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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 $64,575 per year. The total cost of the Marshall MBA program is $98,106 per year; this includes budgeted living expenses.

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

The acceptance rate for Marshall is 30%. 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 707.

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

The average GMAT score for the incoming class at Marshall is 707.

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 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 $132,844. 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, 2020. The Round 2 application deadline is January 5, 2021. The Round 3 deadline is March 1, 2021. The Round 4 deadline is April 15, 2021.

What percent of Marshall MBA students are women?

The percentage of the class at Marshall that are women is 40%.

What type of interview does Marshall use for MBA admissions?

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


The Class Profile

The 217 students who matriculated in the Class of 2022 had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.55 and an average GMAT score of 707. Students averaged five years of work experience before matriculation and their average age landed at 28. Forty-four percent of the Marshall MBA class identify as students of color and 23% identify as historically underrepresented students of color. Forty percent are women and 12% are international.

A third of the Marshall Class of 2022 had studied business/commerce during their undergraduate years. Sixteen percent had majored in social sciences. Thirteen percent each had studied economics or humanities. Engineering/computer science cover 11% of undergraduate degrees. Another six percent had studied the sciences and 2% law.

Application Procedures

Marshall’s full-time MBA program offers five rounds of application submission deadlines, which typically occur in mid-October, early January, early March, early May, and early June.  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.

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 2020-2021 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. 2020-2021 USC Marshall MBA Essay Analysis Let’s take […]

Recommendation Questions

Not available

Interview Reports

USC Marshall Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / Zoom

Interviewer began by saying this was just an opportunity to learn more about me, and that it was resume-based. These were the questions I was asked (not in the correct order and I may be missing a few). How did you hear about USC Marshall? What are a few traits you admire in a leader? […]

USC Marshall Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / Zoom

As a preface, this is my first and only interview for Round 1 of the Fall 2021 intake. I did two MBA interviews last year and ultimately deferred to this cycle, so I do have some experience. With that said, the interview was friendly as Grace Kim, the director of admissions, is a great interviewer. […]

USC Marshall Interview Questions & Report: Round 5 / Adcom / Skype

I was interviewed by Elaine. Very similar experience as what has been reported here. She was very nice, and the interview was casual and straightforward. The questions she asked me took about 15 min, then I filled up the remaining time with questions to ask her. I would prepare 5 – 7 questions to save […]

USC Marshall Interview Questions & Report: Round 5 / Adcom / Skype

As others have already written, the interview was very laid-back and casual. Elaine was very kind and started with some small talk, which put me at ease. The questions were exactly as others have already posted, very straight-forward: resume walk-through, why MBA, why Marshall, what are you most proud of?, what do you do in […]

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

Interviewer: Elaine Padilla Questions: 1. Tell me about your undergrad (I think this was just the ice breaker, because we then chatted about the state I live in) 2. Why did you choose your undergrad major? 3. Walk me through your resume 4. (She was referring to the ECs on my resume) What is the […]

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

List of interview questions: Tell me about yourself. What is something I wouldn’t know about you from just reading your application? Why USC? Why LA? What do you hope to gain from the program? What do you hope to gain academically? What would you contribute to the student body? Why an MBA? Why now? What […]

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 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]
Web: www.marshall.usc.edu
Twitter: @USCMarshall

Usc-marshall LiveWire and DecisionWire

MBA LiveWire for USC / Marshall

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
July 20, 2021 9:10pm
Rejected from Waitlist via portal.
July 8, 2021 3:11pm
Accepted from Waitlist via phone.
June 22, 2021 10:35am
Waitlisted via n/a.
June 21, 2021 8:06pm
Accepted via phone.
June 14, 2021 3:11am
Accepted from Waitlist via email.
GPA: 2.98. GMAT: 740. LA.

MBA DecisionWire for USC / Marshall

Enrolled: Rice / Jones
Admitted: NYU Stern, Rice / Jones, UT Austin / McCombs
GRE: 315 GPA: 3.79
Post-MBA Career: Technology
Enrolled: Notre Dame / Mendoza
Admitted: IESE, Notre Dame / Mendoza
GMAT: 690 GPA: 3.34
Post-MBA Career: Investment Banking
Enrolled: Berkeley / Haas
Admitted: Berkeley / Haas
GRE: 326 GPA: 3.8
Post-MBA Career: Non Profit/SI
Enrolled: Notre Dame / Mendoza
Admitted: Notre Dame / Mendoza
GMAT: 710 GPA: 3.3
Post-MBA Career: Consulting



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 nine 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 11 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 10 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, Statistics and Data Science
  • 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 over 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 throughout the year, as well as site visits to locations such as the Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest and Hong Kong. These events are taking place virtually in 2020-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Career Statistics

The average base salary for graduate of the Marshall MBA Class of 2020 was $132,844.  Additional signing bonuses averaged $28,763. Twenty-eight percent of the Class of 2020 went into consulting careers after graduating from Marshall. Technology was the second most popular industry, claiming 27% of graduates. Media/entertainment followed at 11%, 9% of the class joined CPG and 8% percent went into the financial services industry. Biotech/pharma/healthcare attracted 5% of the Class of 2020.

As often occurs among business school graduates, a large proportion of the Class of 2020, 88%, found post-MBA employment in the region where Marshall is located: the Western U.S. Two percent chose jobs internationally and other regions of the U.S. saw 3% or less of Marshall MBA graduates.


Tuition for the first year at Marshall totaled $64,575 in 2020-2021 with an additional $8,279 in fees.  However, the school estimates that considering other living expenses such as housing and textbooks, students will spend approximately $98,106 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 $64,575
  • Books, Fees & Supplies $8,279
  • Room & Board $25,252
  • Total $98,106

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U.S. News 2022 Business School Rankings: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

U.S. News & World Report has released its 2022 Best Business Schools Rankings. Despite a rather tumultuous year in world events, this year’s results in the MBA rankings realm remain largely un

USC Marshall Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Adcom / Zoom

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USC MBA Employment Report: Marshall Class of 2020 Mix in Media Industry

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