Out of 3500 higher learning institutions in the United States, USC is one of only 88 research universities, which means faculty at the Marshall School of Business are actively engaged within their field and publish the latest studies that are then incorporated into the classroom. What this translates to, in terms of undergraduate opportunities, is the chance to work closely with professors who are oftentimes at the forefront of their academic fields, whether it be organizational behavior, microeconomics, or finance. For undergrads, this is a crucial distinction that allows them to engage in academic research before many of their peers at fellow higher-learning institutions.
In just freshman year, I personally struck up a conversation with my microeconomics professor about being interested in the field of econ. He casually mentioned that I could work as a research assistant for him, if I wanted to be more engaged with my interests. Without even having to ask, I was being offered a research opportunity! Of course, I took it, and not only have I had the chance to help my professor publish an academic paper, but also develop a closer working relationship with my professor and the extensive network the Trojan Family always has.
Even if you’re unsure about whether or not you’d like to do research (you may not be interested in medical fields, or you may not be planning to go into graduate studies), research is a good chance to learn for the sake of learning. After selecting a major or minor, undergraduate students may not have the time to fit another academic subject into their schedule. By engaging in research, students can further explore interests without the commitment of a degree. I would highly recommend anyone who hasn’t done research to take advantage of being at USC and get involved in any subject area that fascinates him/her at least once before graduation.