The Tepper School consistently ranks highly among the top business schools in the world as well as in a wide range of specializations, such as Finance, Entrepreneurship, Operations Management and Information Technology. The school offers degrees from the undergraduate through doctoral levels, in addition to executive education programs.
Prior to the founding of the Tepper School, management education typically used the case method approach popularized at the Harvard Business School, based upon widely accepted examples from successful companies and microeconomic theory. Although the Tepper School did not entirely abandon those traditional models and theories, it gained wide recognition for its focus on management science, or decision-making based on quantitative models and an analytic approach to decision making and problem solving. Today, the Tepper School is known for its strong emphasis on quantitative skills and its continued teaching of courses based upon the science of management. A number of Nobel prize winning economists have been affiliated with the school, including Merton Miller, Edward Prescott and Finn Kydland.
The Tepper School of Business was originally known as The Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA), which was founded in 1949 by William Larimer Mellon. In March 2004, the school received a record $55 million gift from alumnus David Tepper. In recognition of this gift, the school was named the David A. Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon.
The origins of the Tepper School can be traced to the hire of economist George Bach in 1946. Bach was returning from a wartime assignment with the Federal Reserve and was hired by Carnegie Mellon (then known as the Carnegie Institute of Technology) to restart the university’s economics department. To assist in building the department, Bach brought in William Cooper from the field of Operations Research, which had increased its visibility during World War II, and a political scientist named Herbert Simon, who was to direct the undergraduate business program. The Cold War was applying pressure on the academic community to increase U.S. managerial ability, and when William Larimer Mellon gave a $6 million grant to found a school of industrial administration, George Bach became the first dean, bringing along the entire economics department.
Initially under Bach’s leadership, the Tepper School was credited with several educational innovations that have now become standard at other prominent business schools. Specifically, in 1958, the Tepper School's Management Game was the first to use computer simulations for experiential learning of business roles, and such simulations have subsequently been adopted by other institutions. Additionally, in 1989, the Tepper School's Financial Analysis and Security Trading Center (FAST) was the first educational institution to successfully replicate the live international data feeds and sophisticated software of Wall Street trading firms.
Several Tepper School faculty members have won acclaim for research in the areas of business and economics. As an example, the school has produced six Nobel Prize winners in Economics: Robert Lucas, Jr., Merton Miller, Franco Modigliani, Herb Simon, Edward Prescott and Finn Kydland. Lucas was awarded the prize for developing and applying the theory of rational expectations, an econometric hypothesis which directly challenged Keynesian orthodoxy. Modigliani's prize recognized his life-cycle hypothesis, which attempts to explain the level of saving in the economy. Modigliani proposed that consumers would aim for a stable level of income throughout their lifetime, for example by saving during their working years and spending during their retirement. Miller's prize was awarded in recognition of his contributions to corporate finance through the Capital Asset Pricing Model, used for pricing an individual security (asset) or a portfolio, which is now an integral model in all business school curriculum. Simon's prize was given for his development of the idea of bounded rationality in economics, described as "pioneering research into the decision-making process within economic organizations". In 2004, Kydland and Prescott became the most recent Nobel Prize recipients from the Tepper School for "their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics: the time consistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles".
It is also important to note that the Tepper School's impact has been so significant on Carnegie Mellon's campus that two other colleges: the School of Computer Science and the Heinz School were actually spin-offs by Tepper's faculty.
Tepper offers a traditional four year undergraduate degree in business. The program's coursework has a global focus and places an emphasis on quantitative decision making and analytical problem solving. The structure of the undergraduate program is distinctly different from the MBA program, emphasizing that students receive breadth of academic experience over focused professionally oriented courses. Students can major in:
The Undergraduate Economics Program is jointly administered by the Tepper School of Business and the Carnegie Mellon College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It has been designed to prepare students for careers as economic analysts in either the private or public sector, for advanced professional studies in business, law and public policy, as well as for entry into Ph.D. programs in economics, finance, and related fields.
The Tepper School's primary MBA degree is a two-year, full-time program, during which most students complete an internship in the summer between the first and second year of study. Students have the option of waiving the summer internship and taking classes, which allows full-time students to complete their studies in 16 months. Working professionals in the Pittsburgh area may also complete the MBA degree in the evening as members of the flex-time program.
The mini-semester system is half the length of a traditional academic semester, creating four mini-semesters per academic year. Each mini-semester is 7.5 weeks long, and students typically take 5 different courses each mini-semester. This system, which was pioneered by the Tepper School, allows students to take more than 32 different courses while enrolled in the MBA program. The Tepper School prefers this structure as students can gain exposure to a greater breadth of topics, as well as several electives.
The MBA curriculum is designed to increase in complexity and application throughout students' time at the Tepper School. The first year builds a fundamental skill set in the core disciplines, including Finance, Operations, Marketing, Strategy, Organizational Behavior and Technology. Year two advances the theories and analytical framework developed in the first year to provide breadth and depth in areas that support corporate strategy and general management as students complete three to four concentrations in specific functional areas. In lieu of selecting three to four general management concentrations, second year students may complete courses in satisfaction of specialized "MBA Tracks".
The capstone course of the MBA curriculum is known as the Management Game. The Management Game, which was first introduced by Carnegie Mellon in 1958, has been adopted by many other leading business schools as an effective business simulation model. Tepper students work with an external board of directors to manage a multinational corporation, guiding the organization through a wide range of issues including global expansion, labor negotiations, operations, market share, shifting economies and financial performance.
