Master of Business Administration (MBA)


Program Description

The College of Business offers three programs at the graduate level.

M.B.A. This is the flagship graduate business degree program. Courses are offered exclusively at the Downtown Campus. The program is designed to accommodate needs of both full-time and part-time students. The program allows for limited specialization in any of several functional areas of emphasis or concentration.

General Guidelines for Graduate Programs

All students planning to complete a master’s degree in business must complete on advisement, the applicable requirements including career and communication workshops, the Foundation level and the Advanced Requirement level courses.

Registration in graduate courses in business (700-899) is limited to graduate business students or students in the Ethics and Compliance Certificate program. Graduate students in other majors may enroll on a space-available basis with the consent of the faculty director of graduate programs.

Registration in ACCT 890 and BUS 890 is limited to classified graduate business students.


The graduate business administration program is designed as a balanced preparation for managerial careers in business. Its purpose is to prepare students for responsible positions in a rapidly changing world; to develop an attitude of intellectual curiosity; to foster a program of continuous learning throughout life, and to study management as a unique function applicable to all types of endeavors which involve the coordination of people and material resources toward given objectives. Students may choose a concentration in sustainable business, or an emphasis in other areas (note that an emphasis does not appear on a student’s degree).


The MBA program is accredited by the most respected business accrediting association in the world, the AACSB, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. San Francisco State University is also accredited by WASC, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. This ensures continuous improvement of faculty in teaching, research, and professional service.


U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and international students are accepted for both fall and spring admission according to the following schedule.

  • Fall semester filing period: October 1 through May 15, with rounds
  • Spring semester filing period: August 1 through November 1

The above dates are subject to change. Check the graduate business program’s website for the latest dates.

Admission Criteria

The College of Business admissions committee reviews an applicant’s overall qualifications and takes the following requirements into consideration:

  • Completion of a degree equivalent to a four year U.S. bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
  • A minimum 3.0 Grade Point Average overall, or in the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of university coursework completed (average incoming class GPA is 3.3)
  • GMAT exam including total score, verbal, quantitative, writing scores, and Integrated Reasoning scores (average incoming class total GMAT score is 570). Or the GRE test verbal, quantitative and writing scores. A GMAT AWA score of 5.0 or higher is required for classified admission or a GRE AWA score of 4.5 or higher. A GMAT AWA score of 4.5 or GRE AWA score of 4.0 is accepted, but as a conditional admission and student must complete an approved College of Business writing course.
  • Statement of purpose written using guidelines stated on department website
  • Two letters of recommendation from supervisors or faculty members
  • Résumé (Full-time work experience recommended)
  • TOEFL score of at least 590/243/96 or IELTS score of at least 7.0, or PTE of at least 65, taken within the past two years, is required of all applicants who have earned their undergraduate degree from a country where the official language is not English.
  • The admissions committee also considers evidence of motivation, career maturity, and past success in making admission decisions.

Meeting minimum qualifications does not guarantee admission to the program.

Program Requirements

Orientation and Professional Development Workshops

The College of Business Graduate Programs orientation helps students prepare for the academic program and provides professional development opportunities. The workshops included during orientation are designed to enhance career prospects, professional communication style, leadership skills and teamwork. Students are expected to attend the required orientation days.

Last updated Dec 2017

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About the School

San Francisco State University is one of the nation's leading public urban universities. Promoting respect for scholarship, freedom, and human diversity, the University's faculty and administration en ... Read More

San Francisco State University is one of the nation's leading public urban universities. Promoting respect for scholarship, freedom, and human diversity, the University's faculty and administration encourage students to ignore traditional barriers. Here students learn by helping people solve real-life problems, take part in research projects with senior faculty, collaborate with classmates, and explore future personal horizons and career pathways. Read less
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