School of Business and Public Administration

Mission of the School of Business and Public Administration

We prepare graduates to effectively contribute to their organizations and to develop into our community’s next generation of innovators, managers, and leaders. Our methods include delivering curriculum and programs supporting student success, conducting applied and pedagogical research, and engaging the community in impactful ways.

Program Description

As an accredited professional school, we are dedicated to educating students to become more effective and efficient managers in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, operating in our complex and dynamic environment. Although each program has unique learning goals and objectives, all the degree programs emphasize communication and quantitative skills, context and external environments, critical thinking and integrative problem-solving, and a working knowledge of the pertinent academic disciplines.

In recognition of the School’s commitment to quality, the M.B.A. and B.S. degree programs in Business and Economics are internationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), placing CSUB in the top 20 percent of business schools nationally. The Master of Public Administration program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The School of Business and Public Administration is one of the smaller schools nationally to have its programs accredited by both AACSB and NASPAA, a confirmation of the quality of the faculty and their dedication to excellence in education.

The demanding programs in the School build upon the general education curriculum that prospective business and public administration students complete in their freshman and sophomore years. The knowledge and skills acquired in these broadly-based programs are enhanced as the student enters the upper-level professional programs within the School of Business and Public Administration.

In pursuing its educational mission, the School’s objective is to be responsive to the needs and desires of its primary service area, as well as the external market. The faculty of the School, in recognition of this need, pursue both pedagogical research and applied research both within and outside the primary service region. These research efforts have been critical to the growth and development of the School and have contributed significantly to the attainment of educational goals of the institution. Decisions made today consider the global environment within which most organizations operate. Thus, teaching and research efforts of the School are designed to reflect ongoing changes in the economy and society.

In a rapidly changing business environment, the effective manager must be able to locate, retrieve, consolidate, analyze and integrate relevant information, and other critical economic parameters across business disciplines. Management decisions must be made with consideration of the impact of traditional areas, such as marketing, operations, finance, human resources, and other emerging fields, such as innovation and entrepreneurship, logistics, and data analytics.

The School recognizes that its students require a holistic understanding of business, economics, and public administration and must be able to easily relate one functional area to another. They must be able to draw upon skills learned in a variety of specialties for purposes of analysis and decision making. Consequently, both the undergraduate and graduate curricula are constructed on a strong core that places an emphasis on the development of generic analytical and management skills.

The School is staffed with a faculty drawn from many of the top schools of business, economics, and public administration in the United States and foreign nations. As the School grows in response to ever increasing numbers of new students, the faculty has grown not only in physical numbers but in the necessary skills required to meet the new technological and conceptual changes occurring in the private and public sectors. As an effective educational institution, BPA seeks to be proactive in these changes rather than reactive.

The lead-time required to train future managers in new technologies can often be a relatively short time frame. This requires close contact with practicing managers in the public and private sectors, as well as close and continuous contact between the academician and the practitioner. The faculty of the School of Business and Public Administration interfaces with practitioners in their research and consulting efforts. Combining this approach with outstanding academic credentials yields a faculty truly capable of preparing the managers of the future, as well as enhancing today’s managers, many of whom comprise the graduate student population in the School.

A particularly significant organization that provides invaluable services and support to the School is the Executive Advisory Council. This is a group of senior executives from national, regional, and local businesses and governmental agencies. The Council advises the Dean of the School in matters concerning the needs of the public and private sectors, in the evaluation of the graduates from the programs, in the trends that are appearing in the various sectors, and acts as a sounding board for new programs or changes to existing programs, as well as providing support in development efforts. The Public Policy and Administration Advisory Board is a group of city, county, state, and national government administrators, as well as nonprofit and health care directors, who offer their expertise to the department on curriculum and the needs of the current public administration sector.

Structurally, the School of Business and Public Administration is organized into four major departments: Accounting and Finance, Management and Marketing, Economics, and Public Policy and Administration. These four departments offer the degrees and concentrations offered in the School.

Accounting and Finance

The CSUB accounting program helps prepare students for a variety of career opportunities in public accounting, private accounting, and governmental accounting. It also helps prepare students for various professional certifications, including the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certifications. See an advisor for more information about this program.

Many CSUB finance classes help prepare students for various professional designations, including Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Counselor (ChFC), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified in Financial Management (CFM), Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), and Accredited Pension Administrator (APA.) See an advisor for more information about these and other programs.


