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16 things every Berkeley Haas MBA student should know

Berkeley Haas MBA Berkeley Haas is the second oldest business school in the United States. It is also the only b-school to be founded by a woman.

A gift by Cora Jane Flood in 1898—her residence and a 550-acre plot—to the University of California, Berkeley, led to the establishment of what is now the Haas Business School.

Today, Haas has 15 institutes under it, with 2,500 students enrolled in six degree programs, and over 200 academic staff, two of whom have received the Nobel Prize for Economics.

Berkeley Haas is named for Walter A. Haas, former president of Levi Strauss and a benefactor who led the b-school’s first advisory council and, and whose family continued to support the school.

Here are 16 useful facts, statistics and nuggets of information for students, particularly candidates for Haas’s full-time MBA.

16 things every Berkeley Haas applicant should know



Berkeley Haas, which has the San Francisco Bay Area and the Silicon Valley as its natural ecosystem, has been an academic nursery for technologists and innovators for over a century. It is about 14 miles northeast of San Francisco, on the east of the San Francisco Bay.

A vibrant art and music scene and underground bars and cafes are never more than a stone’s throw away from this temple of business studies. Foggy conditions, cool, dry summers, and wet winters give Berkeley the temperate climate of Northern California.

June to September is the driest, and January the wettest month. The highest recorded temperature is 42 degree Celsius and the lowest -4 degree Celsius.


Four buildings with a central courtyard make up the school, which is located in the southeastern corner of the UC Berkeley campus.

The original building was designed by the renowned architect Charles Moore (1925-93) to facilitate interaction among a community of students, professors, and visitors.

The new Connie & Kevin Chou Hall, completed in 2018, is for “students only,” with no offices and with only technology-enabled classrooms and conference halls.

Chou Hall, which has launched a “Zero Waste” initiative, has won energy and environmental certifications and user well-being endorsements.


The Financial Times ranks Haas the seventh best business school in USA and tenth in the world, according to the FT Global MBA ranking published in January 2019.

The full-time MBA and MBA for Executives secured the highest US News ranking of sixth and seventh, respectively, in its list published in March 2019.

QS rated Haas at 17th in the world and Bloomberg Businessweek gave it the sixth rank in the US in 2018.

Faculty, research

Apart from two Nobel Prizes for Economic Science—won by Oliver Williamson and John Harsanyi—awards for leading research in game theory, behavioral finance, open innovation, and knowledge management have come Haas faculty’s way.

Haas teachers are reputed internationally for their mastery of interactions between the fields of business, economic, social, and political.

Haas’s research institutes, such as the Institute for Business Innovation, Institute for Business & Social Impact, and Energy Institute, hosts several study centers.


Haas offers graduate, undergraduate, certificate, pre-college, and executive education programs. Its 21-month full-time MBA program, which starts in August, teaches not only business fundamentals and basic business trends and ideas, but also imparts leadership skills.

Haas runs an evening and weekend part-time program, starting August, with a Saturday-only option. Working professionals can earn the MBA degree in about three years. Haas’s 19-month MBA for Executives, which begins in May, meets once in three weeks, Thursday to Saturday.

Read this: How I got into Berkeley Haas Part-time MBA

Other graduate programs are Master of Financial Engineering, which starts in April, in which a 10-12 week internship in top finance firms readies students for finance careers, and the PhD program, which promotes student research on business and management, and prepares them for faculty careers in top universities.

Among Haas’s undergraduate programs are Bachelor of Science in Business (two years); Berkeley Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology (two degrees, four years years), Biology + Business (two degrees), and the Global Management Program (BS in Business Administration, four years).


Create leaders who can turn innovation to impact: this is the goal of the Haas full-time MBA curriculum. It builds bridges between various business fundamentals to break status quo. The knowledge built up by experiential learning provides students with multiple perspectives.

The MBA core curriculum, with its 12 required courses, imparts a mastery of analytical tools and leadership skills. The electives enable students to pursue their dream goals.

The curriculum covers, among other topics, statistical analysis, leadership skills and communication, economics for business decision-making, finance, financial accounting, marketing ethics, and design thinking.

As part of the experiential learning initiative, students take up at least one applied innovation course (for example, international business development, clean technology, and socially responsible investment) with hands-on training at leading firms all over the world.

Application requirements

For its full-time MBA, Haas seeks candidates from diverse backgrounds who have proved their academic potential, recorded professional achievement, and shown leadership skills.

However, achievements are evaluated on the basis of the candidate’s background and challenges he/she has overcome. The Haas full-time MBA application is to be submitted online along with university transcripts, resume, GMAT/GRE score, essays (reflections on experiences, values, and dreams that shows fit), two professional letters of recommendation (one from a direct supervisor), and proof of English language proficiency (for candidates who have earned their degrees from countries where the primary official language is not English).

Interviews are conducted on campus and around the world for those invited. The application fee is $200.

Fee, expenses

The estimated expenses for the full-time MBA program for 2019-20 were $101,534 for a non-resident (in California) student, including $64,652 for tuition and other fees, $25,234 for housing and food, $3,110 for transport, $5,240 for health insurance, $620 for books and supplies, and $2,678 for personal expenses.

Scholarships, aid

Haas offers various merit-based and need-based fellowships and scholarships, such as the Berkeley Haas Scholarships, Berkeley MBA Grant, Galloway MBA Fellowship, Blue Duck Scholarships, Finance Fellowships, and Full-time MBA Parent Grant (the last for first and second year international students, besides domestic students).

