Why This Matters

  • 8 OUT OF 10 OF THE MOST IN DEMAND MAJORS FALL IN THE BUSINESS CATEGORY

    According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers say that their most in-demand majors are finance, accounting, and business administration/management.

  • EMPLOYMENT IN BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL OPERATIONS IS EXPECTED TO GROW BY 5%.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 476,200 new jobs are expected in the business and financial operations occupations between 2019 and 2029. Businesses value the leadership and knowledge that a business degree provides, no matter what the industry.

  • EARN $69,820 PER YEAR ON AVERAGE

    There are over a dozen different occupational categories that arise from a business degree, and though the median pay for each is different, the median annual wage for business and financial occupations is $69,820.

Our Research

The business degree programs included here represent the top institutions offering both undergraduate business degrees and MBA programs. Earning a bachelor’s degree in business management offers skills that are transferable to innumerable industries and careers, including knowledge of accounting, management, finance, marketing, and the global economy. MBA programs take those lessons further, expanding on strategy and decision making, leadership, communication, and ethics. We’ve provided a combination of both undergraduate and graduate opportunities that are offered in-person, online, and in hybrid combinations of the two.

When choosing a business degree program, you want to be confident that the academic institution you choose has maintained high standards for the quality of its education. This is best accomplished by choosing a school that has been accredited by either an accrediting agency that is dedicated to business education or to one of the other respected regional accrediting agencies. The most notable business school accrediting organization is the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Business Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 50 hours to write this article
  • 203 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 220 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Business Degree Programs

Best Business Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

A business degree is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your future, particularly if you dream of a career in accounting, finance, marketing or management. The curriculum offered can encompass several different areas of specialization, so it is important that when you’re researching programs you select one that has a strong focus in the area you are most interested in. Make sure that you’re going to get a comprehensive overview of general business skills and the understanding you’ll need to shape a well-rounded education.

An undergraduate business program will take four years, with the first two usually encompassing a liberal arts education that includes History, English, Social Sciences, and Mathematics before narrowing focus in the last two years to immersion in business classes. A Master’s in Business Education is an advanced degree that typically takes two years to complete if pursued full time but is available on a part-time basis so that candidates can attend school while maintaining a full-time job. These programs are available in-person, online, and as hybrid combinations, and offer options for study that include Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Information Systems, Management, International Business, Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Business Analytics, and more.

Students who graduate from top-ranked business programs have the ability to step directly into highly competitive positions that offer generous compensation. According to a report from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, the average starting salary for their undergraduates is $63,219, and graduates of full-time MBA programs have average starting salaries of $87,683.88.

Beyond the financial value of a business degree, graduating with a business degree has the additional value of providing knowledge and leadership skills that can be applied to non-business endeavors. Many MBA graduates move forward into positions in politics, in public service, in education, science, the arts and beyond.

Though certifications are not generally required for management positions, there are some certifications that are worth pursuing throughout your career, after you’ve earned your degree. These confirm your credentials, knowledge, and level of commitment in particular business arenas. Some of the certifications that are most frequently pursued include the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP); Project Management Professional (PMP); Professional Certificate in Team Leadership; Salesforce; HubSpot Inbound Marketing; and APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching business degree programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Eligibility for an undergraduate business degree program is generally open to high school graduates who have demonstrated strong academic ability and who have scored well on standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT tests. Though students often apply for admission directly to the business school, it is sometimes possible to apply to the larger college or university and then seek admission into the business program if they meet the prerequisite requirements.
  • What tests are required for this online degree? Admission into an MBA program is available to those who have graduated from an accredited college and who have demonstrated their personal drive and determination, strong academics, and interpersonal skills. Application usually requires a minimum GPA in college and scoring well on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Letters of recommendation and a personal statement are also generally required.

Though both undergraduate and graduate level business degrees represent a significant financial investment, they also deliver a strong return on that investment in the form of generous salaries and opportunities to advance quickly in your chosen career. If you require financial aid, it’s a good idea to begin researching your options early. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form will provide you with invaluable information about your eligibility for financial aid. There are also many national, state and local scholarships for which you may be eligible.