The Kenanâ€"Flagler Business School is the undergraduate and graduate business school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (MBA), MBA for Executives, Master of Accounting, Ph.D., a business certificate program, as well as many executive education programs.


Established in 1919 as the Department of Commerce of UNC Chapel Hill's College of Arts, the School was renamed the Kenanâ€"Flagler Business School in 1991 to honor two American business families and benefactors of the School: philanthropist Mary Lily Kenan Flagler and her husband, Henry Morrison Flagler. The renaming was in recognition of a generous gift from Frank Hawkins Kenan, another Kenan family member and benefactor of the School's Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

In 1997, the McColl Building opened at Kenan-Flagler to complete today's campus. With 191,000 square feet (17,700 m2), the McColl Building has more than tripled the space that the school occupied at Carroll Hall.

The Kenan and Flagler Families

Mary Lily's brother, William R. Kenan, Jr., discovered acetylene gas, which led to the creation of Union Carbide. Her husband, Henry Morrison Flagler, co-founded the Standard Oil Co. with John D. Rockefeller and is responsible for the development of Florida's eastern coast. Prior to his arrival in Florida, the state was virtually inaccessible except by ship. Flagler founded what eventually became known as the Flagler System Companies made up of railroad, shipping, real estate, and hotel development and utility companies. The system's flagship was the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach.

In the 1790s, Mary Lily's great-great-grandfather, James Kenan, served on UNC's first board of trustees and contributed to the construction of Old East, the oldest public university building in the United States. Mary Lily's maternal great-great-grandfather, Christopher Barbee, donated more than 200 acres (0.81 km2) of his Orange County farm to the University, then about one-fifth of the campus.

Gifts to the University by the Kenan family total some $50 million to date and include such buildings as Kenan Stadium and the Kenan Center. The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust contributed $10 million to the Bicentennial Campaign for UNC to be used for the Kenanâ€"Flagler Business School's new state-of-the-art building, $10 million for the Paul J. Rizzo Conference Center at Meadowmont, and $1 million for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Venturing.


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Kenan-Flagler offers its students five MBA degree programs.

  • Full Time MBA
  • OneMBA (Global) MBA for Executives
  • Evening MBA for Executives
  • Weekend MBA for Executives
  • MBA@UNC (online program)

Admissions requirements for the Full-time program include personal information, resume, academic transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores for international applicants, three required essays (there is also one optional essay), and three professional recommendation letters.

In addition, you must interview with the school (on-campus, over the phone, via webcam, or off-campus with a designated alumni (available in certain cities)) in to receive a final "admit" decision. The admissions team for the FT program does not issue invitations to interview, rather you schedule the interview yourself via their application portal.


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MBA Full-time Program Rankings (additional to chart)

  • Poets and Quants - Best Business Schools
    • 18th in the United States
  • QS Global 200 Business Schools Report
    • 15th in the United States
    • 23rd in North America
  • Business Insider, World's Best MBA programs
    • 18th in the United States
    • 25th Worldwide
  • The Vault's Ranking of Best MBA programs
    • 16th in the United States
  • Beyond Grey Pinstripes (Aspen Institute)
    • 7th in the United States
  • PrivateEquityBlogger.com
    • 5th of the best business schools for private equity
  • Princeton Review and Entrepreneur
    • 11th for graduate programs in entrepreneurship

MBA for Executives Programs

  • The Wall Street Journal ranked the Weekend Program: 10
  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek for the Weekend Program: 11
  • Financial Times ranked OneMBA: 22

MBA@UNC Online

  • The U.S. News & World Report ranked the MBA@UNC Online Program #1 in 2015

MAC Program (Master of Accounting)

  • Public of Accounting Report: 7

Executive Development (Non-Degree Programs)

  • Financial Times: 9 for custom programs:
  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek: 14 for executive education:


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UNC Kenan-Flagler professors are immersed in the challenges of the business world through their research and teaching. They engage with executives when teaching in the MBA for Executives and Executive Development Programs, and consult with organizations around the globe. Their background is firmly rooted in academic excellence, coming from the world’s top universities, and professional experience:

  • 42 percent have corporate experience
  • 10 percent serve on company boards
  • 15 percent have owned their own businesses

The faculty’s global perspective stems from their research, their engagement in the world and their roots. They come to UNC from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Greece, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.


