Last Update: September 29, 2016
What can you do with an undergraduate degree in business administration? Your career options are limitless. You can work for a consulting company, an accounting company, a financial planning firm, an investment firm, non—profit, or in advertising.1 If none of these options are appealing, then a business degree will help you build your own business.
Because college degrees can be expensive, many people shy away from going to school. According to CNBC, “Employers are estimated to hire about 5 percent more graduates from the class of 2016 than last year.”2 The source explains that unemployment is decreasing and employment for bachelor degree holders is increasing. A BBA degree can put you in a great position to get your dream job in the current financial climate.
Undergraduate business programs give you once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. For example, College Choice’s top undergraduate business school allows students to study in Spain and Rome.3 Another school creates unique networking opportunities for students by partnering with companies in Chicago.4 Undergraduate business programs like these, cultivate competent and diverse leaders.
Chicago is a metropolitan city with approximately 2,720,546 people.5 The windy city is an ideal place to study business because you get to interact with, learn from, and engage many people, ideas, and places. College Choice’s top-ten undergraduate business schools in the Chicago, Illinois area, have many resources for students to be successful in the business world.
Related Business Rankings
The Best Business Schools in Chicago
Loyola University Chicago
College Choice Score: 100.00
Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago is College Choice’s top school in the Chicago area for the BBA degree. The school strives to help students in the areas of business by developing critical leadership skills. These skills are developed in courses like “Managing People and Organizations,” as well as “Business Ethics.”
The undergrad business program at Loyola Chicago allows students to focus their degree in Accounting, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Resources, Information Systems, International Business, or Management. Other degree options include the BBA in Sports Management and the BBA in Supply Chain Management. Students also earn double degrees through Quinlan’s BBA U.S./Europe Double Degree.
Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business has 16 student organizations. Women in Business, the International Business Society, and the Sports Management Club are a few of the school’s student clubs. Not only do the student organizations supplement the classroom experience, but they also facilitate meaningful development, exchange, and networking opportunities.
College Choice Score: 99.34
If you are interested in going to law school, starting your own business, or bringing value to another company, then you should check out Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University. Driehaus is attractive as an institution for many reasons. The school is in the heart of Chicago putting it in proximity to Fortune 500 companies.
DePaul University offers the Bachelor of Science in Business with many degree focus areas. Undergrads at Driehaus also have the unique opportunity of learning through the school’s service learning and community service studies. The Irwin W. Steans Center provides avenues for students to engage in community advocacy, addressing economic and political issues in Chicago.
Getting a bachelor’s degree at Driehaus College of Business is intellectually rewarding and monetarily gratifying. Graduates of Driehaus’ undergraduate business program earn the highest paying salaries among business schools in Chicago at $52,000 a year.
Illinois Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 84.12
Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), known as Illinois Tech, was established in 1890. Illinois Tech’s Stuart School of Business offers the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. The school prepares undergraduates for jobs in finance, management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
Getting a business degree at tech school like IIT affords you the opportunity to work closely with students who are studying engineering, science, and programming. The technical background of the school creates a conducive environment for interdisciplinary studies with business and other technical fields.
At Stuart School of Business, you will work closely with professors who are engaged in cutting-edge research in finance, management science, and marketing analytics. The Center for Financial Innovation, The Center for Strategic Competitiveness, The Center for Strategic Finance, and The Center for Corporate Performance are Stuart’s four centers of business research. The school’s research centers make an impact in the academy and industry partners.
Northern Illinois University
College Choice Score: 82.35
Northern Illinois University’s (NIU) College of Business is 60 miles from Chicago in DeKalb, Illinois. The school is deeply connected with the Chicago business community, providing many opportunities for undergraduate business students to engage with CEOs, executives, and entrepreneurs in the Chicago area. NIU brings more than 200 business professionals to the school each year to advise, mentor, and teach its students.
NIU offers the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Undergraduates focus their degrees in accounting, finance, management, marketing, operations management, and information systems. The program also focuses on professional development through mock interviews, internship fairs, job fairs, and other avenues of training.
BusinessWeek has ranked NIU’s College of Business as one of the top schools for the best return on investment for tuition dollars spent. The in-state tuition for NIU is $14,295 annually. The average salary for recent BSBA grades at NIU is $50,200. NIU College of Business is the most economically advantageous place to earn a bachelor’s degree in business in the Chicago area.
