Business Degrees in California

California has a range of options for studying business at either the undergraduate or graduate level. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), of the 118 public and non-profit schools in the state, 44 have business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), or International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). All of the schools listed below are public or not-for-profit and regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

On this page, you can find all of the information you will need to decide on a school based on a variety of important criteria, such as tuition costs, financial aid amounts, average entrance exam scores, acceptance rates, and more.


Trusted MBA Data Sources


Best Business Schools in California – Fast Facts

  • Stanford University – #4 in Best Business Schools US News, #5 in Best National Universities
  • University of California Berkeley – #1 in Top Public Schools, #3 in Best Undergraduate Business Programs, #7 Best Business Schools, #21 in National Universities
  • University of California Los Angeles – #15 in Best Business Schools, #21 in National Universities
  • University of California Irvine – #9 in Top Public Schools, #42 in National Universities, #44 in Best Business Schools
  • University of Southern California – #8 in Online MBA Programs, #10 in Best Undergraduate Business Programs, #21 in National Universities, #24 in Best Business Schools

Undergraduate Business Schools in California

The average in-state undergraduate program cost for schools on our list before financial aid is $20,860. The most affordable institution is California State University, Fresno (commonly called Fresno State), with fees of approximately $6,300 and an average of over $9,000 offered in financial aid per student. These figures put Fresno State well below the average cost of in-state undergraduate business programs.

Stanford University has the lowest acceptance rate of the schools on our list, with just 4.8% of applicants accepted. Conversely, Saint Mary’s College of California and Notre Dame de Namur University have the highest acceptance rates, at 80% and 76% respectively. While getting into Stanford is a challenge, those who succeed are rewarded with the state’s highest six-year graduation rate: 93.9%. The schools with the next three highest rates are the University of Southern California, Santa Clara University, and the University of California, Berkeley, at 92%, 91.7%, and 91.1% respectively.

Below you will find a table of undergraduate business schools containing essential data, including annual in-state tuition costs, average aid received per student, acceptance rates, median SAT and ACT scores of accepted students, and graduation rates. You can click on any column header to sort the table based on its values. Two-year community colleges, also known as “junior colleges,” are not included in the table below, even though these schools can be an excellent option for some students to start on the path to a degree. Junior colleges often allow students to easily transfer to an accredited four-year program at an independent school or a member of the California State University or University of California systems.

SchoolCityTuitionAidMedian SATMedian ACTAccept. RateGrad. Rate
California Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis Obispo$9,075$6,1151150-136026-3129.5%79.7%
California State Polytechnic UniversityPomona$7,067$8,049900-116020-2759.2%68.5%
California State UniversityBakersfield$6,857$8,80967.8%42.7%
California State UniversityChico$7,040$8,157880-110019-2465.2%68.5%
California State University-East BayHayward$6,564$8,06869.8%48.2%
California State UniversityFresno$6,313$9,058800-101016-2253.5%56.5%
California State UniversityFullerton$6,560$7,999920-112019-2448.2%62.3%
California State UniversityLong Beach$6,460$7,866930-116020-2631.9%68.6%
California State UniversityLos Angeles$6,383$8,420780-98015-2063.7%45.7%
California State UniversityNorthridge$6,587$8,434800-103016-2348.2%50.1%
California State UniversitySacramento$6,900$8,134830-105017-2271.9%48.9%
California State UniversitySan Bernardino$6,610$8,623780-98016-2058.1%54.7%
California State UniversityTurlock$6,728$8,23674.3%57.2%
Chapman UniversityOrange$48,710$22,1461110-130025-3054.0%78.9%
Loyola Marymount UniversityLos Angeles44480200171120-133026-3053.9%83.2%
Menlo CollegeAtherton$39,950$24,306872-113018-2640.9%52.9%
Pepperdine UniversityMalibu$50,022$32,0671110-133026-3136.9%87.1%
Saint Mary’s College of CaliforniaMoraga$44,360$21,593950-116022-2880.4%72.8%
San Diego State UniversitySan Diego$7,084$8,0381000-122023-2834.6%73.3%
San Francisco State UniversitySan Francisco$6,484$8,167860-109018-2468.2%53.2%
San Jose State UniversitySan Jose$7,418$7,861920-115020-2553.4%62.1%
Santa Clara UniversitySanta Clara$47,112$23,2991200-140028-3248.3%88.6%
Sonoma State UniversityRohnert Park$7,388$7,291880-108019-2476.3%61.2%
Stanford UniversityStanford$47,940$42,1271380-158031-354.8%93.9%
University of CaliforniaBerkeley$13,509$17,3671270-154031-3416.9%91.7%
University of CaliforniaDavis$14,046$16,4211050-133025-3142.3%84.7%
University of CaliforniaIrvine$13,360$17,2021060-133024-3040.6%87.2%
University of CaliforniaLos Angeles$12,920$17,7591160-147028-3318.0%91.1%
University of CaliforniaRiverside$13,581$16,689940-119021-2766.3%72.9%
University of CaliforniaLa Jolla$13,645$16,8001170-145027-3335.7%87.2%
University of San DiegoSan Diego$46,140$24,0301100-131026-3051.4%77.8%
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles$52,283$35,0591280-150030-3316.6%92.0%
University of the PacificStockton$44,588$23,5391030-130023-3066.0%68.3%
Woodbury UniversityBurbank$37,906$16,108860-111519-2866.2%44.1%
Notre Dame de Namur UniversityBelmont$33,268$16,378800-101817-2296.7%50.3%
California Baptist UniversityRiverside$31,372$13,136850-110019-2464.0%59.8%
California State University-Channel IslandsCamarillo$6,547$8,07973.8%57.8%
Point Loma Nazarene UniversitySan Diego$33,500$16,7261030-124023-2869.4%70.9%
California State University Maritime AcademyVallejo$6,808$8,52468.2%62.1%

