Elite Public Business Programs: Michigan, Virginia, UNC, and UT Austin

The four pubic university undergraduate business programs that appear near the top of many rankings are those at the universities of Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina Chapel Hill, and UT Austin.

All four are highly selective, especially the Ross School of Business at Michigan and the Business Honors Program (BHP) at the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin.  These two programs differ from the other two in allowing freshmen to participate, though the freshmen “preferred” admits at Michigan only take one core business class the first year.

All applicants for preferred admission at Michigan “must first receive an offer of summer or fall admission to U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA); the College of Engineering; the School of Kinesiology (Sport Management only); the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance; or the School of Art & Design” before being considered for the Ross School of Business.

The average SAT/ACT for preferred admits is 1494/34, and the high school gpa average is 3.91.  The acceptance rate for 2011-2012 was 16.25 percent; in the most recent class, a total of 89 students enrolled as preferred admits. The average UM gpa for regular admits (who must have one or more years of college) is 3.65, and the acceptance rate is 39.9 percent.  About 440 regular admits are enrolled.

Even though many preferred admits may also earn admission to the excellent LSA Honors Program at UM, they should know that combining LSA honors and the Ross regimen of business courses can be daunting.

The McIntire School of Commerce at UVA requires an even larger number of hours–at least 54–before a student can become part of the school, giving UVA business students the most expansive required background in liberal arts of any of the schools discussed in this post.  Students in the prestigious Echols Scholars (honors) program are not exempt from this requirement.

The mean GPA of students admitted to McIntire after at least 54 hours of course work at UVA is 3.65.  The average SAT for freshmen entrants at UVA is about 1395.  However, many students transfer into McIntire from Virginia community colleges or other colleges, and the average SATs for these students is between 1190 and 1280, although the GPA for transfers must be at least 3.8.

Admission to UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School requires making it through a “rigorous and selective” process that includes a year of previous study.   The average SAT is 1346, with an average college GPA of 3.56.  In a recent year, 330 students were admitted, while 236 were denied.

A small number of freshmen can qualify for the Assured Admission Program (AAP), which appears to be similar to the preferred admission program at Michigan.  The average SATs and high school GPAs for AAP are probably similar to those at Michigan and at the Business Honors Program at UT Austin.  Students can be in Honors Carolina and qualify for AAP as well.

The BHP at UT Austin differs from all three of the other programs discussed here in that it requires full freshman participation.  It is also highly selective, with the average SAT being 1480 in 2012, and the average high school class rank being in the top 2.1 percent.  In 2012, a total of 235 freshmen enrolled in the BHP, and the acceptance rate was 22.2 percent.

As in the case of the LSA Honors Program at Michigan, BHP students can also be in UT Austin’s highly-ranked Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program, but only 11 out of 145 recent Plan II graduates also completed the BHP at the same time.








Leave a Reply