Apr 14, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Business Administration, M.B.A.

The Master of Business Administration program develops competencies essential to functioning professionally in a complex and competitive business environment. The program prepares students for responsible administrative positions and provides the background essential for advancement in professional management careers. The Master of Business Administration degree encompasses a program of breadth which builds a wide range of competencies required for effective management while permitting students to specialize in a functional area.

The Master of Business Administration is normally a 48-unit program for the graduate without an undergraduate degree in Business.

General MBA


The Master of Business Administration program requires completion of a minimum of 36 units of graduate course work as established and approved by the College of Business Administration MBA office. The MBA program must include:

  I. First Year Core 0‑12  
  II. Advancement to Candidacy    
  III. Second Year Core 21  
  IV. Advanced Study 12  
  V. Capstone 3  
  Total units 36‑48  

MBA students should be guided by the following sequence of events as they progress through their graduate study in the College of Business Administration.

First Year Core: Common Body of Knowledge

The masters degree presupposes mastery of a common body of knowledge. Students with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from this University or from other AACSB-accredited business schools within the last 3 years will have met much of the First Year Core requirements depending on the grades they achieved in certain courses. Upon acceptance to the MBA Program, student’s transcripts are reviewed for completion of the necessary course work for mastery of the common body of knowledge. A grade of “B” or better within the last 3 years is required to meet the criteria. More information about this requirement and waiver exams is available from the CBA Graduate Programs Office.

Students with comparable, three-year old coursework from a non-AACSB business school with grades of “B” or better may take waiver exams only at the beginning of their program to demonstrate capability in the First Year Core classes.

Waivers of the First Year Core classes are based upon recent, satisfactory educational background at either a graduate or undergraduate level as described above. Students who have not met the entire common body of  knowledge requirements prior to admission to the MBA Program will be required to enroll in the appropriate First Year Core Courses to make up any deficiency.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students admitted with all First Year Core requirements completed must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy for the degree after completion of their first six units. Other students must file the application during the semester in which the First Year Core requirements are to be completed. Prior to advancement to candidacy, a student must:

  1. Be accepted into the MBA Program.
  2. Maintain an overall minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, including work transferred from other institutions, and a minimum 3.0 GPA in all work completed at this University.
  3. Complete all First Year Core Requirements, with no grade lower than “C”.
  4. Fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) or receive a 4.0 or better on the writing portion of the GMAT or GRE.
  5. Prepare an official student program in consultation with the CBA Graduate Programs Office. This program must include the Second‑Year Core in effect at the time of Advancement to Candidacy, the 12 unit program for the area of Advanced Study and the Capstone Course, GBA 699 , for a total of 36 units.
  6. File the application for Advancement to Candidacy with the CBA Graduate Programs Office for approval by the Graduate Program Director.

Second Year Core

Upon completion of the First Year Core, either by waiver or graduate course work, students move directly into the Second Year Core. (See section on Advancement to Candidacy). This core consists of seven courses (21 units) which provide the breadth requirements for the MBA degree at the advanced level.

Advanced Study

The General MBA is designed for students with an undergraduate business degree or any other student desiring a more broad‑based MBA curriculum. The General MBA requires 12 units of graduate course work in three different areas within the College of Business Administration subject to approval by the CBA Graduate Programs Office.

Transfer Credit

Assuming the Continuous Enrollment requirement has been satisfied, a maximum of nine credits that closely complement the student’s degree objectives may be applied toward the requirements for the MBA degree beyond the First Year Core under the following conditions:

  1. the credits under consideration must be graduate credits,
  2. the course work must be taken at an AACSB accredited graduate program,
  3. prior approval must be obtained from the CBA Graduate Programs Director,
  4. prior approval must be obtained from the department chair of the course work being transferred.

The remaining units must be completed in courses at CSULB reserved exclusively for graduate students.

MBA Specializations

Specializations require 12 units with at least nine units of graduate course work in one area. These specializations are only available in the evening program.

Any student may count three units of Directed Studies (697) toward Advanced Study requirements. See CBA Graduate Programs Office for more details.

Elective courses designed to fulfill specialization requirements must be approved by the CBA Graduate Programs Office through the completion and acceptance of student’s Advancement to Candidacy form.


Health Care Management

Health Science

Hospitality Management

Human Resources Management

Information Systems



Recreation and Leisure Studies


Students must take following as the last or capstone course:


Students must complete the Second Year Core and Advance to Candidacy before enrolling in GBA 699 . In this comprehensive analysis, the student will demonstrate technical skills as they integrate the knowledge obtained in all the functional areas of business. Students will research a real company, collect data, conduct analysis, and offer improvement recommendations. A written research project report and oral presentation is required. Students must obtain a grade of “B” or better in GBA 699  in order to receive an MBA degree. Application for acceptance into GBA 699  must be filed in the CBA Graduate Programs Office before the end of the fourth week of instruction in the semester preceding enrollment in the course. Application forms and advisement relating to this important requirement are available in the Graduate Programs Office.

Time Limitation

All courses on the official student program (Advancement to Candidacy) must be completed within seven years of commencement of the first class toward fulfillment of the Second Year Core requirement.