Our 2016 list of the Top 10 Online MBA Programs on the West Coast. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.
1. Washington State University, Pullman, Washington (Top 5% of schools considered)
Washington State University (WSU), Carson College of Business, offers two Online MBA Programs including a 36 credit hour MBA and a 44 credit hour Executive MBA (EMBA). The Online MBA program offers four concentrations and a General MBA. Concentrations include Marketing, Finance, International Business, and Hospitality Business Management. The program may completed in as little as 22 months. Students without a bachelor’s degree in business may have to take up to 17 additional credit hours, which will increase their completion time.
The WSU Online EMBA Program consists of Marketing-Marketing Management and Administrative Policy, Finance-Problems in Financial Management, Management Information Systems-Information Systems Analysis, Business Administration-Business Analytics, and Accounting-Administrative Control. The AACSB accredited Online EMBA program, which also offers the opportunity to travel to China for a weeklong residency, may be completed in as little 18 months.
2. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California (Top 10% of schools considered)
Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC) is the oldest AACSB accredited school of business in Southern California. The school offers an Online MBA Program that “weaves the fundamental topics of business education – marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, and others – into hands-on exercises and real-world discussions.” Specifically designed for online delivery, the USC Marshall MBA Program highlights just one one-week, on-campus residency.
The program also offers multiple delivery methods including interactive games, virtual learning exercises, group video conferences and class sessions led by instructors, one-on-one faculty discussions via webcam, video content and presentations produced at the USC Marshall dedicated studio, case studies and dramatizations of real-world business scenarios, and collaborative video activities and assessments.
3. Pepperdine University, Malibu, California (Top 10% of schools considered)
Pepperdine University is home to The Graziadio School of Business and Management, which offers an Online MBA Program with four elective concentration options. Students may choose between Finance, General Management, Leadership and Managing Organizational Change, and Marketing. This 52 credit hour program is AACSB accredited and it takes as few as two years to complete.
4. Portland State University, Portland, Oregon (Top 15% of schools considered)
The School of Business Administration at Portland State University (PSU) offers an Online Healthcare MBA in partnership with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). The program covers six major thematic areas including Understanding the Healthcare Industry, Leadership and Management in Healthcare, Financial Management in Healthcare, Operations and Quality in Healthcare, Marketing, and Business Planning and Strategy. Designed for working professionals, this AACSB accredited program requires just two visits to campus per term, and it attracts students from all locations and healthcare roles including doctors, dentists, nurses, clinic managers, lab specialists, nurses, dietitians, and medical technologists.
5. California State University-Dominguez Hills, Carson, California (Top 20% of schools considered)
The College of Business Administration and Public Policy (CBAPP) at California State University-Dominguez Hills (CSU Dominguez Hills) offers a Professional MBA Program that may be completed 100% online. Per the school, the online program is an asynchronous format where students have the flexibility to learn on their schedule. Students may choose between the General MBA and the MBA with a Concentration. Concentrations include Finance, Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Human Resource Management, Information Technology Management, International Business, Management, and Marketing Management. Depending on the concentration, students will complete 30 or 33 units.
Enrollment for the program takes place four times each year in spring, summer, fall #1, and fall #2. Each session is scheduled in 12-week intervals and students typically complete two courses per session. ). The Online MBA Program at CBAPP takes around 18 months to complete and it is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
6. California State University, San Bernardino, California (Top 20% of schools considered)
The College of Business and Public Administration at California State University-San Bernardino (CSUSB) offers 12-course MBA program that may be completed entirely online. Courses are taught in five-week sessions and students typically dedicate 20-25 hours of study time per course. Students can expect to take courses such as Advanced Managerial Communication, Corporate Strategy in a Global Economy, Information Systems & Technology, Entrepreneurship and New Ventures, Data Driven Decision Making and Project Management.
The Online MBA Program at the CSUSB College of Business is AACSB accredited and it takes just 18 months to complete.
7. St. Mary’s College of California, Moraga, California (Top 25% of schools considered)
St. Mary’s College of California (SMC) offers a Hybrid Executive MBA Program (EMBA) that may be completed in just 18 months. The first EMBA in the Bay Area, this program requires alternate Saturdays on campus along with bi-weekly live web conferences. The program, which is offered in the Bay Area cities of Moraga and San Ramon, is centered on cohort-based collaborative learning and it highlights three broad areas including Analysis and Critical Thinking, Broad Functional Knowledge, and Responsible Leadership. The SMC EMBA Program is AACSB accredited.
8. Brandman University, Irvine, California (Top 25% of schools considered)
Brandman University offers a 36 to 48 credit hour MBA Program that may be completed entirely online. A Blended Option, which is a combination of on-campus and online study, is also available. Both programs may be customized through the selection of electives or an emphasis in one of the following areas: Accounting, E-Business Strategic Management, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Health Administration, Human Resources, International Business, Marketing or Organizational Leadership. Courses for the Online MBA Program and the Blended MBA are eight weeks in length and they are offered six times year round.
Brandman University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
9. California Baptist University, Riverside, California (Top 30% of schools considered)
The Dr. Robert K. Jabs School of Business at California Baptist University (CBU) offers two Online MBA Programs: an MBA with a Specialization in General Management (MBA-GM) and an MBA with a Specialization in Accounting (MBA-ACC). Both ACBSP accredited programs require 36 credit hours of study, with an average completion time of 12 months. The General Management MBA prepares graduates to oversee all functional areas of an organization including operations, sales, marketing, human resources, and administration. The MBA-ACC prepares graduates to lead in the areas of public accounting, corporate accounting, managerial accounting, and government and not-for-profit accounting.
Per the school, both the online MBA-GM and the MBA-ACC are “uniquely designed for full- and part-time employed working professionals seeking to develop technical skills and leadership competencies.”
10. City University of Seattle, Seattle, Washington (Top 30% of schools considered)
City University of Seattle (CityU), School of Management, offers an Online MBA Program with 11 emphasis areas. Options include Accounting, Change Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Management, Global Marketing, Human Resource Management, Management Consulting, Project Management, Sustainable Business, and Technology Management. The virtual classroom environment for this 48 credit hour program allows students to log in to check assignments, discussion topics and video. Per the school, “students collaborate and discuss topics with one another on a Portal, within this virtual classroom and on a system called Blackboard.”
For students who prefer a hybrid program, the School of Management also offers a "mixed-mode” delivery format. This delivery format allows students to complete part of the degree in class and part online. All MBA Programs at City University of Seattle are ACBSP accredited.