Haas School of Business

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The Haas School of Business
Haas School of Business
Motto Leading Through Innovation
Established 1898
Type Public business school
Endowment $253 million[1]
Dean Richard Lyons
Academic staff
Undergraduates 700[2]
Postgraduates 1,564[2]
Location Berkeley, California, U.S.
Affiliations University of California, Berkeley
Website www.haas.berkeley.edu

The Walter A. Haas School of Business, also known as the Haas School of Business or simply Haas, is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley.

The school is situated in three connected buildings surrounding a central courtyard on the southeastern corner of the Berkeley campus. The final design of architect Charles Moore, the mini-campus was completed in 1995. The school is planning to expand its facilities with a new commons building shared with the Berkeley School of Law. It consistently ranks as one of the top ten business schools in worldwide rankings published by The Economist, Financial Times, US News & World Report, and Bloomberg Businessweek.


The Haas School of Business was first established as the College of Commerce of the University of California in 1898.[3] The University of California charter, adopted in 1868, included among its goals the study of commerce. University Regents Arthur Rodgers, A.S. Hallidie and George T. Marye Jr. later proposed the establishment of a College of Commerce. The new college was founded on September 13, 1898, when Cora Jane Flood, daughter of industrialist and University of California Regent James C. Flood, donated land (worth one million dollars at the time)[4] to the University specifically to support the study of commerce. The school was the third collegiate business school in the United States and the first at a public university.

The college’s first faculty members included some American pioneers in the field of business. Simon Litman taught the first course in marketing between 1902 and 1908. Adolph Miller, who was the Flood Professor of the Political Economy and Commerce from 1903 to 1915, later served on the first Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Wesley Clair Mitchell, who taught at Berkeley from 1905 to 1913, is known as the father of the business cycle analysis. Charles Staehling taught accounting at the college from 1921–51 and was known for adding a theoretical framework to the praxis-oriented teaching of accounting principles. Henry Mowbray, who taught from 1910 to 1948, wrote the first college textbook on insurance.

The College of Commerce was founded in the liberal arts tradition, drawing on faculty from other disciplines on campus. Carl C. Plehn was appointed the first Dean of the new college in 1898. Plehn, a finance professor educated in Germany, drafted the college's first curriculum for a Bachelor of Science degree. The initial course offerings covered legal studies, political studies, political economy, and historical studies, including The History of the Institution of Private Property, History and Principles of Commercial Ethics, and the History of Commerce in All Countries and at Every Age. Plehn proposed changes to the curriculum in 1915 to give it a more professional focus. The proposal, adopted after World War I, established a program that included two years of liberal arts education followed by junior and senior year commerce study, a pattern still used for the undergraduate program today.

Henry Rand Hatfield, a pioneer in accounting and an early entrant in the Accounting Hall of Fame, became the second Dean of the college in 1916. Hatfield had been hired by the University of California in 1904 as the first full-time accounting professor in the country. Hatfield played a leading role in the founding of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the national honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. He also published the first paper in the United States on accounting theory. As Dean, Hatfield sought to increase the reputation of the College of Commerce by bringing scholars from the East Coast to teach during summer sessions.

After World War I, enrollment experienced an increase from the influx of veterans and continued to grow even through the Great Depression, increasing from its initial class size of three in 1898 to 1,540 students in 1938. In 1925, the college's third Dean, Stuart Daggett, instituted a two-year Master of Science degree. The school's fourth Dean, Henry Francis Grady, was appointed in 1928. Grady went on leave from 1934 to 1936 to become an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, for whom he worked on reciprocal trade agreements (see Reciprocal Tariff Act). The fifth Dean, Robert Calkins, succeeded Grady, but left within a few years to become the Dean of the Columbia Business School.

E.T. Grether was appointed the sixth Dean of the College of Commerce in 1941. Grether's twenty-year tenure as Dean was a time of great change. The college was renamed the Department of Business Administration in 1942 and began offering a new two-year upper division curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 1943, the department was renamed the School of Business Administration when it began offering a one-year graduate program.

Grether opened several research centers in the school, including The Institute for Business and Economics Research (1941), The Institute for Industrial Relations (IIR) (1945, now called the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment), and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics (1950). Grether tapped Clark Kerr to be the first director of the IIR. Kerr's success in this position led to his becoming the first Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.

The Graduate School of Business Administration was opened in 1955 and the school began offering a course of study leading to the Master of Business Administration. A year later the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration and executive education programs were founded.

Under the school's eighth Dean, Richard Holton, an evening MBA program was initiated in 1972. Unlike other evening or part-time programs in the country, students were required to meet the same admission requirements as established for the day-time MBA program. Classes for the evening MBA were held in downtown San Francisco until the school's present building complex was completed in 1995.

