University of Southern California


Minimum Qualifications

Students in the Business Fundamentals program take Marshall graduate elective classes with M.B.A. students. To ensure success in the program, successful applicants satisfy a set of minimum qualifications.

  • Bachelor's degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.0. If the GPA for the bachelor's degree is insufficient, a GPA for graduate work of at least 3.2 will be acceptable.
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score or a GRE score above the 80th percentile. A completed graduate degree may be accepted in lieu of test scores at the discretion of the admissions committee.
  • For International students who did not complete a 4-year bachelor's degree at an American, British, Canadian or Australian college or university, proof of proficiency in English is required for admission. We accept the following test scores, as long as they are not more than 2 years old:
    • the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a score of at least 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based version, or 100 on the Internet-based examination with no less than 20 on each of the four test components.
    • the PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic) with a minimum score of 70
    • the IELTS with a score of 7, with no less than 6 on each band score.

Satisfying the minimum qualifications does not ensure admission. The admissions committee also considers seriously the overall content of the individual's application and responses to the questions that are part of the application.

Please note: This program is not appropriate for international applicants who are not enrolled in or applying to a degree program at USC or who do not already reside in the United States.

The Application Process

Prospective students should apply to begin the program and take GSBA 520 in the fall or spring term. Individuals applying for admission while or after completing GSBA 520 may apply for admission to begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer.


A complete application includes the following:

  • Completed on-line application.
  • GMAT or GRE test scores no more than 5 years old.
  • Resume.
  • Responses to required essay questions.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • A nonrefundable application fee (waived for current USC students, USC staff, and USC alumni).
  • One official transcript from the registrar of each college or university attended, whether a degree was completed or not. If all college or postgraduate work has not been completed, transcripts must be sent again when work in progress is completed and the degree is posted. Transcripts written in languages other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
  • International applicants must also submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores no more than 2 years old and verification of sufficient financial support. International applicants are advised to see the instructions for International Students published in the USC Graduate Admissions Application Booklet at

To ensure adequate time to receive an admission decision and related documents and registration information, it is important to send completed application materials as early as possible.


Submit an on-line application to the Business Fundamentals program (code 1385) through the Marshall School of Business Admissions web site at International applicants are advised to see the instructions for international students published in the USC Graduate Admissions Application Booklet.

Current USC students and USC alumni are not required to submit an application fee, new test scores, or transcripts to verify degrees earned prior to their attendance at USC. It is critical that current USC students include USC in the academic history section of the application.

GMAT and PTE scores must be issued directly to USC by the GMAT testing service using the Marshall MBA school code - 389-9C-23.

GRE and TOEFL test scores must be sent by the Educational Testing Service directly to USC school code 4852.

The following items must be submitted in the "Essays and Documents" section of the on-line application as one or more uploaded documents.

  • A copy of your resume
  • Your responses to the questions from the "Downloadable Forms" document for this program

Two letters of recommendation are required. These should be processed through the electronic "Recommendations" section of the on-line application system, but may be sent to directly via email to Hard copy letters may be sent to the address below. Current USC graduate students are not required to submit letters of recommendation. In the "Recommendations" section, when the system asks for two recommenders, current USC graduate students should make up two faux names and check the box indicating that they will not be submitting recommendations online.

Unofficial transcripts may be submitted as uploaded attachments to the online application.
Official transcripts should be sent to:

Business Fundamentals Program
c/o Susan Hunt
STO 301, USC
837 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1145

For application deadlines refer to the Dates and Deadlines page of this web site.

For additional information contact or call (213) 740-0671.