Graduate Business

Graduate Business

  LH-448 |    619-594-8073  |   [email protected]
  Monday–Thursday: 8:30am–4:30pm   Friday: 8:30am–1:30pm

Fall 2023 admissions open October 1, 2022.

Steps 1-4

Steps 1-4 must be completed through the SDSU Graduate Admissions Office before moving on to step 5. Before beginning the application process

SDSU Graduate Admissions: Steps to Apply


Application Deadlines for Fall 2023


CalState Apply Deadline

File Completion Deadline

(Student must complete all files, including submitting trascripts and completing Interfolio)

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

May 2, 2023

June 1, 2023

Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA)

February 1, 2023

March 1, 2023

Master of Science in Business Administration,        Financial and Tax Planning (MSBA-FTP)

May 2, 2023

June 1, 2023

Master of Science in Cybersecurity (MSCM)

February 1, 2023

March 1, 2023

Master of Science in Global Business Development (MSGBD)

February 1, 2023

March 1, 2023

Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS)

February 1, 2023

March 1, 2023

Step 5: Submit Program Specific Documents

This step may only be completed once you have completed steps 1-4.

For Fall 2023, requirements for the GMAT and GRE exams vary by program.  Please select the program that you are applying to for details.

A GMAT or GRE is not required for admission.  Our MBA includes a significant amount of  quantitative performance and the ability to demonstrate strong communications. As a result, if your application materials do not demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in quantitative course performance or work experience, we do recommend you submit a GMAT or GRE.  If you are an applicant for which English is a second language, you may want to use a GMAT or GRE score to demonstrate a degree of mastery in communication. You will need to self-assess your other application materials to determine if you believe a GMAT or GRE score would enhance your application package.  For example, if your undergraduate degree has limited quantitative courses or reflects lower grades in quantitative courses (e.g., an undergraduate degree in History or grades below B in quantitative courses), you may want to consider enhancing your application with a GMAT or GRE score.  If your work experience does not reflect a reasonably recent role in which quantitative performance would generally be required, you may want to consider submitting GMAT or GRE scores. We recommend that students with a GPA of below 3.2 submit a GMAT or GRE score.  This does not imply that every applicant with a History degree or a GPA of below 3.2 is required to submit a GRE/GMAT score - that is a decision that each applicant will need to make for themselves.  Whatever you decide, your entire package of materials will be reviewed for admission.
A GMAT or GRE is required for all applicants. Students with an undergraduate degree or existing masters degree from SDSU may opt to not submit a score if their cumulative GPA is above 3.2.
A GMAT or GRE is required for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of below 3.2 or with a degree in a non-quantitative field so that the applicants can demonstrate the requisite quantitative knowledge. Quantitative fields generally include business, economics, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, etc. 
A GMAT or GRE is not required for admission; however, we do recommend a GMAT or GRE for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of below 3.3. 
A GMAT or GRE is not required for admission.


Sent electronically, institution code: 4682


Sent electronically, institution code: 9LT-2P-73


Prepare your resume ahead of time, then follow the instructions provided in Interfolio to upload and submit it.

This step of the application process requires that you upload a resume and written responses to the application prompts using Interfolio (links below) by April 1 for fall enrollment. You will also use Interfolio to enter the contact information for the individuals you have selected to prepare your letters of recommendation.

You should prepare your responses in a single document (pdf preferred) and upload and submit using Interfolio. Preview the fall essay prompts by finding your program below:

Business Administration (MBA)

  1. Through your resume and recommendations, we have a reasonably clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (maximum 500 words)
  2. Why do you feel that the Fowler College of Business and this program would be a good fit for you? (maximum 250 words)
  3. What matters to you most and why? (maximum 250 words)

Accountancy (MS)

  1. Through your resume and recommendations, we have a reasonably clear sense of your academic and professional path to date. What do you envision your accounting-related career to be over the next 3-7 years? (maximum 500 words)
  2. Why do you feel that the MSA program in the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy would be a good fit for you? (maximum 250 words)
  3. We offer three specializations within the MSA program. Please explain why you are selecting the specialization you intend to pursue. (maximum 250 words)

Cybersecurity Management (MS) and Information Systems (MS)

  1. Management information systems is a term that is used by many people to represent a variety of different concepts. Explain what this term means to you. What do you envision your information systems-related career to be over the next 3-7 years? (maximum 250 words)
  2. Point out the three most important items or experiences in your academic and professional experiences that make you a qualified candidate for the MS Information Systems or MS Cybersecurity Management program and explain to us why you believe these are significant. (maximum 500 words)

