From the School

Willamette's MBA programs build the knowledge and experience needed for careers in business, government and not-for-profit organizations.

Program options include the Early Career MBA for students seeking their first professional position; the MBA for Career Change for students seeking career change or advancement; and the MBA for Professionals for experienced students seeking career enhancement or advancement.

All Willamette MBA programs emphasize hands-on learning and are accredited by AACSB International the global hallmark of excellence in business education.


Acceptance Rate
Average Undergrad GPA
Years Work Experience
Average Age

Test Scores

535 - 640
2.9 - 3.7


Early Application Deadline
March 15

Regular Application Deadline
May 1

Rolling Admission Deadline
May 1

Round 1
December 15

Round 2
February 1

Round 3
March 15

Round 4
May 1

Other Admission Factors


GMAT Score
Undergraduate GPA
Letters of Recommendation
Essay / Personal Statement



From the School

Early Career MBA and MBA for Career Change

The Early Career MBA and the MBA for Career Change are full-time MBA programs designed for students seeking career entry, change and advancement. In just 21 months, students learn the core principles of management, refine their career interests, develop an in-depth understanding of one or more career areas of interest, and build the portfolio of experience needed to succeed in a competitive job market

Faculty are excellent teachers who are committed to their students and to the educational model of '"learning by doing." From the first day of class, students apply what they learn to real organizations. Class consulting projects, internships, in-depth case studies, the Student Investment Fund, the PACE program, Oregon Ethics in Business Awards, and a complete program of career services offer powerful opportunities for professional development.

Areas of interest include accounting; entrepreneurship; finance; human resources; marketing; operations, analysis and systems; organizational analysis; sustainability management; and public and not-for-profit management.

Courses are taught on the Willamette University campus in Salem, Oregon. International exchange programs are available at Bordeaux Business School (France), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) and E.M. Strasbourg Business School (France).

MBA for Professionals Willamette's MBA for Professionals provides individuals with three or more years of work experience the opportunity to complete their MBA while employed. The program offers a quality AACSB International accredited MBA, experiential learning and convenient evening classes.

Students learn from professors who emphasize an integrated and practical approach to management concepts. The structure of the program helps students immediately apply what they learn to their job and accelerate their career in their organizations.

The MBA for Professionals is cohort based and can be completed in 24 months of evening study in Portland or Salem.

The first year of the full-time Early Career MBA program is comprised of the core curriculum. Core courses build knowledge and experience in the fundamental principles of management ( the basics needed to succeed in any management position) and enhance professional, communication, leadership, team and career management skills.
The core curriculum also includes features that powerfully enhance the professional experience of students. These programs include PaCE Service Learning/Consulting, PaCE Business Plan, Career Roadmap, Oregon Ethics in Business Awards, Integrated Knowledge Exercise Weeks (or "IKEWs") and more.

Fall semester courses:
Managing Organizations
Marketing: Creating Satisfied Customers
Accounting for Managers
Foundations of Quantitative Analysis
Managerial Economics and Finance
Integration and Professional Development

Spring semester courses:
Managing Organizations
Managing Globally
Management of Processes and Information Systems
Statistical Inference and Model Formulation
Macroeconomics and the Financial System
Strategic Management

The second year of the Early Career MBA program is comprised of the elective curriculum. Elective courses help students develop in-depth knowledge in their career area of interest and build their portfolio of experience.

Elective areas of interest include:
General Management
Human Resources
International Management
Organizational Analysis
Public Management
Quantitative Analysis/Management Science

Certificate of Dispute Resolution
General Management
Human Resources
International Management
Organizational Analysis
Public Management
Quantitative Analysis/Management Science

Students Say

With a unique focus on young professionals, Willamette’s friendly but rigorous MBA is a great way to get your feet wet in the business world. While most MBA programs require work experience before matriculation, this program is “specifically geared toward the early career or career change MBA.” In fact, many Willamette students have never held a professional position. The focus on early career students does not mean that the curriculum is a cake walk. On the contrary, this “very fast-paced, intense program” is more like a crash course for future business leaders. “Active participation and discussion is strongly emphasized in most classes,” and the “very well-thought out curriculum for first-year students,” is augmented by excellent elective courses in the second year. Attracting a surprisingly “idealistic” business school crowd, many students also choose Willamette because of its unusual areas of concentration, especially it’s “reputation for non-profit, government, and social entrepreneurship excellence.” The school has also invested in its operations, systems, and analysis offerings, with analytical and decision-making tools like SAP introduced in first-year coursework.

