The Best Undergraduate Business Schools

We talk to a lot of clients who say they want to major in business. And while we fully support that, we encourage them (and those reading this blog post) to dig a lot deeper. Saying that you want to major in business is kind of like saying you want to read a book. There’s a million different directions you can go in. For that reason, we’ve chosen to highlight undergraduate business schools that offer a wide array of programs and opportunities. This list is not exhaustive, and we encourage you to do your own research as well.

While we have you, we also suggest reading this post on a hot tip for applying to business school. There are high school students out there (right now) starting businesses as a way to make their applications stand out. If you’re serious about business school, you might consider doing the same.


You can’t talk about business schools without mentioning Wharton. Here’s the curriculum breakdown required to graduate: 22 business classes, 10 courses in liberal arts and sciences, and 5 unrestricted electives anywhere at Penn. The program is pretty flexible, and you can enhance your business degree with any subject matter of interest within the school of arts and sciences. There are over 45 clubs to join, plenty of research opportunities, and 21 concentrations to choose from. While we don’t suggest writing about post grad opportunities in your supplements, it’s worth noting that a major plus of attending Wharton is gaining access to the network of graduates (they’re doing big things all over the world.) 

University of Michigan:

The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan takes a hands-on approach to instruction. Students develop a business idea, consult with running organizations, manage investment funds, and then work with established corporate partners to lead the business. You can read more about the program, called REAL, here.  Ross also offers an entrepreneurship minor. UMich is a wildly popular school, and while we don’t rely on rankings to create these lists (or anything else for that matter,) Ross was rated the #2 business school behind Wharton last year.


USC Marshall School of Business offers a B.S. in business administration  and B.S. in accounting. The school also has a program called the world bachelor in business, and students in that program study business fundamentals in Asia, Europe, and North America. There are over 250 elective courses to choose from and students can concentrate their advanced courses in a chosen specialization. About 1,000 students participate in international programs each year. The experiential learning center has a library of activities that simulate real life business situations about leadership, teamwork, communication, negotiation, and decision making.

University of Virginia:

Students at The McIntire School of Commerce spend their third year completing the Integrated Core Curriculum, which is comprised of classes about strategy and systems, strategic value creation, managerial decision making, and more. It’s meant to equip students with the strategic and behavioral skills needed for business theory and practice. Come senior year, and only after you’ve completed the core requirements, students choose from one of the following concentrations: accounting, finance, information technology, management, and marketing.

Washington University in St. Louis:  

The Olin Business school offers eight majors, but what stands out about this school is it’s minor offerings: international business, business of social impact, business of sports, business of entertainment, business of the arts, and business analytics. Study abroad is highly encouraged, and more than 60% of undergrads take part in either a study abroad program or an internship. While 40% of your course load will be come from classes outside of the business school, you’ll start taking business management class during freshman year. The schools also offers a Financial Engineering program, which can be added as a second major.

UC Berkeley:

The program at Berkeley is similar to the rest of the schools on this list, but their ever-changing special topics course catalogue caught our eye. There are classes called “the pursuit of meaningful work,” “creativity,” “design your life,” and “becoming a changemaker.” We read through a lot of course catalogues before creating this blog post, and these classes aren’t all that common. Berkeley also offers a global management program and summer sessions.

University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business:

The Mendoza college of business prides itself on “faith, values, intellect, and passions.” So yes, you’ll be taking theology classes during your time at Notre Dame. Class size stays small, and students at ND rave about their close relationships with their professors and career services. Career services is broken out into two teams: the engagement team and the exploration team. Students spend the first year working with the engagement team; and with them you explore values, skills, and personality. After you identify potential areas of interest, the exploration team provides career counseling support.  


The bachelor of science in business program at NYU offers 13 concentrations and eight interdisciplinary tracks, so it’s an ideal fit for a student who wants to customize their education based on specific interests. Some of the tracks are specific (luxury marketing and asset pricing), but you don’t have to declare your concentration and/or track immediately. There are a lot of student clubs and the office of student engagement holds events to help students get to know one another and New York City. Studying in New York City affords students with the opportunity to take advantage of internships and jobs while pursuing their degree.  


There are two undergraduate business schools at Cornell: The School of Hotel Administration, and the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Despite it’s name, the Hotel school is not just for aspiring hoteliers. It’s about how we approach all hospitality businesses; so students learn about marketing, finance, real estate, and operations. Dyson is a more traditional business school, but the curriculum is flexible and students often double major or take on a minor within the college of arts and sciences. Research is also encouraged, and students can even hold paid research opportunities. 


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