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MSBA Admissions FAQs
The most frequently asked questions about MSBA admissions

About MSBA Admissions

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is U.S $125.00. If applying online, you may pay with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or electronic check. If you are using the paper application, you must pay by check or money order made payable to UC Regents.

What factors are considered in admissions decisions?

The Admissions Committee evaluates your academic potential, professional promise and personal qualities. These factors are not listed in order of importance, and we look at each candidate individually. The Admissions Committee’s goal is to assemble a class of students who will bring diverse perspectives to the learning environment.

What is required for application to the MSBA program?

  • Current resume
  • List of outside activities, awards and honors
  • Essay (300 words)
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Two recommendations in sealed envelopes or submitted online
  • Official GMAT or GRE score
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS (international applicants)
  • $125 application fee

I don’t have an undergraduate degree in statistics or computer science. Can I still apply to the UC Davis MSBA?

The requirements to qualify for the MSBA program are:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Successful completion of coursework in these primary areas:
    • Computing
    • Mathematics
    • Statistics
  • The prerequisite courses may be “in progress” at the time of applying, but must be completed before beginning the MSBA program in the fall. Prerequisites cannot be taken concurrently with the MSBA curriculum.

What are the admission requirements for international applicants?

Every international student for whom English is a second language must take the TOEFL or IELTS, except those who have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university in an English-speaking country or whose total education was conducted in English.

Minimum score requirements for the TOEFL are 600 on the paper test, 250 on the computer based test, or 100 on the internet-based test. The minimum score for the IELTS is 7.0 out of 9.0. Although candidates who do not meet the score requirement are welcome to submit an application for admission, it is rare that someone with a score below the minimum is offered admission to the program.

International candidates must have completed a 4-year undergraduate degree or the equivalent. We do require a degree equivalent to a 4-year US bachelor’s degree — 16 total years of education.  We see a large number of international applicants with 3-year undergraduate degrees and generally speaking, those applicants usually need to complete a 1-year post graduate diploma to meet the degree requirement. There are a number of organizations that perform academic credential evaluations. We recommend utilizing one of these services to determine the exact standing of your degrees. For example, you may want to visit World Education System at

Is work experience required for admission to the MSBA program?

Work experience is not required for admission, but will certainly be considered as part of your overall applicant profile if you do have an employment history. The UC Davis MSBA program will admit students with a range of experience as well as students who enroll directly from an undergraduate program without traditional work experience. Not having work experience will not put an applicant at a disadvantage for admission.

Do I need to submit official copies of my transcripts and test scores along with my MSBA application?

You can submit unofficial copies with your application, transcripts and test scores can be electronically uploaded with your online application. In the event that you are offered admission, UC Davis will require official, sealed copies of transcripts from all institutions attended (including coursework taken after applying to the MSBA program) and official score reports sent from the testing service.

What is the institutional code for UC Davis so that I can have score reports submitted?

For GMAT: B1S-VF-90
For GRE: 7887
For TOEFL: 4834 (Department Code 02)

What is the mailing address for MSBA Admissions?

UC Davis Graduate School of Management
Gallagher Hall
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Attn: MSBA Admissions

Is it possible to apply for admission in the winter or spring? Can I attend part time?

Admission is only offered in the fall of each academic year on a full-time basis.

About the master of business analytics Program

How long does it take to complete the UC Davis MSBA program?

The MSBA degree is 40 units of graduate courses including a project equivalent of 10 credits of course work over one-year.

What are the days and hours of the MSBA program?

Classes will be held on Friday (2pm-9pm) and Saturday (9am-4pm).

Are any of the classes for the MSBA program offered online?

None of the MSBA classes are offered online. The program is designed for close interaction with faculty and fellow students in classroom format.

About Financing the MSBA Degree

Does the Graduate School of Management offer scholarships or grants?

Both the University of California and the Graduate School of Management have financial aid available for students, including grant funding. GSM scholarships are merit-based and are offered at the same time as offers of admission. Every student is given scholarship consideration when applying, so no additional application is required. You will be notified by Student Affairs if you have been selected for a GSM scholarship.

