50 Best Business Administration Degrees

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“Business is booming!”

So the saying goes. Maybe you’ve heard these three magic words from an entrepreneur, a supply chain manager, a local business guru, a restaurant owner, or CFO. All businesses have their ups and downs.

But when we here at College Choice say business is booming, we mean the field of business in general and the degrees that lead to successful careers in the industry. And right now, all indications are that business is as good as ever! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial occupations are expected to grow about 8 percent over the next 10 years, and feature a starting earning potential anywhere from the $60,000 range to well into the $100,000s.

Top 10 Best Business Administration Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
2 University of California Berkeley Berkeley, CA
3 University of Minnesota Crookston, MN
4 University of Michigan Dearborn, MI
5 University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
6 University of Illinois Chicago, IL
7 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
8 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
9 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
10 Purdue University Hammond, IN
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But that’s just business in general. There is always the opportunity for greater earning potential depending on what you decide to specialize in. If you aspire to a chief executive position, for instance, you can expect earnings approaching the $200,000s.

We at College Choice are big proponents of getting your bachelor’s degree before diving into the business world. There is a big push for entrepreneurs in particular to bypass the degree, but a traditional four-year degree will prepare you for as many scenarios as possible . . . and potentially introduce you to interests you might not even know you have! Business majors can end up specializing in any number of subfields: accounting, management, finance, administration, sales, marketing . . . the list goes on, and it’s a wise move to expose yourself to as many of them as possible.

Not all programs are created equal, however. In fact, where you get your degree from can matter a great deal. That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of the top 50 bachelors of business administration with your needs in mind. The first thing we want to know, like you, is the bottom line: how much is this going to set me back? So we’ve included the annual tuition for each school right up front for you. We’ve also included our College Choice Score, which is computed based on each school’s reputation in the field and its return on investment. The end result is a list of schools that balance cost, reputation, and, ultimately, what they can do for you and your unique goals.

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What are the Best Business Administration Degrees?

The rankings you’re about to read are based on a few important sources. The first source is actual college freshman polled during a nationwide survey published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. These students rated academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost of school, and the survey also took into account graduate success rates in the post-college job market. These factors were weighed equally alongside data from other publicly available sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and PayScale.com.

Business is still booming. Are you ready?

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a private institution founded in 1861 and located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of the world’s premier institutions for technical learning, and its business programs are no exception. It is particularly well known for its graduate programs, including the School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management, as well as their programs in economics, psychology, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, physics and mathematics. MIT has a highly active research community whose expenditures regularly exceed $650 million annually through relationships with private and public agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense.

    MIT’s Sloan School of Management, which houses MIT’s undergraduate business program, focuses on equipping its students with the tools needed to lead a team, manage a complex organization, or start a company. The program emphasizes hands-on, practical knowledge, and it tailors its curriculum to each student’s unique interests and assists them in obtaining summer internships, post-grad employment, or owning their own small business. MIT has a student/faculty ratio of 8:1 and with 67.3 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. MIT’s freshman retention rate is 98 and 91 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

  2. University of California Berkeley
    Location

    Berkeley, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1868, University of California Berkeley is a public institution and the flagship school of the University of California system. Its undergraduate population has started to approach 30,000 in recent years. Composed of fourteen schools and colleges, including a number of graduate and professional schools, Berkeley is regularly recognized in a wide variety of disciplines, such as journalism, business, and medicine. It is particularly well known for its graduate programs, which include the Haas School of Business, Graduate School of Education, College of Engineering and School of Law.

    Business students at Berkeley will find a home in the Haas School of Business, which is the second-oldest business school in the country. Berkeley prepares its students for both entering the business world right after graduation and proceeding to graduate study in business and management depending on the student’s interest. University of California—Berkeley has a student/faculty ratio of 17:1 and with 59 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. Cal’s freshman retention rate is 97 percent and 91 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

  3. University of Minnesota
    Location

    Crookston, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    University of Minnesota Twin Cities, the flagship school of the public University of Minnesota system, was founded in 1851. Its undergraduate enrollment is just shy of 35,000 students, and several of its schools have achieved national recognition for excellence, including the Carlson School of Management, College of Education and Human Development and law school. It has a highly active research community, and it begins to involve students in these endeavors at an early stage, with some students receiving paid research opportunities upon acceptance to the university. Students can also benefit from an extensive off-campus and study abroad program, which includes over 200 partner institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

    Business students at the University of Minnesota will study in the Carlson School of Management, which encourages interested students to begin their business studies as soon as possible. First-year students are introduced to introductory business courses in their first semester on the way to earning a Bachelor of Science in Business degree. University of Minnesota offers 10 major areas of study in its business program. It has a student/faculty ratio of 17:1 and with 38.2 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. Minnesota’s freshman retention rate is 91 percent and 78 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

  4. University of Michigan
    Location

    Dearborn, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    University of Michigan Ann Arbor needs little introduction in a list of best business schools. Founded in 1817, it is consistently ranked in the top management programs in the country, and its undergraduate enrollment approaches 30,000. Michigan’s graduate programs are held in particularly high esteem, including the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, School of Education, College of Engineering, Law School, Medical School, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, School of Public Health and School of Nursing in addition to the well-regarded School of Dentistry and Taubman College for Architecture and Urban Planning. The University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers is also recognized as one of the top hospitals in the country.

