Best Business colleges in California

Business majors are taught in school how to start, manage, and maintain a business. This degree provides the foundation for career paths in financial management, business development, and contract negotiation. California has a diverse economy that varies by region, and is a destination for many graduates interested in pursuing a career in sectors like entertainment, tourism, and tech.

California has a robust university system with countless institutions with accredited business schools that offer specialization programs locally. Professionals with a degree in business benefit from the networks that they create with their classmates and professors, along with alumni groups that they can access after graduation when pursuing a job. 

While some business graduates apply to roles at accounting or real estate firms, others pursue their passions and start a business like Elon Musk. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports well over 1,000,000 business and financial operations roles in California with mean salaries approaching $87,000. 

Best Business colleges in California for 2023

The term “global economy” isn’t just a catch-phrase tossed around at USC’s Marshall School of Business – it is a driving influence on the entire program. During their first year of study, all full-time MBA students enroll in the Pacific Rim International Management Education program, which examines the business environment and management styles in Pacific Rim and Latin American countries in class and during a 10-day trip abroad. At the undergraduate level, select freshmen can participate in a two-semester class that includes a spring break trip to China to meet top Asian executives. Such exposure, along with a rigorous curriculum, literally sets graduates up for a world of opportunity, and Marshall’s network of 70,000-plus alumni covering more than 40 countries is ready and willing to help open doors. A quarter of USC undergrads received a degree in a business-related discipline in 2013, making it the university’s most popular major. The undergraduate accounting and entrepreneurial studies programs frequently receive national accolades. In addition to its reputation for excellence, the graduate program is known for its flexible options designed for managers and executives seeking degrees.

Ashford University
San Diego, CA

Click your way to a college degree from Ashford University’s Forbes School of Business. Yes, that’s Forbes, as in the global media company behind what is arguably the most well-known business publication in the word. And what does that mean for students pursuing an online degree? Resources. From curated talent and high quality content dating back almost a century to an extensive global network, Forbes School of Business makes use of the magazine in the classroom. As a student you’ll be invited to Forbes’ speaker series, which provides access to today's greatest business minds. Steve Forbes and Ken Fisher have already been speakers and each event is recorded and made available exclusively to students and alumni. If you’re a student or alumni who exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit, apply for an Entrepreneurship Scholarship. To earn the scholarship, you’ll be asked to present a business idea and demonstrate its potential impact on the economy.

San Jose State University offers 17 Business degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 1,953 Business students graduated with students earning 1,730 Bachelor's degrees, 202 Master's degrees, and 21 Certificates.

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Students studying at California State University, Fullerton’s (CSUF) Mihaylo School of Business and Economics are offered a mantra the school hopes will guide their entire higher education experience — “ready to work, ready to lead.” Living up to big expectations that come with being the largest accredited business school on the West Coast, the Mihaylo School of Business and Economics leverages its southern California location to give students a global education employers are looking for in the workplace. Choose a California-esq concentration in Entertainment & Tourism Management, the first-of-its-kind undergraduate program that teaches the “biz.” An advisory board of senior executives from across the industry strengthen the program with experience from companies such as Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Not seeing stars in your future? Majors also include international business, with a choice of 6 language concentrations, business analytics, risk management insurance, entrepreneurship, and more.

Searching for an undergraduate business program with excellent prospects for future employment? Look no further than University of California – Berkeley. According to PayScale’s 2015-16 College Salary Report*, Berkeley business majors earned more money in their early career (0-5 years) and mid-career (10+ years of experience) than business grads from any other undergraduate business school.

So what makes Haas School of Business so special? Perhaps it’s the stated mission to “develop leaders who redefine how we do business.” The curriculum provides students with a solid understanding of how business operates and its role in society. Students receive core training in accounting, finance, marketing, business communication, and organizational behavior. But they also fulfill “breadth” requirements that expose them to the arts and sciences. In true Cal form, they become critical thinkers—a highly prized trait in a continuously changing global economy.

To enrich their educational experience and increase marketability, Haas encourages undergrads to study abroad. On campus, many students participate in business-related extracurricular activities. Join the 400-member-strong Berkeley Investment Group to practice hands-on portfolio management. Try your hand at developing a multi-million dollar campaign in the National Student Advertising Competition. If you’ve got the ambition, Cal has the outlet!


Innovators wanted. Sitting atop a hill in the middle of America’s Finest City, the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University (SDSU) connects students with real business opportunities abounding from the coasts of La Jolla to the back roads of San Pasqual, and beyond through study abroad. This public university aims to inspire entrepreneurship and innovation that transcends borders, preparing students to lead in the modern, globalized marketplace. SDSU’s College of Business is one of America's oldest and largest AACSB-accredited business schools. Business is the most popular division at SDSU, producing 18 percent of 2013’s graduating class. Undergraduate specializations include accounting, finance, real estate, information systems, management, and marketing. Named one of America's Most Entrepreneurial Universities by Forbes in 2014, SDSU has a nearly 60-year tradition of transforming students into business leaders. Its Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, for example, organizes business plan competitions and connects students with paid internships, and the Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory allows students to study real-time economic data.

San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University offers 12 Business degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 1,704 Business students graduated with students earning 1,579 Bachelor's degrees, 123 Master's degrees, and 2 Certificates.

California State University-Los Angeles offers 14 Business degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 1,275 Business students graduated with students earning 1,154 Bachelor's degrees, 116 Master's degrees, and 5 Certificates.

Golden Gate University-San Francisco offers 71 Business degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 575 Business students graduated with students earning 415 Master's degrees, 118 Bachelor's degrees, 37 Certificates, 4 Doctoral degrees, and 1 Associate's degree.

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Start your business learning experience with a Freshmen Advising Workshop at the CBA Center for Student Success. The workshop is so effective for transitioning to college that all new business students attend one. Earn your business degree here and you’ll be represented by the Associated Business Students Organizations Council, regularly voted by fellow students as the best college council on campus for their commitment to making sure CBA students experience excellent personal and professional development beyond the classroom. The secret to their success? Ethics — that’s what drives the core of the college. With efforts like Living Ethics Every Day, an annual ethics seminar for business leaders planned alongside the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the school’s Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership advances a goal of producing global leaders with a heart to serve the common good of others. Experiences such as the ethics seminar lay an altruistic foundation in your education that you won’t find in many business programs.

Top schools offering Business degrees in California

List of all Business colleges in California

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
University of Southern California Logo University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
22 : 1 46,287
Ashford University Logo Ashford University San Diego, CA
261 : 1 31,115
University of Phoenix-California Logo University of Phoenix-California Ontario, CA
San Jose State University Logo San Jose State University San Jose, CA
41 : 1 36,208
California State University-Fullerton Logo California State University-Fullerton Fullerton, CA
41 : 1 42,051