Best Undergraduate Business Schools

The Best Undergraduate Business Schools: A Complete List (2021)

top-ranked undergraduate business programs and admissions strategies 

Business careers are available in nearly every industry. Companies in every sector need strong leaders, managers, advertisers, accountants, and financial advisers—just to name a few. That means business graduates can find themselves working almost anywhere—from prestigious tech firms to government agencies to hospitals to non-profits.

Business schools teach students valuable skills to be successful in the workplace, and these skills are transferrable to many business environments. That’s why business graduates consistently have low unemployment rates.

Of course, one option that draws many students to pursue business is the appeal of entrepreneurship and being their own boss. Business program coursework and training give students the knowledge needed to draw up business plans, manage budgets, hire employees, and run day-to-day operations of their own successful business.

What salary can you earn with a bachelor’s in business?

Upon graduating from business school, students can expect to earn higher-than-average starting salaries—with certain business majors earning slightly more than others. Here’s a list of the projected starting salaries for the class of 2020 in the five most lucrative business majors:

  • Management information systems: $63,445

  • Logistics/supply chain: $59,180

  • Finance: $58,472

  • Business administration/management: $58,166

  • Accounting: $57,734

As business graduates secure jobs and gain work experience, their salary outlook increases. The average salaries for marketing managers, financial managers, and sales managers all exceed $100,000—with only a bachelor’s degree. Of course, many people in business choose to pursue an MBA to increase their potential for earnings and promotions.

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    LOCATIONCambridge, MA


  2. University of California at Berkeley

    LOCATIONBerkeley, CA


  3. University of Pennsylvania

    LOCATIONPhiladelphia, PA


  4. University of Michigan

    LOCATIONAnn Arbor, MO


  5. University of North Carolina

    LOCATIONChapel HIll, NC


  6. Cornell University

    LOCATIONIthaca, NY


  7. University of Texas at Austin

    LOCATIONAustin, TX


  8. University of Notre Dame

    LOCATIONNotre Dame, IN


  9. Washington University in St. Louis

    LOCATIONSaint Louis, MO


  10. Carnegie Mellon University

    LOCATIONPittsburgh, PA


Types of business majors

A business degree may be focused in many different areas, and the best business schools will offer several different specialized majors under the “business” umbrella. We’ll describe a few of the most popular business majors for you.

  • Accounting. An accountant does more than bookkeep or crunch numbers. Accountants are responsible for analyzing business finances and creating reports for business partners—so strong communication skills are key. In an accounting major, students learn accounting information systems, study tax law, and evaluate risk or profitability in real business case studies.

  • Finance. Students who major in finance will choose a further specialty area like real estate, investment analysis, or corporate finance. They’ll learn to make wise long-term financial plans, understand and predict the economy, create a responsible budget, and work with complex computer systems.

  • Business administration or management. Business owners, managers, or administrators must have strong communication and leadership skills. Students focusing on this area of business will learn how to run an organization—including planning, organizing, and directing its long-term and day-to-day functions.

  • Marketing. Popularized by shows like Mad Men, marketing careers are fast-paced and ever-evolving. Marketing majors study consumer trends and psychology, branding, various mediums—think radio vs. Facebook ads—and how to build successful advertising campaigns.

  • Management information systems. This career is ideal for students wanting to apply their technical skills in a growing business field. MIS majors will study the use of information systems, build databases, develop computer programs, and learn how to explain complex technology to non-techie people.

  • International business. In an increasingly global world and economy, internationally-minded business people are in constant need. They might help a local business expand operations to other countries or manage multinational businesses. International business majors will study global economies, explore other cultures, and learn how to sell products around the world.

You’ll find additional specialized majors offered at different business schools, and each one will appeal to a unique type of student. Encourage your child to explore their interests and consider which field is most suited to their personality when choosing the best business school major for them.