The Leading Independent Resource for Top-tier MBA Candidates
Berkeley / Haas MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018

Haas School of Business – University of California, Berkeley

Haas School of Business is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley and is located on the eastern side of Berkeley’s campus.  In addition to its full-time MBA program, Haas offers an Executive MBA program and an Evening and Weekend MBA program.  Haas’s MBA curriculum is centered on Berkeley Innovative Leader Development, an approach to business education that emphasizes experiential learning and problem-solving in order to help students become innovative leaders.  Haas also helps students shape their education by offering students the chance to design courses in conjunction with a faculty member.

  Get all of this info to read on the go! Download the Berkeley Haas School Snapshot PDF.

Read more


Haas employs 86 tenure-track faculty members across its six academic departments.  These scholars and practitioners help lead Haas’s seven research institutes and centers, and participate in six multidisciplinary programs, which cover topics ranging from business innovation to nonprofit and public leadership.  The Program in Corporate Innovation, for example, enables faculty to publish articles, create teaching materials and lead research projects on “open innovation,” a more dispersed industry innovation model.


Professors at Haas make use of a variety of teaching methods, including case studies, seminars, simulations, group projects and guest speakers.  Haas places an emphasis on hands-on learning, with certain courses providing students the opportunity to gain consulting experience by working in Silicon Valley firms.

Haas operates on a two-semester schedule, with MBA classes running from late August through early December and from mid-January through May; commencement takes place shortly thereafter.  For first-year students, each semester is further divided into two quarters.  Within the academic year, all students have short breaks for Thanksgiving and other holidays, as well as a one-month break between the fall and spring semesters.

During the first year, Haas students are required to take 12 core courses which account for roughly half of the 51 semester units needed to graduate.  The core covers foundational business principles in accounting, finance, economics, marketing, operations, strategy, leadership, decision-making and management.  Each of the required courses places an emphasis on team learning, with students working in small groups on projects and assignments.  A core course may be waived if a student passes a waiver examination, and these are available for seven of the 12 core courses.  These examinations are akin to the course’s final examination and are given the week before the start of each semester.  All students must also fulfill an experiential learning, or “applied innovation” requirement by completing at least one of over a dozen programs.  These include working in small teams on projects for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, as well as developing socially responsible strategies for large corporations.

MBA students may begin taking elective courses in the spring semester of their first year.  Haas provides a broad range of elective courses from which to choose, and students may even design their own courses together with members of the faculty.  The school offers specialties in seven areas of general management fundamentals, namely accounting, business and public policy, economic analysis and public policy, finance, management of organizations, marketing, and operations and information technology management.  Haas also provides students with 11 Areas of Emphasis, which are high-level recommendations of courses, extracurricular activities and summer internships that students can follow to prepare for entry into related careers.

Other MBA Degree Options

In addition to the 21-month full-time MBA program, Haas offers a four-year JD/MBA program with either UC Berkeley’s School of Law or UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.  Also available are an MBA/MPH program with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and an MBA/MA program in International and Area Studies with various UC Berkeley Schools.  Part-time options include an evening and weekend MBA program.

Areas of Emphasis at Haas

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategy/Consulting
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Energy and Clean Technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global Management
  • Health Management
  • Social Sector Leadership
  • Real Estate
  • Technology

Degree Options at Haas

Full-time MBA

Concurrent Degrees



MBA for Executives

Evening & Weekend MBA

Applied Innovation  Courses

  • [email protected]
  • Social Sector Solutions
  • International Business Development
  • Cleantech to Market
  • Strategic and Sustainable Business Solutions
  • Design Thinking for Business Solutions to Create Social Impact
  • Design, Evaluate and Scale Development Technologies
  • Real Estate Investment Analysis
  • Hedge Fund Strategies
  • The Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund
  • Design and Development of Web-Based Products and Services
  • Lean Launchpad
  • Social Lean Launchpad
  • The Startup Lab
  • Applied Data Analytics

  Get all of this info to read on the go! Download the Berkeley Haas School Snapshot PDF.

