Business Administration, Master of (MBA)

College of Business and Economics

  • Director: Deborah Cours, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Director: Wendy Rivera
  • Juniper Hall (JH) 3109
  • (818) 677-2467

M.B.A., Business Administration

Requirements for the Degree

  1. 1. Up to 15 units of Foundational course work may be required (see Section 1)
  2. 2. Minimum of 33 units in the Formal Proram, including: 24 units of Required Core course work (see Section 2)
  3. 3. 9 units of Electives (see Section 3), including GBUS 698A or 9 units of Electives (see Section 3) and 3 units in GBUS 697G

1. Foundational Skills

Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in business from an AACSB-accredited school may be waived of up to 15 units of Foundation courses. Other applicants may be required to complete some or all of the 15 units of prerequisite Foundation courses. Students must demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and statistics. Complete information is available from the Graduate Office. Applicants who apply to the MBA program will have their transcripts evaluated against the foundation courses listed below. Past course work may or may not have included the equivalents for the prerequisite courses. If there are any deficiencies, students may be admitted to the MBA program but the Foundation course work must be satisfactorily completed before the student will be advanced to Classified Graduate standing. Undergraduate course equivalents may be substituted only with the approval of the Director of Graduate Programs. The Foundation course work also may be satisfied through the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration Program. (For more information about the certificate program, please visit

Foundation Courses (15 units)

  • ACCT 501 MBA Financial Accounting (3)
  • BLAW 508 MBA Law in the Business Environment (3)
  • ECON 500 MBA Survey of Economics (3)
  • GBUS 502 Seminar in Managerial Finance/Accounting (3)
  • SOM 591 Statistics and Stochastic Models for Managers (3)

2. Required Core Courses (24 units)

  • ECON 600 Economics of Strategy (3)
  • FIN 635 Financial Theory and Policy (3)
  • GBUS 600 Analysis of Contemporary Organizations (3)
  • IS 628 Computer Based Management Information Systems (3)
  • MKT 640 Marketing Management (3)
  • MGT 620 Behavior in Organizations (3)
  • MGT 693 Seminar in Strategic Management (3)
  • SOM 686 Seminar in Internationally Competitive Operations Management (3)

3. Electives and Concentrations (9 units)

  • a. A minimum 9 units of electives must be selected from the list of 600-level courses offered by the College of Business and Economics with approval of the Director of Graduate Programs. Students must satisfy prerequisite requirements for any courses selected
  • b. Concentrations: Although not required within the 9 units of electives, an emphasis in one field of study may be completed by selecting 9 units from 600-level courses with approval from both the department and the Director of Graduate Programs. Concentrations are available in Information Systems, Finance, Management, Marketing, Sustainability, Systems and Operations Management, along with International Business and the Entertainment Industry. The MBA Consulting Graduate Project, GBUS 698A, will serve as one elective class in any concentration.

A complete list of courses available for each concentration is updated each semester and is available from the Graduate Office.

4. Culminating Experience (3 units)

All master’s degree candidates complete a thesis, project or exam that serves as a culminating experience and that demonstrates a comprehensive mastery of the program’s content. Satisfactory completion of this requirement is necessary to earn the degree.

Most MBA students satisfy this requirement through a graduate project, which we call the MBA Consulting Graduate Project. Occasionally, students will opt to take the Comprehensive Exam (GBUS 697G). Rarely, students are granted permission to write a thesis; this is typically reserved for a student who plans to pursue doctoral study. The culminating experience must be completed within 10 semesters of beginning coursework in the program. GBUS 698A will also satisfy one elective course; GBUS 697G will not.

MBA Consulting Graduate Project: GBUS 698A

The MBA Consulting Project consists of small teams of students performing comprehensive consulting projects under faculty supervision. The clients are selected and screened by the MBA program. Students are not permitted to conduct projects for their own employer or new venture.

Students enroll in GBUS 698A, a 3-unit course that also can be included in the formal program to fulfill one elective, counting in all concentrations. Letter grades are awarded to the coursework. A grade of C+ or lower will constitute a failing grade, resulting in disqualification from the MBA program. Note that unlike the comprehensive exam, a student is not allowed to repeat the MBA Consulting Project.

