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USC Marshall School of Business

USC / Marshall MBA interview

The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business is situated in the southeastern corner of USC’s University Park campus in Los Angeles, California. In addition to its full-time MBA program, the school offers a part-time MBA program, an online MBA program and several Executive MBA options. Hallmarks of the full-time program include its early start and small class size. Also notable is the program’s international experiential learning requirement, called Pacific Rim International Management Education or PRIME, through which students visit companies and speak with executives in the Pacific Rim and Latin America.


What is the tuition for Marshall’s MBA program?

The tuition for Marshall’s MBA program is $62,140 per year. The total cost of the Marshall MBA program is $98,955 per year; this includes budgeted living expenses.

How hard is it to get into Marshall’s MBA program?

The acceptance rate for Marshall is 28%. It is important to consider the acceptance rate in the context of the student profile of those who are admitted. For example the average GMAT score is 705.

What is the average GMAT score for admission to Marshall’s MBA program?

The average GMAT score for the incoming class at Marshall is 705. The GMAT middle 80% range is 680 – 730.

Does the Marshall MBA program accept the GRE?

Yes. The Marshall MBA program has accepted the GRE for a few years now.

What is the average GRE score for admission to Marshall’s MBA program?

Marshall does not publish an average GRE score for its incoming class, but does accept the GRE for admissions.

What is the minimum number of years of work experience required for admission to Marshall’s MBA program?

Marshall does not state a minimum requirement for years of work experience. However, it is important for candidates to be aware that they are being considered against other candidates with an average of 5 years of experience.

What is the average number of years of work experience for admission to Marshall’s MBA program? (or, What is the average age of a Marshall student?)

The average number of years of work experience among students in Marshall’s MBA program is 5. The average age of a Marshall MBA student is 28.

What is the average starting salary for graduates of the Marshall MBA program?

The average starting salary for Marshall MBA graduates is $125,000 (median base salary). The salary will vary by industry, with consulting and finance jobs generally commanding the higher salaries.

How long is Marshall’s full-time MBA program?

Marshall offers a traditional 2 year MBA program

What are the application deadlines for Marshall’s MBA program?

The Round 1 MBA application deadline is October 15, 2018. The Round 2 application deadline is January 5, 2019. The Round 3 deadline is March 1, 2019. The Round 4 deadline is April 15, 2019.

What percent of Marshall MBA students are women?

The percentage of the class at Marshall that are women is 52%.

What type of interview does Marshall use for MBA admissions?

Marshall offers interviews by invitation. The interviews are blind. This means the interviewer has not had access to the application materials.


The Class Profile

Admission to Marshall’s full-time MBA program is competitive, as the school admitted only 28% of those candidates who applied to the Class of 2020. The 221 students who matriculated in that class had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.50 and an average GMAT score of 705, with 80% of the class scoring between 680 and 730. 

The average student in this class was 28 years old at the time of matriculation and had five years of work experience. A quarter of the Class of 2020 pursued undergraduate degrees in business. The next most popular majors of humanities and the social sciences were chosen by 30% of the class. Eighteen percent studied computer science/engineering, while the rest spread out across economics or math/science. 

Thirty percent of first-year students hold citizenship outside the U.S. Twenty-one percent of Marshall’s first-year class identify as U.S. underrepresented minorities, and women comprise 52% of the Class of 2020.


Application Procedures

Marshall’s full-time MBA program offers four rounds of application submission deadlines, which typically occur in mid-October, early January, early March, and mid-April. To apply, prospective students must submit an online application form, official academic transcripts from any undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, two required essays and a résumé. The school also requires applicants to submit official GMAT or GRE score reports, A $155 application fee, and, if applicable, a TOEFL or IELTS score report. Interviews are required for admission and are offered by invitation only; the school notes that on-campus interviewing is preferred.


Application Checklist

  • Data Form
  • Résumé
  • Application Fee
  • Academic Transcripts
  • GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS Academic Scores
  • Essays

Essay Topic Analysis

Need help with your essays? Get our experts' advice.

