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110 MacKenzie Hall, Box 353200
Seattle, WA 98195-3200
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University of Washington Business School

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The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a Ph.D. program. Departments include Accounting, Business and Finance, Management and Organization, Information Systems and Operations Management, and Marketing and International Business.

Foster also offers a number of undergraduate and graduate business certificates, including the Sales Program Certificate, Global Business Certificate, and the Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Foster School is the West Coast’s second oldest management education institution. Business Week magazine has ranked both Foster’s MBA program and undergraduate program in the top ten among public universities in the U.S.

Students who fill out “Business Administration” as their major on the University of Washington admission application will be considered for admission by the Foster School of Business. Foster chooses the best candidates from those students who have been accepted into the university.

Current University of Washington students and transfer students who are interested in Foster must have at least a 2.5 GPA in all of their college and business course credits. In addition, all applicants must complete a Writing Skills Assessment.

Those students not accepted to Foster can meet with counselors during the school year to determine what steps are necessary to improve their chances for acceptance the next time they apply.

Masters applicants must have a four–year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. They must also take tests to show they can work with numbers and demonstrate the ability to perform quantitative analysis. These abilities can usually be shown through previous course work, GMAT test scores, or job responsibilities. International MBA applicants must be able to demonstrate English proficiency.

The university also offers an evening MBA program.

Students can receive financial aid from both Foster and the main University of Washington. Loans, grants, and scholarships are available to U.S. students; aid to international students is not as extensive. Aid is based on the need for financial assistance.

Students seeking aid must fill out a Free Application for Student Aid form, which is available from the university’s Office of Student Financial Aid.

The Foster School of Business is located on the University of Washington’s main campus in Seattle. Aside from its natural beauty along Puget Sound and framed by snow–capped mountains, Seattle is known for its thriving art and music scenes. Students are rarely ever more than a few blocks away from a relaxing coffeehouse or restaurant. Downtown Seattle is easily accessible, and the Space Needle, Pike Public Market, and Mariners baseball at Safeco Field are popular attractions. In addition, both the Pacific coast and Mount Rainier National Park are only a few hours away.

Foster’s Global Business Center hosts many events focusing on international business education, as well as offering exchange programs and internships all over the world.

Student organizations for those working toward their masters at Foster include the Consulting Society, Challenge for Charity, Global Business Association, MBA Finance Society, Real Estate Club, and others. The business fraternities Alpha Kappa Psi and Beta Alpha Psi are represented on campus.

As part of the University of Washington, Foster students can follow and participate on the numerous Huskies sports teams. Washington, a member of the Pac–10, has both men’s and women’s teams in basketball, cross–country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, and track and field.

The university has a storied rivalry with Washington State, and on the weekend before Thanksgiving state loyalties are divided as the two teams play their annual football game, known as the Apple Cup. The Huskies have a sizeable lead in the all–time series.

Washington also has an intramural sports program, including softball, soccer, crew, tennis, and 3–on–3 basketball. Most leagues have both men’s, women’s and co–ed teams. There is also an Ultimate League, a non–contact version of frisbee football.

Water is never far away from the Seattle campus, and Foster students can frequently be seen kayaking or canoeing on Lake Washington in the spring and summer.


University of Washington, founded in 1861, is a public, coeducational institution. The 703-acre campus is located in an urban area of Seattle. Total undergraduate and graduate enrollment is 39,524.

The University of Washington Business School was founded in 1917 and is located on the main campus, in its own buildings, Mackenzie Hall, Balmer Hall, Lewis Hall, and Executive Education Center. Courses also are offered at the Eastside Education Center in Kirkland (Technology Management MBA). The basic educational approach is an integrated structure that includes case method and experiential learning through study teams and projects.


The University of Washington Business School offers the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) as well as a doctoral program and a joint degree in law, health administration, international studies, Japan studies, China studies, and public administration. Other programs include interdisciplinary programs in environmental management, real estate global trade transportation and logistics, international development policy and management, work-study, cooperative programs with Yonsei University (Korea) and National Chenchi University (Taiwan) foreign exchange with 15 countries, and internship programs. The strongest areas of study are international business, finance, accounting, entrepreneurship, e-business, and general management. The most popular courses are Finance, Marketing, International Business, Management, and Entrepreneurship. Regular programs bring distinguished speakers and visiting professors to campus including, the Dean’s Breakfast Series, the Dean’s Speaker Series, the Global Business Forum, the Entrepreneurship Lecture Series, and the MBA Core Speakers Program.

Eighty-eight total credits are required to complete the MBA, including 36 elective credits. Required courses include:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Marketing Management
  • Statistical Methods
  • Operations Management
  • Business Policy and Competitive Strategy
  • Management Information Systems
  • Decision Support Models
  • Competing in the Global Economy
  • Ethics and Corporate Governance
  • Management
  • Business Finance
  • Business Communications

Students may eliminate or substitute requirements if they have completed core courses in another school.

