Graduate Certificate in Business Fundamentals

Minimum Qualifications

Students in the Business Fundamentals program take Marshall graduate elective classes with other master's degree (e.g., M.B.A. and M.S.) students. To ensure success in the program, successful applicants satisfy a set of minimum qualifications.

  • Bachelor's degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.0. If the GPA for the bachelor's degree is insufficient, a GPA for graduate work of at least 3.2 will be acceptable.
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score or a GRE score above the 80th percentile. A completed graduate degree may be accepted in lieu of test scores at the discretion of the admissions committee.
  • For International students who did not spend 4 years completing a bachelor's degree at an American, British, Canadian or Australian college or university, proof of proficiency in English is required for admission. We accept scores from any of the following tests. (Only one is required. The minimums listed are not flexible.) Test scores are considered valid only if earned within 2 years of the applicant's intended first day of classes at USC.
    • The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a score of at least 100 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 (preferred) with a score of 7, with no less than 6 on each band score.

Satisfying the minimum qualifications does not ensure admission. The admissions committee also considers seriously the overall content of the individual's application and responses to the questions that are part of the application.

Please note: This program is not appropriate for international applicants who are not enrolled in or applying to a degree program at USC or who do not already reside in the United States.

The Application Process

Prospective students should apply to begin the program and take GSBA 520 in the fall or spring term. Individuals applying for admission while or after completing GSBA 520 may apply for admission to begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer.

Current USC students and USC alumni are not required to submit an application fee, new test scores, or new transcripts to verify degrees earned prior to their attendance at USC. It is critical that current USC students include USC in the academic history section of the application. More information for "Current USC Students" is available in the FAQ page of this site.


A complete application includes the following:

  • Completed on-line application.
  • GMAT or GRE test scores no more than 5 years old.
  • Resume.
  • Responses to required essay questions.
  • A nonrefundable application fee (waived for current USC students, USC staff, and USC alumni).
  • One official transcript from the registrar of each college or university attended, whether a degree was completed or not. 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. For more information visit
  • International applicants must also submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores no more than 2 years old and verification of sufficient financial support.

To ensure adequate time to receive an admission decision and related documents and registration information, it is important to apply as early as possible.


Applications to the Graduate Certificate program are submitted on-line via International applicants should also consult the instructions for international students published in the USC Graduate Admissions web site.

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.

Unofficial transcripts must be submitted as uploaded attachments to the online application.
For expedited processing, official transcripts (in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution) may be sent to:

     USC Marshall Graduate Certificates
     c/o Sara McLachlan
     BRI 200C, USC
     3670 Trousdale Parkway
     Los Angeles, CA 90089-0806

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

For additional information contact or call (213) 740-3198.