Best Undergrad for IB: UMich Ross vs. UC Berkeley vs. USC Marshall vs. UCLA Business Econ

I am a current student mulling over my college options. For context, here are the annual cost breakdowns of each school:

Umich Ross: 55k
UC Berkeley: 35k
USC: 45k
UCLA: 35k

I would love to stay on the West Coast after I graduate but I am definitely open to moving out east as well. I am heavily leaning towards Berkeley due to proximity and price, but I can afford any school without taking out loans. I am however concerned that I will still need to get into Haas at Berkeley which is a pretty competitive process. I was wondering which school would give me the best shot of breaking into IB and why. Any input would be appreciated.

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Comments (17)

May 27, 2020 - 8:59pm

I think first you should think about whether you want to do IB in SF or NYC. If location does not matter, then Berkeley and Ross would be your best bets. Berkeley will give you more opportunities on the west coast and Ross will give you more opportunities in Chicago and NYC. I don't know too much about USC but UCLA is the same price as Berkeley and might make it harder to break into IB even if you don't get Haas.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 27, 2020 - 9:18pm

Berkeley and Ross are your two best. Pick based on where you think you'd fit in better and have a better time. Both will get you IB as long as you don't fuck up.

  • Prospect in 
May 28, 2020 - 2:39pm

If cost was the same and you didn't have a preference of work location, it would make sense to go to UMich Ross. However, given Cal is much cheaper and you want to stay on the West Coast, it can't be beat. You don't need to get into Haas to get the same jobs.

Most Helpful
May 28, 2020 - 5:08pm

I go to USC Marshall, I'll give a little insight. Marshall places incredibly well on the west coast and is only bested by Haas (in quantity) and Stanford (in quality). You can look at placements from Trojan Investing Society and several others. From 25 kids in TIS every year probably 6 go to JPM west coast and several to evercore, MS, BofA, Moelis. School wide 2-3 to Blackstone every year too and many to NYC IB as well. Interest in IB is also lower than say Haas or Ross. Much more enjoyable. I would say Haas beats Marshall and Marshall and Berkely Econ are probably equal for California in general. USC being much better for LA or Berkely for SF.

There was recently a thread about how bad UCLA places, like 20 solid placements for 4000 kids. I wouldn't go there

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May 29, 2020 - 3:39am

Not competitive to get in but there the internal group within (which does networking trips to SF and NYC every year, meets with MS, Moelis, Goldman from LA most years) requires you to spend time going to every meeting and possibly taking a leadership role 1 semester. Those people do a lot better

May 29, 2020 - 3:40am

Check out their website. Trojaninvestingsociety for their placements from the last 2 year (with location) and their events

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
May 29, 2020 - 12:01am
Prospect in IB - Ind:

Would you say there's a lot of competition for IB at Haas?

The competition isn't too bad; the only real hard classes are in engineering.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 28, 2020 - 10:24pm

id go UCLA. good academic school. Weather +Sports+campus, college isnt only about getting into IB. If you are smart you will get in wherever you go

May 28, 2020 - 10:40pm

While I agree college isn't about only getting into IB, Berkeley is a superior academic school for business/finance and has more opportunities for consulting and significantly better recruiting for finance. Seems like a great choice of being great for for OP's goals and low cost.


May 29, 2020 - 7:56am

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