Community

Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program

Berkeley MBA Commuter
Your Life. Your MBA.

Commuting from Outside of the Bay Area

With convenient schedule options and flexible curricular offerings, the Berkeley Evening & Weekend MBA Program draws an increasing number of students from outside the Bay Area who choose to commute to and from Berkeley-Haas.

Our students travel from various parts of Southern California as well as from other states such as Washington, Oregon, and Arizona.

Classes on Saturdays

Nearly all commuters take advantage of our weekend schedule option, which includes all required core courses and a selection of popular electives.

Weekend classes are held Saturdays from 9:00am to 6:00pm for first-year students, and from 9:00am to 4:00pm for second- and third-year students. Students share a one-hour catered lunch and get two additional 15-minute breaks during the day. Saturday classes are all held in Berkeley.

Easy Access from Airports

The Berkeley campus less than 30 minutes from the Oakland Airport.

Students arriving or departing at the same time often share cab rides. Some students fly back home immediately after classes end, and others spend the night at a hotel and depart on Sunday.

Commuting From Outside the Bay Area Webinar

We annually hold a webinar where students who commute from outside of the Bay Area share their tips and tricks for getting to campus, and their experiences in the program as a commuting student. You can view a recording of the webinar here and sign up for this year's webinar on December 8th at our events page.

Tips & Tricks for Distance Commuters

Connect with other commuters.

You may be surprised to learn just how many other passengers on your flight are making their way to Berkeley as well! When you land, check in on Foursquare and share a cab or rental car with other students arriving at the same time.

Take advantage of breaks and travel time.

Waiting for a flight or sharing a ride with a fellow student can serve as a great networking opportunity. Time spent in the air is the perfect chance to catch up on reading for class. The 60-minute catered lunch can double as group-work time.

Ask local students for help.

Students who live in the Bay Are are very understanding of your time constraints and are usually more than happy to support you by providing rides to or from the airport.

Fly smart.

Choose to fly airlines that will get you to preferred status with the shortest number of roundtrip flights. Preferred status comes with free upgrades to first class, the privilege of bypassing airport security lines, and the opportunity to deplane first. These rewards add up to time saved.

Learn from veteran second- and third-year commuters.

They’ve streamlined the logistical process of commuting and have even more tips on how to economize cost and effort.

Commuter FAQs

A student from Seattle answers a few commonly asked questions about distance commuting.

  • Is flying in for classes each week really a viable option?
    I was surprised to learn that many students hoping to get a Berkeley MBA aren't even aware of the possibility of flying in on weekends. Many of my classmates who commute to the Bay Area feel that the time and effort dedicated to traveling is insignificant in comparison to the benefits of earning a Berkeley MBA. Also, travel time can often double as networking and reading opportunities, so there's little time wasted.
  • What are the additional costs associated with commuting?
    The incremental cost of traveling can vary, depending on where you're located. I commute from Seattle and spend around $250-$300 per trip. This includes flights, hotels, car rentals, and other incidentals. Lunches are catered for students attending class on Saturday, and every dollar of savings helps!
  • Can you fly in and out on the same day?
    When morning flights can be scheduled, commuters are able to fly in and out the same day! I generally fly into the Bay Area on Friday evenings and return home on Saturday evenings. We fly-in MBAs have figured out several logistical strategies that we pass on as tribal knowledge.
  • Is group work difficult to accomplish when you live outside the Bay Area?
    With the availability of audio and web conferencing technologies, meeting remotely is easy and efficient. The hour-long lunch break on Saturdays is also a convenient time for meeting up to work on projects. I've heard many of my fellow commuters say that they've never felt themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to getting group work done.
  • Can commuters participate in extracurricular and career center activities?
    Our Career Management Office holds many of their events on Friday nights and weekends. They also hold weekend consulting hours, which is much appreciated by those of us who can't be at Haas during the week. It is true, however, that many club and extracurricular activities take place on weekdays. It's difficult, if not impossible, for commuting students to participate in these events.

Typical Weekend Schedule for Commuters

Friday

7:00pm Arrive at the airport, clear security, and meet up with other commuting students.
8:00pm Depart for Oakland.
10:00pm Land in Oakland. Check in using Foursquare to find other EWMBA students arriving at the same time.
10:30pm Share a taxi with commuting classmates to your hotel.
11:00pm Have a drink at the lounge with other students or finish up assignments.

Saturday

8:00am Breakfast with other commuters.
8:30am Walk to the Berkeley campus.
9:00am Classes start.
12:00-2:00pm Catered lunch (and great opportunity to work on group projects)
4:00pm Classes end for second- and third-year students. (Classes end at 6pm for first-year students.)
4:00-5:00pm Socialize and catch up with other students
5:00pm Catch a ride to the airport with a classmate.
6:30pm Take off from Oakland.
8:30pm Arrive home.

Next: Faculty