2011 Rankings: BW’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools


BusinessWeek‘s 2011 ranking report reveals that more than ever, college applicants are seeking a global experience, especially those who plan on pursuing an undergraduate degree in business. Undergraduate business programs are responding by creating more immersion options, overseas internships, and business-related study abroad opportunities. Some schools are even offering business courses that require students to go abroad. Many schools are implementing international experience requirements, maintaining that global exposure is essential in today’s market.

For example, Notre Dame Mendoza, BW‘s top pick for the second year in a row, offers study abroad options in Haiti, Egypt, and South Africa, among many other places, and encourages students to pursue business research projects abroad as well.

Below we have posted BW‘s top 20 undergraduate business schools.

Top 20 Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2011 (Last year’s position is in parentheses.)

1.      Notre Dame Mendoza (1)

2.      UVA McIntire (2)

3.      Emory Goizueta (7)

4.      UPenn Wharton (4)

5.      Cornell (5)

6.      Michigan Ross (8)

7.      Villanova (20)

8.      UNC Kenan-Flagler (14)

9.      MIT Sloan (3)

10.  Georgetown McDonough (23)

11.  Brigham Young Marriott (11)

12.  Richmond Robins (15)

13.  UC Berkeley Haas (6)

14.  Washington Olin (13)

15.  NYU Stern (12)

16.  Boston College Carroll (9)

17.  Texas McCombs (10)

18.  Indiana Kelley (19)

19.  Wake Forest (18)

20.  Babson (17)

You’ll notice there were quite a few significant shifts this year. Three new schools made it into the top 10—Villanova, UNC Kenan-Flagler, and Georgetown McDonough—ousting UC Berkeley Haas, Boston College, and Texas McCombs from their top 10 positions of last year. The only school new to the top 20 list this year is Georgetown, taking a slot away from Miami Farmer.

For more information on methodology, please see BW‘s article, “How We Ranked the Schools.”

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Top 20 EMBA Programs in North America

Top executive MBA programs in America are charging an arm and a leg —is it worth it? That’s the topic of a recent CNN Money Fortune/Poets & Quants article, “Executive MBAs: Great, if you can foot the bill,” which reports that if people are willing to pay the sky-high prices for an EMBA degree, they’ll likely graduate with a high paying salary and a positive attitude towards their educational experience.

Top programs, like those at Wharton, offer very similar curriculums to their regular MBA programs, yet are charging almost $65,000 more (for a total of more than $160,000). (Other top 10 EMBA programs charge slightly less, with Booth at $142,000, Kellogg at $153,900, and Columbia at $148,320.)

Studies show that 97% of EMBA graduates are “overwhelmingly satisfied” with their educations, despite the high tuition, and that the programs “met or exceeded their expectations when it comes to impact on their careers and their organizations.” According to the latest Executive MBA Council study, one-third of EMBA graduates received promotions at work; 44% received more responsibilities at work; and EMBAs in general reported an average 11.4% salary increase, from $127,955 to $142,534. And this is just following the great recession!

The article refers readers over to the new Poets & Quants for Executives website that ranks the 50 best executive MBA programs in North America based on a combination of ratings from The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and U.S. News & World Report. You can view a summary of P&Q ranking methodology on the bottom of this page.

You should read the full Fortune/P&Q article and review the full rankings for more information. In the meantime, here are the top 20 EMBA programs according to the new Poets & Quants for Executives website:

Top 20 Executive MBA Programs in North America

1.      Wharton

2.      Chicago Booth

3.      Northwestern Kellogg

4.      Columbia Business School

5.      NYU Stern

6.      Michigan Ross

7.      UCLA Anderson

8.      Cornell Johnson

9.      Texas McCombs

10.  USC Marshall

11.  Duke Fuqua

12.  UNC Kenan-Flagler

13.  Berkeley/Columbia

14.  Washington Olin

15.  Emory Goizueta

16.  Boston University

17.  Georgetown McDonough

18.  Thunderbird

19.  Rice University Jones

20.  Southern Methodist Cox

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A Few of the Mostest at Accepted.com

This is the time of year to look back at the most, best, (worst), etc. I am going to stick to the positive.

