Table of Contents

Master of Business Administration

College of Business and Economics

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

Graduate Programs


Master of Business Administration (MBA)


Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (GCBA)

Masters in Business Administration

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a professional evening program for students desiring an advanced degree in general business management. Th e 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, eff ective 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 (2 nights per week). With few exceptions, graduate courses are off ered from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Th ursday evenings along with occasional Saturdays in selected courses.

For admission applicants must:

  1. Meet the requirements of the University as listed in the Catalog.

  2. File formal application for admission, and forward offi cial transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate university work no later than May 1st, if applying for the fall semester and October 1st, if applying for the spring semester. (See Catalog for University requirements for applications).

  3. Take the Graduate Management Admission Test by the application deadline and submit an original score report to the College of Business Graduate Office. Scores are normally valid for 5 years.

  4. International students who do not have a bachelor’s degree from a University within the US must submit scores from an accepted English Language Exam. The University accepts the TOEFL (minimum score of 213 computer based), IELTS (minimum score of 6.0), or Pearson’s Test of English (minimum score of 58).

  5. Admission to the CSUN MBA program is competitive. A typical successful applicant has a GMAT score of 580, has an undergraduate GPA of 3.2, and has 5 years work experience.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Up to 15 units of Foundational Coursework may be required (see Section 1)

  2. Minimum of 33 units, including:
    24 units of Required Core Coursework (see Section 2)

  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

  4. 3 units of Culminating Experience

Total Units Required for the MBA 33–51

  1. Foundational Skills:

Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than business may be required to complete some or all of the 15 units of prerequisite foundation courses. Students must demonstrate profi ciency 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 defi ciencies, students may be admitted to the MBA program, but the foundation coursework must be satisfactorily completed before the student will be advanced to classifi ed graduate standing. Undergraduate course equivalents may be substituted only with the approval of the Director of Graduate Programs. Th e foundation coursework may also be satisfi ed through the Graduate Certifi cate in Business Administration Program. For more information about the certificate program please Visit the Tseng College Website

Foundation Courses (15 units)
BLAW 508 MBA Law in the Business Environment (3)
SOM 591 Statistics and Stochastic Models for Managers (3)
ECON 500 MBA Survey of Economics (3)
ACCT 501 MBA Financial Accounting (3)
GBUS 502 Seminar in Managerial Finance/Accounting (3)
  1. Required Core Courses (24 units)
GBUS 600 Analysis of Contemporary Organizations (3)
IS 628 Computer Based Management Information Systems (3)
ECON 600 Economics of Strategy (3)
FIN 635 Financial Th eory and Policy (3)
SOM 686 Seminar in Internationally Competitive Operations Management (3)
MKT 640 Marketing Management (3)
MGT 620 Behavior in Organizations (3)
MGT 693 Seminar in Strategic Management (3)
  1. Electives and Concentrations (9 Units):
  1. Minimum 9 units of electives must be selected from the list of 600-level courses off ered by the 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 fi eld of study may be completed by selecting nine 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.

  1. 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.

The MBA program offers students the choice between the comprehensive exam and a graduate project, which we call the MBA Consulting Graduate Project. 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.

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.

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 fulfi ll 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).

GPA Requirements:

Students will be expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in MBA coursework. In addition, a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA must be maintained in all courses taken after conditional or classifi ed admission to the MBA program. 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 sit for the Comprehensive Examination.

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 allows those who have already earned their bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree in a field other than business to acquire the fundamental knowledge needed for success in the business world. The GCBA program is offered by CSUN’s College of Business and Economics (COBAE), in collaboration with CSUN’s Tseng College of Extended Learning. For more information about the GCBA program, Please Visit the GCBA Website.

The GCBA program off ers participants an opportunity to:

  • Develop strong English written and oral communication skills.
  • Prepare for success in graduate studies at an American university.
  • Gain essential knowledge and skills for success in today’s business world.
  • Add business knowledge and skills to other areas of expertise, allowing participants greater opportunities for success in small and midsize businesses as well as in the larger national and international corporations.
  • Fulfill foundational course requirements for admission to CSUN’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program (and many other accredited MBA programs), for those with a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than business.

