The Washington State University (WSU) Online Master of Business Administration can improve your capacity for critical thinking, problem solving, and confident decision-making. WSU ranks in the top 5% among the “Best Online MBA Programs” and #13 among the “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans” by U.S. News & World Report.
Build actionable business intelligence under the guidance of world-class educators—all in an environment that encourages high-level discussion and collaboration. And benefit from personalized support the entire way. That means all of WSU’s resources, faculty, and energy are focused on transforming you from a good leader into a highly effective one.
This Online MBA is more than a program—it is a transformational experience. WSU’s online classroom promotes high-level discussion and collaboration with emerging and established leaders. With WSU, you can learn the strategies and build the relationships to inform your entire career.
Benefit from the WSU Online MBA:
Study from the best, with the best: Learn business leadership tactics from a diverse, experienced faculty of thought leaders, academics, and business veterans.
Receive personalized support: WSU’s team of enrollment advisors, student support professionals, and military affairs coordinator are here to guide you from enrollment to graduation.
Real-world application: Study live business cases, strategic plans, and complete a capstone experience based on real-world scenarios.
Achieve work-life balance: Courses are seven weeks long, with live or recorded sessions available.
Earn the MBA at your own pace: Graduate in as few as 22-29 months.
Join the WSU community: Connect with a proud and respected network of business graduates with worldwide reach in your classroom or through the alumni association—all before you graduate.
Special events: Participate in Washington State University-sponsored events and meetups around the country.
Military and veterans: With a specialized military affairs coordinator and support services, the Online MBA works to introduce military students to diverse cohorts in the business world.
Concentrations and certificates
The WSU Online MBA program offers four concentrations and a general track to provide you with an engaging educational experience that can align with your professional goals. Note: Each concentration is also offered as a standalone nine-credit graduate certificate.
Take an in-depth look at consumer behavior and the psychology behind it. Learn to analyze and react to consumer trends. Examine the differences between foreign and domestic markets, and discover strategies to help navigate those differences.
Study financial practice and principles from an international perspective. Learn about financial management of multinational corporations and international investments. Explore related topics, such as asset management, investment analysis, interest rates, and financial futures.
Explore the ethical, economic, and societal challenges associated with doing business in a foreign marketplace. Delve into risk management as it applies to the international marketplace.
Hospitality Business Management
Learn more about business operations in the hospitality industry. Take courses in service management, international tourism, and hospitality operations.
Gain a broader perspective on business with the General Track, which allows you to select three electives from any of the concentration course offerings based on your career interests.
The Carson College of Business online MBA consists of 36 credits for those with a bachelor’s degree in business. The curriculum offers up to 16 credit hours of foundational coursework, which you may need to take ensure you have all of the tools necessary to be successful in the program.
During the program, you will take seven 3-credit core courses and three additional courses from your concentration or a pool of electives. You can opt for the general track or choose from four concentrations — marketing, finance, international business, or hospitality business management — to focus your education on the subject matter that best fits your career objectives. The online MBA experience closes with three capstone courses for an additional six credits. All coursework is entirely online and may be completed in as few as 22-29 months.
To ensure your success in the program, you must possess core business competencies. Please consult with your enrollment advisor to confirm if you need to take any of these online
WSU is pleased to offer the following foundation courses in a five- to seven-week format:
ACCTG 550 – Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting (3 credits)
The main objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the role of accounting in business organizations. The specific objectives for each student are to acquire: (1) a basic understanding of accounting concepts, financial reporting, and financial statement analysis, and (2) an awareness of the relevance and use of accounting information for managerial decision-making.
BA 500 – Data Analysis for Managers (2 credits)
This course covers two types of statistics: descriptive and inferential.
Descriptive statistics are numerical ways to describe a data set. For example:
Measures of central location (e.g., mean) and measures of dispersion (e.g., variance, standard deviation)
Associative methods for comparing variables (correlation)
Inferential statistics provide the information that allows you to make statements about a population based on sample data from that population. They allow you to take a simple random sample and make a “good” estimate of underlying population characteristics. Two common methods for inferential statistics are confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. This course is your guide as you study the material, which serves as a primer required for all students aiming to join the online MBA program but who have not yet taken a statistics course.
