Online Business Schools in the West

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Companies these days are seeking business professionals who are prepared to serve in leadership positions in order to serve the ever-evolving needs of a global economy. Few paths of study lead to more future reward than those offered by business schools. MBA programs provide invaluable theoretical knowledge, hands-on experience, and exclusive networking opportunities to graduates and give degree holders a competitive edge as an entrepreneur, executive, manager, and other corporate leadership positions.

Ultimately, a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field can allow an individual to pursue a career of their choice after graduation. That said, many of those who possess a BS in business will find, after a few years in the workforce, that they want to return to school to obtain a graduate degree in a related field in order to advance with their current company, or move forward with a new business altogether. Here, these individuals often set their sights on a master of business administration or MBA, long considered one of the most valuable degrees for those aspiring to succeed in business. An MBA, although grueling and time-consuming, delivers priceless knowledge and hands-on experience to students in the program.

Of course, because traditional MBA programs do require such a time commitment, many aspiring graduate students shy away from applying, and instead opt to continue in their same career path. Many would-be MBA students are uninterested in giving up their current career in hopes of advancing two years down the line.

Fortunately, this no longer needs to be a serious consideration; instead, a multitude of business schools have begun to offer hybrid and flexible MBA programs that allow students to take a mixture of online and on-campus courses, and to study at their own pace. In this type of program, working professionals can complete their degree over a longer period of time, while still remaining at their same vocation the entire time.

And students can expect to gain broad experience and knowledge in these programs. In fact, a number of MBA students at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley described their experience positively, explaining how the MBA program can help them achieve their goals. In moving further away from the one-size-fits all approach to the MBA, schools have begun to offer a wide array of options for aspiring graduate students; for example, the Princeton Review lists the following as possibilities for students:

  • Full-time MBA
  • Part-time MBA
  • Online MBA
  • Executive MBA (EMBA)
  • Early career MBA
  • Certificate programs

Every school is unique and may not offer all of these options; the timelines and curricula will likely differ. This list represents the myriad opportunities available to those interested in pursuing a MBA graduate degree.

Overall, anyone who is interested in completing an MBA at a school in the western United States may consider one of the many online or hybrid programs available. To assist in this search, the following includes an outline of eight programs and three professors who current lead and teach classes in the field.

Featured Business Schools in the West

A wide array of reputable institutions in the West currently offer flexible business degrees, including those found on the following list:

The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University offers an MBA program that has been ranked 25th in the nation and 8th among public schools by U.S. News & World Report. Students pursuing an MBA have four different options to choose from: a full-time program, a professional flexible program (which allows students to take several courses online while completing the degree in two to four years), an online degree, and an executive MBA. While students in the online program complete much of their coursework asynchronously, they are still required to participate in an online orientation session at the beginning of the program, during which they can meet their fellow students, as well as members of the faculty and staff.

Professors to Know from Business Schools in the West

Many talented professors are currently leading courses in schools that offer online programs, including the following:
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    Mitzi M. Montoya, PhD

    Dr. Mitza M. Montoya is the Sara Hart Kimball Dean in the College of Business at Oregon State University, where she has served since August 2015. Before this, she also served as vice president and university dean of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Arizona State University and was also a professor in the Management Department of the W.P. Carey School of Business and served on the board of the W.P. Carey Center for Entrepreneurship. Her work has been published in an array of peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Product Innovation Management and Decision Sciences.

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    Maclyn L. Clouse, PhD - University of Denver

    Dr. Maclyn Clouse is a professor of finance at the Reiman School of Finance in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, where he teaches investment banking, microfinance, and corporate finance. He has been teaching finance courses in the executive MBA program for 30 years. Previously, Dr. Clouse has served as the finance department chair and the director of the Reiman School of Finance. He is a certified expert witness in court cases that involve small business management, economic loss determination, and the valuation of businesses. He holds a doctoral degree in finance from the University of Washington.

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    Jay Barney, PhD

    Dr. Jay Barney is a presidential professor within the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at the David Eccles School of Business in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he also serves as the Pierre Lassonde Chair of Social Entrepreneurship. His research area focuses on the relationship between costly-to-copy firm skills and capabilities and sustained competitive advantage. He has also served as an associate editor at the Journal of Management, senior editor for Organization Science and co-editor at the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. His work has been published in numerous leading outlets, including the Strategic Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, the Academy of Management Journal, and Management Science.

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    Patsy McGill, PhD

    Dr. Patsy McGill is a professor within the business school at California State University Monterey Bay, where she is currently leading capstone courses on strategic management. She has earned international recognition as an expert and innovator in the use of technology to increase access to education resources, and the focus of her distinguished career has been on the good that can be done by technology. In addition, through her work with nonprofit organizations, she managed the development of award-winning online services and print publications for children and families.

A-Z List of Online MBA Programs in the West

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A

Although ASU is a large university, the WP Carey School of Business strives to create a personal learning environment by using team-based learning, keeping classes small, and giving MBA students individualized attention. An online MBA can offer the flexibility needed for busy working professionals, while still fostering a close-knit community during the program.

D

The online MBA@Denver integrates ethics, environment, and social aspects into the degree, helping students see issues from various angles while delivering a foundational business education in finance, management, economics, data analytics, and entrepreneurship. In addition, soft skills such as teamwork, effective communication, and problem-solving are incorporated into the program to produce effective, well-rounded business leaders.

W

WSU’s Carson College of Business offers an online MBA with four concentrations: finance, hospitality business management, international business, and marketing. WSU also offers online executive MBA (EMBA). Both programs are offered part-time for busy professionals wishing to advance their education while still maintaining personal and professional commitments.