Frequently Asked Questions
What is the USC IBEAR MBA?
The IBEAR MBA is a full time one-year accelerated global MBA program targeting experienced professionals with an average of 10 years of work experience and a global focus. It is delivered on USC’s Los Angeles campus in twelve months and awards the USC Marshall MBA degree. Participants complete 19 courses in five eight-week terms from July of each year to the next. Celebrating its 36th anniversary in 2013, IBEAR was established in 1978. The program has over 1500 graduates in leadership positions in more than 60 countries around the globe.
What is the difference between the IBEAR MBA and most two-year MBA programs?
IBEAR participants are mid career professionals being trained to assume leadership roles in global organizations. They are approximately 5 years older on average than students in two-year MBA programs. Thus, many IBEAR participants seek to re-enter the job market at a more senior level than the average two-year MBA. The opportunity cost of attending a one-year program as opposed to a two-year program is more attractive to mid career professionals looking to return to the job market as soon as possible.
Participants of the IBEAR MBA program tend to be more diverse than those in other MBA programs. A typical class consists of 55 participants from 15 countries, and has a very strong international focus. 75% of the class comes from outside the US. Many of our participants have families. IBEAR faculty too tends to have significant international experience and substantive global expertise. They use more international cases than other faculty. IBEAR participants have the option of taking 3 electives. They are also required to participate in an intense 17 week long client commissioned International Business Consulting Project (IBCP) that includes international travel.
What about the rankings?
Both U.S. News and the Financial Times rank USC Marshall School of Business among their Top 10 for international business. The USC Marshall School of Business moved into 10th place among nationally ranked U.S. business schools in a survey of corporate recruiters conducted by The Wall Street Journal (2005). A recent ranking by Poets and Quants (http://poetsandquants.com/2012/07/10guide-to-the-best-one-year-mba-programs/) places IBEAR as the 4th best in the country.. Business Week places the Marshall EMBA and MBA.PM programs in its Top 10. In addition to international business, US News ranks Marshall's accounting, entrepreneurship, EMBA and evening MBA in its Top 10 amongst U.S. business schools.
When does the IBEAR MBA start and end?
It begins in late July of one year and ends in mid July of the next. Some participants are required or encouraged to arrive in June to take supplemental English language lessons at USC’s Language Academy.
What are the minimum requirements to apply to the IBEAR MBA Program?
- 6 years of experience (business, non-profit, government, military, post-graduate education)
- GMAT or GRE score
- TOEFL or IELTS score
- Bachelor’s degree
What are the average GMAT and TOEFL scores of participants?
IBEAR’s GMAT average is normally 630 plus or minus 5 points. Applicants should score 570 or higher. IBEAR’s GMAT average reflects the older average age of participants (33 or 34) and the fact that many participants speak English as a second language (75% of participants are foreign nationals).
IBEAR’s TOEFL average normally approximates 100 IBT, 250 CBT, OR 600 PBT. Some participants are required to arrive early for additional English study, based on their scores and their background.
As IBEAR is a mid-career program for professionals, we consider a strong educational and professional background very important in admission decisions.
How may I apply?
Applicants must apply directly on-line at https://usc.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login
When is the application deadline?
IBEAR uses a rolling admissions process. Applications are encouraged and evaluated until a class of individuals with distinguished academic credentials and professional experience is formed. Applicants are encouraged to open their application file as early as possible (e.g., January or earlier) by completing the on-line application form and submitting transcripts.
We start evaluating and admitting applications in November of each year. We urge that applicants complete the application process no later than May 15th of the following year, as the class starts to get full by this date. From time to time, we do make exceptions for strong candidates beyond May 15th. Applicants are not required to wait for test results before submitting applications.
International applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible given the length of time it takes to get student visa approvals.
How long does it take for an admissions decision?
Files are reviewed as soon as they are complete, beginning in November. After you have completed your application file and interviewed, it will take us approximately two weeks to evaluate your application and make a decision. If you are a foreign national it may take somewhat longer for an official USC decision because your file must also be reviewed by USC International Admissions. Admitted applicants are informed immediately by phone or via email.
What qualifications are considered in the admissions process?
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a 4-year college or university, a GMAT or GRE score, a TOEFL or IELTS score score (required for most foreign nationals) and at least six years of full-time work experience after college graduation. IBEAR staff or alumni will interview potential candidates.
Admission decisions are based upon the quality and length of the applicant's work experience, as well as the experience and quality of the applicant’s educational background, test scores, interviews, application essays, and recommendations.
International students are required to take the USC International Student English (ISE) exam on arrival at USC, unless they submit either a TOEFL score of 90 or more (IBT) with no less than 20 on each section, or an IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score. Depending on the test scores (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS), IBEAR may recommend or require additional English work before or after the IBEAR MBA program begins. Please see http://dornsife.usc.edu/ali/ise/.
