Business Degree Schools in Rhode Island

Tiny Rhode Island—officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations—is mostly not an island at all, though it does possess several, and is nicknamed the Ocean State because of its extensive inland waterways. The origin of its name is unclear: it may be named for the island of Rhodes, but another theory holds that it’s an adaptation of a Dutch phrase meaning “red island.” Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union geographically, its small size underscored by the fact that it has the 7th lowest population but 2nd highest population density. Rhode Island’s economy was once supported primarily through fishing but is now heavily service-based, particularly in healthcare.

All of New England has a rich academic heritage, and Rhode Island packs a decent number of colleges into its 1,214 square miles. National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) data shows 10 public and non-profit schools that grant undergraduate business degrees in the state, of which 6 are accredited. We always recommend choosing an accredited degree in business, as this provides assurance that the program you select has clear objectives and produces quality outcomes while adhering to national and international standards. Accredited schools also typically offer a richer educational experience by offering interaction with real businesses.

All of the schools in this article have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and/or International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). They are all public or non-profit and regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

In this article you will find all the essential data you need to help you choose the Rhode Island business school that best suits your unique needs, based on a variety of key factors, including tuition, financial aid, entrance exam scores, acceptance rates, and more. The sections that follow describe undergraduate programs and job prospects for business school graduates in Rhode Island.

Undergraduate Business Schools in Rhode Island

Like other states in the northeast, Rhode Island’s schools are generally on the expensive side, though there are a couple of budget options. Four schools range in price from $32,000 (Roger Williams University) to $46,970 (Providence College), while the two economical choices are the University of Rhode Island at $12,900 and Rhode Island College at just $8,200. Average financial aid is on the low side at $15,500, though it is a higher percentage of the cost of tuition for the lower-priced universities.

Acceptance rates in Rhode Island are good and quite uniform: the average is 70% with a range of 55% (Providence College) to 79% (Roger Williams University). Graduation rates for undergraduate business degrees in Rhode Island are very good for 5 of the schools, which range from 63% at the University of Rhode Island to 83% at Providence College; Rhode Island College is the outlier at 47%, but this is still a reasonable figure. The best combination of acceptance rate and the graduation rate is at Bryant University, with figures of 67% and 77%, respectively.

The table below shows you all the important data you need about undergraduate business schools in Rhode Island, including annual in-state tuition costs, average aid per student, acceptance rates, SAT and ACT score ranges of accepted students, and graduation rates. Click any column header to sort the table based on its contents.

SchoolCityTuitionAidMedian SATMedian ACTAccept. RateGrad. Rate
Bryant UniversitySmithfield$40,962$18,10167%77%
Providence CollegeProvidence$46,970$24,5121030-124023-2855%83%
Rhode Island CollegeProvidence$8,206$5,548790-102016-2075%47%
Roger Williams UniversityBristol$32,100$14,82679%64%
Salve Regina UniversityNewport$37,820$20,09268%68%
University of Rhode IslandKingston$12,884$9,962970-117022-2773%63%

Job Outlook for Business School Graduates in Rhode Island

From 2016 to 2026, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data predicts total growth of at least 5% in 32 of 37 business and management occupations across the US. The highest growth will be for market analysts and marketing specialists, at 22.8% over ten years, with financial managers coming in second at 18.7%.

Rhode Island’s economy tends to track that of the nation as a whole but is slightly weaker in terms of employment. Its unemployment rate has tended to be about one point higher than the national average for most of the last 20 years, though the gap has closed recently; Rhode Island’s current unemployment rate is 4.3%, slightly above the 4% of the United States overall. About 36,200 people were employed in the business and management sector in Rhode Island in 2016. The largest subgroup was general and operations managers at 6,100, a little higher than the size of the next largest subgroup, accountants and auditors at 4,400.

According to BLS data, Rhode Island ranked 19th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for overall average annual wage across all occupations in 2016 at $60,596, just above the national average of $57,617. Business and management occupations had a weighted average annual salary of around $104,000 that year, more than double the all-occupations average and a larger gap than that found in most states. Chief executives were the highest-paid category at $235,000, and most management positions fell between $100,000 and $160,000. The lowest-paid of the groups was tax preparers at $43,810.

Rhode Island
Rhode Island
Rhode Island
Accountants and Auditors13-20114,400$38$79,9508.0%
Administrative Services Managers11-3011640$60$124,5709.1%
Advertising and Promotions Managers11-2011120$49$102,8505.8%
Architectural and Engineering Managers11-9041420$71$147,9307.4%
Budget Analysts13-2031130$41$84,74010.4%
Business Operations Specialists13-11992,350$38$79,07010.1%
Chief Executives11-1011350$113$235,23011.9%
Compensation and Benefits Managers11-311160$80$166,7300.187
Compensation, and Benefits Specialists13-1141250$36$74,4205.6%
Compliance Officers13-1041670$35$73,4505.0%
Construction Managers11-9021430$54$111,3808.9%
Cost Estimators13-1051610$31$64,88010.3%
Credit Analysts13-2041650$35$72,24011.4%
Credit Counselors13-2071170$28$59,1205.5%
Financial Analysts13-20511,080$38$78,6404.9%
Financial Examiners13-2061360$43$88,9008.2%
Financial Managers11-30312,320$69$144,26010.6%
General and Operations Managers11-10216,100$71$146,8707.1%
Human Resources Managers11-3121310$75$156,790-7.8%
Human Resources Specialists13-10711,770$35$71,9106.9%
Information Systems Managers11-30211,200$70$145,24012.0%
Insurance Underwriters13-2053440$36$75,03010.2%
Labor Relations Specialists13-1075450$30$62,9908.5%
Loan Officers13-20721,560$33$69,57011.5%
Management Analysts13-11113,130$42$86,6908.8%
Market Analysts and Marketing Specialists13-11611,930$35$72,93010.0%
Marketing Managers11-2021650$73$151,8606.5%
Meeting and Event Planners13-1121330$25$52,1808.4%
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers11-2031320$76$158,73010.8%
Purchasing Managers11-3061190$62$128,690-5.2%
Sales Managers11-2022800$73$152,8409.8%
Tax Examiners and Revenue Agents13-2081330$35$71,83013.9%
Tax Preparers13-2082160$21$43,81011.5%
Training and Development Managers11-313160$68$141,010-0.6%
Training and Development Specialists13-1151950$37$76,59010.8%

Other Popular State Pages

1. National Center for Education Statistics:
2. AACSB, Best Business Schools:
3. ACBSP, Business Schools:
4. IACBE, Business Schools:
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook, Business and Financial Occupations:
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employment and Wage Estimates Rhode Island:
7. US News & World Report, Best Business Schools: