Business degrees have become increasingly popular because they can open doors to a variety of rewarding career paths and opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a business degree holder is $65,000, which is higher than the median wage for all fields. Embarking on a business career is much less challenging when you have an excellent education from one of Pennsylvania’s highest-rated colleges. If you’re researching schools with strong business programs, this list of the best business schools in Pennsylvania is an excellent starting point.
List of Best Business Schools in Pennsylvania
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Established in 1839, Bloomsburg University is a public, four-year university with an undergraduate enrollment of 7,346 students. The Zeigler College of Business offers more than a dozen business-related majors, including marketing, management, international business, and technical leadership. The school also has graduate programs in business administration, accountancy, healthcare management, information technology, instructional design and technology, and sports management.
With an acceptance rate of 89%, Bloomsburg is less selective than many other schools in the state. In-state tuition for undergraduate students is very affordable at $7,716 a year. Graduate students pay approximately $516 per credit hour.
Located in Lewisburg, Bucknell University’s School of Management offers a bachelor of science in business administration. There are 3,686 students enrolled at Bucknell, and business students can choose from one of four majors: accounting and financial management, managing for sustainability, global management, and markets, innovation, and design.
Bucknell’s curriculum includes internships, study abroad opportunities, and other avenues for experiential learning. As of 2022, the annual cost of tuition is $61,408, not including additional fees, housing, and dining. The university is selective and has a 32.6% admissions rate.
Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business has undergraduate and graduate programs with concentrations in subjects like accounting, finance, leadership, marketing, and organizational behavior. The school was one of the first to offer a mini-semester with courses lasting only 6.5 weeks.
The Tepper School of Business is accredited and well-respected. Carnegie Mellon as a whole serves nearly 13,000 students each year. The annual tuition for undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon is $59,864 as of 2022. Tuition for the MBA program at Tepper is significantly higher, at $72,800 per year. However, Carnegie Mellon reports that 96% of MBA students have job offers within three months of graduation. Acceptance rates for Carnegie Mellon are around 30%.
DeSales is a private, four-year Catholic university located in Center Valley. With a total enrollment of 3,101 students, DeSales is a small university that boasts a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:13 and an average class size of 19 students. The Division of Business offers undergraduate degrees in subjects like accounting, business administration, healthcare administration, pharmaceutical marketing, and economics. DeSales also has an accelerated MBA program that can be completed in one year, as well as traditional MBAs with concentrations including finance, cyber security, financial planning, and project management.
DeSales has an acceptance rate of 81.8%, making it slightly selective. Full-time undergraduate students pay $41,100 in tuition each year, and MBA students pay approximately $880 per credit hour.
Established in 1783, Dickinson was the first college established after the formation of the United States. It is a small, selective liberal arts college with a total enrollment of 2,399 students and an acceptance rate of 35% as of 2022. With a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Dickinson provides a high level of engagement in the classroom. The college has a four-year graduation rate of 84.5% for full-time students. Dickinson College offers majors in International Business and Management and Pre-Business Management. Tuition and fees for full-time students are $61,326 annually.
Drexel University (LeBow)
The LeBow College of Business at Drexel University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Drexel has three campuses in Philadelphia and serves 25,595 students every year. Business students can pursue concentrations including business analytics, economics, entrepreneurship, manufacturing and technology management, and sports business.
Graduate students at LeBow can expect to pay $64,000 for tuition annually, while tuition for undergraduate students is $1,306 per credit hour. The acceptance rate at LeBow is higher than at some other business colleges in the state, with a rate above 80% in 2021.
Duquesne University (Palumbo-Donahue)
Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree at Duquesne University’s Palumbo-Donahue School of Business Administration. Duquesne is a private university in Pittsburg with almost 10,000 students enrolled annually. There are ten majors of study within the business administration program, including accounting, information management systems, international business, and supply chain management. Tuition for undergraduate programs at Duquesne in the 2022 school year was $45,376. Tuition for business graduate students was $1,421 per credit hour. The Palumbo-Donahue School of Business has an acceptance rate of 89%.
