MBA Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about graduate programs in SPU’s School of Business, Government, and Economics? Check the MBA, MS-DAB, MAM-CYBER, MAM-HR, and MAM-FB websites to find detailed information about the programs, and see below to find answers to frequently asked questions. If you want to ask questions of someone in person, contact our Graduate Advisor / Coordinator at 206-281-2753.


General Questions

Why is SPU’s MBA program distinctive?

Five key reasons:

  • A curriculum grounded on ethics and values. Drawing on our Christian heritage, we emphasized an ethics-based approach and serving the common good long before it was popular to do so. We emphasize meaningful purpose in business, and serving others: customers, employees, and community.
  • Small class sizes. You’ll get to know faculty and fellow students in our personal and interactive learning environment. Faculty care about you as a person and as a professional.
  • High quality. This is a fully accredited, academically rigorous, and challenging program. It is taught by qualified faculty and representatives from industry with substantial in-the-field expertise. We stress applied learning.
  • Connectedness. You will network with peers, alumni, and business community mentors.
  • Flexibility. You can start in any quarter, and you can proceed at a pace that fits with the demands on your life.

What is the profile of your current student body?

The average MBA student has a 503 GMAT score, 3.3 GPA, seven years of work experience, and a diverse professional background. Most work full time in a wide range of companies or nonprofits. Companies represented by students have included Boeing, Microsoft, Adobe Systems, Starbucks, Safeco, AT&T, and Virginia Mason Medical Center.

Is SBGE AACSB accredited?

Yes. Organized in 1916, AACSB — Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International— is the oldest and most prestigious business school accrediting body in the world. Fewer than 40 percent of North American business schools have attained this accreditation.

How are your programs connected to the Seattle business community?

Our Executive Advisory Board links us to the Puget Sound business community. The Mentor Program matches students one on one with business professionals. Business leaders serve as guest speakers, sources for team projects, and advise the program on developments in the field and employer expectations.

What career services are available?

We offer career and professional development opportunities including career counseling, job search coaching, résumé development, workshops and seminars, networking events, and mentoring. Employment opportunities are posted on Handshake at SPU’s Center for Career and Calling.

How long does it take to complete the MBA program?

The length of the program depends on the number of pre-MBA classes satisfied by undergraduate coursework and potential transfer credits from previous graduate-level coursework. The table below describes the length of the program for students who register for three, six, or nine credits. The table is not adjusted for any prior coursework that may apply.


Credits per
(including summer)
Years to
complete degree
 Half-time  3  24  6
 Full-time  6  12  3
 Full-time  9  8  2
Total program length is 72 quarter credits. See the Catalog policies.

When do classes meet?

Courses are scheduled to accommodate students with active work schedules Online classes have a synchronous Zoom meeting one evening per week in addition to their asynchronous learning elements. Hybrid courses use a mix of Zoom and in-person sessions.

Is it possible to take classes before being admitted to the program?

Yes, you may take up to five pre-MBA or other courses. As a pre-qualified student, you must have had at least one year of continuous full-time work experience after completion of an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA.

Previous Coursework

I’ve taken some of the pre-MBA courses at another university. Can any courses be waived?

Pre-MBA foundation courses (27 credit hours) cover business fundamentals that must be understood to achieve the program’s objectives. In the following circumstances, coursework completed at the undergraduate level prior to admission to the program may fulfill one or more pre-MBA courses.

  • If you earned a bachelor’s degree within seven years* of admission to the program that included courses covering the same body of knowledge as foundations courses:
    • Courses in which you earned a minimum grade of B may fulfill foundations courses with comparable content.
    • A course taken for pass/no credit cannot fulfill a foundations course requirement.
  • In order to fulfill the BUS 6170 requirement, a course must have been completed with a minimum grade of B within three years of admission to the MBA program.
  • If you completed a bachelor’s degree more than seven years prior to admission to the program, or if the grade in the undergraduate course is below B but not below C+:
    • You may take a competency examination in the subject.
    • Competency tests must be completed within the year following your date of admission to the program.
    • If the competency examination is successfully completed, the applicable foundations course will be considered fulfilled.
    • If you do not successfully complete the competency exam, you must take the graduate course or complete it via credit by examination, for which tuition and an examination fee are charged.