Economics is the science of decision-making under scarcity and the study of how societies organize the production and distribution of goods and services. Knowledge of economics can make a significant contribution to citizenship, cultural and intellectual development, and career preparation. Economics is an analytical discipline that reinforces skills such as collecting and analyzing data, making logical deductions and statistical inferences, and decision-making. The economics curriculum provides an understanding of economic theory and applies the theory to real world problems such as evaluating public policies, analyzing the external economic environments of organizations, and formulating tactical and strategic decisions within organizations. Economics majors will typically find occupations in government, business, education, finance, agriculture, global management, agriculture, diplomacy, or the law.

Environmental Resource Management

Environmental Resource Management is an interdisciplinary major administered by the Dean of the School of Business and Public Administration. The major is a program of study that includes coursework in the following areas:

  1. physical and life sciences relating to natural resource use;
  2. the legal aspects of resource ownership and use;
  3. the economic and political aspects of resource allocation and environmental protection; and
  4. safety and environmental health concerns associated with resource use.

The program also includes basic skills courses in areas such as communications, computers, statistics, and management.

Management and Marketing

The Management and Marketing Department prepares students for careers in a variety of organizational occupations, including, human resource positions like benefits or compensation specialists; logistics positions in warehousing, supply chain management, or transportation; a variety of management positions; marketing careers in sales, advertising, or product/brand management; or entrepreneurial opportunities in small business. In addition to responsibility for the coursework in these areas, this department is also responsible for the courses in the general business administration area.

Public Administration

In pursuit of CSUB’s vision and our commitment to serve the Southern San Joaquin Valley, individuals enrolled in our Department of Public Policy and Administration (PPA) programs engage in learning experiences to develop new skills and expertise that prepare them for positions with government agencies at all levels; nonprofit organizations; hospitals, health, and health care agencies; and private organizations with significant government interactions. The Department has a strong commitment to professional development among public and non-profit professionals. The faculty is also committed to scholarship. In addition to the affirmative recruitment of women, ethnic minorities and the disabled, the department strongly encourages the enrollment of practitioners in the undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.

About Our Alumni

Our alumni serve in a variety of prestigious capacities, both locally and nationally. They include past and present county administrative officers (CAO’s); chief executive officers (CEO’s) of hospitals, retirement centers, mass transit systems, and special economic development zones; CEO’s of nonprofit organizations; policy specialists for elected officials at the national and local levels; presidents of private industry; presidents of state-wide professional associations; as well as elected public servants at the local, state, and national levels. Other alumni enjoy professional careers in city management, special districts, social work organizations, criminal justice organizations (law enforcement and prison management), fire and public safety, and in the rapidly growing health care professions.

Other Information About the School of Business and Public Administration

Affiliated Organizations

The School has active chapters of Beta Gamma Sigma, the top national academic honorary for business majors; Pi Alpha Alpha, the highest national honorary for Public Affairs and Administration; and Omicron Delta Epsilon, the leading honorary society in Economics. Students also participate in activities of the University Accounting Association (UAA), Financial Management Association (FMA), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), among others. BPA students participate in intercollegiate competitions in business ethics, human resource management, personal financial planning, and professional sales through these organizations, as well as other venues.

Centers and Institutes

The School maintains the Business Research and Education Center (BREC) to

  1. support faculty research opportunities and activities,
  2. be actively involved in community-based outreach programs as a resource to local and regional businesses and to economic development efforts,
  3. provide a local and regional forum for lifelong learning experiences, and
  4. create and administer programs that promote student participation within the university and the community, such as scholarships, internships, cooperative education, and community service projects.

The Center for Economic Education and Research carries out a regional economic studies program incorporating faculty-student research collaboration and community engagement. It offers economic and financial literacy programs for special audiences and the general public.

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) was established to foster the development of new business and organizational ventures in Kern County. The Center operates an Accelerator Program to launch new businesses and then strives to support these ventures as they take off.  With a blend of academics and practitioners providing support, along with a strong linkage to the Small Business Development Center, the work of the CEI is targeted to support economic development and job creation in our area.

The Grimm Family Center for Agricultural Business was established to build interest in and careers in the world of agricultural business. The work of this Center involves hosting regional and national speaker forums on agricultural topics; serving as a nexus for educational work in agribusiness; building bridges between the K-12 school systems, the local community college, and CSUB for degrees in agribusiness; and fostering increased awareness of the impact of agribusiness in the region.

The Public Service Institute (PSI) is a functional bridge between California State University, Bakersfield and the public service community of Kern County and the University’s service area. As such, the Institute brings together in a working coalition, management personnel from the public, nonprofit, volunteer, and health sectors with appropriate faculty and administrators from the CSUB community. Projects for this Center include workshops, discussion forums, program review support, and research support for relevant work in the region.