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How to Apply

We are delighted you are considering Cal State San Marcos for your MBA. We encourage you to explore the application process, meet our advisors, and to take the time to compile a high-quality application that reflects you and your career aspirations. This is your opportunity to invest in yourself and your future. We look forward to helping you every step of the way.

Admission entry for the Fully Employed MBA (FEMBA) program is every summer term. The application for Summer 2024 will be open on August 1, 2023. Please use the link below to access our step-by-step guide on how to complete the online application through CSU Apply.
FEMBA Cal State Apply Application TutorialApply to the FEMBA Program - CSU Apply 

Application Review Dates

The pool of completed applications will be reviewed at each date listed below. If a full cohort has been selected and filled at any of the review dates below, the application will be close and those who did not complete an applcaition will have to wait and apply for the following year. 

      • First Review - October 31, 2023
      • Second Review - November 31, 2023
      • Final Review - Janurary 15, 2024

Admission Requirements

  • 1. Bachelors Degree from Accredited Institution
    Applicant must have completed a four-year college course of study or an appropriate baccalaureate degree (or equivalent preparation) from a regionally accredited institution or from an international institution that meets CSUSM accreditation standards.
  • 2. Good Academic Standing & GPA Requirement

    Applicant must be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended. A Grade Point Average (GPA) of “B” (3.0) or better in the last sixty (60) graded semester units, from a WASC-equivalent university. Only regular courses from four-year colleges and/or universities will be used in calculating an applicant’s GPA—no extension courses or community college courses will be included.

  • 3. Professional Work Experience
    Applicant must have at least three years of full-time, professionally relevant work experience.
  • 4. GMAT/GRE

    Applicant must have taken the GMAT or GRE before the application review deadlines.

    To learn more about taking the GMAT, please see

    • Minimum GMAT score requirements: 
      • Total score of five hundred (500)
      • 30th percentile score in the Verbal and Quantitative sections
      • 4.0 in the Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning sections
      • The Faculty Admissions Committee will use the best GMAT score taken within the past five years.
    • GRE scores may be submitted in lieu of the GMAT. We compare GRE scores to the equivalent score of a 500 on the GMAT.
    • Request that your official GMAT score report to be sent to CSUSM. The school code for the GMAT test is V38-PT-28. If you are sending GRE scores the school code is 4155.
    • If you have at least 5 years of professional work experience, you may petition to waive the GMAT/GRE requirement by contacting the MBA office at or (760) 750-4267. Please note that the admissions committee might ask for an interview and/or employment verification.
    • If you hold a master or doctorate degree in a quantitative field, you may petition to waive the GMAT requirement by contacting the MBA office at or (760) 750-4267. 
    • GMAT fee waivers are available based on financial need and there are only ten waivers granted per year. Please email the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office at to request a fee waiver code. In order to request a fee waiver code your FAFSA application must be submitted.
  • 5 International Students/ Non-resident

    All International applicants requiring the F-1 student visa should visit the Office of Global Education to get detailed information about the application process for graduate level international students. All international applicants requiring an F-1 Student Visa are required to submit a financial affidavit that certifies they have the financial resources to provide for all expenses as indicated under Estimated Expenses. This form is part of the application for admission. Verification of English proficiency, the financial affidavit, and all official academic records from foreign institutions must be on file by the application deadline, and if they are not written in English, they must be accompanied by certified English translations.

    All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must satisfy the English Language Proficiency Requirement with one of the following:

    • TOEFL score of 80 iBT.
    • IELTS overall band score of 6.0, writing score no lower than 6.0 and no section score below 5.5.

Application Process

  • Application Filing Period
    Domestic Applicants:

    • Applications will be open in August 2023. 
    • Cal State Apply Application with all supplemental material must be completed before the following review dates for consideration: 
      • First Review - October 31, 2023
      • Second Review - November 31, 2023
      • Final Review - Janurary 15, 2024

    International (F-1 Visa) Applicants:

    • Applications are currently being accepted.
    • Applications are processed as received.
    • The application submission deadline for all materials for international applicants outside of the United States requiring an F-1 Visa is Janurary 15, 2024.
    • The application submission deadline for all materials for international applicants already on an F-1 Visa and in the United States is Janurary 15, 2024.
    • International applicants requiring a F-1 Student Visa see GRADUATE INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS
  • Step 1. Apply to Cal State San Marcos MBA
    Summer 2024 Cohort
    Applications open August 1st, 2023 and will remain open until a full cohort has been selected. 
    Submit a Cal State Apply Application online and pay the application fee. On the application please select the Major/Program Objective “Business Administration,” and for the Degree Objective select “Other master's (MBA, MFA, MPA, etc.)".
    You will be asked to submit the following supplimental materials with your application:
    • Resume
    • Two Essays
      1. Personal Achievements: Submit a one-page essay on your on achievements which you consider to be the best indicators of your potential for a successful management career.
      2. Program Experience: Submit a one-page essay on the rewards and challenges you anticipate from the program, and how you expect the experience to enhance your management career.
    • Three References
      • Provide the name and email address for three professional references.  We will contact them to complete a recommendation for you.
      • References can use the following recommendation template.
    • Unofficial transcripts for all colleges attended (attach a pdf copy of your transcripts)
  • Step 2. Request official transcripts and scores

    Official Transcripts:

    All Official Transcripts must be requested to be sent to CSUSM. This INCLUDES all community college and university course work.

    Official Transcripts may be sent to CSUSM electronically at 

    Official Transcripts may also be mailed to: 

         Office of Admissions
         California State University, San Marcos
         333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
         San Marcos, CA 92096-0001

    Test Scores:
    GMAT/GRE: Request that your official GMAT score report to be sent to CSUSM. The school code for the GMAT test is V38-PT-28. If you are sending GRE scores the school code is 4155.

    If you want to petition to waive  the GMAT/GRE requirement please fill out the GMAT/GRE waiver form and email it and your resume to Please make sure your resume indicates a clear start and end date for each job. 

    *If English language proficiency is required submit ONE of the following:

    1. TOEFL: score of 80 iBT.  Test result must be sent directly to CSUSM from ETS.
    2. IELTS: band score of 6.0.  Send a copy of your score report via: Email to  or Fax to (760) 750-3284 
    3. American Language and Cultural Institute (ALCI) TOEFL waiver and CONDITIONAL ADMISSION: To apply, visit SMBA Admission Requirements.

    International students please contact: for assistance.  

    If you are an international (F-1 visa) applicant, provide the following: The address for submission of your transcripts, translations, GRE score report, TOEFL/IELTS score report, photocopy of passport and financial affidavit:

    Admissions and Recruitment
    California State University San Marcos
    333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
    San Marcos, CA 92096-0001 USA

    Transcripts may also be sent electronically to:

For Specialized MBA admissions, please visit SMBA Website

Still have a question? Check out our FAQs or attend one of our information sessions.