LOS ANGELES, March 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USC Marshall School of Business announces major revisions in its undergraduate curriculum, designed to prepare future leaders by providing an even broader academic experience.
The New Marshall curriculum enhances academic flexibility while still maintaining the rigorous core business program that is a hallmark of USC Marshall. Building on a strong foundation in business fundamentals, students will round out and enhance their program by participating in international experiential learning opportunities, choosing an area of in-depth business study, and pursuing study in an area outside business.
"Leaders of tomorrow need a mindset that allows them to effortlessly cross boundaries, whether those borders are international, cultural or disciplinary," said Marshall Dean James G. Ellis. "Our new curriculum nurtures the global mindset by providing business students with meaningful cross-cultural experiences -- whether across campus or around the world."
Marshall is ranked 10th overall for its undergraduate programs and in the top 25 for its MBA programs by U.S. News & World Report. Marshall has long focused on experiential, international and entrepreneurial learning. The new curriculum introduces even more flexibility to these already highly successful programs.
The idea of the global mindset is to foster within students the ability to work and communicate across geographic and intellectual boundaries. Marshall is a leader in providing global opportunities across a range of disciplines and interests. Its Global Leadership and Learning About International Commerce programs were the first of their kind available to freshman students, and USC is home to more international students than any other American university.
A task force of 30 faculty and staff, led by John Matsusaka, Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, spent the last year evaluating the existing curriculum in the context of the constantly evolving global economy. The resulting significant curriculum changes focus on developing students' capacity to perform highly in disparate business settings.
"Through the flexibility of this new curriculum, Marshall students will be encouraged to participate academically in all that is offered at a great research university like USC, while still gaining a world-class business education," Matsusaka said. "The 'breadth with depth' philosophy that is so much a part of the USC experience will be strengthened at USC Marshall."
About 17 percent of Marshall undergraduates currently pursue a minor. The new curriculum is designed to support and encourage all Marshall students to do so.
Highlights of the new curriculum include:
* Sixty percent more elective units - This significant increase in electives allows students to easily pursue minors outside the business school. With this change the Marshall School increases its commitment to USC's goal of imparting breadth with depth to each of its students. Breadth with depth involves in-depth knowledge in two or more disparate fields. Marshall students can now create highly personalized, multidisciplinary programs of study.
* More flexible choice of business electives - Students will have more flexibility in choosing upper division business electives to meet their educational objectives. Upper division electives can be focused in a specific business discipline, as in the current curriculum, or spread across disciplines. This will allow, for example, a student to create a program that includes Introduction to Venture Capital together with Negotiation and Persuasion, or New Product Development and Branding together with Business Forecasting.
* Better integrated business fundamentals - Foundational courses that provide analytical skills and theoretical knowledge in math, statistics, accounting and economics have been updated to provide a more efficient delivery of key material.
* New integrative class focused on data analysis for decision making - A new senior-level course focusing on how to collect, analyze, and interpret data to inform business decisions has been added to the core curriculum. This is an applied, integrative class with case analyses spanning the functional business disciplines.
* Enhanced opportunities for international studies - Marshall is a leader in providing students with opportunities for international studies in business, having developed programs like Learning About International Commerce (LINC) and the Global Leadership Program (GLP). These Freshman-year programs combine classroom study with experiential learning in the form of week-long trips to meet executives and learn about businesses in cities such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Santiago, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, and Taipei. Marshall also offers extensive Junior-year opportunities for international studies. The new curriculum will offer additional electives and Sophomore-year travel opportunities to round out and build on the first- and third-year international studies programs already in place.
The new curriculum will take effect for students who enter USC in the fall; current Marshall students can continue to pursue their original curriculum and degree requirements.
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SOURCE University of Southern California