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Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah

Type: Public, Online

Accreditation: DETC

Base Program Cost: $13,000*

Per Credit Hour: $394*

Minimum Credit Hours: 33

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months

Online Concentrations: Generalist/Electives, Healthcare, Information Technology

On Campus Requirements: No

School Site: Online MBA Overview | Tuition | Financial Aid


Note: Western Governors University charges a flat fee of $3,250 per 6-month term ($3,250). Students may take as many credits as they choose for the same price. The base program cost is geared toward a 24 month completion target.

Founded in 1997, Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit university based in Salt Lake City.

WGU is the brainchild of the 19 members of the Western Governors Association who were looking to create education options for their expanding populations. One of the key founding principles of WGU was the idea of competency-based advancement. Rather than forcing students to take a subject matter for a specified amount of time, like a traditional semester, WGU allows students to move on to another class after they have grasped the course’s teachings.

Its online MBA program  has no on-campus requirements. WGU has approximately 2,000 MBA students currently enrolled.


Western Governors University holds institutional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. In addition, WGU is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission.


WGU offers three MBA programs: a general MBA and two specialized degrees in Information Technology Management and Health Care Management.

A full-time load for this degree program is at least eight competency units (credit equivalents) per six-month term.

The total MBA program at WGU consists of 32 competency units (credits).

The degree program focuses on five areas of study: management and strategy; leading people and teams; creating and maintaining business values; products and customer relationship management; and innovation. Core courses include: Organizational Management, E-Business, Financial Analysis and Risk Management.

The MBA with a specialization in Information Technology Management comprises 36 competency units. In addition to many of the same business administration courses that are required in the general MBA program, students must also complete a focus on IT management. These courses include: Advanced IT Management Concepts, Cases in Advanced IT Management, Leadership and Human Resources. The program concludes with a written capstone project in IT.

The MBA with a specialization in Health Care Management consists of 35 competency units. Like the IT specialization, students in this one will complete much of the same general MBA course work with an additional capstone project in health care.


Individuals applying for a spot in one of Western Governors University’s online MBA programs will need to possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited or DETC-accredited college or university to be eligible.

Applicants will also need to submit:

  • Transcripts from previous colleges attended
  • A professional resume demonstrating that the applicant has at least three years of significant business experience. This experience can be in a business, industry or nonprofit setting.
  • The WGU Readiness Assessment, which will help counselors determine whether applicants are ready for graduate-level work

Applicants must also be interviewed by an enrollment counselor. In this interview, WGU admissions staff will review a prospective student’s college and work experience, readiness assessment results and the time her or she has to dedicate to studying. The focus of the admissions process at WGU is not to enroll as many students as possible, but to admit only those who officials believe have what it takes to graduate.

There is a $65 application fee.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Basic tuition for the online MBA program at Western Governors University is $3,250 per six-month term, which does not include the cost of textbooks. Calculated over two years (four terms), the total cost of the online MBA program is $13,000. Students who complete the program in three terms, or 18 months, will pay only $9,750. Financial aid is also available for students who qualify.

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