All rags-to-riches stories aside – and Americans do love their rags-to-riches stories – a successful career in business has to start somewhere, and it rarely begins with dumb luck. Rather, a successful career in business begins with intelligence, determination, and preparation, and more often than not, today it begins with a bachelor’s degree in business. A bachelor’s in business – whether it’s a BS in Business, a Bachelor of Business Administration, or some other name – gives graduates the credentials and foundation to take on the job market and to find their place wherever the market takes them.
The best traditional, on-campus Bachelor’s in Business Management programs do much more than give you a piece of paper at the end. They provide real mentorship from experienced, knowledgeable businesspeople; they offer internship opportunities that often lead to rewarding jobs; they offer a wide range of courses and projects to help young people find the path that fits their interests and skills; and they reward graduates with a name and reputation that is trusted everywhere. These are the programs featured in the Great Business Schools Best Business Bachelor’s Degrees ranking.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Bachelor’s in Business Management Programs
Because Great Business School focuses on programs that have a real, measurable impact on graduates’ careers, our ranking begins by researching all of the accredited, reputable business schools in the US. From that start, we rank programs according to 5 factors that emphasize quality and return on investment:
- Graduate Earnings
- Graduation Rate
- Job Placement
- Student Satisfaction
Data comes from Colleges Scorecard, IPEDS, and Niche.
1. Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business offers students a well-rounded curriculum that covers a wide range of business skills. All students completing the program must complete two internship semesters and one semester of study abroad, which gives students practical experience in business and an expanded perspective on the world. Students must choose from one of the following concentrations: accounting, finance, general management, information technology management, leadership and organizational change, marketing, operations and supply chain management, or strategy and innovation.
Scheller College of Business’s focus on technology sets it apart from the competition. Scheller’s business students are encouraged to apply the latest technologies to all of their business projects, regardless of industry, as they pursue their bachelors in business management.
Highlight: Scheller gives its students a competitive edge by teaching them how to use the latest technologies to address real-world business problems.
2. University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business
The BBA program at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business is about more than accounting and marketing. It’s about getting students to expand their vision and giving them the tools they need not only to succeed in business but to transform the world they live in. The University of Notre Dame offers six undergraduate business programs through the Mendoza College of Business. Students seeking a BS in business management can choose from accounting, business analytics, business technology, finance, management consulting, or marketing.
The Mendoza College of Business is one of the leading business schools in the country. The school prides itself on its academic excellence as well as its ability to provide a holistic learning experience that integrates classes from various departments along with opportunities for students to expand their cultural horizons by studying abroad.
Highlight: At the Mendoza College of Business, classes are intentionally kept small to allow for more interaction between students and faculty, including personalized guidance to help with career planning.
3. Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business
The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University offers seven undergraduate business degrees. They are accounting; finance; international political economy and business; international business regional studies; management, leadership, and innovation; marketing; and operations and information management. The management, leadership, and innovation is especially appealing to students seeking a bachelors in business management. This program prepares students to become effective leaders and team members in a variety of business settings.
The McDonough School of Business strives to provide a global perspective by giving students opportunities to participate in global social internships, international consulting, and other cross-cultural experiences.
Highlight: 98% of the 2018 graduates of the McDonough School of Business participated in the internship program, and 89% were either employed full-time following graduation or accepted into graduate school. The average starting salary for the class of 2018 was $72,915.
Degree: BS in Management, Leadership, and Innovation
4. University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce
The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia offers a BS in Commerce with specializations in accounting, finance, information technology, management, and marketing. Students complete two years of business theory, math, economics, and liberal arts before starting the Integrated Core Experience (ICE) in their third year. During ICE, students work in small groups with faculty members and corporate leaders solving real business problems. In the fourth year, students complete courses related to their chosen concentrations.
The McIntire School is committed to offering the most innovative and globally-focused undergraduate business program in the world. The school’s core values are community, global orientation, innovation, integration, and quality.
Highlight: Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819, and the McIntire School supports his vision of a learning community where students and faculty work closely together.
Degree: BS in Commerce
5. University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School
At the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, all students earn a BS in Economics. Each student can choose an area of focus from one of 20 standardized concentrations or create an individualized concentration tailored to suit their interests. Instead of focusing on business theory, Wharton’s teaching involves real-world problem solving. Students are given a problem and work on coming up with possible solutions.