Graduate Business Schools in California

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree, you may wish to study business at the graduate level, choosing from among California’s 41 schools with accredited graduate business programs. Current NCES data shows that California boasts three of the top 10 business schools in the country. The average cost for a graduate business degree in California is $51,330. California State University, Northridge features the most affordable graduate business program tuition at $11,310, while the most expensive can be found at the University of Southern California at $116,229.

The table of graduate schools below contains tuition costs, average GMAT scores of accepted applicants, the percentage of faculty with a doctorate degree, and the student-to-faculty ratio. Click on any column header to sort the table based on its contents. Of the 23 business schools for which we have average admission GMAT score data, the figures range from 462 to 740, with an overall average of 575. Out of the 41 business programs, 31 have more than 70% of faculty with PhDs. Student-to-faculty ratios range from 0.17 at California State University, Fullerton to 7.48 at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

SchoolCityTuitionAvg. GMATFaculty
with Doct.
Degree
Student/
Faculty
Biola UniversityLa Mirada$30,561
California Baptist UniversityRiverside$28,000
California Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis Obispo$16,272
California State Polytechnic UniversityPomona$28,70297%0.44
California State UniversityBakersfield$24,000520
California State UniversityChico$15,93079%0.77
California State University East BayHayward$31,696100%0.27
California State UniversityFresno$24,30054673%0.96
California State UniversityFullerton$33,00057791%0.17
California State UniversityLong Beach$27,62856192%0.55
California State UniversityLos Angeles$23,36846297%3.57
California State UniversityNorthridge$11,310561100%1.01
California State UniversitySacramento$18,52958598%2.16
California State UniversitySan Bernardino$13,89953381%1.08
California State University StanislausTurlock$24,330100%1.36
University of CaliforniaBerkeley$108,15670794%5.04
University of CaliforniaDavis$76,55466997%2.63
University of CaliforniaIrvine$81,06562498%3.64
University of CaliforniaLos Angeles$104,87671492%5.75
University of CaliforniaRiverside$81,312614100%4.59
University of California San DiegoLa Jolla$86,31466696%3.67
Chapman UniversityOrange$73,50084%3.53
Claremont Graduate UniversityClaremont$114,120
Loyola Marymount UniversityLos Angeles$88,000
Middlebury Institute of International StudiesMonterey$75,662100%7.48
Naval Postgraduate SchoolMonterey$34,00073%4.94
Notre Dame de Namur UniversityBelmont$32,256
University of the PacificStockton$63,62152596%0.71
Pepperdine UniversityLos Angeles$93,84064880%6.77
Point Loma Nazarene UniversitySan Diego$34,650
San Diego State UniversitySan Diego$27,91459896%3.58
University of San DiegoSan Diego$77,57361186%2.88
San Francisco State UniversitySan Francisco$16,238100%1.91
University of San FranciscoSan Francisco$77,28056484%2.65
San Jose State UniversitySan Jose$26,01456783%1.43
Santa Clara UniversitySanta Clara$77,81063585%2.47
Sonoma State UniversityRohnert Park$14,643
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles$116,22964581%5.69
St. Mary’s College of CaliforniaMoraga$65,550100%1.57
Stanford UniversityStanford$66,540740
Woodbury UniversityBurbank$39,2763.51

