20 Best Business Schools: Traditional and Online

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November 25th, 2008 in Business, Education, Resource

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With business degrees becoming more and more popular, especially during these economically trying times, it can be hard to filter out which ones are the best business degrees worth looking at and which ones should be ignored. We have compiled a list of twenty Colleges and Universities that are or have strong business degree offerings which will give you an overview of the best business schools available.

The first ten are online business schools, while the second ten are traditional business schools in the USA.

Online Business Schools

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Founded in the post-war era to usher in a new generation of International Business leaders, Thunderbird School of Global Management began in 1946. As a private school located in Glendale, Arizona, Thunderbird has earned a reputation as a leading international business school with campuses in Beijing, Switzerland, Mexico and Russia, among others making it one of the best business schools available. With over 35,000 alumni, Thunderbird has a strong reputation for placing graduates in top global management positions.

Formed by military leaders at Thunderbird Military field, the schools has evolved over the decades with a mission to help foster global entrepreneurs. The primary program is the MBA in Global Management, which is offered to both full-time and working executives on a distance learning basis. With a curriculum focused on practical knowledge and integration into world affairs, business leaders have found the program effective in helping them build their carers. Alumni including Wrigley CEO William Perez, Luis Moreno, president of the American Development Bank and Morgan Stanley President Walidd Chammah. Thunderbird’s distance learning programs focus on Emerging Markets, as well as allowing for independent study with leading professors.

Duke University

With a growing number of distance learning opportunities, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, is an elite graduate business program with a stellar reputation. Focusing on executive financial education, Fuqua has a number of flexible programs that allow managers to earn degrees online. With just over 1,300 students across its many Executive and full-time programs, Fuqua had focused on student-faculty interaction since its establishment in 1969.

Today, Fuqua has a growing international presence with partner campuses in Russia, Dubai, China, New Delhi and London, allowing students access to a global set of resources. The school offers a number of areas of focus ranging from Finance and Management to more specialized fields such as Health Care Management and Communications. The Duke Geothe Executive MBA features the latest in telepresence learning technology, allowing students to gain a fully immersed MBA experience. Fuqua’s on line learning programs feature a fully interaction 3D learning environment which simulates all of the intangible benefits of classroom learning from afar.

University of Florida’s Hough Graduate School of Business

The Hough Graduate School of Business at the University of Florida‘s Warrington College of Business Administration has been a leader in executive education since its founding in 1926. With a large class of both undergraduate and graduate students, exceeding 6,000 students in a given year, Warrington is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Program alumnus William Hough endowed the school’s graduate programs in 2007, and the University re-named its Graduate Business program in his honor. With these increased resources, the school has invested in developing its global programs, with partner campuses throughout Europe. the school offers management MBAs with focuses in finance, operations management, accounting and marketing. Its programs in accounting and finance are rated particularly high, and the Economist rated the school as having the top distance education program. Students can earn either a one or two-year MBA through the Internet, as well as a bachelor’s degree in administration. utilizing technology ranging from live chat to interactive course materials, Warrington’s distance opportunities are among the best in the country.

Indiana University (Kelley Direct)

As one of the top rated business programs, the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University dates back to 1920. With over 5,000 students enrolled across its multiple campuses, the school has a wide array of resources to provide top rated educational programs. Rated as one of the top 10 business schools, Kelley Direct was formed as the Internet, distance learning branch of the school.

Formed in 1999, Kelley Direct offers both MBA and Master’s of Science degrees to working professionals with focuses in Finance, Supply Chain Management, and Strategy, each of which can be completed within 2 years. Taught by the same faculty at Kelley’s main programs, Kelly has developed its own proprietary Angel Course Instruction software to make distance learning an immersed experienced. Fully accredited by the AACSB, Kelley Direct leverages the school’s resources and expansion alumni network, including Senator Evan Bayh and Cisco CEO John Chambers.

Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University

Founded in 1953, the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University is fully accredited by the Association of Advanced College School of Business. The school’s alumni network is over 60,000 strong, and each year more than 5,000 students enroll in its courses across its various graduate and undergraduate programs. With a speciality in Manufacturing Management, Smeal has provided leading instruction for technical managers since its inception.

While the school is well known for many of its departments, the Supply Chain and Information Systems department has set the standard in his field. Rated among the top 5 programs for supply Chain Logistics, the school’s distance learning programs center around its Masters of Professional Study in Supply Chain Management. The two year on line program is designed for working professionals, who work closely with leading faculty members including the editors of the school’s Supply Chain Management Review Journal.

