SDSU Campus

Fall 2019 Admissions

Application Deadline: March 1st , 2019

Graduate Business Admissions


For Sports MBA admissions, visit the SMBA website.
For Executive MBA admissions, visit the EMBA website.

Spring 2019
SDSU will be accepting applications from August 1 – November 1, 2018 for U.S.-based students who wish to pursue a graduate business degree for the spring semester of 2019.  

Fall 2019
SDSU will be accepting applications from October 1, 2018 – March 1, 2019 for all students wishing to pursue a graduate business degree for the fall semester of 2019. 

Step 1. Apply To The University

Apply online at Cal State Apply once the application period opens. A $55 nonrefundable application fee is required of all applicants. There are four sections that the application requires you to complete in order for it to be submitted:

  • Personal Information
  • Academic History
  • Supporting Information
  • Program Materials

Please fill out the Personal Information and Academic History sections completely. For each of the sub-sections under Supporting Information, you need to indicate that you are not adding anything, as no information submitted here will be used in the review process. The Program Materials section should be entered and will direct you to step 3 of the application process below.

More information on completing your application

After you apply, you will receive your SDSU Red ID – your Red ID is required to submit your program application (step 3).


Submit Official Transcripts & Test Scores to the Graduate Admissions Office so that they are received by November 15th, 2018 for Spring 2019, and by April 1st, 2019 for Fall 2019 applicants.

Send official transcripts from all institutions attended to Graduate Admissions. If your transcript is not in English, then you must also send a certified literal English translation of the transcripts along with the official original-language transcripts with proof of degree.

Graduate Admissions Office
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

Test Scores:
Take the GMAT or the GRE and request that official scores be sent to SDSU. Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 days from when you take the exam for the University to receive your scores. If your Bachelor’s degree was not taught principally in English, then you must take the TOEFL or IELTS and have official scores sent to SDSU.

SDSU Institution Codes:

GMAT 9LT-2P-73 GRE 4682 TOEFL 4682 IELTS See IELTS website ( for instructions.


Electronically submit a program application using the links below once the application period opens and no later than November 15th for Spring 2019 applicants, and by April 1st for Fall 2019 applicants. No paper or e-mailed materials will be accepted or reviewed. You must have your SDSU Red ID to submit your Program Application.

Spring 2019 (January 2019):

Fall 2019 (August 2019):

  1. Upload Resume
  2. Upload Statement of Purpose
  3. Set up the request for two letters of recommendation via Interfolio (see links above). One letter required for MSA program.
  4. Applicants will have the opportunity to upload an optional essay if there are any concerns you want to explain to the Admissions Committee.

View Admitted Student Profile 2018 (pdf)

Admissions/Prospective Students FAQ

Application – General

GMAT/GRE and GPA scores serve as significant factors influencing the admittance or denial of an application. Work experience is not required, but at least two years of professional work experience will make an application more competitive.
SDSU will be accepting applications from U.S.-based students who wish to pursue an MBA, MSA, MSIS, or MSBA (Financial and Tax Planning) degree beginning spring 2019. The application period runs August 1-November 1, 2018. The submission period for all documents, including test scores and transcripts, is open until November 15. Please see the SMBA websites for more information about their application cycle.
SDSU does not require applicants to have work experience before they apply. However, at least two years of professional work experience will make your application more competitive. Graduate business studies are enhanced for students who have real-world experiences to apply course concepts to.
No, current and previous students must complete the three step application process outlined above. Students who previously attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for coursework completed since last attendance.
No preference is given to students who graduated from SDSU. All students are assessed using the same criteria.
No. SDSU does not interview prospective students for any of our graduate business programs, except for the EMBA and Sports Business MBA programs. (See the EMBA and SMBA pages for more information about their application process.)
SDSU Graduate Business Programs makes every effort to return admissions decisions to applicants in a timely fashion. Applicants will be notified via email. Depending on the volume of mail received at the university, mail processing can take from one to four weeks from the date of receipt at SDSU for information to be updated on the Web Portal (this includes transcripts, GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores). After all the applicant's materials have been received by SDSU, an admissions decision can take approximately two months to complete.

Once you have submitted the Cal State Apply application, you will be assigned a RedID number, which will be e-mailed to you. If you have not received your RedID within 10-15 business days of applying, please contact Graduate Admissions.

