Not every college can be Notre Dame or Cornell, but it turns out you don’t have to attend a university with a well-known name to get one of the best business educations in America. There are some schools inching their way toward de-throning the University of Notre Dame as the top undergraduate business school in the country, as ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Here are 10 of the best business programs you’ve probably never heard of but should be paying attention to.
1. Emory University
Emory is a prestigious liberal arts college located in the Druid Hills suburb of Atlanta. Its Goizueta Business School boasts more than a hard to pronounce name; it is currently ranked as the 7th best by Bloomberg Businessweek. Founded in 1919, Goizueta’s mission is to help students grow intellectually, personally and professionally. This philosophy seems to be working, as 91% of new graduates are snagging job offers, with starting salaries in the $60,000 range.
2. Villanova University
Bloomberg Businessweek ranks Villanova School of Business 15th in the nation for its undergraduate program. If you’ve never heard of this private Catholic university tucked away amidst the affluent suburban towns surrounding Philadelphia, you’re not alone. Despite its academic rigor and commitment to applied education this university, founded in 1842 by the Augustinian Order, it remains in some obscurity. But if the School of Business has anything to do with it, that is about to change. The undergraduate business program boasts an average SAT score of 1322, and its graduates get an average starting salary of $54,628.
3. Wake Forest University
This private university in Wiston-Salem, North Carolina ranks 19th in the nation when it comes to top-notch business education. With four majors, Wake Forest’s undergraduate business schools stand out for their personal attention, hands-on opportunities and chances to reach into global business with study abroad programs. In addition, their MBA program has consistently ranked in the top 50 across the country according to sources including “U.S. News & World Report,” “Forbes” and “The Economist.”
4. Bentley University
Grabbing the number 20 spot on the Bloomberg Businessweek list is almost a no-brainer for this business university, whose mission is to “educate creative, ethical, and socially responsible organizational leaders.” Located just outside Boston, this private university offers business degrees in 11 different disciplines, which, combined with its 1:14 faculty-student ratio, helps this university stay at the head of the pack.
5. Lehigh University
The College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University has captured the 35th spot on the Bloomberg Businessweek list. This Bethlehem, Pennsylvania research university boasts faculty and alumni who have also been recognized for everything from the Nobel Prize to the Pulitzer. Graduates of their undergraduate business programs receive a job offer with their diploma 96% of the time, and have average starting salaries of $56,948.
6. Babson College
This private business school near Boston has been recognized internationally for entrepreneurship and snags the 36th spot in this year’s Bloomberg Businessweek undergraduate rankings. But that’s not all they’ve been notice for. Babson has a 20-year streak of being ranked number one for its graduate entrepreneurship program by “U.S. News & World Report.” Babson is so confident in their approach to entrepreneurship that they’ve trademarked their slogan, which touts that Babson is the educator for “Entrepreneurship of Kinds™.”
7. Elon University
Elon University is an independent university located in central North Carolina. The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, which was founded in 1926, was ranked 42nd in undergraduate business programs by Bloomberg Businessweek. This historic college has also snagged “U.S. News & World Report’s” number two spot for southern universities. And even the grounds are notable, with the campus being designated as a botanical garden.
8. Butler University
Butler University’s College of Business nabbed the number 47 spot, moving up from 48 in 2012, and it’s likely that their interactive curriculum is a big reason why. Students at this Indianapolis university complete two internships, are assigned a career mentor and even write a business plan in their first year that is used to help them start a business during their sophomore year.
9. Case Western Reserve University
Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University has claimed the number 68 spot among undergraduate business programs according to Bloomberg Businessweek. This private research university in Cleveland, Ohio is bound to be distinguished with 16 Nobel Laureates in its extended family. Weatherhead is known for its emphasis on cross-disciplinary pursuits, small class sizes and commitment to creating sustainable value for its graduates and their leadership abilities.
10. Quinnipiac University
This private, nonsectarian university sits at the foot of Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, Connecticut. This school touts a faculty focused on student success and innovate programs where student invest real money in real time, compete in global case competitions and a 2012 graduate placement rate or 98%. This close-knit educational community has come a long way from its beginnings in 1929.
Do you know of another hidden gem University that’s helping to create tomorrow’s leaders?