The Wharton School is renowned for its academic excellence. Regardless of which concentration they choose, students learn how to work as part of a team and think creatively to come up with solutions to problems. Wharton students begin to develop leadership skills from the first semester through Wharton 101, and the leadership journey continues through integrated projects and modules spanning the full four-year Wharton experience.
Highlight: Wharton graduates are highly sought after by employers. Graduates from the class of 2018 who entered the workforce earned an average starting salary of $80,354.
Degree: BS in Economics
6. Virginia Tech, Pamplin College of Business
The Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech offers an undergraduate management degree with three options: Human Resource Management; Management Consulting and Analytics; and Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology Management. All three BS in business management programs prepare students for careers as effective leaders and managers in a wide variety of business environments.
Pamplin’s vision can be summed up in three words: learning, research, and international. The school’s expert faculty provides top-notch teaching based on their own interdisciplinary experiences, and the school’s mentorship and advisory programs help ensure each student’s success. Faculty members participate in business-related research projects, and the school has a strong focus on global business and cross-cultural interactions.
Highlight: Students who are accepted into the interdisciplinary Calhoun Discovery Program receive a full tuition scholarship and a $10,000 experiential learning grant.
Degree: BS in Business
7. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Gies College of Business
The Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois offers a BS in Management that comes in two flavors: general management and international business. The general management concentration is best for most students pursuing a bachelors in business management. It focuses on team leadership, managing individuals, designing effective organizations, operations management, and decision-making. The international business concentration focuses on multinational management, international business, and international marketing strategies.
All students enrolled in the management program at Gies learn the skills they need to become effective and ethical leaders and managers. Gies students learn decision-making, goal planning, team-building, and strategies for motivating employees. Both international business and general management students have the opportunity to study abroad for anywhere from a few weeks to a full semester.
Highlight: With a 99% undergraduate placement rate, Gies students are extremely employable. Gies was ranked #4 for best student employment record in 2018 by Poets & Quants.
Degree: BS in Management
8. University of North Carolina, Chapel hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School
The undergraduate business program at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School gives students the skills to succeed in any career. The school provides individualized counseling to ensure that students are on the right track. Business students learn how to solve problems, think strategically and analytically, and work as part of a team while honing their leadership and communication skills.
At the Kenan-Flagler Business School, students participate in problem-solving groups, where they analyze, investigate, and collaborate to find the solutions to real-world problems. Business students have the opportunity to get out into the real world for some hands-on learning outside of the classroom as well. The school has a global perspective and a diverse student body with international students from many countries. Kenan-Flagler students who want to study abroad can choose from over 40 global study programs for a chance to gain first-hand experience and insight on how business is conducted around the world.
Highlight: Kenan-Flagler graduates from the class of 2018 had a 97% employment rate among job seekers with an average salary of $66,667.
9. Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School
The Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. There are eight majors to choose from: accounting, economics and strategy, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare management, marketing, operations and supply chain management, and organization and strategic management. Students can customize their curricula to match their goals and interests.
Washington University’s culture reflects the Midwestern values of empathy, collaboration, and integrity combined with a strong work ethic. These are values that successful leaders use in managing and motivating others. The school’s curriculum integrates hands-on experiences that allow students to practice skills such as problem-solving and portfolio management. There are opportunities for students to study abroad as well as short-term immersion experiences in locations such as New York City, Washington, D.C., Budapest, and Israel.
Highlight: At Washington University, 100% of financial need is met through scholarships, not loans. Washington works with all admitted students to ensure that their tuition is covered—without saddling them with student loan debt.
10. Boston College, Carroll School of Management
The Carroll School of Management at Boston College offers 14 different business concentrations, one of which is general management. The general management program provides a rigorous, integrated bachelors in business management curriculum that is perfect for students who are interested in other disciplines or who plan to manage a family business following graduation.
The Carroll School combines challenging courses with hands-on, experiential learning. The school transforms students into leaders with the skills and vision needed to inspire and motivate. The Carroll School has renowned faculty members who excel in both teaching and research. The school’s curriculum is based on a liberal arts foundation that emphasizes critical thinking and strong communication skills. These are skills that are sought out by employers, as evidenced by the school’s 94% employment rate.
Highlight: The Carroll School is committed to combining high-level teaching with excellence in research.
Degree: BS in Management
11. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ross School of Business
At the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, learning can be summed up in one word: REAL. The acronym stands for Ross Experiences in Action-Based Learning, and it represents the school’s belief that there is no better way to learn than by doing.
