Consistency has been key for the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas-Austin, which has placed 11th in our rankings of Best Undergraduate Business Schools for three straight years.
McCombs got slightly more selective with admissions this year at an acceptance rate of 19.08% for students entering Fall 2020, down almost 4% for students entering in 2019. The average SAT score stayed relatively the same at 1378 this year. And 89.79% came from the top 10 percentile of their high school class, almost a 10% increase from last year.
Best known for its undergraduate accounting program, McCombs offers a comprehensive business education with a variety of experiential learning opportunities and strong faculty support and mentorship. And with a public school price tag, the McCombs education is certainly a strong contender for both value and quality, especially for Texas residents.
McCombs undergraduates can choose from 10 different majors including: Accounting, Canfield Business Honors Program (BHP), Finance, Integrated Masters in Professional Accounting (IMPA), International Business, Management, Management Information Systems (MIS), Marketing, Science and Technology Management (STM), and Supply Chain Management.
Students can also customize their degree with a McCombs certificate in Business & Public Policy, Energy Management, Undergraduate Real Estate, Global Management, Business of Healthcare, or Risk Management.
Accounting is one of McCombs’ strongest programs. Students who choose to pursue a BBA in Accounting will start their first year in general education courses then begin taking more accounting-focused courses in their second year.
For more ambitious students, the Integrated Masters in Professional Accounting (IMPA) program is a five year undergraduate/graduate program that allows McCombs students to graduate with both a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Master in Professional Accounting. Students interested in this track can apply at the end of their sophomore year.
75% SAY THEY ENGAGED IN SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE
The McCombs education offers a hands-on learning experience where students can apply their studies in real-world situations. Roughly 75% of 2018 alumni surveyed by Poets&Quants report participating in at least one “signature experience” that was a key part of their business education.
“My coursework was heavy on case studies that helped me do well on project management tasks at my job,” one 2018 alumni told us.
Many alumni pointed to the capstone courses as an integral component of their McCombs education. Through these capstone courses, students can take on real-world applications and gain valuable experience that is relevant to their career.
“Our capstone connects us with a local business to complete a semester-long consulting project from start to finish,” one 2018 alumni told us. “We conduct interviews, gather requirements, create a project timeline and plan, code a product, and launch it with the client. Our client was highly satisfied and it made a major impact on their business.”
“Capstone project involving financial analysis of a company (financial statements, company, industry, and macro outlook, stock performance and analyst consensus estimates, financing needs, etc.) is key to what I do everyday in my career as a financial analyst focused on M&A,” another 2018 alumni told us. “I haven’t heard yet of any one of my peers getting the type of in-depth experience and guidance that I got in my Financial Analysis and Financial Statement Analysis classes at McCombs.”
Alumni also highlight the style of teaching at McCombs as one that gives them the right amount of both mentorship and freedom.
“For my Marketing capstone, we were given the freedom to choose any company we wanted and ‘consult’ them on their marketing strategy,” one 2018 alumni explained. “Though this prompt was extremely broad, our professor made time to sit down with our teams every month to strategize and mentor us on direction. We were given complete freedom, but also helpful support to succeed, which allowed us to learn through a bit of floundering (the best way to learn), as well as freely offered professional expertise.”
When asked how they would rate the quality of teaching in business courses, McCombs alumni gave a strong 9.2 average rating. Alumni also gave high remarks — a 9.3 average rating — for the availability of McCombs faculty or informal discussions and mentorship.
Internship and employment outcomes were slightly lower this year when compared to 2019, though this can likely be attributed to the COVID-19 economic downturn. Some 85% of the Class of 2020 landed a business-focused internship before graduation with 88.27% being employed full-time by the time of graduation. The Class of 2020 saw a slightly higher average starting salary at $70,455 compared to last year’s average of $67,918.
Overall, McCombs is the ideal fit for students interested in pursuing a career in accounting with plentiful opportunities to engage in real-world learning and a faculty that goes above and beyond in mentorship and support. But besides marketing, McCombs sits minutes from downtown Austin, which is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting American cities for young professionals. A vibrant music and food scene combined with many tech and other established firms, Austin boasts a great opportunity for a solid work-life balance.
“Business Capstone class allowed us to develop our own product, research how to promote the product, find our target audience, and where to place it by creating a marketing plan to kick start the business.”
“We had a capstone group project where we partnered with Texas Parks and wildlife to create a tool that visualized the water flows for the rivers/streams etc in the state. Was a fascinating preview of how agile development worked.”
“Our capstone course was in-depth in finance and provided us with real-world case studies to employ everything we had learned up to that point previously in a real-world business-like setting. My professor had industry experience, was a great teacher and mentor, and was always available to help with the class, or with anything in life.”
Where The Class of 2017 Went To Work:
Ernst & Young: 16
Sense Corp: 10
American Airlines: 8
Texas Instruments: 8