Management, Rady School of

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All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates to curricular sections may be found on the Academic Senate website:

The Graduate Program

The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego offers graduate instruction leading to master’s degrees in business administration, and a doctorate in management.

Students interested in pursuing any of the degree programs at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management (RSM) must have earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, with training comparable to that provided by the University of California. A minimum scholastic average of 3.0 or better is required for course work completed in upper division or prior graduate study. Applicants must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Specific information about admission requirements for each program can be found below.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Requirements for Admission

No specific undergraduate major or course work is required for admission, though preparation in quantitative methods (such as calculus and statistics) is strongly encouraged for the MBA program. Prior business course work is not necessary. Students who do not have adequate quantitative preparation at the time of admission will need to complete preparatory course work before matriculation.

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to their professional and leadership skills and to their potential for business leadership.

Applicants are required to submit Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing). The GMAT may be waived, based on review of credentials, for applicants with a PhD in a technical, scientific, or quantitatively based discipline. The GMAT may also be waived for applicants to the FlexMBA for working professionals who have completed a master’s degree in a technical discipline and have eight or more years of professional work experience. Applicants requesting a GMAT waiver should contact MBA Admissions directly for a review of credentials. A minimum score of 550 on the paper/pencil version and a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all international applicants whose native language is not English and whose undergraduate education was conducted in a language other than English. Students who score below 600 on the paper/pencil or 250 on the computer-based TOEFL examination are strongly encouraged to enroll in an English-as-a-second-language program before beginning graduate work. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also accepted with a minimum score of seven.

The admissions committee assesses professional and organizational experience in terms of scope or level of responsibility, evidence of contribution or success, and evidence of career progression or of growth in responsibility. The Full-Time MBA does not require professional work experience; however, the school believes that some prior experience in organizations and teams is critical to effective learning in the MBA program. Most students in the Full-Time MBA class will have some postundergraduate professional experience. FlexWeekend and FlexEvening MBA students are working professionals; no specific number of years of work experience is required.

Interviews are required for admission to the MBA program. Interviews are by invitation after review of the completed application.

The Full-Time MBA is a two-year, full-time program. The FlexWeekend MBA is twenty-four months, including two summers, and is scheduled on alternate weekends to accommodate the needs of working professionals. The FlexEvening MBA is thirty months, including summers, and is scheduled two nights per week to accommodate the needs of working professionals.

The school’s MBA application is available online at the school’s website.

The MBA Curriculum
(92 units)

The MBA curriculum (ninety-two units) is made up of a set of core disciplinary and skill-oriented courses with an emphasis on industry sectors, unstructured electives, and the professional seminar. The basic curriculum is the same for the Full-Time MBA.

Required Courses

The core curriculum provides a comprehensive education in the fundamentals of business and management and lays a strong foundation for further study. Core courses consist of the following:

Elective Courses

Students may choose from electives in the full range of business and management disciplines, including accounting, finance, management, marketing, operations and information technology, and strategy. In addition, students may, with approval, take graduate courses offered elsewhere on campus. Prospective students are advised to consult the RSM Office of Admissions for a list of planned elective courses.

Industry Sector Emphasis

The Rady School’s MBA is designed to allow students to develop depth in industry sectors of particular interest. Selection of an industry is not required. The program combines a solid core, an integrative course sequence focused on innovation, a strong elective curriculum, a commitment to leadership development, and an emphasis on cutting-edge industry sectors.

Professional Seminar

The professional seminar (MGT 401) is a one-credit course offered each quarter. The seminar brings business leaders and experts to campus to speak to students and provides workshops focused on professional and leadership development and on personal and career effectiveness. The seminar may be taken multiple times for credit.


Full-Time MBA students are strongly encouraged to participate in internships during the summer between the two years of the academic program. Part-time internships are also available during the academic year. Internships are coordinated through MBA Career Connections, the school’s career center.

Executive Mentor Program

The Rady School’s Executive Mentor program matches small groups of MBA students with senior business executives. Mentors work directly with their groups, offering perspective, guidance, and expertise based on their deep experience in business. Mentors help guide MBA students as they map out areas for personal and professional development, gain understanding of career progression and the skills and abilities required for successful leadership, and seek feedback about opportunities and areas of concern.

The PhD in Management

The Rady School offers a PhD in management designed to prepare graduates for careers in academic research. Only students who intend to pursue a doctorate should apply; the department does not enroll students who seek a master’s degree as a terminal degree.

Students with undergraduate preparation in various areas of the social and physical sciences may apply to the program. Students who elect to specialize in management science and finance are required to have additional mathematical knowledge, such as advanced calculus and statistics.

To be considered for admission candidates must

Note: At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, personal interviews may be required.

