Undergraduate Business -Major Research University

USC is the only top-ranked private research university in the western US that offers an undergraduate degree in business


Dynamic Faculty

No matter the metric, Marshall is among the top undergraduate business schools in the world.

USC Marshall is one of only 58 Universities that holds membership in the Association of American Universities. We are one of only three private universities in the Western US that has an undergraduate business school.

The Marshall curriculum allows undergraduates to blend the best of what professional schools have to offer with the freedom to explore beyond the boundaries of business by taking advantage of the course offerings at the 16 other colleges that comprise our prestigious University. Our breadth with depth philosophy puts you in the driver's seat as take advantage of all that USC has to offer.

With over 200 full-time faculty experts, our faculty conduct top notch research published in the top journals in the field of business. Our faculty have written some of the most influential research projects in their field, have been awarded prizes for their research and teaching excellence, have written many of the textbooks you will read, and have represented a powerful voice to audiences that include companies, the press and government.

Marshall classes are small, with an overall average 23:1 student teacher ratio. Our faculty know our students….and they care about them.

Marshall values experiential learning, whether it be in the classroom or our pioneering Experiential Learning Lab, which provides hands on training in communications, negotiations, ethical decision making, and more.

Research and Honors

Marshall students can apply to the prestigious Global, Renaissance and Discovery Scholars programs and be eligible for a $10,000 prize that can be applied to graduate study.

The Global Leadership Program invites select freshmen from each incoming class to participate in a one-of-a-kind, two-unit course – co-taught, over two semesters, by the dean of USC Marshall – that culminates in a spring break trip to China to meet with executives from top companies in Asia and beyond.

Thematic Option (T.O.) is the University’s highly selective general education honors program. Renowned as one of the best undergraduate honors programs in the United States, T.O. offers small classes with some of the University’s finest undergraduate teachers and a handpicked group of writing instructors.

Top students with GPAs above a 3.5 are selected to participate as juniors in Marshall's honors program. Students learn about a variety of research methods from accomplished researchers in the spring of their junior year. Students are paired with faculty members who share their research interests and work on a senior honors thesis in their senior year. Students' thesis work may make them eligible candidates for USC's Discovery Scholars Program. Some students' projects may also be published or presented at academic conferences.

The Global Scholars Program recognizes undergraduates who have excelled in their studies both at home and abroad. Applicants must have spent a minimum of ten weeks abroad as part of their undergraduate experience and have completed a capstone project, paper or research piece related to their international experience.

The Renaissance Scholars Program is awarded to select undergraduate students who graduate with a major and a minor (or two majors) in widely separated fields of study. The program is made feasible by USC’s comprehensive array of undergraduate majors and minors that span the arts and humanities, the social and natural sciences, and the professions.

The Discovery Scholars Program honors students who excel in the classroom while demonstrating the ability to create exceptional new scholarship or artistic works. Students have the opportunity to earn the Discovery Scholar designation in every major concentration offered at the University. The objective is to honor creativity wherever it is found, in fields ranging from biochemistry to art history, from mechanical engineering to theatre, and from political science to cinematic arts. All USC undergraduates are encouraged to pursue this honor.

Students (particularly those potentially interested in pursuing a PhD degree inf business) are also encouraged to engage in research with faculty and can take advantage of a number of programs offered by the University to support undergraduate student research.

The Departments

When it comes to academic options, USC Marshall has just what you’re looking for.

Leventhal — top ranked nationwide by U.S. News & World Report for the undergraduate program — accounting majors develop all accounting competencies while earning a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

The Finance and Business Economics Department seeks to examine the decision-making process and the role of markets in the allocation of both real and financial resources. Integrating the fields of finance and business economics, its faculty explores both theoretical and applied concepts in the related areas of corporate finance, investments, speculative and financial markets, real estate, insurance, banking, industrial organization and public policy towards business. Balanced emphasis is placed on both primary theory and its application of business problems.

As we prepare you for success in business, Marshall equips you with the tools you’ll need to put resources and technology to work. Courses in Information and Operations Management focus on how organizations function, in terms of both operational processes and information exchange.

To achieve an organization’s objective of effectively using human resources to maintain profitability, managers must balance external demands with internal resources. At Marshall, we show you how it’s done through courses that focus on the management of human resources, with a consideration of the environmental, cultural, economic, technological, interpersonal and individual aspects of human functioning in organizations.

