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Top business schools in California

When it comes to pursuing a career in the business in California, finding the top business schools in California for MBA program is very crucial step for aspiring candidates. In California, many students often consider various factors such as tuition, class size, test scores, and acceptance rates to narrow down their options for business schools.

Business degrees not only enhance or upgrade one’s skills but also fill the aspiring candidates with confidence needed to tackle the ever-changing and demanding corporate landscape. In this article, we will provide you a list of top business schools in California to guide you on your educational journey.

top business schools in California

                                                                                         top business schools in California


Embarking on the pursuit of an MBA requires careful consideration, as it can significantly impact your future prospects. The following list aims to provide comprehensive information about the top business schools in California, helping you make an informed decision.

Overview of the California School System

California generally boasts a healthy higher education system, consisting of three public segments: the University of California (UC), the California State University (CSU), and the California Community Colleges. Additionally, there are more than 150 private nonprofit colleges and approximately 160 for-profit schools in the state.

Each year, these colleges and universities enroll nearly Three million students, with an additional Thirty Thousand students attending private for-profit trade schools. Remarkably, eight out of every 10 California college students choose public institutions, and more than half of them opt for community colleges.

Despite the absence of a coordinating body for higher education, California operates under the 60-year-old Master Plan for Higher Education, which provides a framework for goal-setting and coordination within the system.

Top Business Schools of California

The following is a list of the top 10 business schools in California, highlighting key details such as tuition costs, graduation rates, acceptance rates, and class sizes. This information aims to paint a comprehensive picture of each institution:

University of Southern California (USC) Marshall Business School: USC's Marshall Business School offers 5 MBA programs and ten specialized programs. It boasts a vibrant alumni network and a commitment to diversity, entrepreneurship, and critical thinking.

Tuition cost (after aid): $30,000, Graduation rate: 92%, Class size: Up to 441, Acceptance rate: 16%, Type: Private nonprofit, 3- and 4-year programs 

University of California, Berkeley: Berkeley's Haas Business School provides three MBA programs tailored to develop business leaders. With a focus on leadership skills, entrepreneurship, and strategic thinking, Haas equips students for success in the global economy.

Tuition cost (after aid): $15,000, Graduation rate: 91%, Acceptance rate: 17%, Type: Public, 4-year program, Class size: 291 

Stanford Graduate School of Business: Stanford offers a two-year, full-time MBA program emphasizing collaboration, innovation, and global business challenges. The school's alumni network provides extensive resources for professional development and networking.

Tuition: $55,000, Graduation rate: 94.2%, Acceptance rate: 6.1%, Type: Private, nonprofit, Placement rate: 96% 

UC Davis Graduate School of Management: UC Davis offers a variety of MBA programs, including full-time, part-time, and online options. The school's emphasis on sustainability and corporate partnerships prepares graduates for careers in industries such as food, agriculture, and sustainable energy.

Tuition: $60,000-$104,000, Type: Public, Acceptance rate: 27%, Class size: 586, Placement rate: 98% 

UCI Paul Merage School of Business: UCI's full-time MBA program focuses on critical thinking and problem-solving in a digitally driven world. The school promotes a collaborative culture and offers specializations in entrepreneurship, digital transformation, and real estate.

Tuition:  $30,000,  Type: Public, Acceptance rate: ~20%, Class size: 51, Placement rate: 85%

Cal Poly Pomona College of Business Administration: Cal Poly Pomona's MBA program caters to working professionals and offers flexible hybrid coursework. Its focus on core business courses and specialized electives equips students with valuable skills for career advancement.

Tuition: $26,000, Graduation Rate: 65.9%, Type: Public, Acceptance Rate: 64.8%3, Class size: ~20, Placement Rate: 95% 

Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University: Fowler College offers both part-time and full-time MBA programs, allowing students to choose from various specializations. The school's extensive network of partnerships provides numerous career opportunities for graduates.

Tuition: $27,000, Graduation Rate: 41%, Type: Public, Placement Rate: 84%, Acceptance Rate: 53% 

California State University - East Bay College of Business and Economics: Cal State East Bay offers three MBA programs, including a one-year option and an MBA for global innovators. The school's focus on career exploration and regional connections ensures competitive compensation and career advancement.

Tuition: $30,000, Graduation Rate: 91% , Type: Public,  Placement Rate: 85%,  Class Size: 62, Acceptance Rate: 76% 

Pepperdine University - Graziadio Business School: Pepperdine's Graziadio Business School offers part-time and full-time MBA programs, along with online learning options. The school's commitment to personalized education and career development benefits students at all professional levels.

Tuition: ~$105,000, Graduation Rate: 97%,  Type: Private,  Placement Rate: 68.4%, Acceptance Rate: 70%, Class size: 26 

Chapman University Argyros Business School: Chapman's Argyros Business School features MBA programs with various specializations, including film and television production, entrepreneurship, and finance. The school's flexibility in program offerings allows students to tailor their education to their career goals.

Graduation Rate: 79%, Acceptance Rate: 58.3%,  Type: Public nonprofit, Placement Rate: 75%, Class Size: N/A 


Pursuing an MBA in California opens doors to exciting opportunities and equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the business world. By exploring the top business schools in the state, students can make informed choices that will shape their educational journey and professional futures. 

Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)

To address common inquiries regarding MBA programs in California, let's explore some frequently asked questions: 

Are there online-only MBA programs in California?

Yes, several business schools in California offer online MBA programs. However, some schools may accommodate students with flexible scheduling options. It is advisable to contact your preferred schools for more information. 

What financial aid programs are available in California?

 Many MBA programs provide scholarships, grants, and financial aid opportunities. Additionally, completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can help determine your eligibility for federal and state funding. 

Who should I approach for recommendation letters?

Most MBA programs require at least two recommendation letters. Preferably, one should come from your current or recent supervisor, while the other could be from a professor or instructor who can speak to your academic performance and potential. Provide your references with a list of your positive attributes and areas of development to highlight in your application. 

What are the general requirements for MBA programs in California?

General requirements for MBA programs in California may include a strong GPA, competitive test scores (GMAT or GRE), work experience, recommendations, essays, and interviews, specific program requirements can vary. Thoroughly review the application guidelines for each business school is very essential for the candidate’s interest. 

Is This MBA Program Right for Me?

Choosing the top business schools in California requires careful consideration of various factors, such as tuition costs, career opportunities, alumni benefits and cultural fit. Candidates should conduct thorough research to align their career goals with the offerings of each business schools. In addition to that, leveraging available resources can help in making an informed decision.

By utilizing this comprehensive list of the top business schools in California, students can embark on their research journey and select a business schools in California that aligns with their aspirations.

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