Berkeley Haas School of Business (University of California)

Year Founded: 1898
Average GMAT: 726
City: Berkeley
State: California
Country: United States

About #

The Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, is the second oldest business school in the United States. Haas emphases producing innovative ideas and knowledge within the business world. Each year around 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students attend Haas school of business, meaning students graduate into a broad alumni community spanning the globe. Locateda in the ecosystem of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, students are never in want of new learning opportunities and areas of professional growth. In an ever changing world, Haas school of business takes into account what students need in order to excell in the professional world. Focusing on ‘new thinking for a new economy’, Haas teaches students the skills, critical lthinking, and adaptability needed to thrive in the economic world. Creating a tight-knight community within the Haas School of Business, students can flourish in small classes, create strong ties to fellow peers and faculty, and develop on a personal and professional level. 

Featured Professors #

David A. Aaker

David A. Aaker is the ‘Father of Modern Branding’. He is marketing professor Emeritus at Berkeley Haas. His innovated work has defined fields of brand equity and the building and managing of brands and portfolios. He is well published with over 100 articles and 18 books published on the theory and practice of marketing. At the moment, Aaker is the Vice Chair at ‘Prophet’ and in 2015 he was inducted into the American Marketing Association Hall of Fame. Aaker’s research areas include Storytelling, Branding, Brand and Brand Building, Brand Portfolio Strategy, and Global Brand Management. He received his BA in Management, at MIT, his MA he earned at Stanford in Statistics, and his PhD he earned at Stanford University in Business Administration. 

Rankings #

#7 USNews – Best Business Schools
#2 USNews – Part-time MBA
#8 USNews – Executive MBA
#10 QS Global MBA Rankings 2021 

MBA Program Brief Overview #

Combining analytic rigor and human understanding is at the core of Haas’ Full-Time MBA program. Full-Time MBA students at Haas develop as leaders in order to have innovative impacts. The curriculum at Haas is interdisciplinary and offers students the chance to learn about business from multiple perspectives. Leaders at Haas are grown by focusing on teamwork and general management fundamentals. Students graduate as leaders who can focus not only on innovative avenues and development, but also have the ability to lead ethically, responsibly, and selflesssly. There are 12 required courses for Full-Time MBA students, and the rest of the curriculum allows students the freedom to focus their academics on their goals and interests. 

Year One Description #

The first year is split up into 4 sections. Fall A/Fall B and Spring A/Spring B. There are 12 required core courses each Full-Time MBA student needs to take. 

Fall Semester Mandatory Classes

  • Data and Decisions
  • Leading People
  • Leadership Communication
  • Economics for Business Decision Making
  • Financial Accounting
  • Introduction to Finance
  • Marketing
  • Ethics and Responsibility in Business

Spring Semester Mandatory Classes

  • Macroeconomics in the Global Economy
  • Operations
  • Applied Innovation Elective
  • Electives
  • Fundamentals of Design Thinking
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Applied Innovation Elective

GMAT/GRE Stats #

Verbal Range GRE: 153-167 (Middle 80%)
Quant Range GRE: 154-169 (middle 80%)

Unique Aspects #

Innovative Leadership Development

Haas emphasizes their ability develop innovative leaders. Graduates of Haas have learned to engage with bold ideas while talking intelligent risks. Students learn to be decision makers who take into account evidence and analysis when developing solutions to global challenges. In order to develop these skills, students take classes in general management fundamentals, effective teamwork, and by working with teams and leading teams. 

Experiential Learning

Berkeley Haas allows hands-on experience for their students. 25 years ago, Haas has shifted their MBA experience into hands-on learning. Students have access to strong networks with leading firms and organizations in and around Berkeley. Students take at least 1 applied innovation course, where they can work on team projects in the area of corporate innovation to global consulting work. There are 20 applied innovation courses including; International Business Development, Social Sector Solutions, People Development, and Hedge Fund Strategies. 

Student Life #

The development of leadership skills is core to the Berkeley Haas experience. Because of this, student life at Haas keeps leadership principles at their core. Haas provides opportunities for students to take risks, make mistakes, and grow from their experiences. Students at Haas organize conferences, plan trips, and compete in team-building competitions. Students have the ability to engage in numerous areas of interests. This includes building leadership skills while creating lasting relationships, engaging with the alumni network and sharing passions 

Applicant Requirements #

Around 300 applicants are enrolled in Haas’ full-time MBA programs. The admissions committee looks for applicants who have strong professional experience and leadership potential. A holistic approach is taken when looking at applications, and candidates should be able to express their characters, qualifications and experiences when applying. To those applicants who have experienced extra-ordinary life circumstances, the admissions committee encourages all who are interested to apply. 


Applicants must submit undergraduate and graduate transcripts from institutions they attended. The admissions committee looks for a GPA of around 3.0, although there are no minimum requirements for the application. Most important for the applications is their quantitative proficiency, as Haas faculty assume that students have a mastery of basic quantitative material. Applicants whose transcripts are in a language other than english, must submit a translated version of their transcripts. Admitted applicants must submit official transcripts.


The GMAT or the GRE must be taken by all applicants. There is no required minimum score. The Admissions Committee at Haas focuses on the quantitative score when making an admissions decision. 

Foreign Language Requirements

Applicants must submit a TOEFL or IELTS test score i they received a degree from an institution whose primary language of instruction is not english. However, applicants with degrees from the following countries (regardless of instruction language) must submit an english language test score: 

  • Bangladesh
  • Burma
  • Europe (non-U.K.)
  • India
  • Japan
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Nepal
  • North Africa
  • Pakistan
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Southeast Asia
  • Taiwan 

Essay Description

The admissions committee at Haas utilizes the essays in order to assess a candidates compatibility with the programs and community. Admitted applicants comes from a broad range of backgrounds and industries. The culture at Haas is distringuished by their 4 principles:

Question the status quo

Confidence without Attitude

Students Always

Beyond Yourself

Essays should be reflective of applicants experiences, values and passions and their ability to fit into the program. 

Essay Question 1

What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? (300 words max.)

Essay Question 2

The definition of successful leadership has evolved over the last decade and will continue to change. What do you need to develop to become a successful leader? (300 word max.)

Optional Essay

In order to better understand the applicants and their background, the admissions committee allow applicants to submit an optional essay: 

  • What is the highest level of education completed by your parent(s) or guardian(s)? 
  • What is the most recent occupation of your parent(s) or guardian(s)?
  • If you were raised in one of the following household types, please indicate:

– Raised by a single parent

– Raised by an extended family member

– Raised in a multi-generational home

– Raised in foster care

  • What is the primary language spoken in your childhood home?
  • If you have ever been responsible for providing significant and continuing financial or supervisory support for someone else, please indicate (child, spouse, sibling, parent, extended family member, other)
  • Please elaborate on any of your above responses. Alternatively, you may use this opportunity to expand on other hardships or unusual life circumstances that may help us understand the context of your opportunities, achievements, and impact (300 words max)


Two letters of recommendation, at least one from the applicant’s direct supervisor or current supervisor are required and the other from an individual who can speak directly to the applicant’s professional experiences (ie major client or further supervisor). It is vital that applicants DO NOT submit applications from co-workers, someone who had been supervised by them, relatives or person/family relations. No more than two letters may be submitted.



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