FAQ’s for Prospective International Applicants
What’s the size of the program? How many students are in the class?
We have approximately 450 Full time students. This fall, 2019, we enrolled 214 students. First year students are divided into cohorts of approximately 75 and take their core classes as a group during the first semester, except for the capstone consulting project.
Are there any programs that connect prospective applicants with current students?
The MBA Student Ambassador Program provides you with opportunity to meet current students on campus. Read their bios and contact them with your questions.
How can I connect with current international students?
Some of our Student Ambassadors are international students. Any student ambassador will be happy to connect you with a current international student from your home country.
How many students are international?
Approximately 32% of the Fall 2019 entering class are international students. In Fall 2018, approximately 30% of the USC students were international.
What are the tuition costs for international students?
Since USC is a private university, the tuition costs are the same for domestic and international students. Estimated tuition, fees and living expenses can be found here.
Can you provide feedback on my candidacy prior to submitting an application?
We are not able to provide specific feedback on your application in person or over the phone. We encourage you to review the MBA profile sheet and to get some external feedback from a colleague or friend.
What is the quickest way to receive my I-20 should I be admitted?
I-20’s are issued after you have submitted your Intent to Enroll and all required documents have been received by the USC I-20 Processing Office. (Allow 3 weeks for the I-20 to be processed, beginning March 1)
Do I need work experience to apply?
Work experience is not required to apply, but on average, the Fall 2019 entering class had 5 years of work experience. Students with work experience generally get more out of the program and contribute to classroom discussion and team projects.
Are there any prerequisites to apply or enroll? Do I need a degree in a specific major?
The only prerequisite is a Bachelor’s degree. College graduates from all majors are welcome to apply.
I have a three-year bachelor’s degree from outside the U.S. Am I eligible to apply?
Per the Marshall School of Business MBA Admissions requirements, all applicants must have received the equivalent of a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. While it is possible for some universities to provide an equivalent 4-year degree in only 3 years, USC cannot make any determinations to an applicant’s eligibility until a completed application is received. For this reason, it is up to each individual applicant to determine whether they would like to apply even with the possibility that their degree might make them ineligible for the USC Marshall School of Business MBA Program.
I already have an MBA. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, you eligible to apply. In the application, be sure to explain why you are pursuing a second MBA.
Admissions and Interview Process
How do you weigh the various parts of the application?
We use a holistic approach. No one section is worth more than another.
Can I submit my application without test scores?
Yes, but be sure to provide test dates on your application and submit test results to MBA Admissions by no later than 2 weeks after an application round deadline, to be considered part of that round. However, we do reserve the right to make a decision based on the application you submitted.
When is the best time to submit my application?
Apply when you feel your application is strongest. However, international students are encouraged to submit their application by round 3, to ensure there is enough time to process the I-20, should they be admitted.
Can I request to be interviewed?
No. Interviews are by invitation only. We will contact you, if we want to interview you.
If I’m invited to be interviewed, do I have to travel to Los Angeles?
Consider visiting Los Angeles. It’s the best way to learn more about the Full-Time MBA Program, USC Marshall, and Los Angeles. If you do not live in the area or are not able to travel to Los Angeles, you can be interviewed via SKYPE. Interviews are also conducted in other locations around the world. In person and Skype interviews hold the same weight and will not affect admissions decisions.
Who conducts the interviews? How long does it last?
Interviews will be conducted by a members of the Admissions Committee or by a current MBA student. Interviews typically last between 30-45 minutes.
Is it possible to receive an application fee waiver?
Fee waivers are provided to prospective applicants the MBA Admissions team meets on the road at an admissions fair or on campus through our campus visit program.
When do I need to submit my financial documentation?
Financial documentation is not required to submit at the time of application or for the MBA Admissions Committee to make a decision. However, it is required for you to obtain your I-20, should you be admitted.
If my transcript is not in English, does it need to be translated?
USC requires both the original transcript and a translated copy.
Do I need to mail official copies of my transcript?
During the application process, you can upload unofficial transcripts. However, positive admissions decisions will not be made until official transcripts and degree certificate have been received and evaluated by the USC Graduate Admissions Office.
Is there a minimum GPA?
There is no minimum GPA. View the Entering Class of 2019 Profile Sheet to see the average GPA based on a 4.0. On the application, enter your GPA based on the GPA scale at your university. Graduate Admissions will provide MBA Admissions with an estimate based on a 4.0 scale.
Do I need to complete the IERF process as part of the admissions process?
You do not need to complete this process as part of the admissions process, but it must be completed before you finish your first semester at USC Marshall.
Is there a minimum GMAT/GRE score?
No. View the Entering Class of 2019 Profile Sheet to see the average and 80% range for the GMAT.
Which test do you prefer, GMAT or GRE?
We accept both.
If I have taken both the GMAT and GRE, which should I submit?
Submit both test scores. We’ll accept your highest score of all valid tests.
How long is the GMAT or GRE score valid?
Your test score should be valid for 5 years. It should have been taken on or before August 1, 2015.
Do I need to send my official test score?
During the application process, you can upload an unofficial test score report. However, positive admissions decisions will not be made until your test score has been received by the USC Graduate Admissions Office.
Is the TOEFL or IELTS required?
Most international students will be required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS. This includes some countries in which the language of instruction is English. Learn more here.
I earned my Master’s degree in an English speaking country and/or spent two years of my undergraduate studies in an English speaking country. Can I apply for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver?
No. See previous question.
What are the institution codes to submit an official GMAT, GRE, TOEFL or IELTS score?
IETLS Choose “University of Southern California, Graduate Programs”
Are there any special scholarships for international students?
USC Marshall scholarships are open to both domestic and international students. There is no separate application.
Do you provide scholarships based on financial need?
Scholarships are merit-based. The Admissions Committee bases scholarship award decisions on a range of criteria, including scholastic merit, leadership, work experience and other characteristics that add value to the academic and social atmosphere of USC Marshall. Two-year awards range from $10,000 to full-tuition.
Does Marshall provide loans for international students?
USC does not provide loans to international students. Foreign citizens can apply for a private loan with a creditworthy U.S. or permanent resident co-borrower only. There are some financial institutions which provide loans without a co-signer.
On Campus Housing
Where can I find information for on-campus housing?
On campus for international students is limited. If you would like to live on campus, you must apply as soon as possible, beginning February 1, 2020. For more information about on-campus housing options, visit the USC Housing website
Last updated: August 9, 2019
Shortly after you are admitted to USC Marshall School of Business you will receive a USC Marshall School of Business International Student Welcome Guide, designed to answer many of the frequently asked questions by incoming international MBA students.
In the meantime, you are welcome to explore the information and services offered through the USC Office of International Services. This office provides orientation programs and continuing support services for all USC international students and their dependents. Specially trained professional counselors and student peer counselors are available to advise you about immigration regulations, academic progress, financial concerns, housing and adjusting to life in the United States. Year-round social and cultural activities are also sponsored through this office. For information, contact (213) 740-2666, or visit ois.usc.edu