Poets&Quants’ Best Undergraduate Business Programs Of 2016



In this inaugural ranking, undergraduate business programs were equally ranked on three criteria: admissions standards, the academic experience as judged by alumni, and employment outcomes. Washington University’s Olin Business School came in first overall, followed by Notre Dame University’s Mendoza School. Below are the overall and category ranks for the top programs. “Input” refers admissions standards rank, “alumni” is the rank assigned to the academic and student experience, and “employment” refers to the rank of the school based on employment outcomes.

RankSchoolTotalAdmissionsAcademic ExperienceEmployment
1Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School13311
2University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business25113
3University of Pennsylvania The Wharton School32151
4Georgetown University McDonough School of Business4674
5University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business51157
6Cornell University Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management64156
7Indiana University Kelley School of Business719215
8University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce810155
9New York University Stern School of Business911152
10University of Michigan Ross School of Business1081510
11University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business1115425
12University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management1222518
13University of Southern California Marshall School of Business1371517
14Wake Forest University School of Business14141312
15Emory University Goizueta Business School1518149
16University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School16121516
17Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business1716924
18Babson College18172422
19Northeastern University D’Amore McKim School of Business1920328
20Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business2029827
21Texas Christian Neeley School of Business2141614
22Lehigh University College of Business and Economics22242340
23University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business23233121
24Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business249493
25Rutgers Business School – New Brunswick25371119
26Boston University Questrom School of Business26133623
27University of Richmond Robins School of Business27302620
28The Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business28351236
29University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business29213828
30University of Maryland Smith School of Business30262937
31Fordham University Gabelli School of Business31382730
32University of Tennessee-Knoxville Haslam College of Business32281048
33University of Washington Foster School of Business33254035
34University of Massachusetts-Amherst Isenberg School of Management34343533
35University of Georgia Terry College of Business35334026
36The College of New Jersey School of Business36393834
37Texas A&M University Mays Business School37273746
38Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business38423329
39Elon University Love School of Business38443032
40University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration40323943
41Ohio State University Fisher College of Business41314044
42University of Connecticut School of Business42362847
43James Madison University College of Business43472545
44University of Denver Daniels College of Business44454041
45Drexel University LeBow College of Business45464039
46University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business46494934
47Purdue University Krannert School of Management47404842
48University of Arizona Eller College of Management48504031
49Rutgers Business School – Newark49484049
50Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business50435050
  • BradAlb

    The list is a joke. MIT’s Sloan school is no where to be found. Seriously?

    • Troy Wu

      You realize that MIT Sloan does not have an undergraduate business school…so obviously they wouldn’t be on this ranking.

      • BradAlb

        Well shucks, guess I’ll just have to return my diploma. A quick google search would show that it actually does.

      • Thomas McCarthy

        LOLOLOL MIT does have an undergrad business school. Google is your friend.

    • JohnAByrne

      MIT Sloan does have an undergraduate business major and we did ask the school to participate in our ranking. MIT declined, however, and we decided that the program is so small–under 100 students–it is essentially inconsequential in the undergraduate business market. That is why the school is not included in this ranking.

      • C. Taylor

        The whole 2020 freshman class at Caltech is 235 students, so probably has similar numbers in business. It’s too bad MIT didn’t respond.

        The competition between MIT undergrads apparently prompts some undergrads to show they can ‘hang’ by selecting STEM majors even if they are actually into business. MIT says some students didn’t even know they could take almost any class in Course 15 (business).

        At the moment, it’s hard to argue you’re better off in any other business program over MIT. Doors will open for you. In particular, this might be a good route for any ladies interested in business. MIT undergrad accept rates for ladies are much higher than for the gents. Apply, people!

  • Dan Ashlin

    I was surprised that Villanova was not included. It is ranked high on other lists.

  • Roy Kamineni

    Where is Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and Villanova School of Business on the list? They are ranked fairly well on other rankings …

    • Nathan Allen

      Hi Roy,

      Boston College and Villanova were both unable to provide the necessary data to be included. Both schools showed interest and we plan on including them next year. The reason you see them on previous Businessweek lists is BW relied solely on an alumni survey and employer survey to rank schools. Two-thirds of our methodology was based on hard data and some schools that wanted to participate were simply unable to provide that data this year. Thanks for the question!


      • disqus654e9725qwe

        Do you think Northeastern gooses their numbers? They’ve been accused by that. 99 / 99 seems flagrantly suspect.

  • Connie

    Hallelujah! Rutgers New Brunswick Business School finally getting the recognition and respect they so deserve. When you look at the top players running Wall Street, a high percentage are Rutgers graduates!

    • cutitall

      Wall street top players from Rutgers? I don’t think so.

  • Enoch Cheng

    Did Chapman University not elect to participate?

  • Ruby hypes

    I feel like Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business is always overlooked. It deserves an even higher ranking than this! The amount of successful alumni donating to the school allow for high-tech, state-of-the-art facilities and renowned faculty. Additionally, because it is IU’s best school, Kelley students get even more privileges and attention. Because the students that go here are so smart, a lot of them get scholarships to an already (fairly) cheap school, making it incredibly affordable. IU’s rankings, I feel, bring down Kelley. However, IU’s rankings are based on the fact IU is not STEM-focused (Indiana split it to Purdue) and the retention rate is low because IU is much more rigorous than expected for many students. Kelley prepares students much better than most Business Schools.

    • Theo L.

      Seriously. Kelley is crazy good. The students coming out of Kelley are extremely skillful and the best workers/innovators. Kelley students truly have the talent to succeed, the humility to grow, and the tenacity to persevere. Kelley IS the #1 undergraduate business program.