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Distance Learning MBA

What is the Distance Learning MBA?

The USC Marshall Online MBA is a bold distance learning program that capitalizes on the potential of the online format and welcomes students into the greater Trojan Family that is more than 380,000 members strong.

The coursework of the Marshall Online MBA provides students with the rigor and camaraderie they would expect of a top MBA program, pairing powerful virtual tools with a comprehensive curriculum. Every course is designed top-to-bottom specifically for a distance learning format and led by several members of the Marshall faculty. Though the curricula for the online and on-campus MBA programs are different, USC confers the same MBA degree on graduates of both programs.

The program combines self-paced, asynchronous coursework with real-time, interactive class sessions via webcam. Most of the assignments and learning exercises can be completed at the student’s convenience. Through a one-week on-campus residency, engaging video content produced at the USC Marshall in-house studio, and weekly, live class sessions conducted via webcam, distance learning students complete an integrated, flexible program.

Courses explore business fundamentals, including finance, accounting, marketing, and entrepreneurship, as they relate specifically to the overall course theme. Each class uses contemporary, real-world scenarios to help students develop abilities that today’s employers expect of executive-level leaders, including decision-making through metrics, efficient communication, and effective virtual and remote collaboration.

What is the Value of a Distance Learning MBA?

Return on Investment (ROI)

Multiple factors must be taken into account to determine the financial ROI of any degree — online or on-campus. A 2016 study by the Graduate Management Admission Council, however, reports that professionals who hold a graduate degree in business earn from $500,000 to $1 million more over a 20-year career than their colleagues without MBAs or advanced business degrees.

Numbers aside, there are distinct advantages with financial implications to obtaining an online MBA at USC Marshall, beginning with the quality of our education and reputation. Additionally, the online format empowers individuals to pursue an intensive, comprehensive business education without giving up their current positions and salaries or incurring the expenses and disruptions of relocation.

Beyond Quantifiable Benefits

Collaborative exercises like team-based activities, group discussions, and faculty-led, live sessions via webcam are a critical part of every course. As a result, students interact closely with their classmates and professors, build relationships, and expand their network.

Moreover, the distance learning platform and curriculum provides an opportunity to gain practical skills in virtual collaboration and working with remote teams that can help graduates distinguish themselves in a competitive job market. Graduates exit the program with a compiled e-portfolio highlighting the work they have completed as a student – a valuable resource for future professional opportunities.

Throughout the program, distance learning students gain these practical skills expected of global leaders in today’s digitally driven business landscape:

  • Thinking like an entrepreneur to drive business growth
  • Communicating with international team members
  • Interpreting and acting on digital analytics and metrics
  • Managing remote employees and other long-distance teams
  • Developing a global perspective
  • Using social media to strengthen brands

Are Distance Learning MBAs Recognized by the Business World?

A Hiring Pro’s Perspective

In a Poets & Quants article, MBA talent acquisition consultant Sandy Kahn says that online MBA students can stand out by discussing how they have applied their learning to their work environment. The bottom line for experienced and executive job candidates, she concludes, is that “online education can be a solid bet for career advancement….”

The Heritage and Reputation of USC Marshall

As a top-tier business school, USC Marshall’s on-campus programs have received many accolades, ranking among the top 10 best Part-time MBA programs in the country according to U.S. News & World Report, and the top 10 Executive MBA programs according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The Online MBA itself is earning praise, receiving awards from both the Online Learning Consortium and Telly Awards.

Online with On-Campus Quality and More

Building on Marshall’s heritage, the Online MBA program has been carefully designed by faculty members and instructional technology experts, combining the best elements of the on-campus programs with a variety of new elements built specifically for the distance learning experience. Online students also have access to the support of our faculty and staff as well as the USC Marshall alumni network, which has more than 80,000 members.

In short, distance learning brings the exceptional USC Marshall MBA experience to students around the world, further extending the reach of the growing Trojan family. The program blends USC’s heritage of academic excellence with the flexibility of distance learning. This allows students to benefit from a top online MBA experience that can help them explore new opportunities for growth.


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