The business world is notoriously competitive. To excel, you need a degree – but not just any degree. If you want the best chance of success in a business career, you should make it a priority to attend one of the best undergraduate business schools in the nation.
Does Graduating From One of the Top Business Undergraduate Schools Matter?
Who cares if you graduated from one of the top undergraduate business schools? In the field of business, prospective employers, clients and customers may be more interested in hiring or working with you if you went to a top business school.
For many careers in the field of business, where you studied matters almost as much as whether you got a degree at all.
Did you go to a business school that has a good reputation? Did your degree program have anything unique – in the curriculum, extracurricular opportunities or faculty – that set it apart from other schools? Did you attain useful skills and valuable hands-on work experience that makes your degree something more than a piece of paper?
Your future prospective employers are likely to ask all of these questions and more. Hiring managers at the most prestigious business firms are looking at undergrad business schools rankings – and so should you.
Knowing that you need to earn your degree from a respected school is the easy part. Determining if a school has a good reputation, and which school is right for you, can require a lot of research.
Fortunately, you have help in the form of rankings of undergraduate business schools – like ours – that rate schools based on hard data and important ranking factors.
What Makes aB-School One of the Best Business Programs for Undergrads?
Ranking undergraduate business schools isn’t an easy endeavor. Bachelor’s in business degrees are immensely popular and widely offered by regionally accredited colleges and universities. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that business was the subject of study in which the greatest number of undergraduate (associate and bachelor’s) degrees was awarded for the 2019-2020 school year. As a major, business accounted for nearly one in five bachelor’s degrees awarded by postsecondary institutions that year, or 387,900 degrees.
You can get a quality business education from any number of four-year colleges and universities. Still, there are benefits to attending one of the best undergraduate business schools. First, of course, you need to identify which undergraduate business schools are your best options.
To help you begin your college search, we ranked undergraduate business schools across the country based on criteria like the following:
- Experiential learning opportunities
- Concentration and specializtion options
- Class sizes
- Faculty accomplishments
- Career outcomes
- Value and affordability
Using this methodology, we put together this ranking of undergraduate business schools. Each of the the top 10 undergraduate business schools in the United States has earned specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Another characteristic they have in common is achieving high rankings by independent publications.
1. University of Pennsylvania
Unsurprisingly, some of America’s best business schools are part of Ivy League universities. If we had to name one undergraduate institution the best business school in the nation right now, it would be the University of Pennsylvania.
It’s not difficult to see why the University of Pennsylvania lands the top spot on our undergrad business schools ranking. The program has an excellent reputation and consistently acheives top marks from a variety of publications. The school has repeatedly ranked number-one in the nation by U.S. News & World Report on the publication’s Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings – most recently on the publication’s 2022-2023 list.
The undergraduate business program at the University of Pennsylvania is offered out of the pretigious Wharton School, just like the institution’s graduate business programs. The Wharton School dates back to 1881, which makes it “the first collegiate business school” in America.
Business Programs at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
The Wharton School integrates liberal arts studies into the curriculum so students get a well-rounded education with skills that go beyond what’s required for a typical business major. The school is also excellent for students looking to gain a global perspective, with more than 30 business-related international study options.
The standard business bachelor’s degree at the Wharton School is the Bachelor of Science in Economics. The curriculum begins with an Introduction to Economcis for Business course, plus a class that kickstarts students’ Leadership Journey. Students load up on Business Fundamentals courses during their frist two years of study. By their junior year, University of Pennsylvania business students are immersed in courses in their chosen area of concentration, as well as taking a management course in Teamwork and Interpersonal Dynamics.
Don’t let the inclusion of “economics” in the degree title dissuade you from choosing this business school in preparation for a real-world business career. You’ll learn the theory of business and so much more through group work, case studies and simulations as well as traditional classroom lecture courses. Developing hands-on skills for working in business is a major focus of this undergraduate degree curriculum.
The University of Pennsylvania offers something for every aspiring businessperson. After all, what else would you expect from a university founded by Benjamin Franklin?
Undergraduate business students enrolled in the Wharton School have a great deal of freedom to customize their coursework. Are you interested in sustainable business? What about behavioral economics, real estate or diversity, equity and inclusion?
Students can choose from dozens of specialization options. Some of the 19 concentrations allow students to pursue even more specialized tracks within them.
