Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do you offer GMAT/ GRE waiver due to the current COVID-19 pandemic?

    Unfortunately, there is no GMAT/ GRE waiver due to the pandemic.

  2. Do you offer TOEFL/IELTS/PTE waiver due to the current COVID-19 pandemic?

    Unfortunately, there is no TOEFL/IELTS/PTE waiver due to the pandemic.

  3. Are GMAT and GRE both accepted for your Master’s programs?

    GMAT and GRE are both accepted for the MBA, MSA, and MBA for Biotech Professionals programs. Only GRE is accepted for the MSBA program.

  4. Can graduate business applicants request to waive the GMAT/GRE test?

    MBA and MSA applicants may waive the GMAT/GRE test if at least one of the following conditions is met:

    • 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 with a cumulative 3.5 (or higher) GPA

    MSBA applicants may waive the GRE test if at least one of the following conditions is met:

    • 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 with a cumulative 3.5 (or higher) GPA

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

    If you wish to apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver based on meeting one of the above-specified conditions, please fill out this 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.

  5. What is the school code for the GMAT and GRE exams?

    Our GMAT school codes are: F87HP99 for the MBA, and F87HP10 for the MSA program. Our GRE school code is: 4684.

    This information can be found under step three on our Graduate Programs Application Checklist.

  6. Can the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement for admission be waived?

    TOEFL/IELTS/PTE is required of all applicants who have earned their undergraduate degree from a country where the official language is not English. If an applicant has a Master’s or higher degree from a US university after the Bachelor’s degree, they may be waived from these English language tests. An applicant does not have to submit a TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score if a Bachelor's or a Master’s degree is earned from any of the following countries: Australia, Botswana, Canada, Commonwealth Caribbean, Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Pacific Trust Territories, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States.

  7. What is the minimum score for TOEFL/IELTS/PTE?
    • TOEFL Internet Based Test minimum score of 88
    • IELTS score of at least 6.5
    • Pearson Test of English (PTE) minimum academic overall score of 59

    Any of the above tests taken within the past two years are accepted. This information can be found on our Graduate Business Admission Criteria webpage.

    If you register for the TOEFL test, please make sure to request that your official test scores be sent to our school code: 4683.

  8. My undergraduate GPA falls short of the minimum GPA requirement of 3.0. Can I still apply?

    When we evaluate your GPA, we consider either the final GPA or the GPA based on the last 60 semester units or last 90 quarter units. We consider the higher of the two GPAs. We also consider all aspects of the application in addition to the GPA. If your GPA is between 2.75 – 2.99, it is possible to be considered for admission. If your GPA is below 2.75, we advise you to take some classes at a Community College or another institution to boost your GPA before applying.

    Below are the only four classes we may honor from a community college if you want to waive the prerequisite courses in Data Analysis (DS 776), Financial Accounting (ACCT 780), and Economics (ECON 783):

    • Introduction to Statistics
    • Introduction to Financial Accounting
    • Introduction to Microeconomics
    • Introduction to Macroeconomics

    Please note the following conditions:

    • A grade of a B- or better must be earned
    • The course(s) must have been completed within the last seven calendar years
    • The course(s) must be completed prior to starting your graduate business studies at SF State


  9. Can international students apply for the MBA for Executives or the MBA for Biotech Professionals program?

    No. Both the MBA for Executives and MBA for Biotech Professionals program are part-time programs. International students are NOT eligible to apply since they are required to enroll in classes full-time.

  10. What information should be included in the letter or recommendation? How can I submit my letter of recommendation?

    We require applicants to submit two letters of recommendation in Cal State Apply along with their application. Upon completing the letter of recommendation section, the applicant will be asked to provide the email address of the two recommenders. The recommenders will then receive an email from Cal State Apply with instructions on how to submit their letters to Cal State Apply for the application. The applicant will receive a confirmation email from Cal State Apply once the letter of recommendation has been submitted. Applicants can also log in to their account to track the application status by selecting the Check Status tab at the top of the application.

