Mr. Land Management
GMAT 760, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seller
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Researcher
GMAT 700, GPA 3.2
NYU Stern | Mr. Beer Guy
GRE 306, GPA 4.0
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
Harvard | The Insurer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Data Dude
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Tepper | Mr. Automotive Strategy
GMAT 670 - 700 on practice tests, GPA 3.3
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Backyard Homesteader
GRE 327, GPA 3.90
Wharton | Mr. Finance to MBB
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
London Business School | Ms. Social Impact Consulting
GRE 330, GPA 3.28
Tepper | Mr. Insurance Dude
GMAT 660, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Ms. Indian Marketer
GMAT 680, GPA 8.9/10
NYU Stern | Mr. Middle Eastern Warrior
GMAT 720 (Estimated), GPA 3.0

The Best Undergraduate Business Programs

The University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame

For the fifth straight year, the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business won the top spot on Bloomberg  Businessweek’s ninth annual ranking of the best U.S. undergraduate business schools.

The University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce ranked second, also for the fifth consecutive year, and Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ranked third, for the third year running. Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and Olin Business School at Washington University, St. Louis rounded out the top five.

The bigger news, perhaps, was that Indiana University’s Kelley School broke into the top ten this year, climbing to No.  8 from 13th. Kelley’s move was fueled by scoring a first place ranking on the magazine’s employer survey. A total of 132 U.S. undergraduate business programs are included in the 2014 Businessweek ranking which was released today (April 4) on Businessweek.com at businessweek.com/2014undergradrankings.


Undergraduate rankings of business programs differ substantially from those of full-time MBA offerings largely because some of the biggest players, such as Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business, do not offer undergraduates a business major. That said, the biggest perennial surprise in the BW ranking is Wharton’s showing which this year slid to seventh place from fifth, although Wharton is often considered as having the best undergraduate business program in the world.

In fact, U.S. News & World Report, which ranks undergraduate business schools based on a survey of deans and senior faculty at each undergraduate business program, puts Wharton first, followed by MIT, UC-Berkeley and Michigan, all tied for second place. New York University is in fifth place. Yet, none of those schools even make the Top 5 on the BusinessWeek list of the best U.S. undergraduate business schools.

In many cases, there is a wide divergence in the two rankings, which can largely be attributed to the differing methodologies used to compile the lists. In contrast to U.S. News’ survey of deans and faculty, BusinessWeek’s ranking is based on five components: student assessment (30%), academic quality metrics (30%), employer opinion (20%), median starting salary (10%), and a “feeder school” score (10%), which reflects how many students undergrad programs send to top MBA programs. The academic quality metrics include average SAT score, average class size, student/faculty ratio, percentage of students with business-related internships, and average number of hours students spend on coursework per week.

Those metrics understandably result in often dramatic differences between the two rankings. BusinessWeek‘s No. 4 school, Boston College, is ranked 22nd by U.S. News. The University of Richmond’s business school, which finished 17th on the BW list, is in 58th on the U.S. News ranking. And though Wake Forest University’s undergraduate business program comes in 11th, according to BW, it’s 34th when U.S. News assigns its numbers (see our table on the following page).

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.