University of Southern California
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Master's Degree Programs

Academic Policies — Master’s Programs


Subject waiver of required courses may be granted to students based on prior academic work subject to university policy limitations and in some cases by examination. All waived courses must be replaced with electives.

Further information regarding the waiver policy in the Marshall School of Business may be obtained from the program advisor for the applicable degree program.

Change of Degree Program

Students who are currently enrolled in one degree program who wish to change their degree status to another program must formally reapply through the Admission Office for the applicable program. Details concerning individual student requirements in other degree programs may be obtained by contacting the applicable Admission Office.

Continuous Enrollment/Leave of Absence/Withdrawal/Reinstatement

Once admitted to a graduate degree program, the student must enroll at USC each fall and spring semester each year until she or he has satisfactorily completed all degree requirements. MBA.PM students must enroll at USC each fall and spring semester and summer session each year until they have satisfactorily completed all degree requirements.

If for military, medical, religious or job-related reasons a student must skip a semester, the student must petition for a leave of absence. The petition should be submitted to the student’s program advisor no later than the first day of class for the semester of the leave. Leave of absence request forms are available by electronic mail, fax or hard copy.

If granted, the period of leave is not counted in the time allowed for the completion of degree requirements, and the student is allowed to complete the degree requirements in effect when he or she was originally admitted.

Once a leave is approved, it is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from any classes for which the student has already enrolled. An approved leave may not exceed one academic year. A student whose leave exceeds one academic year or who fails to maintain continuous enrollment without obtaining an approved leave must, when ready to return to school, apply for readmission to the program. Applications for readmission are available by email, fax or hard copy. Contact the program advisor for the applicable program.

Students who must completely withdraw from a program must notify their program office of their withdrawal from the program. Students should contact their program office for more information or assistance.

Course Work at Another Institution

Once matriculated into a Marshall School of Business program, a student must receive prior permission by petition from the appropriate Marshall program office to take course work (a maximum of six units) at another institution. Only course work from an AACSB accredited business school can be accepted. A grade of B or better must be earned. Permission is granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Limited Status

The Marshall School of Business does not allow students to take M.B.A. electives on any conditional or special status basis prior to application and an official admission decision except under the following condition: students completing a Master of Business Administration program at another accredited university outside of the Los Angeles area may take up to 12 units in the Marshall School of Business to complete their degrees, provided that a letter from the associate dean or program director at a student’s university identifies the classes that will be accepted for credit by the university granting the degree.

Grade Point Average Requirements

Master’s students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) or better to stay in good academic standing. Students who are not in good academic standing are subject to dismissal.

Grades below C (2.0) in all master’s degree courses are not acceptable. If a lower grade is earned in a required course, the course must be repeated at USC and a grade of C or above must be earned. Degree credit will not be given for courses with grades of C- and below, but the grades are computed into the grade point average. Such courses should be repeated in the next semester in which the course in question is offered and must be repeated within one calendar year. Satisfactory completion of all required courses must occur prior to or concurrently with the beginning of advanced course work.

Academic Warning
Master’s students who, in a term, do not earn or maintain a 3.0 (A = 4.0) grade point average will be given an academic warning in the semester following the one in which they became deficient in grade points. Students who fail to achieve a 3.0 upon completion of the required number of units for any degree may, with the prior permission of the Associate Dean or the Vice Dean of Graduate Programs, be allowed to take a maximum of 12 additional units at USC to obtain the required GPA. Petitions to take additional units should be submitted to the student’s program office.

A student may be dismissed from a master’s program whenever, in the judgment of the program’s associate dean and the vice dean for graduate programs, it is unlikely that the student will successfully complete his or her program.