The General Management MBA Track, the Core MBA degree, serves as an umbrella academic option due to the flexibility associated with multiple concentrations. The General Management MBA Track complements the eight other Tepper MBA Tracks: Biotechnology, Computational Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Integrated Product Development, International Management, Operations Management, Operations Research, and Wealth and Asset Management.
Tepper also offers the following joint and dual MBA degrees:
MS Computational Finance
Carnegie Mellon's intensive, Master of Science in Computational Finance (MSCF) is considered by many to be the top quantitative finance program in the country. The MSCF degree is primary granted through a sixteen month full-time program. The Tepper School also offers a thirty-three month part-time degree program and four non-degree certificate programs. Certificate students focus on one "stream" of the MSCF degree curriculum: Math, Statistics or Financial Computing.
The MSCF degree was created in 1994 to fill a perceived gap in the market between traditional MBA students and Ph. Ds. At the time of its creation, MBAs were perceived to have too little math skills, while the Ph. Ds traditionally hired as quantitative analysts were deemed to have too little experience in finance. The purpose of the MSCF curriculum was to give students the correct balance of math and finance to enable them to fill the gap created in the market between MBAs and Ph. Ds.
The current curriculum consists of courses in finance, traditional finance theories of equity and bond portfolio management, the stochastic calculus models on which derivative trading is based, the application of these models in both fixed income and equity markets, computational methods including Monte Carlo simulation and finite difference approximations of partial differential equations, and statistical methodologies including regression and time series, culminating with courses on statistical arbitrage, risk management and dynamic asset management. Early in the program, students are taught C++, which enables them to build the computational financial models necessary for their finance courses. The program's capstone is a sophisticated financial computing course.
Twenty full-time faculty instruct 35 full-time students in Pittsburgh and 70 full and part-time students in the financial district of New York City. The primary method of instruction for the New York campus is live, interactive video. Lectures are recorded and made immediately available to students via the internet. Faculty teach twice every seven weeks in New York at which times the students are invited to join the professor for lunch after class.
MS Quantitative Economics
In the fall of 2003, the program began enrolling students, known as the MSQE program. This degree is currently offered only to Carnegie Mellon undergraduates. The MSQE is designed to differ from a traditional MA in Economics based upon the program's emphasis on rigorous analytical coursework. The Tepper School reports that the MSQE coursework is as advanced and as quantitative as any Ph.D. program in the United States.
The doctoral degree is organized around a preliminary set of courses in the core disciplines of Economics, Organization Behavior and Theory, and Operations Research. The foundational knowledge and methodologies that students in the doctoral program learn form the basis for further study and research either in one of the core disciplines, or in one (or more) of the remaining functional areas of business: Accounting, Financial Economics, Information Systems, Marketing, or Manufacturing and Operating Systems.
The school also offers Ph.D. degrees jointly with other colleges in the University:
All doctoral candidates receive full tuition, plus a stipend for three years, through the William Larimer Mellon Fund.
In addition to customizable executive programs, the Tepper School offers three executive education events for the 2007 calendar year:
The Tepper School has its own, irreverent, weekly student newspaper – Robber Barons. Additionally, students gather every Friday at Posner Hall to socialize and discuss their experiences with classmates, significant others, faculty, administrators and occasionally alumni. School-related functions include the annual social, holiday parties, Pirate games and whitewater rafting. Others events are more functional, like business etiquette and leadership workshops.
Tepper School students have access to a variety of athletic facilities, including tennis courts near the school’s main entrance, the university gymnasium across the street from the business school and the University Center. Students organize intramural softball and volleyball teams and compete in basketball and golf tournaments with other business schools. In particular, MBA students are active participants in Duke's MBA games.
Top Hiring Employers
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Carnegie Bosch Institute
The Carnegie Bosch Institute for Applied Studies in International Management (CBI) is an alliance between the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon and the Bosch Group, a leading German-based multinational corporation with long-standing operations in North America. The institute was founded in the summer of 1990 to form a link between management and academia in the field of international management research. The CBI was established through a donation made by the Robert Bosch Corporation.
Global Study Abroad
The International Management MBA Track features an eight-week global experience in which students travel to Western and Eastern Europe to study emerging, transitional and competitive economies. During study abroad, students experience real-world aspects of classroom work through manufacturing tours, presentations at financial institutions, meetings with government and non-governmental organizations as well as the experience of living in an international setting. This program operates in partnership with the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management.
Undergraduate business students are also encouraged to explore opportunities to learn about different cultures in which to live and work. Each year students travel abroad as part of a capstone educational experience.
From its outset, academic research has been one of the primary focuses of the Tepper School. When speaking of the school's founders, one author stated "Research was their fundamental engine of progress". The Tepper School has established 16 different research centers to continue the emphasis on research established at the school's founding.
Below are the most recent Tepper School rankings for undergraduate and MBA programs. As MBA rankings are driven largely from average GMAT scores and starting salaries, these statistics are provided for the past 9 years.
Wall Street Journal Rankings - 2007
Business Week Rankings – 2006
U.S. News & World Report - 2008 (Graduate)
U.S. News & World Report - 2008 (Undergraduate)
Forbes – 2005
Financial Times – 2007