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OC’s MBA Enrollment Falls For 5th Straight Year

Business schools serving Orange County experienced an 11% drop in enrollment.

It’s the largest drop in the past five years and continued an ongoing local trend; the last time the Business Journal reported increasing MBA enrollment was 2016.

This year’s decline was widespread as 12 of the 16 schools on the Business Journal’s annual directory of MBA Schools reported a decline. Three smaller schools didn’t report their numbers.

Only one, Garden Grove’s Stanton University, reported an increase, 3.2% to 162 students.

The biggest decline was at University of Massachusetts Global, formerly known as Brandman University, which reported a 22% decline to 354 students. Chapman University last month transferred the nonprofit Brandman to University of Massachusetts Global, a newly launched nonprofit affiliate of UMass.

The area’s biggest MBA program, University of California, Irvine, reported a 0.5% decline to 630 students.

CSUF’s New Dean

UCI’s business school got a new dean at the start of the year, Ian Williamson, while this summer Sridhar Sundaram took over as dean of California State University, Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics.

Sundaram assumed his new role at the largest business school in California on July 15.

The Business Journal’s MBA directory shows 3,228 students are paying an average $39,439 to earn the graduate degree, which is often the pathway to top management positions.

In recent years, traditional MBA programs have been in decline as students forgo expensive programs for more flexible learning options such as hybrid instruction and pay-as-you-go programs. 

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