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Top School for an MBA in Accounting - San Diego, CA

San Diego, CA, has few schools with MBA programs in accounting. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offering and tuition info.

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School and Ranking Information

With only four total postsecondary institutions in the immediate San Diego area offering Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs that allow students to major in accounting, students have limited options. Based on rankings, program offerings and graduation rates, the following universities are considered the top three schools in and near San Diego for MBA in Accounting programs:

  • Winner: Being the largest school in the city offering an MBA in accounting and having the highest ranked graduate business school earns San Diego State University the top spot. It is the only public institution among the three schools.
  • Runner Up #1: The University of San Diego is awarded the first runner up spot because it has the highest overall national ranking. The university also has the highest graduation rate.
  • Runner Up #2: Third among the school options is National University. While it lacks the rankings the former two schools possess and is located outside of San Diego, the school awards the most overall MBA degrees.

School Comparison Chart

Category San Diego State University University of San Diego National University
Rankings #93 in Top National Part-time MBA Programs*, #86 in Top National Graduate Schools of Business*, #165 in Top National Universities* #58 in Top national Part-time MBA Programs*, #99 in Top National Graduate Schools of Business*, #92 in Top National Universities* Unranked by U.S. News & World Report*
Location San Diego** San Diego** La Jolla (9.7 miles from San Diego)**
School Type 4-year, public** 4-year, private, not-for-profit** 4-year, private, not-for-profit**
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $7,844 (in-state, graduate)**, $17,390 (out-of-state, graduate)** $23,310 (graduate)** $10,044 (graduate)**
Business Administration Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees** Bachelor's and master's degrees** Bachelor's and master's degrees**
Business Administration Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in (2011-2012) 1,295** 331** 485**
Most Popular Business Administration Program (2011-2012) Bachelor's in Business Administration and Management, General 1,057** Bachelor's in Business Administration and Management, General 158** Bachelor's in Business Administration and Management, General 155**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time)for YEAR Entering Class 66%** 75%** 38%**
Noteworthy In 1959, became first business school in the California State University System to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) 93% of the School of Business Administration faculty hold a Ph.D. National University is the second-largest private, not-for-profit institution of higher education in California

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator,

Winner: San Diego State University

  • In 2013, named among the best universities for MBA programs by Hispanic Network Magazine
  • In 2013, named among the best universities for MBA programs by Professional Woman's Magazine
  • In 2013, College of Business Administration commended by International Accrediting Organization

A program leading to Master of Business Administration with a specialization in accounting is offered through the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University, although specialization is not noted on the degree certificate. Students may participate on a full- or part-time basis, completing the program in 2-4 years. Online instruction is not available. The school offers four MBA student organizations.

The program consists of 30-48 units including up to 21 units of core basic business courses, six units dealing with corporate responsibility and technology management and 12 units of accounting courses. Students fulfill the remainder of the degree requirements through elective courses and a culminating experience course, which can be either an integrative business analysis or a thesis.

Runner-Up #1: University of San Diego

  • Holds dual AACSB accreditation in accounting and business
  • Member of European Foundation of Management Development.
  • Member of Latin American Council of Business Schools

Though the School of Business Administration at the University of San Diego doesn't offer an MBA with an accounting concentration, it does offer a program leading to a Master of Science in Accountancy (MACC). In 2011, USD was ranked #9 nationally for accounting in the Bloomberg Business Week listing of academic specialties.

According to the school, the MACC program is defined as a specialized master's degree program. Consisting of 30 units, the MACC program is open to students who hold a bachelor's degree in accounting. The program is conducted on an interactive basis, two nights per week for four hours each night over a 5-week term. Students may opt to participate in an independent study course or internship each semester.

Runner-Up #2: National University

  • Can pursue program on campus or online
  • Program is not intended to prepare a student to become Certified Public Accountants
  • School focuses on the working adult population

Students can earn an MBA with a specialization in management accounting through the School of Business and Management at National University. NCES indicates that all business administration and management programs at the main campus of National University in La Jolla are conducted via distance learning. Students can pursue the program in person at one of 12 other campuses throughout the state, including the Marine Corps Recruit Depot MCRD) Training Center in San Diego. However, students at the MCRD campus must be Marines.

The MBA program with a specialization in accounting is intended to train students who are interested in working for corporations, not-profit organizations or the government. Students are prepared to sit for a credentialing examination to become a Certified Management Accountant. The program consists of 42-51 units. In addition to 21-30 units in required courses, including two foundation courses, students must complete 21 units in accounting. Included are such courses as cost accounting, financial accounting, accounting for government and not-for-profit organizations, managerial accounting and accounting information systems

This program is not intended to prepare a student to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Those interested a CPA might better prepare to meet state and national requirements by pursuing a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Accounting or a master's degree in accounting.

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