University of Washington - Foster School of Business

When it comes to Northwest business schools, there is only one that consistently ranks alongside Harvard, Pennsylvania (Wharton), Stanford, etc, in the top 50.  The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business MBA is ranked #23 in the nation by both U.S. News and The Economist.  The Financial Times ranks it #70 in the world.  Among public universities, the UW MBA ranks top 20 (see rankings).

Washington State University

Beginning Fall 2013, WSU will offer a new one year MBA program at its main campus in Pullman.  Though WSU has offered MBA degrees for some 50 years, it discontinued its Pullman program in 2009 to redirect its faculty’s energies into its online MBA program.  That strategy paid off in 2012 as U.S. News ranked the WSU Online MBA #1 in North America, propelling it past other top online programs from schools like Arizona State and Auburn.

University of Oregon - Lundquist College of Business

Though the University of Oregon MBA does not have the haute rankings of its athletic rival UW, the UO is the only other university in the Northwest that has been given membership in the highly prestigious Association of American Universities, whose 60 members include Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Yale, etc.  Fully accredited by the AACSB, the Lundquist College offers several sizes of MBA to meet the needs of students.  Applicants with several years of professional experience and accredited undergraduate degrees in business may take 12 month or even 9 month accelerated programs.

Washington State University - Vancouver

Perhaps the best deal on an MBA in the Portland Metro area is offered across the river at WSU VancouverWashington’s “border bill” permits residents of several counties in Oregon to attend WSU part-time at resident tuition rates.  This makes WSUV an attractive alternative to Portland State and University of Portland for an AACSB accredited program from a nationally recognized university.  Unlike many states where regional campuses in the university system offer separate programs, the WSU MBA is administered from Pullman and all campuses share a common core curriculum.  Students graduating from Pullman, Vancouver, or Tri Cities receive the same degree from Washington State University.

Marylhurst University

The Portland Business Journal has ranked Marylhurst’s MBA program #1 in the Portland area.  With a hybrid on-campus and online format, the college offers maximum convenience for working professionals seeking to earn an MBA in as little as 18 months.  The Marylhurst MBA has an amazing selection of academic concentrations to choose from for a small, private college.  Students choose to focus in Management, Finance, Non-Profit Management, Organizational Behavior, Marketing, or Health Care Management.  The GMAT exam may be waived for admission to Marylhurst.

Southern Oregon University

The only MBA program in its state offered south of Eugene is at Southern Oregon University.  SOU has a full-time MBA program in Ashland, as well as an evening program for working professionals in Medford.  With its 12 month program, the full-time SOU MBA offers students speed to market at a very affordable price.  Tuition and fees for the entire MBA will cost Oregon residents around $17,000.

Humboldt State University

Part of the California State University system, Humboldt State is the most remote of CSU campuses, located on the Redwood Coast south of the Oregon border.  Its geographic location and climate are more “Northwest” than “California,” which is why we’ve included it in our review.  For many residents of southern Oregon, Humboldt State is closer to home than UO or OSU.  The Humboldt State MBA is presented with an emphasis on “strategic sustainability.”  Princeton Review calls HSU one of the most “green” colleges in the nation, and it has also won a Silver Star award for sustainability in education.

Seattle Pacific University

Another fine option for prospective MBA students in the Seattle area is offered by Seattle Pacific University.  Located north of downtown and Seattle Center in the Queen Anne neighborhood, SPU’s campus is both picturesque and convenient.  The SPU MBA program is primarily designed for part-time, evening studies.  Consisting of ten core courses and five electives, there is plenty of flexibility for students to customize their education with a concentration in one of seven areas.

University of Portland - Pamplin School of Business

The University of Portland is a private, Catholic college that was founded in 1901.  The university’s Pamplin School of Business offers an evening MBA program at its main campus in Portland.  The University of Portland MBA is fully accredited by the AACSB and is ranked #64 in the nation by Business Week.

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the U.S. and is established as a premier private college in the Northwest.  The Gonzaga MBA is ranked #73 in America by U.S. News.  Gonzaga offers a full-time program and a part-time program for working professionals in the Spokane area.  The full-time program is a 33-credit curriculum that is designed to be completed in one year.

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington offers an evening MBA designed for working professionals in the Spokane area which can be completed in two years.  Not only is the EWA MBA designed to be a convenience for residents of eastern Washington, at $450 per credit it is also a bargain.  Students should be able to complete the entire 50 credit program for around $23,000.  The program is fully accredited by the AACSB.  A combination MBA/MPA (Master of Public Administration) is also available.

