Undergraduate USC Marshall vs. UVA

Hi all, I have already enrolled to attend USC's Marshall School of Business, but was recently accepted off of the waitlist at UVA. I am now faced with the decision of which school I want to go to, but only have 48 hours to decide. I realize that I may be choosing where I will end up working after college, West Coast vs. East Coast, but was wondering if either school holds up well on the other side of the country in Investment Banking. Another consideration is that I will have to apply to McIntire after my sophomore year, and that I am already in the Marshall School of Business. I have only visited USC and was very impressed by the campus and the presentations at Marshall, but have a feeling that I might be equally impressed if I visited UVA. If anyone could provide some insight into the recruiting at these two schools, prestige, general student life as a business student, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

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Comments (6)

May 8, 2017 - 11:10pm

Decide based on where you wanna be after graduation, and which campus/culture you like better. Sure UVA is considered more of a target but they're close enough to one another that placement shouldn't be a deciding factor. Also, if you're not getting aid then UVA should be around 10k cheaper. From what I've heard McIntire isn't too hard to get into. If you want to go into banking you have to be near the top of your class anyways. Given that at Virginia you spend 2 years in arts and sciences this is beneficial if you have other academic interests but not if you just wanna study business. Good luck man, from one hs senior to another.

"Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry."
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May 9, 2017 - 11:35am

Cant speak for UVA but know Marshall specifically is a target on the West Coast for all banks - only banks I know that don't do on-campus visits/ recruiting are Moelis & Co (but SC still sends one kid to their LA group each year) and Centerview (know first hand that sent one girl to NYC for the summer and another full time to NYC after no return offer from Goldman SF) -- definitely factor in that you're gonna have to reapply sophomore year for McIntire - besides the obvious possibility of not being able to get in, Marshall lets you take finance/accounting classes from the get go which will probably serve you better for internships your freshman and sophomore summer relative to UVA


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Best Response
May 9, 2017 - 11:44am

I will first caveat this by saying my post assumes you fit equally well with both campus cultures, and the cost of attendance for either school is roughly the same. If this is not the case, these should really be some of the deciding factors driving your decision.

Now, that said, the question becomes one of whether or not you want to live and work in LA/SF post-graduation. If you are sure the answer is yes, then go to USC. If not and you want to be in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Texas, etc. then you would be better served recruiting wise by going to UVA. You say you're interested in Investment Banking, and since NYC is the IBD capital of the world UVA seems like the better choice to me. Additionally, and this is a big point I want to make, DO NOT let having to apply to McIntire factor into your decision making at all. As previously stated, in order to be competitive for banking recruiting you will have to have a 3.5+ GPA and solid EC's anyway. My sense is you got into UVA from out-of-state (you didn't mention being in-state), which tells me you're a pretty bright kid who will have no problem getting into McIntire in two years if you put the effort into your studies.

For some context, I'm a Junior at a non-target university on the east coast who chose said non-target over UVA back when I was a senior in high school. The possibility of going to UVA and not getting into McIntire was one of the factors I used in my decision making, and I wish it hadn't been. The difficulty of getting into McIntire as a UVA sophomore is nothing compared to the difficulty of getting interviews, offers, etc. from a less prestigious school. While USC is still a regional target for So.Cal, it's not the target school UVA is.

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May 27, 2017 - 11:04pm

I was waitlisted at UVA (I badly wanted to go there), and accepted into Marshall last year. I've got to say that I've been very impressed at Marshall's placement in IBD, and the emphasis they put on recruiting from freshman year. Do not the discount the benefits of taking accounting/finance courses early, if you plan properly you can
take Accounting I & II, Business Finance and Financial Valuation & Analysis (basically the IB course) by the end of your sophomore year.
I also had a blast freshman year without the stress of getting into the business school, and was still able to keep my gpa over 3.9
I'm not sure about the east coast, but the recruiting timeline is pushed up very early in the west, with applications opening up in the summer/early fall as junior year begins.
They've also dumped tons of $$$ into the business school, just look at our new building. PM if you wanted more details, happy to help

Edit - Just realized this thread is about a month old. Curious on what you did OP

May 28, 2017 - 6:09pm

Thanks for all your responses! They have definitely given me some insight and more peace of mind with my decision. I have decided to attend USC Marshall. The biggest factor was probably location, and I would prefer to work in IBD on the west coast. In addition, I took into account that the east coast would be very competitive, and I heard from another friend in IBD that UVA got the scraps left over in terms of recruitment, whereas USC is highly recruited on the west coast. I also visited the school and fell in love with the campus, weather, and atmosphere of the school, and definitely see it as a better fit for me. Again, thanks to everyone for your advice.

May 28, 2017 - 10:52pm

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