Babson College, which rests in the tree-lined Boston suburb of Wellesley, Massachusetts, is the only business-only school on Poets&Quants’ ranking. The school only offers one degree, but students may choose from 27 concentration areas that include business discipline stalwarts like accounting and marketing but also unique areas like historical and political studies and environmental sustainability. Students get a base of liberal arts education, but the hallmark of the program from the get-go is the trademarked Entrepreneurial Thought and Action program.
Often thought of as the best undergraduate business schools for entrepreneurship — and certainly one of the first to offer an entrepreneurship degree — every single freshman is required to start a business during their first year. It happens through the year-long Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship course. Students are placed in teams of 10 and each team is loaned $3,000 to come up with a product or service that “meets a human need.” The teams also team up with a local social services agency where they serve a total of 80 hours as community service. Plus, any profit teams make from the business is donated back to the agency. Since 1999, the school predicts teams have given back a total of more than $430,000.
During the first two years, students are also expected to connect with the Center for Career Development and take the First Year Seminar course, which is designed to build relationships with faculty. During years two and three, students expand their liberal arts knowledge. Some students focus on learning a new language, while others might focus on math or communications. During the final year, students are expected to deep dive into a specific area. This is when students may take advanced courses in their concentrations or spent significant time studying abroad.
Babson also boasts some of the most robust and interesting centers and institutes. The highlight is the Arthur Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. The Center is home to the school’s accelerator and multiple entrepreneurship programs. Babson also features a center focused on women’s entrepreneurial studies, the arts, investments and finance, social entrepreneurship, and retail supply chain.
Babson, which isn’t even make Bloomberg Businessweek’s most recent ranking, ties for 32nd in the U.S. News ranking. The school finishes 18th in the Poets&Quants ranking because of its strong admissions and employment data. Babson has a 25% acceptance rate and a 95% placement rate for its graduates. While the average salary — more than $56,000 — is smaller than other northeast schools, Babson still fares well in the employment category because it gets students jobs at a high clip.
For a detailed interview with Babson Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Courtney Minden, click here.