Are transfer students accepted into the MBA program?

Yes. You must apply as a new applicant and submit the required documents, including GMAT scores. Students attending another AACSB-accredited MBA program may potentially transfer up to nine graduate-level credits.

I already hold a master’s degree. Can I apply to the MBA program?

Yes. Students who hold a master’s degree in a different field are welcome. You are not required to submit GMAT scores. Depending on your graduate coursework, you may be able to transfer up to nine credits.

My undergraduate degree is not in business. Can I still apply to the MBA program?

Yes. The MBA curriculum has a series of core courses to ensure all students have the foundation needed for successful degree completion.

I noticed you offer specializations. Are students required to declare a specialization?

No, students may select electives from any specialization and receive a general MBA. 

Applying to the MBA Program

What materials are required for admission?

  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Current résumé
  • Official transcript(s)
  • GMAT scores
  • Personal essay

When are the application deadlines?

 Quarter/Starting Month  Application Deadline
 Autumn/September  August 1
 Winter/January  November 1
 Spring/March  February 1
 Summer/June  May 1

International Applicants with F1 Visa 

International applicants are welcome to apply to the online MBA and study from your home country. (The online format will not satisfy requirements for F1 visa holders.)

 Autumn/September   June 1
 Winter/January  September 1
 Spring/March  December 1
 Summer/June May 1                                     

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is $50.

How do I apply? 

You must apply online for all SPU graduate programs.

I took the GRE exam. Will you accept GRE scores instead of GMAT scores?

No. We require GMAT scores. The MBA program prefers GMAT scores above 500 (25 verbal; 30 quantitative; 4.4 analytical writing).

Is work experience required?

Admittance to the MBA program requires one year of continuous post-bachelor’s work experience. More is preferred. 

How long does it take to receive an admission decision?

Once your application file is complete, an admission decision goes out to you within seven to 10 working days.

How often do you accept applicants?

The MBA program enrolls students for autumn, winter, spring, and summer quarters. International students are welcome to apply, enroll and study from your home country for any quarter.

I was accepted to the MBA program. May I defer my admission offer?

Yes. Accepted applicants who wish to postpone their admission may request a deferral. Deferrals, in most cases, will be granted for no more than four quarters.

I was denied admission. May I re-apply?

Yes. You may re-apply to the program for a subsequent quarter. If you decide to retake the GMAT, TOEFL, or IELTS, please have your official scores submitted to the University. If you complete any new coursework, please have your transcript submitted to the University. Your application is saved for one year.

International Student Applicants

The online MBA program will not satisfy F1 visa requirements. International students who wish to study from their home countries are welcome to apply in any quarter.

I am an international student who still needs to take the TOEFL and GMAT exams. May I apply for conditional admission?

You may apply for conditional admission in order to apply for scholarships or government sponsorship. You must meet our academic and minimum 1-year work experience requirements, but may not yet meet our English proficiency requirements and/or the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) score requirement. Conditional admission is valid for one year from the date of this application.

I am an international student who received a 3-year bachelor’s degree. May I apply to your MBA program?

A three-year bachelor’s degree from an international institution may or may not allow you to apply to our programs.  Our Master’s programs require prior completion of a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution—or an equivalent degree from another country.  Because higher education systems vary widely around the world and change over time, SPU requires students to have their academic credentials evaluated by a professional credential evaluator to determine comparability to a U.S. degree.  Information about approved evaluation services is available here. Evaluations should be submitted to Graduate Admissions.


I have additional questions about the MBA program. May I visit the SPU campus to learn more about the business graduate programs?

Yes! Our faculty and staff are available to meet with you individually. Contact our graduate coordinator at 206-281-2753 or to arrange a visit.

Cost and Financial Aid

What is the cost of tuition?

Tuition is $899 per credit hour for the 2021–22 academic year; other required fees may also apply. The MBA program has 72 credits.

Do you offer scholarships to students in the MBA program?

There are no scholarships available. Besides student loan programs, students should research other sources.