USC / Marshall MBA Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines USC / Marshall School of Business (Marshall) MBA admissions essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays. 2019-2020 USC Marshall MBA Essay Analysis Let’s take […]

Recommendation Questions

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Interview Reports

USC Marshall Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / On-campus

The following USC Marshall MBA interview report with questions was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 2 applicant. Interviewer: Elaine Padilla Tell me about your job. She asked lots of details about my job because I have a non-conventional background: R&D in clinical diagnostics Why MBA / What do you hope to get out of your […]

USC Marshall Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / Off-campus

The following USC Marshall MBA interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 1 applicant. Good luck to them! My interview was fairly relaxed with the adcom member genuinely interested in knowing me personally. He made sure to tell me that the interview will last no more than 30 minutes and thus to answer his questions […]

USC Marshall Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Second-year Student / On-Campus

The following USC Marshall MBA interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 2 applicant. Good luck to them! My interviewer asked basic questions. No questions were unexpected and the atmosphere was very relaxed. I provided a copy of my résumé. She asked: Tell me about yourself Why an MBA, why now? Why Marshall? Tell me what […]

USC Marshall Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On-Campus

The following USC Marshall MBA interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 3 applicant. Good luck to them! Overall the interview was very relaxed. I was able to interview on-campus with a member of the Adcom. The interviewer told me he had reviewed my application and had my résumé with him for the duration of the […]

USC Marshall MBA Interview Report: Round 3 / Adcom / Skype

The following USC Marshall MBA interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 3 applicant. Good luck to them! I was invited to interview after being placed on the waitlist originally at the decision nofitication date. I submitted supplementary application materials and was contacted about 10 days later. I am not sure if this means they are […]

USC Marshall MBA Interview Report: Round 3 / Adcom / Skype

The following USC / Marshall MBA interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 3 applicant. Good luck to them! Pretty straight forward interview which I was invited to after being waitlisted without interview. Was a skype interview with member of adcom and was blind interview (only had seen my résumé). Standard questions: • Why MBA? Why […]

USC Marshall Interview Report: Round 3 / Adcom / On-Campus

The following USC / Marshall interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 3 applicant who was admitted. Congratulations to them! Had my interview in May 2015as a Round 3 applicant. Interview actually was with two Adcoms (seemed like one was relatively new) and was fairly straightforward. Worth noting that I have a relatively unconventional background, so a […]

USC / Marshall MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 2 / Adcom / Skype

The following USC / Marshall MBA Admissions interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 2 applicant. Good luck to them! The interview took place over Skype with an Adcom member who only had my resume. While Skype can be a little awkward, it felt quite comfortable. The coversation lasted approximately 40 minutes and I was […]

USC / Marshall MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 2 / Adcom / On-campus

The atmosphere was casual. I was expecting something more structured and formal, but it ended up being a 45 minute barrage of why get an MBA and then 15 minutes of questions. I thought this was pretty unusual, and I couldn’t get a good read on the Adcom. The interviewer seemed to have read my […]

USC / Marshall MBA Admissions Interview Questions: Round 2 / Ad Com / Campus

It was a fairly easy interview compared to others I have seen on here. The adcom had read my application. The questions were the following. 1. Talk about the most recent two experiences and how you got to those positions? 2. Why an MBA? 3. Why USC?