    The Ross School of Business, which features one of the top MBA programs in the country, is renowned for its training in leadership development, entrepreneurship, a commitments to sustainability, social impact, and positive business. Its undergraduate business curriculum is no different, and students can participate in over 70 student organizations affiliated with Ross. University of Michigan has a student/faculty ratio of 15:1 and with 48.1 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. UM’s freshman retention rate is 97 percent and 91 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

  5. University of Texas at Austin
    Location

    Austin, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Texas at Austin is the flagship school of the University of Texas system, and it was founded in 1883. Its undergraduate population of over 39,000 makes it the largest of the schools in our top five, and one of the larger schools on our list. Texas is composed of 18 schools and colleges, with the College of Liberal Arts being the largest. UT is also well known for its many graduate programs, which include the McCombs School of Business, College of Education, Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and School of Social Work. The School of Architecture is likewise a leader in its field. Like the University of Minnesota, UT has an extensive study abroad program, which includes destinations such as Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, and China.

    The McCombs School of Business is the home of UT’s undergraduate business program, and it has much to commend it. In addition to well-respected classroom instruction, UT also brings its 80,000-member alumni network to bear on future opportunities for its graduates. Students pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration at McCombs and have the option of 10 different major areas of study. McCombs also offers an honors program as well as a BBA-MPA program. University of Texas has a student/faculty ratio of 18:1 and with 36.5 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. Texas’s freshman retention rate is 94 percent and 81 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

  6. University of Illinois
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was founded in 1867. It is the flagship school of the University of Illinois system, and its undergraduate enrollment well exceeds 30,000 students. It is nationally recognized for excellence in both graduate and undergraduate areas, particularly the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, College of Engineering and Department of Psychology. Its business, education, and law programs are likewise well regarded. Its research activity is ranked among the highest in the country, and its programs are distributed among seventeen different schools and colleges.

    The College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is home to the undergraduate business program. Illinois’s placement record for its graduates approaches 100 percent, and the majority of its students take advantage of its study abroad programs at some point in their degree. The program offers eight different major areas of study, including accountancy, business administration, and finance. The University of Illinois has a student/faculty ratio of 18:1 and with 41.7 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. Illinois’s freshman retention rate is 94 percent and 84 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

  7. Carnegie Mellon University
    Location

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The first private institution on our list and also the youngest and smallest, Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 1900 and enrolls approximately 6,500 undergraduates. Its namesake and founder, Andrew Carnegie, established the school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although it is particularly well known for its programs in science and technology, Carnegie Mellon boasts a full liberal arts curriculum through its seven schools and colleges, such as the College of Fine Arts and the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Its graduate programs include the highly ranked Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Institute of Technology and School of Computer Science. Funded undergraduate research opportunities are not uncommon.

    Business students at Carnegie Mellon will pursue their program in the Tepper School of Business, which prepares students in the areas of leadership and analytics in addition to the traditional business subjects. Undergraduate students can pursue a concentration in either Business or Economics, and the graduate program offers an increased number of options. Carnegie Mellon University has a student/faculty ratio of 13:1 and with 64.9 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. Carnegie Mellon’s freshman retention rate is 95 percent and 88 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

  8. University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Another private institution and also a member of the Ivy League and the oldest school on our list, the University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin. It enrolls just under 10,000 undergraduate students and is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Penn is composed of 12 schools, four of which offer both undergraduate and graduate programs, and eight of which are dedicated to graduate studies. Penn is particularly well known for its Wharton School, and it also features a School of Education, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Law School and School of Medicine. It is also known for its Design School and School of Dental Medicine.

    The Wharton School of Business is considered one of the best business schools anywhere in the world. It combines business and liberal arts studies in a rigorous Ivy League setting. Wharton offers undergraduates 21 areas of concentration, including an individually tailored option. University of Pennsylvania has a student/faculty ratio of 6:1 and with 67.4 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. Penn’s freshman retention rate is 98 percent and 96 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

  9. University of Virginia
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia, the University of Virginia is an elite public university with an undergraduate enrollment of over 16,000. While some schools feature either strong undergraduate or graduate programs, UVA boasts strength in both areas, and among its well-regarded graduate schools are the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, Curry School of Education, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Law and School of Medicine. UVA is also home to one of the 25 original copies of the Declaration of Independence, and its graduates can be found in the highest levels of their professions.

    Business students in the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia can choose among five concentrations of study, including Accounting, Finance, Information Technology, Management, and Marketing. McIntire blends the core education of the liberal arts with the cutting-edge skills demanded by today’s global marketplace. University of Virginia has a student/faculty ratio of 15:1, with 55 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. UVA’s freshman retention rate is 97 percent and 94 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

  10. Purdue University
    Location

    Hammond, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public university founded in 1869, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana has a total undergraduate enrollment of approximately 30,000. The West Lafayette campus is the flagship location of the Purdue University system, which operates four other locations in the state. Purdue is made up of 12 schools and colleges that provide both graduate and undergraduate training. Its well-regarded professional and graduate programs include the esteemed College of Engineering, Krannert School of Management, College of Education and College of Pharmacy. It also enjoys recognition for its School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, located in the College of Engineering.

    Undergraduate business studies are offered through the Krannert School of Management, and the curriculum is built upon the STEM foundation of Purdue University: science, technology, engineering and math. Undergraduates at Krannert can earn their Bachelor degree in on of 8 majors and 10 additional concentrations. Purdue University has a student/faculty ratio of 13:1 and with 38.6 percent of its classes having less than 20 students. Purdue’s freshman retention rate is 92 percent and 74 percent of students graduate in 6 years.

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