The University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics landed at No. 81 in this year’s rankings. Gatton College slipped four spots from last year’s 77th-place finish. The B-school had an acceptance rate this year of 84.54% and an average SAT score of 981. Gatton saw a dip in employment outcomes this year, with 58.90% of the Class of 2020 securing full-time employment within three months of graduation, down almost seven percentage points from last year’s 65.71%. Some 71% of Gatton’s Class of 2020 landed a business-focused internship before graduating.
Despite falling a bit in this year’s rankings, Gatton College still offers a quality undergraduate business education that is best characterized by its supportive faculty, strong Global Scholars program, and project-based learning.
STRONG FACULTY SUPPORT
Gatton undergraduates have access to six majors including Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing, and General Business. The B-school also recently added a new Business Analytics minor to its portfolio of minors which also include: Business, Economics, and International Business.
Gatton faculty were rated positively amongst surveyed 2018 Gatton alumni who gave the quality of teaching in Gatton courses an 8.4 average rating. 2018 alumni also rated Gatton faculty availability for informal discussions and mentoring outside of class an 8.6 average rating.
In survey responses, 2018 Gatton alumni specifically highlighted the effectiveness of Gatton professors’ teaching and how large of a role they played in students’ development. Having quality course content or projects is one thing, but having supportive professors who challenge students to excel and grow is another. At Gatton, it seems students truly have the benefits of both impactful project material and high-caliber faculty.
“Every economics major took a capstone course over one of five topics, and the end assignment was a 15-20 page term paper plus a presentation over a subtopic related to the course,” one 2018 alum told us. “The uniqueness was that the instructor gave us constant feedback on both the topic we were writing about and ways to make both the paper and the presentation better (accomplished by using two class sessions as checkpoints where we presented what we had to that point).”
GLOBAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM
One of the unique offerings at Gatton College is the school’s Global Scholars Program, a four-year honors program for high-achieving students interested in leadership and international business.
What makes Global Scholars unique is just how much the program packs into its offering. Each Global Scholar student studies abroad for at least one semester and completes a minor in International Business. Global Scholar students are required to take cohorted classes on top of their other coursework and extracurricular activities. The program curriculum includes course topics ranging from “Leadership in the Global Marketplace” to “Intercultural Business Communication” and “International Trade.” From the program’s intensive curriculum to its study abroad component, students are given immense opportunities to truly develop a global business perspective with necessary leadership and professional skills.
“I was a part of the Global Scholars Program, which was a four-year program focusing on cross-cultural learning and communications,” one 2018 alum reported. “Throughout the program, there were various projects, international mentoring opportunities, as well as a study abroad component. I was completely immersed in the French way of life when I spent a semester in Dijon. It was an amazing and life-changing experience.”
“[The Global Scholars Program] was key in developing my skills, getting me connected with alumni, faculty, peers, and adding a legitimate international component to my learning,” said another 2018 alum.
Projects are a cornerstone of the Gatton undergraduate experience. Through these projects, students are challenged to apply their knowledge to real-world situations while gaining valuable soft skills such as clear communication and effective teamwork. Surveyed 2018 Gatton alumni highlighted a variety of projects — from specialized research to capstones — that they say were significant to their undergraduate education.
“I was chosen to participate in undergraduate research through the marketing department at my school, as a freshman,” one 2018 alum recalled. “I continued to work in the department until I graduated, as it transformed the way I viewed business. Through research, I was able to discover the scientific side of business and better understand the impact of appropriate data collection and consumer behavior on business. In the role, I was able to use high tech, cutting edge equipment to gather data and learn how to effectively code it, both in quantitative and qualitative form. I completed my capstone in consumer behavior research, which gave me the opportunity to design and carry out a marketing experiment on my own. Having a background in research has opened so many doors for me and helped me think more complexly about the issues facing businesses today.”
“We had a start-up company project that forced us to create a company and work through a business plan,” said another 2018 alum. “It was insightful and helped us increase our team-building skills.”
With comprehensive project work, a supportive faculty, and a strong leadership program, Gatton students are given a stellar foundation to develop and meet their full potential.
“Capstone project for Environmental Justice economics. I studied a contaminated site in my hometown and researched the changes that occurred in the town both before and after the completion of the project. It was great to combine my passion for cleaning and caring for the environment, and being able to study the direct impacts that I watched unfold in my hometown during my childhood years.”
“Created a marketing-focused business plan for Lululemon. This included thinking of creative promotional mix ideas (advertising, promo, etc), pricing, logistics, organizational structure, and buying systems. This was unique because it made students think of the big picture and all that goes into creating a plan.”
“I was a part of the Gatton Women Business Leaders program and it was pivotal to my career, it introduced me to many female alumni that mentored me and were the networking reason for my current career. I also was a part of the Global Scholars Program that was key in developing necessary skills, as well as experience with international business and networking.”
Where The Class of 2020 Went To Work:
PwC – 7
Bank of America – 5
Dell – 5
Cintas Corporation – 4
Amazon – 3
Crowe LLP – 3
EY – 3
JPMorgan – 3
KPMG – 3
Goldman Sachs – 2