Graduate Programs Application Checklist

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Thank you for your interest in our graduate business programs.

We have outlined the application process in three easy-to-follow steps.

Note: these two programs have their own application process:

MS in Business Analytics, visit the MSBA Application Checklist.

MS in Quantitative Economics, visit MS in Quantitative Economics.

Application Process in Three Steps

  • Access the online application through the new Cal State Apply site. Select the specific semester of interest. You will need to create a an account on the system the first time. 
  • Select the degree program of interest, e.g. Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accountancy, Master of Science in Business Analytics.  For applicants to the MBA for Executives Program, select degree program of interest Business Administration (for Executives) under San Francisco Extension section. 
  • The Campus location on Cal State Apply is currently only listing "Main Campus" for any program you select. But please note that all Graduate Business courses are offered/held at the San Francisco State University Downtown Campus, 160 Spear Street, 5th Floor, except the Biotech MBA holds classes in South San Francisco.
  • A $70 nonrefundable application fee is required of all applicants applying to our programs.
  • After you've completed My Profile, you will have access to My Application. Here you will find four sections: Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information, and Program Materials.
  • You only need to complete the Personal Information and Program Materials sections for all our graduate business programs. Ignore the Academic History and Supporting Information sections. 
  • In the Questions segment of the Program Materials section, select the sub-program of interest, e.g., "Biotech MBA in South San Francisco" or "MBA for Executives."
  • Program Materials is the quadrant where you will find information about uploading the following required documents, Résumé and Personal Statement:


Submit your most recent résumé. Full-time work experience is recommended for admission to the program. Current incoming class average full-time work experience is three years. Please include any internships or part-time work experience as well.

Personal Statement

The Personal Statement must be between 500–750 words, and saved as a .doc or .pdf document.

Your Statement of Purpose should include responses to these four questions:

  • How will a master’s degree prepare you for your future goals?
  • Explain any accomplishments that you feel are particularly important in relation to your future goals. Cite specific examples to support a stronger application.
  • Why do you feel San Francisco State University Graduate Business Programs would be a good fit for you?
  • What do you expect to contribute to your peers in the classroom?

Unofficial Transcripts

  • Applicants are required to upload legible unofficial copies of complete transcripts from each college or university attended (including study abroad coursework, or community college coursework, even if this coursework appears as transfer credit on your degree transcript). Photographs or screenshots of transcripts will not be accepted. The Division of Graduate Studies may request official transcripts at any point during the application review process.
  • Applicants who are admitted to the program will then be required to submit official transcripts to the Division of Graduate Studies in order to secure their offer of admission.

Letters of Recommendation

Please refer to instructions on Cal State Apply website. Access My Application where you will see four quadrants. Program Materials is the quadrant where you will find information about requesting letters of recommendation.

GMAT or GRE Test

The GMAT or the GRE test is required for admission. The MS in Business Analytics requires the GRE test. 

Official test results must be sent to San Francisco State University directly from the testing center. 

Instructions for registering and test score submission:


  • To register for the GMAT test and download GMAT preparation software, visit the GMAT website
  • Our GMAT school codes are: F87HP99 for the MBA, and F87HP10 for the MSA program
  • For questions, call 1(800) 717-GMAT


  • To register for the GRE test and download GRE preperation software, visit ETS GRE® General Test Registration
  • Our GRE school code is: 4684
  • For questions, call ETS at 1(866)473-4373

MBA & MSA Applicants:

Please Note: If you took the GMAT exam after April 1, 2020, and the test is administered online due to COVID-19 restrictions, it may cover only verbal, quantitative and IR sections with no analytical writing assessment.

In this case, you will also need to schedule a 45-minute proctored online writing examination with our graduate business admissions staff. Collection of this writing assessment will allow us to determine if you have met the California State University (CSU) Level 1 writing admissions requirement. One of our graduate business programs staff will contact you to schedule this after we have reviewed your application and test scores.

GMAT and GRE Test Waivers

MBA and MSA applicants may waive the GMAT/GRE test if at least one of the following conditions is met (applicants will instead be invited in for an interview and/or a 45-minute writing examination):

  • Completed doctoral or master's degree from a recognized/accredited program
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA with five or more years of full-time, professional work experience
  • Completed an undergraduate degree in business from AACSB-accredited school with a cumulative 3.0 (or higher) GPA

MSBA applicants may waive the GRE test if at least one of the following conditions is met (applicants will instead be invited in for an interview and/or a 45-minute writing examination):

  • Completed doctoral or master's degree in quantitative area from a recognized/accredited program
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA with five or more years of full-time, professional work experience
  • Completed an undergraduate degree in business from AACSB-accredited school with a cumulative 3.0 (or higher) GPA

MBA for Executives applicants with seven or more years of full-time professional work experience may waive the GMAT/GRE test.

Please note that the GMAT/GRE waiver is not automatically applied to applicants. If you wish to apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver based on meeting one of the above-specified conditions, complete the Waiver Request Form after submitting your application for admissions through the Cal State Apply site. If you are granted a preliminary waiver of the GMAT/GRE by email, you will need to attend an interview (in-person or video) and do a written test.  Please note that after the interview we will make the final determination of your request to waive the GMAT/GRE admissions requirement.


All graduate business applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English, must demonstrate English language proficiency. To demonstrate your English language ability, please request to have your official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic score report to San Francisco State University's Division of Graduate Studies. Scores are valid for two years from the test date. Check the English Requirement needed to apply. The English language testing requirement will be waived for applicants who have earned a U.S. bachelor's or master's degree.

Check Your Application Status

Financial Affidavit and Medical Insurance for International Students

  • Applicants who need a student visa, must present proof of financial resources and health insurance once they are admitted to our program.
  • Follow the instructions found at SF State I-20 to submit proof of financial resources and medical insurance.

Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions


(415) 817-4300


(415) 817-4340


Office Hours

Mon. - Thurs., 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Fri., 10 a.m. -  3 p.m.


San Francisco State University
Downtown Campus
160 Spear Street, Suite 1230
San Francisco, CA 94105

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