Earl F. Cheit became the ninth Dean of the school in 1976. Facing diminishing funding and budget pressures, Cheit lobbied and won increased salary scales for business faculty. He also secured donations from Walter A. Haas to endow seven new chairs and to open a career planning and placement center. In 1980, the school began to offer a Management of Technology program jointly with the College of Engineering. 1980 also saw the inauguration of the annual Haas Competition in Business and Social Policy, funded by a donation from the Evelyn and Walter A. Haas, Jr. Foundation.

In 1987, the tenth dean of the school, Raymond Miles, began the school's first major capital campaign to raise money for a new building. Major contributions were made by Wells Fargo and Eugene Trefethen, an executive with Kaiser Industries. In 1989, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund donated $23.75 million to the building campaign. The donation was the largest in the history of the university to that date. The school was renamed the Haas School of Business in honor of that gift.

The new building was designed by Charles W. Moore, former chair of Berkeley's Department of Architecture. Construction began in 1993 and the school moved into its new building complex in January 1995.

Laura Tyson, a professor at Berkeley since 1977 and the Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1993 to 1995 during the Clinton Administration, was the Dean of the school from 1998 to 2001. Tyson negotiated an agreement with the Columbia Business School to create a joint program, the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA, which offers experienced executives the opportunity to earn an MBA from both Haas and Columbia. The Berkeley-Columbia program began in 2002 and graduated its first class in December 2003.

Tom Campbell became dean in 2002. Campbell established The Center for Responsible Business at Haas in 2003 with gifts from former Apple Inc. and Netscape executive Mike Homer, actor Paul Newman, and former Chairman of Bank of America Rudolph Peterson. From 2004 to 2005, Campbell took a leave of absence to serve as director of the California Department of Finance in the Schwarzenegger administration. During Campbell's absence, Richard Lyons served as acting Dean. Lyons initiated the keystone program Leading Through Innovation at Haas in 2004. Lyons was the Executive Associate Dean from 2005 to 2006, before leaving for the position of Chief Learning Officer at Goldman Sachs, New York.

In July 2008, Richard Lyons succeeded Campbell to become the present Dean of Haas.[5] Along with a curriculum overhaul, Lyons has launched the public phase of a $300 million capital campaign, called the Campaign for Haas.[6][7] The campaign's stated goals are "transforming the... campus, building a curriculum based on the Berkeley-Haas approach to leadership, and aggressively expanding the school’s faculty and its support for research."[8]

The Haas School of Business has been home to two winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. John C. Harsanyi (1920–2000) was a co-recipient with John Nash and Reinhard Selten in 1994 for his contributions to the study of game theory and its application to economics. He served as Professor Emeritus at Haas and in the UC Berkeley Department of Economics. Oliver Williamson (1932-) was a co-recipient with Elinor Ostrom in 2009 for his "analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm",[9] and currently[when?] serves as Professor Emeritus at Haas and in the UC Berkeley Department of Economics.

Berkeley Innovative Leader Development

In 2010, Dean Richard Lyons implemented a series of changes to the Haas School's core MBA curriculum, pursuing a strategy called "Berkeley Innovative Leader Development" (BILD). BILD is an attempt to reconcile traditional management education, the Haas motto of "Leading Through Innovation," and the recent turn towards ethical and values-based education in business schools.[10] The curriculum changes are predicated on what Lyons and others consider the unique culture of Haas, as defined by four distinct elements:[11]

  1. Question the status quo: an innovative leader will challenge convention, "taking intelligent risks and accepting sensible failures."
  2. Confidence without attitude: innovative leaders make decisions based on evidence and analysis, not arrogance.
  3. Students always: innovative leadership demands "curiosity and lifelong pursuit of personal and intellectual growth."
  4. Beyond yourself: an innovative leader should also lead ethically and responsibly, considering the long-term effects of actions and decisions.

In practical terms, BILD has resulted in three completely new core courses (out of 12) and a revamping of the remaining nine. Rather than discarding conventional management courses, the faculty have revised their existing curriculum to focus on "15 specific skills, including experimentation, revenue-model innovation and risk selection."[12]

Full-time MBA Program

The Berkeley MBA Program is a two-year curriculum designed to prepare students for the business world in an experience that Haas calls "Leading Through Innovation."[13] The process of "Leading Through Innovation" includes the core MBA curriculum and specialization in an area of interest, which may be one of seven areas of general management fundamentals, or a certification in one of five different areas of study.[14] Another important part of the Haas MBA is the combination of executive skills seminars, such as the Leadership Development Series, and experiential programs, such as "Haas@Work," an applied innovation program that sends teams of Berkeley MBA students to work at large firms.[15]

