University of Southern California

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information 
Test Scores 
Financing Your MBA 
Work Experience 
Application Follow-up 
International Students

General Information:

What are the requirements to apply to the EMBA Program?

The requirements to apply for admission are:

  • Four-year bachelor's degree
  • Completed online application
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Interview
  • TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable)
  • GMAT or GRE (optional but highly recommended)
  • Application fee 

When are your application deadlines?

The USC Marshall EMBA Program began accepting applications beginning on October 1, 2013. Decisions are released during the 1st week of each month, beginning December 1, 2013.

Application Deadlines*

Application Deadlines     Notification
May 1, 2014     First week of every month
July 1, 2014     

*Candidates are encouraged to apply early as the USC Marshall EMBA is a competitive and selective program. Applications submitted after the submission period may be considered, space permitting.

All decisions are posted on your online application. Please check your online application for updates and please expect a decision to be posted about 4-6 weeks after submission of a COMPLETED online application. Please remember to upload your unofficial test scores and transcripts with your online application and mail your OFFICIAL documents to USC. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to render a decision based on any materials submitted by the application deadline.

Where are classes held?

The USC Marshall EMBA program offers two locations Los Angeles and San Diego.  Los Angeles classes are held on our main University Park campus in Popovich Hall.  San Diego classes are held at the Executive Learning Center at the La Costa Resort located in Carlsbad, California.

Where do classes meet?

Classes are typically held every other week on Friday and Saturday from 8:50 am to 4:30 pm.

Does my undergraduate degree need to be in business?

No, you are not required to have an undergraduate degree in business. The USC Marshall School of Business recruits and admits individuals from a broad range of academic backgrounds.

Can I apply to more than one USC Marshall MBA program in the same year, or move from one program to another?

USC Marshall offers five MBA programs, and each is entirely separate from the other programs. Applicants can only apply for admission to one program. We do not allow students to move from one program to another at anytime due to the differences in course work and structure of the programs.

Is it possible to receive an MBA from USC Marshall if I have already earned an MBA?

For those who have already earned an MBA, USC Marshall recommends the Master of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) program. The 26 unit MSBA is designed to provide those who have completed an MBA with an opportunity to pursue further study in an area of specialization, especially an area not thoroughly explored during the course of an MBA.  The degree is available to only those holding an MBA degree from institutions accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).  For more information about the MSBA program please visit

Can I come on campus to get more information about the USC Marshall EMBA Program?

The USC Marshall School of Business encourages all interested candidates to attend an information session at our Los Angeles campus or our San Diego campus at the La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA.  Our information sessions provide candidates with additional information as well as the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of current students, alumni, and admissions representatives.  For specific dates and additional information, please click here.

Are there minimum requirements for the GMAT, GRE, GPA, or work experience?

The only minimum requirement relates to work experience.  You must have a minimum of eight years of full-time work experience by the time you begin the USC Marshall EMBA program. 

Test Scores:

 Is the GMAT or GRE required?

The GMAT or GRE exam is an optional component of the EMBA application.  The GMAT or GRE exam is however, highly recommended for applicants who are unable to demonstrate, either through past academic performance or work experience, sufficient strength in the areas of quantitative and analytical reasoning.  In addition, please note that after an initial review, the Admissions Committee may request candidates to submit a GMAT or GRE score in order to supplement their application materials.

Can I take the GMAT or GRE more than once? How long are GMAT and GRE Academic scores good for?

Yes, you can take the GMAT or GRE more than once, and the Admissions Committee will consider the highest score. GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years.

Financing Your MBA:

How much does tuition cost?

Currently, the estimated cost for the two year EMBA program is $123,000.

Does USC Marshall offer scholarships/ fellowships?

The USC Marshall School of Business participates in the Post - 9/11 Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program and offers additional fellowships for active duty military personnel.

For additional information regarding financial aid please click here.

Work Experience:

Does my work experience need to be in business?

You are not required to have work experience in business.  The USC Marshall School of Business recruits and admits individuals from a broad range of professional backgrounds.

Application Follow-Up:

What is your policy on deferred admission?

Please contact USC Marshall MBA Admissions.

If I am not accepted, can I get feedback on my application?

Members of the Admissions Committee will offer counseling sessions to those students who have been denied admission. These sessions will be held in September. To schedule a counseling appointment, please call the Admissions Office at (213) 740-7846.

What is the process if I am a re-applicant to the Marshall EMBA program?

If you have submitted an application within the past two years, you are required to submit only the following application materials:

  • Application including 1 essay
  • One new letter of recommendation
  • Official transcripts for any coursework taken since your last application
  • Official score reports for any tests (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS) taken since your last application
  • An updated résumé
  • An application fee: $150.00 for online application


How can I arrange for an interview?

Interviews are conducted only at the discretion of the Admissions Committee and only after a complete application has been received.  


What is ExPort?

ExPort is a required international residential designed to enhance EMBA students' knowledge and understanding of international business environments, to develop their appreciation of cross-country differences, and to expose them to foreign business practices.  This trip occurs in the second year of the program.  During the eight day long trip students visit local businesses and executives of national joint venture, and transnational corporations.  Our goal is to build theoretical understanding, practical knowledge, and increased awareness and sensitivity to the complexities of doing business overseas. 

Current sites include:

  • Shanghai (China)
  • Beijing (China)


What is the Thematic curriculum?

Unlike traditional programs that present material through discrete courses, the USC Marshall EMBA gets to the heart of issues you face daily - with thematic coursework, case studies and team projects that focus on the interrelatedness of business functions, rather than on individual disciplines as unrelated entities.  The curriculum focuses on ten integrated themes that parallel managerial situations facing executives on a daily basis. Within a given theme, we carefully sequence class sessions to integrate the different functional areas that are relevant to the overall theme topic. 

Do you offer dual degree programs or electives?

The USC Marshall EMBA program is a lock-step curriculum that does not offer dual degree programs or electives.

International Students:

If I am an international student, can I apply for a Stafford loan?

No, international students are not eligible to receive federal financial aid. However, international students may qualify for private loans if they have a US co-signer.