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UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA degree program requires 63.0 credit hours and leverages a variety of learning environments and methodologies, including:

  • Case-study method
  • Interactive lecture
  • Small group activities
  • Live simulation
  • Real-world business partnerships

The MBA classes are designed with help from the school's corporate advisory boards. The classes will challenge and develop students in 3 areas recruiters say are essential for a student's career success:

  1. Asking the right questions and thinking like a general manager
  2. Working effectively as a leader and member of teams
  3. Speaking to groups and presenting the student's ideas persuasively

National Case Competitions

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Case competitions are the varsity sport of MBA programs. Graduate schools and corporations sponsor these contests where students compete to solve "real world" business problems. Kenan-Flagler hosts three nationally acclaimed case competitions.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Sponsored Case Competitions

Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC)
The premier event for graduate students pursuing careers as entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Founded at UNC Kenan-Flagler, it is part of the school’s top ranked program for entrepreneurs. VCIC gives students great experience playing the role of venture capitalists to assess real companies. www.vcic.org. 'VCIC wiki.'

UNC Kenan-Flagler Real Estate Development Challenge
It was founded by the Center for Real Estate Development as an invitation-only event.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Alpha Challenge
This competition is the premier MBA event in the investment management industry. MBA teams from schools worldwide compete on popular hedge fund trading strategies.

Student-Run Funds

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UNC Kenan-Flagler’s three student-run funds give students the unique opportunity to apply the expertise they gain in the classroom to solving real-time business challenges.

The KFBS Real Estate Fund I, LP
Established in 2007 with two objectives in mind â€" education and the achievement of potential investment returns.

The KFBS Private Equity Fund
Launched in 2007, the fund is the first and only student-run fund associated with a leading US business school that seeks to provide real returns to its limited partners. The fund currently has more than $4.4 million of committed capital under management.

The KFBS Global Perspectives Fund
Created to promote the education of current and future MBA students in investment decision making. The Fund supplements a Finance curriculum with co-operative, experiential learning which develops skills in security selection, portfolio and risk management, economic analysis, and investment communication. The Fund seeks to invest capital to provide practical education to students and to provide funds to maintain and improve the Investment Management curriculum.

Undergraduate Business Symposium

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Established by Kenan-Flagler professor Barry Roberts in 1983, the Undergraduate Business Symposium is a series of networking and professional development experiences which serve approximately 400 students and bring about 30 companies to the UNC campus every fall. Its mission statement is: "to connect students, faculty, and executives in order to foster professional development through engaging corporate culture and current business practices," according to the event's website.

Typically taking place on the 3rd weekend of September, Symposium brings corporate executives and professors who teach, using an experiential approach, about different functional areas of business, such as marketing, finance, and operations, in addition to networking. Companies also send recruiters and students seek internships and full-time job offers at the Symposium events. The Undergraduate Business Symposium is operated by the Core Committee, the group of students that oversees the execution of the event each year, with the support and oversight of the Undergraduate Program's administrators.

Diversity at Kenan-Flagler

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UNC MBA students represent an array of races, gender, geography, cultures and lifestyles. They enroll with a broad range of functional and industry experience and pursue careers across a wide spectrum of opportunity.

UNC Kenan-Flagler participates in many organizations and events to recruit minority and female students. These efforts include membership to:

  • Consortium for Graduate Study in Management
  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow
  • Forté Foundation

Kenan-Flagler organizes and/or participates in the following events and organizations:

  • Inside Kenan-Flagler (preview weekend for pre-screened minority MBA prospects)
  • Minority-themed online chats and discussion groups
  • Minority-themed CRM (customer/client relationship management) email campaign
  • National Black MBA Association (conference participation and print media)
  • National Society of Hispanic MBAs (conference participation and print media)
  • Collaboration with UNC Kenan-Flagler student organizations
  • Sponsor of Forté Career Lab for undergraduate women

Consortium for Graduate Study in Management The mission of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an alliance of leading American business schools and some of our country’s top corporations, is to enhance diversity in business education and leadership by helping to reduce the serious under representation of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans in both our member schools’ enrollments and the ranks of management. The organization strives to achieve this mission by recruiting for graduate business education qualified U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents from these underrepresented groups, as well as other persons who can demonstrate a commitment to The Consortium’s mission and can best assist The Consortium in pursuing this mission. The organization and scholarship are open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who can demonstrate a commitment to the Consortium’s mission.

