University of Southern California

Topics Addressed in Frequently Asked Questions


Anyone who has completed a one-year M.B.A. or will have completed the first year of a traditional two-year M.B.A. prior to taking his/her first class at USC is welcome to apply to the G.C.M.S. program at USC Marshall. Of course, applicants from programs not accredited by the AACSB, EQUIS, ACBSP, AOCTE, IACBE or AMBA are generally considered less well prepared than those from accredited institutions. The admissions committee will rely on the combination of GMAT or GRE test scores, work experience, resume, and essays in making their decision. Also, they will review transcripts from all institutions attended to ensure that the applicant's academic preparation is equivalent to both a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree and at least one year of a traditional 2-year full-time M.B.A. so that the applicant is fully prepared to participate with and to compete with Marshall graduate students in the classroom.

Required Preparatory Curriculum

When evaluating the applicant’s qualifications we check to see that the following subject matter (coursework) was/is included in the individual’s M.B.A. program:

Financial and Management Accounting
Business Communication
Corporate Finance
Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
Organizational Behavior/Personnel Management/Leadership
Statistics/Quantitative analysis

If specific content areas are missing the student may be required to complete them at Marshall prior to taking advanced courses. Required preparatory coursework will be added to the requirements of the certificate.


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. USC Marshall accepts the following test scores, as long as they are not more than 2 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, or
  • the IELTS with a score of 7, with no less than 6 on each band score.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The length of time it takes to complete the program depends on how many classes the student takes each semester. Full-time students will complete the program in one semester. Working students take 1-2 classes each semester. Since the program requires 12 units of coursework (four 3-unit classes), completing the program can take as long as two years if the student takes only one class each fall and spring semester.

Tuition and Fees

Current USC tuition and fee information is available at Select the next future semester and then the 'Tuition and Fees' tab on the left side of the screen. Tuition rates do increase each year.

Can current USC M.B.A. students do this program and apply the courses to their M.B.A.?

No. The program is designed to add academic content to an individual’s M.B.A. USC M.B.A. students already have access to all of the curricular options in the program. USC M.B.A. students who wish to complete 12 units in addition to the units required to complete their M.B.A. may do this program. They should apply for admission during their last semester in the M.B.A. program. None of the coursework applied to the completed M.B.A. can be counted toward this certificate.

Can USC M.B.A. alumni do the program?

Yes, but none of the coursework applied to the completed M.B.A. can be counted toward this certificate.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

The G.C.M.S. program is not funded to support scholarships dedicated specifically to G.C.M.S. students. Graduate Certificates are not eligible for federal financial aid.

Application of prior coursework to the G.C.M.S. requirements

The G.C.M.S. is intended to provide those who have completed foundational coursework with an opportunity to expand their knowledge base in areas not covered during their prior studies. Applying old coursework to the certificate would not contribute to achieving this goal. In other words, no courses completed prior to matriculation in the G.C.M.S. program can be applied toward the Graduate Certificate of Management Studies.

Career Development and Placement Services

It is expected that G.C.M.S. students will receive career development training as part of their M.B.A. program and will have access to career placement services as alumni of their M.B.A. institution. As a result, G.C.M.S. students are not provided with career transition services at USC Marshall.


The University of Southern California provides a wide range of housing opportunities on and around campus. For more information about University-owned and managed facilities visit Additionally, a great number of non-university housing opportunities are available around campus. For more information about those visit

Information for Students and Alumni of KAIST

Current students and alumni of the KAIST Techno M.B.A. or the IMBA are welcome to apply for admission to the G.C.M.S. program.

Admissions: Under the partnership agreement between KAIST and USC Marshall, Techno M.B.A. and IMBA applicants are not required to have work experience or to submit GMAT or GRE test scores. One letter of recommendation from the KAIST screening committee is required. Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores) is required of all non-US citizens who did not complete a 4-year bachelor's degree at an American, British, Canadian or Australian college or university. All other parts of the application are required.

Curriculum: Students from KAIST are not exempt from course prerequisite requirements. Prerequisite waivers will be issued upon confirmation that coursework equivalent to prerequisites has been completed.

More Questions?

For additional information write to or call (213) 740-0671.

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