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.
  The overhauled traditional MBA program was developed with feedback from companies like Amazon and Microsoft to meet the demand for MBAs with strong analytical skills.  The core MBA requirements are in common with the Vancouver and Tri Cities programs, which confer the same WSU diploma, though each campus offers its own specialized concentration.  In Pullman that concentration will be Business Analytics, which will apply data modeling concepts to marketing, operations, and information systems.  While WSU may not have all the accolades of its cross state rival, UW, it is much less expensive.  Residents will pay about $20,000 for an MBA earned in Pullman (non residents will pay about $30,000).  Speed to market and the low cost of living make it even more attractive for professionals looking to take a year off from work to pursue an MBA.

The Life:  Of all the national universities that make up the Pac-12 Conference, WSU is by far the most bucolic.  The some 21,000 students at WSU make up approximately two thirds of the population of Pullman.  Just ten miles east of Pullman, the student body at University of Idaho makes up about one third of the population of Moscow.  Life at WSU is a true “college town” experience.  The NCAA Division I athletic program provides plenty of spectator sports.  Outdoor recreation surrounds Pullman and students will never have to battle crowds from the city to enjoy it.  Spokane is an hour’s drive to the north for city excursions.

The Drawbacks:  The very thing that makes the WSU experience unique is also its biggest drawback.  Pullman is located approximately 300 miles from Seattle and 350 miles from Portland.  The rural isolation can make networking and job prospecting a challenge.  Prospective students that are more interested in city life than collegiate atmosphere may look into WSU Vancouver or the school’s Online MBA.

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