The Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University ranked No. 73 this year — improving an impressive eight spots from last year’s rank of No. 81. The movement was largely buoyed by strong alumni survey scores, which game the Rawls College a 50th-place finish in the academic experience methodological category.
Rawls College had a similar admissions process this year with an acceptance rate of 65.78% and an average SAT score of 1096, in line with last year’s 64% and 1096. But where the B-school saw its biggest improvement was in its strong employment outcomes and the aforementioned positive alumni ratings on the academic experience. Despite the COVID-19 economic downturn, 90.83% of the Rawls Class of 2020 secured full-time employment within three months of graduation — roughly a one percentage point dip from last year’s 91.95%. Internship placements remained unchanged at 20%. The surveyed 2018 alumni spoke highly of their business education from the quality of teaching to opportunities to nurture soft skills in business.
The Rawls College experience is best described as a real-world business education with a strong capstone experience and quality study abroad opportunities. At Rawls, students are given valuable skills that are directly transferable to the career of their choice.
There are seven total majors at Rawls including Accounting, Energy Commerce, Finance, Information Technology, Management, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. Additionally, students can apply for accelerated and pathway programs such as the B.B.A. to Master of Science in Accounting, B.B.A. to Master of Science in Finance, and Pathway to STEM MBA.
Overall, Rawls alumni view their business education positively. Surveyed 2018 alumni rated the quality of teaching in business courses a strong 9.1 average rating. Alumni also gave an 8.9 average rating in terms of faculty availability for informal discussions and mentoring outside of class. When asked how likely they would recommend the Rawls program to a close friend or colleague interested in an undergraduate business degree, 2018 alumni gave a 9.6 average rating.
A number of Rawls alumni also mentioned the real-world applications of their education. For many, the Rawls program provided a realistic education of what their future careers would be like.
“Several classes allowed us the creativity and freedom to create solutions to real-world issues and rise or fall as actual companies would,” one 2018 alumni told us.
“Had to do a valuation on a company,” another 2018 alumni said. “It was the closest thing to a real finance job. It was intense and helped prepare you in every aspect.”
STRONG CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE
The senior capstone project is a signature experience at Rawls. A number of surveyed 2018 alumni spoke highly about their capstone project saying that it gave them a headstart in their job search with valuable experience and skillsets.
“The Capstone course in the MSA program prepared me to pass the CPA exam prior to starting full-time work,” a 2018 alumni reported. “This gave me a tremendous leg up on my co-workers who were not afforded that opportunity.”
“I absolutely loved my senior capstone course,” another 2018 alumni said. “It was by far my favorite class because I felt like I got to learn about what happens in business rather than straight concepts. Our semester-long project was insightful into business structures and allowed us to relate to real businesses.”
Part of what makes the Rawls capstone experience strong is the direct application of what students learn and accomplish. For instance, the accounting capstone course requires students to take time to study and take the CPA exam. Each capstone project features an element of collaborative teamwork as well and challenges students to work together in solving a real-world issue. With this valuable experience, Rawls students go into job interviews with substantial talking points that give them a leg up from other students whose capstone experiences weren’t as applicable.
QUALITY STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES
Study abroad is another strong selling point for Rawls. According to the university, 19% of Rawls students study abroad at one of the many global destinations from Prague to China. For many Rawls students, the abroad experience offers a global perspective to how business is conducted as well as an appreciation for diverse cultures — both important for the real-world of business where teamwork is crucial.
“I studied abroad for a summer in Prague through a faculty-led trip,” one 2018 alumni told us. “It allowed me to gain a larger global perspective that has helped me in my sales career.”
“We were able to see the differences in culture, business practices, and opportunities with another region of the world,” another 2018 alumni recalled. “China’s business dealings are drastically different than the United States. The comparison of the two changed our mindsets going back into our collegiate experience and translated into our professional career.”
Overall, what makes the Rawls education great is the real-world opportunities both in and out of the classroom. Whether through the capstone project or a semester abroad, Rawls students are given practical, real-world experiences that give them a head start to a long and fulfilling career.
“Able to do mock audits through online software to simulate what we do in our profession as well as planned for an audit like we do assessing the risk of certain areas of financials.”
“Term project spring semester senior year. Very collaborative. Blended all major business areas into one project.”
“Global immersion and experiential learning by sharing the classroom with international students and learning from working professionals guest speakers. I am thankful for it because it has helped me to easily adapt to my company’s multicultural environment.”