University of Southern California
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Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science in Business Research

The Master of Science in Business Research is an alternative available only to Marshall Ph.D. students.

The curriculum involves a flexible program of study and research guided by faculty of the Marshall School culminating in the completion of a research project and publishable paper in an area of specialization.


Marshall does not accept applications directly to this program. A student admitted to the Marshall Ph.D. program may later request conversion or be invited by the faculty to complete the master’s degree in lieu of the Ph.D. Requests for conversion are subject to approval by the Marshall vice dean who oversees the Ph.D. program.

For more information, contact the Ph.D. program office for a referral to the M.S.B.R. advisor.

Program Requirements

The degree requires a minimum of 33 graduate units for all candidates — 30 units of course work and 3 units of Directed Research or GSBA 610 Seminar in Business Research.

Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, the student is assigned a faculty advisor who oversees the selection of course work, taking into account the student’s prior academic preparation. The curriculum requires completion of Ph.D. program core courses focusing on research methods and theory in an area of specialization. Methods course work completed at USC must include at least one course in microeconomics or behavioral science, one course in statistics and one course in research design. Additional courses are drawn from the Marshall School of Business and other participating departments including economics, psychology, mathematics, sociology, engineering, communication and others.

Three units of Directed Research (590) or GSBA 610 Seminar in Business Research are required to provide a capstone experience culminating in a research report of publishable quality in the area of specialization. The research will be conducted under the direction of an individual faculty member from the department in which the area of specialization is taken.

No courses numbered lower than 500 may be applied in this program. All courses applied to the first 30 units must be letter-graded and completed in residence at USC. No transfer units or graduate units from a degree previously completed at USC can be applied to the M.S. in Business Research.