Franklin & Marshall College
Located in Lancaster, Franklin & Marshall College was established in 1787 and was the first bilingual college in the country. Franklin & Marshall is a small, liberal arts college that serves 2,426 students each year. With an acceptance rate of 36.5%, the school is selective. Students attending Franklin & Marshall College who are interested in business can major in Business, Organizations & Society (BOS), which focuses on the role of organizations in society. Tuition at Franklin & Marshall is $65,652 a year.
Gettysburg College has a total enrollment of 2,517 students. It is a selective liberal arts college with an acceptance rate of 48.2% and was founded in 1832. The Business, Organizations, and Management major offered by the Department of Management allows students to learn about the core principles of business as well as the influence of social sciences in the business world. As of 2022, tuition rates for Gettysburg College were $61,760 annually.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Eberly)
Students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania can enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Business Studies program at the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. There are a variety of concentrations to choose from, such as accounting, marketing, management information systems, and international business. Indiana University of Pennsylvania has a student body of 13,800, and tuition rates for in-state undergraduate students are $7,716 per year. MBA students pay $500 per credit hour, which is substantially lower than many other MBA programs available in the state. The acceptance rate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is over 90%.
King’s College – PA (McGowan)
King’s College, also known as The College of Christ the King, was established in 1946 as a Catholic liberal arts college. Located in Wilkes-Barre, King’s College serves approximately 2,400 students each year. The William G. McGowan School of Business offers undergraduate programs in accounting, marketing, and management. There are also several master’s programs, including a Master of Science in Accountancy and a Master of Science in Business. King’s College is only lightly selective with an acceptance rate of 86.6%. Full-time undergraduate students pay $39,522 annually in tuition. Graduate students pay $448 per credit hour.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
With an acceptance rate of 93.2%, Kutztown is much less selective than many other colleges and universities in the state. Established in 1866, this public university serves approximately 7,469 students. The College of Business offers undergraduate degrees in business administration and sport management, as well as a well-respected MBA program. In-state undergraduate students at Kutztown pay $7,716 in tuition, making it a more affordable option. In-state graduate students pay $516 per credit hour.
La Salle University
La Salle University’s School of Business has business concentrations in subjects including analytics, general management, and quantitative analysis. The business school prioritizes experiential learning and boasts a 100% job placement rate for 2021 BS and MBA graduates. Tuition rates in 2022 were $32,640 for full-time students. A small university with a combined student population of 4,624, the acceptance rate at La Salle is 76.3%.
Lancaster Bible College
Established in 1933, Lancaster Bible College has a total enrollment of 2,386 students. With an acceptance rate of 96%, the college is much less selective than others in the state. Lancaster offers a business administration major with several areas of focus, including accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, marketing, and sales. Undergraduate students at Lancaster pay annual tuition totaling $27,760.
Located in Bethlehem, Lehigh University has an annual enrollment of 7,054 students. The College of Business has three options for business-related Bachelor of Science degrees: business and economics, computer science and business, and integrated business and engineering. Within the business and economics degree, students can choose a concentration, like accounting, finance, management, or marketing. Tuition at Lehigh is $58,970 per year, and the university is more selective than some others, with an acceptance rate of just under 45%. Among the distinguished faculty at the university are Professor Frank Gunter and Dr. C. Bryan Cloyd.
With a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,074 students, Muhlenberg College is a private liberal arts college located in Allentown. It was established in 1848 and offers a Business Administration major focusing on subjects like economics, statistics, marketing, finance, and management. Possible concentrations are management and organization studies, marketing, arts administration, and international business. Muhlenberg College has an acceptance rate of 62.2%, making it moderately selective. As of 2022, the annual tuition at Muhlenberg is $57,270.
Penn State University (Smeal)
Penn State University, established in 1855, is the largest university in the state, and the University Park campus serves approximately 46,000 undergraduate students each year. It is also home to the Smeal College of Business, which has concentrations including accounting, business analytics, consulting, health care administration, and real estate.