Babson College

Focused exclusively on business education since its founding in 1919, Babson College in Wellesley Massachusetts is a private college with a focus on entrepreneurship. The school offers an intensive undergraduate business program, as well as graduate programs through the Olin Graduate School of Business. Well known for fostering start-ups, the Babson Forum on Innovation hosts an annual innovation competition that has hatched a a number of successful businesses.

With four separate graduate programs, executives at all levels of their career can find courses to fit their needs. Rated as one of the top schools of Entrepreneurship, noted alumni including Fast Company founder William Taylor, as well as Lycos founder Robert Davis. The school’s two year fast track MBA program offers a hybrid of distance virtual education in a team learning format giving you one of the best education experiences. Designed to foster instincts for innovation, the curriculum is focused upon understanding all aspects of starting and growing a new enterprise business.

University of Massachusetts – Amherst: Isenberg School of Management

Fully accredited by the AACSB across its undergraduate and graduate programs, the Isenberg School of Management has a strong reputation for its speciality programs in operations management, hospitality and tourist, as well as sports management. An innovator in distance learning, the school’s on line Professional MBA program leverages the resources and faculty from the school’s highly rated full-time MBA programs.

Designed for working professionals, the part-time on line MBA program is fully accredited and is a 37 credit, two year program. With flexible course offerings across its three semesters, students can opt for virtual learning and can also enroll across the school’s Massachusetts satellite campuses. Students take core courses in finance, accounting and management before delving into areas of speciality such as human resources and public relations. With a self-paced program, working executives can earn their degree at a pace that works well with their professional career.

Northeastern University – College of Business Administration

The Northeastern University College of Business Administration has been provided executive education in Boston since 1922. Fully accredited by the AACSB across its many degree programs, including its Bachelor’s degree, as well as Masters of Science and MBA degrees, the school enrols over 4,000 students annual, the majority of whom are undergraduates.

With a focus on technology management and entrepreneurship, the school has been rated as one of the top Executive MBA programs for technology professionals. The school’s distance MBA program offers 17 courses across operations management, finance and analytics. With expert faculty in a number of areas ranging from health care management to international business and supply chain logistics, Northeastern offers specialized courses for working professionals. Coursework is delivered through a well designed on line interface through which students take 12 core courses and 5 electives over two years of study. With 24/7 access to learning resources, students have access to the school’s full set of expertise.

Walden University – School of Management

Walden University was formed in 1971 as a private school in Minneapolis, with a focus on providing graduate distance learning across its 23 programs. Within the College of Management and Technology, the school offers programs in management and applied science. Over 25,000 graduate students enrol across the University’s many programs, and its graduate business programs offer a wide range of offerings.

The School of Management offers a number of concentrations in degrees ranging from a bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration to master’s degrees on Business Administration and Information Management, along with a PHD degree in Decision Sciences. With a focus on case studies and real-world applications, Walden draws working professionals from throughout the world. Many of the school’s faculty members are active executive leaders of companies ranging from AMD to Microsoft and CVS, ensuring up to date curriculum. With specializations ranging from human resources to risk management and technology management, Walden has courses for most working professionals.

DeVry University – Keller Graduate School of Management

Devry University dates back to its founding in Chicago, IL in 1931, and has grown to offer professional education with a focus on technology across 23 campuses as well as through distance education. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the Keller Graduate School of Management offers a variety of master’s degree programs in various areas of speciality ranging from financial management to human resources to information systems to public administration.

With the school’s on line learning system, working professionals can select from over 150 courses each semester across the various areas of speciality, and can even take classroom-based courses near them. The school’s DevryU.net platform offers full access to course materials 24/7, and utilizes the latest technology to improve course offerings.

Traditional Business Schools

Harvard University Business School

As one of the leading graduate business schools, Harvard Business School has just under 2,000 current students and a powerful ground of alumni. Often considered one of the best business schools around, the Harvard name is well known. Offering a dedicated MBA program at its Cambridge campus, as well as executive education programs that range in length from 3 to 8 weeks and graduate programs for aspiring scholars, the Business School has a stellar reputation in the corporate world.

