University of Southern California

Admission Requirements

Click here to download the EMBA Essay Requirements (pdf)

Recommendations & Transcripts   Test Scores
International Degree Verification   Costs & Financial Aid
Requirements   Information for Reapplicants
Deadlines   International Applicants


As part of the application process, we require one recommendation to be submitted online. We use this recommendation as a gauge of your professional achievements and managerial potential. Your recommender should provide specific observations and examples of your leadership, teamwork, analytical skills, and general likeability. We prefer that your recommendation comes from a direct supervisor. Start early to allow ample time for your recommender to complete this important piece of your application.


You will need to submit one official copy of each transcript from all prior universities attended. Transcripts must be received in their original sealed envelope. Please have your institution include instructions on how to interpret the transcript and an explanation of its grading system. If the transcript is not in English, you will need to include an English translation. You may use the forms provided with the online application to request that your transcripts be sent to the mailing address below.

University of Southern California
Office of Admission and Financial Aid
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

If you use a courier service, such as DHL or FedEx, use the following address:

University of Southern California
Office of Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 1
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911

We encourage applicants to upload unofficial transcripts to the online application.  However, while the Admissions Committee can review an application with unofficial transcripts, a final decision cannot be rendered until official transcripts have been received and evaluated by Graduate Admissions.

International Degree Verification

The USC Office of Degree Progress requires verification of international prior degrees from the International Education Research Foundation (IERF). Details about their services, including application forms, fees, and required documents are available at

Please contact Degree Progress (, 213.740.7070) if you have any questions, or need more information regarding prior degree verification.


Admission to the USC Marshall EMBA Program is highly selective. The Admissions Committee assesses each candidate on a number of dimensions including prior academic, professional, and personal accomplishments. We seek students with outstanding leadership potential as well as those with the intellectual and interpersonal abilities to contribute to our academic and extracurricular programs. In order for an application to be considered complete, we require the following:

  • Four-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent
  • A completed online application
  • Official academic transcripts
  • One required essay, as outlined in the online application. An optional essay is provided for any additional information you wish to convey to the Admissions Committee. Download the Essay Requirements (pdf) here.
  • A professional résumé
  • One letter of recommendation, which must be submitted online
  • Official GMAT or GRE exam (optional for USC Marshall EMBA candidates). The GMAT code for the USC Marshall EMBA is 389-9C-48. The GRE code for USC is 4852.
  • Official TOEFL,IELTS, score reports. Only international students are required to take an English language exam.
  • Application fee: $150.00
  • Eight years of work experience (recommended)
  • Interview

Interviews are conducted after a completed application has been reviewed. Interviews are by invitation only and a requirement of the EMBA application process.  USC Marshall offers interviews at our main campus in Los Angeles and at our campus in San Diego.  

If you need to send materials by postal mail after submitting your online application, use the following address:

University of Southern California
Office of Admission and Financial Aid
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

If you use a courier service, such as DHL or FedEx, use the following address:

University of Southern California
Office of Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 1
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911

EMBA 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.

Test Scores

GMAT/GRE: The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) exam or Graduate Record Exam for USC Marshall Executive MBA candidates is an optional component of the application. The GMAT or GRE exam is highly recommended for those applicants who are unable to demonstrate, either through past academic performance or work experience, sufficient strength in the areas of quantitative and analytical reasoning. After an initial review, the Admissions Committee may request candidates to submit a GMAT or GRE score in order to supplement their application materials.

You may take the GMAT or GRE more than once and the Admissions Committee will consider only your highest score. GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years. The GMAT school code for the USC Marshall EMBA Program is 389-9C-48. For more information about the GMAT visit: The GRE code for USC is 4852. For more information about the GRE visit

English Language Exams

International graduate applicants must demonstrate English-language proficiency by submitting either TOEFL or IELTS scores. International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement under the following circumstances:

1) You hold a Bachelor’s degree completed in residency in United States or other Anglophone countries (Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand).

