Application Requirements

Full-Time MBA


  • A completed online application
  • A four-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent, from an accredited institution
  • Academic transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE scores (if applicable)  – All candidates must submit scores with the exception of applicants who have been granted a test waiver or applicants who are USC medical students applying to the MD/MBA dual degree program. See below for Test Waiver Request Option
  • Two required essays (there is also one optional essay)
  • A professional résumé (typically one page)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable) – This applies to most international applicants (non-U.S. citizen or non-U.S permanent resident). Review the "Test Scores" section below to determine if this requirement applies to you.


Application Fee – The Marshall Full-Time MBA Program does not require an application fee. Rather we prefer to consider any candidate who has a genuine interest in our program regardless of the ability to pay a fee.

Letters of Recommendation – Letters of recommendation are neither required nor accepted as part of the Marshall Full-Time MBA admissions process. Please do not submit such letters at any point during the admissions cycle.

Test Waiver Requests – For the 2022-23 admissions cycle, the Full-Time MBA Program is providing candidates the option of submitting a standardized test (GMAT or GRE) waiver request. Please review a description of the policy and process below and visit the Test Waiver Requests section of our FAQ page for more detailed information. If you are applying using The Consortium application, please review the Consortium Applicants section of the website for additional information on the test waiver process.


Transcript submission is a two-step process:

  • Step #1 – You must upload scanned copies of official transcripts to the online application. Please note that these must be official transcripts printed on university letterhead. Print-outs from online student portals, screenshots, and photographs of transcripts are not acceptable.
  • Step #2 – After you submit your application and have received your 10 digit USC ID number, you must also submit (by mail, courier, or electronic service) official transcripts from all colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions you have previously attended. 

Cover sheet:

We recommend that you fill out the “College/University Transcript Cover Page” and send it to the registrar’s office of each post-secondary institution you have attended. Although it is not mandatory, including it along with your USC ID number will help us match your transcripts to your file as quickly as possible.


USC now accepts official electronic transcripts from all countries, provided that the transcript originates from a secure site formally linked to the sending institution.

Please instruct the vendor to email the transcript to Do not send any other materials or correspondence to this email address yourself. Electronic transcripts e-mailed to any other address will not be downloaded, resulting in a delay of your file review and an extra expense to you because the transcript will need to be re-sent.

USC alumni or current students:

 If you are a USC degree holder, you must still upload a copy of your official transcript into the online application. However, you do not need to submit USC transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admission. Please be sure to include your USC enrollment in the “Academic Background” section so that we may match your application to the academic records already on file.

Transcripts in original language of issuance:

International students who have earned their degree outside the United States must check our country-specific requirements to determine if we need original-language copies of their academic records. In such cases, a separate, word-for-word, English-language translation of all academic records must also be submitted. The translation should either be issued directly from the school itself or by a professional, certified translator. It must contain all information shown on the original-language documents and “mirror” them as precisely as possible. Dual-language transcripts are also acceptable.

Credential evaluation:

Please note that USC does not accept or recognize credential evaluation reports from outside agencies (e.g. WES, ECE, etc.) for the purposes of admission review.

Mailing Instructions

Official academic records from all post-secondary schools you have attended should be sent to the addresses provided below.

If sending your transcripts via regular mail, please use the following address:

University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

If sending your transcripts via courier service, such as DHL or FedEx, please use the following address:

University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915
Phone: (213) 740-1111

Confidentiality and Document Submission Policy

Transcripts and all other materials submitted for admission consideration become the property of USC. The university does not return or duplicate materials for any reason whatsoever. The information and materials in your submitted application are made available only to the central Office of Admission and the admission committee of the academic department or professional school to which you have applied.

- Hide
Test Scores

Uploading of Test Scores

All admissions decisions are made by the Admissions Committee based on unofficial test scores that are uploaded into the online application as follows:

GMAT or GRE Score ReportAll candidates must submit at least one of these exams. The only exceptions are:

  • USC medical students who are applying to the MD/MBA dual degree program
  • Applicants who have been granted a test waiver 

These tests must have been taken on or after August 1, 2018. If you have taken both tests, please submit both. Upload unofficial copies (examinee score report or test-day printout) into your online application. Note: You must either upload your score report into the application or provide the intended future test date in the appropriate field in the application. Failure to do so may result in a deny decision.

TOEFL or IELTS Score Report – All candidates must possess and demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in oral and written English. International applicants (those who are not U.S. citizens or not U.S. permanent residents) whose native language is not English must submit at least one of these test score reports. Marshall, however, does not require the submission of English Proficiency Exam scores by international applicants for the Full-Time MBA program who hold a bachelor’s degree completed in its entirety at an officially recognized non-U.S. university in which English is the language of instruction. In sum, all international applicants whose native language is not English must submit one of the following:

  • Valid, official TOEFL or IELTS test scores; or
  • Documentation demonstrating that English was the language of instruction at the institution at which the applicant completed their bachelor’s degree. This documentation can either be:
    • A university transcript that states that the medium of instruction is English (to be uploaded in the transcript section of the USC application); or
    • Another official university document that states that the medium of instruction is English (to be uploaded in the “Optional Documents” section of the “Program Materials” part of the USC application.)

