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Graduate Diploma in Business Administration



This online program is open to international students but does not qualify for a study permit or post-graduate work permit. Please see program requirements for more information.

The Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA) is an online program at the graduate level that provides a solid foundation in business fundamentals for people with undergraduate degrees. It also provides a path into the SFU Beedie MBA program for those who decide to continue on to earn an MBA.

We welcome applications from international students. However, please note that since this is a part-time, online program, it does not qualify for a Canadian study permit.

Undergraduate Degree

  • A four-year undergraduate degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 (3.0 is preferred)
  • A small number of applicants with extensive work experience may be considered without an undergraduate degree. Each applicant under this category will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Please note: If your transcripts are not in English and no translation is provided by the University, please download the International Transcript requirements.

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Work Experience

  • Applicants should have a minimum of two years of full-time professional work experience, following completion of an undergraduate degree, although the average is eight years.
  • We take a holistic approach in accepting students for our program. We take into consideration your work and life experiences in addition to your grades and test scores.

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Language Proficiency

  • All courses in the GDBA program are taught in English, therefore all applicants must be fluent in English.
  • If your primary language is not English or your previous education has been conducted in a country where English is not the primary language (see a full list of accepted countries), you must demonstrate sufficient command of the English language as evidenced by achieving a satisfactory score on a standardized English test acceptable to the University. Find more information about this requirement.
  • The six tests we accept are:
    • Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • Paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS)
    • The Canadian Academic English Language Test (CAEL)
    • Pearson English Language Test (PTE)
    • Cambridge English Qualifications

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Computer Literacy and equipment

  • Candidates are expected to be computer literate and familiar with the Internet.
  • Students are expected to have access to a Mac or Windows computer with multi-media capability (including a headset with microphone), high-speed Internet access, Microsoft Office, and Internet Explorer/Firefox/Safari.
  • Certain courses may require you to use additional software.

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Time to Study

  • Expect to spend approximately 12 to 15 hours per week on each course.
  • Lectures, exams, and assignments will be scheduled to accommodate individuals working between Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm PST. If you fall outside of this time zone or schedule, you may need to make occasional adjustments to your schedule.

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Continuing Studies certificate holders

For professionals who have completed eligible SFU Continuing Studies certificates with 8+ years of work experience, taking the next step and earning a valuable business credential just got more accessible. If you’ve completed one of the identified Continuing Studies non-credit certificates, you could be eligible for admission even if you haven’t completed an undergraduate degree.

To determine your eligibility, review this self-assessment checklist.

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My key lessons from the program were learning how to effectively frame and structure a problem or situation, manage a tight schedule, know what to prioritize and how to prioritize it, and identify core problems quickly and addressing them.

Bobbie Dhillon, EMBA

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Planning

G&F Financial Group

The comprehensive simulations provided the greatest learning for me. They helped change my mindset and connect the different areas of learning into a comprehensive view of how an organization runs.

Matthew Grunert, MOT MBA

Sr. Director, Digital Operations & IT

Motorola Solutions

The MSc Finance program gave me the technical foundation that I couldn’t function without. I work with clients in very senior roles, and it’s important to demonstrate your technical knowledge to gain their trust.

Christine Jakshoej Sangha, MScFin

VP of Customer Success - Capital Markets


The immediate impact of the GDBA has been a change in the way I approach my day professionally. I am equipped to make better decisions. My confidence level has been elevated significantly, and I am enjoying a new sense of optimism in my career.

Percival Chang, GDBA

Manager & Investment Funds Advisor

PH&N Investment Services

I always saw myself working beyond clinical pharmacy. I felt that I could also shine on the business side of healthcare. I knew that with my strong clinical training an MBA would help open more doors and give me the mobility I was looking for in my career.

Morenike Akinyemi, FT MBA

Senior Project Manager, Transformation Delivery

Provincial Health Services Authority

The Part-Time MBA was excellent. It gave me exactly what I expected to receive, and I think that is the highest compliment you can pay a program. It met all my expectations and provided a solid grounding in business skills and strategies.

Oliver Zihlmann, PT MBA

Director of Development and Alumni Engagement

UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The i2I program is perfect for people like me who are deeply involved in science, and who want to look for opportunities in the business world. A program like this opens your mind and teaches you that there is another world of possibilities outside of the lab.

Elena Groppa, i2I

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine

University of British Columbia Biomedical Research Centre

The learners I work with are 95% Indigenous, and I find that they become more interested and retain information more, when we speak and learn from an Indigenous lens. The Indigenous content integrated into the program has been very beneficial to me in terms of how I can incorporate Indigenous information into the curriculum I currently teach.

Wanda Rockthunder, EMBA IBL

Business Instructor, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies

Cree, a citizen of the Muskowekwan First Nation, Saskatchewan

EMBA: Bobbie

MOT MBA: Matthew Grunnert

MSc Fin: Christine

GDBA: Percival

FT MBA: Morenike

PT MBA: Oliver

i2I: Elena


Connect with our team

Our admissions team is more than happy to answer your questions so you know what you can expect before, during, and beyond your program.

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