What San Diego MBAs Offer the Best Return on Investment?

master of business administration

Attending a Master of Business Administration program in San Diego sounds like a great idea. There’s great weather year round, beautiful beaches, and you get to enjoy the laid-back California attitude. But do you get a good return on your investment (ROI) going to school in San Diego?

The ROI of your MBA program can be difficult to determine considering the many factors that come into play. Not only do you need to compare the cost of tuition and expected salary upon graduation from each school, but you also have to take into account the cost of living where you go to school and your salary change pre- to post-MBA.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best San Diego MBA programs to get the highest return on your investment.

Fowler College of Business Administration – SDSU

MBA students who chose to attend the Fowler College of Business Administration at SDSU can expect affordable tuition and decent job prospects. These MBA graduates have one of the best returns on their investments in San Diego.

Over 70 percent of the most recent Fowler MBA class had a job within three months of graduation, and that percentage increased to 82.94 percent at six months post graduation. MBA students who were employed found jobs at GEICO, EY, PepsiCo, HSBC Group, Qualcomm, and more.


Tuition at Fowler is very affordable. In fact, full-time Master of Business Administration students who are California residents can expect to pay just $29,938 over the course of their degree—$7,223 a semester. Non-California residents can expect to pay a little more, approximately $47,758 over two years.


The mean starting salary for MBA graduates at Fowler is $61,467.


The salary-to-debt ratio for Fowler MBA graduates who are residents of California is .487, which means that Fowler MBAs can expect to pay off their debt in just the first year. For non-California residents, the ratio is .777, which is still less than a year to pay off the debt.

University of San Diego School of Business Administration

Choosing to attend the University of San Diego School of Business Administration is a fairly reliable choice for return on investment. 83 percent of MBA graduates can expect to be employed three months post graduation at top companies including Amazon, Deloitte, Intel, Bank of America, eBay, Boston Consulting Group, and 21st Century Fox. But what does it look like when you compare tuition to expected salary?


Tuition is a bit pricey compared to the other San Diego business schools. For an MBA student, it costs $1,475 per unit with 56 units required. That equals around $82,600 for tuition over two years. In addition, MBA students can expect $1,153.50 a semester for health insurance coverage with approximately $200 in additional fees. Total, over the two years, MBA students can expect to pay $87,614 for tuition and fees.


Upon graduation, MBA students at USD can expect an average starting salary of $72,363 with a range of $50,000 – $100,000.


The salary-to-debt ratio for a USD MBA graduate is 1.21, indicating that it would take you only 1.2 years to earn back what you paid for the program if every dime of your salary went to paying off your tuition.

Rady School of Management – UC San Diego

The Rady School of Management is one of the more expensive Master of Business Administration programs in San Diego, at the same time it has some of the best job prospects. Three months post-graduation, 82 percent of Rady MBA graduates accepted employment, and 10 percent started their own business for a total employment rate of 92 percent. Those individuals accepted jobs at such companies as IBM, Boeing, Cisco Systems, Amazon, Tesla Motors, Ernst & Young, Gartner, and Deloitte.


Tuition for full-time MBA students who are also California residents is $48,961 a year—$97,922 total. For non-residents, tuition costs $55,546 a year or $111,092 total. Other non-tuition fees including campus fees and health insurance can cost an additional $4,000 a year or $8,000 over the course of the program.


Rady MBA graduates, on average, earn $84,335 as a starting salary ($87,500 median).


The salary-to-debt ratio for the Rady School Master of Business Administration program is 1.255 for California residents and 1.41 for non-California residents.

Other San Diego MBA Programs

As for the three other Master of Business Administration programs available in San Diego, not much information is provided.


About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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