Founded in 1908, the School has a rigorous admissions process which has led to an admission rate of just over 10% in a global student body, with nearly 1/3 of students originating outside of the country. Best known for its core competency in Operations Management, the Business School also publishes the widely read and highly influential Harvard Business Review Journal. Students take a core curriculum with a focus on Finance, Management and Accounting, while moving into more specialized fields such as private equity, information technology and supply chain management in their second year.

The school has a well known focus on case studies which are based upon real-world examples from the corporate world, as its leading faculty is drawn from successful industry executives as well as leading researchers. An annual Business Plan competition draws interest from investors world wide, and has helped launch a number of successful companies in recent years.

If a strong alumni helps decide, then the fact that Matt Damon, Reese Witherspoon, and President Elect Barack Obama all went there might be a good indication of the type of people that are drawn to Harvard, and you can find out more information on them in our article about colleges famous people attended.

Stanford University Graduate School of Business

The Stanford Graduate School of Business is one of the top rated graduate business programs, with a core focus on technology leadership. Another well known brand in the world of top business schools, Stanford is considered by many to be the best business school.

Offering degrees ranging from its management MBA to a fast-track Master’s of Science in Management for working professionals along with a series of certificate programs in speciality areas ranging from public sector management to international business. The School also integrates into the research community at Stanford, offering dual degree programs with various graduate programs in Engineering, Law and Medicine along with a dedicated management PHD program.

Located in Palo Alto, California and established in 1925, the school enrolls over 800 students in its MBA program each year, along with over 2,500 working professionals in its executive education programs. Known for its expert faculty, which includes multiple Nobel Laureates as well as recognized John Bates Clark Scholars and leading National Academy of Science researchers, the school has close ties to leading companies in nearby Silicon Valley. For aspiring technology executives, the company has rated as one of the top schools for technology management. Leading alumni include Phil Knight, founder of Nike along with legendary venture capitalist Tim Draper and Sun Microsystems founder Scott McNearly.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

As the oldest dedicated business school, founded in Philadelphia in 1881, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania offers leading business education for both undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals. With degrees ranging from a Bachelor’s of Science to an MBA and PHD program, along with several certificate programs, Wharton is known as a leading analytical management school. Working with the University’s major academic departments, Wharton offers a number of joint-study programs for professional specialities ranging from Health Care to Legal Studies.

Its expert faculty number just over 300, and are leading scholars in their respective fields ranging from Public Policy, to Finance, Information Management, Real Estate and Operations. With just over 2,300 undergraduates and 1,600 graduate students enrolled annual, Wharton has a powerful network of over 80,000 alumni world wide. The school publishes Knowledge at Wharton, a leading management research journal which draws on the school’s large management data bases. Does a focus on business make it one of the best business schools? We think so.

Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

As a leading technology management school, the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management at MIT dates back to 1914 with a rich traditional of leading analytical business research. Offering degrees ranging from a bachelor’s in science to a master’s in science to a Master’s of Business Administration and doctoral degrees, Sloan consistently rates as one of the top business schools. With a diverse faculty and student body, with representation from over 50 countries, the Cambridge, Massachusetts based school has close ties to corporations throughout the world.

Building on MIT’s expertise in science and economics, the Sloan School enrolls just under 1,000 graduate students and 250 undergraduates each year. Best known for its Entrepreneurship Center, Sloan is home to a number of leading scholars in fields ranging from Management Science to Policy to Economics and Finance. Distinctly more quantitative than comparable programs, Sloan’s curriculum has a large focus on Operations Research, and a number of leading quantitative scholars teach at the school.

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management

The Kellogg School of Management was founded in 1908 as a leading business research school in Chicago, Illinois. Situated as the Business School of Northwestern University, the School offers both MBA and Ph.D. programs fro graduate students throughout the world. Working closely with area Chicago businesses, as well as corporations throughout the world, the School enrolls just over 1,000 students annually, and has a powerful network of alumni at some of the leading corporations.

Integrated with Northwestern’s prominent graduate programs, the school offers several dual degree programs that allow students to specialize in their area of focus, as well as dedicated Executive MBA programs for working professionals. The Executive MBA program collaborates with leading business schools throughout the world include the York Schulich Business School in the UK and the Otto Beisheim Management School in Germany. Kellogg also offers a dedicated PHD program for research, and has a competitive admissions policy due to its high rankings. Prominent faculty include Nobel laureate Roger Myerson while the school has a strong network of alumni that includes leading executives such as Edwin Booz, founder of Booz Hamilton, as well as Stephen Hafner founder of Kayak.com. Featuring a number of leading specialty research centers, such as the Center for Financial Markets and the Center for Strategic Research, Kellogg is a leading research business school.

