College of Business {College of Business}

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Frequently Asked Questions for Fall Incoming Students

Fall 2013 Incoming Students

Here are some frequently asked questions from students who are new to the Graduate Business programs.

  1. 1. What should I do first, once I have been admitted?
  2. 2. When and how will I register for classes?
  3. 3. How do I get an email account?
  4. 4. How do I get on the MBA/MSA email distribution list?
  5. 5. What is the “Who’s Who and What’s What ” orientation event?
  6. 6. How do I demonstrate competency in written English?
  7. 7. What are the mandatory Career and Communications skills Workshop series?
  8. 8. When do I need to talk to an academic advisor and how can I meet a faculty advisor?
  9. 9. Can the Foundation Courses be waived if I did not graduate from an AACSB-accredited institution or took only a few Business courses in the past?
  10. 10. How do I know what courses will be offered during the semester?
  11. 11. Do I really need to finish the prerequisites for a course before I take the course?
  12. 12. What happens if my GPA falls below a 3.0 one semester?
  13. 13. Are there many graduate business classes offered during the summer session?
  14. 14. What is the difference between an MBA and MSA degree?
  15. 15. What kind of career search support does the Graduate Business Programs offer?

1. What should I do first, once I have been admitted?

If you have not posted your Accept Admission Offer (AAO), please do so as soon as possible. To post your AAO, go to SF State Admission Status. You should then review all the steps under the Incoming Students- Fall 2013 New Students on our website. It covers everything you need to know.

International Students

You will receive a Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 student status in the mail as soon as the University issues the document.

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2. When and how will I register for classes?

Once you have been admitted to the program and set up an email account, you will receive an email from the Registrar’s Office. You may also go online to mySFSU to look up your important assigned date: Registration Appointment date and time. Class registration for the Fall 2013 semester begins July 29th. You will need to pay the tuition online a few days prior to registering for your classes.

Review the schedule of tuition and fees and go to the Bursar's office site for payment methods and information on course registration policies. You will need to pay for the number of units you plan to enroll in. You may then register online for classes a few days later.

Please check the online class schedule for a listing of courses and days and times offered.

Refer to the Registrar’s website for more information on course registration. Please register for classes during your priority registration time since seats in some of the courses fill up quickly.

International Students

You must submit proof of medical insurance coverage to the Registrar’s office, or purchase medical insurance from the Student Health Services on the main campus before you can register.

Go to the Student Health Services site for information and instructions.

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3. How do I get an email account?

When you post your Intent to Register, you are prompted to set up an SF State email account. Once you have paid your registration fee, you can also get an SF State email account which will give you access to the SF State email and web system.

You are required to sign up for an SF State email account, even if you already have a personal account. You can then forward your SF State email to the account you use the most. The university and the department contact students with important information and the system can only send emails to SF State accounts.

To set up an email account, go to Tech Central : Live@edu E-mail Guide

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4. How do I get on the MBA/MSA email distribution list?

You will automatically be added to the MBA/MSA email distribution list after you have posted your Accept Admission Offer (AAO). This is the primary contact between the Graduate Business Office and all graduate students. You will receive information about courses, upcoming deadlines, updates about the program, workshop announcements, speaker events, and career services. This is the only means of communicating directly with students, so it is very important for you to be on the distribution list right away.

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5. Do I have to attend the Graduate Business Programs New Student Orientation?

Yes, the orientation day is required for all new graduate business students. The event is geared towards answering questions related to the Graduate Business Programs, an overview of program requirements and policies as well as sessions and networking activities. The event also gives you the opportunity to meet fellow classmates, current students and alumni, as well as staff members.

Please note that the University holds a separate session on the Main Campus for all graduate level students. It is recommended to attend that session as well, but it is not required.

International Students

You are required to attend the Office of International Programs student orientation week on the Main Campus prior to the semester starting. You should receive a packet in the mail from the University regarding this orientation. Please contact oip@sfsu.edu if you have questions.

The Graduate Business programs office also holds a Welcome Session which is required for International Students. All orientation events take place a few days before the start of the semester.

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6. How do I demonstrate competency in written English?

Students must demonstrate proficiency in written English by the end of their first semester in the program and before taking any 800-level courses. If you scored 5.0 or above on the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section of the GMAT exam, the required BUS 714 business writing course will automatically be waived for you.

If you scored below a 5.0 on the AWA of the GMAT, you are admitted to the program "conditionally" and will need to enroll in and complete the BUS 714 course in the first semester of the program.

Registration for the writing course is through the College of Extended Learning. This course should be taken on a Credit/No credit grade basis.

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7. What are the mandatory Career and Communications Skills Workshop series?

Select workshops are a graduation requirement for incoming Graduate Business students and should be fulfilled within the first semester of study. Two required career workshops and two required communications workshops are held during the first semester in the program. Attendance is mandatory. Otherwise, an administrative hold will be placed on student’s record (which will not allow registration for the following semester). The fall semester workshops are held in September and October at the SF State Downtown Campus, 5th floor.

See the list of required Career and Communications skills workshops and mark your calendars once the dates are announced. Your name is automatically placed on the class rosters.

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8. When do I need to talk to an academic advisor and how can I meet an advisor?

If you are just starting the program at the foundation-course level, you can make an appointment to discuss any questions you may have with our general Graduate Business advisor.

However, if you have waived all or many of the foundation courses or are an MS in Accountancy student, you should also meet with a faculty advisor as soon as possible. You may visit any of the faculty advisors during their weekly scheduled office hours.

For a list of designated advisors, see MBA : Graduate Advisers during the Fall semester when the hours will be updated online.

If you have urgent questions before the semester begins, please contact the Graduate Business Office at (415) 817-4300 or email mba@sfsu.edu

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9. Can the Foundation Courses be waived if I did not graduate from an AACSB-accredited institution or took only a few Business courses in the past?

Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration within the past 7 years with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in last 60 semester units from an AACSB-accredited university, can automatically waive all 700-level Foundation courses. Students will receive a letter via email from the Graduate Business Programs office indicating the waiver of courses.

Students who have taken and completed business courses within the past seven years with a letter grade of B- or better, may be able to waive the corresponding 700-level foundation course. Transcripts will be reviewed and students will receive a letter prior to the class registration period indicating which courses have been waived.

Students may contact the Graduate Business office at mba@sfsu.edu for any questions.

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10. How do I know what courses will be offered during the semester?

Course offerings for the semester are posted on the online class schedule approximately two months before the registration period begins. To access the online class schedule, see SFSU Search Class Schedule.

As a rule, all 700-level Foundation courses, and all required Advanced 800-level courses are offered every Fall and Spring semester. But, some elective courses are offered during the Fall semester, while others may be offered in the Spring semester. During the optional Summer sessions, only a few Foundation & Advanced required courses are offered. Consult with your advisers on course planning.

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11. Do I really need to finish the pre-requisites for a course before I take the course?

Yes, you need to finish the pre-requisites before you take a course.  Pre-requisites exist to help ensure that the student is adequately prepared to be successful in the course. If you receive a grade less than a “B-” in a pre-requisite course, you should talk to a faculty advisor about the potential need to retake the course. Depending on the course and your area of emphasis, you may struggle in subsequent courses because of insufficient knowledge.

If you receive a grade of “C” or less in a course, you may not include that course in your Advancement to Candidacy graduation form (ATC) and, if it is required for your ATC, you must repeat the course.

The SF State course registration system does not check for pre-requisites, so simply because you are registered in a class does not mean that you can stay enrolled in the class. Faculty members may ask a student to drop a class if they have not met the pre-requisites.

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12. What happens if my GPA falls below a 3.0 ?

All graduate business students need to maintain a 3.0 GPA (grade point average) every semester. If a student’s GPA falls below a 3.0, they will be put on academic probation and will have a "hold" on their class registration for the following semester. If a student is placed on probation, they should contact the Graduate Business office immediately rfor advising and procedures to follow to clear the hold. If the GPA has not improved and the student remains on academic probation for two consecutive semesters, they will be subject to disqualification.

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13. Are there many Graduate Business classes offered during the summer sessions?

Typically only a few Foundation and Advanced Requirement courses are offered during the summer. The elective courses are generally not offered during the Summer Session due to the short duration of each session.

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14. What is the difference between an MBA and the MSA in Accountancy degree?

The MBA

The MBA program is a broadly based, highly structured degree. Once you reach the Advanced-Requirements level of your program, (see MBA : About), you will have to take five core courses and five electives, for a total of ten 800-level graduate courses. This degree is recommended for students who want a well-rounded, general degree designed to fully prepare them for managerial careers. You may choose an area of emphasis within the MBA and use the five electives to gain some specialization in a desired area.

The course flow chart in the MBA Course Requirement page gives you an overview of the MBA program as well.

The Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA)

The MS in Accountancy is designed for students who would like to concentrate in this particular area. This program provides an emphasis in accounting, with specialization in financial accounting, auditing, managerial accounting, taxation, and accounting information systems. The MSA program also requires ten courses.

The course flow chart in the MSA Course Requirement page gives you an overview of the MSA program as well.

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15. What kind of career search support does the Graduate School of Business offer?

The College of Business Graduate programs offers career services, workshops, one-on-one counseling, and speaker series throughout the year. The College also offers internship and full time job opportunity listings on the web site.

These listings and information on workshops, jobs and other resources are available on the Career Resources page.

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