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To ensure students are adequately prepared for the rigors of MBA-level coursework, students entering the program with undergraduate degrees other than business must demonstrate proficiency in the following content areas as exemplified by their APU undergraduate course equivalent:

Students may fulfill this requirement in the following ways:

Completed undergraduate business coursework – Students who have completed an undergraduate business degree within the past seven years, and who have earned a B- or better grade in a prerequisite course, will generally be able to waive the course. Students must submit a catalog course description and syllabus to the MBA program chair for consideration.

Graduate prerequisite transfer credit – Students may take prerequisite courses at an accredited college or university. To receive transfer credit, the course must have been taken for a grade and the student must have received a B grade or better. The transfer credit must be approved by the MBA chair before enrollment in MBA coursework. Submit a catalog course description and syllabus to the MBA program chair for consideration.

CPA exam – Students who have passed the CPA exam are not required to take the accounting prerequisite. Submit a copy of examination results or CPA Certificate to the MBA program coordinator.

International Students – In order to comply with U.S. government regulations, students must take the online prerequisite courses either in their home country (before coming to the United States to start the MBA program) or they must come to the physical classroom to take these courses if they are in the United States.

Waiver Exam – Students may take a competency exam (equivalent to a final exam) and receive a waiver if competency is demonstrated.

A 3-unit prerequisite course, BUSI 500 MBA Primer, is an undergraduate level course that prepares students to pass a waiver exam in each of the content areas. Failure to pass any and all proficiency exams at a B- or better grade will prevent the student from proceeding with the program until the student has successfully challenged and passed the exams.

At the discretion of the program chair, BUSI 500 may be taken concurrently with other courses that do not require prerequisites. BUSI 500 does not count toward meeting core or elective requirements of the program.

MBA Program Curriculum

The MBA program curriculum requires 38 units of specified core courses with an option for 9 units of elective courses for concentrations in entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, international business, strategic management, and human resources and organization development. The following is a listing and description of the required MBA program coursework.

Course Requirements

Core Courses38 units
The MBA program at APU is a 38-unit general management program consisting of the following courses. Please note that the Worldview Leadership Formation and Field Experience are short-duration residency courses not taught over the nine-week terms.
BUSI 509
Worldview Leadership Formation
BUSI 512
Management Accounting
BUSI 513
Corporate Finance
BUSI 514
Operations Management
BUSI 515
Marketing Research
MGMT 516
Organizational Behavior
BUSI 521
Managerial Economics
BUSI 522
Private Enterprise and Public Policy
BUSI 527
Marketing Strategy
BUSI 548
International Business
BUSI 567
Advanced Financial Analysis
BUSI 578
Strategy and Planning
BUSI 581
Strategic Leadership
One of the following:
BUSI 566
International Field Study and Internship
BUSI 577
Global Field Study
BUSI 597
Field Experience

Optional Concentration Fields

Concentrations9 units
Students may earn concentrations as part of the MBA degree by taking the equivalent of at least three 3-unit elective courses for a total of 9 units in one of the following areas:
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • International Business
  • Strategic Management
  • Human Resources and Organizational Development (HROD)

Concentration courses are generally taught using the one-on-one Oxford tutorial model as independent study. Students may consult the MBA enrollment coordinator or the MBA program chair for appropriate faculty to contact regarding the concentration of the student’s choice.

Course Attendance and Schedule

The collaborative learning process that characterizes the MBA program requires that students are prepared to contribute valuably to class discussions and to the broader learning community based on their experiences. As such, class attendance is an important aspect of commitment to the MBA program. Absences from class are not appropriate except in cases of emergency.

Students should make note of the start and end of the term as they determine their travel plans. Because the program coursework is offered in accelerated nine-week sessions, students generally cannot miss more than two classes without retaking the course. Students should notify instructors of planned absences as soon as possible and make arrangements with other students to get notes/assignments. Also, since every instructor considers participation in grading, absences and tardiness may significantly affect final grades.

Switching Programs

Students who have been admitted to the YEMBA or MMBA program may not switch from the full-time cohort to the traditional evening MBA. Rare exceptions may be made at the discretion of the program chair if the applicant has met the admissions criteria for the traditional MBA program.

Summer Courses

A limited number of courses are offered during the summer sessions. The summer term is also a time to complete elective and concentration courses as independent studies or Oxford-style tutorials.

Independent Studies

Independent studies are exclusively for subjects considered to be of academic merit that are not addressed or covered in regularly scheduled elective or required core courses. They are intended to allow students to become more versed in their areas of interest and may consist of elective and concentration courses. A student may take no more than two 3-unit courses for a total of 6 units as part of the MBA program.

Independent study coursework requires a written proposal of study prepared by the student, signed by the faculty member, and submitted along with a faculty developed syllabus for the course. The course proposal must include an outline of study, classification as an elective or concentration, proposed credits, timeline, and meeting times with faculty. The complete proposal is presented to the MBA chair and requires his/her written approval.


In order to graduate, students must complete the required courses with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher within five years of matriculation. This includes completing every required course with at least a C- or better. All courses taken within the SBM and applied toward the MBA degree must be taken for a letter grade, except for courses offered only on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis.

Academic Honors

Outstanding Graduate – At each Commissioning Ceremony, the graduate faculty may honor a single graduate with the distinction of Outstanding Graduate. The award is primarily based on academic achievement and is secondarily given to the outstanding candidate who contributed most to the APU MBA learning community.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a semester?
The School of Business and Management graduate programs (both the MBA and MAM) run on nine-week terms.

How many units do I take each term?
To be classified as a full-time graduate student, one must be enrolled in at least 9 units during each of the two nine-week semesters (e.g., Fall I and Fall II or Spring I and Spring II). Students can take one to three classes per quarter.

How many hours does each class session require?
Fall and spring classes meet once a week for 4 hours and 5 minutes (including a break). Summer classes meet twice a week for 4 hours.

How many evenings per week do I attend classes?
Students generally attend class one to two nights per week, depending on the number of classes in which they are enrolled.

How soon can I finish this program?
This program can be completed between 1 and 5 years. Most students complete the program in 18–36 months.

Note: This information is current for the 2013-14 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.