Sep 26, 2023  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

MBA for Professionals Video

Business Administration (For Professionals), MBA

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Purpose of the MBA Program

The MBA program provides a strong foundation of business concepts, models, skills, and methods with which to face immediate and future managerial challenges. The basic program aims at creating a general management (rather than a functional specialist) perspective. Pragmatic in approach, the focus is on problem analysis and synthesis, decision making, action taking throughout the functional areas of business, and understanding the international context of business. The Lucas Graduate School of Business  prepares students through a broad curriculum of functional, cross-functional and integrative core courses, and elective courses.

Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of the Donald and Sally Lucas Graduate School of Business MBA are threefold: to provide a solid base of interdisciplinary business theories and techniques; to apply theory and analytic tools to the practical improvement of organizational performance; to explore personal beliefs and values as they affect ethical and economic organizational practices. Key processes involve: investigating opportunities and problems; defining causes or contributing factors to problems, including those that cut across organizational units; generating alternatives from which feasible programs of action are selected and implemented; and monitoring and changing, where necessary, the progress of enacted decisions.

These skills are developed using a combination of approaches including the case method, experiential exercises, computer simulations, team projects, and problem sets. Students are expected to develop competencies both as action-oriented leaders and as logical decision-makers.

Benefits of the MBA

The program is geared to the professionally-oriented person who aspires to move into middle management or to undertake greater managerial responsibility. It is designed to aid those who have the capabilities or potential to be action initiators. The MBA program accommodates students with a variety of educational and work backgrounds. 

Lucas MBA Programs

Although SJSU grants one unique MBA degree, the Lucas Graduate School of Business offers two distinct MBA programs that differ according to student profile, flexibility, degree completion time, admission cycle and cost.

The Early Career MBA program is tailored to students who have fewer than five years of work experience. Classes are held on the SJSU campus during evenings and Saturdays in eight-week sessions during the Fall and Spring semesters and five-week sessions during the Summer semester. The Early Career Program offers three tracks that vary in length and pace: Accelerated Track (12 months), Full-Time Track (21-24 months), and Part-Time Track (33-36 months).

The MBA for Professionals is designed for working professionals with more than five years of work experience. This program offers a high level of flexibility in order to accommodate professionals with demanding life and work schedules. Classes are held on the SJSU campus during evenings and Saturdays in eight-week during the Fall and Spring semesters and five-week sessions during the Summer semester, with some courses available online.

Admission Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

To be fully accepted into classified standing, an applicant must have:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in the U.S. or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree earned from a recognized institution if the degree was earned outside of the U.S.
  2. A preferred GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Taken an English language proficiency examination if the previously earned degree was from an institution in which the principal language of instruction was not English. The university’s minimum entrance score for the TOEFL is 213 (computer-based) or 80 (internet-based). The minimum score required on the IELTS is 6.5, and the minimum PTE score is 53.
  4. Taken the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Scores at the 50th percentile in both the quantitative 4. and verbal sections of either exam are considered competitive. Conditional on the approval of the MBA Director, the GMAT/GRE requirement may be waived if the applicant has any of the following:
    1. Earned a Master’s degree or Ph.D. from an accredited institution in the United States.
    2. Graduated with honors from the Lucas College of Business Gary J. Sbona Honors Program within the last five years.
    3. A GPA of at least 3.2 AND completed at least 5 years of full-time professional work experience with increasing responsibilities and a managerial role over people and/or budgets. An interview with the MBA Director and/or a letter from the supervisor attesting to the level of work responsibilities may be required.
  5. Completed two prerequisite courses (Economics and Statistics, with a grade of B or higher). The economics course may be one of the following: Introduction to Microeconomics, Introduction to Macroeconomics, or Principles of Economics. An applicant may be admitted to the MBA program on a conditional admission basis prior to completion of these two courses but will need to provide proof of completion of all prerequisites before the day of orientation.
  6. A personal statement of one to two pages explaining how an MBA can help to achieve the applicant’s career objectives.
  7. A resume detailing your professional and academic experiences.
  8. (Optional) Two letters of recommendation.

The Lucas School does not follow a set formula for determining admission to the MBA programs. Our goal is to admit academically qualified candidates who show potential for completing the program and advancing into a successful business career. We seek to admit students whose backgrounds will enable them to contribute to the academic excellence and the demographic, educational, and experiential diversity of each class.

