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2021 Best Business Master's Degree Schools

1,291 Schools Ranked
$42,682 Avg Student Debt

Today's business students have lots of options to pick from when considering higher education opportunities. You're no longer limited to schools in your local area, either, since online programs are becoming more prevalent. Also there are many trade schools and bpptcamp that offer short-term programs that open up more career options.

Along with in-depth profiles of schools and the programs they offer, Business Degree Central has created the Best Business Master's Degree Schools to help you in your search for the best school for you. This report analyzed 1,291 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best master's degree programs for business students. The factors used to develop this ranking include those related to how in-demand the school us, the overall quality of the school, and post-graduation wages, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

Top Business Master's Degree Schools in the United States

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts
1,850 Total Awards
$57,059 Average Tuition & Fees
$40,589 Avg Student Debt

Our 2021 rankings named Massachusetts Institute of Technology the best school in the United States for business students working on their master’s degree. MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,850 master’s degrees to qualified students.

Master’s Degree recipients from MIT accumulate an average of $40,589 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since MIT does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2017-2018 academic year, around 1% took at least some of their classes online.

Full Massachusetts Institute of Technology Report

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#2

Stanford University

Stanford, California
2,388 Total Awards
$53,151 Average Tuition & Fees
$51,487 Avg Student Debt

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Stanford University. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Business Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in Stanford, California, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 2,388 master’s degree awards in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from Stanford accumulate an average of $51,487 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Stanford does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. In 2017-2018 about 9% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

Full Stanford University Report

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#3

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina
3,222 Total Awards
$56,888 Average Tuition & Fees
$75,057 Avg Student Debt

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Duke University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Business Master’s Degree Schools list. Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Durham, North Carolina. It awarded 3,222 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $75,057 in student loans.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at Duke. In 2017-2018 about 10% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

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#4

University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
3,167 Total Awards
$61,548 Average Tuition & Fees
$56,291 Avg Student Debt

Out of the 746 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Chicago landed the # 4 spot on the list. Chicago, Illinois is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out master’s degrees to 3,167 students in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from UChicago accumulate an average of $56,291 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

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#5

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,771 Total Awards
$40,182 Average Tuition & Fees
$70,872 Avg Student Debt

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend University of Pennsylvania. The school came in at #5 on this year’s Best Business Master’s Degree Schools list. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out master’s degrees to 4,771 students in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $70,872 in student loans.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since UPenn does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. During the 2017-2018 year, about 3% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#6

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana
1,129 Total Awards
$55,380 Average Tuition & Fees
$65,795 Avg Student Debt

University of Notre Dame ranked #6 on this year’s Best Business Master’s Degree Schools list. Notre Dame is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Notre Dame, Indiana. It awarded 1,129 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from Notre Dame accumulate an average of $65,795 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at Notre Dame. In fact, around 8% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#7

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York
2,778 Total Awards
$30,022 Average Tuition & Fees
$62,830 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #7, Cornell University did quite well on this year’s best schools for business students working on their master’s degree. Located in Ithaca, New York, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 2,778 diplomas to qualifed master’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from Cornell accumulate an average of $62,830 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Cornell does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 4% of graduates took at least one course online in 2017-2018.

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#8

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut
2,568 Total Awards
$43,300 Average Tuition & Fees
$47,239 Avg Student Debt

Yale University came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Business Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Yale University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in New Haven, Connecticut that handed out 2,568 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $47,239 in student loans.

Full Yale University Report

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#9

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois
4,667 Total Awards
$56,567 Average Tuition & Fees
$67,409 Avg Student Debt

Northwestern University ranked #9 on this year’s Best Business Master’s Degree Schools list. Northwestern U is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Evanston, Illinois. It awarded 4,667 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from Northwestern U accumulate an average of $67,409 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at Northwestern U. In fact, around 5% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

Read full report on Northwestern University

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#10

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island
846 Total Awards
$58,180 Average Tuition & Fees
$37,555 Avg Student Debt

Brown University landed the #10 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree business programs. Located in Providence, Rhode Island, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 846 master’s degree awards in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $37,555 in student loans.

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#11

Rice University

Houston, Texas
898 Total Awards
$49,403 Average Tuition & Fees
$32,414 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #11, Rice University did quite well on this year’s best schools for business students working on their master’s degree. Located in Houston, Texas, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school awarded 898 diplomas to qualifed master’s degree students in 2018-2019.

On average, master’s degree students take out $32,414 in loans while pursuing their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Rice does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2017-2018 academic year, around 1% took at least some of their classes online.

Read full report on Rice University

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#12

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan
4,752 Total Awards
$24,218 Average Tuition & Fees
$51,399 Avg Student Debt

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for business students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #12 on the list. U of Michigan is a public institution located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The school has a large population, and it awarded 4,752 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $51,399 in student loans.

One thing to take note of is that U of Michigan does offer online graduate classes in some areas. In fact, around 4% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#13

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, Virginia
2,085 Total Awards
$19,528 Average Tuition & Fees
$44,862 Avg Student Debt

University of Virginia - Main Campus came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Business Master’s Degree Schools ranking. University of Virginia is a large public school situated in Charlottesville, Virginia. It awarded 2,085 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from University of Virginia accumulate an average of $44,862 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

One thing to take note of is that University of Virginia does offer online graduate classes in some areas. In 2017-2018 about 11% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

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#14

Emory University

Atlanta, Georgia
1,612 Total Awards
$43,642 Average Tuition & Fees
$75,800 Avg Student Debt

Emory University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for business students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #14 on the list. Emory University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Atlanta, Georgia that handed out 1,612 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from Emory accumulate an average of $75,800 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Emory does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2017-2018 academic year, around 15% took at least some of their classes online.

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#15

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
538 Total Awards
$27,130 Average Tuition & Fees
$28,710 Avg Student Debt

Lehigh University came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Business Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Lehigh is a private not-for-profit institution located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 538 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from Lehigh accumulate an average of $28,710 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at Lehigh. In fact, around 20% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#16

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
3,133 Total Awards
$45,909 Average Tuition & Fees
$55,669 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #16, Carnegie Mellon University did quite well on this year’s best schools for business students working on their master’s degree. Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit institution located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 3,133 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $55,669 in student loans.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at Carnegie Mellon. In fact, around 11% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

Read full report on Carnegie Mellon University

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#17

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California
3,287 Total Awards
$14,187 Average Tuition & Fees
$49,751 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #17, University of California - Berkeley did quite well on this year’s best schools for business students working on their master’s degree. Located in Berkeley, California, the large public school handed out 3,287 master’s degree awards in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $49,751 in student loans.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at UC Berkeley. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 9% of graduates took at least one course online in 2017-2018.

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3,238 Total Awards
$16,088 Average Tuition & Fees
$45,928 Avg Student Debt

Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for business students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #18 on the list. This large public school is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and it awarded 3,238 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $45,928 in student loans.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at Georgia Tech. During the 2017-2018 year, about 57% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

Read full report on Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus

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#19

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, Massachusetts
791 Total Awards
$28,248 Average Tuition & Fees
$28,390 Avg Student Debt

Worcester Polytechnic Institute landed the #19 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree business programs. Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Worcester, Massachusetts that handed out 791 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On average, master’s degree students take out $28,390 in loans while pursuing their degree.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at WPI. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 44% of graduates took at least one course online in 2017-2018.

Full Worcester Polytechnic Institute Report

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#20

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
3,534 Total Awards
$12,953 Average Tuition & Fees
$53,348 Avg Student Debt

University of California - Los Angeles landed the #20 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree business programs. UCLA is a large public school situated in Los Angeles, California. It awarded 3,534 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $53,348 in student loans.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at UCLA. In 2017-2018 about 3% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

Read full report on University of California - Los Angeles

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#21

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2,403 Total Awards
$12,522 Average Tuition & Fees
$53,737 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #21, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill did quite well on this year’s best schools for business students working on their master’s degree. Located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the large public school awarded 2,403 diplomas to qualifed master’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from UNC Chapel Hill accumulate an average of $53,737 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since UNC Chapel Hill does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. During the 2017-2018 year, about 19% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#22

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, New Jersey
1,624 Total Awards
$37,990 Average Tuition & Fees
$22,673 Avg Student Debt

Stevens Institute of Technology ranked #22 on this year’s Best Business Master’s Degree Schools list. Hoboken, New Jersey is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out master’s degrees to 1,624 students in 2018-2019.

Master’s Degree recipients from Stevens accumulate an average of $22,673 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

One thing to take note of is that Stevens does offer online graduate classes in some areas. In fact, around 45% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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107 Total Awards
$42,506 Avg Student Debt

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management ranked #23 on this year’s Best Business Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in Lake Forest, Illinois, the very small private not-for-profit school awarded 107 diplomas to qualifed master’s degree students in 2018-2019.

