Notre Dame undergraduate business ranked No. 1 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Author: Carol Elliott

BusinessWeek ranking

The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business jumped to the top spot on Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s fifth annual ranking of “The Best Undergraduate Business Schools.” The ranking was announced March 4.

“At Notre Dame, our mission is to prepare students to lead in an ethical manner through the exercise of personal integrity, the ability to forge work environments that promote right actions, and leadership for generating both economic and social value,” said Carolyn Y. Woo, the Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College. “This is a tall order. The world needs it, our students deserve nothing less, and our work is never done on this regard.”

Notre Dame also earned the No. 1 spot in the student ranking, and “A+” in teaching quality, facilities and services, and job placement. The school placed first in the recruiter ranking across a three-year average.

“At the top of our ranking and in a year when unemployment was at the forefront of student concerns, Notre Dame fared well, thanks in part to a large alumni base willing to lend a hand to young job seekers,” noted the Bloomberg BusinessWeek editors. “In the hopes of getting more students in front of recruiters, the school has started using Skype’s video capabilities for virtual interviews so companies don’t have to spend the money to travel to campus.”

Notre Dame was ranked No. 2 in 2009. Finishing in the second through fifth places in the 2010 ranking are, in order, University of Virginia, MIT, Wharton and Cornell.

The “tipping point” that earned Notre Dame the top ranking, according to the editors, was the students’ appreciation of the school’s values and the job help from its active alumni base as reported in the survey.

In the graduate comment portion of the survey, many students talked about the Mendoza’s College’s emphasis on values and ethics, the sense of community and the excellence of the teaching faculty.

“I think our program’s focus on the big picture is somewhat unique in business schools these days,” said one student. “Many schools seem to focus too much on the fundamentals and skill set aspect of a business degree. I feel that I have very strong fundamentals, but also the training to know what to use these skills for … Our program has taught me how to be aware of the big picture at all times and this will only help me be more flexible in my career options.”

“All the classes build on one another. Ethics and doing the right thing are a major focus in all courses,” wrote another student. “The business school is part of the university community, instead of an MBA factory that doesn’t offer the full benefits of the university experience.”

In the feature story accompanying the survey, Bloomberg BusinessWeek discussed the particular challenges in finding jobs faced by business school graduates due to the difficult economic conditions. The publication noted from survey results that while student satisfaction is down 14 percent from 2009, the level of discontent varied widely from school to school. Schools that performed well in the ranking pulled out all the stops to help students find work—enlisting faculty and alumni, using social media, and developing talent pipelines to local businesses.

Anxiety about jobs and students’ dissatisfaction with the help they are getting from school placement offices were reflected in the ranking, said the editors. Only 38 percent of college seniors majoring in business who responded to the survey in January reported having a job offer in hand. That compares with 46 percent in 2009 and 56 percent in 2008. Of the 27,317 student respondents, 58 percent voiced concern about their job searches and 38 percent reported they are considering alternatives, such as graduate school or the Peace Corps.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek used nine measures to rank 111 programs, including surveys of senior business majors and corporate recruiters, median starting salaries for graduates, and the number of alumni each program sends to top MBA programs. The publication also calculated an academic quality rating for each program by combining average SAT scores, student-faculty ratios, class size, the percentage of students with internships, and the number of hours students devote to classwork.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s ranking of “The Best Undergraduate Business Schools” is featured in the March 15, 2010 issue, on newsstands March 5. Expanded content, including the full ranking and methodology, is available on

The Mendoza College of Business currently enrolls 1,724 undergraduate students in four majors: accountancy, finance, management and marketing. After completing the University’s innovative First Year of Studies program, Notre Dame business majors enter the Mendoza College in their sophomore year.

The Mendoza College also offers graduate degree programs – including a master of business administration, executive master of business administration, master of science in accountancy, and master of nonprofit administration – as well as non-degree executive education and nonprofit professional development programs.

Contact: Carol Elliott, director of newswriting, Mendoza College of Business, (574) 631-2627 or