The Davis Graduate School of Management MBA: What You Need To Know
The UC-Davis approach to teaching prepares students to be collaborative leaders and make a positive difference in the world. The school’s general management education aims to provide a strong foundation, perspective, and balance to be an effective manager. The school opened its doors in 1981 and began offering its full-time MBA in 1987, so the school is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2021-2022. The MBA program is two full academic years plus a summer internship experience.
Its Davis location at the northernmost edge of California’s vast Central Valley means that the UC-Davis Graduate School of Management is an economic driver for the dynamic growth of the region and a hub for the agricultural industry — indeed, the university’s agriculture and environmental sciences college often tops ranking lists for research.
It’s close enough to the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley that students can benefit from the tech ecosystem; and Apple, Intel, and Hewlett Packard are Northern Californian neighbors with operations in the Sacramento region, after all. Proximity to Napa is also enticing for those with a taste for the wine biz, while the state capital Sacramento is a short drive away.
Diversity is another feature at UC-Davis. In the full-time MBA program, 46% of students are women, while 35% of faculty are from ethnic minorities. A third are from outside the U.S., and 31% are women. In the full-time MBA, 35% of students are international.
The melting-pot philosophy is embedded in the MBA, as candidates work in carefully selected multidisciplinary teams. The school also offers part-time MBA programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, and the first and only fully-online MBA in the University of California system.
To earn the MBA, students must successfully complete 72 hours of credits with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.
A key element of this MBA is four Industry Immersions, which ensure that MBAs get cutting-edge insight through live case studies presented by senior executives. MBA and graduate students from other disciplines collaborate to develop compelling solutions to the problems posed by the executives. The interdisciplinary immersions offer field seminars, alumni mentorships, specialized internship and career placement, and networking opportunities. Students can choose from immersions in several areas that are well represented in the region and draw on UC-Davis’ research leadership, including food/agriculture, sustainable energy, biotechnology, and technology finance.
Students can embark on a two-week study trip abroad, with recent destinations including Japan, Cuba, Switzerland, China, and Turkey.
Yuan Jonathan Cheng, MBA 2020
I wanted to move into agriculture because I felt it is an industry where you can have an impact on a global scale in both developing and developed countries. In the Industry Immersion programs at UC-Davis, you really get to know a sector, with visits to food and agriculture companies like growers and packing companies, seed-breeders, and Coca-Cola distributors, to see the challenges they deal with. And working on interdisciplinary case studies with lawyers and food scientists helps to understand the interconnectedness of this vast value chain. I’m now working in agribusiness and I’ve launched a startup based on my experience and network at UC Davis.
H. Rao Unnava, Dean, Graduate School of Management
“We believe MBA graduates will add significant value to any company if they apply their learnings from the MBA program to an industry for which they have passion. Such passion complements their IQ with EQ and makes them relate to the mission of the organization readily and easily. While all MBA programs teach analytical and problem-solving skills, those skills have to be applied in a certain context; having prior exposure and preference for the context enhances the quality of decision making.”
In the first phase of the program, students build a foundation, anchored by the IMPACT experience. The core curriculum is designed to provide a foundation in the functional areas of business—accounting, economics, finance, marketing, organizational behavior and statistics. These management disciplines are examined through the use of case studies, lectures and the analysis of select companies. In the capstone course sequence, Integrated Management Project and Articulation and Critical Thinking (IMPACT), students team up on a quarter-long strategic consulting project for a client company and present their solution to top executives. Elective courses at the Graduate School of Management place an emphasis on real-world application of management principles through executive guest speakers who present “live” case study analyses, such as the Industry Immersions, and other hands-on, experiential activities.
Its Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship focuses on helping students and faculty across the campus to build powerful networks to turn their ideas and research into sustainable ventures.
Davis Graduate School of Management MBA Rankings Data
Davis Graduate School of Management MBA Employment Stats
Total Class of 2020 job offer rate three months after graduation: 76%
Davis has not published in its employment report its top employers, preferring to list all of the firms that hired the school’s graduates.