BA 501 – Foundations in Marketing (2 credits)
The BA 501 course is designed to provide students with a broad overview of the principles of marketing, from both a theoretical and managerial perspective. As an introductory-level course, its aim is to raise your awareness and understanding of the terminology, concepts, strategies, and techniques that are part of the world of marketing. The course relies upon textbook readings, video-based exercises, mini simulations, and online discussions, as well as other supplemental materials and discussions that are timely and relevant to the course’s coverage of content.
BA 502 – Foundations in Operations Management (2 credits)
Operations Management is the process by which an organization converts inputs (e.g., labor, material, knowledge, equipment) into outputs (goods and services). This course studies the concepts and techniques, such as Total Quality Management (TQM), Just In Time (JIT), forecasting, inventory theory, and supply chain management, that make the conversion process more efficient and profitable. As recent experience has shown in global markets, significant competitive advantages accrue to those firms capable of producing quality goods and services efficiently. For this reason the careful design and management of the production process is of fundamental importance for the long‐term success and survival of a corporation. BA 500 is a prerequisite.
BA 503 – Foundations of Business Law (2 credits)
Law is of paramount importance in society. In relation to function, law can provide a framework of predictability, certainty, continuity, and stability. Generally, businesses wish to operate with confidence and predictability per the legal and regulatory framework. This legal and regulatory framework consists of Constitutional Law, Statutory Law and Common Law. This legal and regulatory environment pervades over the business environment. Among other topics, this course covers the foundational role of law, understanding compliance, business legal terminology, business law, and legal analysis.
BA 504 – Foundations in Finance (2 credits)
To engage in business, the financial managers of a corporation are responsible for capital budgeting decisions as well as financing decisions. The purpose of this course is to expose you to the first concept — budgeting. This course covers concepts such as risk and return relationship, cost of capital, capital budgeting, corporate governance, and stock/bond valuation. BA 500, Acctg 550, and ECONS 555 are prerequisites.
ECONS 555 – Managerial Economics (3 credits)
The main objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of economic analysis of business practice. The specific objectives for each student are to acquire: (1) an understanding of the supply and demand model and marginal analysis, and (2) an understanding of how these economic tools are used to enhance business decision-making.
BA 599 – Strategic Planning for Personal and Program Success (1 credit)
This course provides the background and framework for successfully transitioning into the role of a working professional MBA student, both in the classroom and the global workplace. Students begin their program with personal assessments and planning, case methods, ethics training, etc. Designed to ensure a successful outcome as an MBA student and as a leader and member of a virtual team across time zones. BA 599 is a prerequisite for all other MBA courses.
BA 600 – Beyond the MBA: Applications of Principles, Theory and Practice (1 credit)
Students will learn to identify and articulate the strengths of their own background and merge it with the MBA curriculum as they approach the conclusion of their MBA program. Students will learn how to utilize business tools to analyze a case study from a business perspective, identifying key arguments and fallacies.
MGMT 590 – Strategy Formulation and Organizational Design (3 credits)
Briefly stated, strategic management is about deciding where you want to go, finding the best way to get there, and ensuring that you stay on track. Originally a military discipline dating back to antiquity (see, for example, the newly popular classic Sun Tzu on The Art of War), it has evolved over the years to become the keystone course in many MBA programs. As such, it asks you to integrate learning from other courses (marketing, finance, operations, etc.) to analyze how a business can achieve a sustainable competitive advantage — the “Holy Grail” of management. (Think, for a moment, about how difficult this is to achieve: How many companies can you identify that have been in business “forever” while consistently earning above-average profits — the definition of sustainable competitive advantage?)
MGMT 593 – Managerial Leadership and Productivity (3 credits)
MGMT 593 is focused on understanding and managing organizational behavior. It is designed specifically for students who are, or intend to become, professional managers. In terms of your development, the course has the dual purpose of helping you become a more analytical and effective (1) manager and (2) team leader. It is designed to give you insight into your own attitudes, beliefs, and management philosophy, while providing you with analytical tools that will help you diagnose, understand, and develop solutions to management problems. It is also intended to provide skill development in important areas such as leadership, performance enhancement, teamwork, communication, and giving feedback. The approach to learning will balance cognitive understanding of behavioral science concepts (provided by readings, lectures, and audiovisuals) with application through discussion of readings, cases, and our own experiences, and skill development through experiential exercises. You will be exposed to many different views, concepts, and experiences concerning organizational behavior. Exposure to these varying, often conflicting, and sometimes even paradoxical views can lead to a much better understanding of the management experience. MGMT 593 can improve your ability to "read" organizations and make sense of what's happening in them. Ultimately, you should better understand the forces that influence the behavior of people in organizations, including your own.
