Business Administration, Postgraduate Diploma

Business Administration, Postgraduate Diploma

  • Application Deadline
  • Unavailable
University rank #245 (QS) Online
The Graduate Diploma in Business Administration utilizes an online learning environment that lets you study when it is convenient to your schedule, from wherever you are. Whether you want the business basics or a stepping stone to a Beedie MBA, the GDBA gets you a step up towards your career goals.


Not everyone is able to adapt life to the rigorous timetable of a face-to-face business program. That’s why we developed the Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. It utilizes an online learning environment that lets you study when it is convenient to your schedule, from wherever you are.

Put new business skills to work right away

The Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA) includes a series of graduate level courses that provide core business skills to working professionals. This convenient, practical alternative to traditional classroom-based programs grounds you in business theory and practice.

Accounting. Finance. Economics. Marketing. Business Statistics. Management Information Systems. Ethics. Human Resource Management. As you supplement your practical work experience with these core courses, you’ll broaden your understanding of the way business operates and your role in it. You'll have the language and knowledge to communicate with people in other business functions than your own.It’s a great way to prepare yourself to confidently take the next step in your career.

The program is designed to be completed in three consecutive semesters. However, some students find that their work or life situation requires them to take a lighter course load, and choose to complete the program over a longer time frame.

Thinking about the MBA?

The GDBA is a great way to start your MBA at SFU Beedie. Most GDBA courses can be transferred for advance credit in the MBA, allowing you to complete your MBA in less time. You can start online and then move into face to face mode when you are ready. Students can use the GDBA to shorten the time it takes for the MBA; to test the waters a bit - to see if an MBA is right for them; to take advantage of flexibility of online delivery before moving into a face to face program or even to improve their grade point average to qualify for admission to the MBA. If an MBA isn't your goal, that's okay too - many students find that what they learn in the program meets their current needs. And in the future, the door to an MBA is always open.

Is this program right for you?

Students work in areas as diverse as retail, government, not-for-profits, IT, education, professional services, and the film industry. Some work for large companies and are preparing for roles in management. Others are self-employed and feel the need to better understand business operations. Still others are looking to change careers or are simply motivated by the pursuit of knowledge. Some already know that after they graduate they’ll start up their own companies, others will go into advanced graduate work for a Master in Business Administration.

Class Profile

In the GDBA you will study in a class of approximately 30 people. Often you'll work on assignments in small teams. Many of these people will become life-long friends and business associates.

This program is designed for individuals who already have an undergraduate degree and want to learn core business skills, perhaps, as a first step to an MBA program.

The average age is 30 and the class is approximately a 50:50 male to female ratio.


Whether you have a clear goal, a more general idea, or are using your time as a student to explore career opportunities, the Career Management Centre team of professional staff is here to help you create a plan for success.

Throughout the GDBA program, the Career Management Centre staff will support you, provide you with resources and tools, and help you develop and hone the variety of skills you’ll need when preparing for your next role.

Through online resources, workshops and one-on-one coaching, we work with each individual through the career development process. Online resources include access to a Beedie specific job board with more than 2000 jobs posted annually, online job search resources designed specifically for business students, and the Career Insider blog that includes updates on companies seeking to hire. Career workshops are scheduled to be available online starting in Summer 2014.

In person resources include one-on-one coaching and workshops offered throughout the year as well as invitations to recruiting events specifically for Beedie students.

Programme Structure

The program consists of eight courses (three of these are six weeks in duration, and five are 13 weeks in duration, including the final examination week) taken over three semesters. Each course is delivered in weekly or bi-weekly modules, and each module is structured to make use of supporting technology, e.g. Blackboard Collaborate sessions, chat/discussion rooms, whiteboard, voice-over graphs/charts.

Semester IFinancial Accounting / Managerial Accounting

This course combines basic accounting fundamentals and processes, enabling students to make business decisions based on analyzing financial information and organizational objectives.

