Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business landed at No. 87 in our rankings this year. The Leavey School of Business fell behind from last year’s rank of 33rd because it was unable to report Class of 2020 employment data and did not meet the minimum alumni response rate. The B-school had an acceptance rate of 46.44% and an average SAT score of 1357 this year.
While Leavey fell behind in rank this year, its undergraduate business program still deserves high praise as one that is fundamentally driven by strong ethics. From unique experiential opportunities to cultural immersions, students are taught to lead with integrity and commit to social responsibility in order to create a more just, humane, and sustainable world.
As a Jesuit university, Santa Clara University was founded around the idea of creating a more just, humane, and sustainable world. The Jesuit tradition at Santa Clara lays the groundwork for each of the university’s six colleges.
At Leavey, ethics and values are an integral part of the curriculum. In the required undergraduate core curriculum, students take a variety of liberal arts courses ranging from “Culture & Ideas” to “Ethics” and “Civic Engagement.” The required business core curriculum features fundamental business courses on accounting and economics, but also incorporates values-based courses such as “Business Ethics” and “Global and Cultural Environment of Business.”
Leavey students can choose from the following undergraduate majors: Accounting, Accounting & Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Individual Studies, Management, Marketing, and Management Information Systems.
Overall, Leavey alumni tend to view their undergraduate education positively with surveyed 2018 alumni rating the quality of teaching in business courses an 8.5 average rating. Leavey faculty received a 9.3 average rating in terms of availability for informal discussions and mentoring outside of class.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING WITH REAL IMPACT
Leavey’s values and ethics help to create truly unique experiential learning opportunities that positively impact the communities that students serve. The Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) is one example of an experiential learning opportunity at Leavey that connects students with a community in need. Through the initiative, Leavey students utilize their business skills in accounting, marketing, and management to offer pro bono services to small businesses in the local San Jose area.
Another strong example of an impactful experiential learning opportunity at Leavey is its Community Fellow Program, which places students in paid, year-long internships at nonprofit and government organizations. In addition to the internship, students spend their year exploring social justice and economic issues in courses. Community Fellow partners include the Office of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, and Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County — to name a few.
The benefits of programs such as NPI or Community Fellows are two-fold: on one hand, students get valuable experience in applying their business knowledge to the real world. On the other hand, local businesses and communities benefit from their services. The local community, small business focus of NPI is what makes the program unique. While other B-schools incorporate experiential learning through case studies or simulations, Leavey incorporates it to create real impact for local communities.
“The experiential learning components were a great opportunity to think about how our lessons could be applied in the real world,” one 2018 alum told us. “It was important to reframe how we thought about class.”
“I learned so much from being able to actually help a family and be given the resources to make smart investments for them and their business,” another 2018 alum said.
Overall, surveyed 2018 alumni view these experiences highly. When asked how they would rate the opportunities at Leavey to nurture and improve soft skills in business (such as verbal and written communication skills, adaptability, delegation, time management, etc.), 2018 alumni gave a strong 9.1 average rating.
“The NPI program has really helped me stand out from my peers,” one 2018 alum said. “It was real work experience with business and soft skills that prove I am who I say I am.”
Leavey offers a variety of opportunities for students to travel abroad and experience diverse cultures. Through Leavey’s Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship, students can take partake in immersive study trips during Spring Break to places such as Rwanda, Myanma, and Cuba. The immersive study experience also incorporates lectures, guided discussions, and reflections.
For many students, the immersion trips offer a unique opportunity to learn how communities around the world function and how issues around sustainability and poverty impact the world. But the immersion trips also challenge many students to step out of their comfort zone and simply experience how different life can be for others around the world.
“The immersion programs I was a part of made me more well rounded and contentious, which has improved my outlook in the working world, leading to very positive professional relationships,” one 2018 alum reported.
Opportunities such as the immersions or Community Fellows are what make the Leavey School of Business unique. On top of teaching students the necessary business skills, Leavey emphasizes an element of corporate social responsibility that few other B-schools can match.
“Completed a fellowship in Morocco with a social enterprise connecting women artisans with the global e-commerce market.”
“I participated in the Global Fellows Program, which allowed me to spend 3 months in India working with an NGO. This experience was unique because it allowed me to apply and contextualize my classroom knowledge about international business in a real-world setting.”
“Hands-on analysis with real companies in the Bay Area made the project both applicable to the real world and relevant to future career skills.”