Marian University’s Byrum School of Business, based in Indianapolis, ranks No. 56 overall this year, down ten places from No. 46 in 2021. Marian is relatively small, yet the private school ranked No. 9 among its Catholic peers. The Byrum School of Business offers majors in accounting, business analytics, finance, logistics and supply chain management, management, and marketing as well as minors in accounting, business, and finance. Byrum is a school on the rise, with a more than 52% increase of students in its 2021 class.
For two consecutive years, Byrum has reported that 100% of their graduates had at least one business-specific internship before graduation. They also reported that a solid 100% of the Class of 2021 found full-time employment within three months of graduation, an outstanding outcome. Although it seemed unlikely they could do much better with an incredibly high rate, they managed to improve from 97.95% of the Class of 2020. With a power blend of career outcomes and student internships, Marian University is No. 2 in return on investment among P&Q ranked catholic B-Schools.
DIVERSITY A MARIAN STRENGTH
Driven by its Franciscan values, Marian University ranks No. 6 in first generation student generation with 35.70% of the class of 2021, and No. 15 for 29.20% of the class considered a minority. Marian has also gained national attention for its Diversity in Leadership program with the University of Notre Dame, Purdue, and Butler University.
Experiential learning is the cornerstone of Marian’s undergraduate business curriculum. About 92% of 2019 alumni that responded to our survey said they had at least one impactful “signature experience” during their time at the Byrum School. And many referenced experiential learning as those signature experiences.
Byrum students are attracting attention on the national stage. Their undergrad student team won the 2022 Chartered Financial Analyst CFA State Championship and Byrum placed second in the Amazon case competition, coming out ahead of Wharton, Foster and Tobin.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING AT MARIAN: ‘WHAT PREPARED ME MOST FOR LIFE POST-GRADUATION’
Byrum has a unique structure of two required nine-hour courses that included bundles of three courses each. The first of which is the Business Plan Competition of Bus109 and consists of the intro to business course as intros to economics and accounting. Students work in teams to create business plans and then pitch those business plans to business professionals, who then award money to the winning team to actually run the business.
“Byrum School of Business did an excellent job of giving us real-world experiences. An example of this was our freshman business class to create a business plan,” one 2018 alumni told us through the alumni survey. “The winning business plan team was provided with money to begin their business on campus. This taught me so much about entrepreneurship, marketing, and finances.”
Next is Bus309 or the Comprehensive Analysis of Business bundle, which includes principles of finance with business law and strategy. Students put together merger and acquisition plans for larger companies similar to Bus109, then pitch those ideas to executives from the companies they’ve created plans for.
“Marian’s experiential learning programs were what prepared me the most for life post-graduation,” another alumni said. “I came into the workforce with confidence knowing that I had already worked with experienced professionals, helping them solve problems their companies were facing.”
VERY STRONG RANKINGS DEBUT
Byrum 2019 alumni rated their professors very well, with an 8.6 on a 10 point scale when it came to their availability and willingness to meet outside of the classroom. They also rated the school very highly for its ability to nurture and grow their soft skills in business. On the other hand, recent alumni gave the lowest mark to its connection with the alumni network and that network’s ability to help them secure jobs throughout their career.
Sticking with the Roman Catholic roots, the school launched a new course in Moral Capitalism and also boasts the recently launched Walker Center for Applied Ethics.
“The mission of the Walker Center for Applied Ethics is to advance a more ethical world by improving and evolving the interdisciplinary teaching of ethics across Marian’s programs, as well as beyond our campus into the community,” school officials told us. “The Walker Center directly and through collaborations pursues research, coursework and programming designed to advance ethical practices in individuals and organizations of all types, with an emphasis on application, practical understanding, and impact.
MARIAN IS A SOLID OPTION IN A CROWDED MIDWESTERN MARKET
In a crowded Midwestern business education market, Marian’s Byrum School provides an intriguing opportunity for potential students. It’s smaller than other Indiana-based schools in our rankings like Indiana University, Notre Dame, and Purdue. Despite the smaller size and non-traditional brand name, Marian is a solid choice for students looking to make sure they get a job in the Midwest immediately after graduation.
“I had two experiences that made it unique. First, the Business 309 Financial analysis, merger and acquisition class pushed students to work together and think outside the box for a growing a company. Also the capstone course of running your company with classmates vs other teams helped you understand all facets of a business.”
“I was a part of a trip to England in a maymester designed to help students understand their economy and business. It was important to me because it gave me the skills and connections to be able to communicate effectively in the business world with those from other cultures.”
“Byrum School of Business did an excellent job of giving us real-world experiences. An example of this was our freshman business class to create a business plan. The winning business plan team was provided with money to begin their business on campus. This taught me so much about entrepreneurship, marketing, and finances. In another class, we had to come up with a recommendation for a company that Eli Lily should acquire. This taught me about research and M&A activity. Another example is the A team which allowed us to work with the Indiana State Fair to assist them in reducing costs. All of these experiences brought the real-world into our classroom and were extremely beneficial in my learning development.”
“I was involved in multiple. One in particular was a class in which a team of myself and 4 other colleagues connected with a company and listened to their problems. We then made a proposed solution. Once agreed, we developed a complex excel to fit their needs. We presented the result and it is still being used in the company to this day. The company even hired one of our team members to help implement the completed product and develop others. It was priceless to be able to pair with a company and provide a solution for them to use.”
“I was involved in multiple experiences that shaped my educational journey at Marian, working for actual companies like Cummins, Indianapolis Community Healthplex & a competed in a logistics case competition for Conexus & Rolls Royce, but the most impactful experience was studying abroad & learning about the service economy in England.”