Online MBA Programs in California

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California has the largest state economy in the U.S., making it an excellent place to earn an MBA and start a career in business. Projections Central expects a 10.9% boom in jobs in California from 2016-2026, pointing to a healthy and growing economy. Plus, over 940,000 managers and 978,000 business and financial professionals work in California — more than in any other state.

Moreover, California’s management and business professionals rank among the highest-paid in the country, earning mean annual salaries of $132,220 and $83,500, respectively.

This page lists online MBA programs in California and explores key topics for aspiring business administration students. Read on to learn more about California’s economy, its biggest industries, and potential career paths for business school graduates.

Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

Top 10 Online MBA Programs in California

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California’s Online MBA Programs

The list below presents some online MBA programs in California. Browse the listed schools to learn more about each program and decide which school best fits your professional and personal interests. Choosing from among a huge selection of MBA programs in California may prove an arduous task, and the list below makes a great place to start your college search.

This list only features accredited MBA programs. Attending an accredited school ensures that employers, scholarship programs, and other universities respect the credentials.

  • Ashford University
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The master of business administration at Ashford University, one of the best online MBA programs in California, runs six-week courses, permitting students to work toward their degrees quickly. Students take one course at a time, allowing them to focus on one particular topic. Overall, students must complete 42 credits, including 33 credits of core coursework. Ashford's MBA program also holds accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

    In addition to the standard MBA, Ashford offers 13 specializations, including media management, public administration, business economics, entrepreneurship, and environmental management. All students must complete a capstone course in which they conduct research to help solve business problems.

    Applicants must submit an undergraduate transcript with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Once admitted, students can transfer up to nine prior credits to count toward their MBA. Ashford exempts students with undergraduate business degrees from taking select MBA core courses, like accounting and finance.

    Concentrations

  • Azusa Pacific University
    Location

    Azusa, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Azusa Pacific University offers a master of business administration program for students who need a flexible school schedule and prefer to complete their degrees online. Before beginning the program, all learners participate in a two-week orientation. Students typically take one or two classes each semester, and they can finish the degree in 15 to 30 months. Azusa Pacific recommends students plan to spend six to 10 hours studying online every week. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA over the course of their MBA studies.

    In total, the school expects MBA students to complete 42 credits of coursework before they can graduate. Learners may choose between seven different emphasis areas: accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, marketing, organizational science, and sport management.

    Applicants must possess at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA. They must also submit GMAT scores. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher may be exempt the GMAT requirement.

    Concentrations

  • Brandman University
    Location

    Irvine, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At Brandman University, master of business administration students learn to develop and evaluate global business strategies. The path to earning an MBA depends on many factors, including previous experience and specializations. Brandman dismisses some core course requirements for learners who earned their bachelor's degrees in business. In addition, learners may decide between several concentration options, including e-business strategic management and business intelligence and data analytics. Students must earn 38-46 credits in order to graduate, depending on their concentration.

    At Brandman, the curriculum centers around concepts such as ethical decision making, which crops up in courses including democracy, ethics, and leadership; self, systems, and leadership; and accounting ethics.

    To gain admission to Brandman's online MBA in California, applicants must submit entrance exam scores and transcripts demonstrating an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5. Prospective students whose undergraduate GPAs exceeds 3.0 may not need to take entrance exams.

    Concentrations

  • California Baptist University
    Location

    Riverside, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Riverside-based California Baptist University began in 1950 with only 42 students. Now, the private liberal arts school enrolls nearly 10,000 students every year. In addition to on-campus programs, California Baptist administers a master of business administration program for online students. Learners earn 36 credits of coursework. On average, they complete the entire program in one year.

    CBU expects incoming students to possess a foundational knowledge of business concepts. Students who did not take business courses or who have no prior experience must enroll in extra foundational classes. Learners study topics like marketing management and the legal environment of business. They also dig deep into certain subjects, like quantitative business modeling.

    This degree holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Applicants should submit a bachelor's degree transcript, two recommendations, and a short essay explaining their reasons for applying. CBU does not require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT scores.

    Concentrations

  • California College-San Diego
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Offering one of the best master of business administration programs in southern California, California College San Diego teaches students the skills for senior-level executive work. The school runs its online MBA option through its affiliated institution, Independence University, and its primary goal is to prepare graduates for employment. The entire program can last 15-20 months, depending on students' schedules.

    Each class counts for four credits, the entire online degree consists of 60 credits of coursework. The curriculum covers topics such as the dynamics of companies and other organizations, communication skills for managers, finance at the corporate level, and how information technology fits into businesses and society. Students must also complete a capstone project before graduating.