Business students may take relevant nonbusiness courses in other departments. The minimum time permitted to complete the master’s degree program attending full time is 6 quarters; maximum, 6 years. For students attending part time, the minimum is 8 quarters; maximum, 6 years.

There are 101 total full-time graduate business faculty, of whom 91% hold a doctorate; there are 12 part-time faculty, of whom 75% hold a doctorate. Faculty salaries are rated above average for Category I institutions, based on the AAUP rating system. Average number of courses faculty teach is 4; average business class size is 32.

Unique Programs


The Foster Business Library houses a collection of more than 78,540 volumes, 264,343 microform items, and 564 audio/video tapes/CDs, and subscribes to 876 periodicals. The business library is particularly strong in accounting, finance, marketing, management, human resources, international business, and management science. Students have access to such databases and networks as Bloombergs, ABI/INFORM, Business Dateline, Compact Disclosure, American Business Disc, Business & Industry, Dow Jones Interactives, EconLit, Investext, Lexis/Nexis Universe, Bloomberg, Expanded Academic Index, Investex Reference USA, STAT-USA, and Web of Science, among others. Other opportunities for research consist of working directly with faculty on current research projects.


Graduate business students must have their own PCs. The business school has its own computer facilities, consisting of a mainframe, plus 90 PCs and 30 Macs with many software packages. The facilities are available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. A multimedia laboratory is available to graduate students and faculty. There is a NASDAQ Trading Room and special e-business lab.

Career and Job Placement

Majors most in demand by companies recruiting in 2006 were finance, marketing, and operations management. Average starting salary of the graduating class was $84,069; range was $46,000 to $155,000. The percentage of graduates finding jobs were:

  • national corporations 54%
  • regional corporations 30%
  • local small enterprises 8%
  • self-employment 4%
  • government 2%
  • nonprofit 2%

Placement services are extensive and those available to alumni include access to resources and job listings, on-line career connections site, frequent alumni networking events, and an alumni job posting site. Placement is available through the Business Connections Center. Ninety-six percent of the most recent graduating class found jobs within 3 months of receiving their degree.

International Students

International students must take the TOEFL. International students must score 600 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT) or 100 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT). They also must submit a translation of their transcripts, proof of health consisting of a measles shot, and proof of adequate funds to cover 2 years of study. There is a $100 Visa fee. Financial aid is available for these students and consists of merit-based scholarships and assistantships. The application deadline for fall entry is January 15.


The school operates on a quarter basis. Quarters are 10 weeks long; summer sessions, 9 weeks. Graduate programs are offered during the day and evening.


A bachelor’s degree is required. Most important admissions factors are academic accomplishments and ability, GMAT results, and work experience. A strong mathematics background is not required.

The number of applicants for the 2006-2007 class was 932; 294 were accepted; 157 enrolled. The average GPA was 3.4; average GMAT score was 674. Transfers are accepted. Minority students are actively recruited by extensive communication with early identification candidates and coaching on how to complete a strong application, scholarships, and connections with minority professional organizations.

Students may begin the MBA program in the fall only. To apply, students must submit an application form, 2 transcripts, GMAT scores, a nonrefundable application fee of $75, 2 letters of recommendation, and 3 essays. The application deadline is March 15 for fall entry. Students are notified within 6 weeks of application of the admissions decision. The latest acceptable test date for fall entry is March 15.

Financial Aid

About 90% of graduate business school students receive financial aid from scholarships, loans, and graduate assistantships, for a total average of $17,584 annually; maximum $27,528. Stipends and programs available for minority students include scholarships. The FAFSA is required. The application deadline is March 15 for fall entry.

Tuition for in-state residents is $17,300 per year. Nonresidents pay $27,000 per year. On-campus room and board costs approximately $13,780; books and supplies, $1800; personal expenses, $3020; and other fees, $528, for an estimated annual total of $36,428 for in-state residents and $46,128 for out-of-state residents. Graduate student housing includes on-campus dorms and family housing. Most students live off campus. There is a referral service to help procure off-campus housing.


Fifty-five percent of the current graduate business school class are enrolled full time; 98% have had an average of 5 years of full-time work experience prior to entering graduate school, a factor preferred by the school. The greatest percentage of students are from Washington (40%). Thirty-four percent are women, 18% are minorities, and 28% are foreign nationals. The average age at entrance is 29; ages range from 23 to 52. Two percent enter directly from undergraduate school; 10% already have a graduate degree. Students’ undergraduate majors were as follows: 28%, business; 18%, math and science; 16%, engineering; 14%, social sciences; 10%, economics; and 8%, liberal arts. About 1% of entering students leave by the end of the first year due to academic or personal reasons; 99% remain to receive their degree. In 2006, 147 graduate business degrees were awarded.

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