Executive Summary

The top 15 business schools in L.A. County produced 2,779 MBA graduates last year, a 13 percent increase over the year before, as applications and enrollments continued to increase.

The surge is being fueled largely by fully employed students seeking to boost their careers by pursuing advanced degrees on a part-time basis.

Local universities offer a variety of options, ranging from full-time MBA programs to part-time or evening tracks, teaching everything from international business practices to how to be an e-commerce entrepreneur. Many students now receive an advanced degree without ever having set foot on a campus, as the Internet plays a bigger role in advanced education.

Tuition runs the gamut from $75 per unit at Cal State Los Angeles to $20,756 per year for out-of-state students at the Anderson School at UCLA. U.S. News and World Report selected two local universities UCLA and USC among its top 50 business schools in the nation.

The Pacesetter

Pepperdine University

The George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management

The Graziadio School is the largest MBA program in L.A. County, with 1,080 students enrolled in either part-time or full-time programs. Applications for the full-time MBA program remained stable from 1997 through 1999, as the school raised admission standards and became more selective. For the 2000 school year, however, applications are 45 percent ahead of last year. The jump may well be related to the fact that last year both Princeton Review and Business Week listed the Graziadio School among the top business schools in the nation, the first time the Pepperdine program has ever received that distinction.

The school recruits nearly 40 percent of new students each year from outside the United States. Its full-time MBA students have the option of taking a semester abroad at any of the 18 institutions that Graziadio partners with in Europe and Latin America. Students may also choose the international MBA track, which features an entire year of study abroad, including a full-time internship working at an international company. To further assist with these international study programs, the school offers business language classes in Spanish, French and German.

The introduction in 1999 of a concentration in e-commerce influenced many of the school's newest graduates to choose jobs at dot-com companies upon graduation. Many newer graduates are also opting to start their own businesses.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.