It is estimated that California is home to more than 250 schools that offer business programs and degrees. According to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), around 50 are accredited by the agency and many of these schools made our list of Best Online MBA Programs in California. Just a few include Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University, College of Business and Public Administration at California State University-San Bernardino, and College of Business at California State University-Stanislaus (Stanislaus State). Let’s take a look at what these and other accredited business schools in the State of California have to offer.
Pepperdine University, Malibu
Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University offers an Online MBA Program with four concentration options including Marketing, Finance, General Management, and Leadership and Managing Organizational Change. This 52 credit hour program takes as few as two years to complete, and it is AACSB accredited. In addition to AACSB accreditation, the Graziadio Online MBA:
- Ranked #2 Nationally among Private Schools and Colleges in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 1% of schools considered)
- Ranked #3 in the West in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 10% of schools considered)
- Ranked #10 Nationally in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 3% of schools considered)
- Ranked #15 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report
St. Mary's College of California, Moraga, San Ramon
St. Mary’s College of California (SMC) offers a Hybrid Executive MBA Program (EMBA) that is the first EMBA in the Bay Area. This AACSB accredited program may be completed in just 18 months, and it requires alternate Saturdays on campus along with bi-weekly live web conferences. In addition to AACSB accreditation, the SMC EMBA Program:
- Ranked #5 among Catholic Schools in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings
- Ranked #7 in the West in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 25% of schools considered)
- Ranked #8 among Faith-Based Schools in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings
- Ranked #19 Nationally among Private Schools and Colleges in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 10% of schools considered)
- Ranked #88 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report
California Baptist University, Riverside
The Dr. Robert K. Jabs School of Business at California Baptist University (CBU) offers two Online MBA Programs: an MBA with a Specialization in General Management (MBA-GM) and an MBA with a Specialization in Accounting (MBA-ACC). Both ACBSP accredited programs require 36 credit hours of study, with an average completion time of 12 months. In addition to ACBSP accreditation, the CBU Jabs Online MBA program:
- Ranked #9 in the West in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 30% of schools considered)
- Ranked #11 among Faith-Based Schools in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings
- Ranked #91 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report
California State University, San Bernardino
The College of Business and Public Administration at California State University-San Bernardino (CSUSB) offers 12-course MBA program that may be completed entirely online. The program, which takes just 18 months to complete, requires around 20-25 hours of study time per course. The Online MBA Program at CSUSB College of Business is AACSB accredited and it ranked:
- #6 in the West in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 20% of schools considered)
- #110 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report
University of La Verne, La Verne
The College of Business and Public Management (CBPM) at the University of La Verne offers an Online MBA Program known as the Master of Business Administration for Experienced Professionals. The program 36 credit hour program offers concentrations in Finance, Marketing, and Management and Leadership, and it may be completed online or a combination of on-campus and online. The University of La Verne is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Rankings for the program are as follows:
- Ranked #17 among Faith-Based Schools in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings
- Ranked #121 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report
Brandman University, Irvine
Brandman University offers a 36 to 48 credit hour MBA Program that may be completed entirely online. A Blended Option is also available. Courses for both programs are eight weeks in length and they are offered six times year round. Brandman University is WASC accredited and rankings for the program are as follows:
- Ranked #8 in the West in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 25% of schools considered)
- Ranked #136 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report
California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks
The School of Management at California Lutheran University (Cal Lutheran) offers a 45-unit MBA program that may be completed fully online, on-campus, or a combination of the two. Students may choose the general track or specialize in one of six areas including Entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Capital Management, International Business, IT Management or Marketing. Online students will complete the program over five eight-week terms. Cal Lutheran WASC accredited and the Cal Lutheran Online MBA ranked #141 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
California State University, Dominguez Hills
The College of Business Administration and Public Policy (CBAPP) at California State University-Dominguez Hills (CSU Dominguez Hills) offers a Professional MBA Program that may be completed entirely online. Concentration options include Finance, Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Human Resource Management, Information Technology Management, International Business, Management, and Marketing Management. Depending on the concentration, students will complete 30 or 33 units. The CSU CBAPP Online MBA takes around 18 months to complete and it is WASC accredited. Rankings for the program are as follows:
- Ranked #5 in the West in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 20% of schools considered)
- Ranked #159 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC) is the oldest AACSB accredited school of business in Southern California. The school offers an MBA Program that is specifically designed for online delivery. The program requires one one-week, on-campus residency, and it highlights multiple delivery methods from interactive games and virtual learning exercises to group video conferences and class sessions led by instructors, and one-on-one faculty discussions via webcam. The USC Marshall MBA:
- Ranked #1 Nationally among Private Schools and Colleges in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 1% of schools considered)
- Ranked #2 in the West in our 2016 Online MBA Program Rankings (top 10% of schools considered)
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa
The School of Business and Management (SBM) at Azusa Pacific University (APU) offers an Online MBA that takes anywhere from 12 to 30 months to complete. Areas of study for the 42-unit program include Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, International Business, Marketing and Organizational Science. The APU SBM Online MBA is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and WASC.
