Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
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Master of Business Administration

About our Master of Business Administration program

Master the business world. In our full-time Master of Business Administration, you’ll work closely with your cohort over 10 months to learn fundamentals and apply them to real-world projects. Choose your emphasis—in accounting or applied management—and build the communication and leadership skills to propel your business career forward. One of the best business schools for earning an MBA, Princeton Review (2020); Graduate accountancy programs rank best in Arizona,; The W. A. Franke College of Business Aatop US business school, US News Graduate School Rankings.

Entrance exam requirement

The entrance exam requirement will be waived for 21-22 for applicants of any major who have a GPA of 3.25 or higher from an accredited university.

It is recommended that students still take the GRE/GMAT as it will supplement application materials.

If you have been out of school for several years and have work experience, we may also waive the GRE/GMAT requirement.

Contact information

For additional information regarding admissions or to schedule a pre-advising appointment, please contact our Program Coordinator at (928) 523-5866 or via email at

Military and veteran support

Northern Arizona University 8 straight years on the Best for Vets top colleges list Military Times

Coverdell Fellows Program

Did you know that the NAU application fee for the MBA program is waived for all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers? That is not all—RPCVs admitted to the MBA program receive a Graduate Assistantship position to assist with funding the program. Learn more about our strong partnership with the Paul Coverdell Fellows Program. Get in touch with the Business Graduate Programs to begin a conversation and receive the application fee waiver at


NAU’s full-time Master of Business Administration ranks consistently ranks among the best programs in the nation.One of the best value MBA programs College Consensus.

Our small cohort size makes a big difference

You’ll work closely with your cohort over 10 months to build the communication and leadership skills that will propel your business career—and because it’s a fast program, you’ll get to work sooner. When you leave the program, you’ll be polished and prepared to enter the job market.

An unparalleled opportunity for early career students

You can strengthen your knowledge of business functions while improving leadership, communication and team skills. As you build your portfolio and your résumé, you will be given the opportunity to participate in career fairs, networking events, mock interviews, and executive job shadows. You’ll work with a dedicated communications coordinator who will provide extensive feedback on your written work and presentation skills.  Graduates from our program work for top-level firms including Intel, KPMG, Raytheon, Grant Thornton, and Vanguard.

Preparing for the CPA with an accounting emphasis

With NAU’s MBA program you’ll have the graduate course credits necessary for licensure in the state of Arizona. The advanced audit and tax courses through the accounting emphasis path are structured around the AUD and REG sections of the CPA exams. These courses may be a helpful substitute for students who cannot afford the CPA study material offered by third-party providers. Balancing study time for the exams with MBA coursework is a challenging endeavor, but it can save stress from studying while also working full time.

Why accounting?

It’s one of the “technical languages” of business and valuable for in-depth understanding of a company’s financial position. It will enable future business leaders to think more critically about the means of achieving success through proposed strategies. Accountants will possess the technical expertise to responsibly fulfill their auditing and tax-preparing duties. And entrepreneurs will understand how to properly record transactions in their books to accurately represent their company’s financial position. The partnership of accounting expertise with graduate-level management material will provide candidates with valuable business skills for a successful career.

Applied management: path to leadership roles

The “Applied Management” concentration provides students with excellent opportunities in business analytics, professional development, and business consulting. The consulting courses are uniquely designed for students to work on strategic issues faced by real companies. These assignments usually involve in-depth assessments of the industry and markets, evaluations of key issues, and providing strategic options and recommendations that are backed by financial implications for the sponsoring companies. Outside of a great, hands-on, real-life business experience, these assignments offer exceptional opportunities to network and learn directly from the top leadership of these organizations.

Admission requirements

Business majors

Applicants who complete a business degree from an AACSB accredited university will not need to take prerequisites courses in business.  If you are an NAU student who has majored in Accounting, Business Management, Economics, Finance, Marketing, or Information Systems Management, all prerequisite requirements will be met upon the completion of your degree.