Program instruction includes formal core and domain/methodology course work, directed study in close consultation with faculty in preparation for a research career, and individual research required for the student’s dissertation. The core curriculum consists of a mathematics review and two course sequences designed to ensure that students are educated in the fundamentals of economic and social sciences. Individual students may be required to take additional courses depending upon educational background. The domain/methodology course requirement helps the student acquire the deep domain knowledge and methodological skills required to conduct research in his or her areas of interest.

The main PhD requirements are that a student completes the core and elective course work, qualifying examinations, original research papers and presentations, a dissertation acceptable to the doctoral committee, and a final oral examination on the dissertation. Rather than a separate qualifying exam on each topic, students will be required to pass graduate course exams with a cumulative GPA of 3.6. If a student does not have the 3.6 (A–) average, the topic qualifying exams will be required.

PhD students must be in residence a total of six quarters, three of which must be spent in continuous residence at the Rady School on the San Diego campus. A minimum of three quarters of residency must pass between the date of formal advancement to candidacy and the date of the final examination.

Nonresident students who have failed to establish California residency after the first year will be responsible for their own tuition.

Normative time (defined as that period of time in which students under normal circumstances are expected to complete their doctoral program) is four to five years, based on the student’s background and progress. The maximum length of time that a student may remain a precandidate for the PhD degree is three years. Total university support cannot exceed six years. Total registered time at UC San Diego cannot exceed seven years.

A detailed description of the PhD program is available on the Internet at or by contacting the PhD program coordinator at Residence and other campuswide regulations are described in the graduate studies section of this catalog.

Career Services

Career Connections, the Rady School’s career center, provides students with expertise, guidance, and resources to successfully manage their careers. Services and resources of Career Connections are available to all Rady students, with some limitations for those sponsored by their employers. For many students, the center’s personalized approach to career management begins before the student’s first quarter and continues throughout the program. Career Connections actively works to identify opportunities for students and to enable them to build strong professional networks.

Career services include career assessment, individual career coaching, career fairs, workshops, employer presentations and panels, internship and career employment listings, and on-campus interviews. Specialized career workshops focus on resume writing, interviewing skills (including videotaped mock interviews), effective job search strategies, and job offer evaluation and negotiation.

The Undergraduate Program

The Accounting Minor

The Rady School of Management’s accounting minor is designed to provide students a breadth of understanding of accounting theory, practices, and applications. The minor will appeal to students who envision careers in the accounting profession. Because of accounting’s broad application, these careers would span across public accounting firms, corporate accounting departments, and governmental, nonprofit, and nongovernmental organizations. For many students, this will be their first step in achieving a Certificate in Public Accounting, CPA.

Accounting Minor Requirements

The accounting minor will consist of seven courses that cover the key accounting principles, processes, and applications. Required courses include two lower-division courses and five upper-division courses.

Lower-Division Courses
Upper-Division Courses

In order to count toward the minor, all courses must be taken for a letter grade and students must earn a C– or better in each course. Lower-division transfer credits for courses that are clearly equivalent in scope and content to lower-division courses required for the accounting minor will be accepted from regionally accredited United States institutions and from foreign institutions recognized by the Rady School of Management.

CPA Accounting Requirements

A student who completes nine Rady accounting courses (the seven courses required for the minor plus two electives for a total of thirty-six quarter units) will have met the current accounting educational requirement for CPA licensure. The CPA education requirements are changing effective January 1, 2014, and will include additional educational requirements. Find more information here:

The Business Minor

The Rady School of Management’s business minor is designed to provide students the breadth of understanding of business theory and a depth of ability with business practices and applications. This minor will appeal to students who envision careers that require an understanding of the basic principles and practices of business. Because of business’s broad application, UC San Diego students with a minor in business will be well prepared to assume entry and intermediate positions in the business functions of a vast number large and small for-profit companies, governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and nongovernmental entities. Additionally, graduates pursuing careers not directly related to formal business functions, but still impacted by business practices, will bring a much-valued perspective to their initial employment.

Business Minor Requirements

To fulfill the requirements of the business minor, students must take five required courses and two electives. The required courses are

Acceptable elective courses are

All courses taken for the business minor must be taken for taken for a letter grade. Students must earn at least a C– in each course used for the minor. Lower-division transfer credits for courses that are clearly equivalent in scope and content to lower-division Rady School courses required for the business minor will be accepted from regionally accredited United States institutions and from foreign institutions recognized by the Rady School of Management. Upper-division courses applied toward the business minor will not count toward major requirements for another department.


While not a formal requirement, if students choose to, they can take electives in the same functional area and thus have a “mini-concentration.”  These mini-concentrations include the following: