Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a current USC student to apply for admission to this program?

No. Anyone who has the necessary qualifications and work experience is welcome to apply.

Documents and Essays

All applicants -- even current USC students -- are required to respond to the questions posed in the online application.

I already hold a master's degree. Do I have to submit test scores?

Holding a prior master’s degree does not exempt applicants from submitting the required test scores. The committee will review the content of the individual’s graduate degree transcript to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence that the individual is qualified for admission. If the individual attended an institution that does not issue grades or distinguishing evaluative marks, test scores are required. If the individual's performance in the graduate program was marginal, test scores are required.

What if I took the required course with a degree I completed already?

Coursework credited to a degree previously awarded by USC cannot be applied to the Graduate Certificate. Likewise, coursework taken at another university cannot be applied to the Graduate Certificate and should not be repeated at USC. Individuals who completed the equivalent of the required courses prior to admission will be required to complete an alternate 3-unit course.

Current USC Students - Creating a New Application

Q: I'm a student at USC. What do I have to do to apply?

A: You will need to submit a new application to apply for admission to this program.

Applications to the Graduate Certificate are submitted on-line via

  • Start by applying for an application fee waiver. (First year students must wait until they have completed their first semester to apply for an application fee waiver.) Follow the instructions under step 3 at
    step 3 at or
    step 4 at
    Processing of application fee waivers usually takes 2-3 working days.  
    When you try to submit your application, if the system asks for a credit card number, do NOT give it a credit card number. Contact USC Admissions to follow up on the status of your waiver.
  • If you have not used this system before, you will need to create a login and password. If you have applied to USC using this system before, use your existing login and password to retrieve your file.
  • Select the "Add Program" tab and follow the directions to request an application fee waiver.
  • Under the "Add Program" tab search for "Program Level" Certificate and select the Graduate Certificate in Technology Commercialization from the list.
  • Return to the "My Application" tab and complete the required portions of the application.
  • In the "Academic Background" section don't forget to add your current USC degree program to your education history.
  • In the "Program Materials" quadrant, the "Questions" are required.
  • Don't forget to "Submit Application."

I really want to get into the Marshall MBA program. Can I start with the certificate and then apply to the MBA?

Admission to the Graduate Certificate program will not change your chances of getting into the MBA program. You should apply to the MBA program instead. You will get a much broader education, and you can do the Graduate Certificate in conjunction with the electives portion of your MBA.

Application of Graduate Certificate Coursework to master's degree requirements

A Graduate Certificate may be completed in conjunction with course work required for the program in which the student is already enrolled. Applicability of these courses to the student's primary degree program is determined by the student's home department. Current USC MBA students may apply all 15 units of the graduate certificate program to their MBA degree. (Note: conferral of the certificate and documentation on the transcript requires that the individual formally apply to the program and be admitted. See the Admissions page for more information about this process.)

Who will be in my class?

All classes are taken with other Marshall graduate students. Most of your classes will include a large proportion of MBAs. Students from other Marshall graduate programs and other programs at USC will also be in class with you.

Cost/Tuition and Fees

For those who are not already graduate students at USC, the cost of the program is around $23,000 plus books, fees, insurance, and living expenses. Fees and insurance can total more than $2,000 per year. Living expenses (housing, food, transportation, etc.) run about $20,000 per year. 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 I get a scholarship? How about financial aid?

The Graduate Certificate program is not funded for program-specific scholarships. Graduate certificates are not eligible for federal financial aid.

Career Development and Placement Services

Certificate-only students are provided career transition services through the USC Career Center. Certificate students are encouraged to join graduate student clubs and organizations in their field of interest as well.

What did we miss?

For more information, write to or call (213) 740-0641.

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Dan Selz, MBA 2018

"This summer I am working at the XPRIZE Foundation, looking at creating new technologies to tackle the problem of air pollution. The work is fascinating, but challenging. I've been really happy with the way Professor Yin's Tech Commercialization class prepared me for this kind of role. Whether it's looking at different commercial applications of big data collection or figuring out the challenges and opportunities relating to IP strategies, Professor Yin's class has given me the tools and frameworks needed to thrive."