- Behavioral Economics
- Business Analytics
- Business Economics & Public Policy
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Environmental, Social and Governance Factors for Business
- Business, Energy, Environment and Sustainability
- Social and Governance
- Health Care Management & Policy
- Legal Studies & Business Ethics
- Multinational Management
- Organizational Effectiveness
- Strategic Management
- Marketing & Communication
- Marketing & Operations Management
- Operations, Information & Decisions
- Decision Processes
- Information Systems
- Operations Management/Management Science
- Real Estate
In addition to choosing your concentration and, if applicable, academic track, you can customize your degree through your choices of electives, of which the University of Pennsylvania offers 4,200 options.
Dual-degree programs are also available, combining studies in business and management with coursework in international studies, technology, life science and nursing.
Coursework in a bachelor’s in business degree at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School focuses on using cutting-edge technology and developing skills outside the classroom. Expect to learn through innovative learning practices in research, conferences, international travel experiences and opportunities for leadership and entrepreneurship.
Business School: The Wharton School
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2022 Enrollment: 9,962 undergraduate students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $63,452
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $25,046
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Did you think MIT’s prestigious reputation only extended to science, math and engineering studies? The school’s undergraduate business program earned the second spot on our undergraduate business schools rankings for a good reason.
The school not only ranked (tied for) second place in the country on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings list – where it has repeatedly landed coveted spots over multiple years.
If you start your education at MIT, chances are good that you’ll want to stay here. With a 99% freshmen retention rate and a 94% six-year graduation rate, very few students transfer or drop out. Another perk is the opportunity to live on campus in “The Sponge.” Students so admire these dormitories that 70% of MIT students choose to stay there even after the end of their freshman year.
Undergraduate business studies at MIT fall under the Sloan School of Management.
Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business at MIT Sloan School of Management
If you’re not looking for a traditional Bachelor of Business Administration program, MIT is a great option to consider. Undergraduate business students at MIT can choose from three programs of study:
- The Bachelor of Science in Management, which covers managerial psychology and managerial communication as well as coursework in an individualized concentration area
- The Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics, which emphasizes the use of data analysis, data modeling and machine learning for business purposes
- The Bachelor of Science in Finance, which includes coursework in corporate finance, investments and managerial finance
Depending on your chosen major and area of concentration, your coursework at MIT might include studies in areas like the following:
- Computer programming
- Linear algebra
- Managerial communication
- Managerial psychology
- Optimization methods
- Probability and statistics
Business School: Sloan School of Management
Location: Cambridge, MA
2022 Enrollment: 4,638 undergraduate students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $57,986
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $16,407
3. University of California–Berkeley
Next on our list of the best undergraduate business schools ranked is, like the University of Pennsylvania, another of the first business schools in the United States.
Unlike the first two schools on the list, the University of California, Berkeley – along with about half of the top 10 undergraduate business schools – is a public institution. This means students – especially those living in California – can get a first-class education at a fraction of the cost they would incur at an expensive private school.
UC Berkeley isn’t just any public college, though. The school has repeatedly been recognized as the number-one rated public school in the nation throughout the years.
UC Berkeley is home to the Haas School of Business, known as “the second-oldest business school in the United States.” The Haas School of Business offers full-time MBAs, various master’s and Ph.D. programs and executive education in addition to its undergraduate programs.
The University of California, Berkeley tied for second place on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings list.
Undergraduate Degrees in Business at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
To earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, all business majors at UC Berkeley take core business courses in subjects such as:
- Business communication
- Organizational management
Students can use their electives to delve deeper into desired subject areas like advanced accounting, brand management, corporate finance, and leadership.
Through the Management, Entrepreneurship & Technology program, students at Haas School of Business can combine thier business studies with coursework in one of the following tech-related tracks:
- Civil engineering
- Electrical engineering & computer science
- Industrial engineering & operations research
- Materials science & engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Engineering (undeclared)
If you can’t wait to travel the world, consider the global management concentration. This program prepares students to become global leaders by integrating a study abroad experience into their business education.
Business School: Haas School of Business
Location: Berkeley, CA
2022 Enrollment: 32,143 undergraduate students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $14,226 in-state or $43,980 out-of-state
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $16,032
4. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
Does your idea of a fulfilling education have as much to do with experiences outside the classroom as it does with what you learn in the classroom? The next B-school on our undergraduate business schools ranking is known for experiential learning opportunities, as well as plentiful extracurricular activities.
The University of Michigan–Ann Arbor earned a well-deserved fourth-place spot on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 list of the best undergraduate business schools.
