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Butler University’s undergraduate business program a top 50 by Businessweek

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INDIANAPOLIS — Butler University’s College of Business (COB) has secured the 48th position in the Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking of the best U.S. undergraduate business programs for 2012.

Since their debut on the list two years ago, the College has climbed 15 spots (63rd in 2010 and 58th in 2011). And, as has been the case for the past two years, the COB remains the only Indianapolis school out of the 124 schools ranked.

In addition to moving up in the overall ranking, the COB’s academic quality number jumped – moving up seven spaces from last year’s 19th position to the 12th position this year. In comparison to other business programs in Indiana, Butler’s impressive number is second only to Notre Dame’s Mendoza School (7th) and is ahead of Indiana University’s Kelly School and Purdue University’s Krannert School. The COB also received an “A+” grade for teaching quality and an “A” for job placement.

“Breaking the top 50 is incredible,” said COB Dean Chuck Williams. “We (in the College) know we offer an impressive undergraduate business program at Butler and this news validates that outsiders have taken notice.”

The undergraduate program is focused around a experiential learning model called Real Life, Real Business (RLRB). Unlike other business programs where a student may take one or two classes that are experiential in nature, the RLRB curriculum starts from day one and continues through graduation. Some highlights of the program include:

• An extensive four-year career development program where students are guided by their own career mentors. (These former executives worked for companies such as Cummins, IBM, Smith Barney and Eli Lilly.)

• The Freshman Business Experience course, in which students are not only introduced to business concepts; they see those concepts played out in real companies. At the end of the semester, students participate in the Top Dawg Business Plan Competition, where they develop a business idea, write a business plan and then present their work to a panel of business executives.

• The Real Business Experience course in which sophomores develop a business plan, present the plan to a board of local bankers and entrepreneurs to apply for up to $5,000 of start-up capital, and then if desired, start and run the business. The COB currently has nine operating student-run businesses.

• The Student-Managed Investment Fund in which students invest real money from Butler’s endowment.

• The Butler Business Accelerator, an in-house consulting firm that involves COB students on client projects and as interns.

Bloomberg Businessweek used nine measures to rank the 124 programs, including surveys of senior business majors and corporate recruiters, median starting salaries for graduates, and the number of alumni each program sends to top MBA programs. They calculated an academic quality rating for each program by combining average SAT scores, student-faculty ratios, class size, the percentage of students with internships, and the number of hours students devote to classwork.

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