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College of Business Administration Information

College of Business Administration

CSULB CBA Building with snow-covered mountains in the distance

CBA Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

The College of Business Administration offers graduate study leading to the Master of Business Administration (MBA). The degree offered by the College of Business Administration is accredited by the AACSB - International.

The MBA is designed to serve the community by providing graduate business education to persons who show promise of leadership and success in business or related fields. For this reason, the faculty of the College of Business Administration has established rigorous standards of admission and completion for the program.

Admission to Graduate Study

In addition to admission by the University Office of Admissions and Records, an applicant for graduate study in business must apply to and be admitted by the College of Business Administration. It is the responsibility of the student to purchase a current CSULB Catalog which sets forth the policies of the University and the College of Business Administration graduate program.

Admission Procedures

1. Students interested in applying to the MBA program at CSULB should file a University application online at and an MBA Application Packet from the Graduate Program Office at College of Business Administration. Students must complete and submit both applications in order to be considered for admission into the graduate program in business. Students applying for the MBA should mark “other masters” as the degree objective, and 05011 as the major code. Students should submit the MBA application with two letters of recommendation, current resume, and statement of purpose directly to the MBA office.

2. Two complete sets of official transcripts of all college work attempted are required. One set must be sent to:

California State University, Long Beach, Office of Admissions and Records, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840

The other set of official transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate Programs Office at the following address:

California State University, Long Beach, College of Business Administration, Graduate Programs and Executive Education Office, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840

3. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores must be forwarded directly from the GMAC to the College of Business Administration Graduate Programs Office. Test scores over 5 years old will not be considered.

4. Foreign students should first contact the Center for International Education on campus for special deadlines. Foreign students are required to take the TOEFL test and achieve a score of 550, in addition to the steps above required of all applicants to the MBA program.

Deadlines for International applications are:

April 1 for Fall Semester
October 30 for Spring Semester
Deadline for domestic applications are:
October 30 for Spring Semester
March 30 for Fall Semester

One official copy of all transcripts, the MBA Application Packet, GMAT score and TOEFL score (if applicable), must be filed in the Graduate Programs Office by:

October 30 for Spring Semester
March 30 for Fall Semester

Because of high demand for admission to the MBA program, it is advisable that students make their application to the program early. No action can be taken on applications until all required documents are received. Application materials submitted after these dates will not be considered.


Admission will be granted to students showing high promise of success in post-baccalaureate business study.

Each applicant’s potential for graduate management education is evaluated on the basis of six major criteria:

  1. Past Academic Record, as reflected in undergraduate GPA or other Graduate programs.
  2. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
  3. Managerial Experience: demonstration of increasing levels of responsibility.
  4. Communication: ability to clearly identify the applicant’s leadership potential, educational goals and academic strengths.
  5. Two Letters of Recommendation
  6. Statement of Purpose

Upon completion of evaluation by the College of Business Administration Graduate Programs office, the student is notified by mail of acceptance or rejection. If accepted, the letter includes an evaluation listing prerequisites met by the student in previous course work and those still requiring completion. Course work over ten years old at the time of acceptance will not be considered for satisfaction of the First Year Core.


In order to be admitted into the University as an MBA student you must meet all of the MBA Admissions criteria.

Admission to Graduate Courses

Only students who have been admitted to the MBA program may take graduate courses in Business Administration. The only exception is that students who have been admitted to other Master’s programs at CSULB may take select graduate courses in Business Administration to meet the requirements for their programs, with the permission of their major advisor and the Graduate Programs office.

Enrollment in graduate courses through the Open University will normally be permitted only for students in an AACSB accredited graduate program elsewhere with a letter of permission from the Associate Dean/Dean of the student’s home university.

Continuous Enrollment

Once a student is accepted and enrolled in the MBA Program, he/she is expected to attend classes both semesters of the academic year. (Fall and Spring semesters are considered the regular semesters of the academic year; Summer attendance is optional.) Registration and completion of at least one course each semester satisfies the Continuous Enrollment requirement.

If a student is unable to satisfy the Continuous Enrollment requirement, he/she must complete the Educational Leave of Absence procedures detailed below. Continuous Enrollment status will only be preserved if the student’s absence from a regular semester has been processed and approved through the Educational Leave of Absence procedures.