Human Resource Management/Organizational Behaviour

The course focuses on understanding how individuals and teams effectively function in work situations. Emphasis is placed on organizational behaviour themes such as emotions, motivation, and group dynamics and how they are related to functional issues such as job design, salary structures, and recruitment.

Semester IIQuantitative Business Methods (half course)

This introduction to the key concepts of probability and statistics provides the basic tools to approach statistics critically. Students focus on the use of quantitative or statistical techniques in managerial decision-making and learn to apply them in business settings.

Management Information Systems (half course) Note: this course is not transferable to the MBA program but strongly recommend for students who are not applying for the MBA program

The role of information systems ranges from providing support for daily operations to creating strategic opportunities for organizational growth. Learn to understand the choices managers need to make to improve efficiencies. Issues in aligning business strategies, organizational structure and culture, and information systems strategy will be discussed.

Managerial Economics

Students are introduced to basic concepts in economics and explore the relevance of economic reasoning to managerial decision-making, both tactical and strategic. The importance of economic concepts, economic models and quantitative applications are emphasized and applied to problems regularly encountered by managers.

Professional Decision Making: Ethical and Analytical Perspectives (half course) The essence of professional decision making is moving from complexity and ambiguity to action. This course will equip you with an integrated set of ethical and analytical reasoning tools for addressing the challenges that arise in real-world decisions. Semester IIIMarketing Management

The purpose of this course is to gain a better understanding of marketing management strategies. To this end, students will utilize a variety of tools including lecture, case studies, debates and hands on implementation. This course provides an overview of the marketing process. Strategic decision making on the marketing mix: pricing, product design, promotion and distribution are analyzed. Marketing Management is a highly interactive course where students are expected to apply what they learn to real cases.

Managerial Finance (Pre-requisite: Financial/Managerial Accounting)

Building upon the principles taught in Financial/Managerial Accounting, students gain a practical understanding of managerial finance and the role of the financial manager. This course explores a wide variety of subjects that include maximizing shareholder wealth, agency conflicts and ethical corporate behaviour. Students learn to apply a variety of financial tools such as financial statement analysis, valuation techniques, capital budgeting, and project analysis.

Course Requirements

Each course in the program ends with a final exam. Local students write the examinations at Simon Fraser University, while distance students have their exams supervised by a proctor.

GDBA students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or greater in order to continue their studies and successfully complete the program.


Dianne Cyr, PhD

Dianne Cyr is an Associate Professor in Management Information Systems at SFU. In the GDBA she delivers Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour (Business 557), which she has been teaching in the GDBA program since 2005. In the realm of research, she leads a government funded project titled “Managing E-loyalty through Design”. This investigation is focused on how trust, satisfaction, and loyalty are built in online business environments through website design. Unique features of this work are comparisons across cultures, genders, and concerning applications to mobile devices.

Barb Edwards, MAcc, CA

Barb Edwards is a Senior Lecturer of Accounting for SFU. Within the GDBA she teaches Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting.

Ms. Edwards was awarded the Canada Trust Teaching Award (2001) and has been on the Teaching Honour Roll. Her interests are related to effective and efficient teaching of quality online courses through the use of cases and teams.

Charles King, MBA

Charles King's professional background includes 14 years of experience in the real estate industry, the public sector, and non-profit and private sectors including the Urban Development Institute, Coopers & Lybrand Consulting Group, and the City of Vancouver. In his current position with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Charles is responsible for analyzing the BC economy and housing market in support of CMHC market analysis, underwriting, and default management. Within the GDBA Charles teaches Managerial Finance.

Mr. King holds two masters degrees with a concentration in urban land economics, financial economics, and strategic management.

Mark A. Moore, PhD

Mark Moore is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Business Administration at SFU. In addition to his work for the GDBA, he has taught courses for the Management of Technology (MOT) MBA, the Executive MBA, and the Learning Strategies Group. Within the GDBA program he teaches BUS 552: Managerial Economics.

