The headquarters of major companies like Apple, Google, Wells Fargo, and Twitter are in the state of California. California has many opportunities for professionals with MBA degrees, but what about online MBA degrees? Are online MBA degrees as legitimate as traditional MBA degrees?

Best Online MBA Programs In CaliforniaU.S. News and World Report suggests that while getting an online MBA from a reputable school increases your chances of getting employed, employers still need to be educated because the stigma is still there. However, the stigma against online programs in general, including online MBA programs is rapidly changing. Business Insider says “63 percent of online MBA programs expect to increase” from last year, reflecting “the growing interest in the [online] educational format.”

Even Harvard Business School is thinking of innovative ways to transform the traditional format of business schools by constructing its WOW (Window on the World) Room, which allows students from across the world to participate in a virtual online class. Other schools across the world are also gravitating toward the WOW Room. Universities across the board are moving toward various forms of online business schooling.

Forbes states that two-thirds of students graduating from American colleges and universities are graduating with debt—as a whole at least $1.2 trillion in the U.S. As college and graduate tuition increases, students have turned toward online MBA degrees to get the same education at a less expensive cost. With College Choice, you can choose the most affordable online MBA program from our top schools in California.


Pepperdine University

College Choice Score: 100.00

Tuition: $1,620 Per Credit

Program Website

Pepperdine University is located in the luscious Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu, California. The online MBA degree offered by Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management is College Choice’s number one online MBA program in the state of California. Pepperdine’s online Master of Business Administration program is AACSB-accredited.

When you enroll in Pepperdine’s online MBA program, you receive the same attention and resources as students in the face-to-face classes. As a student, you will interact with “expert faculty with proven experience in the business world.” The “live” case studies, where online students work with company executives, distinguishes the program from others.

Pepperdine Graziadio gives you four options for elective concentrations. You may choose to focus on Finance, Leadership and Managing Organizational Change, Marketing, or General Management. The flexibility of the program allows you to continue to work full time and complete your online MBA degree in two years.


St. Mary's College of California

College Choice Score: 73.36

Tuition: $1,357 Per Credit

Program Website

If you are a busy professional and you want to pursue an MBA without quitting your job, you should consider enrolling in St. Mary’s College of California’s online MBA program. The AACSB-accredited program gives you the flexibility to learn at your pace while pursuing your degree and excelling in your career.

St. Mary’s offers the first executive MBA program in California’s Bay Area. The nationally recognized program has a hybrid format. The 18-month program combines live web conferencing with face-to-face classes. The EMBA is cohort-based with approximately 20 professional students who collaborate on presentations and projects that develop leadership skills.

SoFi ranks the school’s MBA programs as #2 in the nation for return on education. Not only will you receive a distinguished education at St. Mary’s, but also the school will connect you with more than 4,000 business professionals through St. Mary’s graduate business alumni network.


University of La Verne

College Choice Score: 59.46

Tuition: $757 Per Credit

Program Website

The University of La Verne College of Business and Public Management is committed to educating and developing effective business leaders. The school offers the Master of Business Administration for Experienced Professionals (MBAX) through is online school. The MBAX is primarily for adults who have a minimum of three years of experience.

La Verne’s MBA curriculum seeks to integrate management theory with real-world applications. Leadership skills, problem-solving, technological understanding, business operation, and social responsibility are developmental goals for La Verne’s students. Some of the program’s objectives include demonstrating the use of effective business communication, designing an efficient organization, and using management and analytical tools to improve productivity.

Students applying to the University of La Verne’s online MBA program should note that the program is not AACSB-accredited. However, the school’s online business program has a strong academic reputation and contributes to some of the highest paid online MBAs in California.


California State University, San Bernardino

College Choice Score: 58.33

Tuition: $750 Per Credit

Program Website

Alumni make it clear that their experience in the MBA online program at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) has been life changing. One MBA graduate says, “Entering the MBA program in 2013 was one of the best decisions I have made in my life… The faculty who oversee this program are truly genuine individuals who really care about the students and their success.” At CSUSB’s College of Extended Learning, you will have a career-transforming experience.

San Bernardino’s online program is AACSB-accredited. The MBA degree is recognized throughout the U.S. CEO Magazine Global, Princeton Review, Business Week, and U.S. News and World Report rank the school as one of the top online business schools in various categories. In 2016, Online MBA Report ranked CSUSB’s online MBA as #6 on the West Coast.

The online MBA is an 18-month program designed for working professionals. The diverse faculty members are an essential component of the school’s success. Many of the school’s alumni describe the professors as being engaging and helpful.


