University of Southern California

Marshall School of Business

Master’s Degree and Graduate Certificate Programs

Master of Science in Business Administration

The Master of Science in Business Administration (M.S.) is designed to provide those who have already completed an MBA with an opportunity to pursue further study in an area of specialization currently available to Marshall MBA students. The degree is available only to those holding MBA degrees from institutions accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It may be completed on either a full- or part-time basis. Classes applicable to the degree are offered during both daytime and evening hours.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the M.S. in Business Administration Website at for more information about this very flexible curriculum.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for admission to begin the program in the summer term or the fall or spring semesters. Application deadlines vary by semester, citizenship and registration goals. Details are available under the Calendar tab at

Successful applicants should have earned a GPA of 3.3 or greater in their MBA course work, scored at least as well as an average Marshall MBA student on the GMAT or the GRE and have significant full-time work experience.

Application Procedure

Submit an online application to the M.S. program through the Marshall School of Business Admissions Website ( International applicants are advised to see the instructions for international students published in the USC Graduate Admissions Application (

  • Current USC students and USC MBA alumni are not required to submit an application fee, new test scores or transcripts to verify degrees earned prior to their attendance at USC.
  • Applicants who completed the MBA at an institution other than USC must submit all application documentation identified in the online application instructions including the application fee, official GMAT or GRE scores and transcripts.

For additional information, visit

Program Structure and Unit Requirements

M.S. in Business Administration applicants are invited to consider areas of specialization available to Marshall MBA students. While the student identifies an area of interest as part of the application process, final determination of course work requirements is made under the guidance of and subject to approval by a faculty adviser. The academic department reviewing the application recommends a faculty adviser for the new student, but applicants may request a specific faculty adviser from among the faculty of the Marshall School of Business.

Together the student and the faculty adviser determine which courses the student must complete. An evaluation of work previously completed determines if prior work needs updating to prepare for new course work. If it is determined that preliminary courses are needed, the number of units needed to complete the Master of Science degree will increase. The student’s program is then documented on an official program of study and filed with the M.S. program adviser.

Completion of the Master of Science degree requires a minimum of 26 graduate units for all candidates — up to 24 units of course work in the area of specialization and a minimum of 2 units of Directed Research, Field Research, Independent Research or Consulting Project.

None of the GSBA prefixed classes required for completion of a Marshall MBA program may be applied toward the Master of Science in Business Administration unless they are required to update prior work and are added to the 26-unit total.

No courses numbered lower than 500 may be included in this program. No more than two courses or 8 units may be taken in graduate course work outside the Marshall School of Business.

A minimum of two units of Directed Research (590), Field Research (592), Independent Research (593) or Consulting Project (597) supervised by a Marshall faculty member must be included in the proposed program. The project is intended to provide a capstone experience culminating in a report in the area of specialization. The project will be conducted under the direction of an individual faculty member from the Marshall department in which the area of specialization is taken.