10 of the Best Undergraduate Business Schools in the US in 2021
The United States is home to hundreds of outstanding universities, many of which excel in the field of Business. MBA courses remain very popular choices for graduate school, but equally, there are many who choose to major in Business or Business Administration during their undergraduate studies.
There are many different organizations which publish annual rankings by subject areas, including US News and World Report, Times Higher Education and Forbes.
All are slightly different, but the following 10 universities tend to feature regularly in rankings of top business schools and can therefore be considered ten of the best schools for full-time undergraduate business education in the US.
Of course, when it comes to selecting which college to complete undergraduate business studies at, there are many factors aside from rankings to consider. At Kings our dedicated Progression Advisors are experts in helping establish the best transfer schools for your needs and goals, putting you on the best possible path for success.
Table of Contents
School #1: University of Pennsylvania
One of the world-famous Ivy League schools, the University of Pennsylvania is a private institution that was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740.
As the world’s first collegiate business school, the university’s Wharton School delivers some of the best business programs globally and is one of the largest and most-published business school faculties. It was ranked #1 in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools category for 2021, and also in Niche’s rankings of Best Colleges for Business in America. It has also been number 1 for Business Schools in the US by Forbes for the last four consecutive years.
Founded in 1881, Wharton now comprises 10 academic departments including Accounting, Business Economics and Public Policy, Finance, Healthcare Management, Legal Studies and Business Ethics, Management, Marketing and Statistics.
Its tuition and fees are $60,042 (taken from U.S. News and World Report)
University of Pennsylvania admissions is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 8% (taken from U.S. News and World Report).
School #2: Harvard University
Located outside Boston in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University is made up of 13 schools and institutes, including the top-ranked Business School. Part of the prestigious Ivy League, it is a highly selective private institution that was founded in 1636.
In addition to offering some of the best business programs in the world, Harvard Business School boasts its own unique history and outreach efforts. The first MBA program in the world was started at Harvard in 1908. Global research centers affiliated with the school have been established in Japan, Europe, India, and other countries. Harvard has established a vast network of faculty members and alumni around the world that includes over 300,000 alumni in more than 200 countries.
Its tuition and fees are $54,002
Harvard University admissions is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 5%
School #3: MIT
Founded in 1861, MIT is regarded as one of the world’s premier universities.
Like so many of its schools, MIT’s Sloan School of Management is renowned for academic excellence. It was ranked #2 in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools category for 2021.
MIT Sloan boasts 14 Action Learning Laboratories that focus on entrepreneurship, sustainability, and global health. More than 1,300 students, including undergraduates and business executives, participate in 10 academic programs. Classes are taught by approximately 200 experienced professors and lecturers.
Its tuition and fees are $53,818.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology admissions is most selective with an acceptance rate of 7% and an early acceptance rate of 7.4%
School #4: University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan—Ann Arbor is a public institution that was founded in 1817, and was therefore one of the first public universities in the US.
UM’s Ross School of Business was established in 1924 and school currently offers degree programs that include a Bachelor of Business Administration, Management, Supply Chain Management. It was ranked 4th by Forbes in its Best Business School category in 2021.
Classes are taught by 151 experienced faculty members. Enrollment figures show over 3,000 students beginning annually and the network includes 45,000 alumni in over 88 countries.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, 45 minutes from Detroit
Its in-state tuition and fees are $15,948; out-of-state tuition and fees are $52,266.
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor admissions is selective, with an acceptance rate of 23%.
School #5: UC Berkeley
University of California—Berkeley is a public institution that was founded in 1868. Berkeley has always been known for its progressive academic training and research initiatives. Most research is cross-disciplinary and focuses on contemporary global issues.
Berkeley’s Haas School of Business is the second-oldest business school in the country. Six degree programs are offered to over 2,200 students who come from around the globe. The programs and research are organized into three institutes: the Institute for Business Innovation, the Institute for Business and Social Impact, and the Energy Institute. Business school grads make up an alumni network of approximately 40,000, located all over the world.