We recommend submitting your Cal State Apply as soon as possible to ensure you receive your RedID on time. Your RedID number will allow you to track the status of your application through the SDSU WebPortal (

Not necessarily. You should apply as early as you are prepared to do so. Please plan on submitting your completed application materials ahead of the application deadline. Admission decisions will be made throughout the admission cycle.
No. We admit students from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. However, students who are admitted to SDSU Graduate Business Programs are expected to have competencies in personal computing, quantitative and statistical methods, and economics. Download further information about MBA Program Competencies (pdf).

Application – Test Scores and GPA

GMAT: The average score is around 610, we rarely admit students who score below 540.

GRE: We recommend scoring in the 65th percentile or above on each section, and we rarely admit students who score below the 25th percentile on any section of the test.

For either test, both the verbal and quantitative percentiles with be reviewed. A high overall score does not necessarily justify a low score in one section of the exam. Exams taken more than five years ago will be considered on a case by case basis.


You may take either test, but we do not require both. We do not favor one test over the other.

Only applicants who hold a PhD, MD, or JD degree may be exempt from taking the GMAT or GRE. No other exceptions, even for work experience, are granted.

GMAT/GRE and IELTS/TOEFL official score reports must be submitted by November 15th for Spring or April 1st for Fall. Please keep in mind that it takes about 20 days to receive test scores from the testing agency. If you have already submitted scores for the GMAT or the GRE and you would like to retake the exam, please contact the Graduate Business Programs Office at [email protected] or (619) 594-8073. Only the highest score will be considered when making an admission decision.
The average undergraduate GPA for students admitted to our programs is around 3.40. In order for your undergraduate GPA to be considered satisfactory (not deficient) by the university, a domestic student should have at least a 2.85 and an international student should have at least a 3.00 on the 4.00 GPA scale. If a domestic student's cumulative GPA is deficient, SDSU will calculate the GPA for the student's last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units. Students with undergraduate GPAs that are considered deficient are less likely to be admitted. Note that students who have a satisfactory GPA are not guaranteed admission.

Application – Program Application

All program application materials (resumes, letters of recommendation, etc.) must be submitted electronically. See step 3 of the application process to create an account and upload documents.
Please upload a document that addresses the following question: Based on your current career goals, how will a Graduate Business Degree from San Diego State University help you to achieve these? (max 500 words). If you have concerns about your prior academic work or any extenuating circumstances that you would like the Admission Committee to be aware of, you may submit an Optional Essay in which you may explain these concerns (max 250 words).

The process for submitting letters is integrated into the program application. Once you have created an account on Interfolio, you will be able to generate a request for recommendation which will be sent to the recommender(s) of your choice. The recommender’s name and e-mail address are required. No paper or emailed letters of recommendation will be accepted or reviewed.

Two letters of recommendation are required for the MBA, MSIS, and MSBA-FTP programs and one letter of recommendation is required for the MSA program.

Recommendations can be either academic or professional; there is no preference given to either. Please note that while the Cal State Apply application states that the recommendation should be academic, this is not a requirement of our program for either the program application or the Cal State Apply application.

International Students

International students have the same application deadlines as domestic students. Students with international coursework must submit both the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a certified literal English translation. For country-specific requirements, please see the Graduate Admissions website (

TOEFL or IELTS scores are required of all applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English and whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English. A minimum score of 80 is required for the TOEFL and a minimum score of 6.5 is required for the IELTS. TOEFL scores should be sent directly from ETS ( using SDSU’s Institution Code 4682. For the IELTS, please see for instructions. SDSU does not grant conditional admittance to students who do not meet the language requirement.

As an international applicant, you must hold the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's degree with 3.0 GPA or "B" average in order to be considered for admission. Additionally, a passing TOEFL (80 or higher) or IELTS (6.5 or higher) score must be provided if your medium of instruction was not English.

For country-specific requirements, please see the Graduate Admissions website ( International Admissions may be reached at (619) 594-1847 or [email protected].

International students may apply for any University Scholarship for which they are eligible. More information and application forms for University Scholarships can be obtained through SDSU's Scholarship Office:

International students may apply for GA/TA positions: Teaching associateships and graduate non-teaching assistantships in business administration are available to a limited number of qualified students.

Download applications and additional information:

No. SDSU has its own international transcript evaluators.
Yes. The MSIS degree is a STEM-designated degree. In addition, SDSU’s MBA degree, when completed with a specialization in Information Systems, is considered a STEM-designated degree.
No. Applicants to SDSU’s Graduate Business Programs are not granted conditional admittances if they have not yet submitted a complete application. All applicants to SDSU’s Graduate Business Programs must submit a complete application before they are considered for admission.

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of prior academic and professional accomplishments, educational and career goals, and potential for advancement in the competitive sports business industry.

