The Carroll School of Management (CSOM) was ranked No. 6 among United States undergraduate business schools in Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual review, released last week. The ranking is calculated based on five different areas: a student survey, the schools’ academic quality, rankings by employers’ recruiters, the rank of MBA feeder schools, and graduates’ starting salaries. This year marks the third time in the past five years that CSOM has ranked in the top 10-it placed No. 9 both last year and in 2010, with a dip to 16th place in 2011.
Richard Keeley, CSOM associate dean for undergraduate studies, explained how the rankings are calculated. The results of the surveys from the past three years combined form 30 percent of the overall rank, with the most recent year, 2013, accounting for half the score and the other two years, 2012 and 2011 accounting for a quarter each.
“Ironically, this is the point on which we have done the worst,” Keeley said. “[The survey] covers everything. You would think it would be focused on, ‘How satisfied are you with the instruction? Do you think the material is current? How about career services?’ And all of that is covered, but also it says, ‘Well, what do you think of the building? And how about food on campus? Are you satisfied with extracurriculars?’ All of this stuff goes into it, and it’s really a question of how loudly your students clap … by that token, our students are hard to please.” CSOM ranks 15th nationally, with Notre Dame first in this area.
Another 30 percent of the score is based on academic quality, which takes into account five equally weighted areas: students’ SAT/ACT scores, the student-faculty ratios, the average class size in core business classes, the percentage of business majors with internships, and the number of hours spent on classwork per week. Both the internship statistics and the class hours are self-reported by students. CSOM has a student-faculty ratio of 22.5:1 with 1,956 students enrolled full-time.
“Our student to faculty ratio-22.5 students for every faculty member,” Keeley said. “That’s one thing we’re not going to be able to change, unless the University allows us to do two things. One, reduce the size of the School of Management, and they won’t let us do that-or two, dramatically increase the number of faculty we hire. Now, in fact, they’ve been good to us in terms of increasing our faculty size, but to get it down to this level, of 10 to a student? We’re really going to have to go up, and that’s not going to happen. BC doesn’t want to do that-that’s really not good for us.” The academic quality category also includes the average size of core business classes, which is 37 students in CSOM, and an average SAT score of 1355. According to the Businessweek website, 93 percent of CSOM students have internships, and students report spending 16.2 hours per week on classwork. BC ranks 9th in academic quality, behind Notre Dame at No. 6 and Wake Forest at No. 1.
Twenty percent of the ranking is based on recruiter rankings-the employers who hire students after graduation. “They ask us to provide the names of those employers who hired the most of our students in the previous year, and in each case to provide the names of the regional recruiters who handle those firms,” Keeley said. Businessweek then constructs a set of employers, different each year and evaluates the students from each school. Surveys from the recruiters are combined from the past three years, similar to the student surveys.
The MBA feeder school rank counts for 10 percent of the rank-the quality of the programs that business school graduates choose to attend. BC ranks No. 11, behind Washington University in St. Louis at No. 1. “Now in that measure we don’t do badly,” Keeley said.
The last 10 percent of the survey looks at the starting salary of business school graduates. According to Keeley, technical schools typically do well in this area-all in all, CSOM ranks as the undergraduate business school with the 9th-best paid graduates, with a starting salary of $60,000. This area is, however, affected by fluctuations in pay that are dependent upon region-firms in New York and Boston typically pay more than those in Chicago, for instance.
Keeley anticipates that CSOM’s jump in the Businessweek rankings will affect its yield this year. “Among the people who have been accepted into the Carroll School, I think the yield is probably going to go higher,” Keeley said. “If we’ve got more people and the University wants to accommodate them, then I think you’ve got to make the argument-to do that well, you need more faculty … actually, I think what’s accounted for our rise-although it’s still not where I want it to be-in terms of student satisfaction, is that the people here are terrific.”