Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the application deadlines? 

Applications for all programs are accepted on a rolling basis. We are currently accepting and reviewing applications for all programs. We review applications for the upcoming cohort in the order they are submitted, and communicate decisions typically within two weeks of the admissions interview.

For scholarship and financial aid consideration, we recommend applying as early as possible, as scholarships are also awarded on a first come, first served basis based on application strength. We recommend that you submit your application early to be eligible for scholarship awards.

2. What are the steps to apply to the MBA and MPA programs? 

The first step in the admissions process is to complete the online application. Additional application materials can be emailed to the Admissions Department or mailed directly to Presidio Graduate School for review. Once we have received your application materials, we will set up an admissions interview with you either in person or via phone. Decisions are communicated typically within two weeks of the interview. Detailed instructions and application requirements can be found on the admissions requirements page. 

3. How are the degree programs structured? 

The San Francisco MBA and MPA programs are both composed of a 60-credit curriculum with 15 required courses and one elective. Our hybrid in-person/online format allows you to attend full time (four courses per semester) or part time (two courses). Because our students meet in person only once per month for intensive residencies (see How do class schedules typically work? below), you can even fly in each month for residency at our San Francisco residency.

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The Seattle Hybrid MBA in Sustainable Systems (@IslandWood One Weekend a Month) is composed of a 60-credit curriculum which focuses the first year in core business classes. During year two, students will complete an Action Learning Practicum which allows them to explore a social entrepreneurship or organizational leadership project of their choice. Additionally, students will take three elective courses.
The programs combine the effectiveness of face-to-face learning with the flexibility of interactive distance-learning opportunities. Students have as much classroom time as a traditional MBA or MPA program. However, PGS brings an additional level of value through a robust online component that develops essential management skills and facilitates virtual collaboration among students.
The Seattle Metro MBA in Sustainable Business (@Seattle Impact Hub Week Nights) offers students a more traditional approach to learning. The Metro program includes weekly in person class meetings. The curriculum is comprised of a 60 credits over roughly two years, which includes MBA core courses, business seminars, Action Learning Practicum, Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship focuses, and a two commitment to leadership and personal development.

4. What is the difference between the full-time and part-time degree programs? 

Full and part-time students take the same courses, but they move through the program at a different pace. Full-time students are enrolled in four classes (15 credits) each semester, and complete the program in two years. Part-time students take two classes (alternating between seven or eight credits) each semester, and normally finish the program in four years.

Part time options are only available to San Francisco hybrid and Seattle Metro students.

5. Once you start the program, can you switch between full-time and part-time status? 

Full-time students take four classes (15 or 16 units) per semester. Part-time students take two classes (seven or eight units) per semester. Part-time students must complete a full year of part time status before making a change. PGS does not offer one or three class(es) per semester as an option.

Students may make no more than 2 changes in program status during their time enrolled at PGS. Requests for changes in program status must be submitted to the Registrar no later than six weeks prior to the first day of class. Final decisions regarding requests for changes in program status rest with the Academic Dean.

6. How do class schedules typically work? 

For SF hybrid students, classes meet once per month for two or four eight-hour days during residency weekends, depending on whether the student is part time or full time. Classes are held Thursday through Sunday for full-time students and Saturday and Sunday for part-time students. One class is held per day and runs from 9:00am – 5:00pm with an hour for lunch on Thursday and Friday, and from 9:00am – 5:30 pm with a 90 minute lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

For Seattle Hybrid students, classes meet once per month over a four day weekend, Thursday through Sunday. Students arrive on Thursday at 1:00pm and will depart on Sunday at 12:20pm. During this time students spend 4-days with their cohort learning how to take a systems approach to business and sustainability through an integrated class schedule.
In addition, during every residency in both locations, students and faculty are invited to a short program and community event hosted by the school on Saturday evenings.

7. How do class schedules typically work? 

For SF hybrid students, classes meet once per month for two or four eight-hour days during residency weekends, depending on whether the student is part time or full time. Classes are held Thursday through Sunday for full-time students and Saturday and Sunday for part-time students. One class is held per day and runs from 9:00am – 5:00pm with an hour for lunch on Thursday and Friday, and from 9:00am – 5:30 pm with a 90 minute lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

For Seattle Hybrid students, classes meet once per month over a four day weekend, Thursday through Sunday. Students arrive on Thursday at 1:00pm and will depart on Sunday at 12:20pm. During this time students spend 4-days with their cohort learning how to take a systems approach to business and sustainability through an integrated class schedule.
In addition, during every residency in both locations, students and faculty are invited to a short program and community event hosted by the school on Saturday evenings.