Do you require an interview?
Yes, an interview is required. It will be arranged by IBEAR staff upon completion of the application file. Interviews will be conducted by staff or alumni either in person or through Skype. Though not mandatory, applicants are strongly encouraged to visit USC, see our beautiful campus, audit classes, and meet current IBEAR participants.
Does my undergraduate degree or work experience need to be in business?
No. IBEAR admits individuals from a broad spectrum of academic and work experience backgrounds.
What is the typical IBEAR class profile?
Science and Engineering
Social Sciences and Humanities
Countries Represented at IBEAR
Argentina, Armenia Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria Cameroon, Canada, Czech Republic Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Germany Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Netherlands Norway Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine, USA, Venezuela.
How much does the program cost?
Tuition fee for 2016-2017 is $104,068.
Do you offer scholarships and/or loans?
IBEAR awards multiple merit scholarships up to and including the full cost of tuition. These awards are typically reserved for high-potential applicants, both international and domestic. The amount awarded is contingent on the qualifications of the applicant. Only self-sponsored applicants are eligible.
IBEAR Global Business Fellow awards tuition scholarships of up to a maximum of $45,000 to high potential self-sponsored international and U.S. Candidates.
Hanjin/Korean Air Scholarship: Awarded to one high-potential Korean or Korean-American participant as a result of a donation from the Hanjin Group of Korea. Applicants with experience in global supply chain and logistics may also be considered for this award.
Honjo Foundation/Jack G. Lewis Scholarship:Awarded to a Japanese participant of high caliber.
Housing subsidy at a designated attractive off-campus location is awarded to both single students and those attending the program with their family. $9,000 is given to candidates attending the program alone or with their spouse while $15,000 is given to candidates attending the program with their family.
IBEAR Distinguished Graduate Scholar: Self Sponsored participants who graduate from the IBEAR program at the top 20% of their class qualify for an additional scholarship to attend a graduate study program of their choice in any USC school if admitted.
Federal and private loans are available to many US citizens and permanent residents. Please visit USC’s financial aid website at http://www.usc.edu/admission/fa/.
How may I obtain a scholarship?
Scholarship decisions are based on academic and leadership potential. Scholarship recipients demonstrate very strong academic performance, consistently high test scores, as well as a strong career trajectory. They are expected to be leaders in the IBEAR program. You may indicate in your application that you wish to be considered for a scholarship.
How may I obtain USC financial aid?
U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for financial assistance through USC's Financial Aid Office. They may be contacted at (213) 740-1111 or through their website at http://www.usc.edu/admission/fa/.
How about course waivers and electives?
The following core courses may be waived by taking a waiver challenge exam in August.
- GSBA 511 - Managerial Economics
- GSBA 510 - Accounting Concepts and Financial Reporting
- GSBA 518 - Accounting Control Systems
- GSBA 524 - Applied Managerial Statistics
- GSBA 528 - Marketing Management
- GSBA 548 - Corporate Finance
- GSBA 549 - The Firm in the National and International Economy
Waiver exams are similar to a final exam in these courses. A waived course must be replaced by a Marshall elective in the same semester in which a waived course is offered. IBEAR MBA participants must complete 56 units to receive the Marshall MBA degree.
IBEAR participants may also replace three optional courses offered by the IBEAR program with Marshall elective courses offered to all MBA students. Two replacement electives may be taken in Spring Semester. One may be taken in Summer Term.
What is IBCP?
IBCP or International Business Consulting Project is a 17-week long client sponsored real world consulting engagement with a global corporate entity with a business problem. It sets the standard for experiential on the job learning. Participants apply their leadership and analytical skills as they focus on real challenges faced by an international firm. Collaborating with peers in small teams, candidates work directly with clients to build strategies and develop solutions to issues of pressing concern. A typical project requires international travel to multiple locations. Past clients have ranged from Fortune 500 companies to smaller innovative companies with a global outlook.
What kind of career services do you provide?
A dedicated career counselor is now available to candidates of the IBEAR Program. The career development officer provides focused career management training workshops, career advice, access to employer sponsored events, an extensive career resource library, a published resume book and electronic referral system besides job postings, mock interviews, and on-campus recruiting & placement. Candidates are encouraged to contact the career development officer at the beginning of the program and work closely with her during the entire year The Marshall School's Career Resource Center (CRC) provides support to all Marshall MBA students, including IBEAR self-sponsored participants. IBEAR provides additional career support in the form of frequent networking opportunities and access to IBEAR’s vast global alumni network.
Are there options for further study after completing the MBA?
In addition to Optional Practical Training (OPT), qualified self sponsored participants may apply to several one year graduate study and certificate programs offered at USC Marshall School. You are encouraged to look at graduate and certificate programs offered by other schools at USC such as Viterbi School of Engineering as well. Please refer to the following websites to see some of the graduate study options available to you: