The Michael G. Foster School of Business is the business school at the University of Washington in Seattle. It was founded in 1917. The school has more than 50,000 alumni, and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The school offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Enrollment each year is about 2,500 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs and more than 1,000 working professionals in its executive education seminars and lifelong learning programs.
The Foster School of Business MBA program is ranked 15th in the nation by Bloomberg, 23rd by US News and 20th by Businessweek. The Financial Times B-School rankings 2017 ranks the Foster School of Business at #41 in the world. An objective ranking of Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index by Academic Analytics ranks University of Washington #1 in research productivity in Business Administration and #8 in marketing. U.S. News & World Report ranked Foster's Evening MBA program 8th among public universities in 2014.
U.S. News ranks Foster's undergraduate program #19 nationwide on their list of Best Undergraduate Business Programs, out of 504 U.S. schools, and #9 among public universities.
On September 7, 2007, it was announced that the UW Business School would be named for Michael G. Foster.
At the undergraduate level, Foster offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BABA) degree, with 7 formal options of study: accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources management, information systems, and operations & supply chain management. Students pursue a common curriculum in the lower division and upper division core courses, then specialize in their area of focus. Foster undergraduates can also earn a Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) or participate in the Foster Honors Program. Meanwhile, an entrepreneurship minor is available for non-business UW students.
At the graduate level, the University of Washington Foster School offers a full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, Global Executive MBA program, Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Hybrid MBA (online program), Technology Management MBA, and a doctoral program. The school also offers one-year master's programs in entrepreneurship, accounting, information systems, and supply chain management. For the 2015-2016 academic year, there are total of 102 full-time faculty with 44 endowed chairs, professorships, and research fellowships. The Financial Times ranked the Foster School 24th in the world for research in 2014 and 2015.
Admission into the Foster School of Business is highly competitive. At the undergraduate level, the majority of students are admitted through Standard Admission. Through Standard Admission, students first matriculate to the University of Washington as pre-major students, then apply to Foster after completing certain prerequisite courses, prior to their sophomore or junior year.
A small number of students are admitted through the Freshman Direct program, directly out of high school. These students are selected from the pool of students admitted into the University of Washington, and exhibit "exceptionally competitive academic records". In 2018, admitted Freshman Direct students had an average high school unweighted GPA of 3.91 (on a 4.0 scale).
The University of Washington Foster School of Business campus comprises six buildings, five in Seattle, Washington, and one in Kirkland, Washington.
- PACCAR Hall is one of two new buildings that serve as headquarters for the Foster School. It contains faculty offices, classrooms, a cafe and commons. The Foster Business Library is accessible from PACCAR.
- Dempsey Hall, named for Neal Dempsey, general partner with Bay Partners and lifelong supporter of the University of Washington. Dempsey Hall opened in fall 2012.
- Mackenzie Hall, named in memory of Donald Mackenzie, Chair of the Department of Accounting from 1949 to 1955. Mackenzie is home to the offices of the Foster School's Consulting & Business Development Center, the Global Business Center, the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking, as well as the Foster School Advancement and Alumni teams.
- Bank of America Executive Education Center houses the offices, classrooms, and lounge spaces for the Executive Education and Executive MBA programs for the Foster School of Business.
- Eastside Executive Center is located in Kirkland, Washington, and houses offices and classrooms, and collaborative study spaces for the Technology Management MBA Program.
Centers and Programs
The following centers and specialty programs are part of the UW Foster School of Business.
- Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. The University of Washington supports Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, one of the primary venture capital and entrepreneur communities in the West Coast, United States. The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship connects students, faculty and business community members together and serves as resource for start-ups and companies.
- Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking. The Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking (CSLT) examines methods and effectiveness of leadership in various industries including health care, defense, and aviation. Center research employs simulations and game theory as new approaches to teaching business management
- Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy. The Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy aligns important sales and marketing problems with academic research and analysis techniques to develop strategies that improve business performance, and facilitate business-academic collaboration to create and disseminate sales and marketing knowledge.
- Consulting and Business Development Center. The Consulting and Business Development Center provides students with consulting experience, pairing student teams with growing businesses in economically distressed and under-represented minority communities.
- Global Business Center. The UW Global Business Center works in partnership with the United States Department of Education to contribute to the international competitiveness of American business by developing and supporting international business programs for students, faculty, and the business community.
- Certificate in International Studies in Business. Created in 1992 with support from the Center for International Business, Education and Research, the Certificate of International Studies in Business at the University of Washington enables undergraduate business students to gain knowledge of international issues and global business practices.
Some achievements of the University of Washington Business School:
- UW Foster School of Business has the 2nd most productive management research faculty in North America, according to a joint study out of Texas A&M University and the University of Florida.
- As part of their Capstone course (MGMT 430), students compete in the largest single-day case competition in the world (over 50 teams with over 275 participants).
- Foster Marketing students won the Intercollegiate Marketing Competition held at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada on February, 2013.
- UW team finished 1st place in the National PricewaterhouseCoopers xACT Business Case Competition on January 2013.
- UW team finished 1st place in Deloitte's National Case Study Seminar in May 2014.
- The Minority Business Executive Program was short-listed as one of 10 “Great Short Courses” by Delta’s Sky Magazine.
- UW Executive Education at the Foster School of Business is ranked third of its kind in the world by The Economist.
- Foster School of Business is 8th among US public school MBA programs in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings of Best Graduate Schools.
- The Foster School’s TV series, Fostering Leadership, was recognized with a 2011 Bronze Telly Award for Outstanding Achievement from a field of more than 13,000 entries.
- UW Team won the Leeds 2011 Net Impact Case Competition, the nation’s premier case competition built around businesses facing sustainability challenges.
- University of Washington Foster School of Business's marketing program was ranked 2nd in the nation in Bloomberg Businessweek’s "Best US MBA Programs by Specialty" list.
- University of Washington Foster School of Business PhD Program in Accounting ranks among the top five in the world in a study conducted by Brigham Young University and Utah State University.