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Best Undergraduate Business Programs

Top Undergraduate Business Programs

We know; it’s difficult to declare a major now, when you’ve only just begun to explore all the choices available to you.

You’ve thought about them all: liberal arts, business, technology, maybe even the sciences. You’ve wondered which one is in demand, which one pays the most, which one offers the most number of job prospects immediately upon graduation. And maybe (just maybe!) you’ve wondered which one would make you the happiest.

You may also be one of those students who knows exactly what you want to do but just don’t know where to pursue your degree.

Whoever you are—and whatever way you came to the realization that you wanted to study business—the next step is to decide whether you want to specialize in a particular area of business. While an undergraduate degree in business will provide you with a broad (yet substantial) understanding of business, you do have the option to focus on one particular aspect of the discipline in order to gain a much deeper level of knowledge about that particular subject area, and the impact it has on the business model.

As the world of business continues to evolve, the best business schools evolve with it, offering a variety of discipline tracks within their business programs, some of which may be customizable based on the individual school’s offerings and program structure. Because, after all, the more experience you gain during your undergraduate program, the more prepared you will be to “hit the ground running” at your new job, or be even more prepared for a vigorous MBA program. Here’s an example of some of the focus areas business programs may offer:

If you’re still weighing your options and trying to determine which undergraduate major is for you, it will also help to consider the following:

  • What is the average starting salary of someone with a similar degree?
  • Is there a specific company you’d like to work for? If so, does that company prefer graduates with certain degrees?
  • In which geographical area(s) would you like to begin your career? If you’d like to work in Paris, for example, you may want to expand your search to include institutions in France—or look for programs that offer study abroad opportunities in the cities you’d like to learn more about.
  • What degree program will help you get you the job you want? If you want to be in charge of a huge manufacturing plant, search for degree programs in industrial management or supply-chain management.
  • What is the long-term outlook for jobs in your favorite subject? A degree in something out of the ordinary might sound exciting, but will it provide you with a job after graduation and/or a career path?

Business Degree Program Formats

The exact program format may vary, based on the program and the institution. But this grid provides a general overview of some of the common characteristics of various program types.

Program Type Course Load Additional Details
Full-Time 9 Credit Hours (approximately 3 courses) Full-time students may take as many as 5 classes per semester (15-credit hours)

Part-time 9 Credit Hours (or fewer than 3 courses) Part-time students often take less courses in order to work full-time.

Online and Distance Programs Part-Time or Full-Time Some online programs can be completed at a distance, while others have some classroom requirements.

Hybrid Programs Part-Time or Full-Time These types of programs combine online and classroom learning. Introductory courses may be conducted online, with conceptional courses in a classroom to provide group project opportunities and additional faculty instruction.

Joint Programs with Other Schools Part-Time or Full-Time Joint programs focus on combining the strengths of two (sometimes more) institutions into one centralized program. Programs may also be offered by institutions in two different countries, providing students with a global experience.

Dual-Degree Programs Part-Time or Full-Time In these programs, students major in two areas or fields of study. Depending on the type of dual-degree program, students might major in business administration and finance or business administration and engineering. Dual-degree programs generally take longer to earn due to the increased number of required courses.

Cohort Programs Mostly Full-Time In a cohort program, a group of students enter a program together and take courses in a scheduled sequence or order. This type of program fosters collaboration and teamwork and is also a great way to stay motivated throughout your course of study.