University of Southern California

Three Universities Launch Program
Pioneering Three-Continent
 Undergraduate Degree Program
September 19, 2012 • by News at Marshall

The University of Southern California (USC), The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Bocconi University have launched the World Bachelor in Business (WBB) partnership, the first undergraduate program in which students will live and study on three continents and earn degrees from three universities.

During four years of study in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Milan, Italy, WBB students will learn from internationally renowned teachers and scholars at each of the schools.

The program features rigorous classroom instruction, cultural immersion and real-world experiences. The first cohort of 45 WBB students will begin their education in the fall of 2013.

The partnership is structured so that students spend a complete academic year on each campus. Students will begin their WBB education in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. Year two takes students to Asia for a year of study at HKUST Business School. For the third year, WBB students will move from the Pacific Rim to the heart of Europe to study at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. In the fourth year, students will select from any of the three partner universities to complete their studies.

"All of the partner universities have a commitment to innovation in global education, and the WBB represents a unique approach to undergraduate education that global executives have been demanding for years, an approach that will prepare a new generation of leaders 
for the opportunities of an increasingly interconnected world," according to Elizabeth Garrett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at USC. "The program will allow students to explore diverse cultures and challenge them to think and learn from broad perspectives. At the end of their four years of study, WBB graduates will truly become citizens of the world."

The three-continent learning experience cultivates students' understanding of the business practices, economies, cultures and societies of the different regions. “Bringing together the strengths of the three partner universities, the program is carefully designed to equip students with the global language of business,” said Professor Wei Shyy, provost of HKUST. “Upon their graduation, students will not only have in-depth understanding of professional knowledge and practices in each of the three regions, but also language competence, cultural sensitivity, global vision, an international network and employment mobility – qualities that are required in the global business workplace.”

The program integrates curricular and co-curricular learning, giving students a direct exposure to different academic, cultural and professional environments. It also offers business and legal courses with regional emphases to help students acquire an in-depth understanding of the nuances of doing business in different global environments. The WBB’s curriculum will provide a solid basis in business and economics while, at the same time, focusing on the distinctive strengths of each university.

Specifically, WBB students will delve into the heart of Los Angeles to explore Southern California’s vibrant entrepreneurial culture. They will meet with financial leaders in the high rises of Hong Kong to discuss the global banking industry. In Milan, they will consolidate their economic and management knowledge as they study the complexities of integrating the many countries of the European Union.

All classroom instruction will be in English. While English will serve as the common language of the program, students will have the opportunity to learn Italian, another European language and Chinese. The curriculum and structure of the program leverage the diverse and important assets of the three university’s dynamic locations.

While the academic breadth and expertise of three universities is at the heart of the WBB, the advantage of studying in distinct, dynamic locations is also essential to the overall experience. “Bocconi has for many years now worked on raising its international profile and we are happy to participate in the launch of this global program which bridges academic excellence with hands-on knowledge on how to live and operate in three different continents,” said Guido Tabellini, rector of Università Bocconi. “As well as gaining three degrees, thanks to an intensive exposure to three major global economic and cultural centers, students will also earn a passport for the world.”

The application process for selecting the first 45 students is now open, and the selection will be conducted by a committee composed of representatives from each of the partner universities.

For more information go to: (USC) (HKUST) (Bocconi)

About HKUST Business School
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a top-ranked international research university. The University has been named the top university in Asia by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asian University Rankings for the second year in a row (2011 and 2012). The HKUST Business School is recognized as one of the youngest and most respected business schools in Asia. With a 140-strong international faculty, the school is dedicated to educating well-rounded students to acquire a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Its education programs are consistently ranked among the best in the world. The school has also established a solid international reputation for its research excellence, with consistent rankings as No. 1 in Asia and top 20 in the world.

About Università Bocconi
Founded in 1902 and located at the heart of Europe and in Italy’s business and financial centre, Università Bocconi is recognized as the leading university in Italy for economics and management, striving in providing top-level teaching and research with a truly international outlook. Today, Bocconi is a university of international standing in business, economics and law and offers an extensive range of programs through its five schools including 23 programs taught entirely in English. More than one tenth of the student body comes from outside of Italy and Bocconi has around 200 partner schools worldwide.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.