The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business ranked No. 88 this year. Falling behind from last year’s rank at No. 62, Opus College had an acceptance rate of 88% and an average SAT score of 1249 this year. Employment and internship outcomes for the B-school’s Class of 2020 were not available, which is why the school dropped in the rankings so much.
Despite that lower ranking this year, Opus College still offers a quality real-world education that emphasizes team-based project work and service-learning.
Opus College business majors can choose from the following concentrations: Accounting, Business Communication, Entrepreneurship, Finance, General Business, Human Resources, International Business, Leadership & Management, Law & Compliance, Marketing, and Operations & Supply Chain Management. The B-school recently introduced a new co-concentration in Business Analytics that can be added to students’ business major concentration.
The core business curriculum at Opus College includes a variety of fundamental business courses with the addition of unique courses such as “Working Skillfully in Organizations” and “Business for the Common Good.”
Overall, Opus College alumni gave high remarks for their undergraduate business experience. When asked if they would recommend the Opus College business program to a close friend or colleague interested in an undergraduate business degree, surveyed 2018 alumni gave a strong 9.4 average rating. Alumni also gave a strong 8.7 average rating in terms of how well the business program prepared them for the world of work.
A number of Opus College courses integrate team-based project work that requires students to work on real-world issues. Many surveyed alumni highlighted how beneficial those real-world projects were in their career development.
“Through my work on my Senior Capstone Project, I was able to work with a real-life company that became my marketing ‘client,’” one 2018 alum told us. “With the help of my team, we were able to develop a full-funnel marketing plan for them to help them grow their business objectives. In my current job, creating client RFPs and full-funnel proposals is a large part of my day to day work.”
“Many of the larger projects in my business classes were able to be applied directly to my current job,” another 2018 alum said. “They were usually group projects. When you have to work with a group (good or bad) on a project that determines a majority of your grade, you develop so many important life skills.”
Among survey responses, entrepreneurship courses received high praise for their real-world components.
“[The] JTerm for Entrepreneurship course in Silicon Valley was a full immersion with local businesses and business leaders and a project spanning Design Thinking process in practice,” one 2018 alum reported. “We took to the streets for feedback and learned from many brilliant minds in innovation.”
“The Silicon Valley trip with entrepreneurship professors was extremely eye-opening,” another 2018 alum recalled. “I now work in tech for a company based in San Francisco and travel there every quarter. The experience motivated me to join this industry and the projects we worked on with design thinking were majorly impactful.”
Additionally, Opus College faculty received positive reviews, with 2018 alumni rating the quality of teaching business courses an 8.7 average rating. Faculty received a strong 9.1 average rating in terms of availability for informal discussions and mentoring outside of class. With quality faculty and coursework that integrates real-world applications, students have a proper foundation for success post-grad.
“St. Thomas had great professors that have all seen individual success in their respective fields,” one 2018 alum told us. “Most courses I took had real-life situations and experiences that have helped prepare me for post-grad situations.”
SERVICE LEARNING COMPONENT
One of the unique aspects of Opus College is the emphasis that the B-school places on social responsibility and ethics. All undergraduates are required to take part in a service-learning course that includes 40 hours of volunteer service in the community — a requirement that few B-schools can say they have.
The service-learning requirement offers students valuable experience in working with a non-profit organization and understanding the impact of social responsibility. Collectively, students provide an average of over 28,000 hours of volunteer service to over 300 nonprofit organizations each year through the requirement.
“[We partnered] with local nonprofits in order to create a new business plan that fit their needs,” one 2018 alum said. “It brought me into wanting to work for nonprofits and the benefits that come with it.”
Opus College’s real-world education creates a unique learning environment where students are encouraged to learn by doing. The projects—from marketing to entrepreneurship to community service—all require students to collectively work together in solving real-world problems.
“I participated in the Aristotle Fund course, which provides students an opportunity to experience real-world equity research by investing a dedicated portion of the endowment fund.”
“My Marketing Capstone course we partnered with a real small business in the Twin Cities area. We performed extensive market research, came up with ideas to improve the business, and then presented them to our client. This experience is very real-life in the business world, whether for a large or small company.”
“I felt supported throughout and I was able to interview on campus with multiple Fortune 500 companies, which was extremely helpful. I got my current job through the on-campus interviews.”
WHERE THE CLASS OF 2019 WENT TO WORK:
- United Health Group
- Wells Fargo
- US Bank
- Ameriprise Financial
- Xcel Energy