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General FAQs about Business Emphases

The FAQs only apply to the Emphases in Business Analytics, Communication, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Finance, Leadership & Innovation, Marketing, Real Estate Finance, and Risk Management.

Do students need to receive a specific grade in the required course, and is there a minimum overall GPA required for students to declare the emphasis?

There is no grade requirement for the required course or GPA requirement to declare the Emphasis, but keep in mind students need a minimum 2.0 overall cumulative GPA and 2.0 GPA in upper division courses applied to their major to meet graduation requirements. We do strongly recommend students to assess their interest in the Emphasis area and other emphases options.

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Are there any restrictions on how many students will be admitted to each Emphasis?

No, all students who meet the criteria may declare the Emphasis.

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When can students declare an Emphasis?

Students must have sophomore standing (minimum 32 completed units), complete one semester in residence at USC, and complete the gateway course, if required, before declaring the Emphasis. Students must declare prior to the last day of class of their final semester. Students who meet the criteria requirements can declare here.

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How long does it typically take for students to receive an update about their Emphasis declaration?

Students will typically be notified of their emphasis declaration within 10 business days.

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Are students required to declare an Emphasis?

Students who wish to specialize and focus in a specific area can declare an Emphasis, although it is not required. Students may earn a B.S. in Business Administration (no emphasis) by completing the required twelve (12) units of upper division electives which can be mixed across different business areas. The general degree provides students more flexibility to bridge various areas of interest together. More information on Marshall upper division electives can be found here.

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Can students declare more than one Emphasis?

No, students can declare only one Emphasis.

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What if a student wants to change their Emphasis to a different one, or drop it?

If students want to change or drop their Emphasis, they will need to resubmit the emphasis declaration application found here. Students will need to complete the gateway course, if required, prior to declaring the new Emphasis and plan to complete the required upper division coursework required for the new Emphasis of interest. Please note that the Emphasis must be declared prior to the last day of class of their final semester.

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Will the emphasis reflect on students' diploma?

The emphasis will not be reflected on students' diploma, but it will be reflected on their degree progress records. 

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Will students automatically be declared for the Emphasis if they complete all requirements for the Emphasis?

No, students must complete the emphasis declaration application here to declare the Emphasis after they complete the gateway course, if required. Students must declare prior to the last day of class of their final semester. 

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