International Applicants

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Requirements

If you are not a United States national, and you will be entering, or have already entered, the United States with an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you should apply as an international student. Applicants who already reside in the United States and hold other non-immigrant visas (for example, E2, H2 or L2) are also considered international students.

Permanent residents of the United States, naturalized U.S. citizens, and U.S. citizens residing abroad and attending a university outside the United States are not considered international students.

FAQs

FAQ’s for Prospective International Applicants

General

What’s the size of the program? How many students are in the class?

We have approximately 450 Full time students. We enroll approximately 225 students per year.  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 31% of the Fall 2017 entering class are international students. In Fall 2016, approximately 24% 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 domestics 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.

Qualifications

Do I need work experience to apply?

Work experience is not required to apply, but on average, the Fall 2017 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 pre-requites to apply or enroll? Do I need a degree in a specific major?

The only pre-requisite 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 a 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. But 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.

How does the waitlist work?

If you are end up on the waitlist, you’re still in the running. You’ll receive instructions as to how and what to communicate to us. Our goal is to provide those on the waitlist with a final decision by no later than the decision date for the round after you applied for. If you applied in Round 1, you’ll have a decision with those who applied in Round 2. 

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.

Transcripts/GPA

If my transcript is not in English, does it need to 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, a 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 2017 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.                                                                 

Test Scores

Is there a minimum GMAT/GRE score?

No. View the Entering Class of 2017 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, 2013.

Do I need to send my official test score?

During the application process, you can upload an unofficial test score report. However, a 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 counties 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?

GMAT   389-9C-23
GRE        4852
TOEFL    4852
IETLS      Choose “University of Southern California, Graduate Programs”

Financial Aid

Are there any special scholarships for international students?

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, 2018. For more information about on-campus housing options, visit the USC Housing website

Last updated: October 24, 2017

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What you will need

Records of your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees

 

When uploading transcripts into your online application or when providing the official transcripts (for all enrolling students) from the college/university, please follow these instructions.

 

Submit one set of records from each college or university you have attended. The records should indicate the number of lecture and laboratory hours devoted to each course and the grades (marks) you received. Included should be an explanation of the grading system and information about how the transcript should be assessed. Transcripts in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation performed by the university or a certified professional translator. You may send a certified copy of the official document instead of the original.

You must also submit an official document showing the title and date of each degree you have earned. For schools in some countries, the transcript indicates this information. In other countries, this information is provided on another document (e.g., graduation certification, diploma). You should upload copies of these documents along with your transcripts in the “Academic History” section of the application.

Proof of Financial Support and Passport Copies

All enrolling international students are required to submit: 1) Proof of financial support; and 2) Copies of the first two pages of their passport in order to be issued an I-20 or DS-2019. While these documents are not required for the review of your application, we strongly encourage you to upload copies of these documents into your application in the “Supporting Information” section. This will reduce the delays in processing the I-20 or DS-2019. If you wish to submit these documents after you submit your application, you may do so. For information, please visit the USC Financial Documentation website.

International Degree Verification (for enrolling students only)

The USC Office of Degree Progress requires verification of prior international degrees for all enrolling students from the International Education Research Foundation (IERF). Details about their services, including application forms, fees, and required documents are available at www.ierf.org/usc.

Please contact Degree Progress dprogss@usc.edu, 213.740.7070 if you have any questions, or need more information regarding prior degree verification.

USC Policy on English-language proficiency

International graduate applicants must demonstrate English-language proficiency by submitting either TOEFL or IELTS scores. Please review the USC English Proficiency policies. International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement under one of the following circumstances:

  • You hold a bachelor’s degree completed in its entirety in the United States or another Anglophone country – The bachelor’s degree should be earned at a regionally accredited university located in the United States, or at an officially recognized university in another country where English is both the language of instruction and the only officially recognized language of the country. Please note that the entire program needs to have been completed in the qualifying country. Note: Dual-degree holders who completed part of their degree in the U.S. do not qualify for this waiver.

OR

2) Your native language is English – This applies to native English speakers from countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec), where English is both the only official language of the country and the language of instruction.

USC does not waive the English-proficiency requirement based on any other consideration such as work experience, ESL enrollment, etc. It also cannot be waived for undergraduate programs taught in English in non-Anglophone countries, or for graduate degrees earned in the U.S. or other qualifying countries. To determine if USC requires TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores for the country of study, please check here. To avoid delays in the issuance of the I-20, we strongly suggest that you ask to have your TOEFL or IELTS scores sent to USC Marshall when you register for the exam.

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Once Admitted

Once an international applicant is admitted, they are encouraged to start utilizing the services offered through the Office of International Services. This office provides orientation programs and continuing support services for 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 

Below is some additional information you will need to be aware of and act upon as you prepare to leave your country for study in the United States.

U.S. Visa Information

After your admissions to the Marshall MBA Program, the USC Office of Graduate and International Admission will provide the student with either an I-20 or DS-2019 Eligibility Certificate. The I-20 is valid for the F-1 visa. The DS-2019 is valid for the J-1 visa. Make sure that the information provided on the USC Marshall application —name, date of birth, city and country of birth, and country of citizenship — is exactly the same as the information on the passport. The student’s eligibility certificate can be issued only if the information on the passport matches the information provided to USC Marshall.

When the student receives the eligibility certificate from USC, they must apply through a United States embassy or consulate for a visa to enter the United States. The student must register for the semester specified on the certificate. Admitted international students with questions about the student visa process should e-mail uscI20@usc.edu.

Health insurance and health fee requirements

International students must carry health and accident insurance unless their sponsor provides sufficient health coverage. USC reserves the right to determine whether the amount of insurance the student has is adequate. All USC students on the University Park campus pay a mandatory health fee entitling them to health and counseling services at the University Park Health Center. Students may also purchase medical coverage for family members accompanying them to the United States. For more information, please call the University Park Health Center at (213) 740-5344.

Social Security Number

A Social Security number is a nine-digit number issued by the federal Social Security Administration to citizens and to non-citizens authorized to work in the United States. The primary purpose of this number is to track individuals for taxation purposes; it is not intended to be used for identification.

The only reason an international student would need a Social Security card is to apply for a job. If the student has a job offer, the USC Office of International Services can help them obtain a Social Security number. To open a bank account, international students will be asked to fill out a form attesting that they are exempt, as an international student, from the Social Security number requirement. For more information, click here.

Once admitted, the below items must be complete before an I-20 can be issued

  • Submitted your official academic transcripts
  • Submitted your official TOEFL/IELTS scores
  • Completed degree verification (IERF)
  • Submitted financial guarantee statement
  • Submitted a copy of your passport
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