The Online MBA at USC is taught in a flexible cohort format, meaning that students work closely with a group of peers and classmates from the very beginning of the program, with opportunities for new connections as the program continues. The cohort comprises a critical part of the MBA experience, helping students develop their skills in communication and team interaction while setting the stage for meaningful, lasting friendships. USC’s Online MBA program is designed to help students feel truly connected – not only to each other, but also to the school itself.
During the first course of the Online MBA program, students visit the USC campus in Los Angeles, California and spend a week completing coursework alongside fellow classmates in an on-campus session. This facet of the program presents an outstanding opportunity for students to forge connections with both faculty members and the rest of their cohort that will carry through the program and into the working world.
This in-class component features collaborative, intensive coursework that creates a cohesive student cohort. Over the course of their classroom experience, students participate in a spirited consulting competition based on a real challenge facing a prominent business that has partnered with USC Marshall. Students work with team members to analyze the scenario and develop an effective, efficient plan to address the problem at hand. Company executives offer feedback on their proposal after presentations are given at the end of the week.
In addition to this rigorous study, students also enjoy the USC learning community, connecting with one another through the WhatsApp messaging service. Using the same video teleconferencing platform employed throughout the program for classes and guest lectures, students can host online study sessions, work on projects or just chat with classmates at the times that are convenient for them.
Online students may also interact with their cohort and students in other programs by visiting campus for special events or meeting up at optional social and informational gatherings. USC Marshall students and alumni take advantage of networking opportunities in connection with hearing a speaker or attending a Trojans football game. While most of these events take place in California, others have been planned across the country.
Combined with the discussion tools and team-based learning exercises featured throughout the curriculum, the Online MBA program allows students to form close bonds to their peers and the Trojan alumni network.
Planning for Your On-Campus Session
Note: A laptop computer is required for the on-campus session. Students must provide their own computer. Financial aid may be available to cover the cost of a new laptop, if needed.
To prepare for the on-campus portion of the first course, GSBA-501, students should keep the following dates in mind:
Fall 2019 Cohort
Monday, August 12
- The first class in the program, GSBA-501, begins in online format and concludes on campus.
Sunday, August 18
- Students arrive in Los Angeles*, check-in at a hotel adjacent to the USC campus and attend an evening reception with fellow students and Online MBA faculty and staff.
Sunday, August 18 – Friday, August 23
- GSBA-501 on-campus sessions and other program activities take place. Students may leave after the program/classes have ended on Friday evening or they may stay another night at the hotel and leave on Saturday, August 24.
*Students need to make arrangements on their own for travel to Los Angeles and USC.
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.