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Academic department rankings--importance?

blu123blu123 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
I'm in need of some advice. I just got off the waitlist at Penn and am considering whether or not to take the offer.

I decided to go to Georgetown after a wonderful campus visit despite the fact that the math program wasn't ranked. I loved the people, the school in general, the location, etc. I already have a great roommate, and I was just accepted to a really neat, week-long pre-orientation program. If I can make Georgetown work, that would be great.

My ultimate goal is not to pursue an academic career since I'm not really interested in research or teaching; I want to do something business-related most likely. However, I do not want to study business as an undergrad (so not factoring in Wharton in this decision). I figure I'll get my MBA later, and I just really like learning math! I want to develop core analytical skills. So here's my question... I know that graduate department rankings are important if you want to pursue an academic career, but what about if your ultimate goal is business? With Penn's math department ranked at 17 and Georgetown's not even ranked, will I get a much weaker math education at Georgetown than Penn, and will that affect me negatively in the job search? Or will the difference be small or negligible, and will my GPA and accomplishments matter more in the job search?

Based on career reports and the simple fact that Georgetown students have pretty much the same SAT Math scores as Penn students, I'm wondering if this is really an issue. If the difference is really significant, I will take up Penn's offer, but like I said, I've invested so much in Georgetown and prefer it to Penn outside of this.

So that's it. If anyone has any comments on how I should value these rankings given my goals and preferences, either specific to these schools or just in general about the process, that would be greatly appreciated.

Replies to: Academic department rankings--importance?

  • PancakedPancaked Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    When you're talking about schools like Georgetown and Penn for undergrad, and a field like math, the department ranking is close to meaningless. Math is math no matter where you go. Those rankings are almost entirely reflective of the graduate school anyway and have little bearing on undergrad education IMO. Employers probably won't have any idea how individual math departments stack up anyway, particularly if they don't operate specifically in that field. Go to whichever school you like more.
  • blu123blu123 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thank you Pancaked. Well that solves my problem! Yay!
This discussion has been closed.