While Willamette students may begin the program with very little career experience, they won’t leave that way. Experiential learning is key to the curriculum, helping “students with all levels of experience gain that edge usually gained through lots of years in corporate jobs.” For example, through Willamette’s required Practical Application for Careers and Enterprises (PACE) program, students are “placed in an eight-person team for the year to do consulting work for a non-profit or government organization.” Practical applications take center stage in the classroom, as well. “Accomplished professionals” in their fields, professors “definitely bring expertise and know-how with a clear distinction between theory and real world practices.” In addition to attending lectures, students “work on a lot of case studies,” which prepare them “with the skills to analyze a situation from many different points of view.” In addition, “there is also a lot of stress placed on teamwork and presentation skills,” staples of a successful business career.

Bringing both warmth and enthusiasm to the classroom, “most professors really make you love their courses, even if you’re not an innate financier or marketer.” With a clear focus on the student, “they are approachable and flexible if you require out of class time for assistance.” A student agrees, “the learning environment at Willamette is incredibly unique in that it is more intimate than most business schools. Professors are very accessible and truly invested in helping students understand course material.” Adds another, “Rarely do I write an e-mail to any of my professors without receiving a reply (and usually a solution to my problem) by the next day.”

Faculty Information

Total Faculty



Courses in Sustainability

Sustainability course is

1) We offer the following courses: * Managing Ethical and Sustainable Organizations (required) * Sustainability Management (elective) and * Scientific Basis of Sustainability (elective) 2) Sustainability is integrated into courses across the curriculum thus all faculty teach sustainability to some extent. 3) Sustainable Enterprise Certificate 4)Sustainable area of interest is described at

Research Opportunities in Sustainability

Willamette University Center for Sustainable Communities

School's environmental commitment 1:
Curriculum: Required and elective courses in sustainability and ethics and integration of these topics in other courses across the curriculum; 2) area of interest in sustainability management with the goal of creating change agents (leaders) who have the knowledge and skills to create processes that maximize the likelihood that both the organization and the wider system on which it depends thrive in the present and the future. 3)Sustainability is good business strategy and is part of all courses

School's environmental commitment 2:
Student Organizations: Our professional student organizations include a chapter of Net Impact -- a global network of leaders changing the world through business

School's environmental commitment 3:
Atkinson Graduate School of Management has been recognized for its Portland facility which is housed in a sustainable building. The Atkinson School has also been named one of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon by Oregon Business magazine. This ranking shows that our workplace has implemented a variety of green policies, and that our employees place a high value on sustainable practices and feel that our commitment to them is exceptional.

Career overview

From The School

An outstanding program of career services supports the goals of Willamette MBA students. Services include the best practices of career management, workshops, internship programs, on-campus interviews, employment postings, databases, individual counseling, mentoring programs, career/networking fairs, peer advisors and student professional organizations.

Nearly 100% of Early Career/Career Change students participate in an internship. A sample of internship employers includes Columbia Sportswear, Hewlett Packard, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Nike, Tektronix, Habitat for Humanity and State of Oregon.

Eighty percent of Early Career/Career Change students generally receive a job offer for a professional position within three months of graduation. Typical employers includes Bonneville Power Administration, Nike Inc., Mentor Graphics, KPMG, Hewlett Packard Company, Deloitte & Touche, Intel Corporation, State of Oregon, Tektronix and Providence Health Systems.

Career Rating
Average Starting Salary

Finding Jobs & Internships

Source Of Full-Time Job Acceptances
School Facilitiated
Graduate Facilitated

Source Of Internship Acceptances
School Facilitiated
Graduate Facilitated

Graduates Employed by Area of Practice

Human Resources
Information Technology

Graduates Employed by Region


Job Function

Job Function % of Grads Seeking Employment Who Accept
Jobs w/in 3 Months
Median Salary Mean Salary Low Base Salary High Base Salary
Finance / Accounting 32% $44,500 $45,750 $14,000 $75,200
Marketing / Sales 25% $58,000 $57,562 $35,000 $76,000
Consulting 15% $69,388 $70,873 $67,500 $82,500
Operations / Logistics 13% $56,875 $56,048 $35,000 $65,000
Human Resources 8% $41,500 $42,001 $35,000 $50,003
Information Technology 6% $47,000 $47,500 $45,500 $50,000
Other 2% $105,000 $105,000 $105,000 $105,000
Non-Profit 2% $58,000 $58,000 $58,000 $58,000


Industries % of Grads Seeking Employment Who Accept
Jobs w/in 3 Months
Median Salary Mean Salary Low Base Salary High Base Salary
Consulting 32% $67,500 $61,088 $35,000 $105,000
Technology 19% $65,754 $58,571 $14,000 $75,200
Consumer Products 15% $62,000 $59,350 $35,000 $85,000
Financial Services 11% $41,840 $40,900 $21,000 $55,000
Government 9% $47,000 $45,424 $40,747 $56,875
Manufacturing 4% $43,230 $43,230 $35,460 $51,000
Pharmaceutical / Biotechnology / Healthcare 4% $61,000 $61,000 $57,000 $65,000
Non-profit 2% $58,000 $58,000 $58,000 $58,000
Petroleum / Energy 2% $20,400 $20,400 $20,400 $20,400

Prominent Alumni

Michael Woolfolk
Senior Currency Strategist, The Bank of New York

Ronald Silveira
Vice President, Universal Studios Digital Services

Punit Renjen
CEO, Deloitte Consulting

Sandy Baruah
President & CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber

Jai Desai
CEO, Universal Consulting India, Pvt., Ltd.


