The USC Marshall MBA Program – What to Know as an Applicant

Jill and Frank Fertitta Hall, University of Southern California.

A top factor when considering University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business is the large network that comes along with its host institution. You will find great support through the USC alumni as part of what students lovingly call their “Trojan family”. This strong network is especially present in LA, and can be a useful tool while job searching. 

USC also offers the Management Science specialization within the MBA, which is a STEM certified specialization. This is especially relevant if you are an international student, as the STEM designation adds 24 months of OPT time to your student Visa, and may also increase the scope of future employment opportunities.

MBA students at Marshall also say that the casing and case competition preparations in the program are top-notch. At Marshall, you will get to experience case competitions both the the business school internally as well as externally. This is a great way for you to expand your network and connect with people at other schools and companies.

USC Marshall MBA Class Profile

Acceptance Rate24%
Class Size 217
GMAT Average 707
GPA Average 3.55
Average Age 28
Avg. Years Work Experience 5.0 years
Diversity Women 40%
Diversity Intl. 12%
Pre-MBA Industries Financial Services: 24%
Technology: 15%
Consulting: 12%
Media/Entertainment: 11%
Healthcare: 7%
Government/Military: 5%
Retail: 4%
Manufacturing: 3%
Hospitality: 3%
Real Estate: 3%
Other: 12%
Undergraduate Majors Business/Commerce/Economics: 46%
Social Science/Humanities/Law: 31%
Engineering/Computer Science/Science: 17%
Other: 6%

The data above is from 2020 and represents the USC Marshall class of 2022*
See the full report: USC Marshall MBA Class Profile

Student Experiences

USC Marshall MBA Employment Report & Careers

Salary Average$161,517.00
Post-MBA Industries Consulting 28%
Technology: 27%
Media/Entertainment/Interactive Gaming: 11%
Consumer Packaged Goods: 9%
Financial Services: 8%
Biotech/Pharm/Healthcare: 5%
Real Estate: 4%
Non-Profit: 2%
Manufacturing: 1%
Energy/Utilities: 1%
Other*: 5%
Post-MBA Locations United States: 98%
Mid-Atlantic: 2%
Midwest: 3%
Northeast: 2%
South: 0%
Southwest: 3%
West: 88%
Non-US: 2%
Post-MBA Companies

USC Marshall Employer’s List

Career Development Resources

USC Marshall Career Services

a) Salary Average is a total of Salary + Signing Bonus
b) Other* Includes: Transportation, Hospitality/Tourism, and Insurance

The data above is from 2021 and represents the career statistics of the USC Marshall class of 2020.*
See the full report: USC Marshall MBA Employment Report

USC Marshall MBA Academic Programs

MBA Curriculum

The MBA curriculum at USC Marshall spans across the fall and spring semesters of the two years of the program. Each semester is comprised of individual terms. Marshall’s core curriculum is distributed over the first five terms of year one. During these terms, you will take 15 core classes in subjects such as Marketing Management, Corporate Finance, Data Science for Business, Operations Management, and Accounting. You will begin taking elective courses in the spring semester of your first year. These electives cover a wide variety of subject areas, including Data Science and Operations, Business Communication, and Finance and Business Economics. 

See the full offering of courses: Marshall MBA Course Catalog


USC Marshall does not offer distinctive majors; however, students may choose to pursue one or more of the following 16 concentrations available in the program. 

  • Accounting
  • Business Analytics
  • Business of Creative Industries
  • Business of Education
  • Business of Entertainment
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship and Operations
  • Finance and Business Economics
  • Healthcare Advisory Services
  • Information Systems
  • Management and Organization
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Sustainability, Society, and Business
  • Technology Development and E-Business

Experiential Learning Programs

At Marshall, students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience during their MBA through various experience-based projects. Those students interested in careers in alleviating poverty, global health, and education can apply to the MBA Society and Business Fellowship Program. Additionally, the Marshall Leadership Fellows Program allows students to enhance their leadership skills by coaching first year MBA students.

Research Centers

Students at USC Marshall have access to nine research centers that are hosted by the school. These facilities cover business areas such as social enterprise, innovation, and leadership through the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, the Center for Global Innovation, and the Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making.

MBA International Study Programs

Through the PRIME program, students have the opportunity to undergo an immersive international experience, where they participate in a 10-day trip to understand the business mechanisms of a foriegn country. The PRIME module is part of the core curriculum, and must be completed in the first year. 

Video Resources on USC Marshall Academics

USC Marshall MBA Application

The latest application requirements set by the USC Marshall MBA admissions office are described below.


Here are the prompts for USC Marshall 2020-2021 application:

  • 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)

Letters of Recommendation 

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

Video Resources on USC Marshall Admissions

USC Marshall MBA Admissions Interviews

USC Marshall’s MBA interviews are offered on an invite-only basis. Former interviewees report having had great experiences during their interview process, with the interviewer being extremely conversational.

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What Makes USC Marshall Unique?

  • Trojan Family: As part of USC Marshall, you will have access to a network of over 387,000 USC alumni. Within this network, you will have a wide breadth of business connections that will most certainly help you get ahead in your career. 
  • STEM MBA: Starting Fall 2019, USC Marshall offers a STEM-certified Management Science specialization. Not only does this offer international students an additional 36 months of temporary stay in the US, it also offers all MBA students a more extensive range of opportunities post-graduation.

*All data retrieved from the USC Marshall MBA Program webpages, unless otherwise stated.