New York University’s Stern School of Business ranked No. 7 in 2023’s ranking of Best Undergraduate Business Programs, the same spot as last year. Although this ties the B-school’s lowest ranking over the past few years — breaking the streak of moving up one place in the rankings each year from No. 5 in 2019 to No. 4 in 2020 and then No. 3 in 2021 — it shouldn’t go unnoticed that Stern consistently ranks in the top 10.
Stern’s acceptance rate was one of the most exclusive of all ranked undergraduate B-schools this year, at a mere 6.6%. Only Cornell Dyson (4.17%), Northeastern D’Amore-McKim (5.73%), and University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School (6.3%) were more selective. Stern was also more selective than it was in 2021 when it accepted 7.16% of applicants.
Further, Stern’s average SAT score of 1542 was incredibly high — the highest of all ranked B-Schools — and 12 points higher than the best-in-ranking average it posted last year, 1531. The next closest school in terms of SAT scores was Washington Olin with an average of 1523.
A TRULY INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE, WITH HIGH EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES
All of this translates into what is probably the most international undergraduate business school experience currently offered in the U.S. That has also translated into very lofty employment outcomes. The graduating Class of 2022 with full-time positions started with an average salary of $92,572 — nearly $10,000 higher than last year’s starting average of $81,669 — which is the fourth highest of the undergraduate B-schools.
Its employment rate of 96.08% was strong, up slightly from the Class of 2021’s 94.37% and from the Class of 2020’s 95.22%. Its internship rate for 2022 grads was 92.5%, down from 94.10% for the previous class.
Students looking for a truly international experience in an urban setting with strong job outcomes should put New York’s Stern at the top of their list. Georgetown University’s McDonough School is probably the only other top program that compares.
Stern’s pioneering International Studies Program (ISP) now requires each of its nearly 600 juniors to embark on an international study trip as part of their capstone course. However, the school is taking the three most important aspects of ISP – the global experience, the capstone course, and community building – and reinventing them into three new innovations for the undergraduate program. The Class of 2024 will have a new senior capstone course in which Stern students work with one of New York City’s iconic companies or organizations throughout the semester.
“You can think of it as consulting to that organization, but that organization could be in any number of industries,” says Robert Whitelaw, vice dean of Stern’s undergraduate college, in this 2022 interview.
“We also wanted to exploit all the locational advantages of New York: A ton of our alums are here, and we have this amazing network of organizations, companies, firms we can work with. We doubled-down on experiential.”
Beginning with the Class of 2027, every graduate will also have a global requirement to earn their degree. They will have three ways to do this:
- Study a semester away at on of NYU’s 14 global sites including NYU Paris, NYU Prague, NYU Buenos Aires, and others.
- Spend a semester at one of NYU’s 17 IBEX (International Business Exchange Program) partners including Bocconi University in Milan, PKU (Peking University) in Beijing, and many others.
- Take a Stern Around the World Course which will feature a travel immersion built into the curriculum.
“I’ll give you a couple of examples: We have a sustainability consulting course that has a trip to Costa Rica. In Ghana, we have a social entrepreneurship course which is taught during the spring semester and then, over spring break, the students go to Ghana. We have adopted a village there that we’ve been working with for more than a decade. For this course, students have actually helped them develop a business producing fabric, and they are actually now selling it to this little dressmaker in Brooklyn who has a store in DUMBO,” Whitelaw says.
“Those courses have already existed, but we’ve actually boosted that portfolio to six courses this year. They include trips to the Netherlands, Singapore, France, and actually domestic trips as well because we have a lot of international students. We’re going to build it even further next year.”
STERN’S FIVE PILLARS
Stern’s undergraduate experiences are based on the five broad pillars of academics, global, social impact, professional, and community. For academics, Stern has tried to make its undergraduate program liberal arts-focused, allowing up to 50% of coursework to be in the liberal arts. Combining that with Stern’s New York City location, and it provides a unique academic experience for business students.
In terms of social impact, Stern has actually created a four-course social impact focus that is required of all undergraduate business majors. “No other school does Social Impact like Stern,” the school says. Highlighting the professional pillar is SternTalks, which are “TED-style” alumni presentations given to first-year students during the fall semester.
“Starting in 2019, all incoming Stern first-year students take the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment, which measures their capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences,” the school says. “Students meet individually with a trained Stern administrator to understand their results and develop a personalized plan for growth.”
2021 Alumni say:
“I was a Business and Political Economy major, which was uniquely structured to require three semesters abroad in London and Shanghai, followed by a senior capstone project on a subject of our choice. This program allowed me to receive a truly global education while fully immersing myself in some of the major financial hubs of the world. I never would have had this opportunity in another program or at another school, and I am exceedingly grateful to Stern for the priceless learning experiences I gained inside and outside the classroom.”
“Our global studies program taught us business culture in Asia and took the entire class to Hong Kong for a week to immerse in the local culture. I additionally took a semester abroad in Madrid and was an International student, to begin with. All of that together truly gave me a perspective on different cultures and countries and how they think and do business. This significantly increased by business empathy and the ability to work with others.”
“I participated in the Stern Honors program which gave the highest academic performers in that class year the opportunity to write a detailed thesis alongside some of the most highly regarded professors in the school. It was important to me because the process stretched my mind in ways I had never experienced before.”
“For junior year Spring Break, our class traveled across the world visiting three locations to meet with professionals from different businesses as well as experience different cultures. My group visited Sands China, going to both Hong Kong and Macau, where we were able to meet with professionals to discuss the business and its go forward initiatives. We later created presentations in class to discuss new potential initiatives or operational changes that could benefit the business. Also, being part of the larger NYU community, Stern students have ample opportunities to study abroad and experience different parts of the world and we maintain one of the highest percentages of students studied abroad of any school.”
“I had the opportunity to work with one professor for all four years that I was at Stern and she became a great mentor to me: showing me how the research process works and getting me engaged in research more broadly. This started because of Stern’s SPUR (Stern Program for Undergraduate Research), which helped me meet professors and helped start long-term relationships that I still have today.”
For an in-depth, exclusive interview with NYU Stern Dean of the Undergraduate College Geeta Menon, go here.