Frequently Asked Questions

Master of Science in Business Analytics

Student Profile

What is the average GPA for admitted students?

The average GPA of the Fall 2018 cohort was: 3.74

- Hide
What is the average GMAT score for admitted students?

The average GMAT score for the Fall 2018 cohort was: 708.

- Hide
What is the average GRE score for admitted students?

The average GRE scores for the Fall 2018 students are as follows:

Written: 3.7 
Quant: 164 
Verbal: 155

- Hide
What is the average age of admitted students?


- Hide
What is the average amount of work experience admitted students have?

17 months 

- Hide
What is the Acceptance Rate?

The acceptance rate for Fall 2017 was 14.2%. 

- Hide
What percentage of the Fall 2017 cohort are International Students?

84% of the Fall 2018 cohort are International Students

- Hide


Can I still submit an application?

The following deadlines and notification dates apply to all Fall 2019* MS Business Analytics applicants:

  • Application Opens October 1, 2018
  • Round 1 – November 25, 2018 (notification by December 21, 2018)
  • Round 2 – January 20, 2019 (notification by February 15, 2019) (Priority Housing Deadline)
  • Round 3 – February 17, 2019 (notification by March 15, 2019)
  • Round 4 – March 17, 2019 (notification by April 12, 2019)
  • Round 5 – April 15, 2019 (notification by May 10, 2019)  (International Applicant Deadline**)
  • Round 6 – May 15, 2019 (Notification by June 15, 2019) (US Citizens and Permanent Residents Deadline)
*Admitted students will begin classes on August 26th, 2019.
**No international student applications will be accepted after this date, due to immigration requirements and timelines.

We do not admit in the Spring.

- Hide
What is the language requirement?

For the TOEFL we require a 100 or higher with each band score above 20. 

For the IELTS you need a score of 6.5 with no band score less than 6.

Official scores must come directly from the testing service and be dated within 2 years (24 months) prior to the start of your intended first term at USC. For Fall 2019, TOEFL and IELTS scores need to be valid until August 26, 2019.

- Hide
What is the minimum GRE or GMAT score?

There is no minimum GRE or GMAT score.

- Hide
Do you offer any financial aid?

We do not offer any financial aid, however, there are ways for admitted students to apply for scholarships once in the program. The program may have limited funding available for admitted students*.

*Is not guaranteed; Will vary from semester to semester.

- Hide
Where should I mail my sealed official transcripts?

By regular mail:

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

By courier service, such as DHL or FedEx:

University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 1
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915
(213) 740-1111

Please include your USC ID number with your mailed documents. You receive this number after you have submitted your online application. Including your USC ID number with your mailed documents will expedite their processing.

Also, USC is now accepting electronic official transcripts from universities in the United States and India. Transcripts need to be sent by your university to 

*If your transcript is mailed anywhere else it may be discarded and your application will be considered incomplete.

- Hide
My GPA is out of 10; do I need to convert it?

Please do not convert your GPA, the USC Graduate Admissions Office will convert it for you.

- Hide
Can I apply for the spring semester?

No, we only accept applications for admittance in the Fall.

- Hide
What is my USC ID # and what is it used for?

The University assigns each applicant a USC ID # upon receipt of any part of the application or its supporting materials. You will receive an email with your USC ID number within seven days of submitting the online application. Always include your USC ID when sending additional information or checking your application status.

- Hide
Are decisions made on a rolling basis or after the deadlines?

We admit students each round.

- Hide
Does USC accept WES evaluated transcripts?

No, USC does not accept WES evaluated transcripts. If you are admitted, then you will submit your transcript(s) to IERF for evaluation.

- Hide
Do my recommenders have to submit their letters online?

Yes, recommendations should be submitted via the online application system. We will not accept recommendation letters via email.

- Hide
Do I have to take the TOEFL if I received a graduate degree from a university within the United States? What if I have been working in the U.S.?

Yes, you still need to take the TOEFL or IELTS. A Master's, MBA, or Ph.D. degree from the United States DOES NOT exempt you from the TOEFL or IELTS. Work experience in the United States also DOES NOT exempt you from taking the TOEFL or IELTS.

*Visit the International Students page for more information.

- Hide
Can I apply to more than one program at USC?

You can only apply for up to 3 programs per cycle. You must complete all program specific questions (quadrant IV) and pay the application fee for each program. You only need to submit your other application materials (transcript, test scores, etc.) once.


- Hide
Who is considered an international applicant?

All applicants that are not United States nationals, and will be entering, or have already entered, the United States with an F-1 or J-1 student visa, 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.

*Visit the International Student page for more information.

- Hide
I have a 3-year Bachelor's degree from an international institution. Does this meet the admissions requirements?