Financial and Tax Planning (MSBA)

  1. Through your resume and recommendations, we have a reasonably clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what is, in your imagination, your long-term dream job? (maximum 500 words)

Global Business Development (MS)

  1. Through your resume and recommendations, we have a reasonably clear sense of your academic and professional path to date.  What do you envision your career to be over the next 3-7 years? (maximum 500 words)
  2. Why do you feel that the MSGBD program in the Fowler College of Business would be a good fit for you? (maximum 250 words)
  3. Describe the two or three most important factors for success in international business development and sales and why these are significant. (maximum 250 words)

You will enter the contact information for your letters of recommendation in the Interfolio system. Interfolio will generate a prompt to the individuals for which you have provided contact information. We prefer recommendations that use our form. Please assist us with the process by emailing the blank form for your program to the individuals you have selected to prepare your recommendation letters.

Applicants also have the right to submit an optional essay. We invite you to help us better understand the context of your opportunities and achievements. Our admission process takes a holistic view of applicants and we seek to understand all aspects of an applicant’s character, qualifications, and experiences. You may use this essay to convey any relevant information not addressed elsewhere in your application materials.  This may include explanations of employment gaps, academic aberrations, supplemental coursework, academic or professional achievements, etc. To the extent you would like to elaborate on other hardships or unusual life circumstances that would help us understand the context of your opportunities, achievements, and impact, please do so. (300 words maximum). There is a separate link in Interfolio to submit your optional essay if you choose to prepare one.

Once you have completed steps 1-4 of the application, please select the appropriate link to submit your prepared resume, essay, letters of recommendation and optional essay (if applicable):

Questions about the step 5 of the application process? Contact us at:

[email protected]


Questions about Steps 1-4 can be directed to Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Application FAQ


The admissions committee for each of our graduate business programs takes a holistic review of all of the applicant's materials submitted including a thorough review of the applicant's undergraduate academic performance, including an emphasis on performance in quantitative courses as those have demonstrated a strong correlation with graduate business performance. We also consider the nature of the degree and quality of the university attended.  We also examine any academic courses subsequent to the applicant's undergraduate experience.  We also examine standardized test scores which generally  demonstrate proficiency in quantitative and verbal performance.  However, grades and exam scores are by no means the only element of an applicant's materials and we review all applicant materials.  For some applicants, grades and or exam scores are not able to tell the entire story and so we also review the applicant's professional work experience and seek verification of professional development through letters of recommendation.  We also review applicant essays for additional information that other materials cannot provide.  Lastly, applicant's are eligible to submit an optional essay that more fully describes their individual situation and the conditions of the applicant's history. 

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 Sports Business MBA programs. (See the SMBA page 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 application 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)

Test Scores and GPA

No. For either test, both the verbal and quantitative percentiles will 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.

Each program has different requirements for standardized test scores. See Step 5 above for details of test requirements by program. In addition, the importance of the scores in predicting student success in the program can vary and the reliance placed on standardized test scores as part of the holistic review of an applicant can also vary. If you decide to submit test scores, we do not place a preference on either exam and will generally rely on your highest score submitted.

Yes.  However, all GMAT/GRE and IELTS/TOEFL official score reports must be submitted by the deadline. 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.

Program Application

All program application materials (resumes, letters of recommendation, etc.) must be submitted electronically. See step 5 of the application process to create an account and upload documents.  Once you have selected your program from Step 5, please read the entire instructional page and review the Application Guide before selecting Apply Now.

There are writing prompts included in the program application.  Once you have created an account on Interfolio, you will be given these prompts to address along with further instructions and length requirements . 

The process for submitting letters is integrated into the program application. On Interfolio, you will be able to generate a request for recommendation which will be sent directly to the recommender(s) of your choice. The recommender’s name and e-mail address are required. Then, please download the blank recommendation form and send to your recommender(s) to use as their template to upload once they have received the notification from Interfolio.  No paper or emailed letters of recommendation will be accepted or reviewed.

Recommendations can be either academic or professional; there is no preference given to either. We recommend choosing someone who can best speak to your ability to be successful in the program. 


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:

Graduate Assistant Application
Teaching Associate Application (for Accountancy only)

No. SDSU has its own international transcript evaluators.

Yes. The MSIS and MSCM degrees are STEM-designated degrees. 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.