University of Illinois at Chicago
College Choice Score: 80.71
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a public university that was established in 1913. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Business. This accreditation is prestigious and ensures that you will get the best undergrad business education.
The College of Business at the University of Illinois at Chicago has one of the largest undergraduate programs in the Chicago. The number of students attests to the valuable quality of the school’s program. UIC’s BBA curriculum is a 60-hour-credit program and is cohort based.
Getting your BBA from UIC is an economically smart decision. The in-state cost of attendance is $13,664 a year. Not only will you be earning your bachelor of business degree from one of Chicago’s top schools, but you will also be receiving it at a lesser price than most schools in the area.
St. Xavier University
College Choice Score: 68.39
St. Xavier University is the first Catholic university in Chicago. Its mission to “educate men and women to search for truth think critically, communicate effectively, and serve wisely and compassionately.” St. Xavier’s Graham School of Management carries out the mission by instilling strong leadership and ethical skills in undergraduate business students.
Graham’s undergraduate BBA degree program contains eight areas of concentration. The school also offers business minor and business certificates. If you are interested in becoming a CPA, you may also enroll in the school’s CPA preparation program.
The Bachelor of Business Administration program has two sections. In the first part of the program, undergrads complete freshman and sophomore level classes (like Business Matters: Foundations, Concepts, and Applications) with a satisfactory GPA of 2.25 or higher. The next part of the program is composed of junior and senior level classes (like Operations Production and Technology Management).
College Choice Score: 67.21
Dominican University is in River Forest, Illinois just 10 miles West of Chicago’s business center. The Brennan School of Business sits on the “30-acre wooded Main Campus.” As a Brennan undergrad, you will study theories of business, and on the other hand, you will apply those methods in live contexts.
At Brennan School of Business, BBA students take most of their course requirements in the field of Business Administration. Students will also take classes in Accounting and Economics. Afterward, students complete their undergraduate degree by fulfilling fifteen credit hours in an area of concentration.
Brennan’s bachelor’s degree program in business administration allows students to concentrate in Management or Marketing. Students who focus on Management take additional courses like “Psychology” and “Communication Arts and Sciences.” Students who focus in Marketing take courses in “Apparel,” and “Business Administration.”
College Choice Score: 64.04
Roosevelt University is an independent university established in 1945. The non-profit school has an award-winning faculty, dedicated staff, and promising students who are nurtured to transform communities through principles of social justice. Roosevelt University’s Walter E. Heller College of Business offers the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Heller College of Business prepares undergraduate students for success with organizations through rigorous academics, internship opportunities, its mentoring program, and professional development workshops. The school’s mentoring program pairs students with a mentor who advise them on networking and career advice. The professional development workshops are a series of seminars that focus on resume building, cover letter writing, financial planning, and other useful skills.
Many students who received their undergraduate business degrees from Heller are flourishing as business leaders and entrepreneurs. Some Heller graduates use their skills in the Chicago area while others like Connor Reilly sells cell phones to people across the globe in Kenya.
North Park University
College Choice Score: 56.53
If you are interested in being an accountant, entrepreneur, or financial analyst, then you should look at North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management. The school will help you meet your career goals by giving you a solid foundation in the theories and practices of business. North Park cultivates a learning environment that embraces principles of business and ethical leadership.
North Park University’s Business Club and Nonprofit Club are two ways that undergraduate business students engage the wider world of business. Both clubs give space for students to engage local business, learn at seminars, and network with other classmates and professors.
Where might you end up with a bachelor’s degree in business from North Park? Where can you find North Park School of Business and Nonprofit Management alumni today? You may find alumni in leading positions at the Chicago Board of Trade, Delta Institute, Groupon, IBM, the IRS, JP Morgan Company, Kimberly-Clark, Inc., or Razorfish.
Northeastern Illinois University
College Choice Score: 51.10
Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) “prepares a diverse community of students for leadership and service in its region and in a dynamic multicultural world.” NEIU has over 10,000 students from across the world. The school’s College of Business is one of the most diverse undergraduate business programs in the Chicago area and the nation.
The College of Business at Northeaster Illinois University offers a B.S. in General Business Administration. The General Business Administration degree program trains undergrads in areas of management, marketing, and accounting and finance. The program is for students who plan to work in organizations where they will need to have a broad range of business competencies.
The AACSB—accredited institution has one of the least expensive tuition rates for undergraduate business studies in the Chicago area. The annual in-state tuition cost is $9,351. NEIU alumni usually make around $43,700 upon