Location is a certainly part of the draw of this institution. Ann Arbor happens to be one of the best college towns in the country.
If you’re interested in going Greek, the University of Michigan is the school for you. The first fraternities and sororities have been part of the school’s history for more than 175 years. As of 2023, more than 15% of the undergraduate population – 4,857 students – were involved in the 49 chapters of fraternities and sororities on the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor’s campus.
Don’t believe that extracurricular activities are limited to Greek life, though. The school is also home to 900 other clubs and organizations, so you can get involved in whatever ways most interest you. Business clubs at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor include the Accounting Club, the Alternative Investments Club and PEX Consulting, an organization composed of students and alumni that offers pro-bono consulting services to local businesses and nonprofits.
When you earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of Michigan, you will be part of the Ross School of Business.
Bachelor’s in Business Degrees at Michigan’s Ross School of Business
When you study at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, your instructors will be the same dedicated faculty members undertaking extensive research in areas like the following:
- Business communication
- Business economics
- Public policy
- Business law
- Management and organizations
- Technology and operations
Your curriculum will prepare you for success in fields like finance, marketing, consulting and entrepreneurship. It will also emphasize principles of modern business such as sustainability and social impact.
Signature Learning Experience courses are integrated into each year of undergraduate study to help students gain real-world skills. The cohort-based program means that groups of around 80 students complete their core coursework together, providing a built-in community for business majors. Students can also pursue specializations, in the forms of tracks, workshops and special courses in areas like sales, business and public policy, women in finance and more.
The University of Michigan excels in the career outcomes category. Among the class of 2022, 99% of Ross School of Business graduates received job offers within three months of graduating. Graduates reported an average base salary of $90,000. You can be sure that employers are looking for the kinds of skills business students develop at the University of Michigan.
Business School: Ross School of Business
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Enrollment: 32,282 undergraduate students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $17,786 in-state or $57,273 out-of-state
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $14,878
5. New York University
If your interests in the business world extend beyond attaining a lucrative career – to solving economic and social challenges, for example – then you’ll find the kind of education you’re looking for at New York University. The Leonard N. Stern School of Business at NYU, which dates back to 1900, focuses on cultivating business leaders.
NYU tied for fifth place on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings, as well claiming fifth place as our own ranking of business schools (undergraduate).
Degrees for Future Business Leaders at NYU Stern School
At NYU, business students have plenty of options to make their education unique. Undergraduate students who pursue a business degree have nearly30 different programs and concentrations to choose from:
- Actuarial Science
- Advanced Mathematical Methods
- Business and Political Economy
- Business Economics
- Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology
- Business Studies
- Business Technology Management
- Business, Technology and Entrepreneurship
- Computing and Data Science
- Economic Theory
- Entertainment, Media and Technology
- Global Business
- Hotel and Tourism Management
- Individualized Study
- Liberal Studies
- Management and Organizations
- Music Business
- Public Policy and Management
- Real Estate
- Social Entrepreneurship
- Sports Management
- Sustainable Business
A traditional business degree isn’t right for everyone. Students with a desire to travel can choose to earn the school’s Business and Political Economy degree. This program requires two semesters of study abroad experience – first in London and then in Shanghai. Aspiring world travelers can also apply to the Stern School of Business First-Year in London program.
No matter which business program a student chooses at this top business school, he or she can expect plenty of support and personal attention. With a student-to-faculty ration of just 8:1, NYU is known for small class sizes. In fact, 60% of classes at the school have fewer than 20 students.
Business School: Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Location: New York, NY
2022 Enrollment: 28,772 undergraduate students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $58,168
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $38,569
The next institution on our business schools rankings (undergraduate) was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. This business school does things a little differently – and we like it.
On U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 list of the best undergraduate business schools, the University of Virginia ranked in a tie for 8th place, but in our opinion, it deserves a slightly higher position.
A Liberal Arts Foundation Followed by Undergraduate Business School Coursework
Before University of Virginia students begin their studies in the actual business school – the McIntire School of Commerce – new undergraduates start their academic careers at the College of Arts & Sciences. Why? The philosophy of UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce is that a strong business program begins with a broad liberal arts education on which to build.
Instead of rushing right from high school or the workplace into the business courses required for their major, undergraduate business students at the University of Virginia devote their first two years of school to undergraduate liberal arts study. UVA students apply for admission into the McIntire School of Commerce’s undergraduate business program. If accepted, students start the Bachelor of Science in Commerce program in their junior year of study.
