Frequently Asked Questions

Master of Science in Business Analytics

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Student Profile

For more information about our student profile, please see Student Profile


Please review the Admissions page for more information about the process and deadlines.

International applicants - Please see the International Applicants page for answers to frequently asked questions about English Proficiency and other international specific matters.

What is the minimum GRE or GMAT score?

There is no minimum GRE or GMAT score.

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Do you offer any financial aid?

Master of Science in Business Analytics program offers limited amount of scholarship to admitted students. Candidates will be considered holistically and assessed based on merit, diversity and need. Students who want to be considered for scholarship must answer an additional essay question within the application for admission. There is no separate application for the scholarship.  

Domestic and international students are eligible. Applicants are encouraged to apply early for priority scholarship consideration.

Many of our students pay for their degrees using savings or loans. For more information on financial aid that is specific to international students, please see USC's Financial Aid website.

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Where should I mail my sealed official transcripts?

By regular mail:

University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

By courier service, such as DHL or FedEx:

University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 1
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915
(213) 740-1111

Please include your USC ID number with your mailed documents. You receive this number after you have submitted your online application. Including your USC ID number with your mailed documents will expedite their processing.

Also, USC is now accepting electronic official transcripts from universities in the United States and India. Transcripts need to be sent by your university to 

*If your transcript is mailed anywhere else it may be discarded and your application will be considered incomplete.

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Can I apply for the spring semester?

No, we only accept applications for admittance in the Fall.

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Are decisions made on a rolling basis or after the deadlines?

We admit students each round.

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Do my recommenders have to submit their letters online?

We neither require nor accept letters of recommendation as part of our admissions process.

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Can I apply to more than one program at USC?

You can only apply for up to 3 programs per cycle. You must complete all program specific questions (quadrant IV) and pay the application fee for each program. You only need to submit your other application materials (transcript, test scores, etc.) once.


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Can I get a dual degree?

Due to the nature of our program, we do not accept students intending to pursue a dual degree.

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Can I email you my test score or transcripts?

No, we do not accept test score nor transcripts via emails.  Applicants are requirement to upload test score and transcripts in the application, and mail them to USC Graduate Admissions. Please see here for detailed requirements.

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Program Information

Are there any prerequisite course requirements?

Applicants must complete a statistics course before applying. This is to ensure applicants will be successful in our program.

Eligible statistics courses must be taken for credit from an accredited college or university, and must cover all of the following topics:

  1. Basic probability 
  2. Probability distributions (normal, exponential, etc.)
  3. Inferential statistics such t-tests, and Chi-square test, confidence intervals, and sampling
  4. Intro to linear regression
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Is the MS in Business Analytics a STEM degree?

Yes, the MS in Business Analytics program is a STEM degree.

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Does Marshall offer an online option for the MSBA Program?

No, the MSBA program does not offer an online option. 

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When does the program start?

Our program begins mid-August. Orientation is typically 1-2 weeks before school starts.

The Fall 2021 semester begins on August 23. Orientation is early to mid August.

*Refer to the USC Academic Calendar for specific dates.

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Can elective courses include other business classes at Marshall?

Yes, it is possible to include other business classes at Marshall as part of your elective plans. Once you are admitted to the program, we can work with you to customize a program of elective courses that would meet your career goals.

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What is the difference between Business Analytics and Information Technology?

Our master program is targeted to professionals who are interested in a career in business analytics and data sciences, which is different from information technology. While information technology deals with computer infrastructure and hardware for handling big data, business analytics and data sciences focus on the analyzing big data, deriving business insights, and presenting complex data to business executives. So, our program has a completely different focus than information technology.

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What is the cost of the program?

Please see "Program Costs" for the most updated information regarding cost.

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I heard that there is another Master's program in Data Science, it that true?

Yes, we do indeed. This is the Master of Science in Applied Data Science run by the Viterbi School of Engineering (as opposed to the Master of Science in Business Analytics, which is run by the Department of Data Sciences and Operations at the Marshall School of Business). The program offer different curriculums from the MSBA program, and you can read about it here.

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What does your program offer in terms of Career Relations, Strategy, and Support?

The MS, Business Analytics program offers students a full-time, dedicated Career Strategist to provide career development, strategy, employer relations, and tailored support for the job and internship search. As a top ranked program and affiliated with USC’s distinguished network of Trojan alumni, we consistently have newly emerging partnerships and strong relations with the most pre-eminent regional, national, and global employers. 

Using a data-driven approach to provide comprehensive employer relations, students encounter and interact with a wide variety of industry areas and contacts from corporate to non-profit and government agencies. Situated in Southern California, USC’s cultivated employer network offers exciting opportunities that are distinctive to this region in the field of entertainment, technology, internet, computer software, gaming, start-ups, healthcare, accounting, consulting, consumer packaged goods, and more.

Career services include 1:1 resume and cover letter advising, workshops that address interview and networking preparation for life-long success, personality assessment, communication skills, personal branding, and guest facilitators from the top training and professional coaching organizations such as Dale Carnegie Global Corporate Solutions of Greater Los Angeles. Employer relations include site visits, datathons, guest speakers, networking events, a program-specific career portal and resume book, portfolio reviews, and more.

*Please visit "Career and Employer Relations" for more information.

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I am interested in marketing, research, and strategy analytics. Does an MS in Business Analytics fit with my career goal?

Our program offers required courses targeted for marketing analytics applications, including DSO 545 on Data Visualization and DSO 570 on The Analytics Edge. Our program has elective courses on Data Analytics Driven Dynamic Strategy & Execution (DSO 573) and Marketing Analytics (DSO 566). If your interests are in marketing and strategy analytics, our program will be a great fit.

The program is quite flexible, and we work with our students to develop a slate of elective courses that best fit with their interests and career plans.

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