The Ross School of Business truly stands out when it comes to real-life business experiences. In REAL.START, student entrepreneurs develop and launch their own businesses. Students can compete in the Michigan Business Challenge to win a share of $90,000 in prize money for pitching an original business idea. Students have the opportunity to consult with businesses on real issues through the REAL.ADVISE program, and REAL.INVEST gives students the chance to play the role of investment fund manager by helping to manage one of the school’s student-managed investment funds.
Highlight: The BBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business was ranked #4 for undergraduate business programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2019.
12. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
The Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers an undergraduate BBA in 10 different majors: accounting; actuarial science; finance, investment, and banking; information systems; international systems; management and human resources; marketing; operations and technology management; real estate; and risk management and insurance.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a world-class university with outstanding faculty. The BBA program is grounded in the liberal arts and helps students develop the ability to think critically, analyze and solve problems, and communicate ideas and solutions effectively. Students at the Wisconsin School of Business engage in learning both inside and outside of the classroom.
Highlight: The Wisconsin School of Business has more than 600 corporate partners and an engaged alumni network of over 43,000 business badgers to help connect new graduates to career opportunities.
13. Cornell University, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
The Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University’s Johnson College of Business offers a BS in Applied Economics and Management. The degree’s requirements are flexible, which enables students to customize their business education. Students can choose to add a focus or a double major from any of the programs offered by Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The Dyson School emphasizes high standards and a positive attitude. The school’s legacy is one of applying practical management and economics tools to solve serious business and social problems. Because of the school’s small size, students develop close relationships with one another as well as with professors and alumni.
Highlight: Students who wish to study abroad can choose from hundreds of cross-cultural learning opportunities in over 70 countries around the world through the CALS Exchange Program and Cornell Abroad.
Degree: BS in Applied Economics and Management
14. Texas A&M University, College Station, Mays Business School
Texas A&M University, also known as TAMU, offers a Bachelor’s of Business Administration program that is distinguished by its many different available areas of specialization, including an uncommon focus in Supply Chain Management. Supply chain management is a growing industry, but many business schools don’t offer this area of concentration, at least not at the undergraduate level. TAMU’s Bachelors in Business Management has this and many other areas of specialization, making it one of the best BS in Business Management degrees that can be completed online.
TAMU’s Mays Business School is one of the leading schools in Texas. Many alumni work in the state’s petroleum industry, and TAMU alumni are known for helping out fellow Aggies. Students who want to go into business in the petroleum industry would be well-suited to a degree program from TAMU.
Highlight: TAMU’s endowment is among the top 10 in the country.
15. Bentley University
Bentley University offers a BS in Management degree that is unique in that the major is specifically in Management. Many business degrees offer a specialization in management, but the program at Bentley is completely built around this field. This makes the Bachelors in Business Management program at Bentley perfect for students who want to move up in the business world after completing a BS in business management.
Bentley University is unique in that it is focused on business programs. Business programs are among the most popular at many colleges and universities, but these schools usually offer quite a few other degrees. Bentley’s focus on business leads to a more effective education than what students might receive from a less-focused university.
Highlight: Many undergraduate business students at Bentley go on to do an MBA. It is especially common for Bentley business undergraduates to continue their education in the school’s prestigious graduate program.
Degree: BS in Management
16. College of William and Mary, Raymond A. Mason School of Business
The College of William and Mary offers an Internet-based Bachelor’s of Business Administration. This program is characterized by its level of customization. William and Mary allows students to work with the faculty in devising their own individual program of study. This is an opportunity that few other business schools give their students. Students looking for a Bachelors in Business Management should consider creating their own BS in Business Management program at William and Mary.
William and Mary is one of the most prestigious public universities in the country. In fact, many people mistake it for a private university due to its prestige and its private school-sounding name. Employers in William and Mary’s home state of Virginia and throughout the country will recognize a degree from this prestigious university when they are evaluating applicants.
Highlight: William and Mary is the second-oldest institute of higher education in the country (after Harvard) and the oldest public institution.
17. Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University has a BS in Business program that offers several unique degree paths that separate it from the other programs on this list. Perhaps the most unique major is Mathematical Business, which is offered in conjunction with Wake Forest’s Department of Mathematics and which takes a quantitative approach to addressing business issues.
Wake Forest has one of the largest endowments of any university in the South, which allows the school to offer a wide variety of financial aid. Many schools concentrate their financial aid offerings on undergraduate students, but graduate students at Wake Forest also have many financial aid options. Students who want a high-quality education from a prestigious private university without breaking the bank should consider Wake Forest.