Top Ten Most Visited Accepted Admissions Almanac Posts of 2010:

In a nutshell, rankings and application tip posts rule. (I am only listing the current tip post when last year’s tip post also made the list):

  1. Financial Times Global 2010 MBA Rankings
  2. Forbes ROI MBA Rankings for 2010
  3. Harvard HBS 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  4. INSEAD 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  5. NYU Stern 2011 MBA Application Questions, Tips, Deadlines
  6. Common Application Essay Tips
  7. Columbia 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  8. 2010 MBA Rankings Released by BusinessWeek
  9. Kellogg 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  10. London Business School 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips

Three Most Commented Accepted Admissions Almanac Posts of 2010

  1. Harvard HBS 2010 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (269)
  2. INSEAD 2010 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (246)
  3. INSEAD 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (60)

Keep ’em coming! (Please post your questions about this year’s applications on this year’s tips.)

Five Most Popular Articles on Accepted.com of 2010:

  1. Go for the Goals in your Statement of Purpose
  2. Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation for Medical School
  3. 4 Must-Haves in Residency Personal Statements
  4. MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA 
  5. Sample MBA Interview Questions

Most Popular Resources of 2010:

Our Absolute, Best, Most Superlative Asset: YOU, our readers, followers, fans, subscribers, and most of all, our clients.

On behalf of Accepted’s staff, this post is where I

Thank you, all of you Acceptees, for making 2010 our best year ever!

By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of Accepted.com.

Emory Goizueta 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips.

Emory Goizueta 2011 MBA Essay Questions

This Emory Goizueta 2011 MBA Application tip post is one of a series of posts providing MBA application and essay advice for applicants to top MBA programs around the world. You can access the entire series at http://blog.accepted.com/acceptedcom_blog/tag/2011-mba-application-tips. My tips for answering Goizueta’s essay questions are in blue below.

In separate documents, please address the following questions. On the top of each page, please indicate your full name as listed on your application and the question to which you are responding.

1. Please answer each of the following four questions in a short paragraph of no more than 250 words each.

a. Why have you decided to pursue an MBA at this time?

b. What interested you in Goizueta Business School’s MBA program?

c. What are your short term post MBA goals?

d. What are your long term professional aspirations?

This is a variation on the classic MBA goals question. Connect the dots between your past, present, and future. Use specifics to highlight your achievements and pivotal experiences. Show that Goizueta will help you achieve your goals. Summary: How will the Emory MBA help you get from your current skill set and experiences to your short- and long-term goals?

2. Share one of your most significant professional accomplishments. Describe your precise role in this activity and how it has helped to shape your management skills. Please limit your response to 1000 words.

When have you really had impact on an organization? When have you contributed to an increase in membership or sales, a decrease in expenses or time to market, or a change of policy. Any of these outcomes could represent a significant professional or organizational accomplishment for you.

Make sure that the essay both defines your role and the impact of your achievement as well as the influence this experience has had on your views of management and your management skill set.

3. Goizueta Business School takes pride in our Core Values: Courage, Integrity, Accountability, Rigor, Diversity, Team, and Community. These ideals drive principled, effective leaders in business, and are the values we seek to instill in all of our students, both during their education at Goizueta and beyond. Provide a specific example of how you have demonstrated one of these values in your professional experience. Please limit your response to 500 words.

As you reflect on this question, also review Goizueta’s core values. All your essays should demonstrate that you identify with these values. 

This question, however, asks you to choose one example that reveals your commitment to one of these values, not all of them and not many examples. Keep this essay focused and tell a story.

4. Complete one of the following statements. Please limit your response to 500 words.

a. I am unique because…

b. My most memorable cross-cultural experience…

c. I am passionate about…

d. My personal brand is…

e. I took a risk when I… 

Don’t sit there and try to calculate which questions Emory really wants you to answer. It is giving you a choice so that you choose the two that allow you to best present yourself to the admissions committee. Choose topics that will complement the other elements of the application and perhaps address a possible short coming or even a stereo-type.

Optional Essay: If you have additional information or feel there are extenuating circumstances which you would like to share with the MBA Admissions Committee (i.e. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance issues, areas of weakness in application), please complete this optional essay in 250 words or less.

