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MBA Program Overview

MBA Curriculum

San Diego State University’s MBA program has a general management focus. Through a range of activities that include projects, presentations, and written reports, the MBA curriculum develops the capacity to formulate and communicate strategies to solve business problems and pursue opportunities. Students customize their programs of study to match their career goals.

These seven core courses will provide a solid foundation in each of the key business disciplines. Students who have earned a bachelor's degree in a business-related field may have the opportunity to waive one core course with prior approval from their Graduate Advisor. A second core class may also be waived if a student successfully passes the relevant Challenge Exam. Speak with an advisor for more information.

  • BA 623 Statistical Analysis
  • BA 624 Organizational Behavior and Leadership
  • BA 625 Financial and Management Accounting
  • BA 626 Business Economics
  • BA 627 Marketing
  • BA 628 Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • BA 629 Financial Management
After completion of the seven core classes, students will take a Business Strategy course. This course can be completed once all core classes have been finished (BA 623 – BA 629) and can be taken in the final semester of the program if desired.

  • BA 630 Business Strategy
All students are required to complete a total of 18 elective units. For more information on what electives you may take please see the document below. Earning an MBA Specialization is optional. Students who wish to specialize in a specific area of study will be required to take a minimum of 12 units (four classes) in their chosen area of emphasis. Students may specialize in only one area of study. For a listing of the specific courses recommended for each of the specializations, please visit the links provided below.

MBA Accounting Specialization
MBA Entrepreneurship Specialization
MBA Finance Specialization
MBA Health Services Administration Specialization
MBA Information Systems Specialization
MBA International Business Specialization
MBA Management Specialization
MBA Marketing Specialization
MBA Project Management Specialization
MBA Supply Chain Management Specialization
MBA students are given the option to either take the Business Consulting course (BA 795) or complete a thesis (BA 799A). Students who choose to take BA 795 should notify the Graduate Business Programs office by the fifth week in the semester prior to their anticipated graduation date. Information on the thesis option is available on the Graduate Affairs website.

MBA Program of Study

MBA Program POS Fall 2014 and After

MBA Sample Degree Plans

Working 40 Hours

Working 0-20 Hours

Want to Learn More About a Specific Class?

Are you curious about the learning outcomes of a class, which books are typically used, and which projects are typically required? Use the Syllabi Collection to learn more about courses taught in previous semesters at SDSU.


SDSU MBA Thematic Structure

The MBA Program is structured around the theme of Managing the Firm’s Life Cycle

Management must guide the firm’s transition from startup to growth to a long-lived publicly-traded or privately-held enterprise, i.e., manage the firm’s life cycle.
Management must choose the firm’s corporate strategy – corporate structure combination that best fits its operating environment.
Management of strategy – structure – environment nexus requires management to continually address the following three sets of questions:
Business Strategy: Which markets should the firm serve? How should it compete in its served markets?
Financial Strategy: What is the firm’s funding need to compete in its served markets? What are the sources composition, and terms on which funds are acquired?
Implementation Strategy: How does the firm design its organization, i.e. coordinate its people, organization architecture, routines, and culture to successfully implement its business and financial strategy?

The courses in the MBA Program are designed to address these questions. They are taught both in lecture and case study formats. Both formats draw upon examples and case studies that span different markets and industries – both domestic and international – and different stages of the firm’s life cycle.

Graduation Requirements

A. Maintain Required Grade Point Average

Grade point averages of at least 3.0 (B) must be maintained in:

All courses listed on the official program of study
All courses, 300-level and above, taken at San Diego State University concurrently with or subsequently to the earliest course listed on the official degree program, including courses accepted for transfer credit

Note: No transfer or extension credit may be used to improve the grade point average of units completed at San Diego State University whether computed to determine the average on the official degree program or the overall average.

B. Submit Program of Study (POS)

All students must submit a POS worksheet to the Graduate Business Programs office no later than the semester before they anticipate graduating. For example, if a student plans to graduate in spring 2019, they should submit their POS no later than the fall 2018 semester. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be in good academic standing with the university in the semester in which they are submitting their POS. The POS must be filed before the student can be advanced to candidacy. The university requires students to be advanced to candidacy no later than the semester before they anticipate graduating.

The Graduate Affairs office will review the POS, approve or deny the POS, and notify the student of the approval or denial. POS' are rarely denied. Once a POS has been approved it becomes the student's contract with the university that ensures that the student is meeting the requirements of the degree program.

C. Submit Petition for Adjustment of Academic Requirements (if needed)

If for any reason the student has taken courses that were not listed on the POS, the student will need to submit a Petition for Adjustment of Academic Requirements to update the POS that is on file with the university. Under the "Student Request" section, the student should list the courses they wish to have removed from their program of study as well as those that should be added to their program of study and provide a reason for the changes. The full name and number of each course and the number of units awarded for each course should be listed. MBA students should submit the completed form directly to the Graduate Business Programs office.

D. Submit Graduation Application

Students who have met with an academic advisor, filed their POS, and know the semester that they will be completing all degree requirements, should complete an Application for Graduation with an Advanced Degree. The completed Application for Graduation should be submitted along with the $55 graduation fee via the SDSU Web Portal system in the Student Accounts area. The graduation application deadline varies but is typically the 15th day of the Fall semester for December gradaution and the 15th day of the Spring semester for both May and August graduation. Students are advised to monitor the Graduate Affairs website and/or the Academic Calendar for the graduation application deadline in the semester they plan to graduate.