If you’re considering pursuing a business career, you’ve come to the right place. This post will delve into the top undergraduate business schools across the United States. Whether you’re drawn to finance, entrepreneurship, or management, determining the best undergraduate business school for you can set the stage for future success. 

If you’re looking to dive deeper into business, check out our articles on business internships for high school students and business programs for high school students.

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Why Study Business?

Before we get into the specifics, let’s explore why being a business major at one of the top undergraduate business schools is a strategic choice for many high schoolers. A business education can equip students with versatile skills, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability. Furthermore, a business degree opens doors to various career paths, from launching a startup to climbing the corporate ladder. 

Top 5 Universities for Business

1. University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tuition: $66,104

Why Wharton: Renowned for its rigorous curriculum and influential faculty, Wharton offers an unparalleled business education. The school’s extensive network and emphasis on experiential learning make it a leader in creating future business leaders. 

Notable Alumni/Faculty:

  • Warren Buffett: Legendary investor, founder of Berkshire Hathaway

  • Elon Musk: Founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, Boring Company; richest man in the world

Polygence Research Program Mentors: 

Alexandra: I love learning what makes businesses successful, and specifically, how to develop and market products that customers love. I spent my MBA diving into the intersection of technology, innovation, and marketing.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Tuition: $60,156

Why MIT: MIT Sloan combines cutting-edge technology with business acumen, producing graduates with a unique skill set. The emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship helps to set the Massachusetts Institute of Technology apart from other schools. 

Notable Alumni/Faculty:

  • Benjamin Netanyahu: Current Prime Minister of Israel

  • Kofi Annan: Former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Polygence Research Program Mentors: 

Ada: Ada is an MIT MBA graduate who also holds credentials from Stanford and Harvard. She worked at three unicorn companies: Happigo, Jumei, and Garten in the media, e-commerce, and wellness industries. Ada is also on the Board of YPO.

3. University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Tuition: $63,801

Why Booth: Known for its analytical approach to business education, Booth emphasizes quantitative skills. Additionally, the flexible curriculum allows business majors to tailor their education to match their career goals. 

Notable Alumni/Faculty:

  • Satya Nadella: Current CEO of Microsoft

  • Eugene Fama: American economist, creator of the Fama-French Model

Polygence Research Program Mentors: 

Jessica: Former Bain consultant turned tech-for-good product leader. Jessica started in finance and management consulting, with a focus on organizational strategy. Nowadays Jessica partners with select start-ups as a strategic consultant, helping companies establish clear goals and roadmaps and helping technology products become more user-centered.

4. New York University - Stern School of Business

Location: New York City, New York

Annual Tuition: $62,104

Why Stern: Nestled in the heart of the financial capital of the world, New York University - Stern provides students with unparalleled access to industry leaders and networking opportunities. It is considered one of the best business schools due to its emphasis on experiential learning, allowing students to apply classroom knowledge in real-world scenarios. 

Notable Alumni/Faculty:

  • Alan Greenspan: Former Chair of the US Federal Reserve

  • Larry Fink: Current CEO of BlackRock

5. Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Annual Tuition: $62,260

Why Tepper: Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School stands out for its strong focus on technology and analytics in business education. The school’s innovative undergraduate business program integrates business with technology and data science, producing graduates with a highly desired skill set. 

Notable Alumni/Faculty:

  • David Tepper: Founder of Appaloosa Management

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Top 5 Public Universities for Business

1. University of California Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Location: Berkeley, California

Tuition: $15,891 in-state, $48,465 out-of-state

Why Haas: Nestled in the heart of the tech industry, Haas offers a top-notch business administration degree program focused on entrepreneurship and leadership. The school’s proximity to Silicon Valley enhances Networking opportunities. 

Notable Alumni/Faculty:

  • Shantanu Narayen: Current CEO of Adobe

  • Donald Fisher: Co-founder of GAP

Polygence Research Program Mentors: 

Patrick: I am a PhD student in the Department of Economics at UC Berkeley. I have worked on healthcare projects, evaluating the impact of programs meant to decrease healthcare expenses while improving health outcomes.

2. University of Michigan - Ross School of Business

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tuition: $17,786 in-state, $52,273 out-of-state

Why Ross: Renowned for its strong alumni network and innovative programs, the Ross School provides a comprehensive business education focusing on action-based learning. 

Notable Alumni/Faculty:

  • Stephen M. Ross: Chairman of The Related Companies

  • Larry Page: Co-founder of Google

3. University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Tuition): $22,323 in-state, $58,950 out-of-state

Why Darden: Known for its case method and collaborative culture, Darden provides a well-rounded business education. The tight-knit community fosters meaningful connections among students. 

4. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tuition: $8,998 in-state, $39,338 out-of-state

Why Kenan-Flagler: With a strong emphasis on global business and sustainability, Kenan-Flagler prepares students to excel in a rapidly changing business landscape. The school’s collaborative atmosphere encourages teamwork and innovation.

Notable Alumni/Faculty:

  • Hugh McColl Jr.: Former CEO of Bank of America

5. UCLA - Anderson School of Management

Location: Los Angeles, California

Tuition: $13,752 in-state, $46,326 out-of-state

Why Anderson: Situated in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, UCLA offers a dynamic and diverse environment for aspiring business professionals. The school is known for its strong emphasis on leadership, entrepreneurship, and global business. 

Notable Alumni/Faculty:

  • Susan Wojcicki: Former CEO of YouTube

Polygence Research Program Mentors: 

John: I am a first-year PhD student in Health Policy and Management at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). My general interests are related to Pharmaceutical and Health Economics. I am fascinated by ways of thinking about public health problems from the perspective of economic theory.

Top Lesser Known Schools for Business

1. Washington University - Olin Business School

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Tuition: $62,982

Why Olin: Olin’s strong focus on analytics and data-driven decision-making sets it apart. The school’s commitment to experiential learning, global immersion, and a collaborative community make it an excellent choice. 

2. Lehigh University

Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Tuition: $62,180

Why Lehigh: With a focus on integrating business education with a strong liberal arts foundation, Lehigh provides a well-rounded experience. The school’s commitment to ethics and sustainability adds a unique dimension to its business program. 

3. Indiana University Bloomington - Kelley School of Business

Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Tuition: $11,790 in-state, $40,482 out-of-state

Why Kelley: Kelley’s emphasis on a personalized and immersive learning experience, coupled with its strong career services, makes it an excellent choice for aspiring business leaders. The school’s robust alumni network contributes to its students’ success. 

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Choosing the best undergraduate business program is a critical step toward achieving your career goals. Whether you aspire to lead a multinational corporation, start your own business, or shape the future of innovation, the schools mentioned here offer a diverse range of opportunities and notable graduation rates. Remember, success in the business world often begins with a solid education, and these institutions provide the perfect launching pad for your journey. 

Interested in determining whether business is the career path for you? Join our Polygence Pathfinders undergraduate program to speak with business majors and professionals in the field 1:1 and learn about their experiences!