Emphasis - Leadership and Innovation
Students will learn how to lead and innovate in their organization and effectively identify and solve critical problems to build a sustainable competitive advantage.
The B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Leadership and Innovation prepares students for leadership roles in a variety of organizations in a world of increasing global, technological and regulatory change. The program aims to train inspirational leaders who bring together diverse groups to achieve transformational innovation for sustained competitive advantage.
Students who choose the Leadership and Innovation emphasis will learn how to create an inspiring vision and strategy for innovation in their organization, effectively lead high performing innovative teams, create a culture of agility and innovation, and effectively identify and solve critical problems in order to build sustainable competitive advantage and satisfy a diverse set of stakeholders.
This Emphasis is available only to current Marshall undergraduates who have attained sophomore standing and have completed at least one semester in residence at USC.
Students must complete BUAD 304 (Organizational Behavior and Leadership) prior to declaring the Emphasis. The Emphasis requires completion of at least twelve (12) units of Management and Organization (MOR) upper division division coursework. Additional details are available in the catalogue.
Please note that students can only declare one Emphasis.
Emphasis Faculty Advisor
View our recommended coursework here
This document describes courses and potential careers in management. You may use this document to help guide your selection of twelve (12) units of upper division elective courses.
Emphasis Workshop Slide Deck
View the Spring 2024 emphasis workshop slide deck here
FAQs related to the Emphasis in Leadership and Innovation
Which course can help students determine if this Emphasis is right for them?
The Management and Organization Department (MOR) offers many elective courses, such as Global Leadership, Negotiation and Persuasion, and Management Consulting. Organizational Behavior and Leadership (BUAD 304) is suggested prior to taking some elective courses. We encourage students interested in the Leadership and Innovation emphasis to enroll in MOR electives and Organizational Behavior and Leadership (BUAD 304) as early as they can.
What other resources/experiences can help students determine if this Emphasis is the right fit?
In addition to the Leadership and Innovation Emphasis faculty advisor, students can consult their instructor of a management and organization (MOR) elective or their BUAD 304 instructor, to determine if the Leadership and Innovation Emphasis would be a good fit. Given there are numerous sub-fields within leadership and innovation, we recommend students approach their instructor with some specific information about what they find most interesting (e.g., leadership development, management consulting, strategic management) to guide the discussion.
We also recommend students consider joining organizations that provide hands-on experience with management (for example, campus-based organizations such as Business Tech. Group, Consulting Club, Los Angeles Community Impact, 180 Degrees Consulting, Marshall Women's Leadership Board, International Consulting Club, etc. or completing a leadership or innovation internship for an organization of interest.
What qualities/skills are good for students to have when going into this Emphasis?
Diverse qualities and skillsets contribute to strong leadership and innovation! Some leaders are very creative (e.g., launching their own venture) while others are very analytical (e.g., strategists and data analysts). Some leaders are creative and analytical, and they find ways to leverage both perspectives in their work.
What skills or knowledge will students gain from this Emphasis?
Students have the opportunity to gain a breadth of knowledge and skills (by taking three upper-division Management and Organization classes that are not closely related and cover different sub-fields of Leadership and Innovation); OR depth of knowledge and skills (by taking three classes that are closely related and focused on a specific sub-field, such as Global Strategy and Global Leadership).
For what careers or industries will this Emphasis prepare students?
Students who choose the Leadership and Innovation Emphasis will be prepared for leadership and innovation roles in a wide variety of organizations from small entrepreneurial firms to large corporations across a wide range of industries. For example, students could assume the role of a Leader of technological innovation, Director of diversity, equity and inclusion, Manager of transformation, Vice President of Human Capital in North America, President of European subsidiaries, or Chief Executive Office.
Why would students choose this Emphasis?
Leadership and innovation is critical to success in today’s rapidly changing global environment. Students who enroll in the Leadership and Innovation Emphasis will gain the knowledge and skills needed to create an inspiring vision, strategy and culture for innovation in their organization in order to build sustainable competitive advantage. Students will learn how to effectively lead high performing innovation teams, and bring together diverse groups to satisfy a diverse set of stakeholders. Students will learn how to create a culture of agility, creativity, and flexibility to effectively identify and solve critical problems, develop a strategy, implement a solution, and evaluate the effectiveness.
Strategic Leadership and innovation are critical to success in today’s rapidly changing environment. Students who enroll in the B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Leadership and Innovation will have the opportunity to study strategic leadership and innovation more deeply and learn how to bring together diverse groups to achieve transformational innovation for sustained competitive advantage in their organization. Marshall students can add this emphasis to their resumes to increase their competitiveness on the job market and potentially increase job placement.
How does the MOR Leadership and Innovation compare with the Lloyd Greif Center’s Emphasis in Entrepreneurship and Innovation?
The Greif Center’s emphasis focuses on innovation in the context of new entrepreneurial ventures. The primary focus of the is Entrepreneurship and Innovation emphasis is on the recognition of business opportunities, business model formulation, feasibility analysis and access to capital for launching new ventures.
The MOR department’s emphasis focuses on the strategic leadership of innovation in the context of large, established organizations. This involves creating a vision, strategy and culture of innovation in the organization and bringing together diverse teams to achieve transformational innovation for sustained competitive advantage.
Can students satisfy these requirements when they study abroad?
Students who participate in the Marshall International Exchange program (IEP) may fulfill up to 6 units towards this emphasis while studying abroad. In order for the courses to be applied towards this emphasis, students must complete approved classes while abroad (a list of approved classes for each exchange location can be found on the IEP outgoing website). Students will work with the Marshall Exchange office to ensure that the approved classes they take abroad will be applied towards their emphasis.
For International Students
This emphasis is a STEM program
This emphasis has been approved by the university to be STEM-eligible. This allows students who have completed this degree to apply for the STEM OPT Extension. Please note that this extension is not guaranteed but is approved by federal departments beyond the university’s purview. We strongly advise students to carefully read the Office of International Services instructions (here and here) which explain the STEM OPT extension eligibility and proceed accordingly.
On my I-20, why does the degree say Management Science instead of Business Administration?
This emphasis has been approved by the university to be STEM-eligible under the Department of Education CIP code of 52.1301 designation of Management Science. The degree stated on the I-20 refers to this designation. Students can find a memo of support from the department for the CIP code designation here.
Do I need a new I-20 for this Emphasis?
Yes, all international students transferring to this emphasis will have a new I-20 issued with the STEM designation. The Marshall school will work directly with OIS to process the updated I-20 and once issued, the student will receive email notification from Marshall that the I-20 is available for pick-up. Students applying in Fall semester should expect their new I-20 to be ready in Spring semester, and those applying in Spring should expect their new I-20 ready in Fall semester.
I plan on traveling during the school breaks before I receive the new I-20, will I have any issues?
No, the I-20 with the STEM designation is not required if traveling prior to its issuance. Students can travel and re-enter the U.S. on their original I-20 once they receive a valid travel signature.