It was ranked #3 in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools category for 2021.
Its in-state tuition and fees are $14,226; out-of-state tuition and fees are $43,980.
University of California--Berkeley admissions is most selective with an acceptance rate of 17%.
School #6: University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a public institution that was founded in 1883. It is located on an urban campus in one of Texas' major cities.
The university’s McCombs School of Business was ranked #5 (jointly with New York University) in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools category for 2021.It ranked #1 for Accounting programs.
It offers the following departments and concentrations: accounting, consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, general management, international business, marketing, management information systems, not-for-profit management, production/operations management, portfolio management, public policy, real estate, and supply chain management/logistics.
Its in-state tuition and fees are $11,106; out-of-state tuition and fees are $39,322.
University of Texas at Austin admissions is selective, with an acceptance rate of 32%.
School #7: USC
University of Southern California is a private institution that was founded in 1880. The Marshall School of Business is one of the university’s many schools and colleges, and is known to emphasize entrepreneurship and innovation, collaborative research and social responsibility.
The University of Southern California’s central campus, referred to as the University Park campus, is located in LA's Downtown Arts and Education Corridor. USC has other campuses in the city, in addition to sites around Southern California and in Sacramento, and Washington, D.C.
Its tuition and fees are $59,072.
University of Southern California admissions is most selective with an acceptance rate of 11%.
School #8: New York UniversityNew York University is a private institution that was founded in 1831. Situated in the borough of Manhattan, NYU is one of the largest degree granting institutions in the world.The university’s Stern Business School was ranked #5 (jointly with the University of Texas at Austin) in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools category for 2021, and 3rd by Forbes in its Best Business School category in 2021
New York City
Its tuition and fees are $54,880.
New York University admissions is very selective, with an acceptance rate of 16%.
School #9: Cornell University
Cornell University is a member of the Ivy League/Ancient Eight and it is described as the first truly American university because of its founders’ revolutionary egalitarian and practical vision of higher education.
The university’s college of business includes the Dyson School, Johnson, and the School of Hotel Administration. It currently has 255 faculty, spanning eight areas of business and four interdisciplinary themes, and there are – at present - over 43,000 alumni in the SC Johnson College of Business network.
It was ranked #7 (jointly with University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools category for 2021, and 9th by Forbes in its Best Business School category in 2021.
Ithaca, New York
Its tuition and fees are $59,316.
Cornell University admissions is highly selective with an acceptance rate of 11%.
School #10: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill is a public institution that was founded in 1789, and is widely considered the first public university in the nation
It was ranked #7 (jointly with Cornell University) in the U.S. News and World Report’sBest Undergraduate Business Schools category for 2021.It was ranked 4th by Forbes in its Best Business School category in 2021.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Its in-state tuition and fees are $9,021; out-of-state tuition and fees are $36,20.
University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill admissions is selective, with an acceptance rate of 23% and an early acceptance rate of 28.1%.
The above have been selected as 10 of the top business schools for undergraduate study, however the following institutions are also widely recognized for the high quality of their business programs:
- Yale University
- Carnegie Mellon's Tepper Business School
- Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business
- Emory University's Goizueta Business School
- Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
- Kelley School of Business at Indiana University
- Columbia University
- Duke University's Fuqua School of Business
- Mcdonough Business School at Georgetown University
- Washington University in St. Louis' Olin Business School
- University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management
- Booth Business School at the University of Chicago
- Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame
Study Business at a Top University With Kings
With Kings Premium Universities programs in the US, international students complete the first two years of their degree at one of our partner universities (located in Boston, New York, California, Wisconsin and Oregon), before generally transferring to complete their degree at another top ranked university. These settings provide the optimum place for international students to start their US university degree, offering small classes, and the opportunity to study — and live — alongside American students their own age from Day One.
The extensive support and preparation that we offer also ensures that the vast majority of our students transfer to complete their degree at one of the Top 50 or Top 100 universities in the United States.
