Finding SoCal’s Most Affordable MBAs

Affordable Southern California

The first thing that springs to mind when thinking about Southern California is its reputation as the nation’s capital of all things glamorous and sun-kissed, but there is actually another side many may not consider.

Los Angeles, San Diego, and Long Beach are actually home to many neighborhoods where the cost of living is more accessible than one may expect; as is the cost of an MBA degree. It may come as a surprise that one can actually live in SoCal quite comfortably while going to b-school and working. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most affordable MBA programs in Southern California.

The Most Affordable Southern California MBA Programs

Affordable Southern California

San Diego State University’s Fowler College of Business is one of the front runners in offering an affordable MBA. Ranked as a “Top MBA School for Women” by Professional Woman’s Magazine, SDSU Fowler has also received high rankings among public universities by Bloomberg (90th in the U.S., 120th in the world).

The curriculum at Fowler is general management based, but MBAs can choose from ten different concentrations. With 45 credits comprised of core courses, specializations, business strategy training, and a ‘culminating experience,’ the program can be completed in one and a half to two years.

The cost is competitive at SDSU Fowler. For in-state students, tuition is $29,958, and for those out of state, it is $37,086, including expenses and fees.

Affordable Southern California

Designed for working professionals, the MBA at Alliant’s California School of Management & Leadership is another one of SoCal’s most affordable. All MBA students take the same eight core classes, and then advance into concentrations.

Those who majored in business as undergrads take 12 courses toward an MBA, while those from a non-business background take two additional classes. MBA candidates take 36 to 42 units, making total tuition $25,128 to $29,316, or around $700 per unit. A range of scholarships are availableAlliant’s California School of Management & Leadership’s MBA Scholarship covers 33 percent of tuition for each semester. The MBA Direct Path Scholarship is also available for undergraduate alumni of Alliant International University.

Tuition at California State University-Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business is also modestly priced. At $4,200 per semester with a book and supply fee of around $900, the Mihaylo MBA is within reach of Golden State natives and transplants aliketuition is the same for both in state and non-California residents.

The program boasts 13 concentration areas: accounting; business analytics; decision sciences; economics; entrepreneurship; finance; general; information systems; international business; management; marketing; organizational leadership and risk management; and insurance. Additionally, the Fully-Employed MBA is a program option can be completed in 36 months, giving students a more flexible schedule.

Fullerton offers a number of opportunities to lower tuition. The Mihaylo Leadership Scholarship ($10,000 disbursed over four consecutive semesters) and the Michael A. Reagan Graduate Scholarship ($8,000 disbursed over two semesters) both reduce tuition significantly.

California State Long Beach also lands on the list of SoCal’s most affordable MBAs. At around $950 per unit, or approximately $45,600 for the entire 48-unit program, MBAs can obtain their degree at an accelerated pace and then head back to work, increased earning potential included.

Tuition includes all textbooks and some fees. Specializations in finance, management, human resources management, information systems and marketing comprise CSLB’s MBA offering.

Finally, the California International Business University (CIBU) allows MBAs to earn their degree for just $6,500 per semester, or approximately $26,000 for the entire program. This is not inclusive fees for textbooks and other items which total around $250.

This 12 course, 48 unit program can be completed in two years.

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About the Author

Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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