Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business


Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: November 28, 2017.

School Data

Annual Tuition: $58,300, $94,400 Out of State, $98,000 International

Acceptance Rate: 24%

Full-Time Enrollment: 119

Average GPA: 3.51

International: 31%

Minority: 17%

Average Age: 29

Annual Tuition: $58,300, $94,400 Out of State, $98,000 International

Median GMAT: 682

GMAT Range (mid-80%): 220

Female: 43%

GPA Range (mid-80%): 1.8

Male: 57%

Application Dates
Round 1: October 3rd, 2017
Round 2: November 28th, 2017
Round 3: February 6th, 2018
Round 4: April 3rd, 2018

The W. P. Carey School, not to be confused with the Carey School at Johns Hopkins University, is a highly innovative and aggressive player in the business school arena.

The big news here in recent years is the rather bold decision to make its full-time MBA program free. Yes, you heard that right. In 2015, the school made the unprecedented and extraordinary decision to provide full scholarship support for every full-time MBA student accepted into the school. Not surprisingly, the first entering class in the fall of 2016 broke all kinds of records. When U.S. News publishes its new ranking of MBA programs in 2017, Carey—which ranked 35th this year—could very well find itself among the Top 25 schools in the nation.

Applications to its full-time program exploded, rising by 162% to 1,160 from just 443 a year earlier. That’s nearly ten applicants for every available seat in the class. The school’s acceptance rate of just 14% now makes Carey the fourth most selective MBA program in the world behind only Stanford, Harvard and UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Only a year earlier, Carey invited 31.4% of its applicants to attend.

With the big change, the school also revamped its MBA curriculum, increasing the credits from 48 to 60 with the addition of four courses that will provide more real-world training. The new courses are Decision-Making With Data Analytics; Executive Connections, which provides mentoring from retired senior executives; Intellection Fusion Learning Lab, pairing MBA students with master’s students in other disciplines; and Future Forward Leadership, which builds real-time skills in improvisation and decision-making.

“We know the skills of the future have to do with flexibility, agility, being able to scenario-plan, think through the changes that might happen and consider how they might go about adjusting their organization or strategy for those changes,” Dean Amy Hillman says.

Feedback on the course improvements was provided by faculty, alumni, corporate recruiters and the school’s team of in-house business executives. One of the executives who helped to refine the program was Bob O’Malley, now retired after working several decades in the technology industry, including 19 years with IBM in Asia and the United States. O’Malley is on the W.P. Carey’s “executive connections” team, where he mentors several MBA students. He also is an ASU alum, having received an MBA in 1973.

“Back then the program was primarily function and content driven. The professor had the content or the textbook had the content,” O’Malley says. “There was a little bit of experiential learning through case studies and a little bit of teamwork, not a lot.”

The school claims the updated program makes the experience more strategically focused. “For example, the class on global economics. Rather than strictly economics, it’s changed to ‘global business environments,’ which brings in different cultures associated with global business operations, which is more than just economics,” O’Malley adds.

Rankings Analysis: The W.P. Carey School had something of a setback in 2016, falling eight places to a rank of 44th from 36th, largely the result of its disappearance from The Financial Times list. But the dramatic improvement in the school’s entering class stats will make a very big difference in 2017, most immediately in the U.S. News’ ranking which is highly dependent on incoming class metrics. And as those better students graduate, the school’s salary and placement numbers are likely to improve as well.

For 2016, however, it was a tough year. The school placed 35th in U.S. News, down five places from 30th a year earlier. Forbes, which only ranks MBA programs biennially, did not publish a list in 2016 so the 2015 ranking of 47 remained. Carey’s Businessweek ranking was also static, with the school repeating its 49th place showing of the previous year. Carey even improved three spots in The Economist, rising to 28 from 31st in 2015. But that was hardly enough to offset the loss of The FT ranking which had placed Carey 39th best in the U.S. in 2015.


Contact Information

McCord Hall
450 E. Lemon Street
Tempe, AZ 85287-4906
Admissions Office:

From The School

Powered by the 60-hour Forward Focus curriculum and scholarship that covers the entire tuition cost, the W. P. Carey Full-time MBA program will prepare you to be adaptable in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity in a rapidly changing global economy.

An innovative Forward Focus curriculum
The W. P. Carey Full-time MBA will transform you into a business leader who can navigate uncertainty and change. Through eight distinct MBA concentrations, from traditional disciplines to emerging fields, you can align your MBA with your goals and create your own path forward. You’ll emerge from the program ready to lead, no matter what’s next.

Unique learning opportunities

  • Decision-making with Data Analytics equips you to recognize patterns in data and models, recommend actions, and implement necessary organizational changes.
  • Intellectual Fusion Learning Labs pair you with non-business ASU master’s degree students on action-learning projects that deliver cross-functional skills.
  • Future Forward Leadership prepares you for ambiguous situations by building skills in design thinking, improvisation, super-flexibility, sense-making, rapid execution, and leading transformative change.
  • Executive Connections teams you with senior executives to enhance leadership competencies through experiments in leadership, coaching, mentoring, and career preparation outside of class.

By rethinking the way the world does business, we’re rethinking the way we teach it. A cutting-edge curriculum, dedicated career services, and a supportive community are hallmarks of the W. P. Carey Full-time MBA.

About the Forward Focus MBA Scholarship
The Forward Focus MBA scholarship is designed for exceptional students who exhibit creativity, ingenuity, intellect, and innate leadership capabilities, regardless of their ability to pay. That’s why all accepted Full-time MBA students will receive a full scholarship covering the total tuition cost of the program.

Through generous scholarships that create pathways to success, regardless of your ability to pay, and by preparing you to lead teams and organizations through uncertainty, we are developing changemakers who can meet the new realities of business head-on.