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8 undergrad business programs whose new grads make more than $70K

Laura Sanicola
At the Wharton School, graduates earn significantly more than the national average starting salary. (Credit: AP /Beth J. Harpaz)

With college tuition more expensive than ever, many students decide to major in a subject that’s likely to earn them a decent starting salary: business. In fact, business is the most popular major in the US, according to the Department of Education.

In an inaugural list, Poets & Quants, a publication that covers business schools, ranked undergraduate business programs on admissions standards, the academic experience as judged by alumni, and employment outcomes.

The study revealed eight undergraduate business programs whose graduates earn an average starting salary of $70,000, which is at least $20,000 more than average college grad starts out making in the US.

Here are those schools:

University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School — $77,566

One of the nation’s most competitive undergraduate business programs, Wharton has an acceptance rate of just 9% — which is even lower than the acceptance rate for Harvard’s MBA program. It is also the only undergraduate business program to boast an elected president as an alumnus: Donald J. Trump.

University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business — $74,654

Berkeley’s undergraduate business school has an even lower acceptance rate of 8.22%, though students don’t begin taking courses at the school until their junior year. Among Berkeley’s most recent innovations is a dual degree program in engineering and computer science and business that is accepting applications for 2017.

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business — $75,696

Tepper may have been ranked 24th on the publication’s overall school list, but the business school students are extremely experienced — 98% have completed an internship by graduation. The undergraduate school has also seen its population nearly double since 2012 as the result of new space being added.

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business — $72,164

With a 16.5% acceptance rate, Ross is one of the most selective undergraduate business schools in the country and is only getting more selective. Starting in the fall, the school will expand its undergraduate program from three years to four, meaning more freshmen will be involved in the business school right away.

University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce — $71,944

McIntire students are not only well compensated, but they are quickly compensated — 94% of the Class of 2016 was employed within 90 days of graduation. The school ranks 8th on Poets & Quants’ overall list of undergraduate business schools.

New York University, Stern School of Business — $71,448

Stern’s proximity to Wall Street — less than three miles away — gives the undergraduate business school a definite advantage for students looking to take internships close to the action. The school, ranked No. 9 on Poets & Quants’ list, has extensive international programs and is one of the only schools to offer a degree in business and political economy.

Cornell University, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management — $70,552

Dyson originated as part of a land-grant agricultural school more than 100 years ago and has since evolved into the most selective undergraduate business school in the world, with fewer than 7% of applicants accepted to the program. This year Cornell merged Dyson with its School of Hotel Administration and the Johnson Graduate School of Management in a controversial reorganization.

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business — $70,865

Located in downtown LA, Marshall has a unique internationally focused curriculum in its World Bachelor in Business Program. The joint program has students studying around the globe at USC, HKUST Business School in Hong Kong, and Università Bocconi in Milan, Italy.

Check out Poets & Quants’ full ranking here.