From The School

2010-11 tuition for the Early Career MBA-MBA for Career Change program is $31,250 for the two semester academic year. Merit-based scholarships, Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loans are available to eligible students.

2010-11 tuition for the MBA for Professionals is $54,500 (total cost) for the six semester program. Tuition for the MBA for Professionals includes the cost of books and fees. Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loans are available to eligible students.


Application Deadlines
Jul 1

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Aid Package

Average Scholarship / Grant Aid Package

Students Receiving Some Form Of Aid

All Students Receiving Scholarships / Grants

New Students Receiving Some Form Of Aid

New Students Receiving Scholarships / Grants

New Students Receiving Loans

Tuition Full-Time (per year)

Tuition (In-State)
Tuition (Out-State)
Fees (In-State)
Fees (Out-State)

Expenses per Academic Year

Estimated Room And Board On-Campus
Estimated Room And Board Off-Campus
Academic Expenses

Student Body Profile

Total Enrollment
Out of State

In State
Foreign Countries Represented



39% female
61% male

Campus Life

From The School

Our students are described by their references as energetic, creative, ethical, exceptional, friendly, mature, hard working, insightful, professional, reliable, team-players and leaders.

Early Career and Career Change students come from around the world and across the U.S. The average student is 25 years of age, has zero to five years of work experience, and is utilizing the MBA to prepare for career entry or career change.

MBA for Professionals students have three or more years of work experience and are preparing for career advancement and enhancement. The average student is 33 years of age and employed while completing their MBA. Students represent a wide variety of organizations from the Portland/Salem metropolitan areas (business, consulting, entrepreneurial ventures, government, not-for-profit).
Location and lifestyle are two important benefits of the Willamette MBA experience. Our locations offer an excellent quality of life, friendly people, mild climate and the recreational resources of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Professionally, the Portland-Salem area provides convenient access to a multitude of businesses (including Northwest legends Nike, Intel, and Tektronix) and hosts a number of government and not-for-profit organizations.

The MBA community participates in a variety of professional and social/recreational activities. Student professional organizations are available in accounting, consulting, finance, human resources, marketing, net-impact, project management, and the National Association of Women MBAs. Social organizations include the Atkinson student association, international graduate student association, golf association, and outdoor club. Barbecues, receptions, the international student dinner, community service projects, holiday celebrations, alumni activities, pizza nights, traditional Thursday Night Out events, and recreational activities balance the academic demands of the program.

The Salem campus includes two libraries, recreational and fitness facilities, dining centers, student center, concert hall, art museum, and more. The Portland Center is conveniently located in the Pearl District with easy access to public transportation and public parking. All facilities offer wireless access to the Internet, email, network software and printing services.

Students Say

The life of a frazzled Willamette business student is comprised of “lots of classes, preparations, [and] project meetings, blended with a coffee mug at The Bistro (the university’s student-managed coffee shop.)” With so much on their plates, “free time can sometimes be scarce.” Fortunately, “social activities like Thursday Night Out, the small size of the class, along with the design of the class schedule, allow us not only to get to know all of our classmates but also to maintain the family atmosphere that characterizes Atkinson.”

Drawing a large international population, the MBA program is “extremely ethnically diverse and that brings a high level of intercultural experience to the students.” For overachievers (of which you’ll meet a few), “there are many ways to be involved in more than just class: associations, peer advisor positions, TA positions, etc.”

Set in Oregon, “the campus is gorgeous,” with “a river crossing the university and many green areas.” “Being in Oregon you always have things to do outside of the town like the beach, mountains, forests, trails, and hikes” and there are “lots of bars nearby” in downtown Salem. Savvy business students also point out that despite the private school tuition, “the low cost of living made Willamette University cheaper by thousands per year.”

More Information

% of Classrooms with Internet Access

Campus-wide Internet Network

Internet Access for All Students

Admissions Office Contact

Judy O'Neill
Associate Dean and Director of Admission

900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301


Willamette University  - Atkinson Graduate School of Management campus - Image 0
Willamette University  - Atkinson Graduate School of Management campus - Image 1
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Key Stats

Acceptance Rate

Rankings & Lists