Poets&Quants (P&Q) has ranked the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics programs in its recent lists of top online MBA (2019) and undergraduate business programs (2018). The Lerner College online MBA was ranked 19th and the Lerner College undergraduate program was ranked 61st in the country. For both programs, Lerner received high scores for student experience.
“Lerner continues to do well in rankings from Poets&Quants,” said Lerner College Dean Bruce Weber. “The transparent, data-driven methodology combines admissions selectivity, the student experience as reported by alumni via surveys and career outcomes of the most recent graduating classes. These factors are what Lerner does especially well, and what prospective students care about.”
“Our Career Services programs particularly help Lerner stand out in terms of our student experience and career outcomes,” said Lerner College’s Senior Associate Dean of Academic Programs Jack Baroudi. “From our Road to Wall Street and Madison Avenue programs to mentoring and job search assistance, we provide our students with the resources they need to succeed after graduation.”
P&Q is a website focused specifically on business schools, and it offers a yearly ranking of various business school programs. Unlike other organizations that rank business schools, P&Q focuses on three core issues for their rankings: “the quality of the raw talent coming through the door, what a school does with that talent over four years and finally, how the marketplace responds to the graduates coming off campus.” The soundness of this ranking is part of why UD’s Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (IRE) has included P&Q in its list of UD Primary Rankings.
“I would say the good news is that it does give us information that we can use to really think about our programs from our alumni’s point of view,” said Baroudi. “Even though our student experience scores are good, we’re looking at what other schools have done that make their scores higher and figuring out what the Lerner twist on that would be for our students to make their experiences even better.”
According to the P&Q website, “schools included on the ranking represent the very best AACSB-accredited business schools in the U.S.” While there are nearly 300 online MBA programs in the U.S., only 35 met the criteria to be included in the P&Q rankings. The ranking includes both schools that are 100 percent online and those with hybrid programs. The pool is much larger for U.S. undergraduate programs, with nearly 700 accredited by AACSB, of which P&Q only included 82 schools this year.
“Student success is our number one priority at the Lerner College,” said Baroudi. “We are constantly evaluating our course offerings and program resources, and expanding them to better fit our students’ needs. For example, our Executive Mentoring Program was initially selective, based on students’ GPA. We received feedback that the benefits of the program were numerous and should be available to all students. We agreed and have expanded the program, with the goal that every undergraduate and graduate student at Lerner will soon have access to one-to-one mentorship with a senior level professional.”
For Lerner College to be ranked 19th for the Online MBA and 61st for the undergraduate business program is a notable achievement, but there are other important factors for prospective students to consider when choosing a right fit program. Baroudi advises that students should look at the school and its programs, and meet the faculty to gain a richer understanding of what their experience would be like.
“Although the rankings may give an initial idea about which schools prospective students may want to consider, if that is all that they base their decision off of, students are doing themselves a disservice,” said Baroudi.
Weber agreed, noting that, “although we choose to participate in rankings, and seek to have the highest possible ranking we can, each individual student should find out which school is right for them.
“I think the message that all deans want to send is to drill down and look at the specific characteristics of the school,” Weber continued. “Moving up-or-down 30 or 40 spaces on this list, there’s really not that much difference in quality of the programs, but whether the fit is right makes a huge difference.”