University of Southern California

Admissions

Qualifications

Applicants may apply for admission to begin the program in the summer term or the fall or spring semesters. Application deadlines vary by semester, citizenship and registration goals. Details are available under the Dates and Deadlines link.

The equivalent of a 4-year bachelor's degree is required for admission. Additionally, applicants must have completed at least the equivalent of the first semester of a traditional 2-year M.B.A. accredited by the AACSB, EQUIS, ACBSP, AOCTE, IACBE or AMBA. Those admitted must complete the equivalent of the first year of a traditional 2-year M.B.A. program prior to beginning classes at U.S.C. Marshall. (Please see the FAQ page for details.)

Successful applicants should have earned a GPA of 3.3 or greater (on a 4.0 scale) in their graduate business course work and achieved a score at or above the 85th percentile on either the GMAT or the GRE. Ideally, applicants will have at least three years of full-time work experience.

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 two 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.

Preparation

A complete application includes the following:

  • Completed on-line application
  • Official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or GRE scores no more than 5 years old.
  • Resume.
  • Responses to required essay questions.
  • One letter of recommendation.
  • A nonrefundable application fee (waived for USC staff and USC alumni).
  • One official transcript from the registrar of each college or university attended. 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. Applicants who completed degrees at institutions outside of the United States are advised to submit documents verifying their degrees through the International Education Research Foundation (www.ierf.org/usc). Please visit the IERF website for details about required documents and fees. Use the USC link above to receive a USC discount.
  • International applicants must also submit TOEFL 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

To ensure adequate time to receive an admission decision, it is important to send completed application materials well in advance of the semester for which the applicant wishes to register.

The Application Process

Submit an on-line application to the GCMS program through the Marshall School of Business Admissions web site at to https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=USC-MBA. International applicants are advised to see the instructions for international students published in the USC Graduate Admissions Application Booklet.

  • USC alumni are not required to submit an application fee or transcripts to verify degrees earned prior to their attendance at USC.
  • Applicants who completed their qualifying undergraduate degree and graduate coursework at an institution other than USC must submit all application documentation identified in the instructions including the application fee, official test scores and transcripts.

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.

GMAT and GRE scores must be from tests taken within the list five years. TOEFL and PTE scores must be from tests taken within the last two years.

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 following questions:
    • Why do you want to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Management Studies? What are your reasons for pursuing this certificate and how will the certificate assist you in achieving these goals?
    • The certificate program allows you to build your own curriculum in order to develop your knowledge of an area of specialization. Provide a proposed course of study (tentative list of courses that you plan to take). (Note: this is for admissions review purposes only and does not constitute an official program of study.)
    • Do you plan to take classes on a full-time or part-time basis? How many classes do you expect to take each semester? When do you expect to complete the certificate?
  • One letter of recommendation is required. This should be processed through the electronic "Recommendations" section of the on-line application system, but may be sent to the Management Studies program directly via email to Management.Studies@marshall.usc.edu. Hard copy letters may be sent to the address below. (The online application system requires two letters of recommendation. The applicant will create a faux entry for the second one.)

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

GCMS Admissions
c/o Susan Hunt
STO 301, USC
837 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1145

Individuals who completed degrees outside of the United States who do not complete the degree verification process prior to admission must complete the process through the International Education Research Foundation (www.ierf.org/usc) or World Education Services (www.wes.org/usc). Please see the websites of these organizations for details on required documents and fees.

MBA students and recent M.B.A. alumni from KAIST should visit the FAQ page for special application instructions.

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

For additional information contact Management.Studies@marshall.usc.edu or call (213) 740-0671.

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