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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.

Only Few Spots Left in the 2024 Cohort!
Classes will begin on August 19th, 2024. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the MBA Office at or 760.750.4267.

When starting the application, we advise prospective students to use the step-by-step guide below to complete the online application through CSU Apply.


Application Review Dates

We are excited to announce the opening of a second cohort! Classes will be offered from 2:00 pm to 5:15 pm, providing 45 more openings for students to enroll in our program. Apply today and secure your spot in our expanding community!

      • Final Review - August 1, 2024

*To avoid being placed on a waitlist, we recommend submitting your application as soon as possible due to high demand and limited seats available.


Admissions Requirements

To provide clarity on our admission requirements, we've listed them below. For a more in-depth understanding, you can refer to the detailed information available in the drop-down items

    1. Bachelors Degree from an accredited institution 
    2. 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units
  • 1. Bachelor's 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.

    *Our program accepts students from all major disciplines. 

  • 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 are used in calculating an applicant’s GPA—no extension courses or community college courses will be included.
  • 3. International Students/ Non-resident Only
    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.

    Conditional Admission for English Language Proficiency

    If you do not meet the English language proficiency requirement for graduate admission you may apply for conditional admission. The conditional admission requirements are as follows:

    • TOEFL score of 61 on the Internet based test with a score no lower than nineteen (19) on the writing section and no section score below 14 or IELTS overall band score of 5.5 and no section below 5.0.
    • Submit the American Language and Cultural Institute English Language Conditional Admission Application.

Application Requirements

To help you navigate our application process seamlessly, we've outlined the requirements below. If you're seeking more detailed information, please refer to the drop-down items. If you'd like to schedule a one-on-one meeting to walk through the application, you can do so using the appointment link at the top of this page. We're here to assist you at every step of your application journey.

    1. Start the SMBA Application on CSU Apply
    2. Attach the required supplemental material to the application: 
      1. Statement of Purpose
      2. One Letter of Recommendations
      3. Resume
      4. Unofficial Transcripts
    3. Submit all official transcripts to CSUSM
  • Optional Application Essay Tips and Resume Example
  • Application Filing Period
    Domestic Applicants:
    • The application website will be open in October 1st, 2023.
    • The application submission deadline for all materials:
      • All majors
        • First Review - April 1, 2024
        • Second Review - May 1, 2024
        • Final Review - June 1, 2024
    • International (F-1 Visa) Applicants:
      • Visit the GPS I Want to Apply page and follow the steps listed
      • Student who have a bachelor's degree outside of the United States must work with the International Admissions Office to prepare their application and verify all transcripts. 
      • The application submission deadline for all materials for international applicants outside of the United States requiring an F-1 Visa are the same as the domestic application deadlines stated above. 
      • The application submission deadline for all materials for international applicants already on an F-1 Visa and in the United States is the same as the domestic application deadlines stated above. 
      • International applicants requiring a F-1 Student Visa see GRADUATE INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS
  • Step 1 Apply to Cal State San Marcos MBA

    Submit a Cal State Apply Application online and pay the application fee by the application deadlines. On the application, please select the Major/Program Objective “Business Administration,” and for the Degree Objective select “Other master's (MBA, MFA, MPA, etc.)".

  • Step 2 Attachments required for Cal State Apply website application
    1. Statement of Purpose
    2. One Letter of Recommendations
      1. Or have your recommender(s) complete the Recommendation for SMBA Applicant Form. Academic or professional recommendations are acceptable.
    3. Resume
      1. Highlighting academic and professional experience
    4. Unofficial Transcripts
      1. Make sure to upload a copy of your unofficial transcripts to the application and send your official transcripts to the CSUSM. (See Step 3)
      2. Cal State Apply will ask for you to list every class and grade you have taken/received for your Undergrad coursework. **THIS IS NOT REQUIRED!!**
  • Step 3 Request Official Transcripts & Test Scores

    Official Transcripts must be requested to be sent to CSUSM. This INCLUDES all community college and university course work. If transcripts are not in English, the transcripts must have certified English translations.

    1. Submit your official transcripts electronically to or mail them to:
    2. Office of Admissions
      California State University San Marcos
      333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
      San Marcos, CA 92096-0001

    International students please contact: for assistance.

    • The international admissions office at CSUSM must review all international transcripts.
    • English language proficiency is required to complete application, submit ONE of the following
      • TOEFL: score of 80 iBT. Test results must be sent directly to CSUSM from ETS.
      • IELTS: band score of 6.0. Send a copy of your score report via: Email to or Fax to (760) 750-3284
      • American Language and Cultural Institute (ALCI) TOEFL waiver and CONDITIONAL ADMISSION: To apply, visit SMBA Admission Requirements.
    • 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
  • Step 4. Inquire about your application
    Applications are processed as received. It usually takes 2-3 weeks to process. To inquire on the status of your application contact the MBA office at  or (760) 750-4267.

Apply to the SMBA Program
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