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How to Apply

Sign: Office of Admissions, Prospective Student Center

Applications due November 1st for Spring 2017


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

  1. Apply To The University

    SDSU will be accepting applications from U.S.-based students who wish to pursue an MBA for spring semester of 2017. The application period runs September 1 – November 1, 2016. SDSU will be accepting applications from 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 A $55 nonrefundable application fee is required of all applicants. After you apply, you will receive your SDSU Red ID – your Red ID is required to submit your program application (step 3).

  2. Submit Test Scores & Transcripts

    Submit Official Transcripts & Test Scores to the Graduate Admissions Office by November 15th for Spring 2017, and by April 1st for Fall 2017 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. 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
    See IELTS website ( for instructions.
  3. Create Decision Desk Account and Submit Program Application

    Electronically submit a program application through your Decision Desk account by November 15th for Spring 2017 applicants, and by April 1st for Fall 2017 applicants. No paper or e-mailed materials will be accepted or reviewed. You must have your SDSU Red ID to submit your Program Application.

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

Admitted Student Profile

View Admitted Student Profile 2016 (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 admitting U.S.-based students who wish to pursue an MBA or an MSA 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 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 (

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 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 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, 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 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 (

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

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.

AACSB accredited

The College of Business Administration is fully accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business