School v. School: Arizona State W.P. Carey vs. Arizona Eller

Arizona vs Arizona State

The Grand Canyon State offers two attractive MBA programs tailored to professionals looking to expand their career horizons.

Arizona State University in Tempe, just outside of Phoenix, and the University of Arizona in Tucson, 60 miles from the Mexican border, are both large public universities with renowned business schools. Each program has unique strengths depending on what prospective b-schoolers are ultimately hoping to get out of their business school experience.

We take a look at the two largest business schools in the state of Arizona in our most recent School v. School comparison, analyzing Arizona vs Arizona State.

Why the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business?

The Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business, attached to Arizona State University in Tempe, is one of the largest business schools in the country with more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The most recent incoming full-time MBA class featured 90 students strong, with 40 percent female students and 38 percent international students. Among that class, about 20 percent of total applicants managed to secure a spot in the program. Those students were, on average, 29-years old, had a GMAT score of 694, a GRE average of 313, an undergraduate GPA of 3.53, and over five years of work experience.

W.P. Carey MBA hopefuls have several MBA program options:

  • A 21-month full-time MBA program, beginning in August
  • A two-to-four year Professional Flex part-time MBA, featuring both on-campus and online classes
  • A two-year Online MBA
  • A 21-month Executive MBA, built for experienced professionals, held exclusively on weekends

ASU W.P. Carey sports some definitive advantages over Arizona’s Eller College of Management, including higher prospective salaries for recent MBA grads.

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks the W.P. Carey School third overall for online graduate business programs for veterans and sixth overall for online graduate business programs.
  • Recent MBA graduates have a mean annual salary of $100,303, which is noticeably higher than that of Eller MBA graduates, who earn an average annual salary of $82,315.
  • Over 87 percent of W.P. Carey MBA grads can expect to be employed within three months of graduation with an average signing bonus of $16,696.
  • ASU Carey is universally ranked higher than its state rival by U.S. News & World ReportBloombergThe Financial Times, and The Economist.
Image result for wp carey school of business campus

McCord Hall, the centerpiece of the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business, was built in 2013 by architectural firm KPF / Photos by Tim Griffith

Why Arizona’s Eller College of Management?

University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, located in Tucson, has a student body of over 6,500 students, with over 1,000 students in the graduate program. It has 10 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs. Eller offers MBA paths similar to those found at the W.P. Carey School, including:

  • A 21-month full-time MBA program
  • A two-year part-time Evening MBA, with classes held one night per week on campus
  • A 21-month Executive MBA program, with one in-person class per month and additional online courses
  • An Online MBA that can be completed in as little as 14 months or as long as 30 months

However similar the programs may seem to ASU Carey, however, the Eller College of Management offers more enrollment opportunities with GMAT waivers. Whereas ASU Carey does not.

MBA hopefuls can earn admission to the Eller College of Management without rigid GMAT requirements, for certain programs.

The Eller College stands out when it comes to management information systems and entrepreneurship, with the former being ranked at first overall for public schools and third overall in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. The latter is ranked by the same publication at fifth for public schools and 12th overall. Bloomberg also lauds the school’s entrepreneurship learning, ranking it 54th overall in the world, compared to ASU Carey’s 95th overall ranking.

When it comes to diversity, the Eller College also outshines the W.P. Carey School. It has a number of initiatives dedicated to building community within and across a multitude of demographics as well as several scholarships reserved for students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Additionally, Eller gives students the option to participate in the Tomorrow’s Leaders Equipped for Diversity program. Students who complete this program are trained to navigate modern issues surrounding diversity and inclusion in the workplace and walk away with an official Certificate of Completion. Carey does not appear to offer comparable programs that address diversity.

An Eller education also comes with a Career Management division that offers advantages via alumni and industry connections, career mentorship, and “exploratory and experiential learning opportunities.” These priorities are mirrored within the rest of the program. The goal of the full time MBA program is to obtain a summer internship, while the goal of the second year is to land a full-time job.

Arizona vs Arizona State: Cost and Careers

Since both Carey and Eller are state schools, the cost of tuition will vary depending on whether you are an Arizona state resident or not. Either way, the W.P. Carey School is more affordable than the Eller College. For the former, resident tuition is $12,609, while non-residents pay $32,288—more than twice as much as residents. At Eller, Arizona resident tuition is $24,900, while residents pay $46,000—a little less than twice as much.

However, the cost differential is partially negated by salary expectations. As noted above, ASU Carey MBA grads can expect to earn 21.8 percent more per year on salary alone than Arizona Eller MBAs. According to Bloomberg data, Arizona Eller produces among the highest proportion of graduates entering the tech industry in the U.S., with a reported 38 percent of graduates joining the industry after earning their respective MBA degrees. About 31 percent of ASU Carey grads joined the tech industry, according to the same reported data, with the school producing more graduates in finance and manufacturing than Arizona Eller, while the ladder produced a higher percentage of consulting grads (24 percent).

Arizona vs Arizona State: Conclusion

For MBA hopefuls with ranking, career earnings, and networking in mind, the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business edges out Arizona’s Eller College of Management. However, gaining admission to the Eller College of Management is more probable, which sports an acceptance rate of 43.2 percent compared to ASU’s stiff 20 percent, and a slightly more reasonable GMAT average of 665 compared to ASU Carey’s 694. In addition, those who do not wish to take the GMAT may have an easier time enrolling in Arizona Eller, which offers waivers for several of its MBA programs.

Image result for arizona carey campus

ASU’s Carey School of Business earns higher universal rankings marks, with a class of MBA students sporting higher GMAT scores and undergraduate GPA marks than Arizon Eller MBAs.

Both schools are highly regarded by U.S. News & World ReportBloombergThe Financial Times, and The Economist, but ASU Carey is firmly the higher-regarded school. In addition, ASU Carey is the more affordable of the two, with in-state residents paying less than $13,000 in annual tuition.


About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

Let us find your Program match!!

  • Please only indicate the regions you are interested in pursuing your degree. If you select, "all regions" you do not need to select individual regions.
  • Looking for help? Check the box(es) below!
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Your compare list