After debuting at No. 1 in our first ranking of undergraduate business programs seven years ago, the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis had been slowly sliding down the rankings, falling out of the top 10 to No. 12 in 2021, down from 2020’s No. 7. But the Olin School has made a comeback to the Top 10 the last two years: It ranked No. 4 in 2022 and No. 9 in our 2023 ranking.
Overall, it ranked fourth best in the Career Outcomes category, eighth best in Admissions, and 17th in Academic Experience.
Olin had the sixth most selective acceptance rates of all ranked undergraduate business schools this year at 9%, slightly less inclusive than last year’s 8.36% rate but well above the 14.26% it accepted in 2021. Its average SAT score of 1523 was the second highest of all ranked B-schools as well, 19-points behind Stern’s 1542.
In terms of Career Outcomes, Olin grads were especially strong in both internship and employment stats.
Both internship and employment outcomes for Olin graduates were especially strong this year. Some 99% of Class of 2022 grads secured an internship before graduation, falling off its perfect 100% achieved a year earlier. As for employment, 95.89% of 2022 grads landed a full-time position within three months of graduations compared to 97.67% for the Class of 2021.
Those starting full-time positions reported an average starting salary of $84,328, well above last year’s average of $75,539. That puts Olin graduates in the top 10 as far as starting compensation. Additionally, 76.10% of 2022 grads reported getting signing bonuses that averaged $10,602 – much higher than 2021’s average of $9,115.
Olin offers a quality business education that is characterized by strong global study programs and a values-based approach to business.
With a curriculum that’s grounded in teaching values and offering a global perspective, the Olin Business School truly delivers a strong, modern-day business education. Olin students get the opportunity to earn a strong business education in an urban Midwestern setting.
A GLOBAL EXPERIENCE
While the Olin Business School itself is located in St. Louis, Missouri, the education itself is truly global – and it is based in an interesting spot in a revitalized Midwestern city with a lot of startup, tech, and entrepreneurial momentum.
Starting in the fall of 2021, all Olin undergraduates are now required fulfill the “Global Mindset” degree requirement — a framework designed to ensure every undergraduate can gain international business experience, whether or not they travel abroad.
The Olin curriculum features 11 courses that offer a significant global business component, which we define as at least a third of the coursework. Additionally, students have access to 175 semester abroad opportunities with 19 of them being business-specific.
The Olin curriculum is designed to give students a holistic, values-based education. One that gives them a strong foundation in business, but also an understanding of aspects outside of their world of business too. Olin students are required to complete at least 40% of their classes in areas other than business.
What makes Olin unique is that many of the experiences offered are rooted in the idea of using business to create social change in real communities.
One of the most popular experiences is the Taylor Community Consulting Program, which matches Olin students with nonprofits in need of fresh perspectives and actionable recommendations. Teams of two to four students are assigned to a six-week project and each student must contribute at least 75 hours of work. The students conclude the project with a final presentation. Through these projects, students gain experience in a variety of management functions including market research, brand auditing, strategic planning, and financial and operational assessment — all while making a real social impact.
2021 Alumni say:
“There were many experiential learning projects in multiple classes. These were fantastic to prepare to the real world as they brought in real world clients! These projects really prepared us for the business world when it comes to presentations and answering/anticipating key stakeholders questions.”
“Did a summer abroad with the Dean of the undergraduate business school immersed in the startup nation of Tel Aviv. I not only learned about the country but experienced it firsthand. Learned about Madagascar and economic development in class then traveled to the community to put our knowledge to the test. We had to adapt to new cultures based on information we couldn’t have predicted from our outsider perspective.”
“WashU has a Center for Entrepreneurial learning that provides students with consulting opportunities with either large companies, small businesses or non profits. I completed the small business course and non profit where I was able to directly impact a Saint Louis frame shop and the Illinois Center for Autism. It was foundational to my career in consulting.”
“I participated in two abroad programs – one of which was an entrepreneurial summer program in Israel and one was a semester abroad taking classes and interning in London. Israel allowed me to learn more about starting a business and how Israel is a hub for innovation. London was a great opportunity to work in another country and broaden my work experience while still taking meaningful courses.”
“Student Entrepreneurial Program gave me real life exposure to running a business alongside partners and the Taylor Community Consulting Program allowed me to develop my teamwork and problem solving skills while making a positive impact on the community.”