One attribute that sets this business school apart is its Integrated Core Experience (ICE). Through this series of courses, students work in small groups to learn business theories and apply them to solve practical problems.
The University of Virginia’s undergraduate business program offers concentrations in the following business areas:
- Information technology
Students can also pursue up to two multidisciplinary tracks such as the following:
- Business analytics
- Global commerce
- Quantitative finance
- Real estate
- Strategic brand consulting & communications
Minors are available in entrepreneurship, leadership and real estate.
For nontraditional students who want to earn their degrees part-time or online, the University of Virginia also offers a business concentration as part of its online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program.
Business School: McIntire School of Commerce
Location: Charlottesville, VA
2022 Enrollment: 17,299 undergraduate and professional students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $21,381 in-state or $56,837 out-of-state
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $22,006
7. Carnegie Mellon University
Next on our list of rankings – undergraduate business schools – is Carnegie Mellon University. Industrialist Andrew Carnegie founded the private research university in 1900.
Aside from its rigorous academic curriculum, the university is also known for its lively student life outside the classroom, including the prevalence of Greek life memberships. U.S. News & World Report’s named the institution among the top five undergraduate business schools on its 2022-2023 ranking list.
The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University offers undergraduate degree programs in both business and economics. The school emphasizes small class sizes and an analytical approach to management and problem-solving.
Pursuing Business Degrees at the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business
Business students at Carnegie Mellon University can pursue multiple options for undergraduate studies.
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program at the Tepper School of Business includes coursework in microeconomics, macroeconomics and the follow core business subjects:
- Business Leadership
- Business Communications
- Business Science
- Business Computing
- Business, Society and Ethics
- Business Presentations
- Operations Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Introduction to Accounting
Students in this program can choose from the following concentration:
- Operations Management
- Strategic Management
- Marketing Management
- Business Analytics and Technology
- Global Economics and Business
The Bachelor of Science in Computational Finance degree is a collaboration between the Tepper School of Business and the Mellon College of Science’s department of Mathematical Sciences. The undergraduate economics program prioritizes analytical skills and creative problem-solving skills, with coursework in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, data science and more. Students in the economics program develop independent thinking and work on cutting-edge research.
There’s also an “additional” Bachelor of Science in Business Administration option for students interested in double-majoring in business along with any field of study.
A business education extends beyond the classroom. That’s why Carnegie Mellon’s undergraduate business students learn the professional and social skills required in the business world through events such as participation in a yearly business plan competition and numerous “case” competitions” that put their analytical skills to work solving real-life business problems.
Business School: Tepper School of Business
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
2022 Enrollment: 7,365 undergraduate students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $61,344
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $36,775
8. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
When we rank undergraduate business schools, we like to see a mix of public and private institutions. The University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill adds another public university to our list.
In fact, UNC–Chapel Hill was the first public university in the United States. Its 2022 in-state tuition and fees rate of under $9,000 makes this institution proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a top-rated business education – and the program is an especially affordable choice for North Carolina residents.
On its 2022-2023 list of top undergraduate business schools, U.S. News & World Report placed the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in a tie for the 8th-place spot.
Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree at UNC are part of the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
World-Class Programs for Undergrads at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School
The undergraduate program at UNC focuses on developing core skills such as:
- Analytical skills
- Strategic thinking
In recent years, the program has evolved to also emphasis both an inclusive mindset and a global mindset.
Required classes for the undergraduate business major include coursework in the following areas:
- Finanical accounting
- Business analytical applications
- Corporate finance
- Corporate strategy
- Corporate communications
- Marketing principles
- Intermediate microeconomics
- Strategic management
- Legal and ethical aspects of business
- Operations management
- Leading and managing skills
Students can also use their electives to customize their degrees and delve into an emphasis in one of eight subjects, such as:
- Multinational finance
- Investment banking
- Investment management
- Operations management
- Real estate
- Marketing management and sales
If traveling the world is part of your ideal college experience, you’re in luck. The Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC offers a number of undergraduate global programs. Whether you want to spend an entire semester soaking up the cultural experience in a foreign location like Denmark or Hong Kong, travel just for the summer, or take in all there is to see during an intensive one-week immersion, you’re sure to find an option that’s right for you.
