Comprehensive Target School List

Based on some online research, here is my undergraduate target school tier list. Some schools may be in the wrong spot, so feel free to comment below what you think.

(S+ tier)
UPenn Wharton

(S tier)
Cornell Dyson
NYU Stern

(A+ tier)
UMich Ross
UVA McIntire
Georgetown McDonough
Notre Dame Mendoza
UCB Haas

(A tier)
WashU Olin
IU Kelley IBW
UT Austin McCombs
USC Marshall
Emory Goizueta
BC Carrol
CMU Tepper

(B+ Tier)
Bowdoin -
Wake Forest
Washington & Lee / Colgate / Hamilton/ Wesleyan

(B Tier)
Colby / Bates / Davidson
Georgia Tech Scheller
BU Questrom
College of William and Mary Mason
Northeastern D'amore McKim
U of Illinois Gies
Ohio State Fisher
Penn State Smeal
U of Florida
U of Maryland Smith
U of Minnesota Carlson
Miami of Ohio
U of SC Darla Moore
Baruch Zicklin
U of Georgia Terry
Fordham Gabelli

Comments (43)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 27, 2020 - 9:48am

Isn't this a direct copy and paste from an old thread about target school rankings? Or is this a new list? Either way, gtfo.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 27, 2020 - 9:57am

Absolutely fuck off. But generally, Stanford/Dartmouth/Columbia/Duke/Chicago should be a separate tier, above S-Tier, based on OCR, BS opportunities, and alum per capita. Penn, Cornell, and Stern aren't as good as those schools in finance recruiting.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 27, 2020 - 10:54am

You think so? I know they don't have as much of a presence on the East Coast, but I always thought that was generally due to self-selection regarding a preference for Chicago. Same with Duke.

  • Prospect in Other
Aug 27, 2020 - 10:12am

First and foremost, let's not have another rankings thread. One class of HS students have already made their college decisions and another HS class has yet to even start applying. No one is helped by the timing of this post. When the HS class of 2021 does want to consider wall street recruiting targets in their college decisions (which should NEVER be the sole factor), they can use the search function and find a number of helpful threads (including this one which you seem to have copied pretty heavily…). They don't need a new ranking thread every year, nothing is changing that drastically- Wharton is not suddenly going to fall to a Rutgers level within a few months, so there's no point analyzing this again and again, year in and year out.


But you made the thread, so I'll bite. First and foremost, you seem to have forgotten Brown entirely. Not sure exactly what tier it goes in, but if you can remember to include freaking Fordham Gabelli, I'm sure you can remember Brown. Secondly (this might be a little controversial idk), but I would put Stanford in the S+ tier. I don't know where the idea came from that banking is "below" Stanford kids, but that's absolutely not true. If a Stanford kid wants BB or EB banking, they've got it. Not only do they have the prestige of being (arguably) in the top 2 schools in the nation, they also have the ability to tap into the vastly expansive network of the Stanford GSB. NYU Stern is a great school, no denying that. But it doesn't have the academic prestige of any other schools in the S tier. While the other schools tend to produce well rounded students, Stern has the tendency to churn out uninteresting kids with the goal of banking and banking alone. Stern is still a target, but I would move it down to the A+ tier because it just doesn't fit that well in the S tier. Other than that, I don't see too many glaring issues with this list. Don't really see how we can call the IU Kelley IBW a school, but ok. It's a workshop and the workshop might be target, but you can't really put it on a list of schools imo.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Aug 27, 2020 - 10:34am

Great points. I agree with almost all of them.

I personally wouldn't put Stanford with HYP. You are right that it definitely has much more academic prestige than NYU for example but this isn't a prestige ranking it's a target school ranking and I've personally seen infinitely more NYU grads on wall Street than Stanford but that might be due to the schools locations and self selection biases (Stanford kids probably want tech or west coast finance the most).

  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Sep 2, 2020 - 2:25am

Full disclaimer: went to Stanford so I'm biased maybe.

