Program: M.B.A., Business Administration

Program Description

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a professional evening program for students who desire an advanced degree in general business management. The mission of the MBA program is to prepare students for professional growth by integrating current business theory and practices with their own career experiences. 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. For admission applicants must:

  1. Meet the requirements of the University as listed in this Catalog.
  2. File 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 5 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 U.S. 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 at by the application deadline.
  6. Provide a current resume with minimum professional post-baccalaureate work experience of at least 1 year.

Admission to the CSUN MBA program is competitive. A typical successful applicant has a GMAT score of 600, an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 and 5 years of work experience.

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 scored at or above the 50th percentile on the Verbal or Quantitative section of the GMAT or completed the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration program with a grade of “B” or better in each course.
  4. Satisfied the CSU Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement by having passed the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam or receiving a score of 4.0 or higher on the Analytical Writing Assessment of the GMAT exam.

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. Students will be notified of the requirements for classified status in their letter of admission to the MBA program.

Students admitted as conditionally classified students 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 (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 notified of the requirements for classification, which may include satisfactory performance in foundation coursework, satisfactory performance in specific classes, completion of an Academic Internship and/or satisfactory completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE). A score of 4.0 or better on the Analytical 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.

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 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.

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 Graduate 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 Programs. The foundation coursework also may be satisfied through the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration Program. (For more information about the certificate program, please visit the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration website.)

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)

G. Course Requirements

  • Up to 15 units of foundational coursework may be required (see section G above).
  • Minimum of 33 units in the formal program, including 24 units of required core coursework (see section 1 below).
  • 9 units of Electives (see section 2 below), including GBUS 698A or 9 units of electives (see section 2 below) and 3 units in GBUS 697G.

1. Required Core Courses (24 units)

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

2. Electives and Concentrations (9 units)

  1. A minimum 9 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 Programs. Students must satisfy prerequisite requirements for any courses selected.
  2. 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 Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, Information Systems, Finance, Management, Marketing, Sustainability and 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.

3. 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 the program calls 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 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 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 student analyzes. A written document consisting of strategic analysis with recommendations is submitted. Guidelines, requirements and technical information are 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.

Total Units Required for the M.B.A. Degree: 33-36


Director: Deborah Heisley

Assistant Director: Philipa Moguel

Juniper Hall (JH) 3109
(818) 677-2467

Student Learning Outcomes

Our MBA graduates will:

  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.