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Frequently Asked Questions

MBA FAQ

Program – General

Yes. Students may choose to attend SDSU on either a part-time or full-time basis. Part-time students generally take two classes each semester. Class schedules are arranged in order to meet the needs of students who can only attend courses during the evening hours. Past class schedules can be found at: sunspot.sdsu.edu/schedule. Depending on the degree program and the previous coursework of the individual student, the program can be completed in three to four years on a part-time basis.

While all students must apply during the regular application cycle and be admitted, students may transfer up to 9 units (in some cases 12 units) of coursework from an AACSB-accredited institution. Please note transfer credit is subject to review by the Graduate Business Programs office at SDSU and may require you to provide full course descriptions and/or syllabi before credit is given for previous coursework. Credit for previous coursework is not guaranteed. All transfer decisions are made after the applicant has been admitted.

 No. The SDSU School of Business does not currently offer any PhD programs.
 

No. SDSU does not currently offer distance or online learning for graduate business programs.

MBA students may pursue a specialization but are not required to do so. MSA students must choose one of the tracks and work with their faculty advisor to develop a program of study under the chosen track. MSIS students may choose one of the tracks and work with their faculty advisor to develop a program of study under the chosen track.

(MBA specializations are NOT listed on the diploma, but are areas students may choose to focus their studies): Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Health Services Admin., Information Systems, International Business, Management, Marketing, Project Management, Supply Chain Management.

(MSA specializations are NOT listed on the diploma, but are areas students may choose to focus their studies): Accounting Information Systems, Financial Reporting, Taxation.

(MSIS career tracks are NOT listed on the diploma, but are areas students may choose to focus their studies). Students select a career track and courses with the approval of the graduate advisor.

Students may take up to six units (or two courses) of graduate level coursework outside of the School of Business, however pre-approval of these classes by the Graduate Business Programs office is required in order for the course to be included in the student's official program of study. Students should submit a request for approval of any courses outside of the College of Business Administration before registering for the course. 

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 admitting U.S.-based students who wish to pursue an MBA for spring semester of 2017. The application period runs September 1 – November 1, 2016. The submission period for all documents, including test scores and transcripts, is open until November 15. SDSU will be admitting all students wishing to pursue a graduate business degree for the fall semester of 2017. The application period runs October 1 – March 1, 2017. Apply online at www.csumentor.edu. A $55 nonrefundable application fee is required of all applicants. See the EMBA and SMBA websites for 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 CSU Mentor 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 CSU Mentor 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 (www.sdsu.edu/portal/).

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 620, 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 25thpercentile 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 gradbusiness@sdsu.edu 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 Decision Desk, 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 program.

Recommendations can be either academic or professional; there is no preference given to either. Please note that while the CSU Mentor application states that the recommendation should be academic, this is not a requirement of our program for either the program application or the CSU Mentor 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 (http://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/admissions/grad/country.html).

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 (http://www.ets.org/toefl) using SDSU’s Institution Code 4682. For the IELTS, please see www.ielts.org 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 (http://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/admissions/grad/country.html). International Admissions may be reached at (619) 594-1847 or intladmission@sdsu.edu.

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: http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/financialaid/.

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 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.

Visiting Campus

Academic Advisors and Peer Advisors (current graduate business students) are available to help you in the Graduate Business Programs Office located in EBA 448 (map, the side marked “Graduate”). You can also contact the Graduate Business Programs Office at GradBusiness@sdsu.edu or (619) 594-8073. Our hours are Monday-Thursday 10:00am-6:00pm and Friday 10:00am-2:00pm during the academic year and Monday-Thursday 12:00pm-5:00pm during the summer.

 

Campus tours are conducted daily during the academic year and on a reduced schedule during the summer. Reservations are required and can be made on the Prospective Students website. The 40-to-60 minute walking tour encompasses the main part of the campus and includes narration on the history and traditions of the University. Campus information packets are provided prior to starting the tour. Tours are conducted by the SDSU Ambassadors. The Ambassadors, current students specially trained to provide tours, welcome the opportunity to share their university experience with prospective students and their guests. For more information, contact the SDSU Ambassadors at (619) 594-6868, or by e-mail at ambassad@mail.sdsu.edu. All walking tours depart from the Prospective Student Center in the Student Services building, located at the base of the clock tower.

Current Students

Please refer to the Academic Calendar for the exact deadlines. The add/drop deadline is typically around the 10th day of the semester.

 

Please schedule an appointment by emailing your advisors directly. We suggest that you meet with your advisors once every semester.

 

There are two ways in which to take a semester off from SDSU. Please see the Graduate Bulletin for complete information on these options, or speak with your Graduate Advisor.

One-Semester Stop Out
With certain exceptions, matriculated undergraduate and graduate students may stop out of the university one semester in a calendar year and maintain their continuing student status.

Educational Leave of Absence
Students are permitted to take up to four semesters of approved leave of absence. An educational leave of absence is appropriate in those cases where students will be engaged for the majority of the leave time in an activity, other than attending an accredited college or university, that is directly related to their formal academic careers or otherwise contributes to specific academic goals.

 

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 core class may also be waived if a student successfully passes the relevant Challenge Exam. Speak with an advisor for more information.

 

Students who earned an undergraduate degree in a business or accounting-related field may request to waive out of the MSA core courses. Waiver decisions will be based upon when the course was completed, the university at which it was completed, and the grade received in the course. Satisfactory completion means that the student's grade in each course must be "B" (3.0) or better and that the course must have been completed within seven years prior to the first course completed on the master's degree program. The seven year requirement may be waived by the School of Accountancy adviser.

 

Students who earned an undergraduate degree in a business or accounting-related field may request to waive out of the MSIS pre-requisite courses. Waiver decisions will be based upon when the course was completed, the university at which it was completed, and the grade received in the course. Satisfactory completion means that the student's grade in each course must be "B" (3.0) or better and that the course must have been completed within five years prior to the first course completed on the master's degree program.
Waiver decisions are made by the faculty advisor for the MSBA-FTP program. Students who earned an undergraduate degree in a business or accounting-related field may request to waive out of the MSBA pre-requisite courses. Waiver decisions will be based upon when the course was completed, the university at which it was completed, and the grade received in the course. Satisfactory completion means that the student's grade in each course must be "B" (3.0) or better.

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)