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Top Business Schools in Washington State with Degree Overviews

Students interested in studying business in Washington State have many schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

Almost eighty schools in the large state of Washington have programs related to business. Some of the schools are for-profit institutions, while others are 2-year community colleges. Many of the schools in the area are 4-year institutions, though, including the two top schools in the area for business. Based on affordability and graduation rates, these top schools are ranked as follows:

  • Winner : The University of Washington is a 4-year public school. It was named as one of the top 50 universities in the country for 2015. It also has a top 30 business school for 2014. The school offers a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and a doctorate related to business.
  • Runner Up #1 : Seattle University is a 4-year private university. The school has been named one of the top 5 schools in its region for 2015. Its undergraduate accounting and finance programs were among the top 20 in the country in 2014. Students can gain a bachelor's degree and a master's degree related to business.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Washington Seattle University
Ranking(s) Tied for #48 in National Universities (2015),
Tied for #21 in Best Undergraduate Business Programs (2014),
#25 in Best Graduate Business Schools (2014)*
#5 Regional Universities (West) (2015),
Tied for #19 in Undergraduate Accounting (2014),
Tied for #15 in Undergraduate Finance (2014)*
Location Seattle, Washington Seattle, Washington
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2014-2015) $12,394 (in-state)
$33,513 (out-of-state)*
$38,205*
Business Degrees Offered Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate** Bachelor's, Master's**
Business Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2013 445** 261**
Most Popular Business Degree Level in 2013 Master's** Master's**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2007 Entering Class 82%** 77%**
Noteworthy Alumni have created about 3,000 new companies*** Graduate classes have flexible schedules to accommodate working students****

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***University of Washington, ****Seattle University

University of Washington

  • Many graduates go on to reside in Washington and help their local communities
  • An expanding department: brand new facilities opened in 2008
  • University expects to increase its faculty numbers and continue to grow

University of Washington is a large, Seattle-based public school. Its Foster School of Business has around 2,500 enrolled students. The School of Business offers five distinct degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students.

The Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration is a 4-year, undergraduate program at Foster training students in all areas of business, including marketing, finance, management and information systems. While admission to the program is competitive, accepted business students can customize their elective curriculum to their individualized interests.

Prospective Master of Business Administration (MBA) students can choose between a full-time, evening or executive degree program that, depending on the type, can take 2-3 years of study to complete. Courses in these MBA programs can include corporate finance, economic analysis and marketing strategies.

The Master of Science in Information Systems is a 1-year, part-time program is designed for working professionals who want to become information technology managers for a business or organization. Students in this program study information security, computer organization and database systems.

The Master of Professional Accounting program offers a more advanced education, giving students a knowledge base that goes beyond the state's requirements for the Certified Public Accountant credential. Students in this 1-year, full-time program can choose a course track in taxation or in auditing and assurance.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration is usually completed in 4-5 years of full-time study and dissertation work. Some of the major areas in which students take courses and conduct research include marketing, finance and management.

Seattle University

  • Consistent recognition for excellence: school's undergraduate and graduate business programs are highly rated year after year
  • Students engage in real-life business decisions in their courses
  • Close ties to industry: many of the faculty also function as consultants

Seattle University is a mid-sized, private school whose Albers School of Business and Economics offers many degree programs for undergraduates and graduates looking for a specialized business education. The school offers nine majors and five graduate programs, so this provides an overview of just some of the options.

The Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration is a 4-year bachelor's degree program that is customizable; students can declare a major within the program that allows them to complete a specialized course of study in addition to the core general business requirements. A few majors available include accounting, international business and e-commerce.

The Bachelor of Arts in Economics program gives students a background in advanced economic theory without requiring courses in other business areas, such as administration or marketing. Course topics include economic history, quantitative analysis and international economies.

The Master of Business Administration can be completed in 1.5-2 years of full-time study, or about 2-3 years on a part-time schedule. After completing the core and fundamental coursework, students can specialize in such areas as business valuation, sustainability, leadership and accounting.

The Master of Science in Finance program is for students interested in a career in corporate financial analysis, banking or other areas of finance. It can be completed on a full- or part-time basis over the course of 1.5-3 years. Course offerings include managerial economics, econometrics and portfolio management.

Mid- to senior-level professionals who are looking for a degree to advance their career may want to consider the Leadership Executive Master of Business Administration, a 2-year executive MBA program. Students meet with their class once a month for 3-day periods, studying advanced topics in leadership, global management and corporate social responsibility.

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