Marketing Schools in California

As the largest state by population in the nation, it’s not surprising that California boasts such an expansive and complicated network of higher education institutions. In fact, California is home to the two largest public university systems in the country, California State University and the University of California. It is also no surprise that California colleges and universities offer such a large number of nationally recognized marketing programs. Below, you will find key statistics, profiles and reviews of these programs to help locate the marketing school that’s right for you.

Quick Facts:

  • 23 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree program in marketing.
  • 4 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree program in marketing.
  • Highest graduation rate*: Santa Clara University, 85%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: California Lutheran University, 29%.1
  • Highest net price per year*: Santa Clara University, $36,750.1
  • Lowest net price per year*: California State University – Northridge, $10,458.1
  • Highest student population*: California State University – Northridge, 36,911.1
  • Lowest student population*: Menlo College, 682.1
  • Range for annual tuition for marketing degree programs at 4 year colleges and universities in California: $13,680 – $39,840.2
  • 6 schools in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Schools in 2013 (Top 100): University of California – Berkeley (11); University of Southern California (31); Santa Clara University (38); University of San Diego (46); California State University – San Luis Obispo (64); Loyola Marymount University (65)

*For 4-year colleges and universities offering a marketing degree program.

For more important and useful information on marketing schools and programs at colleges and universities in the United States, keep referring to this guide on California marketing schools.

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California Marketing Graduate Degree Programs

University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA’s Anderson School of Management offers a two-year, full-time graduate program leading to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a marketing concentration. The MBA program runs in three quarters: Fall, winter, and spring. Graduate students will take a combination of business and marketing courses during the first year of the program. The second year of the program is completely customizable, as students choose the electives they want to pursue. The only required course in the second year is the Applied Management Research Program, a required capstone course. MBA students are placed in teams of five for the AMR program, and teams are assigned to work with management in a local or international organization. Together with management, MBA students spend 20 weeks designing a strategic plan for the organization, which is then presented in written and oral form at the end of the project.

California State University Northridge
California State University Northridge confers the Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in marketing for graduate students who want to pursue a career in marketing or to later move on to a doctoral program. Students, with a bachelor’s degree in business, typically complete 33 credits while students without the necessary foundation for MBA work generally undertake an additional 15 credits. A concentration only requires students to take between two and three courses in marketing. All graduate students must complete either a comprehensive exam or a MBA Consulting Project to finish their degree. The MBA Consulting Project allows students to put what they’ve learned in graduate school to use in the real world by completing an in-depth project, such as developing a business plan, designing a financial control system, or creating feasibility studies.

California Marketing Undergraduate Degree Programs

San Diego State University
San Diego State University confers the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Marketing. Throughout the four years of the program, students will complete general college, business, and marketing courses. Marketing courses cover such diverse topics as consumer and buyer behavior, retail marketing methods, and global marketing strategy. Students are encouraged to become active in the San Diego State community, particularly by joining the on campus professional business fraternities: Alpha Kappa Psi and Delta Sigma Pi. The Entrepreneurial Society brings together students and faculty with an interest in cultivating business ideas and starting a business. Undergraduate students may want to enhance their educational experience and their resumes by studying abroad in Australia, Spain, Japan, Italy, or China for an entire academic year, a semester, or for sessions of only several weeks.

San Jose State University
Marketing majors at San Jose State University must complete 120 credits to earn the Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in marketing. The B.S. program requires students to complete such general college courses as oral communications, life science, history, government, and arts in addition to core business and marketing classes. Marketing courses encompass a diverse range of topics: sales management, product development, international marketing, and marketing new ventures. All students must successfully pass a writing placement test prior to beginning their junior year. Passing the Writing Skills Test is often a prerequisite for upper division classes at the university. To remain a marketing major, undergraduates must maintain a minimum C- grade point average in all marketing classes.

California Marketing Salary and Jobs

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Advertising and Promotions Managers 3,880 $118,510
Marketing Managers 28,260 $147,240
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 64,560 $77,330
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers 6,310 $118,840
Public Relations Specialists 21,920 $73,790

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

Career Opportunities for Marketing Graduates in California

Projected Job Growth


Marketing Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists in California from 2010-20203

Graduates with a masters degree in marketing will generally find their skills in high demand in California; in fact, most employers prefer candidates who hold a masters degree. The demand for marketing specialists between 2010 and 2020 is expected to grow nearly 46 percent in California – leaping from 53,700 jobs in 2010 to 78,300 jobs in 2020.3 The annual average job growth is estimated at 3,800 jobs each year, according to the State of California’s Employment Development Department.3 Numerous California advertising and marketing firms made Inc.’s list of top companies in 2012, including: YMarketing, PowerDirect Marketing, ClickMail Marketing, and Marketing Evolution.

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Schools with Marketing Degree Programs in California

California State University at Fullerton
800 N State College Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92831
(657) 278-2011

Student Review: “The marketing program at Cal State Fullerton is second to none. The professors bring real-life experience, examples, case studies, and learning opportunities into the classroom. Fellow students also created an inviting learning experience. For most, it wasn’t about receiving the highest score in the class. Instead, the environment nurtured every student throughout the learning process, creating a group learning dynamic that is appealing, and one that simulates real-life work experience.” – student at California State University at Fullerton

University of Phoenix
Online Program
(866) 766-0766

Student Review: “The good thing about University of Phoenix is that is it flexible. If you are self-motivated, you can make real progress towards a marketing degree really fast. The instructors are also real world marketing people, not simply academics that have never had a private-sector job. I kind of floundered in my academic career until I joined University of Phoenix program. Once I joined, not only did I make fast, measurable towards my goals every six weeks, but I really did learn about the theories, tools and practices of the marketing industry. I got valid feedback about whether my contributions to projects and papers would make the cut in the real world.” – student at University of Phoenix

1. National Center for Education Statistics:
2. College Prowler:
3. State of California: