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The Two-Step Application Procedure

The application to the MSIS program is a two step process. A  prospective student must first apply to the university to be enrolled as an unclassified graduate student. this simply opens the door for the student to pursue graduate studies at Cal State LA. The student should then proceed to apply to one of the colleges in the university,  which in this case is the College of Business and Economics, for admission to a specific degree program, which in this case is the MSIS program. Both applications can be submitted at the same time.

University Level Application to Pursue Graduate Studies

For admission to the University, applicants must have:

  1. Submit an official CSU Graduate Application to the University
    (You will need to create an account in order to fill out the application.)

  2. A baccalaureate from an accredited institution, or equivalent academic preparation as determined by Admissions and University Outreach or another appropriate campus authority.

  3. Two official transcripts, which must include verification of the bachelor's degree.

  4. A grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 (4.0=A) in their latest 90 quarter (or 60 semester) units attempted and good standing at the last college attended.

  5. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 213 (computer version) or 550 (paper version) for those applicants who earned a bachelor's degree to a school where English was not the principal language of instruction.

College Level Application to Enroll in the MSIS Program

  1. Separate Graduate Program Application to the College of Business and Economics.
    (You will need to download the application and use MS Word to fill it out).

  2. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score. Applications for the GMAT and an explanatory pamphlet may be obtained at the College Advisement Center (SH 256B), or directly from the Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 966, Princeton, NJ (1-800-462-8669) or online at (www.gmat.org).

  3. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant's ability to pursue graduate studies. References from employers and faculty members are acceptable.
    Click here to download the Recommendation Form.

  4. Detailed resume or curriculum vitae showing the applicant's work experience (two or more years full time experience is preferred).

Processing of Application and Admission Requirements

The College examines each candidate's potential, taking into consideration all academic work experience, level of responsibility, and other factors that may have a bearing on the individual's potential for success. Applicants are evaluated on the merits of their own application in comparison with those of all other applicants for the quarter.

The applicants to the MSIS program in the School of Business and Economics are required to satisfy the following minimum criteria,  in addition to the University admission requirements that were listed earlier, to attain immediate Classified Graduate Standing (Stage 1 of the path to graduation).  

GMAT Requirement

The prospective students are required to sit for the GMAT examination and pass the examination with a minimum score of 500. Further information on GMAT can be found at the GMAT website.

Domestic students who are applying for the Fall and Winter quarters should take the GMAT no later than the previous June. International (visa) applicants for the Fall quarter should take the test no later than the previous January.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is now administered as a computer-adaptive test (CAT) throughout North America and at many international sites. The paper-based GMAT may be available twice a year in October and January only at those international locations where the network of computer-based testing sites is not yet complete. The MBA Explorer Web site, http://www.mba.com/mba/TaketheGMAT, will tell you what the GMAT CAT is all about, where it is given, how to schedule an appointment, what to expect at the test center, about your GMAT scores, and how to prepare for the test.

Professional Experience in IT

In addition to the GMAT requirement, the applicants are admitted to the MSIS program based on a comprehensive review by the Department of Information Systems of their work experience reflected in a resume and two letters of recommendation from persons who have supervised the applicant's work. The work experience required for the MSIS Professional Option and the MSIS Executive Option are listed below.

  • Professional Option: A minimum of two years of full-time professional level work experience in a business information system setting is required
  • Executive Option: Three years of full-time professional level work experience in a management, professional, and/or operations setting is required

Conditional Admission

Students who cannot fully satisfy the required work experience stated above can still apply to the program. After a comprehensive review of the applicants potential, the College of Business and Economics may conditionally admit the students with requiring then to complete a set of prerequisites assigned by the principal graduate advisor. As a precondition, they will be required to maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.5 in the prerequisite courses assigned to them.   

In this case, the students will remain in Conditionally Classified Graduate standing until the conditions are met. They may not be permitted to enroll in graduate level courses other than those assigned to them as the prerequisites.

Most often, applicants with a bachelor's degree in a computer related filed, but with less than 2 years of computer related experience may qualify under this provision to pursue the MSIS Professional Option program.

Candidates not Normally Considered

Candidates with a baccalaureate degree in a non-computer related field with less than 2 years of full-time professional experience will not normally be considered for the MSIS Professional Option program. They may, however, apply for consideration after obtaining 2 years of experience in the field of Information Technology.


Applicants without proper documentation, i.e., official transcripts, test scores, employment history, essays, etc., will not be processed

Application Deadlines for Domestic Applicants

Applicants must submit the documents listed below during the filing period for the desired quarter of admission.


Filing Period


Summer (June)

Feb. 1 - March 1

Fall (September)

Nov 1- July 1

Winter (January)

June 1 - Oct. 1

Spring (March)

Aug 1 -Dec. 1


Terms in 2005-2006 Applications First Accepted Student Notification
Summer Quarter 2005 Feb. 1, 2005 March 2005
Fall Quarter 2005 Nov. 1, 2004 Dec. 2004
Winter Quarter 2006 June 1, 2005 July 2005
Spring Quarter 2006 Aug. 1, 2005 Sept. 2005
Terms in 2006-2007 Applications First Accepted Student Notification
Summer Quarter 2006 Feb. 1, 2006 March 2006
Fall Quarter 2006 Nov. 1, 2005 Dec. 2005
Winter Quarter 2007 June 1, 2006 July 2006
Spring Quarter 2007 Aug. 1, 2006 Sept. 2006
Terms in 2007-2008 Applications First
Student Notification
Summer Quarter 2007 Feb. 1, 2007 March 2007
Fall Quarter 2007 Nov. 1, 2006 Dec. 2006
Winter Quarter 2008 June 1, 2007 July 2007
Spring Quarter 2008 Aug. 1, 2007 Sept. 2007


Application Deadlines for International Students


Filing Period

Summer (June)

Not open to visa applicants

Fall (September)

Nov 1- March 1

Winter (January)

June 1 - Sept. 1

Spring (March)

Aug 1 - Oct. 1

International graduate applicants are required to submit all supporting documents (including degree verification) by the final day of the application filing period listed above. The international student application can be obtained at: http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/intlstu/adm_info.htm

International (visa) applicants seeking entry to the United States on the basis of acceptance by Cal State L.A. must file a special international student application (available from the Admissions Office) at least six months before the quarter they wish to begin their studies. For assistance in resolving admission problems and complying with regulations governing the entry of international students, applicants can contact International Student Services, phone (323) 343-3170.

The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of international (visa) students. For these purposes, international (visa) students are residents of a country other than the United States or who hold visas as students, exchange visitors, or one in other nonimmigrant classifications.

Other Information

Delayed Entry

Students accepted at Cal State L.A. for post-baccalaureate or graduate study must enroll in the quarter for which application was made. Applicants who do not register for the quarter for which they have been accepted will have their admission canceled; see "Reapplication After Failure to Enroll" earlier in this chapter. The application fee may not be transferred or used to apply to another term.

Students who are admitted but do not register in the quarter for which they applied must reapply to the University and pay another application fee if seeking admission to any future quarter. There is no deferred admission. 


Reapplication to the CBE is not necessary if readmission is sought within one academic year. Students who seek to reactivate their CBE graduate program application file for admission consideration must send a letter to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Resources, indicating the quarter for which they seek admission. With the letter they must include information about any activities they have undertaken since the first application. 

Loss of Continuing Registration Privileges

Note that, unless granted a formal leave of absence, continuing graduate students who fail to attend at least two quarters in a given calendar year lose their continuing registration privileges and must compete for readmission with all other applicants.

(c) Professor N. Ganesan, All Rights Reserved.