The Argyros School of Business and Economics was ranked 34th in the 2016 Bloomberg list of top undergraduate business schools, a ranking 26 places higher than in the previous list.
Chapman ranked higher than other schools in the area, including the University of California, Berkeley (36), the University of San Diego (53), California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (59) and Loyola Marymount University (63).
“We focus on two outcomes for our students, an excellent education and a career in business,” Reginald Gilyard, the dean of the business school, wrote in an email. “This approach is highly aligned with the Bloomberg ranking criteria.”
The ranking is determined by employer and student surveys, which make up 75 percent of the score, along with starting salaries and internship opportunities. The previous list from 2014 ranked Chapman’s business school 60th.
“The biggest thing we increased in was reputation,” said economics professor Lynne Doti.
Doti said that a lot goes into making a business program successful. She said Chapman has started to develop a good reputation by making connections with other schools and employers.
The business school has its own career center separate from the Career Development Center that gives business, economics and finance majors a personalized experience when looking for opportunities.
“We focus on the fact that business majors are aware of what they want to do when they graduate,” Doti said.
Gaining practical experience and finding internships and careers are an important part of this, and parallel some of the criteria Bloomberg believes business schools need to have.
Since the previous ranking, the school has undergone various changes, including the addition of new facilities.
“My predecessor, Art Kraft, raised the funds needed to open our Janes Financial Center —which has 12 Bloomberg terminals and anchors several real-world-of-business activities for our students,” Gilyard wrote.
He said these include Chapman’s Student Managed Investment Fund, an annual financial publication created by students and a residency program for students interested in finance.
“Relevance is the key,” Gilyard wrote. “We will continue to follow significant education trends, and trends in the employment market to ensure that we are relevant to top applicants, our current students and, most importantly, the business community.”
Michelle Voronel, a freshman business major, believes that publicity has really helped the school grow.
“They just need to keep doing what they are doing, and who’s to say we won’t be in the top 10 in five or six years,” Voronel said.
But the goal is not so much in rankings as it is the success of the students, Gilyard said.
“For us, a diploma is critical, but it is not the endgame,” Gilyard wrote. “A career in business is the endgame. We provide the best preparation for your future career beyond college.”