Inside Rensselaer
*  Lally School of Management & Technology
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BusinessWeek Ranks Lally No. 1 in Corporate Strategy Specialty Area and Top 15 in Three Others
In rankings by seniors from 139 participating undergraduate business programs, Rensselaer’s Lally School of Management & Technology has been ranked No. 1 in corporate strategy by BusinessWeek in its 2010 “Best Business Programs by Specialty,” and posted top-15 rankings in three other business specialty areas: quantitative methods (No. 6), calculus (No. 11), and operations management (No. 13).

The business specialty ratings are developed as part of Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual ranking of top undergraduate business programs. Senior business students across the U.S. rate their programs in 12 specialty areas: quantitative methods, operations management, ethics, sustainability, calculus, microeconomics, macroeconomics, accounting, financial management, marketing management, business law, and corporate strategy. Based on students’ input, BusinessWeek develops scores for each school in each specialty area.

Although Lally is among the smallest of the business programs surveyed by BusinessWeek, it compares favorably with much larger schools. For the last four years, BusinessWeek has ranked Lally in the top 40 U.S. undergraduate business programs overall. Lally was ranked at No. 34 in the 2010 survey, up from 36 in 2009. Within the business specialty rankings, Lally has scored even higher in several areas each year, reflecting Rensselaer’s traditional strengths in quantitative analysis. Lally has been one of the top two business programs in the country for corporate strategy for three of the last four years and among the top 15 programs in both calculus and quantitative methods for three years running. In addition, Lally has landed in the top 15 programs in operations management in 2008 and 2010 and in the top 10 programs for ethics and sustainability in 2009.

In its summary, BusinessWeek singled out Lally for recognition: “What is surprising is how many different universities can boast of a top-10 finish. In all, 48 schools appear on at least one top-10 list, and the programs that excel in the various specialty areas are, in some cases, not the ones you might expect. For instance, the best program for corporate strategy is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lally School of Management & Technology, which ranked 34th overall. Lally also ranks sixth in quantitative methods, an area that students feel sets their program apart. ‘It’s the emphasis on quantitative coursework combined with the incorporation of technology into each course that make the Lally experience unique,’ wrote one senior business student at RPI in the Bloomberg Businessweek survey.”

These rankings of Rensselaer’s business program and others by U.S. News & World Report, Entrepreneur magazine, and the Princeton Review reflect a systematic redesign and transformation of the undergraduate curriculum at Lally over the last five years, says Acting Dean Iftekhar Hasan. The No. 1 ranking in strategy in 2010, repeating Lally’s No. 1 strategy ranking in 2008, recognizes the work of Lally professors to bring integrated strategy training across business disciplines to undergraduates.

One course that has made a significant impact in the strategy area is the capstone course Strategy and Policy. A team effort by Lally faculty members Frank Wright, Andrew Corbett, Will Tracy, and Shyam Kumar has made this course a highlight of the undergraduate business program and contributed to the No. 1 ranking in strategy, says Hasan.

To read the full article, go to http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/may2010/bs2010055_765866.htm.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 10, May 28, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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