London Business School | Mr. Engineering To IB
GMAT 770, GPA 3.43
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
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London Business School | Mr. Soccer Club
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3 (85th Percentile), First Class Standing.
London Business School | Ms. Audit Meme
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Stanford GSB | Mr. Healthcare AI
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Chicago Booth | Mr. Corp Dev
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USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Non-Profit Latino
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INSEAD | Ms. Social Business
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Harvard | Ms. Risk-Taker
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HEC Paris | Ms. Freelancer
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Harvard | Mr. Hedge Funder
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Harvard | Mr. Fresh Perspective
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Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
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Harvard | Mr. Green Energy Revolution
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Harvard | Mr. MPP/MBA
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Harvard | Ms. Analytical Leader
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Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
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Stanford GSB | Mr. Technopreneur
GRE 328, GPA 3.2
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
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London Business School | Mr. College Dropout
Harvard | Mr. MBB Latino Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Ms. Top Firm Consulting
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
INSEAD | Mr. Truth
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INSEAD | Mr. Powerlifting President
GMAT 750, GPA 8.1/10
Harvard | Mr. Mojo
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Ross | Mr. Law To MBA
GRE 321, GPA 3.77

UC-Davis Puts A $104,400 Price Tag On Its Online MBA

UC-Davis will become the first University of California school to offer an online MBA

With final approval from the University of California system expected a month from now, the Graduate School of Management at UC-Davis has begun recruiting students for the first cohort of its online MBA program which will start in October.

UC-Davis, which will become the first University of California school to offer an online MBA option, has priced its program at $104,400, roughly $21,000 less than the program at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, which like UC-Davis has partnered with online education provider 2U to deliver and market the offering. 

That price tag makes UC-Davis one of only a handful of six-figure online MBAs with Carnegie Mellon, UNC, the University of Southern California, Rice University, and George Washington University. The other top-ranked option in California from USC’s Marshall School of Business now costs a total of $106,197 (see The Least (And Most Expensive) Top Online MBA Programs).


2U online programs, including Rice’s offering from its Jones Graduate School of Business, tend to cost more because schools agree to provide up to 65% of the total revenue of the programs back to the publicly traded online education company. The UC-Davis online program will be among ten different 2U MBA options by the end of this year (see 2U Will Add Three New Online MBAs In 2019).

The school has set a final application cutoff of Aug. 2 for its first class, though there is a “pre-priority deadline of June 7 and a priority deadline of July 3. The online option at UC Davis will offer incoming students four different start dates a year in January, April, July, and October.

“The good news is that the online MBA has gone past all the committees and is awaiting final approval,” says Hanumantha R. Unnava, dean of UC-Davis’ Graduate School of Management. He said he expects final approval within the next month. The school put details about the program on its website last week and is currently using Google Adwords to recruit students.


Like other 2U online degree programs, the UC-Davis option will feature live online classes and several multi-day residencies. UC-Davis will leverage its location for those in-person sessions, hosting them on campus as well as in Napa Valley and Silicon Valley. The school says that its online MBA curriculum has “the same standards, will be taught by the same faculty and requires the same credit hours” its on-campus MBA.

Scores from either the GRE or the GMAT are required as part of your application, though the school says it will waive those exams for “qualified applicants.” A candidate can avoid the standardized test if he or she meets one of four conditions: 1) Has an undergraduate degree with a 3.2 GPA or higher in business administration, economics, engineering, biological sciences, information and computer science, health sciences or physical sciences; 2) Has either a graduate degree or a professional credential such as a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Financial Analyst; 3) Has five or more years of professional work experience after completing an undergraduate degree, or 4) Has four or more years of military experience.

Two or more years of professional work experience is recommended for admission. The school requires the completion of two brief essays and two letters of recommendation for candidates who apply for admission. One 300-word essay asks students to describe their post-MBA roles and how they intend to make them happen, while another brief essay of no more than three sentences asks candidates to share their most interesting “personal thing” about them with the admissions committee.


The program will consist of nine core courses on the business basics, making up 27 units,  along with one capstone course, worth five units. The core courses range from Financial Accounting and Data Analysis for Managers to The Individual and Group Dynamics and Organizational Strategy and Structure. Students will get to choose from an initial menu of 21 elective courses for the required 36 units of those classes, including analytics, entrepreneurship, marketing, organizational behavior or technology management. Each online student would be required to complete two residences, for the remaining four units of academic credit.

Students can complete the program in as little as two years or stretch it out to four. “We expect the program to take two years if a student takes classes every quarter,” explains Dean UnnavaStudents can take up to four years to finish the program if they want to go a little slower. ”



About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.