Highlight: 97% of Wake Forest graduates find jobs within 6 months.
Degree: BS in Business
18. University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business
The University of Southern California offers a Bachelor of Business Administration at their highly-regarded and prestigious Marshall School of Business. This program offers over 250 different classes, which essentially lets students choose their own specific field of business specialization. This makes the USC Bachelors in Business Management one of the leading BS in business management programs for students who want to go into a niche area of business.
USC is widely considered to be the best university in the Los Angeles area, which is the second-largest by population in the country. USC is specifically known for its business and law programs. Also, USC has a powerful network of alumni that can help recent grads find attractive employment options.
Highlight: USC has put a tremendous emphasis on building connections throughout the Pacific Rim, a major plus for MBA students interested in international business.
19. Purdue University, Krannert School of Management
Purdue University offers a BS in Management through its Krannert School of Management. Due to its varied class offerings and the focus on management, this program is perfect for working students who are pursuing a degree so that they can advance in their field. In fact, a Bachelors in Business Management from Purdue may be the best BS in Business Management program for students from this demographic.
Purdue University is another one of the most prestigious public universities in the country. Like William and Mary, it is often believed to be a private school. It does offer a level of prestige and the quality of education that students associate with a private school, while still offering reasonable public tuition rates.
Highlight: Purdue houses the nation’s largest business incubation program and highly encourages student entrepreneurship.
Degree: BS in Management
20. University of Georgia, Terry College of Business
The University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business offers a BSBA degree with several different fields of specialization. Perhaps the most unique concentration offered by the Georgia program is the Real Estate option. While real estate is a huge and lucrative industry, many students don’t have the option of studying in this field. Students who want to go into the real estate industry should consider pursuing a Bachelors of Business Management with a real estate focus at Georgia, because this may fit their interests better than the average BS in Business Management program.
Georgia is often ranked as one of the top public universities in the country. While it is a very large state university, students at Georgia can still benefit from small class sizes. This leads to more personalized attention, which is common at expensive private universities but less so at affordable public universities like Georgia.
Highlight: The Terry College of Business is internationally renowned for one of the strongest music business programs in the world.
21. University of Texas, Austin, McCombs School of Business
The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin has a BBA program that is distinguished by its highly experienced and knowledgeable faculty. The faculty at UT contributes to the high rankings that the undergraduate business program achieves on a regular basis. Students who want to pursue a BS in Business Management online yet still attend a prestigious Bachelors in Business Management program should consider attending UT.
The University of Texas is widely considered to be one of the best universities for business students. Many of its programs rank in the top 10, according to various major media outlets. UT is another great choice for students who want a high-quality education with the tuition rates of a public university.
Highlight: UT has one of the largest enrollments of any university in the country, with over 50,000 students.
Degree: Texas BBA
22. Babson College
Babson College offers a BS in Management that is unique because it offers students the opportunity to complete their undergraduate degree in three years instead of the usual four. This allows students to get out into the workforce and start their careers ahead of other students in the same age group. Students who want to complete a quality Bachelors in Business Management before other students in BS in Business Management programs graduate may want to consider Babson.
Babson is notable for its focus on business. It specifically focuses on entrepreneurship, making it one of the few institutions of higher education in the country to do so. Students who know they want to start their own small business should strongly consider attending Babson.
Highlight: Babson’s professors are all successful small business professionals.
Degree: BS in Management
23. University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management
The University of Minnesota offers a BS in Business through its Carlson School of Management. UM’s program is designed for students who want a holistic business education with a concentration in management, rather than only studying management. Business students who want a versatile degree would do well to consider the Bachelors in Business Management at UM over other competing BS in Business Management programs.
The University of Minnesota is known for its affordable educational experience. The tuition rates are as low as students might expect for a public university. Also, UM offers plenty of financial aid for students from all walks of life.
Highlight: UM has over 50,000 students, and it is growing quickly.
Degree: BS in Business
24. University of Washington, Foster School of Business
The Foster School of Business at the University of Washington offers a BA in Business Administration. This program is one of the few that allows students to design their own program. This makes it a great choice for students who are planning to go into a cutting-edge field of business and who need to design their degrees accordingly. The Foster School of Business is also highly ranked among public business schools. Students who plan to complete a Bachelors in Business Management may want to consider attending the BS in Business Management offered by UW.
