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How to Apply

Prospective Students

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.

The application for the Specialized MBA 2023 will open on September 1, 2022. 

Through open university, non-business prospective students can enroll in courses and receive credit for MBA foundational courses before getting accepted into the program. To learn more about how to enroll into open university, please email

SMBA Cal State Apply Application Tutorial

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 Entry Dates

Major/Minor Full-Time Students Part-Time Working Professionals Information Related to COVID-19 Orientation Dates
Business Majors August 1, 2023 August 1, 2023    

Non-Business Majors

*Required to take Foundation Courses
May 10, 2023

May 10, 2022

(Summer Full-Time)

Or Fall/Spring 2022 through Open University (Part-Time)

Apply Fall 2021 for admission and begin foundation courses as early as Spring 2022!




Please note: The administration of individual specializations is contingent upon having the appropriate number of qualified candidates. In the event the number of minimum qualified candidates to offer all specializations is not satisfied, one or more specializations may be delayed or canceled. Accepted applicants will be notified if a specialization is canceled or delayed. We encourage you to visit our website frequently for the most up-to-date information.

For Military and Veteran Scholarship information, please contact the Epstein Family Veterans Center at or 760-750-4827

Admissions Requirements

  • 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.
  • 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. GMAT/GRE Waiver

    Applicants who have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last sixty (60) units of their undergraduate program may petition to waive the GMAT. Admission conditions may be applied to the applicants whose petition is approved.

    - GMAT waiver petition form 

    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 (760) 750-4267 or

    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-22. If you are sending GRE scores the school code is 4155.
    • GMAT fee waivers are available based on financial need and there are only 10 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.

    GMAT may not be waived with work experience for the Specialized MBA program.

  • 4. International Students/ Non-resident
    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 Process

  • Application Filing Period
    Domestic Applicants:
    • Application website will be open in September 2022.
    • The application submission deadline for all materials:
      • May 10, 2023 - for non-business majors
      • Aug 1, 2023 - for business majors

    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 March 20, 2023.
    • The application submission deadline for all materials for international applicants already on an F-1 Visa and in the United States is  March 20, 2023.
    • International applicants requiring a F-1 Student Visa see GRADUATE INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS
  • Step 1. Apply to Cal State San Marcos MBA

    Summer 2022 Entry

    Applications are currently being accepted

    Submit a Cal State Apply Application online and pay the application fee by May 20, 2023. 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. Two letters of recommendations, or have your two recommenders complete the Recommendation for SMBA Applicant Form. Academic or professional recommendations are acceptable.
    3. Resume, highlighting academic and professional experience.

    4. Transcript information on Cal State Apply
      1. 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!!**
      2. Just make sure to send your official transcripts to the CSUSM. (See Step 3)
      1. Request for your official score report be sent directly to CSUSM. The CSUSM code for the GMAT test is V38-PT-22. If you are sending GRE scores the CSUSM school code is 4155.
      2. If you have taken your test at the time of applying, please enter your scores. If you have not taken the test, please skip that portion. Make sure to notify the MBA office of your test date. All official scores must be sent to CSUSM prior to the August 1st, 2023 deadline.
  • Step 3. Request Official Transcripts & Test Scores

    Official Transcripts:

    All 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.

    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:

    1. 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 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:

  • 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.

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