The Forté Foundation The Forté Foundation is an organization of top business schools and corporations whose mission is to increase the number of women in business. Each year, Forté Scholars are selected based on exemplary leadership and achievement. Scholars participate fully in the Forté Scholars programs. No separate application is required to be considered at UNC.

Prominent Alumni

  • Gary Parr (BSBA '79), Deputy Chairman, Lazard Frères & Co.
  • Michele Buck (MBA '87), Global Chief Marketing Officer, The Hershey Company
  • Claire Babrowski (EMBA '95), Executive Vice President and COO of Toys “R” Us
  • Brent Callinicos (BSBA '87, MBA '89), Chief Financial Officer Uber Technologies, Inc.
  • Donna Dean (MBA '78), Chief Investment Officer, The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Paul Fulton (BSBA ‘57), President, Bassett Furniture Industries; former President of Sara Lee Corporation; Former Dean, UNC Kenan-Flagler
  • Charles Loudermilk (BSBA '50), President and CEO, Aaron Rents, Inc.
  • Hugh McColl Jr. (BSBA '57), Former Chairman and CEO, Bank of America Corporation
  • John G. Medlin Jr. (BSBA '56), Chairman Emeritus, Wachovia Corporation
  • Paul Rizzo (BSBA ’50), Chairman, Franklin Street Partners; Former Vice Chairman of the Board of IBM Corporation; Former Dean, UNC Kenan-Flagler
  • Julian Robertson (BSBA '55), Chairman, Tiger Management Corporation
  • C. Dixon Spangler, Jr. (BSBA '54), President Emeritus, University of North Carolina System; President and CEO, C. D. Spangler Construction
  • Erskine Bowles (BSBA '67), President, University of North Carolina System; former White House Chief of Staff; former head of Small Business Administration; former United Nations deputy envoy for tsunami relief
  • Tucker York, Partner Goldman Sachs (BSBA at UNC Kenan-Flagler)
  • Charles Sullivan, COO Prologis (MBA at UNC Kenan-Flagler)
  • John A. Allison IV, Chairman and Former CEO of BB&T (BSBA at UNC Kenan-Flagler)
  • Mercer Reynolds: Businessman, finance chair of George W. Bush's Presidential campaign.
  • Jorge Goldsmit, MBA 2000, President, Eat, Inc.
  • Dwight Smith, MBA 1984, vice president, North American MDL, Procter & Gamble
  • Stephen Harris, MBA 1998, Chief Financial Officer, United American Healthcare
  • Melvin Speight, MBA 2006, Assistant Vice Chancellor, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Luis DeAnda Dabrowski, MBA 1997, Chief Executive Officer, Grupo Agregados Y Parvimentos
  • Thomas Roberts, MBA 2001, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Great Student Network
  • David N. Senty, U.S. Air Force Major General
  • Sailash Patel, MBA 2000, Chief Financial Officer, Furiex Pharmaceuticals
  • Toshiyasu Iiyama, MBA 1993, Chief Executive Officer and President, Nomura International, Ltd.
  • Phil Wynn, MBA 1989, Former President, Durham Technical Community College; current vice president for Durham and regional affairs, Duke University
  • G. Smedes York, MBA 1968, 33rd Mayor of Raleigh 1979-1983, Chairman of York Properties, Inc.

See also

  • Carolina Business Institute - a professional development program co-sponsored by the Kenanâ€"Flagler Business School.
  • List of United States business school rankings
  • List of business schools in the United States
  • GLOBE-A double exchange program for undergraduate students between the Kenanâ€"Flagler Business School, Copenhagen Business School, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Venture Capital Investment Competition


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