Business Schools in Rhode Island
(found 10 schools)


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Students in Rhode Island can choose from around 10 schools with business programs. Specializations are varied, and there are a number of master’s programs. Doctoral programs are limited, however. Corporations often offer scholarships to business students. For example, Rhode Islanders may be eligible for the UNCF Verizon Foundation Scholarship.

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Business Degree Programs in Rhode Island

Listed below are all of the colleges and universities in Rhode Island that offer business degree programs. If you want to narrow it down a bit more, you can browse our listings of specific types of business degree programs in Rhode Island:

Full list of Accounting degree programs in Rhode Island >

Marketing degree programs in Rhode Island >

State of Rhode Island's Marketing Industry

Rhode Island's economy is having a rough time post-recession. In 2012, the state had the second-highest unemployment rate (after Nevada) (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2011), the second-fewest relocators to the state (after Michigan) (Forbes in 2012) and prohibitive business taxes. Chase Bank economists predicted in 2012 that it will continue to lag behind the national economy for quite a while.

On the positive side, the Ocean State has strong education and health care industries, a developing biotech sector and low labor costs relative to regional competitors. Currently the state depends heavily on the fortunes of finance, real estate and healthcare - if they're doing well, Rhode Island's marketing industry is generally doing well.

There are only two Fortune 500 companies in the state, as of 2012 - CVS Caremark and Textron - but plenty of large hospitals and banks. The economic hub is Providence, home to Citizens Bank, the 15th largest bank in the nation in 2012. Other large employers include Bank of America, Rhode Island Hospital, Women and Infants Hospital, and The Miriam Hospital.

Job Prospects for Rhode Island Marketing Graduates

With baby boomers retiring from the professional service sector, job prospects for Rhode Island marketing graduates look pretty good.

Over the years 2010-2020, the state's Department of Labor and Training is projecting there will be 328 new openings for marketing managers, 473 for PR specialists, 91 for PR managers and 527 for market research analysts. This last stat propelled the analysts onto the Department's list of "Fastest Growing Occupations.

Predictably, some of the jobs will be in finance - Rhode Island is the headquarters of FM Global and Amica Mutual Insurance - but you may also find luck with diverse businesses like Hasbro, GTECH Corporation and Nortek.

Or you could try agencies. RDW Group and Duffy & Shanley are a couple of well-known names, but don't discount rising stars. Ventures grew 24% from 2008-2011, adding seven new jobs and $1.2 million in revenue.

Rhode Island Schools for Marketing

There are eight accredited marketing schools in Rhode Island. Here are two to check out:

1. Bryant University (http://www.bryant.edu/academics/college-of-business/)

Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Bryant's College of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing, as well as an MBA. The college was named one of "The Best 296 Business Schools" by the Princeton Review and its part-time MBA was ranked #162 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2013.

Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in study-abroad programs, internships and service learning experiences. The two-year MBA incorporates a "Global Immersion Experience" for all students.

2. University of Rhode Island (URI) (http://www.cba.uri.edu/)

URI's College of Business Administration is the only Rhode Island institution with accredited programs at all academic levels. That includes a Bachelor of Science with a major in marketing, a one-year and part-time MBA (ranked #170 by U.S. News & World Report) and a doctorate in business administration with a focus on marketing.

Students can apply to participate in internships as well as the National Student Exchange program or URI's study-abroad programs. The school is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Professional Marketing Organizations in Rhode Island

There's not much of Little Rhody, and marketing organizations in the state are few. Check out the two below for networking events and continuing education opportunities:

Small business is a big deal in American’s smallest state. In 2012, small businesses represented 95.8 percent of Rhode Island’s employers and created 4,671 new jobs. Most of these jobs were created in the state’s smallest firms, meaning firms with less than 4 employees.

Rhode Island’s business schools design their programs to prepare students to excel in small businesses, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees with business concentrations in areas like entrepreneurial management and strategic innovation.

The state’s business schools also offer highly specialized “green business” bachelor’s and MBA degrees. Students in these programs earn dual degrees in business and environmental economics, which prepares them to develop innovative business models that keep Rhode Island’s most pressing environmental concerns in mind.

Just because small businesses flourish in Rhode Island’s economy does not mean that big businesses don’t.  Seven Fortune 500 companies – the companies with the highest amount of revenue throughout the country—have their headquarters in Rhode Island.

This includes household name, CVS Health, which is based in Woonsocket. In 2014, CVS earned $139,367 million in revenue, earning it the number 10 spot on Fortune 500’s list of top 500 businesses in the nation.

Other top Fortune 500 companies in Rhode Island include Textron, the aerospace and defense provider in Providence; United Natural foods in Providence; FM Global, the property insurance corporation in Johnston; Hasbro, the sporting goods company in Pawtucket; and more.

Rhode Island’s Most Innovative and Fast-Growing Companies

Rhode Island’s leading, most innovative, and fastest-growing companies in terms of revenue between 2010 and 2013 were small businesses. These small business were in the retail, energy, security, and technology industries, and included:

  • Alex and Ani in Cranston – 5,221% growth, $230.1 million revenue
  • First Point Power in East Greenwich – 4,355% growth - $23.4 million revenue
  • Alliance Security in Warick - 478% growth, $14.5 million revenue
  • ADI Energy in Smithfield – 410% growth, $8.4 million revenue
  • MojoTech in Providence – 375% growth, $3.4 million revenue

Clearly, small businesses do not mean small revenue. In fact, 88.7 percent of Rhode Island businesses that participated in international trade in 2012 were small businesses, generating more than three-fifths of the state’s total export value.