Decision-making is an art. To be a successful decision-maker, you want to be able to anticipate and evaluate your alternatives, weighing the benefits and detriments of every option. Accounting 533 features assignments and discussions that can give you the skills to use accounting measurements to make sound, productive decisions. This course integrates fundamental topics in managerial accounting with strategic analysis to show you how organizations use accounting information to make business decisions, design control systems, and evaluate the impact on various stakeholder groups. The coursework will also explore issues of measurement and causality. Accounting is a measurement process. In order for measures to be meaningful, you need to know what to measure, how to measure, and what the consequences of the measure will be. You get to examine both the computations of accounting data and how the resulting information is used in a decision context. The course will focus on information used for internal decision-making purposes to prepare you to use, rather than produce, financial information.
FIN 526 – Financial Management (3 credits)
In FIN 526, you can learn to apply finance theory and principles to the analysis of important business problems. Many of the activities of the firm can only be accomplished through the support of the finance function. Other activities have important implications for the firm’s cash flow. As a manager, it’s vital that you understand how to use finance tools and concepts to enhance your decision-making ability and to see how your activities will be viewed at the firm level. Since FIN 526 is the only required finance course in the Online MBA program, we will review foundational concepts and quickly move on to high-level applications. Accordingly, you would be best prepared coming in with a solid understanding of accounting and quantitative methods.
MIS 580 – Information Systems Analysis (3 credits)
As a general manager, it’s so important that you understand the primary tenets of information systems (IS). It’s sometimes asked why general managers need to learn about IS when organizations typically have a designated IS/IT department. It’s true that most IS/IT departments are made up of skilled individuals who, more and more, also have strong business backgrounds. However, it is still very important for you to have a strong knowledge of IS-related issues so you can make informed IS/IT decisions that lead to positive outcomes on an organizational level. Don’t expect this to be a technical course (although there will be some level of hands-on software training). Look at MIS 580 as your introduction to the dynamics of information systems and the challenges associated with integrating such systems into the modern business enterprise. Particular emphasis will be placed on the strategic importance of IT in an organization’s operations. Other topics will include the design and development of enterprise systems, as well as the challenges that come along with their implementation. The course will also cover emerging topics in the field and organizational strategy for approaching the adoption of new technology before concluding on a topic that is a key concern for virtually all organizations—security.
MKTG 506 – Marketing Management (3 credits)
MKTG 506 is designed to give you the tools to develop an action-oriented marketing plan. This course can prepare you to use the Marketing Analysis for Revenue Enhancement (MARE) model and apply systematic guidelines to develop a marketing strategy. Further, coursework is intended to teach you to modify the model as needed, since no single model works in all situations. MKTG 506 focuses on marketing analysis and planning for new market entry, but the concepts you learn can be used for any type of marketing strategy.
BA 514 – Business Analytics: Transforming Data into Decisions (3 credits)
Gain the tools and fundamental conceptual knowledge to understand the emerging role of business analytics in organizations. BA 514 is designed to prepare you to apply analytics specifically within the Excel environment. In this course, you can learn to communicate with analytic professionals to effectively use and interpret models and their outcomes to make better business decisions. BA 514 explains business analytics through clear, complete, and student-friendly instruction and delivery. Learn to recognize and formulate models, determine appropriate tools and techniques, and draw intelligent business conclusions. Explore the four-step decision-making process, learning to conduct each step using a variety of analytical tools and techniques. This is an application/case-oriented course developed to teach you key decision-making concepts using data sets that focus on analyzing business concepts in a data-driven fashion.
Concentration courses will vary in subject matter and credit hours.
Capstone Project and Final Presentation
The Capstone (Business Planning) courses begin in the third semester of your program. Capstone A and Capstone B directly prepare you for your final program deliverable—a full business plan. Your business plan will demonstrate your ability to synthesize the information from all your MBA classes and identify how you will use this information to become a more successful manager, business owner, or business executive. Below is a summary of each portion of the Capstone.
BA 579 – Business Administration — Capstone A (2 credits)
This class takes you through the process of choosing a new product idea, testing the new product for commercial potential through a feasibility study, changing course as necessary to discover the correct business model, and making a final decision about whether or not to move toward commercialization. Critical to this class is your commitment to be creative, take risks, experience failure, and try again until you finally "get it right." You will be asked to use information from previous classes, your previous personal and professional experience, and data you discover during the course.
BA 579 – Business Administration — Capstone B (2 credits)
Capstone B has you prepare a business plan based on the information you gathered from your feasibility study. This is the plan of how you will actually introduce your product into the market and how you will successfully operate the business. The feasibility study from Capstone A will be used to support the decisions, plans, and forecasts presented in the business plan. In addition, you will finalize the presentation of your business plan.
Please note, curriculum is subject to change.
Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
GPA: Minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; however, the age of GPA and the level of degree and rigor will be considered in the evaluation
One letter of recommendation
Statement of purpose that demonstrates your professional and academic experiences and how they have prepared you for success as an MBA student
GMAT or GRE score (waivers provided for qualified candidates)
GMAT Code: 09D-TL-19
Statement of purpose
In no more than 500 words, demonstrate how your professional and academic experiences have prepared you for success as an Executive MBA student. Be sure to let us know why the Carson College of Business at Washington State University is right for you. What are your future goals and how can the Carson College Executive MBA help you achieve those goals. In addition, if you are seeking a GMAT waiver, please include that request in your essay along with supporting information as to why a waiver should be considered.
GMAT waiver policy
In combination with academic and professional experience, the GMAT is a good predictor of a candidate’s success in an MBA program and is generally required for admission. A GMAT waiver may be granted for applicants who exceed the basic MBA admission requirements and meets one of the below criteria:
Five-plus years of management, senior management, or executive business experience and a 3.00 GPA or higher
STEM degree with a 3.00 GPA or higher (no work experience required)
Business degree from an AACSB-accredited institution with a 3.00 GPA or higher (no work experience required
Ten-plus years work experience and a 2.79 GPA or higher
If you would like to be considered for the GMAT waiver, please submit a written request asking that the above items evidenced in your application file be considered for a GMAT substitution. Applicants that do not meet the above admissions criteria may submit a résumé, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose for consideration.
Please submit all of the materials as required in addition to the following:
Official copies of certificates and/or diplomas
TOEFL: 580 (237c) (93 IBTS)
School Code: 4705
Pearson Test of English
Tuition and fees
Your choice to invest in an advanced education can be one of the most worthwhile decisions you will ever make. The costs below reflect tuition rates for 2020-21 and are subject to change.
Below is a breakdown of the costs related to the WSU Online Master of Business Administration:
Total tuition: $30,024–$43,368 (36–52 credits, based on foundation coursework needed; and excludes books)
Tuition per credit hour: $834
Tuition per credit hour for active military and veterans: $732
About Washington State University
Washington State University is a top-tier public research university with a mission to serve. The school takes great pride in its land-grant heritage and longstanding commitment to improving lives and communities locally, regionally, and around the world.
About the Carson College of Business
The WSU Carson College of Business has a rich history of more than 55 years delivering graduate management education, including more than 20 years of experience offering online degree programs. The college spans four campuses throughout Washington and has a presence on four continents, leading to extensive networks of businesses and alumni.
Accreditation and ranking
Washington State University is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Ranked among the “Best Online MBA Programs” by U.S. News & World Report for 2020
Recognized as a 2019-2020 Military Friendly® School
Ranked among the “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans” by U.S. News & World Report for 2020
Recognized on Military Times’ list of “Best for Vets: Business Schools 2019”
Ranked #19 in the world by CEO Magazine in its 2019 global online MBA rankings
WSU is ranked #16 in the 2020 rankings of "The Best Online MBA Programs" by Poets & Quants