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Top Grad Schools for Business on the West Coast

by Neil Kokemuller

Many of the most reputable business grad schools are in the northeastern United States, including Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. However, college graduates and business professionals looking for an elite MBA or graduate business program have some excellent options on the West Coast as well.

Stanford University

California's Stanford University ties with Harvard at the top spot in the "U.S. News & World Report" rankings of best graduate business schools for 2014. Stanford's graduate business school was home to 803 full-time students in 2013. With an annual tuition rate of $57,300, the school isn't cheap. The graduate business program emphasizes leadership development and offers specialties in areas like e-commerce, economics, not-for-profit management, sports business and supply chain management. "U.S. News" also notes that 71.3 of full-time students held jobs at the time of program completion. Stanford ranks fourth in the 2012 "Bloomberg Businessweek" business grad school rankings and second in the "Financial Times" 2013 Global MBA rankings, though it is the top-rated West Coast school in both.

University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business

The University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business isseventh in the 2014 "U.S. News & World Report" rankings, 13th in the "Bloomberg Businessweek" rankings and 12th in the "Financial Times" global rankings. In-state tuition for 2013 was $51,422 for in-state residents, and 490 full-time students were in the program. A full-time student typically completes the MBA program in 21 months. The Haas School offers many of the same specialty areas as Stanford, including entrepreneurship, finance, human resource management and international business. An even higher percentage, 74.4 percent, of full-time students held jobs at graduation.

University of California at Los Angeles Anderson School of Management

The University of California at Los Angeles Anderson School of Management comes in 14th in the "U.S. News & World Report" rankings, 18th in the "Bloomberg Businessweek" rankings and 23rd in the "Financial Times" rankings. Annual in-state tuition was $48,243 in 2013 and 737 full-time students enrolled. Popular specializations include operations research, consulting, quantitative analysis and technology. The school had a graduate job placement rate of 71.9 percent for full-time students.

University of Washington Foster School of Business

The highest-rated West Coast school not in California is the University of Washington Foster School of Business. It ties for number 23 in the "U.S. News & World Report" ranking, but is only 37th in the "Bloomberg Businessweek" rankings. In-state tuition was $26,532 in 2013 and 230 full-time students enrolled. The school offers most of the common programs available at the other schools, including accounting, finance and international business. It also offers a portfolio management specialization. The school placed 80.9 percent of its graduates, tops among the four West Coast schools in "U.S. News & World Report" ranking.

University of Southern California Marshall School of Business

The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business doesn't appear in the "U.S. News & World Report" rankings, but "Bloomberg Businessweek" ranks it as the 28th best graduate business school. The school had 508 full-time grad students and the entire cost of the program was $103,300 as of 2012. Marshall is best known for its entrepreneurship and innovation programs and emphasis on social responsibility in business.

University of California at Irvine Merage School of Business

The University of California at Irvine Merage School of Business also doesn’t appear in the "U.S. News & World Report" rankings, but it ranks number 43 in the "Bloomberg Businessweek" list and number 54 in the "Financial Times" rankings. The school had 215 full-time students and a program cost just above $75,000 as of 2012. The school offers a combination of business programs with emphasis in strategic innovation and sustainability.

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