Students failing to maintain Continuous Enrollment status will be administratively removed from the MBA Program. Registration privileges will be revoked. Students planning to continue in the MBA Program who have been administratively removed due to the violation of the Continuous Enrollment condition will be required to re-apply to the MBA Program and to the University.

Leave of Absence

Any MBA student in good academic standing may request an Educational Leave. Students requesting an Educational Leave must complete an Educational Leave Form, in advance, including an explanation of their reasons for seeking the leave and a statement of when they intend to resume academic work. The completed form is to be submitted for approval to the Graduate Programs Office and the University Admission and Records Office in accordance with University Policy.

The minimum initial leave will be one full semester; the maximum will be one calendar year. A student may request, in writing, in advance, an extension of leave. Under no circumstances will the total number of approved educational leaves exceed two, nor will the duration of approved educational leaves extend beyond two calendar years.

Students returning from an approved one semester educational leave are not required to submit an application form. Students on leave longer than one semester must apply for re-admission to the university. Students returning from an absence for which an educational leave was appropriate but not approved in advance must complete the entire MBA admission process.

An Educational Leave of Absence, if properly requested and processed, allows a student to satisfy the Continuous Enrollment requirement and therefore does not affect their good standing status. Students on an approved education leave of absence will continue to receive registration information.

Graduate students who plan to enroll for credit at another institution of higher education during the leave period must obtain prior approval for the transfer of course credit to the student’s program for the department chair in question and the Graduate Programs Director.

The period of an educational leave is counted in the calculation of elapsed time under the regulations governing the seven year maximum period for completion of the MBA degree requirements.

For the period of an educational leave the student’s rights under the “Election of Regulation” rule are preserved, maintaining the right of the student to elect regulations as if he or she had maintained continuous attendance. See the CSULB Catalog, General Rules and Procedures section, for a complete explanation of the Election of Regulation - “Catalog Rights”.

An educational leave presupposes no expenditure of University resources or faculty and staff time in behalf of the student during the period of the leave. In addition, no computer facilities, no library privileges, and no student services are available to a student on educational leave.

Transfer Credit

Assuming the Continuous Enrollment requirement has been satisfied, a maximum of six 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 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.

Scholastic Standards/Probation/Disqualification

A student who fails to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work completed as a graduate student at this University or in all transferred work applied to the program will be placed on academic probation. The semester in which the student’s GPA falls below 3.0 is the First Probational Semester.

A student on probation, who at the end of the Third Probationary Semester (or summer, if classes are taken) fails to obtain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on all units attempted in post-baccalaureate work at CSULB, will be disqualified and removed from the graduate program. The student should note that the cumulative GPA is calculated by the University Admissions and Records Office and includes all upper division and graduate courses taken while enrolled in the graduate program.

A grade of “C” or better is required in any course taken to satisfy first or second year Core requirements. A grade of “B” or better is required in GBA 699. If either of these requirements is not met, a student must take the course a second time or withdraw from the program. A second failure to achieve the requirement grade will result in involuntary separation from the program. This requirement operates independently of the requirement for a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

Master of Business Administration (code CBA_MB01)

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. Second Year Core 21
III. Advanced Study 12
IV. Capstone Course 3

Total units 36-48

Students who have not had an economics course prior to entering the MBA program must complete an economics course as a condition to obtaining an MBA degree.

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

I. 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 from this University or from other AACSB accredited business schools within the last 10 years will have met much of the First Year Core requirements. Individual Business Administration courses taken as an undergraduate student at another AACSB institution may also meet specific First Year Core requirements. Upon acceptance to the program, student’s transcripts are reviewed for completion of the necessary course work for mastery of the common body of knowledge. A grade of “C” or better is required to meet the criteria.

Waivers of First Year Core are based upon previous educational background at either a graudate or undergraduate level. Information on waivers may be obtained from the College of Business Administration, Graduate Programs Office. 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. This core consists of four courses (12 units): ACCT 500, FIN 501, MGMT 500, MKTG 500. If an MBA student does not have an undergraduate degree in business or does not have exposure to business law and ethics, he/she would be required to acquire that knowledge by taking BLAW 520 or an equivalent course prior to graduation.

