NIU Business Program Listed in Prestigious Ranking


The Northern Illinois University undergraduate business program was ranked #80 in the nation in the 2018 Poets & Quants For Undergrads national rankings.

Since beginning in 2010, Poets & Quants has become one of the most popular websites in the world for information about business schools. They provide articles, videos and admissions advice to an audience of over 350,000 users a month.

Poets & Quants for Undergrads started in 2014 and began ranking undergraduate business schools in 2016. NIU has appeared in their rankings the last two years.

The Poets & Quants undergraduate business school rankings are based upon admission standards, alumni college experience, and career outcomes data. The ratings are tabulated from information provided by the schools, as well as surveys returned by recent program graduates.

NIU was one of only two undergraduate business schools in the State of Illinois to be ranked by Poets & Quants in 2018. The University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business was ranked #20.

The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania earned the #1 ranking for the second year in a row, while the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce was ranked second.

Admissions data used in the ranking for NIU was the business program’s 55% acceptance rate and their average SAT score of 1110.

Career outcomes data gathered for the 2018 ranking included an internship rate of 63% and an employment rate of 68%. The average total compensation (salary and bonus) for NIU undergraduate business alumni from the class of 2016 was $51,360.

One criteria in which NIU actually led all ranked business schools was their 43 percent minority student enrollment in their most recent incoming class. Rutgers Business School (Newark) was second at 41%.

As Poets & Quants points out, there are nearly 700 undergraduate business programs accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). Of those, only 95 schools returned their school surveys and only 88 hit the 10% alumni survey return rate required to be included in the 2018 rankings.

Several of the universities that were ranked highly last year, such as the University of Southern California, the University of Missouri, and the University of Connecticut, did not meet the minimum percentage of alumni surveys returned in order to be included in the 2018 rankings.

However, Poets & Quants claims, “All schools included on the ranking represent the very best accredited business schools in the U.S….Across the board, these are the schools admitting and educating elite young talent.”

According to the article on the NIU School of Business website, the undergraduate business school alumni who returned their responses to Poets & Quants gave NIU grades in the A range for:

  • the likelihood of recommending the college to a close friend or colleague;
  • accessibility of and engagement with business faculty outside of class;
  • opportunities beyond class for students to nurture and improve business skills, and;
  • the strength of the NIU business degree in terms of providing a new socioeconomic status to the degree holder.

In addition to the Poets & Quants ranking, the NIU College of Business has earned several other recent recognitions for their academic programs, including a top 100 ranking from U.S. News & World Report for their part-time MBA program in 2018 and a No. 20 ranking for best graduate schools for accounting in 2017 by Accounting Degree Review.



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