Bloomberg/BusinessWeek’s Top Undergrad Business Schools of 2012 List Doesn’t Do the Top CPA Exam School Justice

Not to burst Wake Forest's bubble but Bloomberg/BusinessWeek just gave them 19th in their list of top undergrad business schools in America for 2012. (Notre Dame was #1)

That's really sad but it doesn't change the fact they dominate on the CPA exam.

Just for shits and giggles, let's see how Bloomberg's top 5 undergrad business schools did on the CPA exam in 2011. Sure, the CPA isn't everything but for our purposes it is – just note that the CPA exam stats included cover the entire school, not just the business program we've included. Oh, and let's include the data on tuition, median starting salary, job placement and whatever else Bloomberg/BusinessWeek thought was important. Ready?

1. Notre Dame (Mendoza College of Business) – 70% pass rate, 78.4 average score, average age of candidates was 24.7

Annual Tuition: $40,910
Full-Time Enrollment: 1,888
Average Class Size: 33
Students With Internships: 88.3%
Time Spent on Class Work: 13.5 hours per week
Job Placement: 93%
Median Starting Salary: $55,000
Top Industries: Financial services (30%), accounting (17%), consulting (14%)
Top Employers Include: Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young

2. University of Virginia (McIntire School of Commerce) – 79.3% pass rate, 81.9 average score, average age of candidates was 26.0
Annual Tuition: $9,240
Full-Time Enrollment: 677
Average Class Size: 48
Students With Internships: 89.5%
Time Spent on Class Work: 18.9 hours per week
Job Placement: 94%
Median Starting Salary: $60,000
Top Industries: Financial services (48%), consulting (18%), accounting (15%)
Top Employers Include: PwC, Ernst & Young, KPMG

3. Cornell (Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management) – 71.4% pass rate, 78.6 average score, average age of candidates was 27.4

Annual Tuition: $25,185
Full-Time Enrollment: 686
Average Class Size: 63
Students With Internships: 87.5%
Time Spent on Class Work: 15.4 hours per week
Job Placement: 89%
Median Starting Salary: $60,000
Top Industries: Financial services (56%), accounting (13%), consumer products/retail (7%)
Top Employers Include: Ernst & Young, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase

4. University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School) – 73.2% pass rate, 78.3 average score, average age of candidates was 31.5

Annual Tuition: $37,620
Full-Time Enrollment: 2,555
Average Class Size: 38
Students With Internships: 94.4%
Time Spent on Class Work: 16.9 hours per week
Job Placement: 95%
Median Starting Salary: $70,000
Top Industries: Financial services (57%), consulting (25%), technology/ science (5%)
Top Employers Include: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley

5. Emory University (Goizueta Business School) – 62.0% pass rate, 77.2 average score, average age of candidates was 24.8

Annual Tuition: $40,600
Full-Time Enrollment: 670
Average Class Size: 42.3
Students With Internships: 88.9%
Time Spent on Class Work: 14 hours per week
Job Placement: 95%
Median Starting Salary: $57,000
Top Industries: Financial services (37%), accounting (15%), consulting (11%), consumer products/retail (11%)
Top Employers Include: PwC, Deloitte, Target

Interesting… so what have we learned here, kids? Well, for starters, you can make the same as some business school grads fresh out of school by growing up in California and heading to a state school for half what you might spend at a pricey business school. Not saying you'll learn as much or get access to as many connections but if pure dollars are all you care about, that's worth considering.

Related articles