    You may request the letter of recommendation from your professors and/or employers. You may request these from people who know your work well, or those who are able to describe your character, or letter writers may share any information they wish to about you. We do not have any particular style requirement for the letter of recommendation.

  11. Do I have to submit the official transcripts?

    During the application phase, only unofficial copies of your transcripts are required to be uploaded to your application. Students are only required to submit official transcripts if they accept an offer of admission from SF State.

  12. For application deadlines, does it matter which round I apply in? Is there any disadvantage if I apply in round 2 or round 3?

    It does not matter which round you apply to the program as long as you apply before the application deadline for a semester. The earlier you apply to the program, the earlier the admissions office will process your application and respond with a decision.

  13. Do you offer any application fee waiver?

    Unfortunately, we do not offer any application fee waiver.

  14. After I submit an application in Cal State Apply, how can I check the application status and how long until I receive an admissions decision?

    Once you have submitted your application, you may check your application status online. You will be asked to provide your SF State student ID# and password. Your SF State ID will be provided to you by email after you submit an online application. The website gives first time users specific instructions for setting up a SF State password.

    After you submit your application in Cal State Apply, the Division of Graduate Studies will determine if you meet the minimum university requirements for admission. If minimum university requirements are met, they will forward your application to the Graduate Business Programs for review and determine if additional departmental requirements are met. After we receive your application from the Division of Graduate Studies, it takes about 4 - 6 weeks for us to review your application and make the final decision. You may view the timeline of application process here.

  15. Can I defer my graduate admission to a future term?

    No. SF State does not allow newly admitted students to defer their admission to a future term. You must enroll for the term you were admitted or reapply for a future semester.

  16. If I am re-applying to SF State, do I need to resubmit my transcripts?

    A new application form and application fee will be required to re-apply. Applicants who have applied to SF State before need to submit transcripts and test scores along with their new application.

  17. Who should I contact for questions about graduate admissions (foreign degree or transcript evaluation, etc.)?

    Please contact the Division of Graduate Studies via email at or you may call them at 415-338-2234 (M-F, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). They also provide advising drop-in hours via zoom. Please visit their website for more information.

  18. Who should I contact for Visa-related questions?

    Please contact the Office of International Programs (OIP) via email at They also provide drop-in advising over the phone. Please visit their website for more information.

  • Do you offer any STEM designated Master’s programs?

    Yes. Our Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program is STEM designated, which allows international students with an F-1 visa to extend their training in the U.S. by an additional 24 months after graduation. MSBA students are eligible for a total of 36 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) compared to 12 months for non-STEM Master’s programs.

  • Is there a MBA program course requirements to view?

    Yes. See Below.

  • Is there a MSA program course requirements to view?

    Yes. See Below

  1. Do you offer any fully online Master’s program?

    No, we do not offer any fully online Master’s program. Most of our courses are face-to-face courses and a few courses are online.

  2. Can International Students apply for Graduate Certificate Programs?

    Current San Francisco State University graduate students (both domestic and international) and non-matriculated post-baccalaureate domestic students can apply to the Graduate Certificate Programs. International students cannot apply to the Graduate Certificate Programs without first being admitted into a Master’s program. Graduate Certificate Programs are part-time programs (6 units or less) whereas international students need to carry at least 8 units per semester to maintain their status.

  3. Can I apply to two graduate programs simultaneously?

    Unfortunately, prospective students can only apply to one graduate program per semester. If you already have an active application on the CSU site and you would like to switch your area of study, please contact the Division of Graduate Studies for more information on this procedure.

  4. Where are the classes held?

    All our graduate courses are delivered at our campus in downtown San Francisco except for the Biotech MBA courses, which are delivered in South San Francisco. Most classes are held Monday through Thursday, from either 2 to 4:45 p.m., or from 6:30 to 9:15 p.m., except for the MBA for Executives classes which are held on every other weekend on Friday, from 12 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Biotech MBA classes are held Mondays and Thursdays, from 6:00 - 8:45 p.m.

    Note: Due to COVID-19 guidelines, all SF State offices and classes are currently operating remotely. SF State intends to bring back some of the classes to in-person/online for Fall 2021 following the state and county's health and safety protocol. Please visit Campus Comeback webpage for more information on safety campus return.

