The Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University landed at No. 69 in this year’s rankings — jumping 11 spots up from last year’s 80th place. Duquesne was able to do this thanks to stellar alumni feedback in the alumni survey, which led to the school placing 25th overall in the academic experience category.
Admissions-wise this year, the Pittsburgh-based B-school had an acceptance rate of 79.54% and an average SAT score of 1177, in line with last year’s numbers. From a tight-knit, supportive community to highly relevant course material and capstone experiences, Duquesne University offers a comprehensive business education that prepares students well for the real world of business.
SMALL COMMUNITY, BIG CITY
Duquesne places a strong emphasis on cultivating a strong sense of community. The business school itself enrolls about 1,500 students with the university as a whole having roughly 9,000 students.
“Duquesne is a close-knit university and well known in the Pittsburgh area,” one 2018 alumni told us. “This gave me the opportunity to make a big city feel smaller. It allowed me to make amazing connections and gave me an amazing education which led me to where I am today.”
A tight-knit, community atmosphere at a B-school can have a number of valuable benefits — from building a strong network on-campus to connecting with alumni when it comes time to apply for internships and jobs. Surveyed 2018 Duquesne business alumni gave a strong 9.6 average rating in terms of the B-school faculty’s availability for informal discussions and mentoring outside of class.
“Strong personal connections with professors which helped me to develop professionally,” a 2018 alumni said.
Alumni also rated the B-school’s efforts to bring them into contact with practicing professionals, including the school’s alumni network, in the business community at a strong 9.2 average rating.
HIGHLY RELEVANT EDUCATION
Duquesne business students have access to nine different undergraduate majors including Accounting, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Information Systems Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management.
Each major offers a highly relevant curriculum with a capstone project that challenges students to apply their business knowledge to real-world scenarios and emphasizes valuable soft skills such as teamwork and communication. Nearly every Duquesne alum that we surveyed spoke highly about their capstone experience, with many saying that it provided them with skills that they use to this day in their career.
“Tax classes were extremely unique in that lectures were informal and eye-opening, and presentations were given with local professionals in the industry in attendance,” a 2018 alumni reported. “Audit class involved audit presentations with a panel of judges that was very helpful in sharpening important skills.”
“As a double major in accounting and information systems, I had the opportunity to participate in two capstone projects,” said another 2018 alumni. “The first was for my information systems degree in which the objective was to build an inventory management system using the knowledge that we had obtained throughout the entire program. Secondly, in my accounting courses, we performed a mock audit of a company and reported our findings to the class. Working in audit now, this proved to be a great experience in understanding the flow of information and types of findings we may come across.”
“My capstone project gave me the opportunity to create an e-commerce website and experience it from the seat of a consumer and developer,” reported another. “Understanding both aspects is key to my everyday job. In order to succeed, one must be able to see issues from many angles and conglomerate them to come up with a solution. This capstone project was one of many assignments and discussions that have allowed me to succeed in my career.”
Overall, Duquesne alumni gave strong remarks on their business education. Surveyed 2018 alumni rated the quality of teaching in business courses at a strong 9.2 average rating. Alumni also rated the opportunities at Duquesne to nurture and improve their soft skills in business at a 9.2 average rating. When asked how well the Duquesne business program prepared them for the world of work, 2018 alumni gave a 9.0 average rating.
The Class of 2020 saw a large dip in employment outcomes when compared to 2019, with only 58.33% securing a full-time position within three months of graduation. That’s a roughly 12% decline from 2019’s 70.73% — although the drop in employment may largely be attributed to the COVID-19 economic downturn which has impacted nearly every B-school across the nation.
Internship-wise, however, Duquesne performed strongly with 90% of its Class of 2020 landing a business-focused internship before graduating — a two percentage point from last year’s 88%. Duquesne’s tight-knit community and highly relevant education ultimately make the B-school a strong contender for any student looking for a comprehensive undergraduate business degree.
“I, like many other business students at Duquesne, had the opportunity to do several ‘signature experiences.’ Most memorable being the process improvements study where we went to an actual business in need of process improvements and presented our recommendations to senior leadership.”
“I was in both the accounting and finance capstone courses. Both provided new and interesting ways to learn about these industries and helped me to make my job decision.”
“As part of my information systems management courses, our senior coursework included a capstone class in which we spent the semester building an inventory program in C#. Each student was presented the same case but was given the freedom to independently build the program based on the parameters of the case.”
Where The Class of 2020 Went To Work:
- PNC – 13
- BNY Mellon – 7
- PwC – 4
- Amazon – 3
- Bechtel Plant Machinery, INC – 3
- McAdam Financially Advanced – 2
- PLS Logistics – 2
- The Walt Disney Co. – 2