Top 15 Colleges for Business Majors by Salary Potential

February 24, 2017

Considering studying business in college and not sure which may be a good fit for you? It’s important to keep in mind that some universities have undergraduate business colleges you can apply to, while others offer a business majors as part of their academic program.  

PayScale, an online compensation information company, published their findings earlier this year and here’s the top 15 universities for business majors by salary potential:

1. (tie) Georgetown University

0-5 years experience: $63,300

10+ experience: $136,000

Located in Washington D.C., Georgetown University has an undergraduate business school, the McDonough School of Business, that offers a curriculum that combines business and liberal arts courses, so students can build a foundation of high level thinking and analysis.

1. (tie) University of California - Berkeley

0-5 years experience: $75,000

10+ experience: $136,000

UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business also offers an undergraduate program that is similarly as competitive as its MBA program. It’s overall undergraduate business program ranks no. 3 in the country and is well known for their international business, management, marketing and real estate business specialties.  

3. Santa Clara University

0-5 years experience: $70,500

10+ experience: $124,000

Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business may not rank as high in the overall undergraduate business programs, but their graduates certainly prove that the Leavey School of Business provides a quality education.

4. (tie) Babson College

0-5 years experience: $58,500

10+ experience: $122,000

Babson College offers an extremely unique curriculum. The college only offers one undergraduate degree, specifically a B.S. in Business Administration, but are allowed to choose more specific concentrations. So, make sure you only apply to Babson if you’re interested in studying business!

Don’t know if business is right for you? Check out this package of students who applied to study business in college!

4. (tie) Georgia Institute of Technology

0-5 years experience: $60,200

10+ experience: $122,000

Georgia Tech is known for their engineering program, but it also has a robust business program under the Scheller College of Business. It is currently ranked no. 29 out of the top 50 ranked programs.

4. (tie) State University of New York - Albany

0-5 years experience: $44,800

10+ experience: $122,000

State University of New York - Albany may be number 4 on the list, but it tops the overall list in salary increase. With the lowest entry level pay, SUNY Albany graduates can see a 170% salary increase later in their careers. SUNY Albany’s School of Business offers 3 majors: Business Administration, Accounting and Digital Forensics.

7. (tie) Loyola University - Baltimore

0-5 years experience: $56,500

10+ experience: $121,000

Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger’s School of Business is well known for the two business majors that they offer: accounting and business administration. The finance concentration is most noteworthy and is ranked in the top 25 finance program list.

7. (tie) University of Notre Dame

0-5 years experience: $67,700

10+ experience: $121,000

Prefer to go to a Catholic University? Still want to experience college football while studying business? You can do so at Notre Dame! University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business offers 6 undergraduate business majors: accounting, business analytics, finance, information technology management, management consulting and marketing.

7. (tie) University of Pennsylvania

0-5 years experience: $72,200

10+ experience: $121,000

It’s surprising to see University of Pennsylvania in the middle of this list, especially with the top undergraduate business program in the country. The Wharton School at UPenn needs no introduction. The school provides students with a flexible curriculum to explore their interests and offer concentrations that are not commonly found at other schools, such as retailing, managing electronic commerce, and global analysis, to name a few. 

Check out this UPenn package to see how others got accepted!

10. (tie) Southern Methodist University

0-5 years experience: $58,000

10+ experience: $120,000

Located in Dallas, TX, Southern Methodist University has an interesting business school application process. Unlike other undergraduate business schools, SMU’s Cox School of Business don’t have their own application process. To be considered, students have to apply to SMU and will be accepted to Cox either by invitation upon being accepted, or by completing the BBA requirements by sophomore year.

10. (tie) Wittenberg University

0-5 years experience: $55,000

10+ experience: $120,000

Wittenberg University is one of the few universities on the list without an undergraduate school of business. Nonetheless, Wittenberg’s business department provides a business foundation that supports its graduates well. The offer majors in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, management and marketing.

12. (tie) Boston College

0-5 years experience: $64,600

10+ experience: $119,000

Want to be in a suburban neighborhood? Then maybe Boston College’s Carroll School of Management is for you. CSOM students must complete Boston College’s core curriculum, as well as the the Carroll School Curriculum, which includes courses in math, economics, and even law.  

12. (tie) New York University

0-5 years experience: $64,000

10+ experience: $119,000

New York University is a large university with over 25,000 undergraduates in 8 of the university’s schools. If you’re interested in the arts, you can apply to Tisch. If you want to study business, then Stern School of Business is the one for you. They offer 4 degree programs: Business with 12 concentration options, business & political economy, accounting and a 5-program for students who are interested in business and film. It is one of the most difficult undergraduate business programs to get into.

14. Washington University in St. Louis

0-5 years experience: $55,500

10+ experience: $118,000

Washington University in St. Louis is well known for engineering and pre-medical studies, but the Olin Business School also provides a strong business program. Students can pursue a degree in Business Administration and have 8 options to major in:

Students can also minor in Business of Sports Management or Business of Entertainment!

  • Accounting

  • Economics and Strategy

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Finance

  • Healthcare Management

  • Leadership and Strategic Management

  • Marketing

  • Operations and Supply Chain Management

15. (tie) George Washington University

0-5 years experience: $55,300

10+ experience: $116,000

George Washington University School of Business have 3 degree programs: Accountancy, Business Administration and B.S. in Finance. GWU offers all the main business majors, as well as concentrations in sport and hospitality management, which is not often offered at other undergraduate business programs. Additionally, the B.S. in Finance requires students to major in a non-business field.

15. (tie) University of Puget Sound

0-5 years experience: $59,600

10+ experience: $116,000

University of Puget Sound is the only liberal arts college to make this list. It is a small private college in Tacoma, WA. Their School of Business and Leadership offers 3 different programs: B.A. in Business Administration with a business emphasis, or with an international emphasis, and finally, the business leadership program.

**Please note that this list do not include the salaries of individuals who pursued another degree after their undergraduate degree in business.

Applying to college?
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Not sure if you want to study business yet? Do some research and browse our database of 60,000+ successful college application files to see what students similar to you are studying!

Source: PayScale

About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


Browse Successful Application Files

UPenn ‘20

Accepted to UPenn

Hello! I'm a Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. I plan on concentrating in finance, marketing and social impact. In high school I was active in LGBTQ advocacy and music. I can help with any questions you have about admissions
Georgetown ‘20

Accepted to Georgetown, Bowdoin, Rice, Tulane, Occidental, Whitman, U Oregon

Hi! My name is Emma and I will be in the School of Foreign Service next year at Georgetown University. While in college I hope to become fluent in French, study abroad, and get involved in clubs and activities.
Georgetown ‘20

Accepted to Georgetown, UNC, UC Berkeley

I could talk about Georgetown all day, so feel free to reach out! I like politics, the outdoors, and cupcakes, of course.
NYU ‘19

Accepted to NYU, BU, Ohio State

Chicago-->Cincinnati-->New York City. Dancer. Rower. Volunteer. Future Teacher.

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