Frequently Asked Questions

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Is the GMAT or GRE required? Can I submit my application if I haven’t completed a test yet?

Yes, an official score report from the GMAT or GRE exam is required to apply to USD’s MBA Program. USD’s school code for the GMAT is 29B-Q2-68. If you plan to submit a GRE score leave the GMAT information blank on the application and request that ETS submit your official score report to USD. Our school code for the GRE is 4849. 

If you have not yet completed your GMAT please indicate in the online application the date on which you are scheduled to take the exam. You may submit your application but the admissions committee will hold off on a final review of your application until the GMAT or GRE test score has arrived.

Can the GMAT or GRE requirement be waived?

Full-Time MBA Program applicants: A GMAT or GRE waiver may be requested only by applicants who have completed an MD or a PhD in a scientific or technical field of study. If you have an MD or a PhD in one of these fields please submit a copy of your transcripts and degree conferral to the MBA Programs Office in order to be considered for a GMAT or GRE waiver. 

Evening MBA Program applicants: In addition to the potential waivers indicated above for MD or PhD applicants, waivers are considered for applicants with five or more years of work experience in a business, scientific or technical field plus a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and at least one undergraduate calculus course with a grade of “B” or better. Please send a copy of your transcripts, degree conferral and a resume to the MBA Programs Office for review.

What is a competitive GMAT score? Is there a minimum GMAT score?

The class profile page provides the range of scores held by 80 percent of the most recent entering class. Keep in mind that these averages range from year to year, and that a number of factors are considered when reviewing candidate applications. A competitive GMAT score is generally within 50 points of the average score for the most recent incoming MBA class (2014 Full-Time MBA average GMAT score: 623, Evening MBA average GMAT score: 585).

All applications are reviewed by the admissions committee, however, applicants with a GMAT score below 500 are rarely offered admission. Additionally, a quantitative section score at or above the 35th percentile is highly preferred. 

Does USD offer conditional admission?

No. For an applicant to be considered for admission to the School of Business Administration at the University of San Diego’s MBA Program the application must be complete, which includes all supporting documents and required test scores.

What is the cost of the MBA program?

The charges in the MBA program are a per unit fee for tuition. There are no additional charges for international students or non-California residents since we are a private, tuition-based institution. We offer many different opportunities to subsidize or offset these costs. Please visit our tuition page for the estimated cost of this school year and further financial support information.

What are the application deadlines?

Applications are processed on a rolling basis, meaning that the admissions committee will begin the review of an application soon after it is complete and all supporting documentation has been received. Application deadlines are guidelines only, and are used only to help applicants see how far along we are in the application cycle. We encourage you to submit your application when you feel confident that it represents you and your skills best. Submitting your application before the first deadline does not have an impact on the admissions decision, however, the number of seats in the upcoming cohort decreases as the application cycle continues. If it is after the last application deadline you are welcome to contact our office to check that there are remaining seats in the cohort. View our deadlines page for more information. 

How much post-undergraduate work experience is required for MBA program consideration?

We are ideally seeking candidates who have a minimum of two years, full-time, post-undergraduate work experience. Exceptions are occasionally made for applicants who have exceptional undergraduate performance and high GMAT or GRE scores.

A minimum of two years work experience is preferred for the following reasons:

1. Students learn more effectively in the MBA program if they have prior work experience for a frame of reference and experiences from which to draw examples.

2. Students expect to learn from the prior professional experiences of their classmates.

3. Potential employers of MBA graduates look at pre-MBA work experience as much as they take into consideration the MBA degree accomplishments.

Does SBA offer a fifth year undergraduate plus one-year MBA option?

No, the School of Business Administration does not currently offer this.

Does SBA require math or business related undergraduate coursework in order to be admitted to the MBA program?

While we do not have specific quantitative or business related prerequisites the admissions committee strongly prefers a GMAT quantitative section score at or above the 35th percentile. Admitted students who score below this range may be required to complete additional quantitative prep work prior to beginning the program.

Does SBA accept transfer students or transfer credit?

Applicants who are already enrolled in an MBA program in another AACSB accredited business school may be able to transfer a maximum of six credits of MBA coursework if admitted to the SBA MBA program. Each transfer request is handled on a case-by-case basis, and applicants must complete the full SBA MBA application.

Students currently enrolled in a fellow Jesuit MBA Network program are able to transfer all units as long as they are in good standing within their current MBA program. Please work with your current academic advisor in order to complete the Jesuit MBA transfer paperwork and contact the SBA MBA Programs office for further guidance.

Does SBA 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 ( or Educational Credential Evaluators ( to ensure that their undergraduate degree is equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree. The degree evaluation may be completed after admissions to the MBA program.

Applicants educated in India: 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.

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

Yes, applicants who were educated outside of the U.S. may complete the degree evaluation process after an offer of admission to the MBA program. 

Can students switch from the Evening MBA to the Full-Time MBA (or from Full-Time to Evening) after the first semester of the program?

Students cannot switch between programs due to the cohort nature of the SBA MBA Program—meaning that students begin the program and take the majority of their core classes with the same cohort of students. However, during elective coursework the program uses a mixed cohort format, meaning that students from different cohorts take classes together, in the evenings.

The Evening MBA program schedule is very flexible and students have the option to take nine or more credits per Fall and Spring semester, which would qualify them for “full-time” student status by the university.

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

It is our intent that Full-Time MBA 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, the program utilizes learning teams and significant amounts of group work/projects, and full-time students are expected to be available during daytime hours to conduct this group work. Many students apply for on-campus jobs or Graduate Assistantships to help fund their graduate studies. These jobs can have flexible schedules and are easily balanced with schoolwork.

As Full-Time MBA students move into the second year of the program and enroll in electives, primarily offered in the evenings, students have the opportunity to pursue a daytime internship or part-time employment off-campus. 

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

Yes. Please ask the USD registrar to send an official copy of your undergraduate transcript to the Office of Graduate Admissions to be matched with the rest of your application materials. We do not have access to the academic records of USD undergraduate alumni.

Can I request an interview?

Interviews are only scheduled at the request of the admissions committee after the completed review of an application. It is preferred that candidates come to campus for an interview; however, a video interview using Skype is an option for applicants who live outside of California. 

Can admitted applicants defer admission?

Admitted applicants may request to defer admission to the MBA program for one year (Full-Time MBA) or one semester (Evening MBA). Requests must be made in writing and are granted on a case-by-case basis by the admissions committee. If the deferment request is granted applicants will submit the $1,500 non-refundable enrollment in order to secure their place in the next cohort. 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?

You are welcome to reapply for the next semester (Evening MBA) or next academic year (Full-Time MBA). Being denied for one cohort does not impact potential admissions decisions for the future. Please contact the MBA Admissions Office for a re-application fee waiver. You may request feedback on your application by contacting the admissions office. Due to the volume of applications please contact the office via email at the end of the application cycle. 

Is an English language proficiency exam required for international applicants?

The TOEFL or IELTS is required for any applicant whose language of undergraduate instruction was not in English. 

TOEFL (internet-based test) minimum score = 92 (minimum preferred speaking score = 20)

IELTS minimum score = 7.0 (minimum preferred speaking score = 7)

USD's college code = 4849. For a testing center in your country, visit or