National University, La Jolla, San Diego
The School of Business and Management at National University (NU) offers an IACBE accredited Online MBA Program with nine specializations. Options include Financial Management, Human Resources Management, Integrated Marketing Communication, International Business, Management Accounting, Marketing, Mobile Marketing and Social Media, Organizational Leadership, and Supply Chain Management. Sixteen to 19 courses (or 63-76.5 quarter units) are required to complete the program.
Ashford University, San Diego
Forbes School of Business & Technology at Ashford University offers an Online MBA Program that highlights six-week courses, one course at a time, and 24/7 tech support. Students may choose the General MBA option or one of 13 specializations. Just a few options include Entrepreneurship, Media Management, Information Systems, Environmental Management, and Project Management. The Ashford Forbes Online MBA is designed to take 88 weeks to complete and it is IACBE accredited.
California InterContinental University, Irvine
California InterContinental University offers an Online MBA with seven emphases. Options include General Business Administration, Finance, Healthcare Management and Leadership, Information Systems and Knowledge, Organizational Development and Human Resource Management, Project and Quality Management, and International Management and Marketing. The programs at California InterContinental University are accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).
California National University for Advanced Studies, Torrance
The College of Business Administration at California National University for Advanced Studies (CNU) offers an Online MBA Program with the following elective area options: Accounting, Business Law, Economics, Finance, Health Care Management, Human Resources Management, International Business Administration, Management, Management Information Systems, Management Science, and Marketing. As part of CNU, the 45-unit program DEAC, CHEA, and BPPE accredited.
California State University, Fresno
Craig School of Business at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) offers an Online Blended MBA. However, students may complete their MBA face-to-face or online or a combination of both. Online students must attend an orientation, selected final exams, and final culminating experience presentations. The Fresno State, Craig Online MBA is AACSB-accredited.
California State University-Monterey Bay, Marina
The College of Business (COB) at California State University-Monterey Bay (CSUMB) offers two MBA options—the Traditional MBA and the EMBA. The Traditional MBA is designed for aspiring business leaders and the EMBA is for executives with seven years of more of business experience. Students in both programs may study online, virtually anytime day or night. The Online MBA Programs at CSUMB COB are AACSB accredited.
California State University-Stanislaus, Turlock
The College of Business at California State University-Stanislaus (Stanislaus State) offers an Online MBA (OMBA) with an optional Finance Concentration. The AACSB accredited program, which requires 30 units to complete, highlights asynchronous learning. This means materials, lectures, tests, and assignments may be accessed at any time. The program also provides the opportunity to “interact closely and in real time with well-trained and AACSB-qualified faculty.”
Golden Gate University, San Francisco
The Edward S. Ageno School of Business (ASOB) at Golden Gate University (GGU) offers an Online MBA with 14 concentrations. Students may also design their own. Just a few options include Business Data Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, International Business and Project Management. Golden Gate University is WASC accredited.
Hope International University, Fullerton
The College of Business & Management at Hope International University (HIU) offers an Online MBA Program with a unique concentration in Business as Mission/Social Entrepreneurship (BAM-SE), as well as concentrations in General Management, International Development, Marketing Management, and Non-Profit Management. As part of HIU, the College of Business & Management is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
United States University, San Diego
The College of Business and Management at United States University (USU) offers an MBA Program that takes just 12 months to complete. The 36 credit hour USU MBA may be completed entirely online. Another option is the USU EMBA, which is offered in hybrid format. Courses for this 16-month program take place on campus on weekends, combined with an online component that is taught asynchronously and synchronously. As part of United States University, the USU MBA and EMBA programs are accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and BPPE.
While the schools listed above rank among the best, they are not the only options. The following California-based schools are also worth looking into. Please note that some schools offer fully online programs, while others offer a blended option with limited campus visits.
Anaheim University, Akio Morita School of Business, Anaheim (Online)
Babson College, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, San Francisco Campus (Blended)
California Coast University, School of Administration and Management, Santa Ana (Online)
California National University, College of Business Administration, Torrance (Online)
Marymount California University, Rancho Palos Verde, (Online and Blended)
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Anderson School of Management (Blended)
Students seeking a relatively local Online MBA option may want to consider the following programs in the neighboring states of Arizona, Nevada and Oregon:
Arizona State University, Tempe
University of Arizona, Tucson
Grand Canyon University, Phoenix
Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale
University of Phoenix, Tempe
University of Nevada, Reno
Portland State University, Portland
Eastern Oregon University, La Grande
Corban University, Salem
Marylhurst University, Marylhurst