US Business Schools: East Coast vs West Coast

When applying to US Business Schools, the question of which college to attend among the East Coast vs West Coast colleges arises. Do you think where you reside anything to do with getting into a college? The answer may be a BIG ‘No!’ for some, but the reality is a resounding ‘Yes!’ for others. When relocating to a new country for your career advancement, it is essential to become acquainted with the culture and surroundings as soon as possible to prevent being homesick.

Could it be said that the east coast reigns supreme in the top B-schools? Things aren’t so clear-cut. There is a whole other coast on the other side of the contiguous United States that we cannot disregard higher education. When it comes to cuisine, culture, social conventions, fashion sense, weather, technology exposure, business climate, possibilities, and so on, the East Coast and the West Coast of the United States have significant contrasts. The tug of war between the East and West coasts begins.

This article is about the conflict between the two coastlines in terms of top B-schools, and we will go over all of the factors that determine which coast is superior to the other.


While it may be amusing to imagine the conventional thoughts prompted by coastal allegiances, they may be somewhat accurate representations of what your professional aspirations should be. When it comes to your future? Upstart Silicon Valley companies or old-money tycoons’ 200-year firms? Redwoods or Cyprus forests? Which is better, palm trees or short-leaf pines?

We are addressing this to determine where your interests lie. The United States is home to great business schools around the country, but when it comes to searching for a school, people typically go for the east and west coasts, but why is that? Let’s have a look at that.

Since every state in the United States has prominent managers, executives, business analysts, logisticians, HR specialists, compliance officers, process leaders, and other administrative personnel, determining the best coast for general commercial enterprise activity can be challenging. However, a few factors differentiate US Business schools based on statistics and data that substantially separates these two coastlines.

The United States of America’s East Coast is well-known for its wealth of world-class institutions, with the coveted Ivy League having eight campuses in the country’s northeast quadrant.The West Coast list is dominated by California colleges, with the University of Washington, Seattle, standing out as an outlier.
East Coast institutions are well-known for their business expertise. The famous Ivy League consists of eight institutions in the northeastern United States. Including Harvard University is the country’s top-ranked institution.West Coast has Stanford, one of the most well-known colleges globally. West Coast is for individuals who are more interested in tech-related careers.
If you want to work in the financial business, the east coast is a better option. There is no doubt that the East Coast looks to have a strong position in the banking industry. Large financial firms include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley. The most prominent finance and consulting firms are headquartered in New York, providing a geographic advantage.If you are searching for positions in PE/VC, the east coast may be a better pick, but the west coast gives you the location advantage again if you are looking for positions like a tech product manager. Because California is a popular destination for students since it is such a center for companies, with Silicon Valley home to tech behemoths like Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and eBay, among many others.

The United States is home to multiple elite B-schools scattered around the country, but a cold war between schools begins with Tier 1 and Tier 2 B-schools. When it comes to choosing a US business school, there is a unique blend of thoughts, such as the campuses, university rankings, weather, amenities, etc. and creates chaos in mind; well let’s have a look at these factors,

Read more: Tier 1 and Tier 2 B-schools


One of the critical factors for selecting a college is the university’s rating. It has a long-term influence on your hiring ability in many sectors. Yes, it is essential to the schools as well.

Applications increased when Stanford was rated #1 in the Financial Times rankings (when the broader market was stagnating).). A high ranking means better opportunities for getting placed in a good firm; At the same time, recruiters consider the rating of the college you graduated from; they put a greater focus on your academic achievement, talents, and test scores.   

Read more about US Business Schools: Ranking

·   The prominent Ivy League consists of Harvard University, Yale University, Cornell University, Princeton University, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, and Columbia University in the  East area.


Western Coast institutions are newer than those on the East Coast; they have a wonderful architectural flair and are outfitted with everyday conveniences; their buildings seem more like they’re part of a matched set architecturally because they were most likely all created around the same period, many West Coast schools benefit from their (planned) closeness to beaches; for example, the University of California San Diego owns a stretch of coastline as part of its campus.

However, schools on the east coast are older and smaller, which does not mean they lack facilities; they do, but they are limited. Each structure on the east coast is an architectural artifact from the period it was built. It often has a long, distinguished, and intriguing history of financial backers and graduates.


