College of Business {College of Business}

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Graduate Students : MBA/MSBA

The final course requirement for the MBA program is the BUS 890.The final course requirement for the MSBA in Accounting is ACCT 895/ BUS 898.

The semester before enrolling in one of these courses, students must file an Advancement to Candidacy form (ATC) and a Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement (Proposal) before mySFSU will allow them to register. At the beginning of their final semester, students must also file the Graduation Application, a separate form, that prompts the final evaluation of their graduate program in the Graduate Division Office.

Effective Fall 2009

Starting with the Fall 2009 semester there is a major change in the MBA curriculum.

Current Curriculum in 800-level New Curriculum in 800-level
Quantitative Track Course Quantitative Track Course
Quantitative Track Course Quantitative Track Course
Qualitative Track Course Qualitative Track Course
Qualitative Track Course Qualitative Track Course
800-level Elective 800-level Elective
800-level Elective 800-level Elective
800-level Elective 800-level Elective
800-level Elective 800-level Elective
BUS 890 5th 800-level Elective
BUS 895 BUS 890 as culminating experience

Culminating Experience


MBA students graduating in Fall 2009 or after are not required to enroll in BUS 895 Research Project in Business. They can take BUS 890 as the culminating experience course.

Because BUS 890 is now used to fulfill the Culminating Experience requirement instead of BUS 895, students in this category need to take a fifth elective course to fulfill the 10 courses on the ATC.

MBA students who completed BUS 890 before Fall 2009 are subject to enroll in BUS 895 Research Project in Business to fulfill the Culminating Experience requirement.

MSBA in Accounting students are subject to take ACCT 895 or BUS 898 as their culminating experience.

Forms to Complete Prior to Registration in BUS 890, BUS 895, BUS 898, or ACCT 895

The ATC (Advancement to Candidacy)

This form lists the ten 800-level courses (advanced requirements) that make up the student's graduate business program. No foundation or basic competency courses should appear on the ATC. MBA and MSBA ATC forms are available online.

A graduate academic advisor must sign the ATC, so students need to see an advisor to approve electives prior to taking them, especially MSBAs since all their classes are electives.

The ATC is turned in to the Graduate Business Office (DTC 552) to be checked for completion of all Basic Competencies and Foundation requirements. The ATC is then signed by the program director. If any of the requirements are missing, the ATC is returned to the student for proof of fulfillment. When approved by the graduate business program director, the form is sent to the Graduate Division office (ADM 250) on the main campus, where the university evaluator checks that the ATC meets the University Bulletin requirements. When the ATC is approved by the evaluator, it is then entered into the system.

Once the ATC is approved and entered, the student is allowed to register through mySFSU for BUS 890, BUS 895, BUS 898, or ACCT 895 classes. ATC forms are available from the Graduate Division office located in ADM 250 on the main campus.

Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement for BUS 890, BUS 895, BUS 898, or ACCT 895

For students taking BUS 890 in Spring 2012, please contact Jeff Chun at for instructions on how to complete the BUS 890 proposal. The proposal describes the student's planned research project or thesis.

Proposal forms are available online.

Your proposal must be typed and signed by a tenured or tenure-track professor who has agreed to act as the supervising instructor, also known as the First Reader or Committee Chair, taking responsibility for guiding you through the project and assigning the final grade. The proposal must also be signed by a Second Reader indicating that he or she will also be involved in the project.

You must ask specifically how involved this instructor plans to be, and act accordingly. If the proposed topic or title changes substantially from the original idea, e.g., an entirely different country, industry or process will now be the focus, a Revised Proposal must be filled out and signed. Readers can be changed by filing a Petition for ATC Substitution or Committee Revision (see below).

Specific language must be used to describe the Proposal. The following phrases must be used or the Proposal will be returned to the student for revision:

  • The purpose of this project is to study ___________________________.
  • The research methods to be used consist of ______________________.
    State the type of research methodologies, for example, surveys, interviews, data analysis, or literature review. Be specific about the data source—how and where to collect it and how the survey participants will be chosen.
  • The outcome of the project will be ___________________________.
    Because the research results will not be certain until the project is finished, describe the form the results will take, such as a report, data analysis, marketing plan, or comparative analysis.

Application to Graduate

This form initiates the final evaluation of your graduate course work, and you will not graduate or earn your degree without filling it out. It is due at the beginning of your final semester, and signals your intention to graduate at the end of that semester.

This is a separate form from the ATC. You must have an approved ATC on file with the Graduate Division in order to submit the Graduation Application. The filing deadline for the form is not flexible. The deadline for each semester is listed on our Graduate Calendar. In addition to the ATC, be sure to file an Application to Graduate.

Steps to Follow

  1. Complete the Graduation Application form
  2. Print out the form, sign it, and turn in to Graduate Business Office (DTC 552) at the downtown campus. The staff checks the student's approved ATC and proposal for graduation eligibility.
  3. The assistant director signs on behalf of all advisors.
  4. Attach check or money order of $100 made payable to "San Francisco State University." Cash cannot be accepted.
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