Non-business majors

Many MBA programs are two years.  The first year is dedicated to business foundation courses and the second year covers MBA curriculum.  With NAU’s accelerated program, students are required to complete business prerequisites prior to the start of the program.  If you did not study business as an undergraduate, you can complete our program within 18 months.  We work with each student individually to devise a prerequisite plan to meet program requirements.  If necessary, you are able to take courses at community colleges, at other universities, or through NAU online before the program officially starts.

Additional materials

In addition to meeting pre-requisite requirements, you must also submit the following:

  • Completed graduate college application
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Short answer essay questions
  • Résumé
  • A reference form provided. As an applicant, you will provide contact information for two references.  The MBA office will reach out to references and provide them with a recommendation form to complete.  Once we receive both references back, we will schedule an interview as the next step in the admissions process.  You will be notified of an admissions decision in a few weeks following their interview.

Admission considerations

The M.B.A. Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach to candidate evaluation with consideration of academic ability, leadership qualities, communication and interpersonal skills, relevant professional experience, potential for career growth, and motivation for success. No particular undergraduate major is necessary for students applying to the M.B.A. program. Instead, as a candidate, you must demonstrate competency in background business subjects if you do not have a foundational business background.

All applicants will conduct a review of previous coursework and professional experience in consultation with the graduate coordinator. Together, you will identify whether additional foundation courses, particularly in business and math, are necessary for program success. Foundation courses must be successfully completed before enrollment in MBA core or elective courses.


Core courses

The MBA program consists of 30 credits.  All students in the cohort take the following courses, totaling 21 credit hours.

BA 587 – Professional Development

PC skills for professionals; introduction to communication skills; expectations and coaching available during the program; computer-assisted meeting tools. Letter grade or pass-fail.

BA 650 – Systems, Orientation, And Training

Systems view of the firm; ethics perspectives; business strategy, and the case method approach to business. Letter grade only.

BA 651 – Customers, Markets, And Organizations

Assessment of markets and customers, both nationally and internationally. Evaluation of market structure, conduct, and performance with statistical tools. Develop, evaluate, and assess marketing strategy. Letter grade only.

BA 652 – Managing People And Processes

Overview of the behavior and motivation of individuals within an organizational framework; interactions among organizational design, culture, and processes, emphasizing information technology; process management; and improvement. Letter grade only.

BA 653 – Individuals, Teams, And Careers

Introduces human-asset issues in organizations from personal, legal, and management perspectives. Letter grade only.

BA 654 – Managerial Decision-making

Analytical techniques for managerial decision-making; relationships between financial markets and firm goals, effects of cost evaluation on firm decision-making, and long-term financial decisions both nationally and internationally. Letter grade only.

BA 659 – Strategy and Leadership

Students evaluate strategic business challenges, considering managerial implications of organizational issues, to make high-level decisions and determine proper leadership to implement those decisions. Students use analytical tools and class discussions to formulate and implement policy. This case intensive class sets the foundation for other core MBA classes. Letter grade only.

BA 687 – Professional Development Seminar

This course offers enrichment activities geared to building vital business life-skills. Students will build confidence and skills in the areas of: career development, business ethics, and international practices. Letter grade only. May be repeated for three units of credit.

ACC 650 – Financial Reporting And Statement Analysis

Firm valuation models; accounting theory pertaining to financial reporting alternatives and issues; analysis of financial reporting pertaining to distress prediction, forecasting earnings and cash flows, and equity analysis. Letter grade only.


You can choose between two concentration areas: Accounting or Applied Management.

For each concentration, you will take 9 credit hours.  The accounting concentration prepares you to take portions of the CPA exam.  The applied management concentration focuses on developing consulting skills.

You might work with businesses to provide real solutions to problems that actually make an impact. In the past our students have worked with the Hopi Tribe on an economic development plan, with a hard apple cider company, and with a beverage company.

Concentration requirements

Accounting Concentration (MBA-ACC)

ACC 570 – Advanced Taxes

Advanced topics in tax research; tax planning for individuals, estates and trusts, and business entities; professional tax practices and standards. Letter grade only.

ACC 580 – Advanced Auditing

This course focuses on advanced auditing principles as related to publicly traded organizations, the general public, and the audit firm in general. This course is a case-based course that has selected key real-life cases, and these cases will be collectively discussed in three broad areas; (i) ethics and audit litigation (ii) audit planning and internal control structure, and (iii) substantive testing and external reporting. For each case, the presentation and class discussion will incorporate the related accounting principles and the appropriate auditing standards (PCAOB, AICPA, IFRS, FASB). Letter grade only.

