McIntire Surges to Second Place in Poets&Quants’ U.S. Undergraduate Business Program Ranking—Once Again Takes First in Alumni Satisfaction with Student Experience

December 13, 2018
Rouss Robertson Hall, home of the #2 ranked McIntire School of Commerce

The University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce earned a second-place ranking among the nation’s best undergraduate business programs, according to annual rankings released today by business education website Poets&Quants. Surpassed only by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, McIntire garnered top results on the alumni survey for the second consecutive year. Poet&Quants commented that, “The University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce surged to second place, notching a total composite score of 282.01, very nearly topping Wharton’s 284.27.”

“Our ranking is a testament to the McIntire School’s commitment to create an end-to-end undergraduate program that truly prepares our graduates to enter the market with the exact skills sought by today’s employers,” said McIntire Dean Carl Zeithaml. “Once again, we are honored to see the remarkable satisfaction of our recent alumni with our student experience and educational value. This outcome is the result of a team effort involving our dedicated faculty and staff, our amazing students, and our engaged and supportive alumni and recruiters.”

McIntire’s B.S. in Commerce, a 57-credit-hour upper-divisional school program, offers third- and fourth-year UVA students an intense and rewarding experience that provides them with a comprehensive business skill set, numerous global learning opportunities, and immersive corporate experiences. McIntire is one of only three public institutions ranked in the top 10, including the University of Michigan and University of California. In addition to its top alumni satisfaction score, McIntire’s program moved up three places to third in the careers ranking, and landed at ninth on admissions.

Recent McIntire graduates strengthened the Commerce School’s overall rankings with their responses to the 43-question alumni survey about the perceived quality and value of their academic experience. Questions include the likelihood of recommending the school to a close friend or colleague; the worthiness of the degree in time and tuition cost invested; accessibility of faculty and alumni; and effectiveness of academic and career advisers. Questions also ask if first jobs aligned with preferred industries and companies and if students had impactful international and “signature” experiences.

The Poets&Quants survey results indicate recent alumni rave about the McIntire signature experience, called “ICE,” which stands for Integrated Core Experience. Now celebrating its 20th successful year, ICE is an intense and demanding third-year curriculum that helps students learn to work in teams and develop their analytic, strategic, and behavioral business skills. Blending instruction and insights from teams of faculty and corporate leaders, ICE is carefully constructed to give students exposure to the complexities of business. McIntire's corporate partners play a critical role in ICE, challenging students to develop comprehensive solutions to pressing business problems and to effectively communicate their findings during presentations to executives.

“We work constantly to refresh our curriculum based on feedback from our students after internships and our vast network of recruiters and alumni,” Zeithaml said. “I believe the value in the McIntire experience comes from our ability to pivot quickly and adapt to the changing priorities of the marketplace such as business analytics and advances in information technology, while maintaining our traditional strengths in management, marketing, finance, and well-rounded communication skills.”

Beyond ICE, all McIntire students complete up to two specialized concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Information Technology, Management, and Marketing. In recent years, the McIntire School added a portfolio of interdisciplinary tracks that augment students’ concentration coursework: Advertising and Digital Media, Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Global Commerce, Quantitative Finance, and Real Estate.

Poets&Quants for Undergrads compiled the 2018 ranking based on a representative survey of 11,178 alumni (5,627 recent graduates combined with 5,551 alumni from the previous year’s survey) and school-reported data from 95 schools. The ranking comprises three main categories: admissions standards (33.3%), academic experience (33.3%), and employment outcomes (33.3%).

See the full methodology here.

Find the complete rankings at Poets&Quants.

Poets&Quants for Undergrads Top 5 Undergraduate Business Schools
1. University of Pennsylvania - Wharton
2. University of Virginia - McIntire​
3. Washington University in St. Louis - Olin
4. University of Michigan - Ross
5. University of Notre Dame - Mendoza