East Coast SchoolsAverage GMATAverage Tuition FeeAverage Salary
Harvard Business School730146,880150,000
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)727154,336150,000
Yale University730144,700140,000
Columbia University729106,416150,000
Princeton UniversityNANANA
New York University (NYU)729150,964145,000
University of Pennsylvania729150,500155,000
Cornell University710114,632126,248
Duke University713140,000141,800
Johns Hopkins UniversityNA128,000126,800


West Coast SchoolsAverage GMATTuition Fee
Stanford Business School733147,768
University of California, Berkeley (UCB)726137,819
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)714104,550
University of Southern California624115,000
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)720112,728
University of Washington, Seattle704107,202
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)650105,398
University of California, Davis (UCD)646105,480
University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)65588,290
University of California, Irvine (UCI)671NA


This is a complex topic; nevertheless, if we look at a person’s decision, they might select any coasts based on their background and interests. When it comes to an MBA, most grads think about marketing, finance, and technology because of one reason: the top recruiters are all from these fields, so which coast will be a better fit for whom?

Finance Industry – If you’re interested in the finance industry, the east coast contains, without a doubt, the most outstanding colleges and top financial corporations in the world.

Tech Industry – Of course, everyone knows about Silicon Valley, but tech is also hot in the west, making it a desirable location for tech enthusiasts. Stanford, one of the most well-known colleges globally, is located on the West Coast. West Coast is for people who want to work in the technology industry.

Healthcare Industry – Most digital health businesses in the United States continue to establish offices in the long-standing technological centers of California, New York, and Massachusetts. However, Boston has emerged as a destination for people with a great interest in healthcare in recent years.

Some of the elements that contributed to Boston’s rise include its closeness to Harvard Medical School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Massachusetts General Hospital, and other prestigious academic institutions.


However, when it comes to the best b-schools, East coast schools are the best choice. Major Tier 1 schools are located on the east side of the country, making it a business school hotspot. If we look at the opportunities on the west coast after earning an MBA from an east coast school, you will find several tech-based industries, making it a good choice for tech enthusiasts; California is a popular destination for students since it is such a center for companies, with Silicon Valley home to tech behemoths like Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and eBay, among many others.

There are two hubs: finance and banking on the east coast and technology on the west coast. Both regions are distinct in their capacity. Each coast offers advantages over the other in terms of people, fashion, weather, temperatures, cuisine, distances, technology exposure, and academic fields.

Applicants apply to a large number of institutions – on average, seven. You never know where they’ll fit in.’ Some applicants apply to only one coast, while most spread their bets across regions and between Dream, Realistic, and Safe Schools.

How to transfer to the West Coast after earning an MBA in the East and vice versa?

If you’re a student, obtain a summer offer in New York, network with any organization you want to join. It shouldn’t be too difficult to go out there if you get a full-time general proposition, especially if you’re working in technology.

Internships may be quite beneficial; for example, if you are pursuing your MBA on the east coast and your interests are in technology, and the technological hub is in the west or vice versa, taking a summer internship with such companies will help you make more contacts, which will make it much simpler when you relocate to the other side for career opportunities.

It’s challenging to search for East coast vs West Coast schools without knowing the facts about the schools, and even after learning a little about the coasts, it’s challenging to decide which school to attend. The most important lesson from this article is that one coast appeared to beat the other in each area. Although the West Coast has a technological advantage and the East Coast has a more significant volume of financial work, The question now is where to apply and what best fits your profile.

We assess your profile and background and build a structured format for each person to ace through their applications. MBA and Beyond professionals provide you with a thorough understanding of your profile and what can be a good match for you. So, what are you waiting for? Schedule a free profile evaluation with us today and start studying at your dream school tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which coast is better east or west?

The most important conclusion from this article is that one coast sought to exceed the other in all categories. Even though the West Coast has a technological advantage and the East Coast has a larger quantity of financial activity, it entirely relies on where your interest lies; therefore, you may select the coast based on your professional experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

UPCOMING EVENT: Breaking Barriers: Empowering LGBTQ+ Leaders with Pride.Register now