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.

The Graduate Program

The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego offers graduate instruction leading to master’s degrees in business administration and finance as well as 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) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. The GMAT or GRE may be waived, based on review of credentials, for applicants with a PhD in a technical, scientific, or quantitatively based discipline. The GMAT or GRE 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 or GRE 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 FlexEvening MBA program provides an option for partial program completion through distance education at an offsite location.

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

The MBA Curriculum

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 and Flex MBA students.

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. Courses approved for elective credit include MGT courses ranging from MGT 415 through MGT 499, excluding MGT 497. MGT 402 is a required course that applies toward a student’s elective requirement. Certain MGTF courses have been preapproved by management faculty for MBA elective credit. Students must consult with the MBA graduate adviser for a list of program-approved courses available for elective credit in a given term. With approval, students may apply up to twelve graduate course units taken elsewhere at UC San Diego toward the MBA elective requirements.

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. Students must complete a minimum of three professional seminar courses, but may enroll in up to eight seminar courses 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 Rady 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 Master of Finance

Requirements for Admission

While no specific undergraduate major is required for admission, it is expected that most successful applicants will have an undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline such as mathematics, economics, statistics, physics, engineering, and computer science. Students with a nonquantitative undergraduate degree will be considered on an exceptional basis if they have five years of work history in a quantitative field.

Additional admission requirements include

The Master of Finance Curriculum

The master of finance is a fifty-two unit, STEM-designated degree program. The curriculum consists of four core courses (sixteen units), a capstone (four units), and elective courses (thirty-two units). The capstone project, completed during the last quarter of the program and in conjunction with the required capstone course, is an applied quantitative finance project that incorporates the skills and knowledge taught in the program.

Required Courses

The master of finance core courses are designed to provide a comprehensive foundation in empirical finance, quantitative methods, financial econometrics, data analysis, and risk management. Master’s of finance students are required to complete the following core courses:

Elective Courses

In addition to the core and capstone courses, master’s of finance students must complete thirty-two elective units. With approval from the program director, a student may take up to four units of electives in another UC San Diego department. MGTF courses outside the core courses (ranging from MGTF 405 through MGTF 499, excluding MGTF 497) may be used in satisfaction of program degree requirements. Additionally, with approval from the master of finance program director, students may apply up to eight MGT units in satisfaction of elective requirements. Students must speak with their graduate adviser for a list of MGT courses available in any given term.

The Master of Science in Business Analytics

Requirements for Admission

It is expected that most successful applicants will have either (1) an undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline such as mathematics, economics, statistics, physics, engineering, or computer science, or (2) an undergraduate degree in some other discipline plus five or more years of work experience in the public or private sector. Students with a nonquantitative undergraduate degree and less than five years of work experience will be considered on an exceptional basis if (1) they have work experience in the area of business analytics or marketing research or (2) they have developed a strong quantitative background through additional course work or relevant work experience.

Given the concentrated twelve-month curriculum, the program will only admit students who have a solid foundation in quantitative methods. Successful applicants will have completed college course work in calculus and in either probability or statistics. Additionally, each student must demonstrate evidence of programming proficiency from prior college course work, professional experience, or a certificate from a continuing education program (e.g., a Coursera course on R-programming). While there will always be heterogeneity in backgrounds across students, the overall pool of successful applicants will be able to cope with the demands of the program.

Additional admission requirements are based on the following criteria:

The MSBA requires successful completion of fifty units of credit, which includes a passing grade for the MSBA 454, Project Capstone course, and a master’s level pass for the individual comprehensive oral exam.

The MSBA is directed at motivated students with strong quantitative backgrounds. The proposed MSBA program is structured so that it can be completed in twelve months as a full-time degree program or, to accommodate working professionals, may be extended over a longer period. Regardless of the speed of program completion, the capstone project course must be completed during the final quarter. The individual comprehensive exam takes place at the completion of MSBA 454.

While not required, students may do an internship during the summer. Students without work experience in a business analytics related position will be strongly encouraged to do an internship with placement assistance from Rady School’s Career Connections Office.

The MSBA Curriculum

The MSBA is a fifty-unit, STEM-designated program. The curriculum consists of four four-unit core courses, two one-unit core courses, and thirty-two units from a set of elective courses. Each student must successfully pass a comprehensive examination. This examination includes (1) a formal presentation of the capstone project, (2) a project report, and (3) an individual oral examination. The capstone project will require students to solve a business problem for a real-world client and document their work in a project report.

Core Courses:
Elective Courses:

In addition to the core courses (fourteen units) and the capstone project (four units), students are required to successfully complete thirty-two units from a set list of elective courses.

