|1||University of Southern California||Los Angeles|
|3||California State University-San Bernardino||San Bernardino|
|4||California State University-Fresno||Fresno|
|5||Santa Clara University||Santa Clara|
Our 2019 rankings of the Top Online MBA Programs in California. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. , Los Angeles, California
Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California (USC Marshall) is home to the oldest AACSB-accredited school of business in Southern California. The school offers an online MBA program that it says, “weaves the fundamental topics of business education – marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, and others – into hands-on exercises and real-world discussions.”
Students will complete the program via multiple delivery methods including interactive games, virtual learning exercises, group video conferences and class sessions led by instructors, and one-on-one faculty discussions via webcam. Video content and presentations produced at the USC Marshall dedicated studio are also highlighted, as well as case studies and dramatizations of real-world business scenarios, and collaborative video activities and assessments.
2. Pepperdine University, Malibu, California
The Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University offers an online MBA program that focuses on building “essential business knowledge in areas such as finance, marketing, accounting, economics, quantitative analysis, law, human behavior, information systems, strategy, management, and leadership,” says the school. Students in this AACSB-accredited program will build “business intelligence” as they “examine business from a global perspective and address the impact of globalization, competition, technological innovation, and ethics in the workplace.”
Students in this 52 credit hour program will “do more than read case studies about top brands, such as Disney, Starbucks, and Warner Bros.” Students “will actually work” with top executives on” live consulting projects” to “solve real-time challenges.”
Other program highlights include the Personal and Leadership Development Workshop residency, which takes place at the schools’ coastal Malibu campus, Global Business Intensives, which cover relevant topics such as international economics, culture, marketing, finance, and business law, and five in-demand concentration options including Digital Innovation and Information Systems, Finance, General Management, Leadership and Managing Organizational Change, and Marketing. An optional international residency that allows students to explore global issues and work with international experts to understand foreign markets is also available.
Graziadio Online MBA students can complete the program, with a concentration, in as few as 24 months.
3. California State University-San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California
The Jack H. Brown College of Business (JHBC) and Public Administration at California State University-San Bernardino (CSUSB) offers a 12-course, 48 quarter-unit MBA program that may be completed entirely online. Courses are taught in five-week sessions and students typically dedicate 20-25 hours of study time per course. Students can expect to take courses such as Advanced Managerial Communication, Corporate Strategy in a Global Economy, Information Systems & Technology, Entrepreneurship and New Ventures, Data Driven Decision Making and Project Management.
All CSUSB MBA programs include a Boot Camp (0-units) to help students prepare for subsequent classes, two 'foundation classes' (8-units) to develop problem-solving and communication skills, seven 'essential' classes (28-units) to develop specific business knowledge and skills, and two 'culminating' classes (4-units) to apply knowledge and prepare students for subsequent career aspirations. Two elective courses (8 units) are also part of the program.
Boot Camp modules cover accounting, finance, information management, marketing, and supply chain management.
The online CSUSB MBA program has an open enrollment process and it is AACSB-accredited. Students can expect to complete the program in just 18 months.
4. California State University Fresno, Fresno, California
Craig School of Business (CSB) at California State University, Fresno (or Fresno State) offers an Accelerated MBA Program that may be completed in 18 months. Students can complete their MBA in a blended format, which allows them to take courses 100% online using the Blackboard Learning System. Students must attend an on-campus orientation and complete selected final exams and final culminating experience presentations in person. Approved testing locations and Respondus will be used to bridge any geographic barriers that present themselves.
Per the school, the curriculum for blended program follows the same structure and coursework as the traditional campus MBA, but it allows students the flexibility to learn remotely. Sample courses for the program include Global Environment of Business, Methods of Decision Sciences, Regulatory and Ethical Environment of Business, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, and Managing Human Capital.
Other program highlights include multiple seminars in covering everything from Business Ventures to “X” Marketing, AACSB accreditation and limited campus visits for a single orientation, selected final exams, and final culminating experience presentations. Students also have the option to participate in the Summer Study Abroad Program.
5. Santa Clara University, El Camino Real, Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business offers an online MBA program that can be completed in as few as two years. Designed to help students become “Silicon Valley Professionals (SVPs),” the program highlights a curriculum based in “innovation and responsibility,” says the school. Sample courses for the program include Doing Business in Silicon Valley, Leading People and Organizations, Ethics for Managers, Strategy, Analysis, Design, and Management of Enterprise Platforms, and Marketing is Everything. The program also highlights 28 units of free electives that allow students to focus in one or more areas.
The Leavey Online MBA requires two on-campus intensives, where students will meet their peers and experience Santa Clara University in person. These are the only two campus requirements. Otherwise, online students will take courses whenever and wherever, but they will learn from the same professors who teach the on-campus program. The program, including Leavey School of Business is AACSB-accredited and is currently in the process of seeking approval for the Online MBA program from its institutional accrediting body, the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).