  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 semester units (90 quarter units) of undergraduate work (absolute minimum undergraduate GPA for graduate students at SDSU is 2.85)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Professional Résumé
  • Personal Statement
  • Slideshow Presentation or Video
  • Sports MBA Alumni & Program Director Interview
  • Official GMAT/GRE Score Report (the GMAT/GRE cannot be waived under any circumstances)

Prospective students from all undergraduate disciplines are eligible for admission to the program.

Previous work experience after college is strongly recommended, but not required for admission to the Sports MBA program.

  • Work experience in any form (internship or full-time) within the sports industry is favorable, but not required. A number of our students each year come to the program to gain experience and enter the sports industry from a wide variety of industries.
  • The SDSU Sports MBA program will strongly consider granting admission to select applicants with little professional experience who have recently received their undergraduate degree. A competitive candidate with little post-college work experience must have substantial internship/work experience during his/her college career in addition to an exemplary academic record, a competitive GMAT score, and a strong desire to learn.

The Sports MBA program is a cohort of around 30 students who work together to enhance their collective experience both inside and outside of the classroom. Each year, a new class joins a closely connected group of alumni who are personally and professionally invested in every graduating cohort. While in the program, students enhance their résumés and the reputation of SDSU Sports MBA by coordinating class events, volunteering with local sports properties, and building their respective professional networks. We look to bring in a diverse group of students who embrace the challenge of gaining sports contacts and experience through these channels while concurrently completing an intensive graduate business program.

An important part of the application procedure is an alumni interview with someone who has gone through this experience and can help prospective students understand the challenge and the opportunity presented by the Sports MBA program. A prospective student can use this interview to express himself/herself in person and explain more about his or her background and application. The interview, either in person or via webcam, is also a great chance for applicants to ask specific questions of a program graduate and connect with a mentor as they enter into a new class of Sports MBA students.

The application period for our next cohort, beginning classes in January 2020 is open from August 1st–November 1st, 2019. Though we cannot accept applications through the CSU system website until August 1st, we understand that many competing programs have a fall semester start and some prospective students need an admissions decision from us earlier in the calendar year. SDSU Sports MBA offers Early Action admissions decisions for prospective students who have completed their research and are confident that SDSU is their first choice. Please inquire with the department for details.

Please see below for the steps you will need to take in order to apply.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact our office at (619) 594-6023 or [email protected].

Complete an application for Graduate Admission with the California State University system online at Cal State Apply from August 1st, 2019 to November 1st, 2019. 

To apply to the Sports MBA program, you must first register with the California State University system, of which we are part, through the CAL State Apply online portal. This is the first step in the application process, and should be completed prior to sending any supporting documents or materials. Please register through CAL State Apply as soon as possible, this creates an applicant profile for you with the SDSU Office of Graduate Admissions and allows you to proceed with the rest of the Sports MBA application.


The application for Graduate Admissions includes a nonrefundable $55 application fee. Payment of the application fee is by credit card or check/money order. Using the credit card method will expedite the processing of your application. SDSU must receive payment before your application will be reviewed. The application fee is nonrefundable and may not be transferred to another term. When completing the application, be sure to give your full legal name and avoid abbreviations.


Under "Major/Program Objective" select Business Administration: Sports Business Management (MBA) - External Degree. The term "external degree" designates that the Sports MBA program is a self-support program on a special sessions schedule.


It is required that the GMAT or GRE be taken prior to the November 1st, 2019 application deadline, but please do not wait to complete the online process until you have taken the test. It is best to get your name in the system now.

Statement of Purpose

A statement of purpose is not needed to complete the CAL State Apply online application. When you input your information in, please do not submit a personal statement when the website prompts you to do so, instead please indicate that you will be submitting the personal statement electronically. A statement of purpose specific to the Sports MBA program will be emailed to you after you have completed the CAL State Apply application and your profile is created with SDSU Graduate Admissions.

Supporting documents may be submitted any time after your CAL State Apply application, but all documents should be submitted as soon as possible in order for the application to be considered for the cohort beginning in 2020.

  1. Request a transcript for each school where you took classes during your undergraduate career, including study abroad, and any transfer credits. Only one official transcript from EACH college and university listed on your application needs to be sent to SDSU. Official transcripts must be sent directly to:

    Sports Business Management MBA
    Fowler College of Business Administration
    San Diego State University
    5500 Campanile Drive
    San Diego, CA 92182-8232

  2. Print TWO confidential recommendation forms. At least one of your letters of recommendation should come from your immediate supervisor.