List A Electives

Students must take a minimum of twenty units from List A electives. List A electives include MGTA courses ranging from MGTA 455 through MGTA 499, excluding MGTA 497. These courses are intended to expand a student’s ability to use data and analytics to identify business opportunities, generate business insights, and create business solutions.

List B Electives

Students may apply up to twelve units of List B electives toward program degree requirements. List B electives allow students to expand their industry knowledge by taking courses alongside MBA and master’s of finance students. List B electives include MGT and MGTF courses preapproved by the MSBA faculty for MSBA elective credit. Please contact the MSBA graduate adviser for a list of available courses.

Professional Seminar

MGTA 401, Professional Seminar, is a required one-unit course that students take in two separate quarters for a total of two units. In the seminars, domain experts and business leaders present novel analytics research, discuss legal, privacy, and ethical issues, and provide professional skills development. Topics may vary by term.

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.

Requirements for Admission

Students with undergraduate preparation in various areas of the social and physical sciences may apply to the program. Students who elect to specialize in Economics and Strategy, Finance, Quantitative Marketing, and Innovation, Technology, and Operations 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.

Departmental PhD Time Limit Policies

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 doctoral degree is three years, but students are expected to finish their required course work and advance to candidacy by the end of their second year. Students unable to advance by the end of their second year will be evaluated individually and may be required to submit additional documentation regarding their progress and/or cover any non-resident supplemental tuition charges for a third year (if applicable). Departmental financial support will be offered for a maximum of five years and the total university support cannot exceed six years. Total registered time at UC San Diego cannot exceed seven years. Students will not be permitted to continue beyond the precandidacy and total registered time limits. Students will not be permitted to receive UC San Diego administered financial support beyond the support limit.

Doctoral 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 UC 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.

Eligible non-resident students who have failed to establish California residency after their first year will be responsible for their own non-resident supplemental tuition.

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

The PhD Curriculum

Program instruction includes formal core, breadth, 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 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.

Core and Breadth Courses:

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 breadth courses consist of a three-course sequence designed to ensure doctoral students acquire a deep domain knowledge and methodological skills. Any changes to these required core/breadth courses will need to be formally submitted by the student and approved by the faculty adviser and the doctoral program director. The required core and breadth courses consist of the following:

Behavioral students (Marketing and Management):

Quantitative students (Finance, Economics and Strategy, Quantitative Marketing, and Innovation, Technology and Operations):

Domain/Methodology Courses:

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. Students are required to complete a minimum of six domain/methodology courses prior to advancement, or the end of the second year based on normative time. Students will work directly with their faculty advisers on course selections that best match their areas of research interest and their development as research scholars. Non-advanced students will be required to submit an approved plan of study annually to the doctoral coordinator, with changes to the plan needing approval by their faculty adviser and program director and a final version submitted in order to advance to candidacy. This will ensure that all course requirements have been met before a student may advance.

Individual Directed Study/Dissertation Research:

MGT 299, Individual Directed Study, is a course for precandidacy students wishing to participate in individual study or research under the direction of a selected faculty member. The faculty adviser is the final judge of whether a specific project meets the standards of MGT 299. A precandidacy student may apply for up to twelve units of Independent Study total, but may be evaluated for additional units upon the completion of all required courses.

MGT 296, Research/Management for Dissertation, is for individual students who have advanced to candidacy and completed their required courses. Students may apply for up to twelve units a quarter with adviser(s) approval.

PhD in Management with a Specialization in Interdisciplinary Environmental Research

A graduate specialization in Interdisciplinary Environmental Research (PIER) is available for select doctoral students in management. PIER students seek solutions to today’s environmental challenges.

The PhD specialization is designed to allow students to obtain standard training in their chosen field and an opportunity to interact with peers in different disciplines throughout the duration of their doctoral projects. Such communication across disciplines is key to fostering a capacity for interdisciplinary “language” skills and conceptual flexibility.

Specialization Requirements

Application Requirements

We advise students to begin PIER in their second year upon completion of core management course requirements.

The following items should be combined into a single PDF document and submitted to

Admission to the Specialization

Students are admitted into the management doctoral program. Admission to PIER is a competitive process with six to eight students granted admission each year from across ten participating UC San Diego departments. Selected applicants will have the opportunity to enroll in the specialization.

PIER Fellowships

When funding is available, all applicants will be considered for one year of PIER Fellowship support.

Career Services

Graduate Career Connections, the Rady School’s career center, provides professional-degree graduate students with expertise, guidance, and resources to successfully manage their careers. Services and resources of Graduate 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. Graduate 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 résumé writing, interviewing skills (including videotaped mock interviews), effective job search strategies, and job offer evaluation and negotiation.