Cal Poly

Grad Business

The Orfalea College of Business MBA offers a technically sound business foundation along with experiential learning focused on business communication, negotiation, leadership, personal capital growth and honing a moral compass. The program creates business leaders out of individuals trained in science, technology, engineering, math, social sciences or liberal arts. The program develops business and people savvy for a world that requires both.

The program

The MBA at Orfalea is focused on growing your abilities and harnessing your potential. Graduates are recognized for their forward-looking managerial skillset coupled with a ‘can do’ attitude.

The program delivers core competencies in all aspects of management empowering graduates to occupy positions in industry, government, and not-for-profits. Wide-ranging courses in the essentials of economics, finance, accounting, marketing, strategy, organizational behavior, and operations management form the backbone of the program. Electives in areas such as people analytics, negotiations, and entrepreneurship support the exploration of particular interests. It’s even possible to create electives in collaboration with MBA faculty. Additional opportunities include excellent access to the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and an exchange program with the Politecnico Di Milano School of Management in Milan. Those with a razor sharp focus can go through it in just 10-months. Others have the option of pacing the program to suit their needs.

A nimble, change-ready philosophy ensures that Orfalea trained graduates are prepared for and capable of solving challenging business problems. The professionalism and situational readiness instilled at Orfalea makes for a seamless transition from the world of Learn by Doing – Cal Poly’s signature philosophy – to the world of doing business.


The MBA faculty is academically distinguished, passionate about teaching and research, accessible, and dedicated to mentoring. Class sizes are conducive to group interaction and individual growth. Courses are designed that make students ‘do things’ in order to ‘learn things’ and not the inverse. Thus the in-class experience includes simulations of management decision-making scenarios, case studies, team exercises, active faculty and peer engagement with material, and communication and presentation skills enhancement.


The MBA cohort is chosen with care. It is made up of individuals who are bright, talented, hard working, and unique. We seek out individual intelligences in an effort to enhance the collective intelligence of the cohort.


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