The University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School has topped the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Business Programs of 2024 ranking released today (September 18).
That’s hardly a surprise. The Wharton School was first in last year’s U.S. News undergrad ranking, the year before that, and the year before that. (And until last year, it was the top B-school in Poets&Quants‘ undergraduate ranking for five straight years, too.)
The top of this year’s rankings is remarkably similar to last year’s. Because the methodology of the U.S. News ranking creates a lot of ties, there are actually 11 schools ranked in the top 10 this year, compared to 12 in the 2023 ranking. University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce dropped four points to No. 12 this year after tying with several schools last year for No. 8.
The only other change to this year’s top 10 are that University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business essentially swapped places. Tepper fell two spots to No. 7 while McCombs climbed two spots to No. 5. See U.S. News’ 2024 top 10 business programs in the table below.
|2024 Rank||Institution||2023 Rank||Y-O-Y Change||2022 Rank|
|1||University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||1||0||1|
|2||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||2||0||2|
|2||University of California, Berkeley (Haas)||2||0||3|
|4||University of Michigan–Ann Arbor (Ross)||4||0||4|
|5||New York University (Stern)||5||0||5|
|5||University of Texas at Austin (McCombs)||7||2||5|
|7||Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)||5||-2||7|
|8||Cornell University (Dyson)||8||0||8|
|8||Indiana University–Bloomington (Kelley)||8||0||8|
|8||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)||8||0||8|
|8||University of Southern California (Marshall)||8||0||12|
A METHODOLOGY WITH A LOT OF TIES
While U.S. News reports that it made “significant” changes to its methodology for ranking the best colleges and universities, it left the methodology for ranking its undergrad business programs untouched.
The rankings magazine asked deans and senior faculty at the 523 undergraduate business programs accredited by the AACSB International to rank schools on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished). It determined average scores by computing a trimmed mean – eliminating the two highest and two lowest scores.
The ranking is based solely on this survey, making the list more like a popularity contest. It also creates a lot of ties because there are only 5 points on the scale and so it is difficult to create distance between programs. That’s why there are six schools in the top five, 11 schools in the top 10, and 102 schools in the top 100. In fact, 19 schools tied for No. 84 and 15 schools tied for No. 47. (You can see the full list of schools who made it into the Top 100 on page 4).
U.S. news surveyed deans and senior faculty members in the spring and early summer of this year. It had a 49.9% response rate.
BERKELEY HAAS TIES FOR SECOND
Haas School of Business at University of California-Berkeley tied for No. 2 in U.S. News’ undergraduate business programs. One year ago, it announced that it will expand its two-year business program into a four-year program, enrolling its first four-year business students in August 2024.
The University ranked 15th overall in U.S. News’ Best Colleges and Universities ranking, tied for No. 1 in public schools and 114th for social mobility. For business speciality programs, it finished in the top five in entrepreneurship, management, marketing, quantitative analysis and real estate. (See more on the business specialty rankings on page 3.)
“We are proud of the exceptional education and opportunities for upward social mobility that our Berkeley Haas Undergraduate Program provides,” Emma Hayes Daftary, assistant dean of undergraduate programs, tells Poets&Quants. “With applications about to open October 1 for our new four-year Spieker Undergraduate Business Program that will launch in Fall 2024, we are also creating new programs and experiences for our current students and for the inaugural Spieker class.”
And, in almost any business school ranking, The Wharton School is going to end up toward the top. Its undergrad program has topped Poets&Quants’ ranking five out of six years.
Besides its No. 1 spot in U.S. News’ undergrad business programs, it ranked in the top five in analytics, finance, international business, management, marketing, operation management, quantitative analysis and real estate. Its parent school, University of Pennsylvania, ranked No. 6 overall in best colleges and universities.
NEXT PAGE: U.S. News 50 Best National Universities
PAGE 3: U.S. News ranking by business specialization
PAGE 4: U.S. News 100 Best Undergraduate Business Programs
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