Outgoing Exchange Program


Fall IEP FAQ Lunch: Friday February 7 12-2 (location JFF 239)

Fall 2020 IEP Applications Due Feb 21



Marshall Students Studying Abroad Imagine studying about the rapidly growing Chinese market in Hong Kong, or about fashion marketing in Milan, Italy. The Marshall School of Business Undergraduate International Exchange Program (IEP) allows students to realize this vision. As an exchange student, you have the opportunity to study at one of thirteen of the world’s top business programs in some of the most dynamic cities on the planet. Whether Seoul or Singapore, Melbourne or Budapest, Paris or Manchester, the IEP program is an unparalleled academic experience and personal growth opportunity.


The IEP provides you the opportunity to complete courses that can meet the requirements for your concentration requirement (under the new curriculum your Business Elective courses) while studying abroad. These are the only study abroad programs in which business students can receive full-business credit for their coursework. In addition to providing students with new perspectives and views on business trends and theories, this also allows business students to be able to have a study-abroad experience without interrupting their studies or delaying their graduation.


The program is literally an exchange, therefore openings to all sites are contingent upon the partner school sending students to USC. Some sites may not be available during certain semesters. Unlike conventional study abroad programs, students in the exchange programs become fully-integrated into the culture and lifestyle of the host institution, taking classes with local students, eating at local restaurants, and conversing with local people. Once you have been accepted to the International Exchange Program (IEP), you will select your classes from a wide array of business elective courses offered by your host program. We encourage students to take advantage of the strengths of their host institution and enroll in courses that are both interesting as well as unique.

What are the Requirements?

The Program is open to all Marshall and Leventhal and CSBA majors only Marshall and Leventhal minors and IRGB majors are not eligible to apply. All applicants must have the following:

  • You must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • You must have completed the following courses prior to departure:

    BUAD- 280 and 281 or 305 Accounting

    BUAD-304 Leading Organizations

    BUAD-306 Business Finance

    BUAD-307 Marketing Fundamentals

    BUAD-310 Applied Business Statistics

  • Students are STRONGLY encouraged to also complete BUAD 311 prior to departure. Students who do NOT complete BUAD 311 will NOT be penalized, BUT students who will have it completed BUAD 311 prior to departure will be awarded extra points towards their application (see selection process below).
  • Please note: Meeting the basic requirements does not guarantee that you will be admitted to the program as space is limited, and the program is competitive. However, in the past few years over 95% of persons applying to IEP who met these requirements have been admitted to the program.
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When Do I Apply?

You should apply to go abroad at the very beginning of the semester BEFORE you wish to study abroad (those wishing to go abroad in Fall will apply in early Spring and those wishing to go abroad in Spring will apply in early Fall).

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How Do I Apply?

Submit the online application below, upload the required documents, and sign-up for an interview by the stated deadline. The application process is quite simple, and requires basic biographical information as well as four short essays. These essays are vital to the application, so be sure to take the time to think about the questions you are answering. Upon submission of the application, you will sign up for an interview. Be aware you are not applying to a specific “location” or school, you are applying to the International Exchange Program, and based on your ranking of all 36 locations and your application and interview performance, will be allocated to one of those locations (see selection process below.) You will be notified of your acceptance to the program approximately 2-3 weeks after the application due date.

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What courses do I take abroad?

The Marshall International Exchange Program is the ONLY semester abroad program which allows student participants to complete business coursework while abroad which can be applied towards their business major requirements. Students are able to satisfy the 12-unit upper division business electives requirement through IEP. Students CANNOT satisfy business CORE classes while abroad (BUAD 304, 306, 307, etc.) nor are they able to satisfy foundational courses (ECON 351, 352, MATH 118, etc), nor General Education, Writing or Diversity classes.

Students are also able to enroll in a limited number of non-business courses, including language, history, international relations, etc. at a number of our partner institutions. As each of our university partners offer different courses, both similar to USC Marshall as well as wholly unique, students are STRONGLY encouraged to visit the school pages below, and review the course catalogs of our partners to ensure that they offer courses which interest the student. Students may also download this list of courses from the previous year (Spring 2019 and Fall 2018). Please note: these lists are NOT exhaustive and so if a course does not appear on the spreadsheet this does NOT mean the course is not acceptable or not offered, only that it has not been offered the previous semester.

Once students have been admitted to the program and assigned a location, we will work with students on the course selection process, including reviewing and approving all courses, as well as ensuring that students complete sufficient courses and units abroad.

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What Else Do I Need To Know?
  • There is no foreign language proficiency requirement to participate in the International Exchange Program. All of our partner programs offer courses in English.
  • You will be assigned a letter grade for your coursework abroad by the host (foreign) institution. However, the marks will appear as credit/no credit on your USC transcript. The minimum grade for credit is the host equivalent to a USC “C-.”
  • You will take 12 units of upper division business elective coursework, and 3-4 general elective units at your host school. Depending on the program, you will need to successfully complete between 4 – 8 business courses. Grade and Unit Conversion Chart. With the exception of a few locations, the maximum number of credits you can obtain abroad is 15 USC credits. The chart lists the location maximums.
  • You will pay the standard USC full-time student tuition flat-rate (you will NOT pay tuition at the partner institution). Financial aid packages (scholarships, grants, etc) still apply. You can read about Study Abroad and USC Financial Aid at this link: USC Abroad Financial Aid. In addition to the USC flat-rate for tuition, you are responsible for all expenses including, but not limited to: room and board, books and supplies, meals, airfare, health insurance, application fees, passport and visa fees, and other personal and travel expenses. Estimated costs for each program can be found here: IEP Program Estimated Costs 2019-2020. Please remember these costs are estimated, and tend to be at the higher-end of the range provided by students. For example, 1 student may report paying $500 a month for rent, and another $1200. We then budget at $1000, even though cheaper alternatives do exist.
  • You will be automatically enrolled in the USC Overseas Health Insurance plan for the semester in which you travel abroad. Students may also be required to purchase the host program health insurance plans, in addition to the USC Overseas Health Insurance plan. Neither requirement can be waived.
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Selection Process and School Listing