On average, master’s degree students take out $42,506 in loans while pursuing their degree.

Some students may be able to take online graduate classes at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. In fact, around 19% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

Read full report on Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

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#24

Bentley University

Waltham, Massachusetts
579 Total Awards
$39,180 Average Tuition & Fees
$33,450 Avg Student Debt

Bentley University landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree business programs. Bentley University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Waltham, Massachusetts that handed out 579 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $33,450 in student loans.

Online graduate courses are available at Bentley, but you will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your field of interest. In fact, around 2% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

Read full report on Bentley University

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#25

Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, Missouri
2,197 Total Awards
$54,750 Average Tuition & Fees
$58,073 Avg Student Debt

Washington University in St Louis did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for business students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #25 on the list. Washington University in St Louis is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Saint Louis, Missouri that handed out 2,197 master’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their master’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $58,073 in student loans.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at WUSTL. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2017-2018 academic year, around 5% took at least some of their classes online.

Full Washington University in St Louis Report

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Business Master's Degree Schools in the United States

Not only did these schools make the top 50 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee
#27

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts
#28

Villanova University

Villanova, Pennsylvania
#29

Georgetown University

Washington, District of Columbia
#30

Babson College

Wellesley, Massachusetts
#32

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
#33

New York University

New York, New York
#36

Fairfield University

Fairfield, Connecticut
#37

Indiana University - Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana
#38

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, California
#39

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia
#40

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland
#41

Michigan Technological University

Houghton, Michigan
#42

University of Richmond

University of Richmond, Virginia
#43

Bryant University

Smithfield, Rhode Island
#44

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts
#45

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California
#46

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, Wisconsin
#48

University of St Thomas Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota
#49

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan
#50

University of Rochester

Rochester, New York

Rest of the Top 15% Best Business Master's Degree Schools in the United States

To learn more about the schools below, just click on their names:

Rank School Location
51 Kettering University Flint, MI
52 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
53 Cleary University Howell, MI
54 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
55 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
56 George Washington University Washington, DC
57 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
58 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
59 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
60 University of Georgia Athens, GA
61 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
62 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
63 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
64 University of Delaware Newark, DE
65 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
66 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
67 Saint Mary’s College of California Moraga, CA
68 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
69 Northeastern University Boston, MA
70 Pennsylvania State University - Great Valley Malvern, PA
71 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
72 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
73 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
74 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
75 University of Washington - Tacoma Campus Tacoma, WA
76 Loyola University Maryland Baltimore, MD
77 Fashion Institute of Technology New York, NY
78 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
79 University of Management and Technology Arlington, VA
80 Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI
81 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
82 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
83 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
84 Elizabethtown College Elizabethtown, PA
85 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
86 University of Washington - Bothell Campus Bothell, WA
87 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
88 SUNY Polytechnic Institute Utica, NY
89 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
90 Fordham University Bronx, NY
91 Auburn University Auburn, AL
92 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
93 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
94 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
95 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
96 Bradley University Peoria, IL
97 Ithaca College Ithaca, NY
98 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
99 Baylor University Waco, TX
100 Judson University Elgin, IL
101 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
102 Yeshiva University New York, NY
103 University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie, WI
104 American University Washington, DC
105 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
106 Western New England University Springfield, MA
107 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
108 University of California - Davis Davis, CA
109 Pennsylvania State University - World Campus University Park, PA
110 Pennsylvania State University - Erie - Behrend College Erie, PA
111 Creighton University Omaha, NE
112 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our best business schools ranking:

Rank School Location
113 Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA
113 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
115 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
116 Emmanuel College Massachusetts Boston, MA
117 Drake University Des Moines, IA
118 Clemson University Clemson, SC
119 Washington State University Pullman, WA
120 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
121 Bethel University Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
122 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
123 Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ
124 Rider University Lawrenceville, NJ
125 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
126 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
127 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
128 Texas Lutheran University Seguin, TX
129 Truman State University Kirksville, MO
130 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
131 University of Hartford West Hartford, CT
132 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
133 Illinois State University Normal, IL
134 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
135 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
136 Merrimack College North Andover, MA
137 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
138 Roger Williams University Bristol, RI
139 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL
140 Winona State University Winona, MN
141 Towson University Towson, MD
142 Norwich University Northfield, VT
143 Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses Fort Wayne, IN
144 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
145 Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network Boston, MA
146 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
147 University of San Diego San Diego, CA
148 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
149 Golden Gate University - San Francisco San Francisco, CA
150 University of Houston Houston, TX

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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