In-state tuition for undergraduate students at Penn State is $19,286. For MBA students at the Smeal College of Business, tuition is $29,888. Penn State University has an acceptance rate of 58%, but the acceptance rate for the Smeal College of Business is under 20%. The faculty at Smeal rank in the top 20 worldwide for research productivity and include real estate expert Austin Jaffe and marketing professor Jennifer Coupland.
Pennsylvania State University Erie, The Behrend College (Black)
The Black School of Business is part of Penn State Behrend, a four-year public university located in Erie. With an enrollment of 4,327 students each year, Penn State Behrend has small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1. Business students can pursue concentrations like accounting, interdisciplinary business with engineering studies, management information systems, and project supply chain management.
As of 2022, the in-state tuition rate for Penn State Behrend is $15,904, which is much more affordable than some other options in the state. Tuition for in-state MBA students at Behrend is approximately $30,000 a year. The Behrend College has an acceptance rate of 89%.
Robert Morris University – PA
Robert Morris University is located in Moon Township and has an enrollment of 5,377 students. This private, four-year university has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program with major options like accounting, finance, fully online business, hospitality and tourism management, and sport management. Tuition at Robert Morris University is $32,390 annually, and the acceptance rate is 85.6%. Notable faculty at the Rockwell School of Business include Dr. Daria Crawley, Dr. Jacob C. Peng, and Dr. Riza Emekter.
Rosemont College is a private Catholic school with six undergraduate degrees related to business: accounting, finance, international business, management, marketing, and sport management. Rosemont also offers an accelerated MBA program that can be combined with a bachelor’s degree and completed in five years. With an acceptance rate of 69.1%, Rosemont is moderately selective. It is a very small liberal arts college with a total enrollment of under 1,000 students. Tuition for full-time undergraduate students is $19,890 per year.
Saint Francis University
Located in Loretto, Saint Francis University is a private Catholic university that was established in 1847. Annual enrollment is approximately 1,647 students, and the university’s acceptance rate is 59.3%. The Shields School of Business at Saint Francis University offers several undergraduate majors, including accounting, business analytics, economics, global business, and management information systems. The university also offers master’s programs in strategic leadership, business administration, and human resource management.
Undergraduate tuition at Saint Francis University is $39,820 per year. MBA and other business-related graduate students pay $875 per credit hour. The Shields School of Business offers students internship opportunities and small class sizes.
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Slippery Rock University is a public university that was established in 1889. The university has an acceptance rate of 74% and a total enrollment of 8,424 students. The College of Business offers degrees in majors, including accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and management. Tuition rates for in-state undergraduate students are $10,700 per year.
St. Joseph’s University
Established in 1851, St. Joseph’s University is a private university located in Philadelphia. With an acceptance rate of 80.1%, the school is somewhat selective and serves 8,415 students each year. The Huab School of Business offers more than 30 majors and minors, including business analytics, accounting, and marketing. There is also a well-respected MBA program, as well as master’s programs in marketing, human resource management, and finance.
Full-time undergraduates at St. Joseph’s pay an annual tuition rate of $49,410, while graduate students pay credit hour rates depending on their particular program. For example, the Executive MBA program’s tuition rate is $2,310 per credit hour, while the standard MBA program has a tuition rate of $1,163 per credit hour.
Temple University (Fox)
The Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration program. Founded in 1884, Temple is the second-largest university in the state, with a total enrollment of 37,365 graduate and undergraduate students. Temple’s business concentrations include business analytics, consulting, real estate, and human resources management.
In-state tuition for undergraduate students at Temple is $17,136, while tuition for full-time MBA students is $21,984 annually. The university has a 71.4% acceptance rate, with a 59% rate for Fox School of Business.
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
Established in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, Wharton offers a wide variety of business degree concentrations. These include accounting, e-commerce, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, general management, health care administration, international business, and human resources management. Wharton also has highly respected MBA and Ph.D. programs in business.