Business School: Kenan-Flagler Business School
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
2022 Enrollment: 19,897 undergraduate students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $8,998 in-state or $37,558 out-of-state
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $12,469
9. University of Texas–Austin
The University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest colleges in the country, is another of the best undergraduate business schools. Among the school’s more than 170 fields of study is an undergraduate business degree program with several choices of specializations. On the 2022-2023 U.S. News & World Report list of the Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings, the University of Texas–Austin ranked in 7th place. UT business students are part of the McCombs School of Business.
Business Programs With Plenty of Room for Customization at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business
Students pursuing an undergraduate business degree at the University of Texas at Austin begin studying in a general business program. Then they declare one of 10 majors within the Bachelor of Business Administration program:
- International business
- Management information systems
- Supply chain management
- Business analytics
- Integrated MPA
- Canfield Business Honors Program
Of particular interest are two programs, the integrated MPA and the Canfield Business Honors Program.
Through the integrated MPA program, students ambitious accounting can earn both a Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree and a Master in Professional Accounting degree in five years. Students in this program not only get a head start on completing an advanced degree but also develop graduate-level expertise in one of the following pathways:
- Business Advisory/Management Consulting
- Forensic Accounting
- Investment Banking
- Corporate Accounting/Financial Analyst
- Government Accounting/Not-for-Profit
- Tax Consulting
- External Auditing/Assurance
- Internal Auditing
- Wealth Management/Investment & Tax Consulting
Students who qualify for the Business Honors Program enjoy the best of both worlds – the resources of a big school and the small class sizes and personal attention of a close-knit community.
Business School: McCombs School of Business
Location: Austin, TX
2022 Enrollment: 40,916 undergraduate students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $11,752 in-state or $40,996 out-of-state
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $18,350
10. Cornell University
Rounding out our list of the top 10 schools for undergraduate business degrees is Cornell University. The private New York university known for having upwards of 1,000 student organizations.
Another unique aspect of Cornell is the autonomous nature of each of the university’s 14 colleges. Every college handles its own admissions and hires its own faculty independent of the other colleges or the university as a whole. Cornell University tied for 8th place on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 list of the best undergraduate business degree programs.
Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in the field of business from Cornell University are part of the SC Johnson College of Business.
A Bachelor’s Degree Program in Economics and management at Cornell University
Students at Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business can choose from two different bachelor’s degree programs in business.
First, there’s the Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics & Management (AEM). This program is the more traditional bachelor’s in business curriculum. It’s offered through the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. This undergraduate business degree option at Cornell University features hands-on learning opportunities and coursework in areas like the following:
- Business management
- Managerial economics
- Financial accounting
- Law and ethics in business
- Spreadsheet modeling
Students can choose from a variety of courses to learn to apply the principles of economics to real-world situations, including food and agricultural economics, environmental and resource economics, international trade and economic analysis. The program allows students to choose one (or two) concentration out of the following areas:
- Business Analytics
- Applied Economics
- International Trade and Development
- Food Industry Management
- Environmental, Energy and Resource Economics
Some of these concentrations are common specializations for a business administration degree, while others are more specialized than students will find at most other schools. Hardworking students can also choose to double-major in AEM and another field of study in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, such as communication or information science.
The second undergraduate business program students can pursue at Cornell University is the Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration. This program is offered out of the Nolan School of Hotel Administration and emphasizes hospitality management. Coursework in this program includes a blend of core business coursework and hospitality-focused classes. Examples of the courses students in the program take include:
- Organizational Behavior and Leadership Skills
- Financial Accounting
- Quantitative Analysis
- Microeconomics for the Service industry
- Business and Hospitality Law
- Introduction to Hotal Operations
- Fundamentals of Hospitality Development and Management
- Business Writing for Hospitality Professionals
- Principles of Food and Beverage Operations Management
Hands-on work experience is critical for success in hospitality management. To graduate from the hotel management bachelor’s program, business students need to complete a minimum of 800 hours of work experience in the hospitality industry in settings like the on-campus Statler Hotel or the restaurnat Taverna Banfi.
Undergraduate business students at this Ivy League school have plenty of options when it comes to what experiences they gain throughout their academic career. Students who enjoy traveling have the option of studying abroad in dozens of foreign countries through more than 200 international opportunities that range from two weeks to an entire year in duration.
Business School: SC Johnson College of Business
Location: Ithaca, NY
2022 Enrollment: 15,503 undergraduate students
2022 Tuition and Fees: $63,200
2022 Average Cost of Attendance (With Financial Aid): $37,042
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