Although the students will be presented with a general idea of the project’s scope, it is the team’s responsibility to interview the client and determine a scope of work, which will be approved by the faculty advisor(s), graduate director and client. The students must complete the work, resulting in a written document meeting the approval of the faculty advisor by the semester’s deadline for submitting Graduate Theses and Projects (as stated in the Schedule of Classes).

MBA Comprehensive Exam: GBUS 697G

The exam is an individual take-home exam administrated over a four-day period. The exam consists of a case study, which the students analyze. A written document consisting of strategic analysis with recommendations is submitted. Guidelines, requirements and technical information is presented each semester in an information session and delivered by mail to the enrolled students.

Students enroll in GBUS 697G, a 3-unit course that is not included in the formal program and is graded on a pass/fail basis. Candidates who fail the exam the first time are permitted a second attempt at the exam and must complete the exam within the subsequent two semesters. Failing the exam twice disqualifies the student from the MBA program.

GPA Requirements

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all course work attempted after admission to the program and must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the MBA Formal Program (600-level courses). Students who fail to complete the first 15 units with a minimum of 3.0 GPA will be disqualified from the program. Candidates who are on probation will not be permitted to enroll in the MBA Consulting Project or to sit for the Comprehensive Exam.

Conditional Classification

To be granted Classifed status, students must meet the University requirements for Classification (see Graduate Programs). Completion of the GCBA program with a B or better in each course will satisfy one of the minimum requirements for classification. Some applicants will be admitted to the MBA program as Conditionally Classified students. These students will be notifed of the requirements for classification, which may include satisfactory performance in Foundation course work, satisfactory performance in specific classes, completion of an Academic Internships and/or satisfactory completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE). A score of 4.0 or better on the Analystical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) will satisfy the writing proficiency requirement. Students must satisfy requirements for Classification before completing more than 12 units of 600-level work. Failure to fulfill the requirements for Classification may result in dismissal from the program.

Time Limit for Completion

Consult the “Graduate Programs” section of this catalog for complete information. Please note that students must complete requirements for the degree within 5 calendar years from the date of admission.

The Graduate Certificate of Business Administration (GCBA) Program

The GCBA program enables holders of bachelor’s or graduate degrees in fields other than business to prepare for career change or advancement in the area of business management. It is also an outstanding opportunity to experience Master of Business Administration (MBA)-level coursework without committing to an MBA program. For those who later decide to pursue an MBA, the CSUN GCBA curriculum provides excellent preparation for that degree. The GCBA program is offered by CSUN’s College of Business and Economics in collaboration with CSUN’s Tseng College of Extended Learning. For more information about the GCBA program, please visit the website at

About the Program’s Cohort Format

Participants proceed through the program in a cohort (group) format, which means that all successful applicants in a given term will begin their course of study at the same time and move together with their cohort through the designated course sequence. Since all participants in a cohort take the same classes in sequence, the knowledge gained in one course can be built upon in those that follow. Cohort participants share a familiar, supportive on-going learning community and also enjoy the opportunity of networking together as a cohesive group with common career goals and life experiences.

Courses for Graduate Certificate of Business Administration Program

The GCBA program is a cohort program. Students start the program and proceed through the course sequence together. Students who do not meet the TOEFL minimum requirements for the regular GCBA program can start an international GCBA program with intensive English preparation prior to the start of the regular GCBA cohort. The term in which students will start their course of intensive English study is dependent upon their TOEFL score. The GCBA includes the CSUN MBA Foundation Courses (15 units) and a capstone course (GBUS 593).

ACCT 501 MBA Financial Accounting (3)

  • BLAW 508 MBA Law in the Business Environment (3)
  • ECON 500 MBA Survey of Economics (3)
  • GBUS 502 Seminar in Managerial Finance/Accounting (3)
  • GBUS 593 Management/Marketing (3)
  • SOM 591 Managerial Decision Support Models and Methods (3)