Topics Addressed in Frequently Asked Questions

Master of Science in Business Administration


Anyone holding a traditional M.B.A. is welcome to apply to the MS BUSAD program at USC. Of course, applicants from programs not accredited by the AACSB, EQUIS, ACBSP, AOCTE, IACBE or AMBA are generally considered less well prepared than those from accredited institutions. The admissions committee will rely on the combination of GMAT or GRE test scores, work experience, resume, and essays in making their decision. Also, they will review transcripts from all institutions attended to ensure that the applicant's academic preparation is equivalent to both a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree and a 2-year full-time traditional M.B.A. so that the applicant is fully prepared to participate and compete with Marshall M.B.A. students in the classroom.

Curriculum of a Traditional M.B.A.

A traditional M.B.A. usually requires 2 years of full-time study to complete and includes at least 60 semester units or 90 quarter units. When evaluating the applicant's qualifications we check to see that the following subject matter (coursework) was/is included in the individual's M.B.A. program:

Financial and Management Accounting 
Business Communication 
Corporate Finance 
Microeconomics and Macroeconomics 
Organizational Behavior/Personnel Management/Leadership 
Statistics/Quantitative analysis 

If specific content areas are missing the student may be admitted with the condition that the content be completed prior to registration for advanced courses in that area. Required preparatory coursework will be added to the requirements of the MS BUSAD degree.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The length of time it takes to complete the program depends on how many classes the student takes each semester. Full-time students take 3 – 5 classes each semester, completing the program in two or three terms (e.g., fall, spring and summer or fall and spring). Working students take 1-2 classes each semester. Since the program requires 24 units (eight 3-unit classes), completing the program can take as long as 4 years if the student takes only one class each fall and spring semester.

Cost - Tuition and Fees

Current USC tuition and fee information is available at Select the next future semester and then the 'Tuition and Fees' tab on the left side of the screen. Tuition rates do increase each year. 

The cost of tuition for the program is roughly $49,200 US. Additional fees and insurance can total as much as $2,500 per year. These estimates do not include living expenses (housing, food, transportation, etc.), which run about $20,000US per year.

Scholarships and Funding

The MS BUSAD program is not funded to support scholarships dedicated specifically to MS BUSAD students. Information about financial aid and fellowship opportunities is available at and


The University of Southern California provides a wide range of housing opportunities on and around campus. For more information about University-owned and managed facilities visit Additionally, a great number of non-university housing opportunities are available around campus. For more information about those visit

Career Development and Placement Services

It is expected that MS BUSAD students have received career development training as part of their M.B.A. program and will have access to career placement services as alumni of their M.B.A.institution. As a result, MS BUSAD students are not provided with the same level of personalized career transition services afforded Marshall MBA students seeking internships and/or permanent employment post-graduation. MS BUSAD students are welcome to take advantage of the readily accessible facilities of the Marshall graduate Career Resources Center (general information library, basic workshops, etc.), but the Center was created to serve the needs of the MBA population, so “readily accessible facilities” do not include personal coaching, training in prospective employer relationship development, interview scheduling, or employer advocacy. 

Information for Students and Alumni from KAIST

Current students and recent (within the last three years) alumni of the KAIST Information and Media Management M.B.A., the Techno M.B.A. or the IMBA are eligible for admission to the MS BUSAD program. Current students apply for admission during their final term at KAIST.

Admissions: Under a partnership agreement between KAIST and USC Marshall, Information and Media Management M.B.A., Techno M.B.A. and IMBA applicants are not required to have work experience or to submit GMAT or GRE test scores. One letter of recommendation from the KAIST screening committee is required. Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL or PTE scores) is required of all non-US citizens who did not graduate from an American, British, Canadian or Australian college or university. All other parts of the application are required.

Curriculum: KAIST Information and Media Management M.B.A. graduates are provided a special curriculum suited to their M.B.A. background. For a copy of that curriculum write to Students from KAIST are not exempt from course prerequisite requirements. Prerequisite waivers will be issued upon confirmation that coursework equivalent to the stated prerequisite(s) has been completed. KAIST students may apply to the MS BUSAD up to 12 units of business-related non-Marshall coursework from other USC programs, subject to approval by the student’s faculty advisor.

More Questions?

For additional information write to or call (213) 740-3198.