    With accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and College, this MBA program allows students to transfer in credits from undergraduate education or previous military experience.

    Concentrations

  • California InterContinental University
    Location

    Irvine, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    California InterContintential University operates solely as an online, for-profit school. The school itself possesses a base in Irvine, but all students enroll in distance learning courses they can complete at their own convenience. The university, which holds accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, offers 21 programs, including an online master of business administration.

    This online MBA in California consists of 36 credits, which students complete over four semesters, or two years. Learners take classes like entrepreneurial finance, economics for decision making, and strategic management and global competition. These courses equip students with skills they need to succeed as managers in technology-driven businesses.

    The application process at California InterContinental does not require prospective students to submit entrance exam scores. The program also does not mandate a minimum GPA for admission. However, applicants do need to turn in their undergraduate transcripts and a resume detailing past professional experience.

    Concentrations

  • California Lutheran University
    Location

    Thousand Oaks, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At California Lutheran University, students work on their online master of business administration degrees by enrolling in five eight-week semesters. Learners can opt to enroll part or full time, and the program lasts 1-2 years. The school offers six concentration options: enterprise innovation and fellowship, finance, human capital management, international business, information technology management, and marketing.

    In addition to their courses, students can take advantage of hands-on capstone experiences. California Lutheran offers credit for internships, and students can also embark on a project or create a business plan. The school offers an executive roundtable, an international travel course, and a consulting project capstone, as well. Undergraduate students in business can participate in the school's "4+1" program, which allows senior undergraduates to take MBA courses their senior year to finish their degrees sooner.

    Applicants should submit their undergraduate transcripts and GMAT scores. Candidates with a 3.0 GPA or higher can skip the GMAT requirement.

    Concentrations

  • California State University-Dominguez Hills
    Location

    Carson, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students enrolled in the online master of business administration program at California State University, Dominguez Hills can finish their degrees in 18 months. The school's online terms run for 12 weeks, and learners take two courses each term. On-campus classes typically meet once a week, but the online option expects students to log in, learn, and participate in class discussions several times throughout the week.

    On top of the core course offerings, the university allows students to take advanced and elective classes. Students can pursue emphasis areas in international business, management, finance, marketing management, information technology management, human resource management, and global logistics and supply chain management. In addition, students may choose to add one of two certificates to their MBA: a certificate in logistics management, or a certificate in marketing.

    This online MBA in California does not ask interested candidates to submit GMAT scores. However, applicants must have earned at least a 2.5 GPA during their undergraduate studies. Entering students must also fulfill a graduate writing assessment requirement.

    Concentrations

  • California State University-Fresno
    Location

    Fresno, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    As part of the expansive California State University, Fresno State administers a blended online master of business administration in California. Students complete all their coursework online, but they must also fulfill a few on-campus requirements, including orientation, final exams, and final culminating experience presentations. As a result, students best suited for this online MBA live a short distance from Fresno.

    The school offers several seminars in topics like international business and market research and analysis. The culminating experience expects students to either write a thesis or participate in a team or individual project. The MBA consulting project allows learners to analyze and solve problems for actual business owners and general managers. Students can also participate in the summer study abroad program.

    To apply, prospective students must submit their undergraduate transcripts with a minimum 2.5 GPA, a statement of purpose, two recommendations, and a GMAT score of at least 550.

  • California State University-Monterey Bay
    Location

    Seaside, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At California State University, Monterey Bay, students can apply for an online master of business administration in California, no GMAT required. The school conducts its courses online, but its MBA program caps class sizes at 30 students. This allows students to get in touch with their professors for personalized help if they need it. Incoming students may also take advantage of CSUMB's $3,000 tuition discount.

    Overall, the MBA program at CSUMB consists of 48 credits. The curriculum instructs students in both soft skills, like leadership and ethics, and hard skills, such as economics and finance. Students may take six-credit courses over the course of 10 weeks, or three-credit courses over five weeks. They typically enroll in one class at a time. CSUMB also allows students to transfer up to six credits from previous coursework, as long as they received at least a B grade.

    CSUMB does not require applicants to submit GMAT scores, but prospective students should have achieved at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA. Candidates should also submit a resume and personal statement laying out their relevant work experience.

    Concentrations

How to Choose a Quality MBA Program

Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in California

California’s economic landscape is shaped by industry growth and the career opportunities available to the state’s workforce. The information industry relies on the production and distribution of data. It provides the channels for processing data, as well. In California, Silicon Valley is the information industry’s main hub, boasting a 3.5% industry growth for April 2019.

