World-class skiing, hiking and climbing in the Rocky Mountains has made Colorado one of the nation’s largest hubs for the outdoor industry. Whether you want to start your own business or rise in the ranks of companies like The North Face, our unique Outdoor Industry MBA will provide you with a strong business acumen and a competitive edge.
Turn your passion for the outdoors into a business opportunity.
Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Western Colorado University’s Outdoor Industry MBA is the first of its kind in the United States. The five-year accelerated degree program was created to foster leaders with executive-level skills in one of Colorado’s critical economic engines—the outdoor industry. In the program, you’ll not only acquire a robust business acumen through traditional MBA courses, but you’ll also be immersed in issues specific to the outdoor industry including sustainability, stewardship and global trade.
To customize your educational experience, you can pick from two specialized tracks for either the product or service side of the industry. The Product Concentration track focuses on sustainable development and the Service Concentration track imparts critical resort management skills. Before graduating, you’ll have the opportunity to work with an outdoor company, which will help expand your industry network and could even lead to permanent placement. Through intensive coursework and hands-on opportunities, you’ll be well-prepared to run environmentally-conscious companies in the booming outdoor industry.
An outdoor playground
Outdoor Recreation Industry MBA students have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to live, learn and play in the heart of the Rocky Mountains—one of the nation’s largest hubs for outdoor recreation.
|MBA 600||Sustainability Accounting||3||View|
|MBA 601||Managerial Economics||3||View|
|MBA 602||Managerial Finance||3||View|
|MBA 603||Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Behavior||3||View|
|MBA 604||Business Law for the Outdoor Industry||3||View|
|MBA 605||Competitive Dynamics in the Athletic and Outdoor Industry||3||View|
|MBA 606||Marketing and Brand Strategy in the Outdoor Industry||3||View|
|MBA 607||Strategic MGT Business Models for the Outdoor Industry||3||View|
|MBA 608||Resort and Hospitality Management||3||View|
|MBA 609||Sustainable Outdoor Product Development and Material Sourcing||3||View|
|MBA 610||Supply Chain and Logistics in the Outdoor Industry||3||View|
|MBA 611||TOPICS IN OUTDOOR INDUSTRY||0||View|
|MBA 613||Natural Resource Regulation and Economics||3||View|
|MBA 614||Sales and Customer Experience||3||View|
|MBA 615||Sustainable Finance||3||View|
|MBA 691||Capstone Project||3||View|
Taryn Mead, Ph.D.
Graduate Faculty for the School of Environment & Sustainability and Outdoor Industry MBA
Kevin A. Nelson, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of the School of Business, Graduate Faculty for Outdoor Industry MBA
Jessica Laramie, J.D.
Director of Energy Management Program, Senior Lecturer in Business Administration, Graduate Faculty for Outdoor Industry MBA
Brooke Moran, Ph.D.
Professor of Recreation & Outdoor Education for MEM Graduate Program, Graduate Faculty for Outdoor Industry MBA
Jeffery Dykes, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Business Administration, Graduate Faculty for Outdoor Industry MBA
Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.
Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.
The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.
Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship
The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.
Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).
- Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
- The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
- The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.
The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.
For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.
Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.
For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.
Graduate in just 5 years with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
- B.A. in Business Administration: A versatile degree that covers all corners of the business world—from marketing and sales to resort management and entrepreneurship.
- Outdoor Industry MBA: A rigorous, online graduate degree with traditional MBA coursework and specialized courses for the product and service side of the outdoor industry.
A booming industry
Students pursuing an MBA in outdoor business administration are the future of an industry that is establishing itself as an economic force.
Expand your community and your network.
There are so many ways that you can maximize your educational experience at Western. Take advantage of these opportunities to advance your career.
- Career Fairs: Connect with future employers during the various career fairs in the School of Business and around Colorado.
- ICELab: The Innovation + Creativity + Entrepreneurship (ICE) Lab on upper campus is a space that provides startups and expanding businesses with the materials and support needed to succeed.
- Office of Career Success: Business students have a department-specific career services professional.
- Study Abroad: Experience Harlaxton College in the English Midlands.
In their final year, Outdoor Industry MBA students develop a project designed to increase the profitability and functionality of an organization int the outdoor industry. By creatively responding to real-world business issues, students deepen the analytical, technical and leadership skills they need to succeed.