February 28, 2008 — For the third consecutive year, the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce has been ranked second among the nation's best undergraduate business programs by BusinessWeek magazine.
The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School held on to the top spot in this year's ranking, but McIntire has closed the gap between the two schools to create what one of the editors called a "virtual dead heat" during the online chat Thursday when the ratings were announced.
"The big news this year is the University of Virginia," wrote Louis Lavelle, Business School editor for BusinessWeek, during the chat. "It really gained on Wharton. The ranking is based on an 'index' number, and the No. 1 school is always an index number of 100. Last year Virginia was way behind — it had an index number of 92.7. This year it was 99 — a virtual dead heat."
BusinessWeek's rankings collect data in five different areas to compile its rankings — a survey of students, a survey of recruiters, the median salaries of graduates, the number of graduates who go on to top-ranked MBA programs, and an academic quality measure that includes test scores and faculty-student ratios among other measures.
"On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the McIntire School, we're very pleased to be recognized once again among the top undergraduate business programs in the country," said Carl Zeithaml, McIntire’s dean and the F.S. Cornell Professor in Free Enterprise.
For the second year in a row, McIntire had the highest student satisfaction rating among the 96 programs that BusinessWeek ranked.
"We're very pleased that our students recognize the effort of our faculty and staff to create a great undergraduate experience for them," Zeithaml said. "In addition, we're very pleased that we closed the gap substantially between ourselves and Wharton. It is a real tribute to our students, faculty, and certainly to our career services office."
"Although it's great to be No. 2, and I wish we were No. 1, the important thing is that we are recognized for the efforts that everybody puts into creating a great program, and we remain among the elite schools."
Top 10 Undergraduate Business Schools:
1. U. Penn. (Wharton)
2. U.Va. (McIntire)
3. Notre Dame (Mendoza)
5. Emory (Goizueta)
6. Michigan (Ross)
7. Brigham Young (Marriott)
8. New York University (Stern)
9. MIT (Sloan)
10. University of Texas at Austin (McCombs)
BusinessWeek’s complete rankings of the Best Undergraduate Business Schools are online at the BusinessWeek Web site at www.businessweek.com/.