Program: M.B.A., Business Administration

Program Description

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an advanced degree in general business management. The David Nazarian College of Business and Economics at CSUN offers a part-time MBA program for midcareer professionals who want to enhance their careers in business, switch careers or become entrepreneurs. The mission of the Nazarian MBA program is to prepare students for professional growth by integrating current business theory and practice with their own career experience. Designed to be accessible to the fully employed student, the interdisciplinary program emphasizes analytical thinking, clear communication, effective teamwork, a global perspective and ethical practices. A spirit of collegiality among the students, faculty and business community is fostered through social and professional activities.

The average course load for MBA students is 6 units per semester (two nights per week). With few exceptions, graduate courses are offered from 7-10 p.m., Monday through Thursday evenings, along with occasional Saturdays in selected courses.

Program Requirements

A. Admission to the Program

For admission, applicants must:

  1. Meet the requirements of the University as listed in this Catalog.
  2. File a formal application for admission and forward official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate university work no later than May 1 if applying for the Fall semester and October 1 if applying for the Spring semester. (See University requirements for applications.)
  3. Take the Graduate Management Admission Test by the application deadline, and submit an original score report to the David Nazarian College of Business Graduate Office. Scores are normally valid for five years. Completing the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration program with a “B” or better in each course will satisfy the GMAT requirement. GRE scores may be accepted in lieu of the GMAT; please contact the Graduate Office at
  4. International students who do not have a bachelor’s degree from a university within the United States must submit scores from an accepted English Language Exam. The University accepts the TOEFL (minimum score of 213 computer-based), IELTS (minimum score of 6.5) or Pearson’s Test of English (minimum score of 58).
  5. Complete the MBA Supplemental Application by the application deadline.
  6. Provide a current resume with minimum professional postbaccalaureate work experience of at least one year.

B. MBA Classification Status

To be admitted as classified students, applicants must have:

  1. Satisfied the minimum MBA admission standards.
  2. Completed the MBA foundation courses (15 units) or their approved equivalents.
  3. Earned a 3.0 or higher GPA in the undergraduate degree (or in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units) or scored at or above the 50th percentile on the Verbal or Quantitative section of the GMAT or completed the CSUN Graduate Certificate in Business Administration program with a grade of “B” or better in each course.

Students who are admitted to the MBA program but who require any of the MBA foundation courses and/or who do not satisfy the University requirements for classification and/or who have deficiencies in program admission requirements (GPA, GMAT and/or work experience) will be admitted as conditionally classified. Students will be notified of the requirements for classified status in their letter of admission to the MBA program.

Students admitted as conditionally classified must satisfy these requirements before completing more than 12 units of 600-level coursework in the MBA program. To meet the minimum requirements for classified status, MBA students must have a 3.0 or higher GPA for all work attempted since admission to the program.

C. Conditional Classification

To be granted classified status, students must meet the University requirements for classification. 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 notified of the requirements for classification, which may include satisfactory performance in foundation coursework, satisfactory performance in specific classes and/or completion of an Academic Internship. 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.

D. Time Limit for Completion

Consult the Graduate Studies section of this Catalog for complete information. Please note that students must complete requirements for the degree within five calendar years from the date of admission.

E. GPA Requirements

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all coursework 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 a 3.0 GPA will be disqualified from the program. Candidates who are on academic notice (formerly academic probation) will not be permitted to enroll in the MBA Consulting Graduate Project or to sit for the Comprehensive Exam.

F. 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 Nazarian Graduate Business Programs Office. Applicants who apply to the MBA program will have their transcripts evaluated against the foundation courses listed below. Past coursework 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 coursework 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 Business Programs. The foundation coursework also may be satisfied through the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration program.

Foundation Courses (15 units)

ACCT 501 Financial Accounting (3)
BLAW 508 Business Law (3)
ECON 500 Survey of Economics (3)
FIN 502 Managerial Finance (3)
SOM 591 Business Analytics Foundation (3)

G. Course Requirements

Up to 15 units of foundational coursework may be required in addition to the formal program (see section F above).

The formal MBA program requires 33 units including:

  • 24 units of required core coursework (see section 1 below).
  • 6 units of electives (see section 2 below).
  • 3 units of a culminating experience (see section 3 below).

1. Required Core Courses (24 units)

ECON 600 Economics of Strategy (3)
FIN 635 Corporate Finance (3)
GBUS 600 Analysis of Contemporary Organizations (3)
GBUS 607 Data Mining and Analytics (3)
MGT 620 Organizational Behavior (3)
MGT 693 Strategic Management (3)
MKT 640 Marketing Management (3)
SOM 686 Operations Management (3)

2. Electives and Specializations (6 units)

  1. A minimum 6 units of electives must be selected from the list of 600-level courses offered by the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics with approval of the Director of Graduate Business Programs. Students must satisfy prerequisite requirements for any courses selected.
  2. Specializations: Although not required, a specialization may be completed by selecting 6 units of electives from 600-level courses in one field of study with approval from both the department and the Director of Graduate Business Programs. Specializations are available in Entrepreneurship, Management/Human Resources, Marketing, Finance and Accounting. Some specializations rely on graduate classes outside the MBA, including Information Systems, Systems and Operations Management, International Business and Entertainment.

A list of courses available for each specialization is updated each semester and is available from the Graduate Business Programs Office.

3. Culminating Experience (3 units)

All CSUN 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 to earn the degree.

MBA students satisfy this requirement through a graduate project, which the program calls the MBA Consulting Graduate Project. Rarely, a student may petition the Director of Graduate Business Programs for permission to take the Comprehensive Exam or to write a thesis. The exam is typically reserved for a student with significant broad-based consulting experience, and the thesis 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.

MBA Consulting Graduate Project: GBUS 698A

The MBA Consulting Graduate 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.

Letter grades are awarded for 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 are presented with a general idea of the project’s scope, it is the team’s responsibility to interview the client and determine the scope of work, which will be approved by the faculty advisor(s), the Director of Graduate Business Programs and the client. The students must complete the work and produce a written document that meets 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 Comprehensive Exam is an individual take-home exam administrated over a four-day period. The exam consists of a case study. Students submit a written document consisting of their strategic analysis of the case along with recommendations. Guidelines, requirements and technical information are presented in an information session and delivered by the course management system to the enrolled students.

The exam is graded on a pass/fail basis. A candidate who fails the exam the first time is 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.

Total Units Required for the M.B.A. Degree: 33


Master of Business Administration
Director: Kristen Walker
Assistant Director: Sheila M. Brown
Bookstein Hall (BB) 3109
(818) 677-2467

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master of Business Administration will be able to:

  1. Integrate theory and practice.
  2. Understand the interdisciplinary relationships in the firm and its environment.
  3. Have skills appropriate for senior management professionals, including analytic thinking, clear communication, effective teamwork, global perspective and ethical practices.