2019 Online MBA Rankings
Top 10 Online MBA Programs on the West Coast – 2019 Rankings
1University of Southern CaliforniaCalifornia
2Pepperdine UniversityCalifornia
3Washington State UniversityWashington
4University of WashingtonWashington
5Portland State UniversityOregon
6California State University-San BernardinoCalifornia
7California State University FresnoCalifornia
8City University of SeattleWashington
9Santa Clara UniversityCalifornia
10St. Mary’s College of CaliforniaCalifornia

Our 2019 list of the Top 10 Online MBA Programs on the West Coast. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

University of Southern California1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California (USC Marshall) is home to the oldest AACSB-accredited school of business in Southern California. The school offers an online MBA program that it says, “weaves the fundamental topics of business education – marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, and others – into hands-on exercises and real-world discussions.”

Students will complete the program via multiple delivery methods including interactive games, virtual learning exercises, group video conferences and class sessions led by instructors, and one-on-one faculty discussions via webcam. Video content and presentations produced at the USC Marshall dedicated studio are also highlighted, as well as case studies and dramatizations of real-world business scenarios, and collaborative video activities and assessments.

Pepperdine University2. Pepperdine University, Malibu, California

The Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University offers an online MBA program that focuses on building “essential business knowledge in areas such as finance, marketing, accounting, economics, quantitative analysis, law, human behavior, information systems, strategy, management, and leadership,” says the school. Students in this AACSB-accredited program will build “business intelligence” as they “examine business from a global perspective and address the impact of globalization, competition, technological innovation, and ethics in the workplace.” 

Students in this 52 credit hour program will “do more than read case studies about top brands, such as Disney, Starbucks, and Warner Bros.” Students “will actually work” with top executives on” live consulting projects” to “solve real-time challenges.” 

Other program highlights include the Personal and Leadership Development Workshop residency, which takes place at the schools’ coastal Malibu campus, Global Business Intensives, which cover relevant topics such as international economics, culture, marketing, finance, and business law, and five in-demand concentration options including Digital Innovation and Information Systems, Finance, General Management, Leadership and Managing Organizational Change, and Marketing. An optional international residency that allows students to explore global issues and work with international experts to understand foreign markets is also available. 

Graziadio Online MBA students can complete the program, with a concentration, in as few as 24 months. 

Washington State University3. Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

The Carson College of Business at Washington State University (WSU) offers a 36 credit hour online MBA with four concentrations and a General Track. Concentrations include Marketing, Finance, International Business, and Hospitality Business Management. The program may be completed in as few as 22-29 months and the GMAT is not required for qualified applicants.

Two major highlights of this 100% online program are the optional international field study and the option to earn a graduate certificate upon completion of any concentration. WSU Online MBA students will have the opportunity to take an optional international experience in Helsinki, Finland and Tallin, Estonia. A wide range of topics specific to these cities will be covered, including Estonia’s status as the first nation in the world to offer e-citizenship. In addition to dynamic business and academic activities, there will be opportunities for tours to visit cultural landmarks.

University of Washington4. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

The Michael G. Foster School of Business at University of Washington (UW Foster) offers a hybrid MBA program that can be completed mostly online. This two-year, interactive program is the first of its kind offered by Foster and it allows students to complete 95% of the program online and 5% on campus. Course highlights for the 62 credit hour program include Business Analytics, Competitive Strategy, Domestic & International Economic Conditions, Decision Modeling, Digital Marketing Strategies & Systems, Foundations of Entrepreneurship, Global Strategy, and Leading Organizational Change.

Other program highlights include support through workshops, training, and coaching sessions, the opportunity to meet with faculty and peers each quarter for networking, and the opportunity to attend networking events with employers on the UW campus.

The Foster School of Business is AACSB-accredited.

Portland State University5. Portland State University, Portland, Oregon

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 72 credit hour program, which can be completed 80% online and 20% in-person, “provides students the flexibility to complete an MBA while working full-time,” says the school. In-person classes are held at Oregon Health & Science University, take place two Fridays and Saturdays per term.

