Master of Business Administration (MBA)


The MBA degree includes pre-MBA business foundations courses, advanced courses, and electives. If you enter the program with prior business coursework, you may be able to complete your degree in as few as 45 credits.  (72 credits are required if none of the business foundations courses have been satisfied.)

Program Components

Prerequisite Pre-MBA Courses

Pre-MBA courses generally precede other courses. These courses, totaling 27 credit hours, cover what is generally referred to as the “basics” relating to business. Students may have satisfied these pre-MBA requirements through prior coursework.


Advanced Courses: 10 courses / 30 credits

Elective Courses: 5 courses / 15 credits

Advanced and Elective Courses

The 10 advanced and five elective courses total 45 credit hours and may not be satisfied by undergraduate coursework. Transfer credit from other institutions will be given only for graduate level courses from AACSB accredited schools covering the same body of knowledge. Students may transfer a maximum of three courses (9 credits) from other graduate programs. Acceptance of transfer credit is determined by the associate dean for graduate programs. Elective course offerings will vary each year based on student interest and relevance of subject matter to the business community. Consult the Graduate Director to select a customized and appropriate sequence of courses.


View a summary of the MBA program curriculum.

Areas of Emphasis

As an MBA student, you may select one of seven areas of emphasis:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Social and Sustainable Business
  • Information Systems Management

Dual Degree: MBA and MA/Theology or MDiv

Through a program offered by the School of Business, Government, and Economics and the Seattle Pacific Seminary, you can earn two advanced degrees in the time it would take you to earn the same two degrees separately.

Program Schedule and Timeline

You may apply to the MBA program in any quarter. (View a list of application deadlines per quarter.) Evening and select weekend courses are designed to accommodate working professionals. Courses generally meet one evening per week for 10 to 11 weeks.

Time to complete the degree depends on previous business coursework taken (for undergraduate business majors) and number of classes taken per quarter (including summers). Typically you will take one or two classes per quarter. On average, students complete the MBA in two to three years.

Curricular Practical Training

Students attending the MBA or MS-ISM program on an F-1 Visa are strongly encouraged to include BUS 6969 Practice of Business as one of their five electives. Completing a project in cooperation with an enterprise under the sponsorship of a faculty member is similar to doing an internship. Students have an opportunity to apply the knowledge gained from a significant amount of their prior coursework to a meaningful project for a business. This constitutes a very valuable opportunity for international students to become more familiar with U.S. business practices and meets the criteria for Curricular Practical Training.

MBA Emphasis: Social and Sustainable Business

The newest area of emphasis available to MBA students is Social and Sustainable Business, which includes courses on work, stewardship and sustainability, poverty, and spirituality in management — directly connecting theology with business and the use of business to enhance human flourishing. If this is your choice, you will integrate a study abroad experience into your coursework.

“I wanted smaller classes with teachers who were passionate about what they were teaching. I also wanted to be part of a community, and make not only contacts but also friends. SPU delivered on all counts. The MBA program did a great job of teaching what it means to be a manager, and what it means to be a leader. It also goes without saying that SPU has done an exemplary job of teaching ethics.”
Eric Schumacher '06
MBA Graduate
Associate Vice President, Washington Commercial Banking, U.S. Bank