MBA Programs in Los Angeles with School Overviews

Sep 05, 2018

The Los Angeles area has several schools that offer MBA degrees. To make an informed education decision, learn about the admission and program requirements for three universities located within roughly 15 miles of downtown.

Los Angeles Schools with MBA Degrees

Students interested in Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in the Los Angeles (LA) area have many school options. Get information on the coursework requirements for programs at three universities, and then check out a table of statistics and facts on each institution. Also included in the article are details on a few other area colleges offering relevant programs.

  • The University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) is the largest public school choice and is located about 16 miles from downtown LA. This public institution offers traditional, part-time and executive MBA programs.
  • Another option is the University of Southern California (USC), situated approximately three miles from the heart of LA. This private institution has a wide variety of MBA options ranging from a full-time program to a one-year, accelerated program.
  • California State University - Los Angeles (CSULA), which is located five miles from central LA, offers a traditional MBA program.

Comparison of Schools

Although all the profiled schools are in a large city setting, they do have some differences in costs, enrollment figures and acceptance rates, among other areas. Get to know more about each institution by reviewing the table below.

University of California - Los Angeles University of Southern California California State University - Los Angeles
School Type Four-year; public Four-year; private, not-for-profit Four-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 44,027* 45,687* 28,531*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees for Graduate Students (2017-2018) $13,003 in-state; $28,105 out-of-state* $44,013* $8,073 in-state; $17,577 out-of-state*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

University of California - Los Angeles

The University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) offers about 125 areas of study to more than 40,000 students annually. The Anderson School of Management is one of the most well-reputed business schools in the nation and offers several different types of MBA programs.

Traditional MBA

The traditional MBA program at UCLA takes two years to complete and allows students to customize their experience by choosing from several different tracks or specializations. Students can choose from three pre-determined tracks in consulting, finance and marketing, or they can create a custom academic experience. Students are also given the opportunity to further individualize their program by choosing from a list of specializations, including accounting, corporate finance, entertainment, global management, healthcare management and entrepreneurship. Elective courses are based on a student's area of specialty.

Fully Employed MBA

The fully employed MBA is a part-time program designed for working professionals that takes 33 months to complete. Students take a series of core courses in the first half of the program and finish the program by taking electives and participating in a six-month internship. The program consists of two courses per quarter and one course each summer session. Students can choose from program electives found within the traditional MBA program, and the school lists recommended electives based on a student's career goals.

Executive MBA

The executive MBA program is designed for business leaders to advance their knowledge and skills on the global front. This is a two-year program that includes two separate 'elective blocks' where students take five to six courses over five consecutive days. Program coursework can include leadership foundations, marketing strategy and policy and managerial accounting. Additionally, students get to participate in a variety of field study experiences, including an international business seminar. All students in the program must have a compatible laptop.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California (USC) was established in 1880, and the Marshall School of Business was founded in 1920. The Marshall School of Business was ranked by U.S. News & World Report at number 20 for business grad schools in 2018. The school offers five distinct MBA programs, including full-time, part-time and accelerated options.

Full-Time MBA

This full-time MBA program consists of 63 credits, and the school prefers that incoming students have at least two years of work experience. This program provides a student with a global business perspective and also offers training in specialty areas. Students take a series of core business courses in their first year, which is followed by elective coursework in their second year of study. When choosing their electives, students have the option to pursue an individualized area of study or choose from roughly 100 different courses offered at the school.

MBA for Professionals and Managers

The MBA for professionals and managers is a part-time program that can be completed in three years. This is a 63-credit program that is designed for working professionals. Classes meet in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate a student's work schedule. Program coursework includes core business courses that cover finance, accounting, management and marketing. Students get to take elective courses during their second and third years in the program, and the second year also features a global environment and international business course that includes an international field trip.

Executive MBA

This is a 21-month program that is geared towards middle and senior business managers who usually have at least eight years of work experience. This 60-credit program can give students an advanced understanding of core business and management principles. The curriculum for the executive program does not include any elective coursework and is focused on the management, communication, strategic planning and operation aspects of a business. Students also get to participate in a six-day residential experience in a foreign city during their second year.

International Business Education and Research MBA

This is an accelerated program that consists of 56 credits and can be completed in only one year. The school prefers incoming students to have six years of work experience. Students are required to complete three elective courses and 16 core courses, such as microeconomics for management, corporate finance and operations management. The program includes business consulting projects that allow students to travel to another country for two weeks towards the end of the program.

Global Executive MBA

The global executive program can be finished in 20 months and provides students with real-world training in business through coursework at USC and several international locations. Students who complete the program receive a certificate from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China in addition to the MBA degree. This 60-credit program requires students have at least 10 years of work experience. The course sessions are offered in a part-time format, allowing students to continue to work while pursuing the degree.

California State University - Los Angeles

Established in 1947, California State University - Los Angeles offers an MBA program through the College of Business and Economics.


CSULA's two-year MBA program can give general managers the training and advanced skills needed to work in local and global business settings. This 48-credit program meets on evenings and weekends and provides students with a solid foundation through core courses in business ethics, marketing management in a global environment, integrated business strategy and financial reporting. Students also get to choose an area of specialization from one of the following: accounting, business economics, computer information systems, finance, healthcare management, international business, management and marketing.

Incoming students who don't have an undergraduate business degree may need to take additional prerequisite courses before beginning the MBA coursework.

Other Schools

The LA area has many additional school options for students who wish to pursue an MBA degree. Pacific States University is a private school about 12 minutes from the downtown area and offers five MBA concentrations. Mount St. Mary's College is a private school located about 27 minutes from downtown LA and offers an MBA program, and University of the West, also a private university, is roughly 16 minutes away from downtown and has a Post-MBA Certificate in Business Administration.

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