Business Administration

BusinessWeek’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools: Rating the Rankings

BusinessWeek’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools: Rating the Rankings
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Noodle Staff February 8, 2019

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Each fall, a variety of publications release their lists of the best schools, the most ubiquitous of which comes from U.S. News & World Report. So why is Harvard University #1 according to U.S. News, while Forbes thinks it’s Williams College and Washington Monthly claims U.C. San Diego is the best in the land?

School size and type aside, publications use different measures of quality when assigning rankings. Furthermore, two publications may use the same measure (for example, retention rates) but value them in different ways (e.g. 15% at U.S. News but 6% at Forbes) when assigning ratings.

The most common measures used for school rankings in 2012 were test scores, retention/graduation rates, student surveys and the student/faculty ratio. And the similarities pretty much end there. Publications use all kinds of measures and many of them don’t overlap. So who does what? We decided to take a look behind the rankings….

Today’s School Rankings: BusinessWeek’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools

Who It’s For: Future undergraduate business students

What They Look At:

-Surveys of graduating seniors (30%)

-Recruiter surveys (20%)

-Average starting salary of graduating class (10%)

-Where grads go to get their MBA’s (10%)

-Academic Quality: (30%)

-Average SAT scores

-Student faculty ratio

-Average class size

-Student internships and hours spent studying

What They Asked:

Surveys collected from graduating seniors asked students about “everything from the quality of teaching to recreational facilities”

Surveys collected from recruiters were sent to 775 recruiters at corporations that hire thousands of business grads each year. Recruiters answered questions about which schools had the best graduates, most effective career services departments and most innovative curriculum.**


BusinessWeek’s rankings are the only ones specifically geared toward undergraduate business programs, which is a great help if you know you’d like to get a degree in business.


They’re only useful to students who want to study business…

The Top 5 Undergraduate Business Schools:

University of Notre Dame

University of Virginia

Emory University


Cornell University

Choosing a college is about much more than rankings. Find out which schools are a good match for you with our College Wizard!

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Get the scoop behind other rankings:

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges

Forbes Top Colleges

Washington Monthly

Kiplinger’s Best Value Colleges

Times Higher Education

About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle. He has been managing editor of the website for over four years.

To learn more about our editorial standards, you can click here.


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