As of the 2022-2023 school year, the cost of full-time tuition for undergraduate programs at Wharton was $56,212. The annual tuition for the MBA program was $84,874. Boasting one of the largest alumni networks in the world, 89.90 percent of full-time business students at Wharton are employed upon graduation. Wharton’s acceptance rate is very low, with both undergraduate and graduate acceptance below 10%.
University of Pittsburgh (Katz)
Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh has well-respected undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. programs in business. Katz admits around 350 first-year students to its undergraduate business programs each year and offers MBA concentrations including accounting, marketing, organizational behavior, and business analytics. In-state tuition for the MBA program is $30,794, but the college also offers an accelerated MBA with an annual tuition rate of $48,561. Undergraduate students pay $22,072 in tuition. The acceptance rate for Katz Graduate School of Business is 41%, and the university’s main campus has an enrollment of 34,934 students each year.
University of Scranton
Kania School of Management at the University of Scranton offers ten undergraduate programs of study, including accounting, entrepreneurship, international business, and marketing. Kania also has several graduate options, including an MBA program and a Ph.D. in accounting. The university enrolls a total of 4,672 students and has an acceptance rate of 78.7%. Tuition for undergraduate students at the University of Scranton is $49,912. Students at the graduate level pay approximately $965 per credit hour. The Kania School of Management offers an Executive in Residence program, which brings in well-known executives each year to offer career guidance and expertise to students.
Villanova University was established in 1842 and is a four-year, private university. The oldest Catholic university in the state, Villanova has an annual enrollment of 10,711 students. Business students can major in areas including accounting, economics, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing. The university also offers a Professional MBA from the Villanova School of Business.
With an acceptance rate of 30.7%, admission is competitive. The university generally admits students with very high SAT and ACT scores and those who graduated in the top 10% of their class. In-state undergraduate students pay $60,768 in tuition each year, while professional MBA students pay $1,250 per credit hour.
Located in Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes University is home to the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership. The university serves approximately 2,232 undergraduate students each year and has an acceptance rate of 91.8%. The Sidhu School of Business offers eight undergraduate programs, including marketing, sports management, and finance. There is also an online MBA program and an accelerated bachelor’s degree/MBA program that can be completed in five years.
Undergraduate tuition for full-time students at Wilkes University is $39,134. The tuition rate for MBA students is $800 per credit hour. The Sidhu School of Business has a 98% job placement rate for graduates of their business programs, and 100% of students have at least one internship or research opportunity over the course of their degree program.
York College of Pennsylvania
Established in 1787, York College of Pennsylvania is a private, four-year university with a total enrollment of 4,739 students. With an acceptance rate of 70.8%, the school is somewhat selective. The Graham School of Business has several undergraduate programs, including majors in accounting, advertising and digital marketing, business analytics, engineering management, and cybersecurity management. The university also offers graduate programs, including an MBA and a Master of Accounting.
Tuition for full-time undergraduate students at York College is $10,535. MBA students pay $720 per credit hour. The university focuses on hands-on experience and immersive business programs to help prepare students for their future careers.
Business Degree Salary in Pennsylvania
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many careers for graduates of business degree programs pay above-average salaries. These were the mean annual salaries for some business careers in Pennsylvania as of May 2021:
- Accountants and auditors $79,200
- Buyers and purchasing agents $70,680
- Human resources specialists $68,400
- Compliance officers $74,550
- Chief executives $232,630
It’s important to note that the salary for any given position will vary based on the level of seniority. For example, an entry-level human resources specialist may make under $68,000, while a tenured professional might earn well above that figure. Some positions, such as chief executives, are also more attainable for graduates of MBA programs rather than bachelor’s degree holders.
What Can You Do with a Business Degree?
Business degrees offer a lot of options in terms of specializations. The opportunities that will be available depend largely on your location, experience, and degree level. For example, a graduate of an MBA program may be able to qualify for more senior-level opportunities than a candidate with an undergraduate degree.