    Download the SMBA Confidential Recommendation Form

    Note: although the confidential recommendation form is preferred, a recommendation letter without the attached form is acceptable if there are extenuating circumstances.

  3. Register for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) by visiting the GMAT Home Page/the GRE Home Page or calling (800) GMAT NOW. Please be sure to use the correct SDSU institutional code 9LT-2P-45 on your GMAT registration form. The GRE code for SDSU is 4682. The Computer Adaptive GMAT is administered by Pearson VUE at test centers throughout the world. Results will automatically be submitted to the Specialized & International Programs office.

    The San Diego State University College of Extended Studies offers GMAT Prep Sessions for a total cost of $450, including materials. For more information on this prep course, please call the College of Extended Studies at (619) 594-5152 or visit

    GMAT/GRE examination must be taken by November 1, 2019 for students applying for the Sports Business Management MBA program January 2020 cohort. Please be sure to list San Diego State University as a test recipient SDSU Institutional Code 9LT-2P-45(GMAT) and 4682 for the GRE.

  4. Submit a professional résumé.

Please submit the official transcript, resume, letters of recommendation, GMAT results (and TOEFL results, if applicable) to:

Sports Business Management MBA
Fowler College of Business Administration
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-8232


After completing your CAL State Apply application (Part I) and submitting your application's supporting documents (Part II), our office will contact you a prompt for completing both the statement of purpose and a brief PowerPoint assignment that will prepare you for the Sports MBA Alumni Admissions Interview.

You will be paired with an alumnus/alumna in your geographic area, as a face-to-face interview is preferred. Applicants living in cities without any SDSU Sports MBA alumni may travel to a nearby city to interview with an alumnus/alumna, travel to San Diego for the interview, or set up a webcam interview via Skype. In past years, most international students have conducted their admissions interviews via Skype appointment.

International students are highly encouraged to apply to the Sports MBA program at San Diego State University. The Sports MBA curriculum is globally focused, with classroom discussions, case studies, and guest lecturers frequently covering all areas of international sport. Over the past four years, international students have averaged over twenty percent of the cohort, one of the highest percentages of international students for any sports management program in the U.S.

A number of our international graduates have achieved significant success in the sports industry, either returning to their home countries or remaining in the United States and working for a domestic sports organization.

There are a few additional steps that international applicants must take with the Office of Graduate Admissions in order to be admitted to SDSU's Sports MBA program, and our staff is happy to work with international applicants to assist with the application. Please contact 619-594-5566 or [email protected] if you require additional instructions.

We realize the differences in language, application procedures and school systems international students face and therefore we are happy to assist international students with any questions or difficulties they might have regarding the program and its application process. Please read this website extensively and email us with any questions at [email protected] If necessary, we can set up a either a voice or video Skype appointment for a smoother communication process once the application period has begun. You may also want to check the website of the International Student Center from San Diego State University. They are happy to assist you with questions about your visa, finances, housing and other concerns you may have. Their website is

The application for international students differs slightly from the domestic application. Please contact our office and we will work with you to satisfy this requirement. There are a few additional steps that international applicants must take with the Office of Graduate Admissions in order to be admitted to SDSU's Sports MBA program, which are explained below.

  1. International students will need to follow the steps to apply for the sports MBA program listed under Apply.
  2. In addition to the application steps for domestic applicants, international students need to submit the following documents:
As an international applicant, you must hold the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's degree with 3.0 GPA or "B" average. The eligible degrees and required documents for your country are listed on the SDSU Graduate Admissions: Requirements by Country page. You must submit original, official academic records issued in English by your institution. If your academic records are not issued in English, a certified English translation must be provided. If your country is not listed, please contact Graduate Admissions for instructions.
If undergraduate education was in a language other than English, students must submit a TOEFL test score in addition to all of the above documents. The minimum TOEFL scores are 550 (paper-based), or 80 (Internet based).

Admitted international students requiring an F-1 student visa must submit the SDSU Financial Statement Form and supporting financial documents to provide evidence of funding for one academic year. Financial documents must be approved by the Office of Admissions in order to receive the I-20, which is needed to apply for a student visa.

Financial Statement Form (pdf)

Please note that the Sports MBA program starts every Spring semester (January). We currently do not offer Fall semester admissions.

Applications for the cohort beginning January 2019 are accepted from August 1st–November 1st, 2019.

International applicants are highly encouraged to complete and submit all application materials as soon as possible to allow additional time for the Office of Graduate Admissions to review international transcripts and other supporting documents.