Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business, which houses the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, has proven to firmly be a top-20 school as it has placed in the top 20 each year it’s participated in the Poets&Quants rankings. Cornell is also one of just two Ivy League schools that offers an undergraduate business degree.
This year, Cornell placed No. 6, up 10 places from No. 16 in 2022’s ranking. It ranked No. 9 in 2021.
Cornell’s undergraduate business education is truly a unique experience. This year’s acceptance rate of 4.17% was at an all-time low, the most selective of any of the ranked B-schools including Northeastern D’Amore McKim’s 5.73% and Wharton Wharton’s 6.3%. Cornell’s acceptance rate has marked a three-year streak of getting progressively tougher, hitting 5.44% in 2021 and 7.96% in 2021.
Some 90.2% of the Class of 2022 graduates landed a business-focused internship before graduating, down slightly from last year’s 93.40%. As far as employment goes, 97.55% of 2022 grads had secured full-time employment within three months of graduation, up slightly from 96.72% for 2021 grads, and up considerably from 93% for 2020 grads.
Of those with full-time employment, the average starting salary was $88,897. That’s up nearly $9,000 from last year’s average salary of $79,777, which was up from of the $76,827 average salary in 2021. Only four other ranked schools had a higher average starting salary. Meanwhile, 53.7% of 2022 graduates reported getting a signing bonus which averaged $9,886 – down from an average of $11,038 from the year before.
UNIQUE CONVERGENCE WITH COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL AND LIFE SCIENCES
All Cornell, business students must complete a group of core courses, a set of liberal arts courses, and pick at least one of 13 concentrations. An aspect that sets Dyson’s curriculum apart from others is it is technically a part of both the College of Business and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
“Because of the Dyson School’s location in both Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, students can easily combine their major with a concentration or double major in the life sciences, environmental sciences, agricultural sciences, or applied social sciences,” the school says.
“Dyson students commonly major or minor in a biological science, information science, communication, environmental and sustainability sciences, biometry and statistics, animal science, or food science. Such unbounded exposure keeps Dyson School students one-step ahead of the competition by preparing them to lead in a future where the sciences, social sciences, and the arts will increasingly converge.”
This unique convergence is seen in the Food Marketing Fellows honors program.
“Dyson has so many opportunities for experiential learning. I participated in the Food Marketing Fellows program that entailed visits to different businesses to learn from the owners/managers how their business works,” one 2018 alum tells P&Q. “The program concludes with an international trip to learn about the food industry in a foreign country. From this program, one broadens their perspective by analyzing the food industries of two different countries.”
A FOCUS ON SOFT SKILLS
The school says its unique aspect is a focus on soft skills to go along with more traditional business skills.
“Dyson students gain excellent analytical business skills but also develop the self-insight, flexibility, and empathy to enable them to chart a productive course in a rapidly changing world,” the school said in the school survey portion of the ranking. “This is fundamental to Dyson’s mission for undergraduate education. Not content with providing a strong pathway to a student’s coveted first job, we strive to educate for the long haul: our graduates can only make a better world if they are confident and creative about their own place in that world.”
2021 Alumni say:
“My senior spring, I did a senior project for a professor that specialized in the study of sports teams as organizations. The project I did focused on creating a model that would predict the NCAA tournament using metrics you deemed most important to prediction. Getting into the data has helped me in my career in sports management to date and I would say most people did not have a chance like this to combine their passion with important hard skills.”
“I was a part of the Dyson School’s Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program and was a part of the teaching team for two course – one was a spreadsheet modeling course and the other was an advanced economic argumentation and writing course where students participated in discussion / debates and wrote papers on a variety of controversial economic subjects. I received the Best Undergraduate Reaching Assistance award for my work. This experience was important to me because it allowed me to understand how to explain complex topics in addition to giving me an opportunity to hone my leadership and teamwork skills.”
“As a black man from a destitute background, my life goal has been to understand how to account for resources for impoverished communities. My experience with the practicum showed me the annual resource distribution process we facilitate in societies and taught me the language to begin my initial engagement of understanding how policy, money and people come together. Being apart of the program has cemented a unchanging understanding of the structure of society which has brought me much success while also giving me a practice of tax filing and volunteering.”
“As part of my Master of Professional Studies in Behavioral Finance after attaining my undergraduate degree, I completed a research study about how Millennials use passive vs. active investing. It was very fulfilling to choose my own research, send out a survey, and perform analysis on the results for my final paper.”
“Importantly, the program put me in a position where I had mastery over the fundamentals. The emphasis on key principles of accounting and finance really set me up to seek and expand additional and more vocational knowledge myself through MBA classes offered in the ecosystem and through a multitude of internships. The student organizations – namely Cornell venture capital club and Delta Sigma Pi – were selective and prepared me very well for the rigors of the real world.”