Poets & Quants published their 2023 undergraduate business school rankings. The top five undergrad business programs are USC Marshall, Georgetown McDonough, UPenn Wharton, UVA McIntire, and Notre Dame Mendoza, respectively.
Many high schoolers dream of studying business when they get to college and rightly look to rankings such as this one for much-needed guidance. However, there are a few questions all applicants must ask to ensure they reach their best school-selection decisions. (And this is after they have established they are otherwise a great fit for the university.)
First, does the school have an entry barrier before gaining admission to the business school? Many schools will admit applicants but require they later apply to the business school. In this case, if your grades don’t get off to a great start, you may find yourself either looking to transfer or staying and majoring in a different subject. Bear in mind this different major may impede you from achieving your short-term career goals.
Second, what are your short-term career goals? The majority of new hire at many top investment banks’ analyst programs will be from top-ranked liberal arts schools with traditional liberal arts degrees. The employers believe the liberal arts educations give their new hires a solid foundation in the analytical, research, and critical thinking skills these positions require. And, the track record supports this school of thought.
Third, is an MBA in your future plans? If it is, you may want to consider broadening your education and covering the technical aspects of the business education when you earn your MBA. To be clear, there is no right or wrong decision to this question. However, please be aware that over half of the MBA students at the top business schools do not have undergraduate degrees in business.
On a final note, please remember that all rankings involve a subjective element and should therefore be taken with a proverbial ‘grain of salt.’ Ultimately, it’s most important that you select a school that is going to be a great fit for you. Please remember the rankings will continuously change and you don’t want to second guess your decision when (read: not if) another school you considered jumps ahead of yours in a future edition of one of the rankings.