Diamonds in the Rough: Applied Learning at the Wisconsin School of Business

MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools which are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Students who have clear objectives for their post-MBA career may find that seeking out a business school curriculum built around focused career specializations can be beneficial. The Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a uniquely applied learning experience for ten such areas of specialization:

  • applied security analysis
  • arts administration
  • brand and product management
  • corporate finance and investment banking
  • marketing research
  • operations and technology management
  • real estate
  • risk management and insurance
  • strategic human resource management
  • supply chain management


Immersive engagement begins early in the program, simultaneously with first-year core courses. For example, during their first semester, student teams work to perform an integrated company analysis of a publicly traded company of their choosing. By the time students break out into courses within their designated focus, they are ready to gain hands-on experience through applied projects. Applied securities analysis students, for example, practice managing a portfolio with over $62M in assets, whereas many other areas of specialization include partnering with businesses and organizations.

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