Master of Business Administration

SF State's Lam Family College of Business MBA for Executives program is delivered part-time over six consecutive semesters, and is specifically designed so that students who maintain full-time careers can earn a Master's in Business Administration in 24 months. Students enroll in a specific cohort to actively engage as a learning community with the aim to accelerate and advance their careers while preparing to become tomorrow's business leaders.

Exceptional and talented College of Business faculty members teach a set curriculum of courses that blend teaching, research, and business experience into an exciting and inviting learning environment.

As a cohort, students take all courses with the same classmates, thus strengthening both personal and professional connections. Our cohorts are comprised of highly motivated, working professionals from diverse work and life backgrounds, which enhances the overall learning experience as students share practical insights and learn from each other.

For more information, see the Lam Family College of Business MBA for Executives program page.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Functional and enterprise knowledge – Each student will demonstrate competence in each of the major business disciplines as well as an understanding of:
    1. The enterprise as a whole.
    2. The interrelationships of the disciplines within a strategic business framework.
    3. Emerging knowledge in business disciplines, technologies, and markets.
  2. Ethical, global and social awareness – Each student will be aware of ethical, global and social issues surrounding key business decisions, act responsibly and:
    1. Identify, articulate and disseminate the core organizational values.
    2. Evaluate the ethical, global and social issues of each business option for every stakeholder group.
    3. Make business decisions consistent with stakeholder needs and organizational values.
  3. Problem-solving and critical thinking skills – Each student will demonstrate effective use of the following skills in business situations:
    1. Master qualitative and quantitative techniques to gather and analyze relevant data and derive appropriate conclusions.
    2. Exhibit critical thinking and analytical ability in solving in solving problems within and across organizations.
    3. Apply current and emerging business knowledge and technology to make strategic decisions in complex and changing environments.
  4. People skills – Each student will be able to demonstrate effective intra and interpersonal skills especially in dealing with diversity of thought and opinion, and:
    1. Exhibit leadership when appropriate.
    2. Demonstrate the ability to work effectively in teams.
    3. Understand the perspective of others and treat them in a culturally appropriate and respectful manner.
  5. Communication skills – Each student will demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills. In particular, each student will be able to:
    1. Create and deliver effective business presentations to diverse audiences.
    2. Organize and write professional documents appropriate for the audience.

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses offer students, without a recent Business undergraduate degree, the opportunity to learn or refresh knowledge in the basic elements of business. Depending upon a student's previous academic background, the prerequisite courses may range from 0 to 24 units. The program requirements are met by taking the eight business prerequisite courses below or by waivers of individual courses based on previous equivalent coursework.

Students who have earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration within the past seven years from an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-accredited university, with a 3.0 GPA or better in the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of coursework, are eligible to waive all M.B.A. program prerequisite courses.  An up-to-date listing of AACSB schools around the world can be found on the AACSB International website. Students who have taken and completed coursework equivalent to any of the prerequisite courses at other institutions within the last five to seven years may be able to waive individual prerequisite courses. Each equivalency is determined by course content, grade received, and the amount of time elapsed since the course was completed.

For students who completed their undergraduate degree in Business over seven years ago, the program prerequisite courses offer an opportunity to refresh their knowledge and catch up on advances that have taken place in the different disciplines.

Master of Business Administration — 30–57 Units

Prerequisite for Conditional Admits (0-3 Units)

BUS 714Elements of Graduate Business Writing3

Prerequisite Courses for M.B.A. Program (0–24 Units)

ACCT 780Financial Accounting3
DS 776Data Analysis for Managers3
DS 786Operations Analysis3
ECON 783Economics for Managers3
ISYS 782Information Systems for Management3
FIN 785Financial Management3
MGMT 788Management Principles and Organizational Behavior3
MKTG 787Marketing Management3

Advanced Requirements for M.B.A. Program (12 Units)

Select one course from each category:

Accounting/Quantitative Methods
ACCT 831Financial Statement Analysis3
or FIN 819 Financial Analysis and Management
BUS 884Business Ethics, Society, and Sustainability3
or MGMT 842 Seminar in Organization Design and Change
Business Decision-Making
DS 852Managerial Decision-Making3
or ISYS 814 Information Systems for Strategic Advantage
MKTG 860Strategic Marketing3
or IBUS 815 Seminar in International Business

Electives (15 Units)

Advisor-approved electives (at least three must be 800-level courses offered by the College of Business, up to two may be graduate-level courses within the University with prior advisor approval.) A maximum of two prerequisite courses taken at SF State (ACCT 780, DS 776, DS 786, ECON 783, ISYS 782, FIN 785, MGMT 788, MKTG 787) may count as electives.

Culminating Experience (3 Units)

BUS 890
Strategic Management
and Culminating Experience Examination

Advancement to Candidacy

Before being considered for Advancement to Candidacy, the applicant must meet all general University requirements, attend all professional development workshops at orientation, satisfy all prerequisite courses, earn an overall SF State GPA of 3.0 or better, and complete at least 12 units of College of Business advanced requirement courses.

When requirements have been satisfied, the graduate advisor may recommend to the Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies that the applicant be advanced to candidacy for the degree by filing the Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form.

Elective Areas


Graduate Advisors: Hammond, Hetherington, Hsieh, Kim, Sopt

Decision Sciences/Operations Research

Graduate Advisors: Bollapragada, Cholette, Cheung, Miyaoka, Saltzman, Soorapanth


Graduate Advisors: Feldman, M. Li, Liu

International Business

Graduate Advisors: Heiman, Yang

Hospitality and Tourism Management

Graduate Advisors: Johnson, Roe, Yang

Information Systems

Graduate Advisor: Sayeed


Graduate Advisors: Baack, Desa, Stewart


Graduate Advisors: Bhat, Hussain, Sengupta, Sinapuelas