For more information about financial aid, please see: UC Davis Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Are there other scholarships or grants available from other sources?

There are a range of scholarships offered from both public and private sources. You are ultimately responsible for securing funding for your MSBA degree, however there is an abundance of information about scholarships available for accounting students. Students should explore general scholarships as well as scholarships from affinity groups; consider what kind of package best fits both your needs and your unique qualities.

Are international students eligible for financial aid from UC Davis?

Most types of financial aid are not available for students with the following Visa types: F-1 or F-2 Student, G Series, H Series, J-1 or J-2 Exchange Visitor. International students may be eligible for scholarships, alternative loans and short-term loans.

For more information, visit the UC Davis Financial Aid and Scholarships website.

About MSBA Career Development

What kind of career development opportunities does the Graduate School of Management offer?

The Career Development department at the GSM has a proven track record of successfully assisting MBA and accounting graduate students with their career search. Our experienced team is now a resource for MSBA students as they plan their entry into the exciting career field of business analytics.

Services include:

  • Individual counseling to sharpen job search strategies
  • Career Development workshops
  • Group meetings with Career Development staff
  • Mock interviews
  • Access to national and international job listings
  • Participation in national conferences
  • Corporate site visits, guest speakers and information sessions with industry leaders

About International Students and Opportunities

What resources are available for international students?

Visit the UC Davis Services for International Students & Scholars Office (SISS) or call (530) 752-0864.

What are the chances of working in the U.S. after I receive my MSBA degree?

It is extremely challenging for international students to secure employment post-graduation due to the cost of sponsoring a working visa (H-1B visa). This program is qualified as a STEM degree, with that said it is possible for highly-qualified international students to be offered positions in the US.

The most successful candidates:

  • Demonstrate a very strong fluency in English, both written and spoken
  • Are comfortable with and have a clear understanding of American culture and way of interacting in a professional setting
  • Take advantage of all resources offered by the GSM and UC Davis career services, and are flexible and open-minded with regard to their opportunities for employment

Is this degree STEM certified?

The Masters of Science in Business Analytics is a STEM certified degree. Qualified graduates of the program will have the opportunity to work for 36 months in the U.S. using Optional Practical Training (OPT).

What is the TOEFL or IELTS requirement for applying to the MSBA program?

If your native language is not English, you must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score taken within two years of your projected enrollment date. If you completed a degree in an English-speaking country, the TOEFL or IELTS is not required.

The minimum score requirements for the TOEFL are 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, or 100 on the Internet-based test. The institution code is 4834. For more information on TOEFL, please contact: Educational Testing Service (ETS) at (609) 771-7100.

The minimum band score requirement for the IELTS is 7.0 out of 9.0. You must request that the testing center send your official scores directly to the UC Davis Graduate School of Management; no code is required. For more information on the IELTS, please contact IELTS International at (323) 255-2771.

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Questions

Why did UC Davis add questions pertaining to gender identity and sexual orientation to our Graduate Application?

On October 8, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 620, which includes a request that UC provide the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to report their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression on any forms used to collect demographic data.

In 2012, then UC President Mark Yudof created and charged the Task Force & Implementation Team on LGBT Climate and Inclusion (LGBT Task Force) with developing priorities, strategies, and expected resource requirements to advance recommendations submitted by the LGBT Working Group of the President’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate and Inclusion. On May 30, 2014, the LGBT Task Force presented a report to UC President Janet Napolitano with a recommendation to implement AB 620.

In September 2014, UC President Janet Napolitano formed the President’s Advisory Council on LGBT Students, Faculty, and Staff, which is comprised of faculty, LGBT Center staff, students, and community experts. They were charged with making the UC system a gold standard for LGBT issues, and to provide recommendations for the implementation of AB 620 by collecting data on gender identity and sexual orientation through the admission application. 

Providing the LGBT community with the option to self-identify supports the University’s priorities of creating an inclusive and welcoming campus environment across the UC system. Including these questions on the graduate application will signal to applicants that UC is an inclusive environment and that the LGBT community is part of it. As with all other demographic questions on the admission application, providing gender identity and sexual orientation data will be voluntary, optional, and as required by law, not impact admission decisions.