8. What happens in between the residencies/intensives? How do I stay connected to my professors and my classmates? 

The learning and the community building continues! Course syllabi outline weekly topics of discussion, reading and/or writing assignments, project assignments, webinars, and online collaboration. In addition, professors and teaching assistants are available to meet with students in person or via phone during office hours. Teams usually meet at least once a week either in person or virtually using our video conference platform, Zoom.

Student-driven activities outside the classroom rival the intensity inside the classroom. From service trips to Chile, to , to participation in local and international business competitions, our student clubs, our students and faculty are out there making things happen.

9. Where do students stay during residency? 

For students that travel to San Francisco, PGS has preferred rates at a few hotels in the city for students who prefer to stay in hotels. There may also be the opportunity to stay with classmates who live in the Bay Area.

Seattle hybrid students stay at IslandWood, which as a learning center that fosters environmental stewardship and community development.

Seattle Metro students must live locally due to the frequency of classes on week nights.

10. Where are MBA and MPA classes held? 

Classes in San Francisco are held at 1 Beach Street across from Pier 39.
Hybrid Classes in Seattle are held at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Seattle Metro classes are held in downtown Seattle at the ImpactHub.

We also offer summer electives abroad and on Whidbey Island. Click here to learn about the courses being held Summer 2017 (hint, we’re going to learn in Spain!).

11. Do you offer a dual degree? Is there a different process for this application? 

Presidio Graduate School offers students the ability to earn a Dual MBA/MPA degree in sustainable management. The Dual Degree is a 90-credit program of study. Candidates for this program simply select the Dual MBA/MPA program when completing their online application. The application process is the same.

In addition, current MBA or MPA degree students may apply during their first year of study to the Dual Degree program, and in their second year of study begin taking additional classes. The application process requires an updated admissions essay.

12. Is it possible to work and attend MBA or MPA classes at the same time? 

You can, and most of our students do work in some capacity, though the choice is an individual one. For students in the full-time MBA, MPA or Dual Degree program, we recommend working on a part-time basis. It is not recommended for full-time students to also work full-time, although some students are able to manage both. For students enrolled in the four-year, part-time program, working full-time is manageable.

Full-time students typically have 40 hours per week of school work, and part-time students have approximately 20 hours per week of school work. Depending on your schedule and commitments, students are encouraged to participate in conferences, workshops and internships that will help you expand your network and gain expertise in your area(s) that you are passionate about.

13. How much do the degree programs cost? 

Please refer to the PGS Tuition and Financial Aid pages for most recent tuition and expected costs.

14. What types of scholarships and financial aid are available? 

Presidio Graduate School offers several scholarships for both new and returning students. Please refer to our Financial Aid and Scholarships page for details. To be considered for any of our scholarships you must complete the FAFSA form with the Department of Education and opt in on your admissions application.

15. What does is the make up of the typical PGS MBA and MPA class? 

Students come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, including Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, nonprofits, and governmental agencies. While our students come from diverse experiences, they all share the values of sustainability and the desire to create meaningful work.

The average age of our students is 35 years old, with the ages of our students ranging from mid-twenties to mid-fifties. There is no real typical, people bond based on their passions more than anything else.

16. What is the best way for me to learn more about the MBA and MPA Programs? 

We have found over the years that attending an information session and/or going on a class visit gives potential students the  best opportunity to experience our thriving educational community first hand.

17. What are the steps to apply to one of the Certificate programs? 

Students interested in our Certificate programs must fill out our application form and submit the same required documents as degree students. Courses taken for our certificate program can be used as credit towards a degree at PGS.

18. Can the Certificate courses contribute to the MBA, MPA or Dual Degree program? 

Absolutely! In fact, many students take a certificate as a way to decide if they want to get a degree and about half do end up expanding their relationship with us.

19. How much do the Certificate programs cost? 

Certificate costs are based on a per credit basis. Please refer to the certificate detail page for more information.

20. Does PGS accept international students? 

Yes! We are happy to accept students from anywhere in the world to our Seattle-based Metro MBA program. Click here to learn more about special requirements for international students.

21. How will this degree further my career? 

The single most important thing you will take away from any MBA/MPA experience is the network of people who will help you throughout your career. Presidio Graduate School graduates members into extensive lifelong network; an active and engaged group of entrepreneurs, organizational leaders, analysts, consultants and other professionals who advance their respective industries through sustainable business practices.

At the end of the day, this is a graduate degree with a conscience. You can apply for ANY job that says an MBA (and/or MPA) is required or preferred. In no way is your income or career limited because of learning about sustainability, in fact you will find that what you can access and accomplish will be enhanced by it.

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