Rochester Institute of Technology’s Saunders College of Business landed at No. 58 in our rankings this year. Saunders made a huge leap from last year’s No. 91 ranking, due to meeting the minimum alumni response rate in the alumni survey this year. Even so, it finished five spots higher than its No. 63 rank in 2019, when, like this year, it also met the minimum response rate.
The B-school saw a slightly more selective acceptance rate this year at 75.46%, compared to last year’s 81%. The average SAT score this year landed at 1191, slightly lower than last year’s score of 1253. The undergraduate business experience at Saunders is best characterized by its strong foundational education, real-world learning, and impressive co-op program.
BIZ 1+2 PROGRAM
Saunders undergraduates can choose from the following majors: Accounting, Finance, Hospitality & Tourism Management, International Business, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management.
Students get a business education starting on day one with The Freshman Experience: Biz 1+2 program. A rigorous and comprehensive curriculum, Biz 1+2 provides an introduction to the fundamentals of business and serves as a valuable reference through the rest of students’ four-year education. Throughout their first year, students take classes in a cohort and develop a business plan from conceptualization to commercialization.
The Biz 1+2 program is a unique experience in that it gives students a strong foundation in learning something as comprehensive as putting a business plan together. While many other B-schools don’t require an experiential learning experience like this until the senior year capstone, at Saunders, every student gets a hands-on education starting on day one. In turn, Saunders students can have an early head start when it comes to internship opportunities, and ultimately, employment.
“Creating a business plan for product/service – exposed me to the process of starting a company and maintaining its success – helped me contribute to my current company’s long-term sustainability and strategy/innovation,” one 2018 alumni told us.
YEAR BY YEAR REAL-WORLD LEARNING
With a strong foundation in experiential learning and teamwork, Saunders students have a valuable toolbox of skills to continuously apply their knowledge year by year. No matter what major they choose to pursue, each program at Saunders features a variety of opportunities to apply classroom knowledge to real-world problems.
Some 80.65% of surveyed 2018 alumni report engaging in at least one “signature experience,” whether through project work, simulations, global immersion, experiential learning, senior thesis, or capstone project, that was a key part of their business learning.
“Capstone project and many projects throughout the program were designed to work similarly to real-life projects at modern companies,” one 2018 alumni said.
“Working on and seeing the efforts of a complete ad campaign from start to finish showed me what it was like to work on a real project,” said another 2018 alum. “Though it wasn’t successful and we didn’t win the competition, it was a great learning experience that taught me more than I thought it would.”
Rather than just through a distinct capstone project or first-year experience, Saunders weaves experiential learning in each of the four years — an important distinction that equips students with plenty of valuable experience by the time they graduate.
STRONG CO-OP PROGRAM
The co-op program at Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the oldest and largest cooperative education programs in the nation and connects over 4,400 students with over 2,200 employer partners annually. A full-time paid employment opportunity, the co-op program begins after students have completed their first two years of coursework. Co-op employers have included the likes of KPMG, EY, Wegmans Food Markets Inc., and more.
For many students, the co-op experience gives them the opportunity to explore potential careers and gain valuable experience that they can reference in future internship and job interviews.
“The co-op program at RIT definitely gave me a ‘leg-up’ in terms of experience to talk about with a potential employer during interviews,” a 2018 alumni said. “Doing a day-to-day job for three months also gave me a sense of what I would be expecting in a corporate environment.”
“My co-op experience gave me exposure into the intricacies of business transformation, and led to the opportunity that I’m in right now with KPMG,” another 2018 alumni said.
Because of the co-op program, 100% of Saunders students graduate with a business-focused internship — an impressive feat that ensures each and every student has an experience to reference when it comes time to interview for future internships or employment. Employment wise, a strong 94.12% of the Class of 2020 secured a full-time position within three months of graduation. Saunders’ spot in the rankings was boosted thanks to strong employment outcomes. It placed No. 26 overall in the employment outcomes portion of the ranking.
Ultimately, what makes the Saunders education strong is the B-school’s flexible program offerings, an emphasis on real-world learning, and its historic co-op program. From the first day they step on campus to the day they graduate, Saunders students are given a hands-on business education that equips them with the valuable knowledge and experience they need to thrive.
“Internship with an interesting company. Was able to work on a vital program.”
“Built on my core business knowledge but also opened my eyes to international business and not just government intervention in international business but also cultural. Also strong focus on product innovation which is so important.”
“Starting two clubs in the Saunders College of Business was educational in learning what it took to execute tasks and complete projects.”
WHERE THE CLASS OF 2020 WENT TO WORK:
- Geico – 3
- Precision Castparts Corp. – 3
- Paychex, Inc. – 3
- RIT – 3
- CGI Communications – 2
- GW Lisk, Inc. – 2
- M&T Bank – 2
- Metropolitan Riveters Hockey – 2
- Premium Mortgage Corp. – 2
- TJX Companies – 2