Usc-marshall Q&As

Admissions Director Q&A: Evan Bouffides of USC Marshall School of Business

Evan Bouffides has been in the world of MBA admissions for quite some time, and his journey has come full circle back to USC Marshall School of Business. That’s where he got his start back in 1997, serving first as associate director and later as director of MBA admissions. But in 2005 he was recruited […]

Admissions Director Q&A: Grace Kim of the USC Marshall School of Business

Grace Kim is senior associate director of MBA admissions at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business. She was generous enough to make time recently to answer our questions about the admissions process at Marshall, and we thank her! In the interview that follows, Kim shares new developments planned for the school, […]




Mailing Address:
USC Marshall MBA Admissions
630 Childs Way — JKP 308
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2633
Phone: 213-740-7846
Fax: 213-749-8520
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @USCMarshall

Usc-marshall LiveWire and DecisionWire

MBA LiveWire for USC / Marshall

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
November 10, 2019 1:54am
Accepted via email.
GMAT: 740. India.
November 9, 2019 4:45pm
Accepted via phone.
GPA: 3.29. Chicago.
November 5, 2019 10:42am
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.03. GMAT: 700.
November 5, 2019 9:27am
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.56.
November 4, 2019 8:12pm
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.25. GMAT: 700. Chicago.

MBA DecisionWire for USC / Marshall

Enrolled: USC / Marshall
Admitted: USC / Marshall
GPA: 3.77
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: UCLA Anderson
Admitted: UCLA Anderson, USC / Marshall
GMAT: 620
Post-MBA Career: Venture Capital
Enrolled: Undecided
Admitted: Cornell / Johnson, Duke / Fuqua, USC / Marshall, UT Austin / McCombs
GMAT: 730
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: Berkeley / Haas
Admitted: Berkeley / Haas, USC / Marshall, UT Austin / McCombs
GMAT: 710 GPA: 3.64
Post-MBA Career: Venture Capital



Throughout its seven academic units, Marshall employs just over 250 full-time faculty members. In addition to teaching classes, these scholars and practitioners also help staff the school’s 10 centers and institutes, which range in focus from sports business research to the commercialization of technology. 



Marshall’s professors draw upon a variety of teaching methods. The school notes that professors use case discussions, student presentations and team projects more frequently than lecture-based learning. To help students get to know each other better, Marshall divides its incoming class into three “cores” that take all of their required courses together.  Each core is further broken down into teams of five to six students that complete group projects together; students are assigned to different teams in the fall and spring semesters. 

Unlike most MBA programs, which typically begin in August or September, Marshall’s full-time MBA program starts in mid-July with a weeklong orientation. Following orientation, first-year students complete a four-week intensive term that features coursework in financial accounting, statistics, strategy, microeconomics, and management communication.  Ten first semester core courses, which range in focus from microeconomics to marketing, then begin in late August. Midway through the semester, students choose two additional core courses from a menu of three, completing a total of 12 courses by the end of the semester.   

In the spring semester, first-year students may take up to four elective courses and must complete the last required core course, The Global Context of Business, which features an experiential learning component called Pacific Rim International Management Education (PRIME). Through PRIME, students embark on a 10-day trip to the Pacific Rim or Latin America, during which they visit companies and meet with managers to gain firsthand exposure to international business issues.  

The second year of the MBA program is comprised entirely of elective courses, with students taking a total of nine electives over the two semesters. Each year, students can choose from a menu of nearly 100 elective offerings. Second-year students may also cross-register for courses at other USC schools and departments, applying up to nine credit units of non-Marshall courses towards their MBA degree. To help students further tailor their studies towards their desired career paths, Marshall has designed 16 concentrations and 10 certificate programs.  


Other MBA Degree Options

Along with its full-time MBA program, Marshall offers a three-year, part-time MBA for Professionals and Managers at either its main campus in Los Angeles or its Orange County Center in Irvine. The school also has a two-year Executive MBA program and a one-year Accelerated International MBA for Experienced Professionals, as well as a two-year Global Executive MBA program in collaboration with the Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

In August 2015, Marshall welcomed the inaugural class of its Online MBA (OMBA) program, which features a unique curriculum distinct from the full-time and EMBA programs but with courses that are all taught by full-time Marshall faculty.

In addition, students can pursue one of 11 dual degree programs offered by Marshall and other USC graduate schools, including an MBA/MD, a JD/MBA and an MBA/MRED, among others. For students interested in pursuing careers in the entertainment industry, Marshall has partnered with the USC School of Cinema and Television to offer the Business of Entertainment Certificate Program.