Marketing is a vital factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions. At Marshall, our marketing courses help you master the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services, putting you on a fast track to exceptional careers in marketing management, logistics management, retailing or wholesaling, advertising and marketing research.

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION At Marshall, upper division courses in business communication management, management and marketing and others will challenge you to hone your written and oral communication skills and incorporate communication theory and practice as effective management tools.

Top ranked nationwide for its undergraduate program by U.S. News & World Report, USC Marshall’s nationally recognized Entrepreneurial Program sends you into the business world with an entrepreneurial mindset and the skills to recognize opportunity, develop and test a business concept and write a comprehensive business plan. Classes are team taught by full-time professor-practitioners, program alumni, advisory council members and other guest speakers through lectures, workshops, seminars and networking events.

AACSB Learning Goals

Accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Less than 5% of the world's 13,000 business programs have earned AACSB Accreditation. AACSB-accredited schools produce graduates that are highly skilled and more desirable to employers than other non-accredited schools.

Undergraduate degree programs (bachelor’s level) in business educate students in a broad range of knowledge and skills as a basis for careers in business. Learning expectations build on the students' pre-collegiate educations to prepare students to enter and sustain careers in the business world and to contribute positively in the larger society. Students achieve knowledge and skills for successful performance in a complex environment requiring intellectual ability to organize work, make and communicate sound decisions, and react successfully to unanticipated events. Students develop learning abilities suitable to continue higher-level intellectual development.

Marshall Undergraduate Program Learning Goals and Objectives

Learning Goal #1: Our graduates will demonstrate critical thinking skills so as to become future-oriented decision makers, problem solvers and innovators

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to anticipate, identify and solve business problems. They will be able to identify and assess central problems, identify and evaluate potential solutions, and translate a chosen solution to an implementation plan that considers future contingencies
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to be accurate, clear, expansive (thorough, detailed) and fair-minded in their thinking
  • Students will critically analyze concepts, theories and processes by stating them in their own words, understanding key components, identifying assumptions, indicating how they are similar to and different from others and translating them to the real world
  • Students will be effective at gathering, storing, and using qualitative and quantitative data and at using analytical tools and frameworks to understand and solve business problems
  • Students will understand the concepts of critical thinking, entrepreneurial thinking and creative thinking as drivers of innovative ideas 

Learning Goal #2: Our graduates will develop people and leadership skills to promote their effectiveness as business managers and leaders.

  • Students will recognize, understand and analyze the roles, responsibilities and behaviors of effective managers and leaders in diverse business contexts e.g., functionally diverse, culturally diverse, geographically diverse, etc.
  • Students will understand factors that contribute to effective teamwork including how to elicit, manage and leverage diverse perspectives and competencies.  
  • Students will recognize, understand, and analyze the motivations and behaviors of stakeholders inside and outside organizations (e.g., teams, departments, consumers, investors, auditors)

Learning Goal #3: Our graduates will be effective communicators to facilitate information flow in organizational, social, and intercultural contexts.

  • Students will identify and assess diverse personal and organizational communication goals and audience information needs
  • Students will understand individual and group communications patterns and dynamics in organizations and other professional contexts
  • Students will demonstrate an ability to gather and disseminate information and communicate it clearly, logically, and persuasively in professional contexts


Learning Goal #4: Our graduates will demonstrate ethical reasoning skills, understand social, civic, and professional responsibilities and aspire to add value to society

  • Students will understand professional codes of conduct
  • Students will recognize ethical challenges in business situations and assess appropriate courses of action 

Learning Goal #5: Our graduates will develop a global business perspective. They will understand how local, regional, and international markets, and economic, social and cultural issues impact business decisions so as to anticipate new opportunities in any marketplace

  • Students will understand that stakeholders, stakeholder interests, business environments (legal, regulatory, competitor) and business practices vary across regions of the world
  • Students will understand how local, regional and global markets interact and are impacted by economic, social and cultural factors.

 Learning goal #6: Our graduates will understand types of markets and key business areas and their interaction to effectively manage different types of enterprises

  • Students will demonstrate foundational knowledge of core business disciplines, including business analytics and business economics
  • Students will understand the interrelationships between functional areas of business so as to develop a general perspective on business management
  • Students will apply theories, models, and frameworks to analyze relevant markets (e.g. product, capital, commodity, factor and labor markets)
  • Students will show the ability to utilize technologies (e.g., spreadsheets, databases, software) relevant to contemporary business practices