TOEFL or IELTS exams must be taken on or after August 1, 2021 to be considered valid. Upload unofficial copies (examinee score report or test-day printout) in the appropriate area below. Important: Please register to have the testing service(s) forward USC the official school test report no later than the deadline for the admissions round within which you are applying. Failure to do so will result in your application being shifted to a subsequent admissions round.

Submitting Official Test Scores 

All candidates will need to submit official test scores (provided to USC by the testing service). To save time, applicants should, at the time of test registration, have the testing service(s) forward the official, confidential school report using the following institution codes:

  • GMAT: 389-9C-23
  • GRE: 4852
  • TOEFL: 4852
  • IELTS: Choose “University of Southern California, Graduate Programs.” Do not enter the name and contact information of your specific intended graduate department. USC will only accept electronic IELTS scores. Paper scores are not considered official.
- Hide
Test Waiver Requests

Test Waiver Policy

The Marshall Full Time MBA Program allows for the submission of a request for a standardized test (GMAT or GRE) waiver. Only applicants who have applied to the program may request a waiver. In order to make the request, please use the Test Waiver Request Essay of the application to describe your rationale and make a compelling case for the request. Finally, you should review and consider carefully the following guidelines before making the request:

  • Standardized tests provide the Admissions Committee with some evidence of a candidate’s ability to perform academically in the MBA core curriculum. Test scores also serve to provide an indication of English language capability. The basis for your waiver request - and your response to the Test Waiver Request Essay - should be grounded in a record of exceptional academic achievement that includes demonstrated mathematical preparedness. While professional experience can be included as a component of the waiver request, the Admissions Committee will most strongly consider two elements: 1) overall academic achievement; and 2) performance in quantitative coursework.
  • Applications – with or without test scores – will be reviewed holistically.
  • The decision to grant or decline a waiver request should not be viewed as a signal of the ultimate admissions decision.
  • Waivers will not be considered if an applicant has not submitted a complete application including uploaded copies of a résumé and all official academic transcripts.
  • Test waivers will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Decisions on waiver requests are final, and Marshall will not respond to requests for re-consideration.
  • Test scores serve as one consideration in merit-based scholarship decisions.
  • Some employers may consider test scores in their evaluation of job applicants.


Note: If a test waiver request is approved, the Admissions Committee will not consider test scores that are submitted at any point in the cycle when rendering the admissions decision.

Test Waiver Submission Process

With the exception of candidates who are applying through The Consortium, only candidates who have applied to the program can submit a waiver request. The process requires two steps (Note: Failure to complete both steps may result in a deny decision.):

  • Step #1 – Submit a complete application that includes a résumé, all academic transcripts, and a response to the Test Waiver Request Essay (included in the application). In addition, you should respond affirmatively to the question in the application that asks if you are submitting a test waiver request.

  • Step #2 – Upon submission of the application, you must alert the Admissions Committee of your test waiver request by submitting an email to This will allow us to respond to your request in a timely fashion. The subject line should read “Test Waiver Request – Application Submitted.” Please include your First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, and USC CAS ID# (located in the top right corner of your online application) in the email, so that we can easily locate your file.


- Hide

Fall 2023 Application Essay Questions

  • Essay #1 (Required) – What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (word limit: 100)
  • Essay #2 (Required) – Please draft a letter that begins with "Dear Admissions Committee" (word limit: 600) This letter is meant to be your personal statement that provides the Admissions Committee with an understanding of your candidacy for Marshall beyond what is evident in other parts of your application. This essay is purposely open-ended. You are free to express yourself in whatever way you see fit. Our goal is to have an appreciation for and an understanding of each candidate in ways that are not captured by test scores, grades, and resumes. 
  • Essay #3 (Optional) Please provide any additional information you would like the admissions committee to consider. (word limit: 250)
- Hide

International Applicants

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.

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

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

Marshall Policy on English-language proficiency

International graduate applicants must demonstrate English-language proficiency by submitting either TOEFL or IELTS scores. 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 at an officially recognized non-U.S. university in which English is the language of instruction. 


  • 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 the only official language of the country.


- Hide
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 

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

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 items below must be complete before an I-20 can be issued

  • Submitted your official academic transcripts
  • Submitted your official TOEFL/IELTS scores
  • Submitted financial guarantee statement
  • Submitted a copy of your passport


- Hide