The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia earned the title of “B-School of the Year” this week from business education website Poets&Quants for Undergrads.
Using a holistic assessment that balances objective data gathered for the publication’s annual undergraduate business school rankings and subjective editors’ evaluations, the Poets&Quants editorial leadership bestowed the honor in recognition of the school’s strengths and momentum across multiple areas. They include the school’s success in the rankings, top marks on alumni surveys, an unmatched five-year return on investment on a McIntire undergraduate education, and ongoing curricular innovation – particularly with regard to the immersive third-year Integrated Core Experience.
“This accolade provides strong evidence for our unique collaborative and experiential approach to business education, which is only achieved because the entire McIntire community is committed to working together, continuously innovating for the greater good,” McIntire Dean Carl Zeithaml said. “Whether it’s co-teaching in ICE; creating new courses and global experiences; providing terrific student, career and technological services; or our alumni and corporate partners supporting our school in so many ways, our community always focuses on a valuable, life-changing student experience.”
According to Nathan Allen, Poets&Quants’ managing editor, McIntire emerged from a wide-ranging group of 88 U.S.-based undergraduate business schools, gaining traction with editors for its consistent innovation and unmatched value.
The quantitative data pointed to the school’s year-over-year advancement in the publication’s rankings: McIntire is currently No. 2 on its 2018 list of best U.S. undergraduate business programs. Allen also noted that the qualitative review was heavily influenced by McIntire’s first-place ranking in the alumni survey over the past two years.
“We really believe the alumni survey is the most important part of our ranking, and this year, when other schools’ scores dropped, McIntire’s scores stayed the same,” Allen said. “We like this because it tells a lot about how alumni feel about their experience and the school in general, and it plays as an equalizer to schools that have somewhat elitist admissions standards.”
Allen indicated that McIntire’s favorability was bolstered by stellar career data for undergraduates, with Poets&Quants calling attention to Commerce Career Services’ 96 to 98 percent positive outcomes for new graduates within three months – data based on a 100 percent response rate. Another significant factor is the average starting salary of graduates, because Poets&Quants says McIntire bests all public and private schools with respect to students’ five-year return on investment for an undergraduate degree, offering a great value to students and their families in an era when affordability is a significant issue.
The publication also lauded the federal government’s recent STEM designations for both McIntire’s undergraduate program and two of its graduate programs, as well as a notable $25 million gift in 2018 from the Chris and Carrie Shumway Foundation to fund new bioscience/business programs and an additional building.
“As we move into McIntire’s second century, we remain fully committed to providing all of our undergraduate and graduate students with applied global business experiences, hands-on technological training, a tight-knit learning community, an inclusive and welcoming culture and a multidisciplinary curriculum,” Zeithaml said. “We’re truly honored to earn a best-in-class recognition for the innovation and agility that define a McIntire education.”