  5. What is the class size for our graduate programs?

    Our average class sizes vary between 15-30 students for MBA/MSA/MSBA program.

  6. How many intakes are there per year and in which month does the program starts?

    For MBA/MSA/MSBA program, there are two intakes per year. Fall semester starts in late August and Spring semester starts in late January. For MBA for Biotech Professionals and MBA for Executives program, there is only one intake per year and we only accept students in Fall semester.

  7. How do I obtain an SF State ID#?

    Once you have submitted an application on Cal State Apply, an SF State ID# will be generated for you within a few business days, and you will be notified via email. You can also go to the following webpage to look up your SF State ID# using your social security number and birthday: SF State ID# Look Up page.

  8. What housing options are available to graduate students?

    University Park North has a dedicated floor for graduate students and offers one- and two-bedroom apartments which will be shared by up to four graduate students in a combination of single and double occupancy bedrooms. These furnished apartments include all utilities, internet, and basic cable. The floor plan for these units can be viewed at the UPN Floorplan page. On-campus applications are available online at the SF State Housing website.

  9. Is Financial Aid available to attend the program?

    Financial Aid is available from the US government to eligible applicants who fill out the FAFSA form. Please refer to the website of Office of Student Financial Aid for more information on loans, grants, scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid programs which you may qualify for.

  10. How does one become a California resident for Tuition purposes?

    The rules regarding California residency for tuition purposes are complex and non-negotiable. International students are not eligible for California residency during their studies on an F-1 visa. Additional information is provided on this website.

  11. Besides the information on your program website, how can I learn more about a specific Graduate Program that I am interested in?

    We host information session webinars regularly for all of our graduate programs. During the webinar, our admissions team will present a detailed overview of the program followed by a Q&A session during which you may ask questions about our program, admission requirements, the application process, and the curriculum. If you are interested to join our webinar and speak with our admissions team, you may register at our Eventbrite website at After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Please make sure to log in with the same email address you used for registration.

  1. What is the duration of the MSBA program?

    The program has 10 required courses. It takes about 3-4 semesters for full-time students and 5-6 semesters for part-time students to complete the program depending on the prerequisites the student may be missing.

  2. Do you offer the same courses for students who start in Fall semester and those who start in Spring semester?

    All required courses are offered in both Fall and Spring semesters. With a few exceptions, elective courses are offered once an academic year so different electives are offered in Fall semester compared to Spring semester.

  3. What is the average GRE Score and profiles of the students admitted to the program?

    The average GRE score is 155 on the Quantitative and 150 on the Verbal sections of the test. The admissions team takes a holistic approach to evaluating an application, with no particular weight given to any one area.

  4. May I apply while I'm working on the pre-requisite or do I need to wait to apply until after I have completed the pre-requisite course?

    You may apply without the pre-requisites. Students admitted without the pre-requisites completed will have the wording “conditional acceptance” in their admission letter. This simply means that those students will have to take the pre-requisites in their first semester at SF State and pass the courses with a grade of B- or better.

  5. Will I qualify for OPT (Optional Practical Training) /CPT (Curricular Practical Training) after graduating from the MSBA program?

    Our MSBA Program is a STEM-designated degree program. Upon completion of the program, international students are eligible to obtain 36 months long OPT. Please visit the Office of International Programs (OIP) OPT website for more information on OPT.

    MSBA students may qualify for CPT during, but not after completion of the MSBA program. The office of international programs provides up-to-date information regarding CPT. Students can check the details on Office of International Programs (OIP) CPT website.

  6. Is there a course catalogue for the MSBA graduate courses to view?

    Yes. You may view the program requirements in the University Bulletin.

  7. Can you provide information regarding the placement and employment statistics for the MS in Business Analytics program?

