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Darla Moore School of Business

Frequently Asked Questions

Our program welcomes applicants from all majors. It is a highly quantitative program so some level of quantitative training in your academic or professional experience would help succeed in the program. Preference will be given to STEM majors or applicants with strong quantitative backgrounds as well as students who have a minor in business. Applicants are also expected to have at least one semester of calculus or similar quantitative training. 

The MSBA is a STEM-designated program. This designation makes our international students eligible for two additional years of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for work in the U.S. following graduation (a total of three years).  Students must be hired for a role that requires their business analytics training, and we work closely with our students and our U.S. employers to source those roles.

The curriculum for the 30-credit hour MSBA program consists of five required core classes, four electives and one practicum project course or approved data-intensive internship. It takes two semesters to complete on average but students may choose to extend their coursework into an additional summer semester to accommodate an internship or project or an elective that is offered in summer semesters.  Students may specialize their degree by taking electives in a specific area of study or take a generalist’s pathway by taking classes from different areas such as marketing, operations and supply chain, finance, accounting or international business.

Complete the Moore School graduate school application. Apply online

The Moore School does not offer any application fee waivers, except for certain sponsors and/or agencies with documentation providing participation. View the Application Fee Waiver [PDF] for more information.

You can qualify for the language waiver under two conditions:

  • If you hold a degree from a U.S. institution; or
  • If you have graduated from a degree program administered in English and/or your home university can certify your English language skills (e.g., we would accept a letter from the institution explaining that the program is taught in English).

For consideration for a GMAT/GRE test waiver, MSBA candidates must submit a complete MSBA admission application. Using the supplemental essay portion of the application, interested candidates must request the waiver and write a brief essay (200-500 words) highlighting their academic training that provide strong quantitative skills, pointing out specific classes, performance in those classes, and types of methods, tools or projects that were used.  Related work experience or professional accomplishments may also be described.  If the admissions committee finds your application strong but recommends GRE or GMAT to be taken (not finding the essay/background qualifying for the waiver), you may be admitted conditionally to the program and take the test at a later date (within two months of admission).

The expected GRE score is at least 305; however, the MSBA program does not admit/deny solely based on GRE/GMAT scores. The admissions committee evaluates the overall application, including the quality and rigor of academic training and performance, quantitative/technical background, competitive test scores, recommendation letters, personal statement, related work experience (if any) and admissions interview.

The minimum score required for the TOEFL exam is 100 (internet-based), and for the IELTS exam is 7.5.

  • The Educational Testing Service institution code for the GRE and TOEFL is 5818.
  • The university’s institutional code for the GMAT is JV2-TP-36.
  • The TOEFL exam, IELTS International Academic Course Type 2 exam, TOEIC and the PTE Academic are accepted English proficiency tests.

If you must take the GRE/GMAT/TOEFL close to the application deadline, you can include your preliminary score in the online application so that the committee can see it before your official score is received. You should use the same email address, name and birthdate on your official score report and your application, so that they can be matched up quickly by our electronic system.

We cannot reverse “deny” decisions, so you should submit your strongest application possible. Please do not submit the application with the intent to send updated test scores.

We recommend one letter from an academic reference and one from a professional reference. Ask your references to describe your quantitative skills, intellectual ability and any other personal traits that might be related to your potential success in the program.

On your application, state the basis of your grading scale and your GPA. Transcripts and GPA are reviewed in this manner.

When students pursue an MBA, they are usually more interested in a broad view of business that would advance their careers with leadership and management skills. MBA students can pursue a graduate certificate in business analytics that provides some additional analytics skills. The MSBA is a highly technical degree for students who are interested in taking a deep dive into business analytics, targeting to be successful analytics professionals in their career.

Yes, it is possible to enroll in another graduate program at the Moore School once you join the MSBA program. With the approval of the Moore School's Graduate Programs Dean and the Dean of the USC Graduate School, students enrolled in a second program may use no more than 12 credit hours that are common to both programs of study. Please discuss with the respective program directors should you wish to enroll in a second program.

The MSBA program currently accepts fall applications only. If you are graduating in December, please apply for the following fall semester.

The program offers classes in a flexible format. Some classes are offered in the evening, and many classes are delivered in hybrid and in-person format along with synchronous online delivery. The exact format and schedule will depend on the specific class (not all classes currently have a remote option). Particularly for the first semester of the program, we encourage all students to attend in person with their cohort since this is a highly quantitative program and it might be challenging to keep up with the courses when working full-time.

Tuition and fees are determined by the USC Board of Trustees. MSBA tuition (program fee) is billed per credit-hour. View current tuition on the MSBA Tuition, Fees and Financial Awards page.

We do not offer scholarships but consider each candidate for merit-based financial awards in the form of a fellowship (amounts vary) or graduate assistantship upon admission.

Students can also apply for other financial awards not controlled by the MSBA program such as:

  • USC Graduate School Fellowships and Awards: The Graduate School offers a range of fellowships and merit-based awards to attract and support outstanding graduate students, including the award-winning Presidential Fellowship.
  • USC Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs: The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs was established in 1994 to provide innovative educational initiatives for exceptional students. The staff facilitates the pursuit of nationally prestigious scholarships by university students and coordinates an enhanced university experience for the Carolina and McNair Scholars.

Yes. Currently, graduate students may borrow from several student loan programs. These programs are constantly changing. For specific program requirements and application materials, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at 803-777-8134 or

For assistance, please email International Student Services at

You can also visit the International Student Services website for more information.

The USC Graduate School requires all international students applying for F-1 or J-1 student visas show evidence of financial resources to cover the expenses for one year of study, including room and board. International Student Services must receive this evidence before an I-20 or a DS-2019 document can be issued.  Acceptable proof of resources includes a recent bank statement and scholarship, fellowship or graduate assistantship information, if applicable.


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