An applicant’s academic profile - undergraduate major and institution, any graduate-level work, GPA, and GMAT or GRE scores - is a major factor in the admission decision. Other important areas of evaluation include a personal statement, work experience, letters of recommendation, writing skills, and extracurricular, community, and professional activities. From this overall review, we assess an applicant’s potential for success and compatibility with our MBA program.

The GMAT or GRE score is just one part of a candidate’s overall profile. We realize that the GMAT/GRE has certain limitations, as does any standardized test; however, these exams do allow comparison among applicants from different schools, different countries, and different majors. We encourage all applicants to prepare for the exam, take it as early as possible, and retake it if their score is not competitive.

The average GPA of admitted candidates is 3.3. Ideally, a candidate’s GPA will be at 3.0 or above. Many circumstances may exist which offer an explanation for a GPA below 3.0; candidates are encouraged to submit a statement of explanation if this is the case. However, please note that an absolute minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for graduate admission at San José State University.

Program of Study Requirements for the MBA Degree

To earn the MBA degree, all students must satisfy the following requirements:

Business Prerequisite Courses

  • Introduction of Macroeconomics (at SJSU this course is ECON 1A ) or Introduction to Microeconomics (at SJSU this course is ECON 1B ) or Principles of Economics
  • Statistics (at SJSU this course is BUS2 90 )

Advanced Management Courses (Core Courses)

In both the Early Career MBA and the MBA for Professionals, all students are required to successfully complete eleven core courses for a total of thirty-semester units. Although the total units of core courses are identical across the two MBA programs, the composition of the core curriculum is slightly different to account for the differences in student academic and professional profiles. The advanced graduate courses (core courses - 30 units) ensure breadth in general management knowledge and help the student to develop mastery in applying essential business skills.

Elective Courses

Four elective courses (12 units) are required of all students. As an elective course, a graduate student can select a maximum of one upper-division business undergraduate course (100-level) OR one graduate non-business course (200-level). Enrollment in such an elective course is conditional on the written approval by the MBA Director and it is specific to a given course and a given semester.

Comprehensive Project

The comprehensive project is incorporated in the Strategic Thinking course (BUS 290 ). The comprehensive project is a culminating experience integrating business functional and interdisciplinary areas. An individual written project report is required and an oral examination may be included. The project may take the form of a field study, research project, business simulation, or a strategic plan for an organization, as assigned by the Business 290 instructor. Students must receive an overall equivalent grade of “B” or better on the comprehensive project and may be given a maximum of two opportunities to satisfy requirements.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)  as a condition for advancement to candidacy. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations website at

Maintenance of 3.0 GPA

Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better on all graduate-level course work. Students who receive grades of “C-“, “D”, “F”, or “WU” in any business graduate course must repeat that course to achieve a grade of “C” or better.

Transfer Credit

Subject to the approval of the Donald and Sally Lucas Graduate School of Business MBA Program Director and validation by the College of Graduate Studies, students may transfer a maximum of twelve-semester units of business graduate course work from another regionally accredited institution. Grades in the transfer courses must be “B” or better.

Other University Requirements

Students must comply with all other graduate requirements contained in this catalog. 

MBA for Professionals Requirements (42 units)

Electives (12 units)

Four elective courses. Students may take a maximum of one 100-level business course OR 200-level non-business course with written approval of the MBA director.

Culminating Experience (3 units)

Plan B (Project)

Total Units Required (42 units)

Note: Four elective courses must be taken in addition to the Advanced Management Courses (Core Courses) in order to achieve the total of 42 semester units. A graduate student can select a maximum of one upper-division business undergraduate course OR one graduate non-business course conditional upon the written approval of a given course and a given semester by the MBA Director. Enrollment in BUS 203  is conditional on the approval of the MBA Director and the BUS 203  instructor.

Special Session Program Information

Academic Programs offered through Special Session are operated by the College of Professional and Global Education (CPGE). Registration and enrollment in a Special Session course or program must use the special session application form and will follow special session fee and course schedules. Note that regular session students seeking to enroll simultaneously in a special session course or program will trigger a separate and additional set of fees. This may require an additional enrollment appointment from the Registrar and it may have implications for financial aid status or requirements. Please visit the CPGE website for more information.

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