Prior to coming to SFU, Dr. Moore was employed by the Bank of Canada in Ottawa, where he conducted research on monetary policy, international portfolio, direct investment flows and options pricing methods. He also served as a consultant to Bankers Trust Company in New York, where he performed risk modeling and analysis of the loan portfolio.

His current research is on further analysis of the softwood lumber dispute. He is also investigating the consequences for consumers, government and shareholders of the privatization of Canadian National.

Blaize Reich, PhD

Blaize Reich came to academia after 15 years as an information technology (IT) professional and consultant to industry in both Canada and Asia. Dr. Reich is a professor of information technology and an internationally respected researcher and speaker. Within the GDBA program, she teaches Management Information Systems.

She currently holds a prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Initiative on the New Economy grant to investigate how knowledge management theory might improve IT project success and is collaborating with colleagues at Oxford and Ohio State universities on this project. Dr. Reich also served as Associate Dean of the Beedie School of Business from 2000-2003 and was awarded the Canada Trust Distinguished Teaching award in 1997.

Zorana Svedic, MBA

Zorana Svedic is a lecturer at SFU in the GDBA program where she teaches BUS 553: Quantitative Business Methods.

Her main research interests are interface and instructional design, particularly, the culturally sensitive interface design; and e-Learning applications for graduate business programs.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Part-time variant
    • Duration description

      1–2 years 8–24 months

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    • Time flexibility
      Fully structured
    • Attendance
      No Attendance
    • Teacher support
      Continuous support with feedback on request
    • Student interaction
      Online group works/assignments

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3
Recommended score: 3.5

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

A) Undergraduate Degree

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 (3.0 is preferred). International studentsto view the equivalent degree average required from your country.

B) Language Proficiency

All courses in the GDBA program are taught in English, therefore all applicants must be fluent in English. English is the language of instruction and communication in the University. Accordingly, an applicant whose primary language is not English or whose previous education has been conducted in another language must demonstrate sufficient command of the English language as evidenced by achieving a satisfactory score on a standardized English test acceptable to the University. The three tests which are acceptable for this purpose are: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) including reading, writing, speaking, and listening components, the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of Academic English (PTE).

The minimum university requirements for test scores is: TOEFL 93 with a minimum of 20 in each category (internet based exam) and a TWE of 5 (the paper based TOEFL score is also accepted with a minimum score of 580). IELTS overall band score of 7.0 PTE 63 with a minimum of 65 in speaking and writing

C) Computer Literacy

Candidates are expected to be computer literate and familiar with the Internet. They will become familiar with how to work online as part of their orientation in the first semester of the program.

D) Computer Hardware and Software

Students are expected to have access to at least 1GB RAM, ADSL or cable modem for internet access, Microsoft Office, and Internet Explorer/Firefox/Safari. All students will be required to participate in online group conferencing. Certain courses may require students to use additional software.

E) Time to Study

As is the case with other graduate programs, the GDBA requires a significant commitment from participants. Typically, you can expect to spend approximately 15 hours per week on each course. Students with a full course load will take two courses (8 credits) simultaneously.

The program consists of 24 credits: Full-time = 8 credits per semester (one year) Part-time = 4 credits per semester (two years)

Technological Requirements

Recommended computer system configuration: We recommend 1GB of RAM or better ADSL or cable modem for internet connection Microsoft Office (educational pricing available) Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari As an SFU student, you can use the computers in the Macintosh and IBM labs at Harbour Centre.

Getting a Student Visa

This is an online programme. You can attend from the comfort of your chair! So you don't need a student visa!

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    14900 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 14900 USD per year and a duration of  .
  • National Applies to you

    14900 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 14900 USD per year and a duration of  .
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Plus approx $2,500 for textbooks and student fees


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

Apply with Studyportals

Did you know that you can directly apply to available Masters from our selected Application Partners? Check out a complete list of programmes to apply for right now.

Select a Master's and apply