Washington State University Review

The Washington State University online MBA program is a highly reputable, top-ranked program that offers flexibility in terms of scheduling and start dates. The program is tailored for both business and non-business undergraduate majors and provides the opportunity to engage with peers outside normal class hours and travel abroad.

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The Good

Highly ranked online MBA program

In the most recent U.S. News & World Report survey, Washington State University (WSU) was recognized as the 7th best online graduate business program. This is especially noteworthy considering that more than 200 programs were evaluated. The U.S. News & World Report bases their rankings on four categories that include faculty credentials and training, students services and technology, student engagement, and admissions selectivity. WSU scored particularly well in student engagement, which is an indication of a school’s ability to retain students and see them through graduation. WSU also ranked high for admissions selectivity, which measures the strength of the school’s admissions requirements.

Six start dates each year

New students don’t have to wait for the fall or spring semesters to get started. If you have a particular graduation date in mind, WSU’s multiple start-date options make it easier to plan for your end goal. The program can be completed in 22 months if you have an undergraduate degree in business. If you’re not a business-degree holder, the entire program — including six foundation courses — will take a total of 29 months.

Foundation courses available for non-business majors

The WSU online MBA program accepts students who do not possess prior business degrees. These students are required to take six five-week foundation courses, completed consecutively at the start of the program. The subjects include marketing, finance, business law, and operations management. Keep in mind that foundation courses add to your total tuition cost.

Three MBA concentrations available

Students can choose to specialize in marketing, finance, or international business, each requiring the completion of three related elective courses. The concentrations are broad enough to apply to numerous areas of business, enabling students to explore a variety of career options without being restricted to just one specialty. For example, the marketing concentration may include electives related to advertising, consumer behavior, and international marketing.

International study trip opportunity

This 10-day international business trip is a faculty-led learning experience that offers the opportunity to immerse in an international business setting, attend sightseeing tours, and independently explore. Previous destinations have included Brazil, China, France, and Switzerland. The estimated cost with airfare is between $3,000 and $5,000 outside of regular tuition. The trip takes place during the summer, so your normal coursework is not likely to be interrupted. The business trip is credited as an elective course.

Optional interactive sessions with instructors and peers

These sessions provide students a way to directly connect in an environment that promotes engagement, knowledge sharing, and networking. Available in a synchronous online format, the sessions typically occur on a weekday at 6 p.m. PT or later, which is great for those who have busy daytime schedules. Furthermore, all sessions are recorded and archived for those who cannot attend at the designated meeting times.

Transfer credits may be accepted

It’s rare for an MBA program to accept transfer credits, but WSU will consider previous coursework on a case-by-case basis. You must submit an official transcript to make the request. If you’ve completed a business-related minor as an undergraduate or are earning business credits at a community college, those can both potentially count towards your foundational course requirements which, if accepted, can save you time and money.

The Bad

Application not available online

Prospective students must call or email WSU’s MBA department to begin the application process, starting with a brief phone interview with an enrollment advisor. The enrollment package is only mailed to the student after the call. Most online programs offer an easy, convenient way to directly apply online, but WSU’s lengthier application procedure may be a way to deter applicants who aren’t serious about enrolling, demonstrating a level of commitment to the quality of the student population and alumni network.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2007-2008
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Location: WA
  • Region: West
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (per Credit)

  • In-State: $750
  • Out-of-State: $750
  • Program Cost: $50,000


  • Marketing
  • International Business
  • Finance

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 51%
  • Average GMAT Score: 570
  • Average Student Age: 35
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.47
  • Average Work Experience: 8.5 Years
  • Gender Ratio: 27.4% female, 72.6% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 30
  • Total Enrollment: 212


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 2 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 16
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 6

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 88%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 100%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 100%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 91%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2009-2010): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2010-2011): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 88%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 100%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 21
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 79/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 50
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 85/100
  • Peer Reputation Mean Score (1-5): 3.1
  • Student Engagement Rank: 14
  • Student Engagement Score: 90/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 107
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 43/100

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