For Golden State professionals, California State University, Northridge offers an affordable and convenient option for a graduate degree in business. Generally considered the “best school in the San Fernando Valley,” Northridge is “comparable to other major business schools, such as USC and UCLA” but much easier on your pocketbook and personal life. “Prices are still a fraction of local private schools,” and “the evening MBA program makes attending school while working full-time not only possible, but much easier than anticipated.” This program is geared toward working professionals, and “all the classes are scheduled during the evening or on the weekends.”
The Northridge MBA comprises core coursework and electives, which together offer a “good balance of academic and professional experience.” As working professionals, CSUN students are looking to build knowledge and skills that they can immediately apply to their jobs. As such, they are pleased to report that the teaching staff is current and “well informed of the market trends.” “Every course has applications to real-world business situations,” and the program concludes with a mandatory 3-unit consulting project for a live business in the community. In addition, CSUN students can tailor their degrees though elective coursework. The school offers concentrations in international business, marketing, management, and information systems, among other disciplines. “The size of the program doesn’t allow for all of the electives to be offered each semester,” so students who wish to specialize must plan their schedules carefully.
For a public school, MBA enrollment is low. With only around 250 students in the program, “the small class sizes allow for you to ask questions and interact with the professors and fellow students.” “Nearly every class involves small group work,” which helps students improve their team-building skills while also benefiting from their classmates’ expertise. Here, “the students are diverse in many ways, and each one has a wealth of knowledge that they gladly share.” A current student enthuses, “The courses are solid, and the students really raise the bar. You know that most of the students will be reading, studying, memorizing, and applying the material.” While all professors have great credentials, some are more effective than others. Among other differences, “the younger professors are very engaging, while many of the older ones can be a bit regimented.” No matter what their teaching style, Northridge professors are generally “supportive” and “available to meet and discuss” business topics outside the classroom.
With active professional commitments outside of school, very few MBA students are actively involved in the community beyond “group meetings with classmates and study groups once a week.” However, “nearly every class involves small group work,” so students at CSUN have an opportunity to get to know their colleagues outside the classroom setting. Drawing from the surrounding community in Los Angeles, “the students are diverse in many ways. In addition to representing a “mix of geographical, cultural, and work backgrounds,” they “vary in experience, from recent college grads and young professionals to mid-career transitioners.” On the whole, CSUN is a collaborative program, with “very little sense of academic competition” between students.