The Bachelor’s degree should come from a regionally accredited university located in the United States or officially recognized university in another country where English is both the language of instruction and the only officially recognized language of the country. Please note that the entire program must have been completed in the qualifying country.

USC does not waive the English-proficiency requirement based on either a graduate degree from a university in the U.S. or other qualifying country or an undergraduate program taught in English in a non-Anglophone country.

2) Your native language is English.

This applies to native English speakers from countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec) where English is both the only official language of the country and the language of instruction.

The criteria listed above are the only means by which international applicants can demonstrate English proficiency. USC does not waive the English-proficiency requirement based on any other consideration (work experience, ESL enrollment, etc.).

To avoid delays in processing your application, we suggest that you ask to have your TOEFL or IELTS scores sent to USC Marshall when you pre-register for the examination. You can also upload copies of your TOEFL or IELTS scores with your application. Official scores must be received directly from the testing service and date no earlier than 2 years (24 months) prior to the start of your intended first term at USC.

If you are sending TOEFL scores, the institution code for USC is 4852 (no department code is required). If you are sending IELTS scores, please choose “University of Southern California, Graduate Programs” from the list of available institutions of where to send your scores on the day that you sit for your test. Please do not enter the name and contact information of your specific intended graduate department. USC will only accept electronic IELTS scores. Paper scores are not considered official.

For additional information please visit:

Costs & Financial Aid

Program Costs
Exact figures will be provided by the USC Marshall Executive MBA Program Office to students during the summer before classes begin. The approximate overall cost of the program is $123,000. Costs cover textbooks, classroom materials, parking, university fees, and lodging costs for the required domestic and international residentials. Airfare and some meal costs during the international residential will be the responsibility of the student. Please note that lodging is not provided or included for regularly scheduled bi-weekly classes.

Loans and Financial Aid
The USC Marshall Executive MBA Program does not offer scholarships or fellowships for any students in our fully employed programs. However, many employers participate in tuition assistance programs and there are a number of additional loan options available. Three types of loans are available to finance your MBA - Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans, and private loans. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, we recommend that you apply for the Federal Stafford Loan first, because of favorable interest rates and origination fees. International students are not eligible to receive federal funding through this loan program.

Federal Stafford Loan. There are two types, subsidized and unsubsidized. For subsidized Stafford Loans, the federal government pays the interest while you are in school and during authorized deferment and grace periods. For the unsubsidized Stafford Loans, deferred interest is capitalized (added to the principal) at repayment. The maximum amount you can borrow under the Stafford Loan system is $20,500 per academic year ($8,500 subsidized and $12,000 unsubsidized). For more information, go to

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Graduate and professional students may wish to consider this low-interest, credit-based federal loan to cover their expenses. You must first exhaust your full Federal Stafford Loan eligibility for this loan.

Private Loans. Private loans are available to both domestic and international applicants. You should be aware that interest rates and fees vary significantly among lending institutions. International applicants may be required to have a U.S. citizen co-sign the loan.

For more information about applying for financial aid, please visit our financial aid link.

Information for Reapplicants

We welcome reapplicants and appreciate your interest in the USC Marshall EMBA Program. Reapplicants must submit the following:

  • A completed online application for admission
  • A 500 word personal statement that addresses the following topic:

'Please describe any significant professional, personal, or academic growth since your last application to the USC Marshall School of Business. Discuss your specific professional goals and how the USC Marshall EMBA Program will help you achieve these goals.'

  • One new letter of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Official score reports for any test (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS) taken
  • An updated résumé
  • Application fee of $150.00
  • Interview

If you have any questions regarding the reapplication process, please contact us.

Information for International Applicants

We encourage all interested international students to apply. Please be aware that all students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must submit copies of their passport as well as work visa documentation. In addition, final admission to the university may be contingent upon prior degree verification that requires visual verification of original language diplomas and transcripts, along with official English translations.

Every admitted international applicant must have a passport on file in order for an I-20 or DS-2019 to be issued. If no passport is available at the time of application, applicants can submit the passport with financial documents after they have been admitted.

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