cohort posing in front of Tommy Trojan statue

Connecting With Your Cohort

Online MBA

The Online MBA program is taught in a flexible cohort format, meaning that students work closely with a group of classmates from the very beginning of the program, with opportunities for new connections as the program continues. The cohort comprises a critical part of the MBA experience, helping students sharpen their communication and team-building skills while setting the stage for meaningful, lasting friendships

In addition to team-based learning exercises, students connect with one another through a variety of virtual tools and even in-person meet-ups. Some ways students connect outside the classroom include:

  • Classmates are immediately connected to each other through WhatsApp messaging service.
  • Using the same video teleconferencing platform employed by the program for classes, students can host online study sessions, work on projects or just chat with classmates at the times that are convenient for them.
  • Some students opt into meeting up with fellow classmates for special events, social gatherings, networking opportunities and Trojan football games.


Week-long, On-campus Intensivestudent on laptop at a class session

During the first course of the Online MBA program, students visit the USC campus in Los Angeles, California and spend a week completing coursework alongside fellow classmates in an on-campus session. This facet of the program presents an outstanding opportunity for students to forge connections with both faculty members and the rest of their cohort that will carry through the program and into the working world.

Consulting Competition

Over the course of their classroom experience, students participate in a spirited consulting competition based on a real challenge facing a prominent business that has partnered with USC Marshall. Students work with team members to analyze the scenario and develop an effective, efficient plan to address the problem at hand. Company executives offer feedback on their proposal after presentations are given at the end of the week.

Connect With USC Marshall School of Business:

Phone:(213) 821-6800

Recognized and Acclaimed

The Online MBA ranks #1 by U.S. News & World Report, ranks #3 by Poets & Quants for best online MBA program, reaches top-5 in the World University Rankings of global online MBA programs from QS, and ranks #3 on the list of Top Online MBA programs from The Princeton Review. The program's curriculum designers have been honored by the Online Learning Consortium and its video content has earned two Telly Awards. USC Marshall is accredited by AACSB, a longstanding quality benchmark for business schools.