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The 10 best undergraduate business programs

Business is the most popular major in America. According to The Washington Post, one in five bachelor's degrees are awarded to students who study in academic fields like finance, accounting and management.

However, not all business programs are created equal, and since most schools and rankings only publish university-wide data, it can be difficult to gather thorough information about specific programs.

That's why John Byrne, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Poets&Quants for Undergrads, spent months ranking the best undergraduate business programs in the country. The site assessed 82 programs on admissions standards, academic experience and employment outcomes for graduates, scoring each on a 100 point scale and tallying those scores together to determine a composite that informed the final ranking.

Read on to see the list of the 10 best undergraduate business programs in the country:

University of California, Berkeley
Rick Gerharter | Getty Images
University of California, Berkeley

10. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley

Admissions score: 79.38

Alumni score: 77.00

Employment score: 87.91

Total score: 244.29

9. Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University

Admissions score: 88.28

Alumni score: 70.08

Employment score: 87.52

Total score: 245.88

8. New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Admissions score: 84.97

Alumni score: 76.94

Employment score: 91.08

Total score: 252.99

7. Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Admissions score: 79.27

Alumni score: 86.32

Employment score: 87.41

Total score: 253.00

6. The Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Admissions score: 67.25

Alumni score: 94.79

Employment score: 91.63

Total score: 253.67

Georgetown University campus
Getty Images
Georgetown University campus

5. McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University

Admissions score: 81.52

Alumni score: 83.80

Employment score: 89.89

Total score: 255.21

4. Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame

Admissions score: 84.46

Alumni score: 89.67

Employment score: 83.35

Total score: 257.47

3. McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia

Admissions score: 82.25

Alumni score: 100.00

Employment score: 88.01

Total score: 270.26

2. Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis

Admissions score: 97.82

Alumni score: 85.43

Employment score: 89.15

Total score: 272.40

1. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Admissions score: 100.00

Alumni score: 95.12

Employment score: 100.00

Total score: 295.12

University of Pennsylvania
pkujiahe | Getty Images
University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania topped the list as the best undergraduate business program in the nation. Poets&Quants found that 100 percent of Wharton graduates were able to find a job in their desired industry and 80.9 percent of Wharton graduates reported getting a job at the specific company they had hoped for.

Four public universities made it into the top 10. The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, The Indiana University Kelley School of Business, The Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley all received scores of 244.29 or more.

Getting into business schools like these is no walk in the park. Three of the programs in the top 10 — Wharton, Dyson and Haas — have acceptance rates lower than Harvard's full-time MBA program which is just 11 percent.

One reason for the resounding popularity of an undergraduate degree in business is because students and their families believe that studying business will lead to high-paying job prospects upon graduation.

"At a time when parents and students are confronting ever-increasing tuition bills and levels of debt, the return-on-investment of a degree is more important than ever," says Byrne. "It's no wonder that more parents are encouraging their children to major in business. The best business schools are a no-brainer investment."

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