Eastsiders looking for a part-time MBA program don’t have to look far to find a top-ranked school – University of Washington Bothell. Ranked #70 for part-time MBA programs by Bloomberg Businessweek last year, UW Bothell’s School of Business offers an MBA program at two locations, Bothell and Bellevue, with two areas of emphasis, leadership and technology.
While the ranking is impressive, Dean Sandeep Krishnamurthy, founder of Bothell’s School of Business, says it isn’t the Bloomberg ranking that has made the program popular. It is the quality of the program and student experience that draw students.
“We value the core educational promise of the school which is close student-faculty interaction in an inclusive learning environment,” Krishnamurthy says.
Much of this comes from a unique feature of the program which is the integration of academic and pragmatic learning. To achieve that, faculty works closely with managers and other professional leaders from local companies like Starbucks and Nordstrom to combine business theory with practical application.
For example, in a recent accounting course, a student posed the question, “what does it cost to make a bottle of wine?” This simple question initiated a bus trip to a local winery where students talked with the vintner to ask about different aspects of the business and what components like transportation cost.
“We are trying to break the boundaries between Ph.D. faculty who are great scholars and the managers in industry and business,” Krishnamurthy says. “When the two come together and start talking, magic happens.”
With 587 graduates since the program began in 2001, the program seems to be successful. In a recent study, 83 percent of graduates reported a pay increase as a result of the program. Many of the graduates come from, or now work at, well-known local companies including Boeing, Microsoft, Nintendo, AT&T, Paccar, Amazon, PSE, and Expedia.
Other aspects that make the program workable for Eastsiders are the convenient hours (6 to 10 p.m. on either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday evenings), duration of the program (24 months), and the small class size of 30 students or less, allowing faculty to teach a curriculum based on market relevance and increasing managerial capacity.
“Everything that we do, everything that we touch is about making the companies around us better,” says Krishnamurthy.
The “cohort flex” model has also made the program popular. With this model, graduate students complete 60 to 70 percent of their coursework with the same core group of students, giving them the opportunity to develop close relationships. Coupled with the opportunity to network with MBA students in year one or year two, alumni and local leaders, the UW Bothell MBA program offers unique opportunities to grow and build a learning community inside and outside of class.
What You Need To Know
Annual in-state tuition for 2014-15 academic year: $23,202 + annual program fee of $675
Technology MBA (TMBA), Monday & Wednesday evenings, Bothell campus
Leadership MBA (LMBA), Tuesday & Thursday evenings, Bellevue at the Eastside Leadership Center
Spring Quarter 2015 application deadline: Jan. 10
Summer Quarter 2015 application deadline: Feb. 10
Pre-requisites: Bachelor’s degree and a GMAT score less than 5 years old