    Our MSBA program is fairly new. Our first large group of students graduated in December 2020. Here are examples of where these students started working or received an offer from: Analyst at Cisco Meraki (large IT firm); Senior Analyst at Ernst & Young (One of Big Four Accounting Firms), Consulting Software Engineer at LexisNexit (Computer-Assisted Legal Search Service Firm), Systems Engineer at Marin County IST (Local Government); Data Scientist at Zabble, Inc; Marketing Analyst at Motive Metrics; Business Analyst at TDK’s San Francisco Office, etc. Our MBA program is over 50 years old and you will find our alumni scattered across Fortune 500 companies, including Facebook, Google, Apple, GM, Sales Force, AWS, as well as many small and medium businesses.

  8. Do students in the MS in Business Analytics program have an opportunity to work with companies on projects for a capstone/practicum course?

    Yes, the BUS 895 Culminating Experience Project Course (also known as Practicum Program) is a required course. Students work on real-life projects with real-life clients for one semester. More details can be found at this practicum program link.

  9. Which programming languages are used in the program?

    Mostly Python and SQL are used. Depending on the electives, students may be exposed to other programming languages.

  10. Do students need to have programming experience prior to joining the MSBA program?

    Programming experience is currently not required to be admitted into the MSBA program. However a majority of our students have taken at least one programming course prior to joining the program. Those without programming knowledge are highly recommended to complete an online programming course prior to the start of their first semester. Here are two such recommended courses:

  1. What is the total tuition fees for your Graduate Business Programs?

    Tuition and fees are subject to change. Each Fall/Spring semester, in addition to tuition, students in the MBA, MSA, and MSBA Programs are charged a Graduate Program Fee ($700/part-time or $1200/full-time) and a Professional Program Fee ($270/unit). Non-residents of California and International students pay an additional $396/unit. To get the latest numbers on tuition and fees for the specific semester you are interested in, please visit our program tuition & fees website. For a detailed itemization of tuition/fees and payment deadlines, please see the Bursar's webpage.

    Please note:

    *Students who have been given conditional admission subject to completing a business writing class BUS 714 (offered through the SF State College of Extended Learning) will need to pay $1185 additionally for this course.

    *The MBA for Executives Program is a self-support program and has a separate pricing policy. The total tuition cost for this program is $55,000. Students will complete the program (48 units) in 24 months.

    *The tuition & fees for MBA for Biotech Professionals Program is approximately $41,000. Students in the program take 2 courses/6 units per semester ($5,095 per semester). There are 8 semesters in the program, including the summer semester.

    Please see below examples for tuition fees per semester of our programs for Fall 2021 in different scenarios. Please note the total tuition cost depends on the number of semesters you complete the program. Tuition and fees are subject to change.

    Case 1: CA Resident attending 2 courses per semester as a Part-Time (6.0 or less units) Graduate Student

    • Graduate Program Tuition and Fees $2775
    • Graduate Program Fee $700
    • Professional Program Fee ($270 per unit for 6 units) $1620
    • Per semester tuition: $2775+$700+$1620 = $5095

    Case 2: CA Resident attending 4 courses per semester as a Full-Time (6.1 or more units) Graduate Student

    • Graduate Program Tuition and Fees $4281
    • Graduate Program Fee $1200
    • Professional Program Fee ($270 per unit for 12 units) $3240
    • Per semester tuition: $4281+$1200+$3240 = $8721

    Case 3: CA Non-Resident & Domestic Student attending 2 courses per semester as a Part-Time (6.0 or less units) Graduate Student

    • Graduate Program Tuition and Fees $2775
    • Graduate Program Fee $700
    • Professional Program Fee ($270 per unit for 6 units) $1620
    • Non-Resident Tuition Fee ($396 per unit for 6 units) $2376
    • Per semester tuition: $2775+$700+$1620+$2376 = $7471

    Case 4: CA Non-Resident & International Student attending 4 courses per semester as a Full-Time (6.1 or more units) Graduate Student

    • Graduate Program Tuition and Fees $4281
    • Graduate Program Fee $1200
    • Professional Program Fee ($270 per unit for 12 units) $3240
    • Non-Resident Tuition Fee ($396 per unit for 12 units) $4752
    • Per semester tuition: $4281+$1200+$3240+$4752 = $13473