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 Certifi cate 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).

BLAW 508 MBA Law in the Business Environment (3)
ACCT 501 MBA Financial Accounting (3)
GBUS 502 Seminar in Managerial Finance/Accounting (3)
SOM 591 Managerial Decision Support Models and Methods (3)
ECON 500 MBA Survey of Economics (3)
GBUS 593 Management/Marketing (3)

Course List

See listings under Business Administration and individual departments listed alphabetically in this Catalog.

Cross Disciplinary Courses

GBUS 502. Seminar in Managerial Finance/Accounting (3)
Prerequisite: ACCT 501. Interdisciplinary course dealing with the financial decision-making process. Topics include the analysis and interpretation of financial statements, product costing including activity based overhead cost allocations, financial planning and budgeting, working capital management, valuation, capital budgeting, sources of capital and capital structure, dividend policy, and the management of risk and return in an international context.
GBUS 593. Management/Marketing Seminar (3)
The seminar integrates the fields of marketing and management and draws on their previous coursework to give students a basic understanding of business strategy. Th e course will provide an overview of marketing, management and business strategy theory. Business strategy cases and simulations will be used to help students apply the concepts taught in this course and those in their previous certifi cate courses.
GBUS 598C. MBA Internship (3)
Prerequisite: must be a graduate student in good standing. Individual study pertaining to future career and application of knowledge, skills and abilities gained in MBA coursework. Student must obtain an approved internship requiring MBA-level responsibilities. Faculty mentor and employer will determine scopeof work. Th is academic internship course is available on a Credit/No Credit basis only. May not be used to fulfi ll formal program requirements in the MBA program.
GBUS 599A-C. Independent Study (1-3)
GBUS 600. Analysis of Contemporary Organizations (3)
Interdisciplinary course introducing new graduate students to the field of business. Focuses on the nature of organizations and the interrelatedness of the functional areas. Explores intellectual and historic roots of management theories through readings of primary source materials. Students develop communication and research skills through individual and group projects that focus on organizations and their environment.
GBUS 660. Special Topics Seminar: Training in Organizations (3)
Analyzes the characteristics of eff ective training by exploring adult learning theories. Topics include conducting needs assessments and developing, implementing, and evaluating training in organizations.
GBUS 691. Small Business Consulting (3)
Prerequisites: GBUS 600; classifi ed status. Under faculty advisement, students conduct consulting projects for local small business owners, entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations. Interdisciplinary course integrating a broad range of business disciplines and stresses their interactions with client companies. Provides students with the framework and experience needed for consulting. Students are responsible for evaluating clients’ needs, determining the scope of work, conducting appropriate research and analysis and developing recommendations designed to achieve organizational goals. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are improved and applied to evaluate alternative strategies and their eff ects on an organization’s long-term survival and success. Requires preparation and presentation of final work project.
GBUS 694A-G. Graduate Readings (3)
Prerequisite: Permission of Department Chair and Director of Graduate Programs. Individual departments may have specifi c course prerequisites. Supervised readings for graduate students desiring greater knowledge not available in established courses. Provides opportunity to explore interdisciplinary approaches.
GBUS 695A-Z. Experimental Topics Courses (3)
Prerequisites: Permission of Department Chair and Director of Graduate Programs.
GBUS 696A-G. Directed Graduate Research (1)
Prerequisites: Permission of Department Chair and Director of Graduate Programs.
GBUS 697A-G. Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
Prerequisite: Permission of Director of Graduate Programs. Not open to students writing a thesis. Open only to graduate students who have completed or are currently completing their course requirements and have only the Comprehensive Exam to take.
GBUS 698A-G. Graduate Thesis (3-6)
Prerequisites: Permission of Department Th esis Committee and Director of Graduate Programs. Number of units allowed depends upon the study undertaken.