The USC Marshall Online Master of Business Administration
Program Overview   About USC Marshall


Developing students to be leaders in the global marketplace

The Online MBA program at USC weaves the core topics of business education – marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, and others – into contemporary, practical exercises and relevant, real-world discussions. Every course is focused firmly on its goal: to develop students into leaders ready to succeed in the global marketplace.


Beginning with one week of online discussions, readings, activities and assignments and ending with a six-day residential intensive, students explore the fundamental roles of the manager and the process of thinking critically in order to solve business problems faced by corporate leaders. The course features team-building activities and ends with a team competition analyzing an actual business problem currently being faced by a prominent company.

Throughout this course, students learn to utilize fundamental business tools to frame and analyze problems faced by businesses today. This course focuses on financial accounting, microeconomics, analytics and statistics, and virtual teams. All subjects are integrated into a team project that requires students to develop working strategies for analyzing and communicating fundamental business decisions.

This course helps students identify and implement new business opportunities on a global scale. The focus of this course is on entrepreneurship, legal contracts, and negotiations in order to successfully identify and develop new business opportunities. All subjects are integrated into a team project that requires students to develop working strategies for effective entrepreneurial start‐ups.

In this course, students learn to streamline operations across functions within an organization. The focus of this course is on managerial accounting, employment law, operations management, and organizational behavior inside the organization. All subjects are integrated into a team project that requires students to develop working strategies for effective internal operations and communications with key stakeholders.

This course explores strategies for effectively managing external resources in order to compete in an international marketplace. The course coordinates production processes, marketing strategies, and corporate financial plans in order to maximize growth. All subjects are integrated into a team project that requires students to develop working strategies for effective new product development and supply chain management.

Students learn to integrate comprehensive financial and marketing strategies that allow the firm to thrive in international markets. All subjects are integrated into a team project that requires students to develop working strategies to achieve organizational goals and objectives.

The Online MBA curriculum supports student progress through a number of delivery methods, including:

  • Group video conferences and class sessions led by instructors
  • One-on-one faculty discussions via webcam
  • Video content and presentations produced at the USC Marshall dedicated studio
  • Case studies and dramatizations of real-world business scenarios
  • Collaborative video activities and assessments
  • Virtual learning exercises
  • Interactive games

Students complete the program in the following sequence:

  • The program begins with Role of the Manager and Key Concepts in Strategy (GSBA-501), which features readings and discussion forums that lead into a one-week on-campus intensive. To learn more about this course, click here. After the on-campus session, students continue the rest of the program in a fully online format.
  • Students who complete GSBA-501 will continue to the first full-semester course, Fundamentals of Business (GSBA-505). This class helps students develop a rigorous understanding of the fundamental tools for business management: accounting, analytics and statistics, economics, and virtual team collaboration. Both GSBA-501 and GSBA-505 are prerequisites for the remaining courses in the Online MBA program.
  • The second, third, fourth, and fifth semesters, which may be taken in any order, comprise the remaining courses.

The Online MBA for a Digital Age

Distinguished USC Marshall faculty collaborate with talented instructional designers to create a rigorous curriculum in an environment that’s riveting and real.


Semester Start and End Dates

Following the completion of GSBA-501, all Online MBA required courses will follow a semester schedule during these date periods*:

Spring 2016: Sunday, January 10 – Thursday, April 28

Summer 2016: Sunday, May 1 – Thursday, August 18

Fall 2016: Monday, August 8 – Friday, December 23

Spring 2017: Sunday, January 8 – Thursday, April 27

Summer 2017: Sunday, April 30 – Thursday, August 17

Sample Program Schedule: **

Semester One
GSBA-501 Role of the Manager and Key Concepts in Strategy (3 units)
GSBA-505 Fundamentals of Business (10 units)

Semester Two
GSBA-538 Managing Outside the Firm (9.5 units)

Semester Three
GSBA-537 Managing Inside the Firm (9.5 units)

Semester Four
GSBA-535 Opportunity Recognition and Implementation (9.5 units)

Semester Five
GSBA-539 Business Environment and Leadership (9.5 units)

**Exact course offerings each semester will vary

With the exception of GSBA-501, which consists of both online and residential components, all courses are conducted online and consist of asynchronous and synchronous course work. Asynchronous activities include presentations, moderated discussion boards, case studies, simulations, educational games, self‐assessment exercises, and other online instructional content that can be completed at each student’s convenience. Synchronous, scheduled activities include live video class sessions, webinars, facilitated team meetings, one‐on‐one feedback sessions, and other real‐time interactions. Instructors are also available via regularly scheduled virtual office hours and email.

In addition to weekly asynchronous assignments, students participate in class sessions via webcam, during which they discuss the material in-depth and benefit from the perspectives of their fellow cohort classmates and Marshall faculty.

Courses will be structured into modules. Within each module, students are expected to complete all readings and online asynchronous content in preparation for 1-2 hour live online class meetings that will take place 2-3 times per week. The live class meeting schedule will vary each semester, but will be held at convenient times for working professionals:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 5:00pm – 10:00pm (Pacific Time)
Saturdays and Sundays between 8:00am – 12:00pm (Pacific Time)

Students also can choose to take a break from the program and resume during the next semester without waiting until the next year. Regardless of the sequence in which courses are taken, students must complete the required components listed below to graduate.

Request Information

To learn more about USC’s Online MBA and download a free brochure, fill out the fields below. If you have any additional questions, please call (877) 779-6643 to speak to an enrollment counselor.

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