Among the many career areas available to business graduates are finance, human resources, management and administration, analysis, and marketing. If you know that you are interested in a particular aspect of business, you can research degree programs that allow you to specialize in these areas. This will help better prepare you for your potential employers.
Some popular job opportunities for business degree graduates include:
- Operations research analyst
- Financial manager
- Management analyst
- Human resources specialist
- Marketing manager
- Accountant or auditor
- Information security analyst
- Top executive
There are also many options in terms of the type of employer you seek. Private businesses, nonprofits, universities, and government agencies all seek professionals with training and expertise in the field of business.
Business Degree Job Outlook in Pennsylvania
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for many careers related to business is very strong over the next several years. Some of these positions show especially promising growth in Pennsylvania. For example, Pennsylvania has one of the highest employment levels for accountants and auditors. As of 2021, employment rates for management analysts, project management specialists, and human resources specialists are also very strong.
How Much Does a Business Degree Cost?
The cost of a business degree depends on several factors, including whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student, whether you live on-campus, and whether the school is private or public. At the undergraduate level, the cost of a business degree is very similar to the cost of other majors. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2020-2021 academic year, the average annual tuition and fees for undergraduate students were as follows:
- Public 4-year institutions: $9,400
- Private nonprofit 4-year institutions: $37,600
- Private for-profit 4-year institutions: $18,200
The cost of an MBA is often significantly higher than a bachelor’s degree. If you attend one of the top business schools in the country, such as Wharton, you may pay upward of $100,000 a year in tuition and fees. Other schools and online programs charge lower amounts, ranging anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 annually.
Another key point to consider is the additional expenses that you might encounter while pursuing your degree. The cost of textbooks is not generally included in tuition and fees, and you may also need to purchase additional materials for your courses. If you live on campus, you will also need to pay for parking, housing, and dining.
Business Degree Scholarship Information
Paying for a college degree can be a challenge, but there are many scholarship opportunities available for business students. Some major corporations, such as General Electric, Coca-Cola, and Dell, have scholarship programs available to graduating high school students. There are also scholarships designed for business students at specific colleges and universities.
Some other business scholarship opportunities include:
- Foreclosure.com Scholarship Program
- Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
- The Quality Company Formations Scholarship
- LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship
- Kitchen Cabinet Kings’ Entrepreneur Scholarship
- Fisher Investments College Scholarship Program
- Pacific Collection Group’s Annual Scholarship
When applying for a scholarship, it’s essential to pay close attention to the requirements and deadlines. Some scholarships, for instance, are designed for minority groups or first-generation college students. Others may require a student to already be midway through a degree program.
Business Degree Requirements
The requirements for a business degree differ depending on the school and program you attend. Many undergraduate business programs require you to study topics including:
In addition to coursework, MBA programs often require students to complete a capstone project or practicum prior to graduation.
Common Courses in Business Degree Programs
The courses that you take while completing a bachelor’s degree in business differ significantly based on your specialization. For example, an accounting major would take courses focused on the preparation and analysis of financial documents, while a marketing major would learn about product promotions and consumer behavior.
Some of the classes that are common to undergraduate business programs include:
- Business Statistics
- Operations Management
- Employee Behavior
- International Business
- Market Research
- Labor Relations
- Decision Making
When students choose to continue their education and pursue an MBA, they generally continue to study similar topics. However, the material is much more detailed and nuanced. The typical MBA program curriculum includes courses in the areas of:
If you pursue a particular concentration within your degree program, your coursework will be tailored to match it.
How Long Does It Take to Complete a Business Degree Program?
Most bachelor’s programs in business require students to complete a minimum of 120 hours. Full-time students can generally earn their degrees within four years. If you have dual credits from high school or take courses over the summer, it may be possible to finish your degree in a shorter period of time. Part-time students, on the other hand, may need to take courses for five years or more.
In comparison, the amount of time required to complete an MBA is much shorter. Most full-time students can complete an MBA program in two years. Some schools also offer accelerated programs that allow you to graduate more quickly, potentially within a single year.