Texas A&M BBA Honors Program: Selective and Rigorous

The state of Texas is fortunate to have two flagship schools whose business honors programs are among the best four-year choices for extremely talented applicants who know from the get-go that business will be their chosen career.

In a previous profile of the UT Austin Business Honors Program, we noted that the average SAT score of BHP students was higher than students at Penn’s famed Wharton School.

The Texas A&M BBA Honors Program is also highly selective. Although the minimum requirement is 1300 SAT or 30 ACT plus a high school rank in the top 25%, the average scores and gpa’s of 2014 applicants were 1423 SAT and a high school rank in the top 3.75%. Since the the A&M BBA Honors Program is smaller than the UT Austin BHP, the selectivity percentage is even lower than for UT: In 2914, BBA Honors had 850 applications and enrolled only 76 students.

Once enrolled, students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of honors coursework to graduate with business honors. The 30 hours include 9 hours of required courses, 15 hours of business common body of knowledge courses, and 6 additional hours of the student’s choice.

Students must also maintain a 3.5 cumulative gpa; attend a minimum of 4 of the 70 professional development events offered each year; and complete an internship for credit and a summer reading assignment each year.

The Mays Business School also has merit scholarships available; BBA Honors students receive strong consideration for these awards.

“Our graduates take on challenging positions with well-respected companies, including major energy companies such as ExxonMobil and Shell, consulting firms such as Bain & Co. and Boston Consulting Group, banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, retailers such as Wal-Mart and Nordstrom, and professional services firms such as PwC and Deloitte,” according to the BBA Honors site.

“Graduates also have found employment by not-for-profit organizations such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board and Teach for America as well as governmental agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security.”

The number of BBA Honors grads who complete graduate or professional school is very impressive:

“Within five years of earning a BBA in Business Honors, 70% of our graduates are enrolled in or have completed a graduate program, including those in business, law, and medicine. Our graduates go on to top graduate programs at Harvard, Stanford, Rice, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Vanderbilt, George Washington, William and Mary, New York University, the Wharton School of Business, and the University of Texas School of Law.”

The program also offers exciting opportunities for studying abroad. The Center for International Business Studies not only offers study abroad programs geared for business students but has classes in international business, foreign internships, and scholarships for studying abroad.

Honors News is a regular (not always daily) update, in brief, of recent news from honors colleges/programs and from the world of higher ed. Occasionally, a bit of opinion enters the discussion. These brief posts are by John Willingham, unless otherwise noted.

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Honors News: August 21, 2015–Business Honors Programs

We are expanding our interest in public honors programs to include undergraduate honors professional programs, beginning with business honors. In the near future, we will begin a series of posts on the subject, centering for now on the 35 programs listed below. Business honors programs received some mention in A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs but only if they were an option for a university-wide honors students.

If we do another edition, we will likely include reviews, with ratings or otherwise, of some business honors programs.

In the meantime, you can use this list to begin your own searches. Please bear in mind that half of these are open only to sophomores or upper-division students who have already completed first-year and/or second-year courses with very high grades, typically a 3.5 gpa or better. Such programs are the business major versions of “departmental honors” upper-division tracks in other academic disciplines. There are good reasons for variations in the length of business honors programs. Some prefer that students have shown their commitment and ability in college before moving into the honors track. Others want to launch students as quickly as possible into honors. Business honors programs that have one or more four-year options are in bold below.

McCombs School, Business Honors Program—UT Austin
College of Business Admin Honors Academy–Nebraska
Robert H. Smith School of Business—Maryland
Lundquist College of Business—Oregon
College of Business-Iowa State
Bauer Business Honors Program—Houston
Business Honors Program—South Florida
David Eccles School of Business, Honors Program—Utah
Business Honors Program—San Diego State
Honors in International Business Program—Florida International
Fisher College of Business—Ohio State
Collat School of Business—Alabama Birmingham
Business Honors Program—Miami OH
Business Honors Program—UNC Charlotte
College of Business Honors, Georgia State
Kelley School, Business Honors Program—Indiana
W.P. Carey School, Business Honors Program—Arizona State
Rutgers Business School, Accounting Honors Program—Rutgers
BBA Business Honors Program–Texas A&M
Undergraduate Business Honors Program—Kansas
Sam W. Walton College of Business, Honors Program—Arkansas
Tippie College of Business, Undergraduate Honors Program—Iowa
Fox School of Business Honors Program—Temple
Carl H. Linder College of Business, Honors Programs—Cincinnati
Business Honors Program—Stony Brook
School of Business Honors Programs—George Mason
College of Business, Honors Program—Louisville
Culverhouse College of Commerce, Honors Program—Alabama
Eller College of Management, Honors Program—Arizona
College of Business, Honors Program—Ohio University
Foster School of Business, Honors Program—Washington
School of Business, Financial Analysis Honors, U at Albany
Gatton College of Business, Honors Program, Kentucky
Honors Program in Business, College of Charleston
College of Business, Business Honor Program, Illinois

Honors News is a regular (not always daily) update, in brief, of recent news from honors colleges/programs and from the world of higher ed. Occasionally, a bit of opinion enters the discussion. These brief posts are by John Willingham, unless otherwise noted.

UT Austin Business Honors Program: A Great Launching Pad

The McCombs Business School at the University of Texas at Austin consistently ranks among the leaders in the nation for both undergraduate and MBA programs, but the Business Honors Program (BHP) for highly qualified applicants can lead to jobs and salaries that rival those of the leading private university business schools.

And when we say “highly qualified” we mean enrolled students with an average ACT of 33, and SAT of 1477 (higher than the 1466 average for the Wharton School at Penn), and an average high school class standing in the top 2.27%.

The acceptance rate for the incoming class of 2015 was 17.6%, with total applications of 1,354.

The overall program size is approximately 500 students, with 120-130 enrolled students in each class year.

The McCombs School as a whole has ten business specialty programs ranked in the top 10, according to U.S News: Accounting (1), Marketing (3), Management Information Systems (4), Finance (5), Management (6), Real Estate (7), Entrepreneurship (8), Insurance (9), Production and Operations Management (9), and Quantitative Analysis (9). This means that students can change their minds about a business specialty and still receive equivalent classroom opportunities.

Another key factor is that BHP students can also jointly enroll in the nationally renowned Plan II honors program.  Indeed, the Plan II-BHP combination is chosen by about one-third of BHP students.

If the qualifications of students and quality of specialty programs in the BHP are as high as most other business schools, so are the salaries earned upon graduation, with a mean salary of $65,879 for 2014 grads. And the placement rate for grads seeking full-time employment: 100% for the last four years.

Additional features include classes that are significantly smaller than regular undergrad business classes. BHP classes are capped at 40 students per section; many have 20-25 students enrolled. The case study approach used by many MBA programs is also used in a lot of the BHP classes.

According to the BHP, its 2015 graduates “went to work for the top banks, consulting firms, accounting firms, tech firms and others. They are now working for Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, E&Y, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, Facebook, Amazon, Visa, Shell, Chevron, Southwest Airlines, Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola, 3M, General Electric, and the like.

“They are starting their own businesses and working for nonprofits in India. They are going to med school, law school, and graduate business schools. The BHP degree is a versatile degree and a great launching pad for many different industries and pursuits.”