ACC 590 – Case Studies in Financial Reporting

Focuses on the application of accounting standards to cases from public accounting. Letter grade only.

Applied Management Concentration (MBA)

BA 641 – Business Consulting Skills

This course provides an overview of management, marketing, and communication skills necessary for success for MBA Consulting Concentration graduates. These skills contribute to consulting and management competencies for success in competitive organizations. Letter grade only.

BA 642 – Decision Modeling & Simulation

This course is designed to build the decision-making abilities of non-accounting MBAs. Students will consider the managerial implications of organizational issues as they plan, lead, organize, and control day-to-day operations. Students will learn modeling and project management skills, and will be able to apply those skills as they work in teams on a business operations simulation. Letter grade only.

BA 643 – Business Consulting Practicum

MBA student teams analyze real business problems, develop implementation plans, and provide recommendations to solve strategic problems, enhance organizational efficiency or effectiveness, or evaluate business opportunities. Letter grade only.

MBA program cost and financial support

Program cost

NAU’s Master of Business Administration program costs approximately $20,000 for in-state and WRGP students. This covers tuition for the summer, fall, and spring semesters as well as a $7,000 program fee assessed by ABOR. The program fee covers things such as: scholarship funding, course materials, personnel costs, guest speakers and other personal development opportunities, and celebrations. The approximate cost for out-of-state students is $36,100. This covers tuition for the summer, fall and spring semesters as well as a $7000 program fee assessed by ABOR. For more information about tuition and fees, please visit the NAU tuition and expenses page.

Financial support

NAU’s MBA program is fortunate to provide financial assistance to students. All students are eligible to apply for financial support and will be provided an application from the MBA Coordinator. Awarding usually takes place in March before the program starts in August.  Awards vary from year-to-year, depending on the program budget for the following year.

There are currently three types of awards available to students:

Graduate assistantships

Graduate assistantships (GAs) are an outstanding way to fund graduate education while simultaneously developing professional skills. Graduate assistants perform vital teaching, research, and service duties to their program and earn a stipend for their work.

To be awarded a graduate assistantship, students must be full-time, graduate degree-seeking students, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.  Students that are conditionally admitted to a graduate program due to a GPA below 3.0 upon admission are not eligible to receive a graduate assistantship.

All graduate assistants with an appointment of 10 or more hours per week are considered residents for tuition purposes during the term of appointment. The application process for graduate assistant positions is available through the academic program or service unit.

Part-time (10 hours/week) offer: 50% tuition waiver (excluding any university and program fees) stipend

Tuition waivers

NAU tuition waivers are scholarships which pay for all or part of a student’s tuition.

To be awarded a tuition waiver, students must be full-time, graduate degree-seeking students, and in good academic standing. These awards may be based on academic merit and/or financial need. They are available to both resident and non-resident graduate students. The application process for tuition waivers is available through the academic program.

Fellowship awards

NAU scholarship awards in various amounts.  These are primarily awarded to MBA students with financial need or who are accepted to the program after all GA and tuition waivers have already been awarded.

Financial support is awarded on a first come-first serve basis.  Students who are admitted early will be considered for financial support during the first scholarship committee meeting.

In additional to MBA financial support, all continuing FCB students are eligible to apply for FCB scholarships.  This application is opened in November and closes in February.

International exposure

Our MBA emphasizes global business in an increasingly interconnected world. Each year, the MBA program plans an international trip for our students, offering a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture and enrich their business experience.

Through a variety of company visits in a different cultural context, this experience can help you bridge gaps, understand diverse business practices, and prepare you for a career both at home and abroad. You will develop a nuanced understanding of the different ways of conducting business, how to network with executives outside your home country, and enhance your own career readiness. In the past, the program has visited Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, London, Canada, and Mexico.

Experiences such as meeting with government officials, visits to museums, state parks and monuments, and meeting local people will broaden your perspectives on intercultural differences and provides you with confidence in future global transactions.