If you want to do finance at Stanford you can do whatever you want/go straight to the buyside/ VCs like Sequoia/ tech PE at Silverlake. Every single door is open to you. Is it as much of a focus as it is at HYPW? Certainly not - especially going to IBD out of undergrad comparatively.

Putting Stanford and NYU Stern in the same's just weird. Would anyone ever choose to go to Stern over Stanford ever? Literally no one, regardless of if they wanted to end up on Wall Street post college.

There's a lot of schools that can land you solid positions in Wall Street...but out of this list, how many schools can you major in whatever the fuck you want like art history and still make it to GS/PJT? Only like 10 of these schools have that hallowed reputation for churning out financiers from whatever the fuck you spent 4 years doing -> the rest of the list you pretty much have to be grinding it out in a business/Econ major to have a real shot at Wall Street. No ones hiring an art history major from UVA. That says something, so think about that. Wharton's really the only exception where you're doing a BS in Finance but top caliber people vs at other big business schools you're competing against hordes of kids and the top guys will land at great places but plenty of people won't be as successful in the process.

Dec 31, 2020 - 10:13pm

Just saw this comment but i would easily take NYU Stern over Stanford if i was married to finance. NYU stern 100% has better recruiting and is targeted by all major banks (Penn, Harvard, NYU, duke are the only ones), not to mention at stern you actually learn real applicable skills whereas Stanford doesn't have a business school. Stanford is better however for tech/VC or if you're unsure of going into finance. And to you're other point, if I wanted to do finance why the fuck would I major in art history and waste my time with some bs at Stanford when I can learn valuable skills at a business school? And I seriously doubt Stanford art history majors can make PJT because like maybe 1-2 at the school make PJT PERIOD and like maybe 5-6 at Wharton. It's not only about getting a job but it's also about learning valuable skills too.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Aug 27, 2020 - 10:16am

Jesus again? Enough of these pointless ranking threads by people who simply don't know what they're talking about.

First of all, it looks like you missed Brown, which is less of a target than Penn, Cornell, & Columbia but still a target.

Second and more importantly, to the guy above me who mentioned Duke, Cornell, penn, NYU, etc., it's impossible to quantify placement on a per capita basis. Don't know why you and other people on this forum point to that meaningless statistic. How many people can you accurately say truly wanted IB (as in studied for technicals, networked hard, etc) and didn't get it out of all the current students and alumni of a particular school? For a school like NYU, which everyone knows is a top feeder for Wall Street, how could possibly say recruits fewer people than Chicago or Duke on a per capita basis? Same for Penn or Cornell. You are assuming all 15,000 undergrads at cornell for example are gunning for IB and only about ~300-500 per year get it. The fact of the matter is that every school, even HYPW have people who want IB or PE and don't get it (as mentioned on many other threads) and have people who want something other than IB (accounting, consulting, marketing, corporate law, etc.).

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Aug 27, 2020 - 10:46am

Lmfao all you guys are hypocrites


"not this again but.... xyz school meeds to be hogher/lower" 

Sep 2, 2020 - 7:10am

Everyone thinks it's cringe but secretly we all want to play the dick measuring games. It's like the guilty pleasure of this forum.

Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

HELP: Sticky Situation with Boss
+155OFFby 2nd Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Arranged Marriage
+40OFFby Intern in Real Estate - Commercial">Intern in RE - Comm
Ask a girl
+36OFFby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Generalist">Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
tipping point - mental breakdown
+33IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
To Snitch or not to Snitch?
+32OFFby 2nd Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Would you date a girl without a college degree?
+31OFFby Intern in Consulting">Intern in Consulting
Caught relaxed vibing to music by my MD
+17OFFby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Corporate Banking">Analyst 1 in IB - CB

Total Avg Compensation

March 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (31) $349
  • Associates (168) $231
  • 2nd Year Analyst (98) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (93) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (23) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (371) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (308) $82

Leaderboard See all

LonLonMilk's picture
Jamoldo's picture
Secyh62's picture
CompBanker's picture
redever's picture
Addinator's picture
frgna's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up
Edifice's picture
NuckFuts's picture