University of Akron’s College of Business Administration (CBA) ranked No. 76 this year — jumping an impressive 19 spots from last year. The Akron CBA had an acceptance rate of 40% this year and an average SAT score of 1096. Akron’s undergraduate business program offers real, tangible learning with strong professional development and plenty of out-of-classroom opportunities for students to gain valuable experience and build professional networks.
Akron business students have access to 13 different undergraduate majors including Accounting, Business Administration, Business Data Analytics, Economics, Financial Management, Financial Planning, Human Resource Management, Information Systems, International Business, Marketing, Risk Management and Insurance, Sales Management, and Supply Chain/Operations Management.
All students, regardless of major, are required to complete the general education courses and a required set of Business Integrated Core classes, which feature a comprehensive catalog of fundamental business topics from economics to business communication.
Overall, Akron alumni view their business education as fair. Surveyed 2018 alumni gave a 7.8 average rating for the quality of teaching in Akron CBA courses. Business school faculty support and mentorship was rated at an 8.3 average rating in terms of availability for informal discussions and mentoring outside of class.
REAL, TANGIBLE LEARNING
The Akron CBA curriculum features a strong sense of real-world learning. A number of 2018 alumni that we surveyed spoke highly about the hands-on and realistic course projects that they were involved in during their undergraduate business education. Roughly 68% of surveyed alumni report engaging in at least one “signature experience.”
“We had to analyze the supply chain structure of another country using five principles we were taught,” one 2018 alum told us. “We then had to make recommendations for improvement based on our analysis. It was unique in that capstones usually focus on an industry or specific company. I had never looked at supply chain structure at a global level and assessed how a country handled the infrastructure and approach to the supply chain.”
“Our professor made sure we were given a challenging and real-world project with Walmart,” another 2018 alum said. “It was a very difficult situation but he helped us work through all of the issues we came across and it prepared me for what it is like to work with different people in the workplace.”
Outside of the classroom, Akron business students can also take part in a number of experiential opportunities — from case competitions to unique programs — where they gain valuable experience and build their professional network.
“I was the Vice President of the American Marketing Association and participated in the national case competition in New Orleans my Senior Year, it was awesome to meet and be a part of that large of a conference,” one 2018 alum reported. “I also was a member of the first business analytics team at Akron who traveled to New York for the Manhattan College business analytics competition. This helped open a new avenue in my future path that I hadn’t considered before.”
“I participated in multiple conferences & competitions that allowed me to travel and extend my professional network across the country,” another 2018 alum recalled. “In addition, I completed an experiential learning project through the Leadership Development program that allowed me to create a financial literacy program for inner-city high school students while I also extended my professional network locally.”
“For a national competition, a team of myself and two other students interviewed over 20 finance industry professionals on their jobs & the road to get there,” said another 2018 alum. “Through this, we were able to not only network but gain great insight into the different paths that can be taken in the finance profession. In addition, we were able to compete and network at a national level. I left that competition with not only a first-place trophy, but priceless relationships and memories built.”
Both in the classroom and out, Akron business students are actively involved in real-world learning. While business theory is an important part of the undergraduate education, Akron places special emphasis on giving students opportunities to actively apply those theories to the real world. In turn, students gain valuable experience and graduate with a set of tangible skills.
Akron wants to ensure each student has the proper resources to outline their professional goals and track their progress towards those goals. The CBA EDGE (Exploring Degree Goals and Experiences) is a professional development program designed to help students organize their college participation and experiences to easily evaluate their readiness to enter the world of work.
Events and experiences focus primarily on professional development — from career fairs to resume workshops and leadership courses. For each event or experience that students take part in, they earn points towards their “EDGE.” If a student completes 2,000 points, they graduate with a CBA EDGE medal.
The program is a quantitative model that encourages students to actively participate in professional development workshops and events. With real-world learning opportunities (both within and beyond the classroom) and an incentive-based professional development program, Akron students are given both the tangible experience and the impressive edge they need to succeed in the real world.
“Through the Honors Project in the College of Business, my team researched how the advent of self-driving cars and autonomous technology would impact the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.”
“Many of the projects that I worked on at the UA, specifically the group dynamics, helped me navigate real-world projects and manage the group.”
“Teamed up with business students pursuing other degrees, local business came in and described a problem they were dealing with, we had two semesters to research and come up with a presentation covering our solution.”