School and Ranking Information
Students in the area of Santa Ana, CA, looking for an MBA program in finance have over a dozen schools to choose from. Based on rankings, program offerings and proximity to Santa Ana, the top three schools are:
- Winner: University of California - Irvine is nationally ranked among top graduate business schools. It's also ranked nationally for online MBA programs, awards more master's degrees in business administration and is closer to Santa Ana than the other two schools.
- Runner-Up #1: California State University - Fullerton is regionally ranked and awards business administration master's degrees. This school is also ranked high for its online graduate business programs.
- Runner-Up #2: California State University - Long Beach is ranked among regional universities and is farthest away from Santa Ana.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||University of California - Irvine||California State University - Fullerton||California State University - Long Beach|
|Rankings||#49 in Top National Graduate Business Schools*, #31 in Top National Part-time MBA Programs*, #25 in Top national Executive MBA Programs*, #44 in Top National Universities*||#146 in Top National Part-time MBA Programs*, #5 in Top National Online Graduate Business Programs*, #31 in Top Regional Universities - West*||#185 in Top National Part-time MBA Programs*, #28 in Top Regional Universities - West*|
|Location||Irvine, CA (7.3 miles from Santa Ana)**||Fullerton, CA (9.5 miles from Santa Ana)**||Long Beach, CA (15.5 miles from Santa Ana)**|
|School Type||4-year, public**||4-year, public**||4-year, public**|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$12,962 (in-state, graduate)**, $28,064 (out-of-state, graduate)**||$7,461 (in-state, graduate)**, $17,007 (out-of-state, graduate)**||$7,506 (in-state, graduate)**, $17,052 (out-of-state, graduate)**|
|Finance MBA Program Levels Offered||Master's degrees**||Master's degrees**||Master's degrees**|
|Finance MBAs Awarded in (2011-2012)||281**||213**||127**|
|Most Popular Finance MBA Program (2011-2012)||Master of Business Administration (281 awarded)**||Master of Business Administration (213 awarded)**||Master of Business Administration (127 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for Entering Class in Any Year||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Noteworthy||Operates traveling information sessions for prospective students***||Dual accreditation by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)***||One of 181 business schools world side to be a member of the General Management Admission Council***|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***Schools' Websites
Winner: University of California, Irvine
- Application fee to the business school is waived for veterans and active duty members of the military
- Students holding an MBA from another school are not eligible for admission to the MBA program
- Financial Times ranks the business school first in the United States for employment of MBA students within three months of graduation
Students at UCI are able to earn a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance through the Paul Merage School of Business. Recruiting potential students and conducted by staff members and alumni, the Merage Road Show is an information presentation that travels to major cities throughout North America, Asia and Europe. The full-time MBA program lasts two years. Work experience is encouraged, but not required for admission. During the second year of the program, students can opt to concentrate in finance from an array of nine specializations. Summer internships are available between the two years. Second-year students may participate in a 1-week, study abroad program.
The part-time MBA program is intended for working individuals who hold a bachelor's degree. The school calls it the Fully Employed MBA program. Depending on whether or not summer sessions are included, the program takes 27-33 months to complete. The school prefers that students have accumulated two years of work experience, ideally in a management position. The Executive MBA program is designed for mid- and senior-level managers and executives with 10-15 years of work experience and who hold a bachelor's degree. Students can concentrate in finance in both of these programs
Runner-Up #1: California State University - Fullerton
- Largest accredited business school in the state
- Offers a school-sponsored student finance association
- Offers jobs and internship fairs
The Stephen G. Mihaylo College of Business and Economics offers MBA programs and holds dual accreditation from AACSB in accounting and business. Students in the Full-time MBA program can select finance from a list of seven possible concentrations, while those in the Flexible MBA program can select finance from 13 possible concentrations. The Fully Employed MBA program offers only a general concentration, but finance courses are contained in the curriculum.
The Full-time MBA program can be completed in as little as 16 months and includes job and internship fairs. In addition to its curriculum, the program consists of six weeks of seminars, workshops and information sessions at the Mihaylo Leadership Academy, which are spread throughout the program. During the January intersession, between the first two semesters of the program, students participate in an international cultural and business study trip. The Flexible MBA program can be completed on a part- or full-time basis. Designed with working professionals in mind, students basically set their own schedules. The program can be completed in 2-3 years. Conducted at the CSU campus in Irvine, CA, the Fully Employed MBA program can be completed in 30 months. Students in this program must have at least five years of work experience.
Runner-Up #2: California State University - Long Beach
- Named one of 296 top business schools in the U.S. in 2013 by the Princeton Review
- Awarded three palms by Eduniversal as one of the top 1,000 business schools in the world
- Only business school in California to receive the California Prospector Award
The School of Business at California State University - Long Beach offers a number of programs leading to an MBA. They are the Traditional MBA program, Self-paced Evening MBA program, Daytime Accelerated MBA program and the Saturday MBA program. All programs consist of 48 credit hours. Previous work experience is recommended but not required for admission.
Students can choose a concentration in finance in the Traditional MBA program and the Self-paced Evening MBA program. Concentration consists of completing three advanced courses of study in one concentration and one advanced course of study in any of the six concentrations offered. Students in the Accelerated program and the Saturday program don't have the option to choose a concentration. Finance courses are available as part of the regular curriculum.
Full-time students can complete the Traditional or Self-paced Evening program in 18-24 months. Part-time students can complete the program in 36-24 months. The Saturday program can be completed in 21 months. The Accelerated program takes 12 months to complete. All students must complete a comprehensive capstone course, which involves all material from the program and includes a team project. There is no thesis requirement.