Students interested in a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) or a Master's of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree at San Diego State University can apply for Graduate Conditional Admission.


The Pre-MBA and Pre-Master's program is a semester-long program for international students focused on graduate student preparation including GMAT and GRE preparation, assistance with applications to SDSU and other universities, as well as optional TOEFL/IELTS preparation.

Program Highlights

  • TOEFL Waiver

    Students applying to SDSU graduate degree programs may be eligible to receive a TOEFL wavier after completing advanced levels.

  • Test Preparation

    GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS preparation are specifically designed to meet the needs of international students.

  • Simulated GMAT and GRE Practice Exams

    GMAT and GRE test sessions are held during the semester to allow students to strengthen their test-taking skills.

  • Graduate School Application Assistance

    Students receive advising on academic matters, career goals, university selection, and graduate school application preparation.

  • Information Sessions

    Local university representatives visit the ALI to present their programs and admissions requirements to ALI students.
  • Class Observation

    Students may visit SDSU university classes, in select departments, to observe American academic culture and interact with university students and professors.

Testing and Placement

The Pre-MBA and Pre-Master's program offers instruction for high-intermediate to advanced levels. Students are given placement tests in key skill areas (listening, reading, and writing) and are placed in classes according to their needs and abilities. At the end of the term, students have the option to test again to measure their progress.

For more information on this program, please contact


Pre-MBA and Pre-Master's Program

Number of weeks

12 in summer, 17-18 in spring or fall

Hours of instruction

Up to 25 per week


High-intermediate to advanced level of English, at least 21 years old, or proof of university graduation. A 55 on TOEFL or 5.5 on IELTS guarantees admission to the Pre-MBA and Pre-Master's program.

Number of levels



See Calendar & Fees

Also included

All students have access to academic advising, student advising, electives, pronunciation clinics, conversation groups, language and computer labs, the SDSU library, and sports facilities.

*Applicants not providing this proof will be admitted to the English for Academic Purposes program and will take the ALI placement test. Testing into level 104 will allow students to enter the Pre-MBA and Pre-Master's program.


  • GMAT and GRE

    Courses specifically designed for international students include all GMAT and GRE sections.


    Classes are available to help students develop specific skills and test-taking strategies.

  • Writing Skills

    Students develop advanced academic, business, and research writing skills.

  • Reading Skills

    Students learn strategies to increase comprehension and effectively manage the large volume of reading material in graduate programs.

  • Communication Skills

    Students develop effective presentation and discussion techniques, and improve speaking and comprehension skills. An additional pronunciation clinic is available for students who want to further improve their pronunciation.

  • Methods of Instruction

    Students learn through a variety of methods including team work, class discussions, and guest presenters to better prepare them for the learning environment in American universities.

  • Seminars and Workshops

    Topics include resume writing, statements of purpose, interview techniques, and more.

  • Popular Electives

    Elective courses are offered each semester to further support test-taking skills, to improve language proficiency, and to increase knowledge of U.S. culture. Courses vary by session.

    Popular electives include:
    • Computerized Grad Test Prep
    • Internet-based TOEFL Prep
    • IELTS Prep
    • Advanced Vocabulary
    • Accent Improvement
    • Speed Reading
    • English Through Dance
    • English Through Sports

Sample Schedule












Elective 1



GRE Verbal Skills

Grad Prep or



GRE Verbal Skills

Grad Prep or


Elective 2









Pronunciation Clinic

The ALI offers students free personalized articulation and accent modification using specialized software, customized lab activities, and teacher-created materials.

Pre-MBA and Pre-Master's Plus

Opportunity to take one or two classes with American students.

  • Open to advanced students who test above Pre-MBA and Pre-Master's level 106.
  • Students work closely with their ALI advisors to choose SDSU classes.
  • Students earn SDSU credit in courses with American students in select departments. Classes are on a space available basis.
  • Official SDSU transcripts and transferable credit are awarded.
  • Additional fees apply on a per-class basis.

Universities where Pre-MBA and Pre-Master's students have obtained their graduate degrees:

Alliant University, Babson College, Case Western Reserve, Claremont (Peter Drucker), Clarke, Columbia, CSU Fullerton, CSU Hayward, CSU Long Beach, CSU San Bernardino, CSU San Marcos, Harvard University, INSEAD, London School of Business, New York University (NYU), Oregon State University, Pace University, Pepperdine, Purdue University, San Francisco State, San Diego State University, Thunderbird, Tulane, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, University of Chicago, University of Colorado, University of Denver, University of Miami, University of Missouri, University of Portland, University of San Diego, and Washington University in St. Louis.