P&Q’s New Undergrad Ranking Out Dec. 5

Poets&Quants will publish its second annual ranking of the best U.S. undergraduate business schools on Dec. 5. The new ranking will be vastly expanded from last year’s debut list of the Top 50 schools, providing numerical ranks to 82 business schools.

The new ranking will unleash a wealth of proprietary data based on both school and alumni surveys. Most importantly, all the data–including SAT scores, acceptance rates, new enrollment totals, pay and placement data–will be specific to each business school. Each ranked school will also have a reported profile on the site that captures the full essence of the undergraduate business experience.

Last year, Washington University’s Olin School of Business took first place honors in the debut ranking. Rounding out the top five in 2016 were Notre Dame University’s Mendoza School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.


The basic methodology for ranking the schools is largely unchanged. The approach, developed in collaboration with business school deans and administrators, again puts equal emphasis on admissions standards, the total student experience, and job and starting pay outcomes (see How We Crunched The Numbers).

P&Q added several new questions to the questionnaire that was sent to alumni who graduated two years ago. The addition of these questions represents more of a tweak than an actual change in how the ranking is compiled. Among the five new questions, alumni were asked if their undergraduate business education helped them land a job in the industry of their choosing as well as the company they targeted in their job search. As a result, P&Q gathered employment data beyond the basic job stats typically published by business schools. That data, never before gathered, will be shared in its entirely in the ranking.

Just like last time, in fact, P&Q will share all the data collected with readers as well as a detailed explanation of the methodology used to rank the programs. As with any ranking, there are limits to what can be measured and how well important attributes of the undergraduate experience can be captured in a series of metrics. That is why total transparency is essential for readers to determine what is most important to their own evaluation of a school’s program and their fit with it.


Business is the most popular major in America, taken by slightly more than 20% of all undergraduate students. Enrollment in undergrad business programs has been booming in recent years, the result of concerns over employment and the cost of higher education. The ranking will be the most comprehensive ever published on undergraduate business education.

In addition to the ranking on Dec. 5, P&Q will publish a minimum of 82 school profiles, as well as separate articles on the compensation packages of the latest graduates, the acceptance rates for each specific business school, and the new employment stats based on alumni responses to P&Q surveys.

Over the following weeks, P&Q will publish many more data-based stories on everything from the average SAT and ACT scores at each business school to the latest enrollment data.


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