Areas of concentration

The Haas School offers seven areas of general management fundamentals[16] for students to focus on using elective courses:

  • Accounting
  • Business & Public Policy
  • Economic Analysis & Public Policy
  • Finance
  • Management of Organizations
  • Marketing
  • Operations & Information Technology Management

Students can also specialize in Corporate Social Responsibility or Nonprofit and Public Leadership, although no certificate program is available for these areas.[17]


Haas@Work is an applied innovation program operated by the Haas School's Institute for Business Innovation. The program assigns teams of Berkeley MBA students to work on competitive projects at large firms. After collaborating with host executives on innovative solutions to business problems, the students are tasked with implementing their ideas. The Haas@Work program has paired Haas MBA students with companies including Visa, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Disney, Panasonic, and Clorox.[18]

Evening & Weekend MBA Program

The three-year, part-time Berkeley Evening & Weekend MBA Program emphasizes the delivery of growth and innovation to organizations, and allows participants to continue working full-time while pursuing the MBA. Like the full-time MBA, the part-time MBA program is built around "Leadership Through Innovation," and like full-time students, part-time MBA students can specialize in one of seven areas of general management fundamentals.[19] However, the certificate programs available to full-time MBA students are not available to those on the part-time track.[20]

Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program

The Haas School of Business offered an Executive MBA Program in partnership with the Columbia Business School. One session per term was held at the Columbia University campus in New York City, the other four on campus at the Haas School of Business in Berkeley, CA. Courses were taught by the full-time faculty of both schools. The core curriculum was taught during the first three terms, and the last two terms offer elective courses. Students may opt to spend one term studying exclusively in the NY-EMBA program at Columbia or in the other MBA programs offered at Berkeley. Upon completion of the program, students earn two MBAs, one from UC Berkeley and one from Columbia University, the same degrees awarded in the schools' full-time MBA programs.[21]

The Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA program ended, by mutual agreement, after the class admitted in 2012 graduated.

Berkeley MBA for Executives Program

The Haas School of Business offers an Executive MBA Program. The program is 19 months long and will begin with the entering class of 2014. Courses are taught by the full-time faculty of Berkeley-Haas. The core curriculum is taught during the first three terms, and the last two terms offer elective courses. Upon completion of the program, students earn a Berkeley MBA, the same degree awarded in the school's full-time MBA programs.[22]

Ph.D. program

The Haas School of Business Ph.D. Program offers seven fields of academic study and close collaboration with faculty members. The program is very exclusive, admitting only 14-16 candidates per year, and students can expect to graduate in four to five years. Ph.D. students are generally expected to serve as either teaching or research assistants for part of their time at Haas.[23]

Fields of study

Haas Ph.D. students can specialize in one of seven fields of study.[24]

Master of Financial Engineering Program

The Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering Program provides graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for a career in the finance industry. Students in the MFE program take an integrated set of courses for a period of one year, and must also complete a ten-week internship or on-site project and an applied finance project that builds on skills learned in the internship.[25]

Undergraduate program

The Haas School of Business, in conjunction with the main UC Berkeley campus, offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree intended to provide the knowledge and technical skills necessary for success in the modern business world.[26] Students take core courses in Business Communication, Micro- and Macroeconomics, Managerial and Financial Accounting, Finance, Spreadsheet Decision-Making, Organizational Behavior, Marketing, and Ethics, as well as elective courses in these and other areas. Students often explore their field of interest in electives and can take more advanced courses such as Corporate Valuation, Financial Engineering, and Competitive Strategy. Undergraduates enter Haas at the beginning of their junior year, and graduate within two years.

The program ranked 2nd in the nation according to U.S. News College ranking in 2010,[27] and 3rd from 2011 to present, with numerous top 10 sub-specializations: 11th in Accounting, 7th in Entrepreneurship, 3rd in Finance, 6th in International Business, 3rd in Management, 10th in Management Information Systems, 3rd in Marketing, 8th in Production/ Operations Management, 4th in Quantitative Analysis, 3rd in Real Estate, and 11th in Supply Chain Management/Logistics.[28]

For the entering class of 2012, the average GPA for UC Berkeley students was 3.70 with a 25th to 75th percent range of 3.50 to 3.92, while the average GPA for transfer students was higher at 3.85.[29] The application is broken down as follows: 50% Grades & Coursework, 35% Essays, and 15% Resume/extra-curricular activities.[30] In addition to reviewing applications for completion of minimum eligibility requirements and academic achievement and promise, the Admission Committee will review many factors, including performance in key prerequisites (business, math, economics, statistics), grade trends, course load, consistency of academic performance, leadership skills, interest in being an active member of the Haas community, knowledge of contemporary business issues, accomplishments as demonstrated by extracurricular activities, as well as communication and analytical skills as demonstrated by responses to essay questions.[30]

