The Best Undergraduate Business Programs in the Northeast

University of Pennsylvania

In addition to being ranked number 1 by US News as the best undergraduate business program in the country, University of Pennsylvania is also ranked #8 overall nationally. It also boasts one of the best MBA programs in the U.S., with Wharton’s Master of Business Administration being ranked #2 in the 2022 national rankings.

Admissions to the program is extremely competitive, with an undergraduate acceptance rate of 9%. With 10 majors offered in the undergraduate business program, and one of the best graduate MBA’s nationally, it is no wonder this is among the top undergraduate business programs.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Beyond being ranked 2nd by US News in the category of best undergraduate business programs, MIT is also tied 2nd nationally for undergraduate universities overall. Their Master in Business Administration graduate program is ranked #5 nationally for those planning on getting an MBA later in their career.

If considering an MBA later in your career and hoping to gain admission to MIT’s Sloane program, having an undergraduate degree from their institution may certainly give you a boost in chances for admission. Admission to the program is extremely competitive, with slightly over 7% of students accepted to the undergraduate institution.

New York University (Stern)

New York University is ranked 5th nationally for best undergraduate business programs. It is also ranked #28 in national universities overall, and their graduate Master in Business Administration program at Stern is ranked the #10 best business school in the nation.

The acceptance rate for NYU’s undergraduate program is 21.1%, however the acceptance into the undergraduate business program is even more competitive with some quoting an acceptance rate of 8%.


Cornell has the number 8 ranked undergraduate business program in the country, and is ranked #17 in national universities overall. The Johnson Master of Business Administration graduate program at Cornell University is also ranked #15 nationally.

With an acceptance rate of 10.7%, acceptance to Cornell’s undergraduate program is extremely competitive, however it can pay dividends in the future if accepted.

What about others?

It should be noted that while Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and other institutions in the northeast have excellent MBA programs for graduate students, their business schools may not specifically offer an undergraduate business major.

While this may be the case, acceptance to any of these programs and other competitive institutions will still build the groundwork in undergraduate education that one needs to be competitive at the top MBA programs. The above institutions also have fantastic MBA programs themselves, and many institutions give weight in applicant’s favor if they have attended their undergraduate university.

Frequently asked questions

Since MBA programs can receive thousands of applications, and many of these applicants all have average or above average GPA and GMAT scores, the personal statement can become and important differentiator.

Absolutely. You should have multiple people review your essays for grammar and spelling errors, transition quality, and overall message. The most polished essays that are application-ready have usually been through at least 2 or 3 revisions prior to submission.

The most common format for MBA interviews is one-on-one or panel interviews (two or more interviewers with one applicant). It is important to prepare and practice answers to the most common MBA interview questions.

Anywhere between 1.5 to 3 minutes is a safe range for answers, although a few seconds more or less than this is completely reasonable depending on the question. The quality of the answer, given concisely and directly, is far more important than the amount of minutes you are speaking.

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