If there is something you believe would add to your case for admissions that is not covered in the rest of the application, write about it here. Given that you have a maximum of 250 words, realize that this questions requires focus. Focus on one facet of your life or an experience that is important to you,  reveals the human being you are, and isn’t described in other parts of the application.

You can of course also use this essay to “explain” a weakness, but I hate to end your application on that note if it can be avoided. So weigh your options. If you have something to explain, do so. If you can tuck the explanation somewhere else in the application, more power to you. If the  best place for the explanation is this last essay, so be it.


Applicants who have applied to Goizueta Business School in the past should answer essays 1 (above) and the reapplicant essay below (re-applicants may also answer the optional essay).

Re-applicant Essay: Please explain how you have improved your candidacy for Goizueta Business School’s MBA Program since your last application in 250 words or less.

This is THE key question for all reapplicants. Goizueta just asks it explicitly. Please see:

If you would like help with your Emory MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and admissions consulting or an Emory MBA School Package, which includes essay editing, interview coaching, consultation, and a resume edit for the Goizueta MBA application.

Emory Goizueta 2011 MBA Deadlines

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications received after the final deadline will be reviewed on a space available basis. Applications will not be reviewed until they are complete with all required materials including official test scores, recommendation letters, official transcripts, essays, resume and interview (where applicable). We encourage candidates who have submitted their on-line application to log into OPUS to verify materials received and to check their application status. The Admissions Office cannot accommodate requests to verify materials received over the phone.

Application Deadlines

  • November 1, 2010 – Early Deadline
  • December 1, 2010* – Recommended International Deadline
  • February 1, 2011** – Scholarship and One-Year Program Deadline
  • March 1, 2011 – Final Deadline

* International applicants are encouraged to apply by December 1, 2010. However, applications received by the final program deadline will still be given complete consideration.

** All One-Year Program applicants and all those who wish to be considered for scholarships must submit the application and all materials  by February 1, 2011 to be given complete consideration.

By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of Accepted.com.

MBA Admissions Chat News: Kellogg, Consortium

Do you have questions about Kellogg? Then join us in an admissions chat with Northwestern Kellogg’s Director of Admissions, Beth Flye, and other Kellogg representatives on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT. The Kellogg team can answer all your questions about their admissions practices and its famed general management program. Learn about the program that provides a global perspective on values, leadership, and social responsibility in an environment emphasizing experiential learning and teamwork.

The chat will take place in the Accepted chat room.

During our most recent MBA admissions chat, we hosted a busy event with the Consortium. Here are a few excerpts from the transcript.

Linda Abraham (Oct 20, 2009 7:05:14 PM)
To all the school reps, does the applicant ranking influence the evaluation of the application?

WendyHuberUVA (Oct 20, 2009 7:06:22 PM)
Linda, applicants should apply as if the schools do not see the ranking. Rankings are only looked at when we are deciding fellowships, they are not used in the admission decision.

JacquelynnDayROCHESTER (Oct 20, 2009 7:09:08 PM)
Linda: While we do consider an individual’s rankings, we look at the application as a whole, therefore we encourage students to focus on submitting an overall competitive application

RTorres (Oct 20, 2009 7:05:50 PM)
What happens with applicants that apply to the Consortium and to the specific MBA programs at schools when they are not accepted into the fellowship? How are their MBA applications handled? Are they still considered by the schools?

ErinNicklesburgWISCONSIN (Oct 20, 2009 7:07:59 PM)
RTorres: Each applicant is evaluated independently by each school in terms of both admission and Fellowship decision. An offer of admission does not indicate a guaranteed Fellowship offer, as they are separate. The admission offer will stand regardless of the Fellowship offer. If a Fellowship offer is not given, the applicant will go into the general merit-based aid pool.

AmyPR (Oct 20, 2009 7:12:34 PM)
What is the difference between the November application date and the January application date? Do chances of acceptance increase one date vs. the other?

LaurieShunneyCORNELL (Oct 20, 2009 7:15:21 PM)
AmyPR- Competitiveness for admission and scholarship may increase in later rounds. In general, we recommend submitting the strongest application possible. If you are prepared to apply during the November round, it may help.