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San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
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Orfalea College of Business

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The College of Business offers the Master of Business Administration-General Management (MBA), Engineering Management (MBA/MS dual degree) (EMP), Master of Science in Industrial and Technical Studies (MSI&TS), MBA, Architecture Specialization (MBA/AMP), MBA, Agribusiness Specialization (MBA/AGB), MBA, Landscape Architecture Specialization (MBA/LA), and MBA, Graphic Communication Document System Management (MBA/GRC) as well as a joint degree in EMP (Engineering Management Program – Dual Degree). Other programs include joint degree in MBA/MS Engineering (specialization in Engineering Management), foreign exchange internship programs, and Internation Business Study Tour – People’s Republic of China. The strongest areas of study are general management and engineering management. The most popular courses are International Business, Effective Communication Skills for Managers, Commercialization of Innovative Technologies, Negotiations for Managers, Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business, and International Business Study Tour to China. Regular programs bring distinguished speakers and visiting professors to campus through fellowships, individual programs by instructors, the MBA Association, and the Professional Development Speaker Series.

Sixty total credits are required to complete the MBA, including 24 elective credits. Required courses include:

  • Accounting for Managers
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Managerial Economics
  • Marketing Management
  • Managerial Finance
  • Aggregate Economic Analysis and Policy
  • Production and Operations Management
  • General Management and Strategy

Required courses for the EMP include:

  • Accounting for Managers
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Marketing Management
  • Managerial Economics
  • Manufacturing Systems
  • Managerial Finance
  • Technological Project Management
  • General Management and Strategy
  • Graduate Seminar
  • Aggregate Economics Analysis and Policy
  • Executive Seminars
  • Graduate Internship
  • Advanced Topics in Simulation
  • Applied Statistical Methods in Engineering

Required courses for the MS I&TS include:

  • Impact of Science and Technology
  • Improving Productivity through Technology
  • Trends and Issues in Technology
  • Management of Technology
  • Commercializing Technological Developments
  • Industrial and Technical Studies Project/Thesis

The minimum time permitted to complete the master’s degree program attending full time is 1 year; maximum, 7 years. For students attending part-time, the minimum is 2 years; maximum, 7 years.

There are 60 total full-time graduate business faculty, of whom 98% hold a doctorate; there are 3 part-time faculty, of whom 66% hold a doctorate. Faculty salaries are rated well above average for Category IIA institutions, based on the AAUP rating system. Average number of credit hours faculty teach is 8; average business class size is 25.


A bachelor’s degree is required, along with a GPA of 2.5. Most important admissions factors are GMAT results, grades in upper-level courses, and work experience. A strong mathematics background is not required.

The number of applicants for the 2006-2007 class was 141; 68 were accepted; 62 enrolled. The average GPA was 3.28; average GMAT score was 610. Transfers are accepted.

Students may begin the MBA program in the fall only. To apply, students must submit an application form, GMAT scores, (GRE for EMP and MS l & TS programs), a nonrefundable application fee of $55, and 2 letters of recommendation. The application deadlines are July 1 for fall entry; November 1, winter; February 1, spring. Students are notified on a rolling basis of the admissions decision. The latest acceptable test date for fall entry is June.

Financial Aid

The FAFSA and the school’s own financial statement and SAAC are required. Check with the school for current application deadlines.

Tuition for in-state residents is $4932 per year. Nonresidents pay $15,780 per year. On-campus room and board costs approximately $8430; books and supplies, $1305; personal expenses, $2025, for an estimated annual total of $16,692 for in-state residents and $27,540 for out-of-state residents. There is a referral service to help procure off-campus housing.


Eighty-six percent of the current graduate business school class are enrolled full time; 50% to 60% have had full-time work experience prior to entering graduate school. The greatest percentage of students are from California (77%). Thirty percent are women and 5% are foreign nationals. The average age at entrance is 26; ages range from 24 to 58. Thirty percent enter directly from undergraduate school; 5% already have a graduate degree. Students’ undergraduate majors were as follows: 24%, math and science; 22%, engineering; 21%, business; 8%, liberal arts; and 7%, social sciences. In 2006, 52 graduate business degrees were awarded.

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