Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business landed at No. 44 in this year’s rankings. While Freeman fell six spots from last year’s 38th ranking — and 10 spots from No. 44 in 2019 — the B-school maintained its admissions selectivity with an acceptance rate of 18.27% this year, in line with last year’s 18%. The average SAT score this year was 1392, slightly lower than last year’s average SAT score of 1414. Admissions standards was Tulane’s most competitive methodological category where it placed 24th overall.
Employment wise, Freeman graduates took a hit this year with only 70.96% securing full-time employment within three months of graduation, a significant 16% drop from last year’s 86.98% — though this is likely due to the COVID-19 economic downturn. Internship outcomes remain relatively unchanged with 48.90% of the Class of 2020 having a business-focused internship before graduating, compared to last year’s 47.20%.
Despite Freeman ranking lower this year, the B-school still offers a quality education that heavily emphasizes interdisciplinary thinking and real-world application.
FLEXIBLE INTERDISCIPLINARY EDUCATION
One of the key characteristics of the Freeman education is the academic freedom and flexibility it offers students. Tsetsa Dankova Rosensteel, the Assistant Dean of Administration and Finance at Freeman, describes it best: “One College. Five Schools. No Boundaries.”
In other words, Tulane admits undergraduates to Newcomb-Tulane College. Each student can choose to attend any of the five schools (Liberal Arts, Science and Engineering, Freeman School of Business, Public Health, and Architecture) that serve undergraduates. Additionally, students can easily double major across schools or minor in subjects that they are curious about.
“The ease with which students can cross academic boundaries and break down academic silos is a differentiating feature of a Tulane and Freeman education that promotes interdisciplinary thinking,” Rosensteel told us. “The major declaration policy affords students the opportunity to explore their interests and select a major or majors that match their interests.”
The Freeman School also offers a variety of joint programs with other graduate programs, such as the 3/3 program with the Tulane Law School where students enroll as full-time law students during what would otherwise be the senior year. The most popular joint program is the joint Bachelor of Science in Management (BSM) and the Master of Accounting Program (MACCT). Students earn a BSM and MACCT in five years, with the option in spring of the senior year to complete a “busy season internship” in the geographic area where the student would like to live.
This flexible, interdisciplinary approach is the core of the Freeman education. At many other B-schools, there are a number of barriers — whether through admission or prerequisite requirements — that make it difficult for students to cross academic boundaries. But, at Freeman, students are given more freedom and flexibility to study a variety of fields that interest them.
NUMEROUS REAL-WORLD OPPORTUNITIES
There isn’t just one cornerstone experience at Freeman. Alumni we surveyed reported a variety of hands-on, real-world opportunities that they say were key to their business education. Roughly 72% of surveyed 2018 alumni reported engaging in at least one “signature experience,” whether through project work, simulations, or other experiential opportunities.
One example is the Burkenroad Reports program. Started in 1993, it was the nation’s first university-sponsored securities analysis program. Each year, 200 Freeman students are divided up into teams to follow 40 small-cap public companies headquartered in six southern states. Teams meet with top management, visit company sites, design financial models, and publish in-depth, unbiased investment research reports. The companies researched are “stocks under rocks” – companies that are underfollowed by Wall Street securities analysts. In the spring, the Freeman School sponsors the Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference at a major hotel in downtown New Orleans, where top management of participating companies present the outlook for their companies and industries to an audience of nearly 800 individual and institutional investors.
“Burkenroad gave me the opportunity to understand equity research on a real-world analyst level, including meeting with C-level executives of the companies we were tasked with researching,” one 2018 alumni told us.
But the Burkenroad Reports program is just one of many real-world opportunities at Freeman. Alumni we surveyed highlighted the plethora of opportunities they had to apply their studies to the real world.
“The service-learning component through the business school injected you straight into the life of New Orleans,” one 2018 alumni told us. “I was in a legal studies service learning which allowed me the opportunity to observe courtroom proceedings in New Orleans. This gave me a real understanding of the system miles beyond what a classroom education could’ve taught me.”
“I had a real-world consulting client for my management consulting class senior year (a local restaurant), and was able to make changes to a real business and see the impacts instead of simply reading case studies,” another 2018 alumni told us.
At Freeman, students are given an open runway to go out and explore their passions and interests. If a student is interested in chemical engineering and business, he or she can pursue that. If a student wants to start taking business classes in the first year, the student can do so freely. With a flexible, interdisciplinary-focused education and plenty of opportunities to learn in the real world, Freeman students can truly explore and pursue everything and anything.
“We got to embrace ourselves in the athletic departments world. We were figuring out ways to increase audience and engagement with Tulane athletics. We were able to meet with marketing directors at the Saints and Pelicans to learn what was successful for them and helped implement traditions that are still used today.”
“Capstone included simulation requiring you to become the management team for a company of the teachers choosing. My team was then forced to develop a growth plan for the business, address any hurdles, and present a pitch to the class in a competition to determine the best business plan.”
“The professors at Tulane for the most part really want to help their students and will take the extra time to meet with students to go over either work or personal/career matters.”
Where The Class of 2018 Went To Work:
Ernst & Young LLP – 15
PricewaterhouseCoopers – 10
JP Morgan – 7
Credit Suisse – 6
KPMG – 6
IBM – 4
Deloitte – 4
Wells Fargo – 3