Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I apply if I do not have 2-years post-graduate work experience?

We are ideally seeking candidates with a minimum of two-years, full-time, post-graduate work experience. We make a few exceptions for applicants with exceptional experience during their undergraduate programs if the rest of their application is strong. We value work experience for three primary reasons:

1. Students get more out of the program if they have solid work experience
2. Students contribute more in the classroom if they have work experience
3. Employers are seeking MBAs with experience.

If you feel that you can help the admissions committee realize that you have strong experience—even if it is not two-years, post-graduate—then you may want to consider applying. If not, you may want to gain additional experience prior to applying.

Does USD accept 3-year bachelor's degrees?

Applicants who were educated outside of the U.S. are required to have their degree evaluated by World Education Services ( to ensure that their degree is equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree. The degree evaluation may be completed after you've been admitted to the program if you apply by April 1 for Fall or Oct. 15 for Spring.

Indian degrees: Typically 3-year bachelor’s degrees earned in Division I and II at institutions accredited by the NAAC with a minimum grade of A are viewed by WES as equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. Applicants with a 3-year degree from India that does not meet the requirements above can complete a 1-year post-graduate certificate program or a master’s program in India to meet the MBA academic entrance requirements.

What is a competitive GMAT score?

Applicants are most competitive if their GMAT score is within 50 points of the mean (FT MBA - 658, IMBA - 613, Evening MBA - 610). The class profiles provides the range of scores held by 80% of the previous entering class.

Is there a minimum GMAT score?

While some applicants are considered with a score below the competitive range, we do not consider any applicants with a GMAT score under 500. We are ideally seeking applicants who score 35% or higher in both the verbal and quantitative sections of the exam and a 5.0 or higher on the AWA.

Can the GMAT requirement be waived?

The GMAT requirement may be waived for any applicant who has already earned a doctorate degree (PhD or MD). We do not waive the GMAT requirement for work experience or for master's or Juris Doctor degrees.

Do you accept the GRE?

We do accept GRE scores, but we prefer the GMAT, which is the standard with business schools. To submit a GRE score leave the GMAT information blank on the application, and have your official scores submitted, USD school code is 4849.

Does USD require math or business pre-requisite courses?

We do not have any educational pre-requisites: we do not require applicants to take any specific coursework before starting the San Diego MBA. Students will engage in pre-program preparation work with us before orientation.

Does USD accept transfer students or transfer credit?

While all San Diego MBA students will start the program as a new student (with the exception of students transferring from another program participating in the Jesuit Multilateral Transfer Agreement), we can accept up to six semester units or equivalent in transfer from an AACSB accredited business program as long as a grade of B or better was earned. Courses accepted in transfer usually count towards elective units unless the course description matches one of our core requirements.

When do San Diego MBA students declare a concentration?

San Diego MBA students do not officially declare a concentration until they submit their petition for graduation, but students are certainly encouraged to discuss a possible concentration with their advisor as they create their academic plan including their elective courses.

Can students switch from the Evening MBA to the Full-time MBA after the first semester of the program?

Once a student takes classes with the Evening MBA they cannot change to the Full-time MBA since that program is a cohort-based program where students take all core classes together (Evening MBA students would have already taken some of the core classes). They may, however, change the pace of their program from part-time to full-time. Both programs take their electives together in the evening, cover the same curriculum, are taught by the same faculty, and result in the same degree - MBA.

Can students in the Full-time MBA program work while they attend school?

It is our intent that FTMBA students do not work off campus during the first year of the program. The first year consists mostly of core classes, which are offered during daytime hours. In addition, our programs utilize learning teams and students can expect significant amounts of group work/projects and full-time students expect their classmates to be available during daytime hours to conduct this group work. As FTMBA students move into the second year of their program and enroll in electives in the evening, some students opt to pursue an internship during their available daytime hours.

Can applicants apply for multiple San Diego MBA programs at the same time?

The online application will only allow applicants to select one program; applicants are strongly encouraged to select their first choice program on the application form. If an applicant is not admitted to their first choice program, the admissions committee will automatically consider whether or not the applicant would be a competitive applicant for either of the remaining MBA programs. Applicants are welcome to make a note of their interest in another San Diego MBA program in the 4th optional essay.

When should I submit my application and is there an advantage to submitting my application early?

Submitting your application before the first deadline does not have an impact on your chance of acceptance. We encourage you to take this time to put together the strongest application you can. You may have an advantage applying to earlier deadlines, as the applications may become more competitive for a reduced amount of available positions within each class. Additionally, we prefer that you submit the online portion of your application first, so that as we receive your transcripts and GMAT scores we can track them with your application.

When should I submit my official GMAT score?

An official GMAT score report must be received before your application may be considered (unless you already hold a doctorate degree). Your application must be complete by the deadline for your application to be considered with that round of applications.

Will you know to add a new GMAT score to my application record if I retake the exam?

If you retake the GMAT exam, please send an email to so that we will know to look for a new score in the GMAC database. Since we receive hundreds of GMAT scores from people for whom we never receive applications, we only look for scores for applicants once we receive the online application. Once we receive a score for you, we will stop looking unless you tell us to look for an updated score.

Does USD offer conditional admission?

USD does not offer conditional admission based upon future test scores. All applicable test scores (GMAT and in some cases TOEFL/IELTS) must be received before an application may be considered for admission. Applicants who were educated outside of the U.S. may have their application considered with unofficial transcripts and have the degree evaluation completed once they've been admitted to the San Diego MBA; this admission is contingent upon receipt of an evaluation indicating that the applicant's degree is equivalent to a 4-year, U.S. bachelor's degree.

May I have my international degree evaluated after I've been admitted?

You may wait to have this evaluation completed after you’ve been admitted to the program if you apply before May 15th for Fall admission or Oct. 15th for Spring admission and submit an unofficial copy of your transcripts along with your application materials. Your admission would then be contingent upon receipt of a degree evaluation from WES indicating that your degree is equivalent to a 4-year US bachelor’s degree.

Can I request an interview?

Interviews are scheduled at the request of the admissions committee. All applicants who continue in the process after the first round of review will be asked for an interview that will be conducted either on campus or via Skype.

When do supplemental application materials need to be submitted?

All application materials must be submitted by the application deadline/priority consideration deadline to be considered with that round of applications. Applications completed after that deadline will be considered with the next round of applicants or on a rolling-space available basis after the last deadline.

If I attended USD as an undergraduate, do I need to submit an official transcript with my MBA application?

Admissions does not have access to the academic records of USD alumni. Please request to have an official transcript sent to the office of graduate admissions so that we can consider your academic performance.

Can admitted applicants defer admission?

Admitted applicants may request to defer admission to the MBA program for one year by submitting the $1,500 non-refundable deposit along with a note indicating that they are requesting to defer admission for either one semester (Evening MBA only) or one year (Full-time MBA, IMBA, or Evening MBA). Scholarship recipients who defer admission will be guaranteed a scholarship for the following academic year, but the actual amount of the scholarship may change depending upon the scholarship allocations for that academic year.

What happens if I am not admitted?

If you are not admitted to the San Diego MBA program that you indicated on your application, the admissions committee will also consider whether or not you are a better fit with either of the other two I/MBA programs - if so, you will receive an email from us asking if you would like to be considered for that program. If you are not considered a competitive applicant for any of our programs, you are welcome to request feedback on your application (by contacting the admissions office) and may reapply to be considered again in the future.