One of the most helpful data points when evaluating potential colleges is learning what recent alumni think of the degree. That’s why each year as part of our Best Undergraduate Business Schools Ranking, we send recent alumni of participating business schools a survey with dozens of detailed questions about their experience. Some 16 of those questions are asked on a ten-point scale. The average score across those 16 questions is the highest-weighted data point in our ranking, which includes more than a dozen data points in the methodology. (For a full breakdown of the methodology, go here.)
This year, 95 schools participated in the ranking. Of those, 83 met our minimum 10% alumni response rate to have the alumni data validated and included in the ranking methodology. Among those 83 schools, some 40,789 alums received the survey and 5,462 responded for an overall response rate of 13.39%. That’s a slight drop from last year when 84 schools met the minimum 10% response rate. We always survey graduates two years after graduating. This year, it was the Class of 2019, or graduates between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. We believe two years is the ideal time to evaluate the usefulness of the degree yet not so far removed that alumni start to forget details of the experience.
GEORGETOWN’S MCDONOUGH SCHOOL LEADS WITH A 9.47 AVERAGE
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business led all schools with an impressive 9.47 average across all 16 questions. It’s the first time Georgetown’s McDonough School has led the category and is one of the highest all-time averages we’ve seen in the six-year history of the ranking. Last year, Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business led all schools with a 9.35 average rating. The year before that, Bucknell University led all schools with 9.38, and prior to that the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business led with a 9.36.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School followed Georgetown with an impressive 9.43 average. Following Wharton was the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce with a 9.26. Three schools — Notre Dame, Cornell, and Texas Christian University — tied with a 9.24 average.
The average score across all 83 schools to meet the minimum response rate was 8.42. While still a very high average, it continues a downward trend in overall satisfaction among alumni. Two years ago the average was 8.54 across all schools and last year it was 8.47. A dozen schools averaged at least a 9.0 — up from ten last year. However, last year no school had an average of less than 7.20. Three schools averaged lower than that this year, with the lowest average coming in at 6.86, which is one of the lowest averages we’ve seen in the history of this ranking. Some 52 schools averaged between 8.00 and 8.99.
DIFFERENT STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AT SCHOOLS
One of the main benefits of this data is digging into what schools do particularly well, according to their alumni. For example, when asked if they believed their degree was worth its cost in tuition, graduates of Binghamton University gave the highest score at 9.46. When asked to rate the quality of teaching, graduates of Wake Forest University’s School of Business gave the highest rating at 9.63. University of Richmond graduates graded their professors highest on their willingness to meet outside of the classroom. And graduates of Texas Christian University rated their school the highest for providing resources and coaching to improve soft skills.
All of the data in its entirety can be viewed over the next few pages. We recommend digging into it a bit to see which schools do well in each different category.
Click the questions below to go directly to the results or scroll through the pages to see all results.
|Would you recommend your business program to a close friend, colleague, or family member interested in an undergraduate business degree?|
|Evaluate how well the business program prepared you for the world of work.|
|Do you believe your business degree was worth its cost in tuition?|
|Do you believe your business degree was worth its cost in time and resources?|
|How would you rate the quality of teaching in business school?|
|Were business school faculty members available for informal discussions and mentoring outside of class?|
|How would you rate the opportunities given to you in the business program to nurture and improve your soft skills in business?|
|How well did the extra-curricular opportunities offered to you in the business program nurture and improve your skills in business?|
|How would you appraise the business program’s efforts to bring you into contact with practicing professionals, including your school’s alumni network, in the business community?|
|How would you appraise the effectiveness of the business program’s academic advising?|
|How would you appraise the effectiveness of the business program’s career advising?|
|How would you judge the business program’s alumni network and connections that can help you throughout your career?|
|How accessible and willing were the school’s alumni in helping you connect with potential employers?|
|Was your business school experience life-changing?|
|Do you believe your business degree will assist you in climbing to a new socioeconomic status?|
|How instrumental do you believe your business degree will be in reaching your dream career?|