California Baptist University

College Choice Score: 57.36

Tuition: $621 Per Credit

Program Website

Riverside, California is the home of California Baptist University (CBU). If you are looking to enhance your career, you should check out the online Fully Employed Masters of Business Administration in General Management (MBA-GM) at California Baptist University. The degree is $643 per unit. The total estimated cost is $23,000.

CBU prepares its students to manage and lead in corporate, non-profit, and private business. The primary purpose of the program is to help develop working professionals toward senior level positions. The MBA will train you in sales, marketing, human resources, and administration.

The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredits CBU’s online MBA program. After completing the 36 required major units, most students finish the program in 12 months. Imagine obtaining an MBA degree with a lifetime full of benefits in approximately one year.


Brandman University

College Choice Score: 52.29

Tuition: $610 Per Credit

Program Website

Have you hit a ceiling in your business career? Do you want more opportunities? Perhaps you want to take your business organization to the next level. The School of Business and Professional Studies at Brandman University can help you advance in your career through its online MBA program. The business program assists professionals in understanding the elements of successful organizations.

If you are looking for several options for your online MBA degree, then Brandman University may have what you need. Brandman offers many MBA options so students can focus on accounting, e-business, entrepreneurship, finance, health administration, human resources, international business, marketing, or organizational leadership. All of these degree options are fully available online.

As a graduate of Brandman’s online MBA program, you will acquire many attributes that will set you apart from your colleagues. The program learning outcomes include development in business functions and processes, strategic planning, sustainability/ethics, leadership, and innovation.


Golden Gate University

College Choice Score: 50.82

Tuition: $975 Per Credit

Program Website

Golden Gate University is a leading school when it comes to online education. The university has over 5,000 online students each year. Its online Master of Business Administration program also attracts many students. Golden Gate has prepared business professionals for more than 110 years.

If you are a mid-level professional or if you are fresh out of undergrad, Golden Gate has an online business program suitable for you. The University offers the Executive Master of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees. Golden Gate’s MBA program has 14 areas of concentration.

Golden Gate has excellent courses for students who want to pursue entrepreneurship. Students who want to create and manage their businesses will take courses like “Venture Capital and Start-up Financing,” “Business Planning for Entrepreneurs,” and “Managing Innovation and Technology.” Golden Gate University’s online MBA program is not AACSB-accredited.


California Lutheran University

College Choice Score: 50.51

Tuition: $785 Per Credit

Program Website

California Lutheran University was established in 1959. Its mission is to “educate leaders for a global society who are strong in character and judgment, confident in their identity and vocation, and committed to service and justice. California Lutheran’s online MBA program upholds the university’s mission by developing experienced business leaders.

The school’s online MBA program structure is for professionals who need flexibility. The courses take place throughout the year in five, 8-week terms. Students can also earn their online MBA degree in less than two years through the accelerated format of the program.

Graduates from California Lutheran University’s MBA program work for some of the major employers. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch, and Farmers Insurance are among the many companies that hire MBA grads from California Lutheran. However, at this time the online Master of Business Administration program is not AACSB-accredited.


California State University, Monterey Bay

College Choice Score: 48.48

Tuition: $433 Per Credit

Program Website

Obtaining a business degree can be time consuming, constraining, and expensive. California Statue University, Monterey Bay offers an affordable and flexible online MBA program. CSU Monterey Bay even offers a tuition discount opportunity for MBA students for a $3,000 scholarship.

Faculty members who are business experts enhance the Master of Business Administration curriculum at CSU by implementing their experience with course materials. The cohort aspect of the program also allows students to learn from other students who may be investors, business leaders, or entrepreneurs. Both the Traditional and the Executive MBA programs offer an invaluable experience for CSU students.

The online MBA program at CSU Monterey Bay is a 48-credit degree that focuses on ethical reasoning, critical thinking, understanding diversity, decision-making and execution, and systems thinking. The program also develops skills in economics, finance, marketing, and management. The Executive and Traditional MBAs are 100% online.


National University

College Choice Score: 47.17

Tuition: $406 Per Credit

Program Website

National University is an affiliate of the National University system and is in La Jolla, CA. National University’s School of Business and Management offers a 100% online Master of Business Administration with nine areas of specialization. The MBA mission is “to prepare students for leadership positions in business and to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage organizations in an ever-changing business environment.”

National University requires 16-19 (63-77 quarter units) courses for the MBA degree. Learning outcomes for the school’s MBA include value creation, leadership and governance, global awareness and citizenship, critical thinking, and strategic planning. The program also emphasizes themes of relevance, accessibility and support, specialization, application, and technology.

The innovative measures of technology and globalization of business demand business leaders who are competent in technology and global studies. The MBA program at National University has specializations in International Business as well as Mobile Marketing and Social Media. Applicants considering National University’s MBA program should also be aware that the program is not AACSB-accredited.

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