While our students choose to major in a whole host of subject areas, Business and Management remains one of the most popular. Some of the universities to have accepted Kings students to study a Business related major include: Vanderbilt University (#14), Cornell University (#18), UCLA (#20), Emory University (#21), USC(#24), University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (#24), University of Virginia (#26), New York University (#30), UC Santa Barbara (#30), University of Rochester (#34), UC San Diego (#35), Boston University (#42) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (#42).
Meet some of the many students who have successfully progressed to top 50 universities to major in Business, and hear what they have to say about their experiences both with Kings, and at university in the United States.
"I went to Kings to get a certain course, to get a direction for how to get to my dream school. They provided me with information on how to make my educational plan, to find out what extracurricular activities I needed to do. I also went to see them to do my personal statement, to do my other essays. After graduation I will try to find a good job in a large company like Google, Apple or Microsoft, something like this. I will get one or two years of experience and then I start my own business.”
Maksim Kuznetsov won a place to study at prestigious UCLA, where he is majoring in Business Economics.
"When I first came to the US I didn't know anything about the application process and didn't even know where I wanted to go, but Kings really helped me with the whole process and got me to the university of my choice."
Larry Sukarya did his Year 1 with Kings in New York and is now at University of Southern California studying Business and Finance.
"Kings helped me get in touch with the schools, help prepare the documents and transcripts the schools require."
Xiaohan Gao from China studied on the GO: Prepared and GO: 100 programs in New York and then received university transfer offers from Brandeis University and Boston University.
“I enjoyed the small class size at Kings, so I got to work with my professors one on one. I am studying Marketing. I am interested in this major because I was doing commercial projects in my high school, and I found communicating with customers to be very interesting. I have a dream that I can get a job working in public relations for Apple in the future, by creating commercials.”
Chuanzhao Huang from China completed his freshman year with Kings in Boston and is now studying at UC San Diego.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What college has the best business program?
All universities referenced above are recognized for the high quality of their business programs specifically. When it comes to choosing which school to apply for, there are many factors to consider alongside rankings, including the specifics of what’s covered on the degree program, and of course the university itself. Academic success goes hand-in-hand with a happy overall student experience, which involves making sure your university of choice is a good fit for your lifestyle preferences, your needs and of course, your aspirations.
Q2. What is the No.1 business school?
There is no one business school that is recognized as the best in the US, or globally. The University of Pennsylvania, featured first in our list above, certainly features consistently in the top 3 of business school rankings, but there are many other institutes with excellence in this subject area.
Q3. What is the hardest business school to get into?
Many of the top-ranked business schools, especially those in the Ivy League, are exceptionally selective. According to US News and World report 2021, of those universities referenced in the Top 10 list above, Harvard has the lowest acceptance rate, at 5%, closely followed by MIT and then University of Pennsylvania.
Q4. What GPA do you need for a business school?
GPA requirements vary from university to university, but more information about average GPA requirements for top 50 business schools can be found on the Poets and Quants website.
It’s worth pointing out, as stated on this website, that, while it is certainly relevant, undergraduate GPA (grade point average) is not the most important element of a business school application. A strong GPA — a score of 3.50 or above — is no substitute for demonstrating other qualities, such as excellent leadership skills.
Q5. How can you study at a top business school as an international student?
With Kings Guaranteed Outcome programs, international students are able to begin their degree at one of our partner universities, where they spend the first two or three years in an ideal setting for acclimatizing to US university life.
During their time with us, they benefit from on-campus support, both academic and personal, ensuring they make the best possible progress.
Personalized progression advising also means they receive extensive help to identify the best transfer universities for their goals, and to build the best possible student profile, ensuring they can be successful in applying to top 50 or 100 universities to complete their undergraduate business degree.
We hope that this article has helped you understand more about the best business schools for undergraduate study in the US, and how Kings Guaranteed Outcome programs can help you get there.
If you would like receive more detailed information about the Kings and our programs, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.