The education and health services industries, on the other hand, are concentrated in the Central Sierra and Upstate California regions, including Sacramento. These industries grew by 2.9% in April 2019. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to the professional and business services industries, which experienced a 2.5% growth in April 2019.

California is known for entertainment and tourism, as well, making its leisure and hospitality industries essential to the state’s economy. These industries experienced a 2.1% growth in the past year.

California has the world’s fifth-largest economy. Its gross domestic product surpassed $2.7 trillion in 2017, and it should continue to grow over the next decade. Due to climate change, however, California has become particularly susceptible to wildfires and drought. These natural disasters cost the state billions of dollars each year.

CALIFORNIA’S TOP 3 LARGEST EMPLOYERS

CompanyLocationMain IndustryNumber of Employees
LAXLos AngelesTransportation45,000
32nd Street Naval StationSan DiegoMilitary and Defense42,951
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S.AnaheimAmusement and Theme Parks28,000
Source:Career One Stop

Most industries require employees with computer and information security expertise to secure data and protect online systems. Graduates with homeland security and healthcare administration concentrations qualify for employment at LAX and in the UCLA health system. Employees with these specializations require less on-the-job training and prior work experience, giving them leverage in the job market.

Careers for MBA Grads in California

  • Information Technology Manager

    Computer and information systems managers oversee their organizations’ various computer-related activities. They hold titles such as chief information officer, chief technology officer, IT director, and IT security manager. In general, IT managers determine their company’s technology needs, implement new computer systems, and supervise other IT workers such as support specialists and software developers.

    Technology is one of California’s most important industries, with plenty of available IT positions. Projections Central expects a 17.7% increase in job opportunities for California’s IT managers from 2016-2026. Information systems managers in the state earn a mean salary of $174,790 per year.

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  • Financial Controller

    Financial controllers oversee finance-related departments, such as accounting, budgeting, and auditing. They handle the preparation of important financial documents, including balance sheets, income statements, and reports on projected future earnings. Additionally, financial controllers make sure their companies operate legally by submitting documents to state and federal regulatory bodies. Controllers often need a master’s in finance or business administration, plus several years of experience.

    The average financial manager in California earns a mean annual salary of $154,310. Projections Central expects an almost 22% job growth rate for California’s financial managers from 2016-2026.

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  • Human Resources Manager

    Human resources managers plan and manage employee benefit programs. They also supervise lower-level HR specialists and oversee the hiring process for new recruits. HR managers also serve as the link between an organization’s employees and upper management. They mediate disputes and ensure a healthy and productive workplace. Some senior-level HR management positions require an MBA or a similar degree, since HR managers need great leadership, organizational, decision-making, and communication skills.

    Human resources managers in California earn a mean annual salary of $139,860. Projections Central expects job openings for the state’s HR managers to grow by 13.2% from 2016-2026.

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  • Financial Analyst

    Financial analysts help businesses and individuals decide where to invest their money. They work for organizations such as banks, mutual funds, and insurance companies to evaluate investment options and develop strategies. Some financial analysts are involved in the sale of investment vehicles, such as stocks and bonds. Earning an online MBA in California builds the accounting, economics, and finance knowledge that financial analysts need.

    Financial services is a major component of California’s economy, and Projections Central expects financial analysts to see a 14.2% increase in jobs in coming years. These professionals take home a mean salary of $109,580 annually.

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  • Management Consultant

    Management consultants help organizations improve efficiency and increase profits. They typically work on a contractual basis to gather information and improve business performance. Consultants interview employees, analyze financial documents, and ultimately recommend solutions for operational and management-related issues. They often specialize in a particular industry; consultants in California may decide to focus on technology or financial services. Some consulting firms require their new hires to hold MBAs.

    Management analysts in California take home a mean yearly salary of $95,510, and Projections Central expects a 13.2% job growth for California’s management analysts from 2016-2026.

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MBA Concentrations for California Students

Future business school students should strongly consider adding a concentration to their California MBA to better prepare for the state’s job market. Master’s students should factor in their personal interests when choosing a specialization, but they should also consider which jobs have the most openings and which industries demonstrate high growth potential. By choosing the right concentration, students can demonstrate specialized skills and possibly accelerate their job search.

Some of California’s largest employers include companies dealing in technology, telecommunications, and aerospace manufacturing. Students pursuing a California online MBA can learn more about MBA concentrations through this link.

Online MBA Programs in Surrounding States

Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Accredited Online College Programs

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Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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