Concentrations at Marshall

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


Degree Offerings at Marshall

Full-time MBA Program

Part-Time MBA Program
MBA Program for Professionals and Managers

Online MBA Program

Executive MBA Programs
Executive MBA

1 Year International MBA (IBEAR)

Campus Life

Clubs, Conferences & Competitions

Students at Marshall have many opportunities to become involved in extracurricular activities. The full-time MBA program has 40 student-run organizations that cover community, career, diversity, social and athletic interests. One of the most popular student clubs is Challenge for Charity, through which Marshall students compete against teams from other West Coast MBA programs in athletic, volunteer, social and fundraising events to benefit groups like Special Olympics, Junior Achievement and A Better LA. Meanwhile, on the more professional side, USC Marshall Graduate Women in Business helps develop the careers of women MBA students by organizing events, such as lunches with executives, company presentations and panels on women leaders in business.

Further supplementing students’ extracurricular options, Marshall’s research centers and student organizations host conferences and competitions throughout the year. For instance, the USC Marshall Business of Entertainment Association hosts an annual conference on the evolution of the entertainment business, and the school hosts a yearly Asia/Pacific Business Outlook Conference. Meanwhile, the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies organizes the New Venture Seed Competition, through which teams of student, faculty, and staff entrepreneurs from Marshall and other USC graduate schools compete for cash prizes of up to $85,000 in seed funding.


Campus Space

The Marshall School of Business is located in the University of Southern California’s University Park campus close to downtown Los Angeles. Marshall’s graduate programs are housed in Popovich Hall, which, in addition to academic facilities, boasts a café and a courtyard that serve as common meeting places for members of the Marshall community. Students and faculty can also take advantage of the nearby Crocker Business Library for their research needs.

MBA students can find housing on campus in both apartments and residence halls.  However, a fair number of Marshall students choose to live off-campus in nearby Los Angeles neighborhoods.

MBA Careers

Career Services

Marshall’s MBA Career Services provides year-round career development programming to help students secure summer internships and post-MBA jobs in their desired fields. Offerings include interview preparation, job search engines and help with résumé updating, among others. In addition, students have a wide variety of opportunities to meet with potential employers through on-campus information sessions and receptions. MBA Career Services also organizes several hiring events on campus throughout the year, as well as off-campus site visits to locations such as the Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest and Hong Kong.


Career Statistics

Thirty percent of the Class of 2018 went into consulting careers after graduating from Marshall. Both technology and financial services were the second most popular industries, claiming 16% of graduates each. Media/entertainment followed at 9%, and 8% percent of the class went into the consumer products industry. Biotech/pharm/healthcare attracted 6% of the Class of 2018 each. Meanwhile, the top three most chosen functions were consulting, financial services, and marketing/sales, which drew 34%, 28% and 23% of 2018 graduates respectively.  

As often occurs among business school graduates, a large proportion of the Class of 2018, 75%, found post-MBA employment in the region where Marshall is located: the Western U.S. The Northeastern U.S. drew 7% of graduates, and 7% chose jobs internationally. The remaining portion of the class spread throughout the Southwestern, Midwestern, and Southern regions of the U.S. 


Tuition for the first year at Marshall totaled $62,140 in 2018-2019 with an additional $9,160 in fees. However, the school estimates that considering other living expenses such as housing and textbooks, students will spend approximately $98,955 in this time. To help students finance their education, Marshall offers several merit-based fellowships ranging from partial to full tuition for domestic and international applicants. Second-year students who do not receive a fellowship when admitted to the program are eligible for Dean’s Scholarships, which are awarded based on accomplishments during the first year of the MBA program. Students may also finance their education through federal and private loans.

Cost of Attendance

  • Tuition $62,140
  • Books, Fees & Supplies $11,835
  • Room & Board $24,980
  • Total $98,955

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