II. 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 must have received a 4.0 or better on the writing portion of the GMAT.
  5. Prepare an official student program in consultation with the MBA 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 Graduate Program office for approval by the Graduate Program Director.

III. 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: ACCT 610, FIN 600, HRM 652, IS 601, IS 602, MGMT 647, MKTG 661.

IV. 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 Graduate Programs Office.

MBA Specializations

Specializations require 12 units with at least nine units of graduate course work in one area.


Requirements: nine elective units selected from ACCT 640, 680, 695, 697.

Engineering Systems

Allows students with a strong engineering background to specialize within the MBA program in an area that may more closely match their career objectives. This specialization consists of graduate courses within the College of Engineering, subject to approval by the Graduate Programs Director.


Requirements: nine elective units selected from BLAW 524; FIN 620, 630, 650, 690.

Health Care Management

Requirements: HCA 502 and any two of the following: HCA 536, 537, 538, 550, 552.

Human Resources Management

Requirements: nine elective units selected from HRM 654, 655, 657.

Information Systems

Requirements: nine elective units selected from IS 545, 550, 564, 580, 584.


Requirements: nine elective units selected from MGMT 542, 543.


Requirements: nine elective units selected from MKTG 610, 663, 665, 666, 668, 669, 695.

May count three units of Directed Studies (697) toward Advanced Study requirements. Elective courses designed to fulfill specialization requirements must be approved by Graduate Programs Office through the completion and acceptance of student’s Advancement to Candidacy form.

V. Capstone Course: GBA 699

Integrated Analysis, GBA 699, is taken as the last or capstone course in the program. Students must complete the Second Year Core and Advance to Candidacy before enrolling in GBA 699. This critical course is given during the Fall and Spring semesters. In this comprehensive analysis, the student will integrate the knowledge obtained in the functional areas. This capstone course serves in place of either comprehensive examination or thesis as the required evaluation of candidate competency.

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 MBA 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.

VI. 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.

VII. Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

As a requirement for advancement to candidacy, all graduate students must demonstrate writing competency by:

  1. Passing an approved CSULB assessment of writing competence (GWAR),
  2. Having already passed an assessment of writing competence (GWAR) while matriculated at another CSU campus, or
  3. Earning a CSULB-approved passing score on the writing portion of an approved standardized graduate admissions test, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Assessments of writing competence from non-CSU campuses will be evaluated by the GWAR Coordinator as a fulfillment of the GWAR, on an articulation basis if possible or on a case-by-case basis if necessary.

Students with degrees from non-CSU campuses must either provide evidence of meeting the requirement with adequate scores on a CSULB-approved standardized test or attempt to satisfy the GWAR by the end of their first semester of matriculation at CSULB.

Master of Business Administration / Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management (code THEAMZ01)

The MBA/MFA degree will prepare arts professionals in all areas of both arts administration and business for professional careers in arts management—in performing and exhibiting arts organizations, in arts service organizations, in government, funding agencies and arts councils. The program prepares students for high level administrative positions and provides the background essential for advancement in professional management careers.

Admission Criteria for MBA/MFA

Candidates for this program must hold the equivalent of an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning with a minimum of 24 units of upper division work in Theatre Arts. They should have achieved an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 (B-) and 3.0 GPA in upper division theatre courses. All candidates for admission are required to complete the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and achieve a score of at least 475. The GMAT measures general verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that are developed over a long period of time and are associated with success in the first year of study at graduate schools of management. For each applicant, there is a departmental evaluation, based upon diagnostic examination and an analysis of official undergraduate transcripts to determine deficiencies and all areas which must be strengthened by the graduate program.


Business Core 1 (12 units)

ACCT 500, FIN 501, MGMT 500, MKTG 500

Business Core 2 (21 units)

ACCT 610, FIN 600, HRM 652, IS 601, IS 602, MGMT 647, MKTG 661

Business Elective (3 units)

Theatre Core (9 units)

THEA 523, 524, 696

Theatre Management (24 units)

THEA 502, 503, 504, 507, 550, 602 (6 units), 603

Theatre Practicum (12 units)

THEA 517 (4 units), 518 (4 units), 519 (4 units)

Culminating Thesis/Project (3 units)

THEA 699

Theatre Electives (6 units)

Electives from the University at large through advisement