University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business

The recently re-named University of Chicago Booth School of Business was founded in 1898 with a focus on Executive MBA education. With nearly 200 expert faculty and 1,000 graduate students at its urban campus, the Booth School has a strong focus on economics and finance, with strong links to the school’s well known Graduate School. With campuses abroad in London and Asia, the Booth School has an international reputation for excellence in finance education and that is one of the many things that earns it a spot as one of the best business schools.

With a variety of academic programs, the School offers MBA programs for both dedicated graduate students as well as Chicago-area executives. The school’s flexible curriculum allows students to select courses in their area of concentration ranging from Analytical finance to International Business and Operations Management.

Prominent scholars include Nobel Laureates Gary Becker and Ronald Coase, along with leading Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee and Freakonomics author Steven Levitt. The strong alumni network includes New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, and a number of prominent corporate executives including Pfizer President Karen Katen.

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business

The Tuck School of Business, founded in 1900 in Hanover, New Hampshire is a leading MBA school with a focus on executive leadership. Its small class of just over 500 students across 50 faculty members provides a more integrated focus than larger schools. Named after banker Edward Tuck, the school retains its focus on finance education as well as close ties to the Ivy League school’s graduate programs.

With a broad focus on collaboration, the school has risen in the rankings in recent years. Dual degree programs with the school’s Medical and Public Health Schools have given Tuck a strong focus on health care administration. With partner campuses throughout Europe, students can study in Paris, London or Spain for a semester of their second year. A competitive school, Dartmouth accepts less than 15% of applicants, with nearly 1 in 3 students coming from international programs. Prominent alumni in the network include New York Times CEO Janet Robinson among others.

University of California – Berkeley (Haas)

Founded in 1898, the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley offers a wide variety of programs with a focus on financial and technology leadership. The school’s offerings range from a dedicated MBA to Executive Education programs, an undergraduate business focus as well as Ph.D and master’s programs in areas ranging from finance to management.

The School has a number of prominent alumni including Adolph Miller, who served on the first Federal Reserve Board, along with Walter Haas, a leading executive who saved Levi Strauss from bankruptcy, and whom the school is named after. Today, the school has strong links to the leading Berkeley Economics Department, which features scholars including Laura Tyson, who served as a leading advisor to President Clinton and Janet Yellen, the current President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. Well known alumni range from Dilbert creator Scott Adams to Gap Founder Donald Fisher and Norman Mineta, the Secretary of Transportation.

Stern School of Business of New York University

Founded at the turn of the century in 1900, the Stern School of Business at New York University is a large, leading business school located in Manhattan and considered the best in New York. With over 3,000 graduate students and 2,000 undergraduates, Stern is a top finance school in both its graduate and undergraduate programs.

Academic programs range from Marketing to Information Technology, Economics, Accounting and Finance, along with specialities in Entertainment and International Business. Ranked as a top ten program, the school has partnerships with leading business schools throughout the world as part of its International Business Exchange Program which allows students to study abroad, including in Hong Hong, Italy and Korea. With a 20% admissions rate, the graduate school is particularly competitive, and features leading researchers ranging from Peter Drucker to Nobel Laureate Robert Engle.

McIntire School of Commerce of the University of Virginia

With a focus on undergraduate and executive education, the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville enrolls over 600 students concurrently. The school offers a dedicated curriculum, beginning during the Junior year for students at the school. Founded in 1921, McIntire is one of the top undergraduate business schools in the country, and has a broad focus in Finance, International Business and Information Technology.

The school’s graduate programs are limited to master’s of science degrees in commerce, Accounting and Information Technology, as the school retains an undergraduate focus. With a competitive admissions program, only a limited number of students are accepted each year. As part of the bachelor’s degree program, students work on a project for a Fortune 500 company on a rotating basis, giving them valuable real world experience. The result of this experience is an impressive placement rate and high starting salary within investment banking and consulting.

  • 1

    Maha States

    January 9th, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Thanks. It was the most usefull information throughout my 3 months extensive search for top business schools throughout USA. Though there are several other websites which use to rank the universities and schools on different bases but i was in search of limited & concise data to keep my head straight.

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