Application Requirements

MBA.PM

Requirements

The following items comprise the basic elements of the application. Please review the information on the subsequent tabs for more detail:

 

  • A completed online application
  • A four-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent, from an accredited institution
  • Academic transcripts
  • Standardized test scores – GMAT or GRE
  • Two required essays (there is also one optional essay)
  • A professional résumé (typically one page)
  • TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable) – This applies to most international applicants (non-U.S. citizen or non-U.S permanent resident). Review the USC policy to determine if this requirement applies to you.

 

Note: We neither require nor accept letters of recommendation as part of our admissions process.

Transcripts

Transcript submission is a two-step process:

  • Step #1 - You must upload scanned copies of official transcripts into the online application. While these uploaded copies are technically unofficial, they will allow the Admissions Committee to render a preliminary admissions decision on your application. Please note that these must be scans of official Registrar- issued transcripts printed on university letterhead. Print-outs from online student portals or screen shots are not acceptable. International applicants should also upload a copy of their diploma and/or degree certificate.
  • Step #2 – Due to COVID-19, the university is currently not processing transcripts coming in via mail or courier. We are, however, accepting official electronic transcripts submitted by universities. If the transcript is an official electronic version being submitted directly from the school, the transcript should be sent to etrans@usc.edu.

A note on E-transcripts:

USC now accepts official electronic transcripts, provided they meet the following guidelines:

  • The transcript originates from a secure site formally linked to the sending institution.
  • The school is located in the United States.
  • The electronic transcripts from India must be sent via TrueCopy Credentials. We do not accept electronic transcripts from any other overseas institutions or vendors.

USC alumni or current students: 

While USC degree holders must upload a copy of their official transcript into the online application, they do not need to submit official 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.

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.

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Test Scores

Uploading of Test Scores (required for all applicants)

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 report – All candidates must submit at least one of these exams. The only exception are those candidates who are applying to the MD/MBA dual degree program. These tests must have been taken on or after August 1, 2015. 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 this may result in a deny decision.

TOEFL or IELTS – The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score report is required for most international applicants. For details, please review the “Information for International Applicants” tab. These exams must have been taken on or after August 1, 2018. Upload unofficial copies (examinee report or test-day printout) into your online application.

Submitting Official Test Scores (required for all enrolling students)

Test Scores – If admitted, every enrolling candidate 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
  • IETLS: 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.
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Essays

Fall 2020 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)
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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.

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:

OR

  1. 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.
  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.

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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 the Office of International Services.

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