Read more

Clubs, Conferences & Competitions

Haas offers its students many opportunities for extracurricular involvement, including nearly 50 student organizations to choose from, with a wide array of professional, athletic and cultural groups on hand. Many MBA students become involved in Challenge for Charity events such as competitions, shows and auctions geared at raising money for the Special Olympics and other charitable organizations. In addition, a large portion of MBA students volunteer their time to the [email protected] program, where they act as mentors for underprivileged high school students.

Approximately 10 conferences are regularly hosted by Haas faculty and students. These comprise both industry- and affiliation-related events, such as the Business in Healthcare Conference and Women in Leadership Conference. Haas also sponsors the Education Leadership Case Competition, the UC Berkeley Startup Competition and the Global Social Venture Competition.

Campus Spaces

Designed by architect Charles Moore, Haas’s campus is comprised of three buildings—one each for classrooms, student services and faculty—linked together that face a main courtyard. Among the school’s facilities are a career center, a high-tech computer lab, a café and an economics and business library.

While most Haas students choose to live off campus, a fair number of students take advantage of Haas’s on-campus housing options. These include university residence halls as well as several apartment complexes devoted to housing UC Berkeley graduate students. The university also provides a housing service called Cal Rentals, through which students can receive counseling about their housing options. Students who wish to live off campus can refer to Cal Rentals for a listing of off-campus rental opportunities.

  Get all of this info to read on the go! Download the Berkeley Haas School Snapshot PDF.

Read more

Career Services

The Haas Career Management Group provides extensive support for MBA students by hosting on-campus interviews, corporate presentations and electronic job postings through CareerNet.  The Career Management Group also offers students informal ways to meet employers year-round through career panels, alumni mixers, industry firm nights, job fairs and corporate visits.  In addition, individual career advisors are available to aid students in developing their job search skills and tackling the recruiting process.  Full-time recruiting for second-year students takes places in the fall and spring semesters, and internship recruiting for first-year students occurs in the spring.

Career Statistics

The mean base annual salary of 2016 Haas graduates was $122,488, with an average signing bonus of about $24,777.  Twenty-seven percent of the Class of 2016 went on to work in marketing positions, with consulting as the second most popular function at nearly 21%.  Meanwhile, 18% of Haas’s 2016 graduates accepted positions in general management, nearly 16% opted for financial services roles, and nearly 7% of students entered operations.

Thirty-nine percent of students in the Class of 2016 found jobs in the technology industry after graduating.  This is not surprising given that the top recruiters in 2016 included technology firms such as Google, Genentech, and Microsoft.  The next most chosen industry was consulting, at 19% of the class, and 12% of students accepted positions in financial services.  Large numbers of students also went into energy, pharma/biotech/healthcare and real estate.  Four percent of students entered the energy industry and another 6.6% went into pharma/biotech/healthcare.  The remainder of the class secured employment in nonprofits and social enterprises, media/entertainment and government.

  Get all of this info to read on the go! Download the Berkeley Haas School Snapshot PDF.

Read more

The Class Profile

Admission to Haas is competitive, with the school receiving 4,132 applications and enrolling 282 students in 2017.  The GMAT range for first-year Haas students is between 640 and 780, and the average GMAT score for the class was 725.  The average undergraduate GPA for the group was 3.74, with a range of 3.07-4.0.

While 57% of the Class of 2019 studied business, economics or engineering as undergraduates, just under a quarter of the class majored in the social sciences and humanities, and about 6% majored in the natural sciences.  The median age of first-year students at the time of matriculation was 28, and the group had a median of five years of work experience.  Thirty-nine percent of first-year MBA candidates are international, with the group representing 42 countries, and women make up 40% of the Class of 2019.  Finally, 29% of first-year students identify as members of a U.S. minority group, which comprises students of African American, Hispanic American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Asian American and East Indian/Pakistani heritage.

Application Procedures

Applicants can elect to apply to Haas during one of three admissions rounds, which usually occur in September, January and April.  Haas requires applicants to submit their completed online application along with a résumé, essays, GMAT and TOEFL or IELTS scores from students who received degrees from countries whose official language is not English, transcripts from all collegiate and post-collegiate academic institutions attended, and two professional letters of recommendation. Interviews are conducted on an invitation-only basis and are required for admission to the MBA program.