UW is known for its focus on research, and the school is often ranked among the top schools in the nation for research funding. Students in a wide variety of fields can get funding for their own personal research projects as part of their degree path. This can enable students to receive a more customized and advanced education than they may have access to at schools with a lesser focus on research.
Highlight: Students in the Foster School earned nearly $1 million in scholarships in 2018.
25. Boston University, Questrom School of Business
Boston University offers a BSBA degree through their Questrom School of Business. This program is characterized by the expertise and experience of its faculty. Many faculty members are either leading business theorists or successful business people. Students who want to study with the absolute best faculty possible may want to choose the Bachelors in Business Management at BU over similar BS in Business Management programs.
BU is one of the most prestigious universities in the country. It is highly ranked in many field, from the fine arts to business. A degree from this nationally recognized university would certainly help jump-start any business person’s career.
Highlight: Boston University’s reputation in Boston – one of the world’s top cities for banking and finance – makes it a prime destination for business students who want to break into the investment sector.
Is a Business Administration Major a Good Choice?
Evaluating one’s career choice is considered one of the most significant decisions in one’s life. If you have asked yourself – Is a business administration degree good fit with your career objectives? — Is Business Administration a Good Major-then you have also likely considered these queries as well:
- What is business administration and management?
- Is a business degree hard?
- Is a business management degree good for meeting your professional goals?
- Is a business management degree good for your budget?
- What is business administration and management?
Business administration and management degree programs curricula follow similar educational paths and objectives. A bachelor’s degree in management or business administration requires the completion of core topics that include finance, organizational behavior, economics, marketing, and accounting, among others.
However, a management degree will include more detailed coursework related to critical thinking, logistics, human resources, and decision-making techniques, among others. Those who hold management degrees are prepared for business jobs that include supervision and management responsibilities.
Is business administration a good major? A business administration degree offers degree holders a multitude of rewarding career opportunities. The many professional paths a business administration major may select from, offers a wide variety of salary ranges. So the answer to the question — Is business administration a good major? — is yes, a business administration major is a great degree option in the realm of business.
The benefits of studying business administration. Is a business degree hard to obtain? That depends on the student and the business administration specialty. However, one of the primary benefits of studying business administration is that its broad overall approach opens up a wide variety of business careers.
What is Business Accreditation?
Academic business degrees are typically accredited by three primary accreditation agencies. These industry organizations are tasked with the responsibility of assessing institutions of higher learning (and the programs they offer) against a pre-set industry approved criteria.
Generally speaking, schools and programs that have received accreditation by the agencies noted below, have essentially received an academic stamp of approval.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
AACSB accreditation is awarded to a school or a program meets the predefined AACSB accreditation standards. The AACSB accreditation agency operates with a mission to define the characteristics of the future of business leaders. More than 750 business schools across the globe have met the AACSB’s accreditation standards.
The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
The ACBSP is also a global accrediting organization that accredits business schools offering associates through doctoral degrees, but its standards put less emphasis on research than the AACSB.
One need not worry–
- Is ACBSP respected? It is.
- Is ACBSP accreditation good or bad? It is definitely a worthy professional accreditation.
The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
IACBE accreditation is officially recognized by CHEA–the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. IACBE accredited schools are recognized as meeting the academic excellence required for IACBE accreditation.
Is a BBA Degree the Same as a BSBA Degree?
In the world of collegiate business degrees, there are three fundamental degrees at the baccalaureate level. These include–
- The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
- The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)
- The Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BABA)
The BBA vs BSBA Debate
A Bachelor of Business Administration degree (BBA) offers a comprehensive overview of the many facets of business management and administration.
A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree includes a more analytical and mathematical approach to the multi-faceted field of business administration.
The BBA vs BSBA Debate Continues
The BSBA degree emphasizes a curriculum of STEM coursework, which allows for more highly developed analytical talents and critical thinking. Conversely, a BBA degree program generally allows for about one-quarter of the classes as liberal arts courses.
Recognizing BA vs BBA Degree Differences
The Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BABA, aka BA) prepares students to apply effective management styles and business strategies in the world of business. Business and liberal arts coursework is integrated to allow for the development of business leaders with exceptional communication skills. The BA vs BBA degree programs are more similar than the comparison that exists between the BBA vs BSBA comparison.
The BA vs BS Business Degree Comparison
The difference between the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Business Administration and the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration closely resembles the difference between a BBA degree and a BSBA degree.
The BA vs BS business degrees both focus specifically on business skills and managerial functions; however, the BS degree requires the completion of a more analytical-oriented curriculum.