The IBEAR MBA Difference

We are accepting applications for Summer 2023, starting on August 1!

Overview.  The USC Marshall IBEAR MBA is a one-year, full-time international MBA program designed for mid-career professionals. Established in 1978, the program has 2,100 alumni from 60 countries.

The typical IBEAR class is comprised of 55 participants from 12 to 15 countries. On average, participants are 35 years old and have 12 years of work experience; 80% are in the 32 to 40 age range. One-third of participants are sponsored by companies and family-owned businesses and two-thirds are self-sponsored. The rich diversity of participants can best be understood by reviewing the bios of the current class.


Program of Study.  Participants complete 19 courses and earn 56 credits over six intense 8-week terms. The 12-month program includes IBEAR core courses, electives at the Marshall School and other USC schools, a team-building retreat, domestic and international experiential learning trips, and a 4-month long management consulting project. Courses are taught by Marshall School faculty with substantial global expertise.

Management Consulting Project.  The 3-unit capstone course of the program, the International Business Consulting Project (IBCP) is a proprietary consulting project that requires the integration of prior coursework to make actionable recommendations to senior-level corporate sponsors. Teams of five to six IBEAR participants from diverse cultural backgrounds and with a broad range of industry and functional skills work together for 4 months under the guidance of Marshall faculty with extensive international consulting experience. Some travel for primary research, which is a vital part of many projects, may be allowed.

Interactive Whiteboard
Program Director, Richard Drobnick meets with executives.
Tianfu Bank, Chengdu.

Experiential Learning: IBEAR’s International (IELP) and Domestic (DELP) Experiential Learning Programs are a unique way for participants to get an up-close view of key economies in Asia Pacific, and network with business leaders across a variety of companies in the United States.

The International Experiential Learning Program (IELP) is a 10-day overseas trip to a cultural and economic center and is designed to provide participants with a deep understanding of business practices, conditions, and opportunities. Participants interact with domestic and international business leaders, policymakers and government officials. Past trips have been to China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Funding for the mandatory International Experiential Trip comes from the IELP fee that participants pay and from alumni donations. For a closer look at international experiential learning please visit the IELP Program website.

IBEAR Class at a visit to Google
Google Offices, NYC.

The Domestic Experiential Learning Program (DELP), led by IBEAR’s Associate Director of Career Development, consists of career treks to Silicon Valley, Seattle, and other U.S. destinations. Through a combination of industry-specific roundtables, company visits and networking receptions, participants gain insights into the ‘business of business’ as well as a range of career paths. Past company visits have been to Amazon, Boeing, Dell EMC, Facebook, Google, Samsung, Sequoia, Starbucks, Tableau, and Trianz among others. Your optional Domestic Experiential Learning Trips / Career Treks are funded through a combination of program fee, student contributions, and alumni donations.

Career Development.  IBEAR’s comprehensive career planning and development program is designed for the unique needs of mid-career professionals. Participants have access to a dedicated Associate Director of Career Development, who provides expert guidance on competencies ranging from career exploration and personal branding to resume development, professional networking, job search strategy, interview preparation and negotiation strategy. This is complemented by extensive exposure to business leaders and world-class organizations through a year-round speaker series, on-campus recruiting, and career treks. Given the small class size - 35 to 40 job-seekers - participants receive highly-personalized coaching and support in identifying and achieving their career objectives. 

The Alumni Mentor Program offers participants yet another career and professional development opportunity. Participants are paired with accomplished IBEAR alumni with rich industry and functional expertise. Alumni mentors offer invaluable insights into industry, market, and company trends as well as practical career guidance and introductions to peers and colleagues.

IBEAR students interact with alumni
IBEAR alumni and students, Bay Area.

Alumni Network.  IBEAR's 2,100 alumni from 60 countries are strategic assets of the program. IBEAR MBA alumni build lifelong relationships with each other and with IBEAR MBA faculty and staff. Alumni regularly help recruit and interview candidates, mentor and hire current participants, sponsor IBCP consulting projects, and do business together. IBEAR MBA alumni clubs are active in cities around the world and IBEAR MBA alumni often hold leadership roles in Marshall and USC alumni clubs globally.

Scholarships and Loans.  IBEAR provides scholarships for highly-qualified international and U.S. applicants. American students may receive assistance from USC’s Financial Aid Office in obtaining U.S. government and commercial loans. International students often obtain loans from private lenders, which they approach and work with directly.

Costs. Tuition and Program Fees are estimated to be $132,351 in 2022/23 and living expenses for a single participant are estimated to be approximately $50,000 for a 12-month period.  As a one-year MBA program, the opportunity costs and living expenses of the IBEAR MBA are 50% of a two-year MBA program.