School and Ranking Information
At least three schools in the Spokane area have accounting MBA programs. Students interested in this field of study need to be aware that the courses in accounting offered at these three schools are limited and will not allow them to fulfill the requirements for the CPA exam as established by the state of Washington. These state requirements indicate 150 hours of accounting education (with 24 semester hours in accounting subjects, 15 of those at the graduate or upper division level). Eastern Washington University's program may fulfill the fifth-year accounting coursework requirements for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in accounting, but the programs at the other two schools will not. Nonetheless, these three schools separate into the following order based on rankings and number of degrees awarded:
- Winner : Gonzaga University is a 4-year public school that has been named one of the top 5 regional universities in the West. It offers an MBA program that allows students to specialize in a number of different categories. Accounting classes are offered as electives.
- Runner Up #1 : Eastern Washington University is a 4-year public school. It offers an MBA program with two types of concentrations. Accounting coursework is available. The school has been named one of the top 20 regional public schools in the West.
- Runner Up #2 : Whitworth University is a 4-year private school. It awarded the smallest amount of MBAs in 2012 but also operates in a highly flexible format. The school has been named a top 10 western regional university.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Gonzaga University||Eastern Washington University||Whitworth University|
|2013 Ranking(s)||4th for Regional Universities (West), 117th for Best Undergraduate Business Programs, 3rd for Best Value Schools, 14th for Best Graduate School in Accounting, 73 for Best Part-Time MBA||309th for Best Undergraduate Business Programs, 20th for Top Public Schools in the West, 212th for Part-Time MBA||9th for Regional Universities (West), 4th for best Value Schools|
|Location||Spokane, WA||Cheney, WA (17 miles from Spokane)||Spokane, WA|
|School Type||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, public||4-year, private not-for-profit|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$33,652 (Undergraduate), $15,325 (Graduate)**||$7,933(Undergraduate, in-state), $18,678 (Undergraduate, out-of-state),$10,259 (Graduate, in-state), $23,012 (Graduate, out-of-state)**||$34,346 (Undergraduate), $12,330 (Graduate)**|
|Accounting Award Levels Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees||Bachelor's and master's degrees|
|Accounting Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in (2012)||81**||63**||19**|
|2011 Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time)||83%**||46%**||80%**|
|Noteworthy||Roman Catholic institution*||N/A||Affiliated with the Presbyterian church ***|
Sources: *U. S. News & World Report, **NCES, *** Schools' Websites
Winner: Gonzaga University (GU)
- Graduate business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- NCES reports 99% of incoming students received some type of financial aid in 2011-2012
Students wishing to enroll full-or part-time in GU's MBA program are accepted through the school's rolling admissions process. After taking the GMAT, students have until four weeks before the semester starts to apply. The MBA program at GU offers several concentrations such as finance, marketing or entrepreneurship. Students interested in accounting may select the general MBA (also called the MBA of Choice) and complete some of the 11 credits required by taking accounting courses such as accounting analysis, managerial accounting, review of financial accounting concepts, behavior issues in managerial accounting and financial accounting for healthcare managers. GU does offer a separate master's of accountancy that may be a better fit for those interested in taking the CPA exam.
Runner-Up #1: Eastern Washington University (EWU)
- MBA program has AACSB accreditation
- 56% of MBA students are enrolled full-time and 42% are international
EWU's MBA program works on a quarter basis and students attending full-time may be able to finish all 50 required credits in one year. If a student's undergraduate degree is not in business, foundation courses are required before starting core MBA classes. These include essentials of accounting and economic analysis. The two concentrations offered in the MBA program are finance and information technology and there is also the possibility of a dual degree (combined with either a master's of public administration, a health services certificate or a master's degree in international business). Students interested in accounting only have decision making and accounting information as a choice within the core course offerings. Students that wish to present the CPA exam in the state of Washington may fulfill the fifth year requirement of post-secondary education in accounting by completing the MBA program.
Runner-Up #2: Whitworth University (WU)
- Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- 83% of full-time freshmen returned for their second year in 2011, according to NCES
MBA classes at WU are not offered online and are only taught at the school's downtown Spokane location. The program, designed to accommodate the schedules of busy professionals with evening classes, offers only one course in managerial accounting. At the bachelor's level, the school does offer a major and a minor in accounting.