Degree evaluation is done by the Office of Graduate Admission.

For country specific requirements please visit:

- Hide
I am an International applicant who attended classes in English. Can I waive TOEFL?

International applicants are exempt from submitting English-proficiency scores under the following circumstances:

1) You hold a bachelor’s degree completed in its entirety in the United States or another Anglophone country.

2) Your native language is English.

Transfer students must supply a TOEFL or IELTS score, even if they received a degree from an American university.

For more details please visit:

- Hide
I need to submit financial documents; how much money do I need to list on them?

While it is not required to submit proof of financial support or passport copies during the application process, we highly recommend doing so at your earliest convenience. If you are admitted to and choose to enroll at USC, this will help expedite the issuance of your I-20.

The total cost of attendance is calculated by the USC Financial Aid Office and reflects total tuition and fees for one year of study including health insurance, student programming fees, and living expenses in Los Angeles. The cost is estimated for immigration purposes and is not negotiable.

As an international student, you must submit proof of your ability to cover your total program costs for the first year of study, as determined by the Financial Aid Office. For example, you may not subtract living costs if you intend to live with a relative in Los Angeles or if you intend to enroll in fewer units.

Total costs for the 2018-2019 year are $63,096.

Here is a link with more information on financial documentation:


- Hide

Program Information

Is the MS in Business Analytics a STEM degree?

Yes, the MS in Business Analytics program is a STEM degree.

- Hide
Is there an online/distance learning option?

No, this program’s courses are held at the University Park Campus only. We do offer a part-time option for domestic students only (due to immigration restrictions).

- Hide
What is the cost of the program?

The total tuition cost for the M.S. program is approximately $63,096 for the 2018-2019 year. There is an additional program fee of $1,300 that will be used to cover the cost of some events and materials.

*Please see "Program Costs" for more information.

- Hide
Can elective courses include other business classes at Marshall?

Yes, it is possible to include other business classes at Marshall as part of your elective plans. Once you are admitted to the program, we can work with you to customize a program of elective courses that would meet your career goals.

- Hide
What is the difference between Business Analytics and Information Technology?

Our master program is targeted to professionals who are interested in a career in business analytics and data sciences, which is different from information technology. While information technology deals with computer infrastructure and hardware for handling big data, business analytics and data sciences focus on the analyzing big data, deriving business insights, and presenting complex data to business executives. So, our program has a completely different focus than information technology.

- Hide
I am interested in marketing, research, and strategy analytics. Does an MS in Business Analytics fit with my career goal?

Our program offers required courses targeted for marketing analytics applications, including DSO 545 on Data Visualization and DSO 570 on The Analytics Edge. Our program has elective courses on Data Analytics Driven Dynamic Strategy & Execution (DSO 573) and Marketing Analytics (DSO 566). If your interests are in marketing and strategy analytics, our program will be a great fit.

The program is quite flexible, and we work with our students to develop a slate of elective courses that best fit with their interests and career plans.

- Hide
Are there any prerequisite course requirements?

We do not have any required pre-enrollment courses, however, we strongly encourage applicants to complete a statistics course before applying.

We find students who have taken at least one statistics course at the college level are most successful in the program.

- Hide
When does the program start?

Our program begins mid-August. Orientation is typically 1-2 weeks before school starts.

The Fall 2019 semester begins on August 26th. Orientation is tentatively the week of August 12th.

*Refer to the USC Academic Calendar for specific dates.

- Hide


What does your program offer in terms of Career Relations, Strategy, and Support?

The MS, Business Analytics program offers students a full-time, dedicated Career Strategist to provide career development, strategy, employer relations, and tailored support for the job and internship search. As a top ranked program and affiliated with USC’s distinguished network of Trojan alumni, we consistently have newly emerging partnerships and strong relations with the most pre-eminent regional, national, and global employers. 

Using a data-driven approach to provide comprehensive employer relations, students encounter and interact with a wide variety of industry areas and contacts from corporate to non-profit and government agencies. Situated in Southern California, USC’s cultivated employer network offers exciting opportunities that are distinctive to this region in the field of entertainment, technology, internet, computer software, gaming, start-ups, healthcare, accounting, consulting, consumer packaged goods, and more.

Career services include 1:1 resume and cover letter advising, workshops that address interview and networking preparation for life-long success, personality assessment, communication skills, personal branding, and guest facilitators from the top training and professional coaching organizations such as Dale Carnegie Global Corporate Solutions of Greater Los Angeles. Employer relations include site visits, datathons, guest speakers, networking events, a program-specific career portal and resume book, portfolio reviews, and more.

*Please visit "Career and Employer Relations" for more information.

- Hide