Marshall IBEAR MBA Program Overview

 CostClass Size (Degree)Work Experience Average (Range) [Minimum]GMAT Average (Middle 80% Range)GMAT Waiver?Age Average (Range)% Women
(% Internationals)
Round 1 DeadlineRound 2 DeadlineRound 3 Deadline
USC Marshall IBEAR$104k56
10 years
[6 min]
n/a (74%)November 1, 2016
...May 15, 2017

Interested in other programs like MSx? Read my article on full-time, 1-year MBA programs for mid-career professionals

The International Business Education and Research MBA or IBEAR MBA, is a one-year, accelerated, full time, international MBA program designed for mid-career professionals being groomed to assume senior global positions. Students (and their families) live on or near campus.

IBEAR students are very different than those attending a traditional two-year MBA program. Students tend to be multi-lingual and demonstrate a strong understanding of international business and culture. Being significantly more experienced than a traditional two- year MBA student, the typical IBEAR participant seeks to re-enter the job market at a more senior level upon completion of their diploma.

IBEAR Studentsv2

While doing a career 360 probably isn’t the norm among IBEAR students, many will join a new employer post-graduation (rather than return to their former employer). While the average age is 33 years old, students range in age from 29-49+. Applicants need a minimum of 6 years of work experience to apply to IBEAR.

IBEAR delivers an MBA degree to participants. While it’s not easy to land one of the 56 places in USC’s IBEAR program, overall, admissions is less competitive than Sloan Fellows or the MSx program. The IBEAR curriculum is on par with what you’d find at a typical 2-year MBA although certain courses have a more international leaning like the International Business Consulting Project and International Trade and Finance. There are plenty of courses in the curriculum which are optional – giving students the opportunity to tailor the MBA experience to their liking.

One highlight of the program includes time spent overseas working on a consulting project. At IBEAR, small teams of 4-5 IBEAR participants with diverse language, culture, industry and functional skills work together for 41/2 months to solve a pressing global business issue for a client. International travel for research is a vital part of this engagement.

Link: USC Marshall IBEAR Dates

  • The next IBEAR Program begins in July 2017 (ends July 2018)
  • Deadlines: Rolling applications begin in November and continue until April 20th or until the class is full. Example: If you’re applying for the program starting in July 2017, the earliest you can submit an application is November 2016. International applicants should submit their application as early as possible. A decision is rendered approximately two weeks after the candidate completes his/her interview

Link: USC Marshall IBEAR Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Business Resume
  • GMAT or GRE accepted
  • International applicants must submit TOEFL/PTE (Academic)
  • Essays: 2016-17 application season
    • Essay 1) Please discuss your post-IBEAR short-term and long term career goals. Please do not exceed 500 words.
    • Essay 2) Please tell us something about yourself that you feel will strengthen your application.  Please do not exceed 500 words.
  • Two Recommendation Letters: Please take note that Marshall does not offer up specific recommender prompts either on their website or in the online recommendation form! You may want to share the following lines (from the IBEAR website) with your recommender.

    Letters of recommendation are used as a gauge of your professional achievements and managerial potential. We prefer that one of your two recommendations be provided by a direct supervisor. This person should provide specific observations and examples of your leadership, teamwork, analytical skills and personal qualities. Letters of recommendation must be submitted online.

  • Interview: By invitation only

Download USC Marshall IBEAR Recommendation Questions 2016-17

Link: USC Marshall IBEAR Curriculum

Student Profile: Hui Rong (Rommy) Dai LinkedIn
Director, Head of Wealth Mangement, UBS Securities, Shanghai, China
Enrolling in the IBEAR MBA program proved a perfect fit for Rommy, who parlayed an undergraduate degree in investment and economics into a successful career in finance, but wanted to take her managerial skills to the next level. At Citibank China and UBS, Rommy had distinguished herself as a top performer in the field of wealth management, working her way up the ranks and winning recognition from key industry players. As her responsibilities increased, however, so, too, did the challenges; the IBEAR MBA provided the solution, expanding her knowledge, honing her abilities and enhancing her career development. “I’ve always worked for multinational banks,” she says, “and my family is international, as well. So at Marshall, which has students with such different backgrounds, I fit right in.” With her MBA in hand, Rommy plans to return to Asia to explore new opportunities in China’s emerging market for private wealth management.

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