What is the wording of the gender identity and sexual orientation questions?

Gender Identity

1) How do you describe yourself?

  • Male
  • Female
  • Trans Male/Trans Man
  • Trans Female/Trans Woman
  • Genderqueer/Gender Non-Conforming
  • Different Identity (please specify)

2) What sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate?

  • Male
  • Female
  • Decline to state

Sexual Orientation

Do you consider yourself to be:

  • Heterosexual or straight
  • Gay or lesbian
  • Bisexual
  • Not listed above (please specify)

How were the gender identity questions developed?

The Transgender Health Advocacy Coalition in Philadelphia, PA developed the two-step question protocol for gender identity data collection in 1997. The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health and UC San Francisco began advocating the use of the two-step protocol in 2007, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adopted it in 2011. The two-step method was also cognitively tested by two research teams as part of the Williams Institute’s research on best practices to identify transgender people and other gender minorities through population-based surveys.

Why is the gender identity measure comprised of two questions?

The two-step question protocol for gender identity data collection involves first querying the respondent’s current gender identity, followed by a second question that asks the respondent to state their sex assigned a birth. Research has shown that together, these two variables work well in identifying transgender and other gender minority respondents. The two items are cross-tabulated to identify those who currently identify with their assigned sex (non-transgender) and those who do not currently identify with their assigned sex at birth (transgender and other gender minorities).

How was the sexual orientation question developed?

The Williams Institute at UCLA recommended the question regarding sexual orientation after a five-year study of sexual orientation measures. The question has been thoroughly tested and is currently in use in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), and other state-level surveys. In keeping with approaches employed by NHIS and CHIS, respondents are provided a space to self-identify if the available answer options do not suit them.

How will UC Davis use responses?

Data collected on gender identity and sexual orientation will provide UC Davis with meaningful population data necessary for targeting resources and other student support services (e.g., scholarships and themed housing). These data will also enable campuses to develop curricular and co-curricular offerings that reflect students’ diverse perspectives, and that promote a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students.

As a recipient of federal Title IV financial aid funds, UC Davis is required to gather and report demographic data for undergraduate and graduate students, including gender data. For federal reporting purposes (i.e., IPEDS), it is recommended that Trans Female/Trans Woman be reported as Women, and Trans Male/Trans Man be reported as men. In addition, genderqueer and gender non-conforming individuals should be reported as their sex assigned at birth.

Data collected should be included on the student record, unless the student opts for “only aggregate” reporting. If a student opts for exclusion from their personal record, these data should be maintained in aggregate form at the campus and student classification levels.

Students will be provided with an avenue to update or change their gender identity or sexual orientation data through online campus student portals or an alternate method determined by the campus.

What is the definition of the terms used in the data collection questions?

  • Bisexual – A person whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same and other genders, or toward people regardless of their gender.
  • Gay – A sexual and affectional orientation toward people of the same gender.
  • Gender – A social construct used to classify a person as a man, woman, or some other identity.
  • Gender Expression – How one expresses oneself, in terms of dress, mannerisms, and/or behaviors that society characterizes as “masculine” or “feminine.”
  • Gender Non-Conforming – People who do not subscribe to gender expressions or roles expected of them by society.
  • Gender Queer – A person’s whose gender identity and/or gender expression falls outside of the dominant social norm for their assigned sex, is beyond genders, or is some combination of them
  • Heterosexual/Straight – A sexual orientation in which a person feels physically and emotionally attracted to people of a gender other than their own.
  • Lesbian – A woman whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same gender.
  • Transgender – Used most often as an umbrella term; some commonly held definitions: 1) someone whose gender identity or expression does not fit within dominant group social constructs of assigned sex and gender; 2) a gender outside of the man/woman binary; 3) having no gender or multiple genders.
  • Trans Man/Trans Male – A female-to-male (FTM) transgender person who was assigned female at birth, but whose gender identity is that of a man.
  • Trans Woman/Trans Female – A male-to-female (MTF) transgender person who was assigned male at birth, but whose gender identity is that of a woman.

For additional terms, visit the UC Davis LGBT Resource Center website at:

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