Application Requirements

  • Online application
  • $200 application fee
  • Current resume (submitted online)
  • Admissions essays
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • University transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE score report
  • English language proficiency
  • Interview

  Get all of this info to read on the go! Download the Berkeley Haas School Snapshot PDF.

Read more

The tuition and fees for the 2017-2018 academic year is $58,722 for California residents and $59,739 for non-residents.  However, Haas estimates that with additional expenses such as living expenses and textbooks, students will pay up to $90,726 as residents or $91,744 as non-residents in that time.  Haas offers both merit- and need-based scholarships to help students with the program’s cost.  While some merit-based scholarships are awarded to applicants at the time of admission, others require the completion of separate applications.  Both two-year and one-year scholarships are available, and Haas requires that the recipients of two-year grants maintain at least a 3.0 GPA throughout business school.  Students also have an array of loan options at their disposal, including federal loan offerings for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.  In addition, students can apply for lines of credit with the Eli Lilly Credit Union; these credit lines do not require credit history or a U.S. cosigner, which is particularly useful for international students.

Category CA Resident Non-Resident
Tuition & Fees $58,794 $59,812
Housing & Food $21,710 $21,710
Books & Supplies $834 $834
Transportation $3,274 $3,274
Health Insurance $4,462 $4,462
Personal Expenses $1,652 $1,652
Total Budget $90,726 $91,744

  Get all of this info to read on the go! Download the Berkeley Haas School Snapshot PDF.

Read more


Class Size282

Essay Topic Analysis

Need help with your essays? Get our experts' advice.

Recommendation Questions

Find out what top MBA programs ask recommenders.

Recent Berkeley / Haas News

Top #MBA Tweets Spotlight: U.S. News & World Report Ranking

This year’s U.S. News & World Report ranking of the nation’s best MBA programs rolled out earlier this week and the b-school community was abuzz about them.  We’re rounding up Twitter pos

8 Key Takeaways from the 2019 U.S. News MBA Ranking

As reported here this morning, Chicago Booth has claimed its first-ever No. 1 rank in the U.S. News & World Report MBA Ranking, released today. It tied for first with Harvard Business School (HBS

MBA Programs Promote Men as Allies for Gender Equity

On March 17, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business hosted its 22nd annual Women in Leadership (WiL) Conference, which Clear Admit covered in depth here. The event was a rousing success that att

Anticipating Round 2 Decisions via Clear Admit’s LiveWire and MBA Chats

Throughout the rest of March, leading business schools will be rolling out their decisions to Round 2 MBA applicants. While many are eager for the gift of admission via phone, email or portal, waiting

Chicago Booth Tops U.S. News 2019 MBA Ranking for First Time, Tied with HBS

They’re out, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business can pop the bubbly this year. We’re talking, of course, about this year’s U.S. News & World Report ranking of the nation


Mailing Address:
Full-Time MBA Admissions
Haas School of Business University of California, Berkeley
430 Student Services Building #1902
Berkeley, CA 94720-1902
Phone: 510-642-1405
Fax: 510-643-6659
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @BerkeleyHaas

Active Chat Rooms

MBA LiveWire for Berkeley / Haas

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
March 23, 2018 7:02am
Rejected via portal.
GPA: 8.82/10. GMAT: 710. India.
March 23, 2018 5:36am
Rejected via email.
GPA: 3.8. GMAT: 720. India.
March 23, 2018 2:54am
Rejected via portal.
GMAT: 700. India.
March 22, 2018 11:29pm
Waitlisted via portal.
GMAT: 720. India.
March 22, 2018 9:39pm
Rejected via email.
GPA: 3.6. GMAT: 710. Bay Area.

DecisionWire for Berkeley / Haas

Enrolled: Undecided
Admitted: Berkeley / Haas, USC / Marshall
GMAT: 710 GPA: 3.4
Enrolled: Berkeley / Haas
Admitted: Berkeley / Haas, UCLA Anderson
GMAT: 740 GPA: 3.6
Post-MBA Career: Technology
Enrolled: Northwestern / Kellogg
Admitted: Berkeley / Haas, Northwestern / Kellogg
GMAT: 720 GPA: 3.9
Post-MBA Career: Entrepreneurship

Featured Products

View All Products »