Business students who want to become a part of these burgeoning small businesses often earn their bachelor’s degree in business or MBA in entrepreneurship, which gives them the tools to manage all aspects of business, including human resources, marketing, leadership, organizational design, international dimensions, and consumer relationships.

What Business Professionals in Rhode Island Earn

For the country’s smallest state, Rhode Island’s businesses pay big. In May 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked Rhode Island as the third highest paying country in the nation for chief executives, with the average annual salary for chief executives in the state being $207,910.

Rhode Island also consistently ranks among the highest paying states in other specialized business occupations. Average occupational salaries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for business careers in 2014 included:

  • General and Operations Managers - $140,530
  • Sales Managers - $133,680
  • Marketing Managers - $129,190
  • PR and Fundraising Managers - $127,070
  • Financial Managers - $136,770
  • Compensation and Benefits Managers - $145,130
  • HR Managers - $131,490

Providence College

The Providence College School of Business is earning high marks for innovation in its Master of Business Administration (MBA) curriculum. Using a business-engagement learning model, you will use cross-disciplinary skills in experiential learning environments to put your classroom instruction to real world use. You can study full time or part time, taking one to four courses per semester. Areas of specialization include accounting, management (social entrepreneurship and leadership), marketing, finance, international business and non-profit organizations. Another innovation at this school is their 4+1 program: if you graduate with a bachelor's degree in business from any accredited institution, you can earn your MBA in one year.

Salve Regina University

You can earn your MBA on campus or online at Salve Regina. This program is heavy on quantitative skills and has a decidedly global point of view. You will be immersed in learning high-demand skills in the areas of accounting, finance and financial management, as well as in ethics, organizational behavior and strategic management. Classes are delivered through a blend of classroom instruction and hands-on internships. The school recently added a specialization in non-profit management to prepare students for leadership roles in this fast-growing sector.

Brown University

The IE Brown Executive MBA is offered through a unique partnership between Brown University and IE University in Spain. Designed for senior managers operating in global leadership roles, this program requires 15 intense months of instruction in Madrid, Providence and Cape Town, as well as online. You will learn from faculty from both schools to give you a broad perspective, and will gain experience in three continents. After completing core courses, students have the opportunity to broaden their studies to understand the greater business environment through the "Beyond Business Curriculum" in areas such as psychology and engineering. Upon graduation, you will join an active alumni network that spans the globe.

Bryant University

The Bryant MBA can be pursued as a one-year, full-time experience or a two-year, part-time program. In both cases, you will pursue your degree as a member of a close-knit cohort and work as a team through many of the program's challenges. The school uses a number of teaching methods drawn from best practices and the latest theories. Courses focus on conveying the technical, data-driven, quantitative skills needed to make decisions, as well as the interpersonal and communication skills that enable graduates to work with individuals of all skill levels in all cultures. Case studies, simulations and competitions provide experience with real-life situations. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Johnson & Wales University

The MBA program at Johnson & Wales focuses on competing in the global marketplace. With this in mind, you can earn a general business management degree or specialize in information technology, accounting or hospitality. The curriculum is designed for the motivated student with several years of work experience and the discipline to take on a challenging program. It can be completed in 12 months of full-time study, although you can take fewer classes each semester to allow you to better balance work and classes.

Top MBA Programs in Rhode Island


Full List of Schools

Brown University (Providence, RI)
Levels Offered:
Masters Degree
Subjects Offered:
Entrepreneurship
Bryant University (Smithfield, RI)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, MACC Degree, MBA Degree
Subjects Offered:
Accounting, Administration, Entrepreneurship, IT Management, International Business, Marketing
Community College of Rhode Island (Warwick, RI)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Certificate
Subjects Offered:
Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Marketing
Johnson & Wales University (Providence, RI)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, MBA Degree
Subjects Offered:
Accounting, Administration, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality Management, Human Resources Management, International Business, Marketing, Music/Entertainment/Sports Management
New England Institute of Technology (Warwick, RI)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Bachelors Degree
Providence College (Providence, RI)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Certificate, Masters Degree, MBA Degree
Subjects Offered:
Accounting, Administration, Entrepreneurship, International Business, Marketing
Rhode Island College (Providence, RI)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Certificate, Masters Degree, MACC Degree, MBA Degree
Subjects Offered:
Accounting, Administration, Human Resources Management, International Business, Marketing
Roger Williams University (Bristol, RI)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Certificate, Masters Degree
Subjects Offered:
Accounting, International Business, Marketing
Salve Regina University (Newport, RI)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Certificate, Masters Degree, MBA Degree
Subjects Offered:
Accounting, Administration, Human Resources Management, Marketing
University of Rhode Island (Kingston, RI)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Doctoral Degree, Masters Degree, MACC Degree, MBA Degree
Subjects Offered:
Accounting, Administration, Entrepreneurship, Marketing

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