Admission statistics

Here’s the class profile of the Haas full-time MBA Class of 2020:

  • Total students – 291 (43% women, 42% international students from 39 countries)
  • Average work experience: 5.4 years
  • Average undergrad GPA – 3.66
  • Average GMAT score – 726, GRE (verbal) – 165, GRE (quant) – 164
  • Undergrad majors: economics – 21%, engineering – 16%, social sciences – 14%, business commerce – 11%, finance – 11%, humanities – 7%, natural science – 3%; math – 3%; others – 14%
  • Professional background (industry, top four): consulting – 24%, banking/finance – 20%; high-tech/electronics – 10%, nonprofit – 8%
  • Professional background (function, top four): consulting – 29%, finance – 12%, general management – 7%, planning/corporate strategy – 6%


Career development

Haas’s small class size facilitates one-on-one collaboration with the resource persons at its career center. Experts help students identify the industries and companies where they want to work and the roles that they want to perform.

Interactions to refine resumes and impart interviewing skills are organized. The facilities continue to be available over the student’s post-school career.

The Career Management Group consists of over 40 relationship managers, who are knowledgeable in how a desired company or industry recruits, and career coaches, who help students shape their career goals and support them in developing interviewing skills, evaluating offers, and negotiating.

Students can seek the assistance of peer advisors and industry specialists. Other facilities include events such as campus recruitments, in which top consulting firms and finance companies participate, and seminars and workshops, which facilitate networking with company representatives, including alumni. Haas has also established “CareerNet,” an online job data bank.

Jobs after MBA, employers

Various career paths are open to Haas MBAs: consulting/strategy, energy/cleantech, finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, technology, health management, social impact, and real estate. Technology (31.7%), consulting (24%), and financial services (13.7%) were the top recruiters by sector.

Most top firms in these and other sectors recruit at Haas; for example, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Samsung; Bain, BCG, McKinsey, and Deloitte from the consulting/strategy sector; and Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley from the finance sector.

By function, consulting (24.6%), marketing (23.5%) and finance (15.8%) recruited the most graduates. From the MBA Class of 2018, of the total 242 students, 196 looked for a job, 185 received offers, and 183 accepted them.


The mean base annual salary for the MBA Class of 2018 was $127,571 and the mean sign-on bonus $29,212 (70% received the bonus).

The top sectors for the highest mean base annual salary were media and entertainment ($136,667), technology ($132,784), consulting ($132,268), and transport and logistics services ($126,617).

The top payers by function were business development/strategy (mean base annual salary $132,890), marketing ($130,825), and rotational program ($129,714).

Alumni network

The Berkeley Haas Alumni Network function in 81 countries. As many as 40,000 alumni work in sectors ranging from academia to public service, about 1,500 of them in the Asia Pacific region, 800 in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and 500 in the Americas, not including the US.

Chapter board members organize social and networking events and regional representatives are a point of contact for visiting staff, faculty, alumni, and current and prospective students.

Alumni are a resourceful community that students and other alumni can tap into for job leads.

Notable alumni

Here are the names of a few Haas alumni, randomly selected: Arun Sarin, former CEO, Vodafone; Barbara Desoer, former CEO, Citibank; Catherine Lesjack, CFO, HP; Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of California; Robert Lutz, former vice-chairman, GM; Ryan Murphy, swimmer, Gold Medalist, 2016 Olympics; and Walter A. Haas, Sr. and Walter A. Haas, Jr., former presidents of Levi Strauss.


Haas four defining principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.

They help Haas create a culture where students challenge convention, develop the confidence to act without arrogance, make learning a life mission, and put larger issues above personal objectives.

How to get into the best MBA programs in the world
Why and how to get into Berkeley Haas MBA when you’re already earning $125,000
References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 | Image credit: Berkeley Haas Twitter Account

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5 thoughts on “16 things every Berkeley Haas MBA student should know”

  1. Hi Sameer,

    I have 14+ years experience in Software industry with specific Technical Domain, I would like to do one year MBA and grow in other half of my career in Management. The reason for change is to achieve high position with the right skills and implement my ideas in successful way. I need your suggestion that Am I taking the right decision ? If so I have left with one to two months file applications for IIMx. I am not ready with GMAT yet, however would like to commit and goal for good score. Need your advice on the the same.

    Appreciate quick reply.

    Vijay Kulkarni

  2. What is the requirements for fresher mba?Any work experience needed,or whether it is ok with ielts?As I am in my final year,I need to join MBA.

  3. hello,i’ve been in the special forces and intelligence for 3 years and planning to do an mba.sameer could you please guide me in this regard planning to do an mba from isb.

  4. Hi, I will be completing CA in Jan 2020 and my articleship in March 2020. I want to pursue MBA from abroad. However, I have not done Bcom or any other graduation course. Will CA qualification fit in the eligibility criteria?

  5. @Vijay: Other than IIMA PGPX, these programs will fit you better:

    @Jaya: In general, it’s a bad idea. We’ve covered MBA without experience here:

    @Raghu: This article should help you:

    @Neehad: Bschools like INSEAD should be open to it. But for matters related to eligibility, rather than relying on a 3rd party’s opinion, it’s best to check directly with some of your target universities.


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