February 26, 2009 — The University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce has claimed the top spot among the nation's best undergraduate business programs, according to BusinessWeek's annual rankings.
Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School took the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively. The 2009 rankings were announced today during a live Web chat with BusinessWeek editors.
"The schools that excelled in BusinessWeek's survey have put an intense focus on guiding students through the career search," wrote the magazine's editors. "Leading the way is the No. 1-ranked McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, where nearly three of four seniors have job offers, thanks largely to the school's innovative efforts to build student-recruiter relationships."
McIntire student Daniel Yim, who will graduate this spring, said he's not surprised by McIntire's top ranking. "The program at McIntire is very rigorous," he said. "Every time I went on a job interview, I felt extremely well-prepared." Yim has already accepted a job as a financial management consultant at IBM.
BusinessWeek editor Louis Lavelle said the No. 1 ranking will probably mean more out-of-state applicants and more selectivity in admissions.
"U.Va. had a fine reputation long before our ranking came along, so for students it might mean they'll have a little easier time in the job market – recruiters tend to flock to the highest ranked schools," he wrote during the Web chat.
For the third year in a row, McIntire also ranked first in BusinessWeek's student satisfaction survey. According to the magazine's editors, McIntire students noted that the school's "strong sense of community, forward-thinking curriculum and impeccable career services" made it worthy of top billing. The magazine measures student satisfaction through a student survey, while academic quality is measured by five equally weighted measures, including SAT scores, class size and faculty-student ratios.
"Once again, the McIntire School is pleased to be ranked among the elite undergraduate business programs in the nation," said McIntire Dean Carl Zeithaml. "The overall No. 1 ranking is especially gratifying because it represents many years of dedication and innovation on the part of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and corporate partners.
"Perhaps I am most pleased that, for the third year in a row, we were ranked No. 1 in the student satisfaction survey, because our students, as always, are our top priority."
Zeithaml also noted the ranking was a reminder of the hard work that lies ahead for the school.
"During these challenging times, this recognition will motivate us to work even harder to provide our students with the best business education and the best opportunities for a successful career," he said.
Other Virginia schools ranked in the top 50 were the University of Richmond at No. 12, the College of William and Mary at No. 30 and James Madison University at No. 44.
The magazine will be on newsstands Friday. Complete rankings can be found on the BusinessWeek Web site.
BusinessWeek's Top 10 Undergraduate Business Schools
1. University of Virginia (McIntire)
2. Notre Dame (Mendoza)
3. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
4. University of Michigan (Ross)
5. Brigham Young University (Marriott)
6. University of California Berkeley (Haas)
7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
8. Cornell University
9. Emory University (Goizueta)
10. University of Texas at Austin (McCombs)