The program focuses on six thematic areas including Understanding the Healthcare Industry, Leadership and Management in Healthcare, Financial Management Healthcare, Operations and Quality in Healthcare, Marketing, Business Planning and Strategy, and the Application Projects and Capstone. Designed for working professionals, the PSU Online Healthcare MBA attracts students from all locations and healthcare roles including doctors, dentists, nurses, clinic managers, lab specialists, nurses, dietitians, and medical technologists.

As part of Portland State’s School of Business, the PSU MBA is AACSB-accredited, and it may be completed in just 33 months.

California State University-San Bernardino6. California State University-San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California

The Jack H. Brown College of Business (JHBC) and Public Administration at California State University-San Bernardino (CSUSB) offers a 12-course, 48 quarter-unit 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.

All CSUSB MBA programs include a Boot Camp (0-units) to help students prepare for subsequent classes, two 'foundation classes' (8-units) to develop problem-solving and communication skills, seven 'essential' classes (28-units) to develop specific business knowledge and skills, and two 'culminating' classes (4-units) to apply knowledge and prepare students for subsequent career aspirations. Two elective courses (8 units) are also part of the program. Boot Camp modules cover accounting, finance, information management, marketing, and supply chain management.

The online CSUSB MBA program has an open enrollment process and it is AACSB-accredited. Students can expect to complete the program in just 18 months.

California State University Fresno7. California State University Fresno, Fresno, California

Craig School of Business (CSB) at California State University, Fresno (or Fresno State) offers an Accelerated MBA Program that may be completed in 18 months. Students can complete their MBA in a blended format, which allows them to take courses 100% online using the Blackboard Learning System. Students must attend an on-campus orientation and complete selected final exams and final culminating experience presentations in person. Approved testing locations and Respondus will be used to bridge any geographic barriers that present themselves.

Per the school, the curriculum for blended program follows the same structure and coursework as the traditional campus MBA, but it allows students the flexibility to learn remotely. Sample courses for the program include Global Environment of Business, Methods of Decision Sciences, Regulatory and Ethical Environment of Business, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, and Managing Human Capital.

Other program highlights include multiple seminars in covering everything from Business Ventures to “X” Marketing, AACSB accreditation and limited campus visits for a single orientation, selected final exams, and final culminating experience presentations. Students also have the option to participate in the Summer Study Abroad Program.

City University of Seattle8. City University of Seattle, Seattle, Washington

The School of Management at City University of Seattle (CityU) offers an online MBA with 10 emphasis areas. Options include Accounting, Change Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Management, Global Marketing, Human Resource Management, Project Management, Technology Management, and the MBA with Electives. Classes for this 48 to 51 credit hour program are taught in a virtual classroom environment that 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.

Santa Clara University9.  Santa Clara University, El Camino Real, Santa Clara, California

Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University offers an online MBA program that can be completed in as few as two years. Designed to help students become “Silicon Valley Professionals (SVPs),” the program highlights a curriculum based in “innovation and responsibility,” says the school. Sample courses for the program include Doing Business in Silicon Valley, Leading People and Organizations, Ethics for Managers, Strategy, Analysis, Design, and Management of Enterprise Platforms, and Marketing is Everything. The program also highlights 28 units of free electives that allow students to focus in one or more areas.

The Leavey Online MBA requires two on-campus intensives, where students will meet their peers and experience Santa Clara University in person. These are the only two campus requirements. Otherwise, online students will take courses whenever and wherever, but they will learn from the same professors who teach the on-campus program. The program, including the Leavey School of Business is AACSB-accredited and is currently in the process of seeking approval for the Online MBA program from its institutional accrediting body, the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

St. Mary’s College of California10. St. Mary’s College of California, Moraga, California

St. Mary’s College of California (SMC) is home to the Bay Area’s first Executive MBA (EMBA) Program. The Hybrid EMBA may be completed in just 18 months and 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.

Students in the program have two concentration options including Entrepreneurship and Business Analytics. Eighty percent of EMBA graduates are employed full-time or part-time, enrolled in additional education, serving in the military, or in full-time volunteer programs.

The SMC Hybrid EMBA Program is AACSB-accredited.