Job Outlook for Business Graduates in California

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compiles occupational employment and wage estimates, making it an excellent source of information on the financial viability of business and finance careers. BLS figures can help you understand the rates of employment, average pay, and projected growth of areas within business categories, so you can more easily choose a specialty or field of study. Job prospects for business graduates in the US are excellent overall, with an average prospective annual national growth for all business and financial occupations through 2026 of 9.22%.5 The fastest growth is expected among marketing specialists and financial managers, with projected growth rates of 22.8% and 18.7% respectively.5

In 2016, a total of 261,780 general and operations managers were employed in California, making this the largest category in the state within the business and finance sector.6 This was about 115,000 more people than the number employed in the second-largest field, accountants and auditors.6

BLS data shows that the average annual wage across all occupations in California in 2016 was $30,441.6 For business-related occupations, however, the average was $104,053, a figure more than 240% above the national average.6,5 Annual wages for business occupation subcategories in California ranged from $54,308 for credit counselors to $216,840 for chief executives.6

Occupation TitleBLS.gov
Code
2016
Total
Employment
California
Mean
Hourly
Wage
California
Mean
Annual
Wage
California
National
Growth
2016-26
Chief Executives11-101131,150$104.25$216,8408.0%
Operations Managers11-1021261,780$64.23$133,5909.1%
Advertising and Promotions Managers11-20113,760$55.37$115,1705.8%
Marketing Managers11-202133,390$79.25$164,85010.0%
Sales Managers11-202269,180$62.72$130,4507.4%
Public Relations Managers11-20317,010$64.13$133,39010.4%
Administrative Services Managers11-301140,720$50.83$105,72010.1%
Computer and IT Systems Managers11-302151,840$81.45$169,42011.9%
Financial Managers11-303170,540$73.39$152,65018.7%
Purchasing Managers11-30618,460$59.03$122,7905.6%
Compensation and Benefits Managers11-31111,590$69.92$145,4305.0%
Human Resources Managers11-312116,190$65.22$135,6608.9%
Training and Development Managers11-31313,430$63.10$131,24010.3%
Construction Managers11-902132,590$51.70$107,53011.4%
Architectural and Engineering Managers11-904128,640$80.09$166,5805.5%
Business Managers of Artists and Athletes13-10114,990$44.63$92,8204.9%
Compliance Officers13-104134,290$38.14$79,3408.2%
Cost Estimators13-105126,570$35.62$74,08010.6%
Human Resources Specialists13-107156,950$36.18$75,2507.1%
Farm Labor Contractors13-10740,350$28.87$60,0408.0%
Labor Relations Specialists13-10758,060$39.72$82,620-7.8%
Logisticians13-108116,530$41.60$86,5206.9%
Management Analysts13-1111102,850$45.46$94,55012.0%
Meeting and Event Planners13-112112,830$26.64$55,40010.2%
Compensation and Job Analysis Specialists13-114110,650$35.06$72,9308.5%
Training and Development Specialists13-115126,660$34.72$72,22011.5%
Market Analysts and Marketing Specialists13-116191,340$38.73$80,56022.8%
Business Operations Specialists13-1199138,000$39.50$82,1508.8%
Accountants and Auditors13-2011147,320$39.72$82,62010.0%
Budget Analysts13-20317,080$41.41$86,1406.5%
Credit Analysts13-20417,910$43.66$90,8208.4%
Financial Analysts13-205134,100$52.72$109,65010.8%
Insurance Underwriters13-20537,440$38.89$80,890-5.2%
Financial Examiners13-20614,300$49.68$103,3409.8%
Credit Counselors13-20714,310$26.11$54,30013.9%
Loan Officers13-207238,100$40.92$85,11011.5%
Tax Examiners and Collectors13-20818,870$29.98$62,360-0.6%
Tax Preparers13-208210,590$28.37$59,01010.8%


References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics:https://nces.ed.gov/
2. AACSB, Best Business Schools:http://bestbizschools.aacsb.edu/aacsb-accredited
3. ACBSP, Business Schools:https://www.acbsp.org/?page=accreditation
4. IACBE, Business Schools:http://iacbe.org/accreditation/
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook, Business and Financial Occupations: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employment and Wage Estimates California: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ca.htm
7. California Colleges: https://www.californiacolleges.edu/#/college-options-in-california
8. US News & World Report, 2018 Best Business Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools