Business at the Ivies

Guides / USA

When prospective college students think about pursuing a business education in the USA, they often start with the idea of Ivy League universities. It may, therefore, come as a surprise that many do not offer undergraduate business pathways:

Ivy League Schools Without Undergraduate Business Programmes:

  1. Harvard University: Harvard does not have an undergraduate business programme. Instead, they encourage students interested in business to explore economics or related fields. Harvard’s undergraduate concentrations include economics and government, which students with business interests commonly choose.
  2. Yale University: Yale, like Harvard, doesn’t have an undergraduate business programme. Students can explore economics, political science, or mathematics, which can provide a solid foundation for business-related careers. Yale College majors offer diverse academic paths.
  3. Brown University: Brown University, known for its open curriculum, does not offer an undergraduate business programme either. Instead, students can tailor their education to align with their interests and career goals. Brown’s open curriculum allows students to explore various subjects, but a dedicated business major is not available.
  4. Columbia University: There’s also no undergraduate business programme at Columbia College students. Undergraduates who aspire to study business often major in economics, political science, or related disciplines. Columbia College majors offer a wide range of choices.
  5. Dartmouth College: The same is true at Dartmouth – students with business interests often major in economics or other related fields. Dartmouth’s majors and minors provide numerous options for students, but a dedicated business major is not among them.
  6. Princeton University: Princeton University, like most of its Ivy League peers, does not offer an undergraduate business programme. However, students interested in business often pursue a major in economics or related fields. Princeton’s academic concentrations encompass many subjects, but a dedicated business major is not part of the academic offerings.

Ivy League Schools with Undergraduate Business Programmes:

  1. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School): The University of Pennsylvania is an exception among the Ivy League institutions, offering a renowned undergraduate business program through the Wharton School. Wharton’s undergraduate business curriculum provides students with a comprehensive education in business administration.
  2. Cornell University (Dyson School): Cornell University offers an undergraduate business program through the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Students at Dyson can major in applied economics and management to gain insights into business principles and practices.

Even at universities with dedicated business programs, students must fulfil core curriculum or general education requirements ensuring a well-rounded education. For instance, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School requires students to complete a set of general education courses encompassing various disciplines. Similarly, at Cornell’s Dyson School, students pursuing a major in applied economics and management must complete liberal arts and distribution requirements. This reinforces the Ivy League commitment to providing students with a broad-based education.

In conclusion, while it is true that Ivy League universities typically do not offer undergraduate business majors, some exceptions exist, such as the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University. Even in these cases, students are encouraged to explore diverse academic disciplines through general education requirements. This approach aligns with these universities’ tradition of offering a well-rounded education that fosters critical thinking and intellectual breadth, regardless of students’ ultimate career paths.