Eastern Oregon University

For years Eastern Oregon University was renown for its special policy of granting in-state tuition to out-of-state students.  That policy applied to graduate tuition as well as undergraduate, but the policy was discontinued in 2011 due to political and budget pressures.  However, the policy did help to boost the profile of the college and its MBA program while it lasted, as students from around the country came to enjoy the magnificent scenery of Oregon and a quality education at a very affordable cost.

Concordia University

Located in Northeast Portland, Concordia is one of ten Concordia University System campuses in America and the only member of these private, Lutheran colleges in the Pacific Northwest.  The Portland campus has over three thousand students.  Concordia offers an evening MBA program that is popular for working professionals in the city.

Seattle University

Seattle University is located a short distance from downtown in the city’s Capitol Hill district.  Like Gonzaga, Seattle is an old Jesuit Catholic university with a distinguished reputation.  The Albers School of Business and Economics offers full-time and part-time MBA options which require 55 to 73 credits to complete depending on student qualifications and the specific curriculum chosen.

University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix has established itself over the years as a leader among for-profit colleges.  The school has campuses in both Seattle and Portland that offer its Master of Business Administration.  Unlike many for-profit MBAs, the University of Phoenix program is accredited by the ACBSP.  One way that University of Phoenix has been able to differentiate itself is by offering its students maximum convenience on program options, admissions, transfer credits, etc.

George Fox University

George Fox University is located in Newberg, Oregon and is a private Christian college founded in 1885 by Quakers.  Its longevity and accreditations (ACBSP) give the George Fox MBA its clout in the Portland area.  The Portland Business Journal has ranked it #4 in northern OregonForbes Magazine calls George Fox one of the top ten Christian colleges in the west.

Washington State University - Tri Cities

In the heartland of Washington, WSU Tri Cities offers an MBA program for working professionals.  Due to the amount of federal government employment in the area, it is a popular program for the public sector and military, as well as the rich agricultural industry.  Unlike many states where regional campuses in the university system offer separate programs, the WSU MBA is administered from Pullman and all campuses share a common core curriculum.  Students graduating from Pullman, Vancouver, or Tri Cities receive the same degree from Washington State University.

Willamette University - Atkinson School of Management

Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management offers a variety of options for prospective students.  The Willamette MBA program may be taken either full-time or part-time, with accelerated program options for students with accredited, undergraduate business degrees.  Classes are offered at WU’s main campus in Salem; however, beginning with the Fall 2013 semester, Willamette will also offer the MBA program through its new Portland Center, conveniently located in the city’s Pearl District.

Pacific Lutheran University

Pacific Lutheran University was founded in 1890 in the Parkland area of Tacoma.  The PLU MBA is a structured program where cohorts of approximately 15 students will advance through five semesters, attending class two evenings each week.  The curriculum consists of 45 credits, 36 of which are core requirements and the remainder are electives.  The PLU MBA is AACSB accredited and has been listed by Princeton Review as one of the top 15 programs based on student opinion honors.

Oregon State University

Oregon State is another school that has recently revamped its MBA program to meet the modern demands of students and employers.  OSU has a reputation for adapting to the times.  It was the first major university in the Northwest to offer a one year MBA program for qualified students.  One year MBAs may be in vogue in America now, but OSU was ahead of its time and many professionals in the region took a year off to study in Corvallis.  The new MBA program continues to distinguish OSU from other business schools in our review with some innovative concentrations for students to pursue.

Western Washington University

Western Washington University is the lone MBA program in what we have determined to be the geographically distinct NW Washington region.  Located in Bellingham, the WWU campus is 90 miles north of Seattle and with 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students is the third largest public university in Washington, behind UW and WSU.  The WWU MBA program is offered in four formats—accelerated, traditional, evening, and weekend.

University of Washington - Bothell

The University of Washington established two satellite campuses in 1990 to satisfy demand and more fully serve the Seattle and Puget Sound area—Tacoma and Bothell.  UW Bothell shares its campus with Cascadia Community College just Northeast of Seattle.  The UW Bothell School of Business offers a Technology MBA and a Leadership MBA program option.

Portland State University

Portland State has made big investments in recent years as it aims to become a nationally recognized business school.  It is in the process of a $60 million renovation to its business school facilities that is due to be complete by 2016.  PSU teamed up with Oregon Health Sciences University in 2009 to offer a joint MBA specialization in health care management, one of the most comprehensive in the country.

University of Washington - Tacoma

The University of Washington established two satellite campuses in 1990 to satisfy demand and more fully serve the Seattle and Puget Sound area—Tacoma and Bothell.  Whereas the MBAs offered at UW Bothell are more specialized, UW Tacoma’s Milgard School of Business MBA is a more traditional program that is also designed for working adults, with courses offered in the evening.