In this section, we hope to shed some light on the selection process:

  • Students submit an application the semester prior to the one they wish to go abroad. The application consists of biographical information, 4 essays, a letter of recommendation, and the student’s resume. As part of the application, each applicant is asked to rank all 35 of the the partner locations in order of preference or interest. Each applicant will also undergo a mandatory interview (applicants will register for an interview time when they submit the supplemental application materials).
  • The application is reviewed by 4 committee members, each of whom provides a numerical score (0-4). Those four scores, combined with the score from the mandatory interview (0-4), and the student’s over-all GPA (0-4). These six scores are added together, forming the basis for the ranking of the applicants (as you can see GPA is only 1/6th of the total score). The student with the highest over-all score is ranked first, and so on. This ranking not only determines who will be admitted to the program, but also, where they will go. Based on where students are ranked by their application score(s), locations are awarded based on the applicant’s ranking of the exchange locations. For example, the applicant with the highest score will be awarded their first ranked location. The applicant with the second-highest score will be awarded their top-ranked location, if available. If it is not available, then the second ranked location is offered, and so on until all of the locations are filled.
  • Students not selected will be placed on a waiting list, as will all students NOT receiving their first choice. If space does appear in a location, students will be moved “up” the waiting-list based on their overall ranking, as well as where that location appears on their list. In other words, students who have been placed in their 2nd ranked location would NOT be moved to a lower-ranked location.

Students do NOT have to accept any offers extended to them, no matter if it is their first, or last ranked program. Rejecting an offer before the stated acceptance deadline carries with it no penalty, and the student is invited to reapply in the future without any ill-will.

Partner Schools

(Please click on the University name for additional information on that location)

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Additional Information/Resources (Estimated Costs, Past Classes, Student Feedback, Program Dates, etc)
Spring 2020 Application and Instructions

Application Deadline-Fall 2020 February 21, 2020 (NOON)

The application is completely online, including the submission of transcripts, resume, interview, etc. To complete the application, you will need to upload the following documents (meaning you will need electronic/digital copies before you start the application):

Electronic copy/scan of your passport (Just the picture page- NOT the entire passport. If you do not have a passport, you should apply for one ASAP- that means TODAY as you will need to start the visa application soon after learning of your admission.)

Electronic Copy of your transcript which you can order online here Transcripts ( ) You should have the transcript e-mailed to your USC e-mail address so that you have a copy to upload. DO NOT send it to the IEP office.

Electronic copy of your Resume- We only require a resume- no cover letter is required.

Letter of Recommendation (which MUST be on company/school letterhead/stationary), and can be scanned and uploaded by the applicant  to the application website OR can be sent directly to the International Programs Office. You do NOT need to submit a recommendation from an academic source (you can have an employer/supervisor submit the letter), but it cannot be a family member, and should be someone whom you have been affiliated with (work, school, volunteer) within the past 2-years and who can speak about your abilities and character.

If your recommender cannot or does not wish to provide you with a copy of the letter, they may e-mail the letter to,  or mail them to IEP Program, 610 Child’s Way, JFF 201 Los Angeles, CA 90089. Uploading them as part of your application is the preferred manner. Only 1 letter is required and will be accepted. Letters can be addressed to IEP Selection Committee. Letters are due no later than 5:00 pm March 2, 2020.

-Essays As part of the application you need to complete 3 essays.  Each essay should be no more than 1 -page, single-spaced. You will want to write them ahead of time and cut-and-paste them into the application. The prompts are:

Essay 1:  In 1000 words or less, describe why you chose your top three host schools focusing on your academic, professional, and personal goals. You should be as detailed as possible, addressing all schools equally. Examples for choosing your top three schools could be (but not limited to): school culture, coursework abroad, teaching styles, extracurricular opportunities, foreign language courses, networking/career opportunities, etc

Essay 2: How have you prepared for your program abroad? What makes you an ideal candidate for the program(s) you selected?

Essay 3: With the understanding that a semester exchange experience requires a high level of independence and flexibility, tell us about a time when you demonstrated both of these characteristics. 

-Interview You will need to also complete a mandatory interview. You will register for the interview at the end of the application. You will be given instructions on where to sign up once you submit your completed application. Interviews will take place February 24-28, 2020.

Please note: There will be a MANDATORY Orientation for all applicants held on February 28 2-5 pm in JFF 236. Please be sure to make the proper arrangements to attend.

Click Here to APPLY 

If you have any questions not answered in the information above, please contact the Undergraduate International Exchange Program at 213-740-5705 or via email at


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