As part of The Princeton Review’s student survey for its best colleges ranking, the publication asks current students how strongly they agree with a simple statement: “I am happy with my school.” For the 2019 survey, students of The College of William & Mary had the highest score. Home to the Mason School of Business, William & Mary has also participated in our ranking of undergraduate business schools over the past few years.
The University of Oklahoma and Vanderbilt University rounded out the top-three, respectively. While Oklahoma has the Price School of Business that offers an undergraduate business degree, Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management only offers graduate-level degrees.
McKinsey. BCG. Bain. Those are three of the most sought-after companies for recent graduates of top business schools.
“The combined prestige of firms McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company is a well-known fact in the world of management consulting,” former P&Q Staff Writer Andrea Carter wrote in 2018. “Together, they’re simply known as MBB, and they have been — and remain — the three most sought-after employers for undergraduate students yearning to break into the industry.”
Carter analyzed the Wall Street Oasis May 2018 Consulting Industry Report of its 1,555 users who currently hold positions across more than 100 different consulting firms. Of those, the report showed, 142 were employed by McKinsey, more than any other. And of those, nearly 20% hail from the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, or the University of Michigan. Carter breaks down which school has produced the highest percentage of graduates at each of the top-three consulting firms, known collectively as MBB.
Similar to the consulting report above, Carter broke down the Wall Street Oasis investment banking report, also in May 2018. And despite being over two years since publication, the analysis remained the third-most read story on our site in 2020. “If terms like capital markets and portfolio management make you giddy and an investment banking salary is what you’re working toward, data from Wall Street Oasis’s May 2018 Investment Banking Industry Report suggest New York University (NYU) is the top school you want on your radar,” Carter wrote at the time.
The data show, for 10 top bulge bracket firms such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and others, NYU had the strongest presence across all of them. Out of 2,223 users within those top banks, the highest number (87) were graduates from NYU. Following closely behind NYU is Harvard University with 71. Out of more than 440 schools that are represented in the WSO data, NYU, Harvard, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University have the highest distribution percentages for graduates represented in large Wall Street firms, soaking up more than 15% of the overall distribution of recruitment and hiring from bulge bracket banks. This extends to more than 25% when you widen the scope to the top 10 schools.
Like the Best & Brightest Business Majors, the annual 10 Undergraduate Business Schools To Watch has become one of our most popular annual features.
“Some schools hammer home the fundamentals and best practices,” P&Q Senior Writer Jeff Schmitt wrote last February. “Others shove students into the deep end and closely monitor their growth. Yes, every school touts being interdisciplinary, global, collaborative, and student-centered. Most times, they just express these values in very different ways.”
Each year, Schmitt looks at data trends and innovations gathered through the school and alumni surveys of our undergraduate rankings to come up with the 10 undergraduate business schools most likely to make impressive changes in the upcoming year. The beauty of this project is, it takes into account thousands of data points to examine what makes each school unique special and poised to make improvements. It also considers traditional top-ranked schools like the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, NYU, and Wharton alongside lesser-known but up-and-coming schools like Bucknell and the University of Evansville.
For the third year in a row, Wharton topped the annual Poets&Quants ranking of best undergraduate business schools last December. And each year since we’ve published the inaugural ranking in 2016, it’s been our most-viewed story of the year. It’s our most-read story each year for a number of reasons. For one, besides the U.S. News, there is no other major ranking of undergraduate business schools. For another, it’s the biggest trove of proprietary data focused on undergraduate business schools anywhere.