Executive education

The Haas School's Center for Executive Education offers a variety of custom and open-enrollment programs to help corporate executives understand specific new or challenging aspects of the business world, drawing on the research of Haas faculty members. Executives can enroll in a prepared set of short courses targeted at specific issues, or work with the Center and their company to develop a custom curriculum.[31]

Institutes and centers

The Haas School of Business is home to many research institutions and centers, and Haas faculty members take an active part in many of UC Berkeley's multidisciplinary programs as well.[32]

Research institutes

  • Energy Institute at Haas[33]
    • Cleantech To Market[34]
  • Institute for Business Innovation (IBI)[35]
    • Blum Center for Developing Economies[36]
    • Center for Open Innovation[37]
    • Fisher Information Technology Center[38]
    • Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation[39]

Research centers

  • Asia Business Center[40]
  • Center for Financial Reporting and Management[41]
  • Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership[42]
  • Center for Responsible Business[43]
  • Clausen Center for International Business and Policy[44]
  • Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics[45]


Business School Ranking
U.S. undergraduate business
Bloomberg Businessweek[46] 15
U.S. News & World Report[47] 2
Bloomberg Businessweek[48] 9
Forbes[49] 8
QS (North America)[50] 12
U.S. News & World Report[51] 7
Worldwide MBA
Business Insider[52] 10
CNN Expansion[53] 12
Financial Times[54] 7
Haas School of Business rankings
  • #2 U.S. News & World Report, 2009[55]
    • #3 for Finance[56]
    • #3 for Management[57]
    • #4 for Marketing
    • #4 for Real Estate
    • #5 for Quantitative Analysis/Methods
    • #5 for International Business
    • #8 for Entrepreneurship
    • #9 for Production/Operations Management
    • #11 for Accounting
    • #12 for Management Information Systems
    • #15 for Supply Chain Management/Logistics
  • #13 BusinessWeek, 2011[58]
    • #1 for Recruitment
  • #3 About.com Guide to Business majors[59]

Full-time MBA rankings

  • #1 (US), #3 (International) Economist Intelligence Unit, 2009[60]
  • #2 The Wall Street Journal, 2008[61]
    • #1 for Recruiting in Technology/Telecommunication/Internet
    • #2 for Excellence in Social Responsibility
    • #4 for Hiring of Women
    • #4 for Recruiting in Management Consulting
    • #4 for Entrepreneurship
    • #4 for Information Technology
    • #6 for Graduates with High Ethical Standards
    • #6 for Hiring of Minorities
    • #9 for CEO Material
    • #10 for International Business
  • #4 Aspen Institute, Beyond Grey Pinstripes, Global Rankings[62]
    • #1 for Course content
    • #4 for Student Opportunity
    • #5 for Faculty Research
    • #32 for Student Exposure
  • #4 Princeton Review Selectivity rating, 2009[63]
    • #4 for Best Career Prospects[64]
    • #4 for Best Administered[65]
    • #10 for Best Campus Facilities[66]
  • #7 U.S. News & World Report, 2014[67]
    • #4 for Non-profit
    • #6 for Entrepreneurship
    • #8 for Finance
    • #7 for General Management
    • #9 for Marketing
    • #9 in international
  • #8 BusinessWeek, 2008[68]
  • #8 (North America), 2010 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report[69]
    • #8 for Average Salary
    • #4 for Average GMAT Score
  • #9 (US), Financial Times, 2007 Ranking of rankings.[70]
  • #7 (US), #12 (International) Financial Times, 2013[71]
  • #13 Forbes, 2007[72]
  • #15, Financial Times, 2008, US MBA programs[73]
    • #1 Best in corporate social responsibility[74]
    • #1 Best in e-business
    • #4 Best in entrepreneurship
    • #5 Best in IT
    • #6 Best in economics
    • #9 Top salaries in consulting

Evening/weekend MBA rankings

  • #1 2014 US News and World Report[75]
  • #3 2010 US News and World Report[76]

Notable faculty

Central courtyard

Notable alumni

See also


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  41. http://groups.haas.berkeley.edu/accounting/
  42. http://nonprofit.haas.berkeley.edu/
  43. http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/responsiblebusiness/
  44. http://groups.haas.berkeley.edu/clausencenter/
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External links

Coordinates: 37°52′18.06″N 122°15′12.84″W / 37.8716833°N 122.2535667°W / 37.8716833; -122.2535667