World Bachelor in Business


Program Description

Three World-Class Universities, Three Continents, Three Degrees: One Unparalleled Experience

It is a unique 4-year program, developed with two prestigious partner universities: USC University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles and HKUST the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Students, in a small class of about 50 students coming from all over the world, study at a different location and university each year, spanning three continents: in fact, they spend the first year in Los Angeles, the second in Hong Kong, the third in Milan and the fourth at their choice of one of these schools.

It represents an exciting study and life experience that requires strong motivation, cultural openness, and high flexibility to adapt to new environments and situations. Selected students learn from internationally renowned teachers and scholars, exploring diverse cultures and pushing themselves to new limits. It’s is the first undergraduate partnership of its kind, designed to engage intellectually curious students in a business curriculum that connects leading-edge teaching methods with cultural immersion and real-world experiences. English is the common language of the WBB, and students become versed in the language of business in Asia, Europe, and North America during extracurricular activities and internships arranged in each country. This is a new approach to education that will prepare a new generation of leaders for the opportunities of an interconnected world.

The curriculum is rigorous and provides a solid foundation in business and economics. It also encourages a well-rounded education, requiring liberal arts courses with an emphasis on writing, science, and humanities.

The first three years are composed of required courses that focus on a variety of topics according to the country of study and the special strengths of each school. In the first year, WBB students delve into the heart of Los Angeles to explore the emerging relationships between technology and entertainment. In the second year, they meet with financial leaders in the high rises of Hong Kong to discuss the global banking industry. In Milan, in the third year, they consolidate their economic and management knowledge as they study the complexities of integrating the many countries of the European Union. Business and legal courses with regional emphasis will help students acquire an in-depth understanding of the nuances of doing business in different global environments.

At the end of the program, students will earn 3 recognized Bachelor degrees, one from each school.

WBB graduates will be particularly attractive candidates for jobs in international businesses and organizations of all types, due to their ability to understand global settings, cultures, economies, and societies.

WBB Experience

The World Bachelor in Business cohort of approximately 50 students, study at three universities located in major economic and cultural centers. Each year students move to a new continent, learning about and adapting to new living and study environments. They are supported through services available at each university, tailored to meet their needs as WBB students during this unparalleled experience.


Residential life is an important component of university education. This is particularly crucial for WBB students. All students are provided with accommodation in university housing at each location, offering them the opportunity to meet friends from all over the world, understand different cultures and adjust to the local community. All three universities provide various residential hall options both on and off-campus.


Since WBB students may face challenges due to the complexity of working with three different universities and the uniqueness of the academic structure, each school provides specific support to assist WBB students moving from one campus to another, both from an academic and administrative point of view. WBB faculty advisors are also available at all schools to help students choose courses and make plans that best fit their career aspirations.

Social Activities

Extracurricular opportunities and on-campus activities designed specifically for the program are available at each school. The unusual composition of WBB class groups and the program’s structure mean the group will spend a lot of time together, inside and outside the classroom.

Career Services and Placement

WBB graduates are well-positioned for careers in a broad range of areas in the private and public sectors, in addition to their own entrepreneurial initiatives. In order to help students successfully launch their careers, each school endeavors to identify specific internship opportunities for WBB students. WBB students also have access to career development activities at each school.

Program Structure

First Year @USC

Main topics

  • Marketing
  • Microeconomics
  • Calculus
  • Writing
  • Seminars on soft skills

The first year includes foundational business courses like Microeconomics for Business, along with classes designed to build essential business skills like Writing and Critical Reasoning.

In Leading Organizations, which focuses on leadership and management skills, students put theory into practice and develop leadership, negotiation and communication skills.

In both the first and second years, students can select from a variety of humanities courses (literature, music, philosophy, art, anthropology, religion, history, etc.) designed to encourage an appreciation of Western and/or Chinese cultures and to develop analytical and communication skills.

Second Year @HKUST

Main topics

  • Accounting
  • Business in Asia
  • Chinese communication
  • Organization

During the second year, students will gain professional and technical knowledge while developing a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Courses will offer unique insights into the way business works in China and Asia and provide an introduction to the Chinese languages.

Other courses such as Business Statistics and Introduction to Information Systems emphasize mathematical and analytical skills. Students will take their first Accounting class and develop critical-thinking skills in studying Science and Technology and other subjects.

Third Year @Bocconi

Main topics

  • Finance
  • Economic History
  • Business in Europe
  • Law
  • Public Management
  • Second foreign language

Courses in the third year will include Corporate Finance, Financial Markets and Institutions, and European Economic Policy. Students will examine the fundamentals of Italian civil law within the broader framework of European legal culture in Introduction to the Legal System, and analyze economic developments in Western nations in Economic History. The course in Public Management will explore the complex relations between private businesses and the government bodies for whom they supply products, services and management know-how at the national and local levels.

In additional classes, students will learn about the specifics of doing business in the European Union and build introductory Italian language skills.

Fourth Year @Open

Main topics

  • 3 electives on specific individual interests and objectives
  • Business Communications
  • Ethics
  • Strategy

The fourth and final year reinforces an integrated view of business with courses in Business Communications, Ethics, and Strategy.

Year four also allows students to focus on specific interests and objectives, not only in the choice of which school to attend but also through the selection of 3 elective courses.

Program requirements are subject to change.

Career Opportunities

WBB graduates are expected to enter the job market soon after graduation; indeed, the program aims to offer a prompt and full immersion in all the main topics related to business with a comparative and comprehensive approach.

Graduates will be awarded three degrees, officially accepted in the home country as well as in the other two countries.

After their first work experiences, graduates may also apply to post-graduate/MBA programs.

Thanks to their management curriculum and wide-ranging international experience, WBB graduates will typically access the labor market working as top manager assistants in multinational corporations or global-oriented companies in important areas such as:

  • Managerial accounting
  • Finance and control, marketing
  • Sales and acquisitions
  • Organization


The University of Southern California, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Bocconi University have developed the World Bachelor in Business (WBB) partnership, the first undergraduate program of its kind in which students will live and study on three continents and earn degrees from three universities. The program aims to provide a small cohort of truly international students with solid preparation in the field of business management. The strongest candidates will have an outstanding academic record and an ability to adapt and thrive in different environments.

In an effort to accommodate different admission schemes and schedules of various regions across the globe, WBB applicants are recommended to submit only one online application through one of the three partner universities.

Candidates attending an American High School are invited to apply through USC via CommonApp.

Candidates attending a secondary school in Asia/Southern Pacific areas are invited to apply through HKUST via CommonApp.

The selection for the WBB program is highly competitive. Applicants are kindly invited to visit the reference university’s website to understand application procedures, admission requirements and timelines.

Admission requirements

The WBB application is dedicated only to students attending the final year of secondary school. Applicants’ profiles will be evaluated by an Admissions Committee representing the three partner universities.

It is essential to provide accurate information in the online application, together with complete and updated documentation that allows the Admissions Committee to evaluate candidates in the best possible way. All the required documents must be uploaded on My Application by December 17, 2018. Documents sent via email or postal mail will NOT be considered by the Admissions Committee.

Please find below the documents required for the WBB application:

  • Selection test: Official ACT or SAT score. An SAT score higher than 1350 (out of 1600) or ACT composite score higher than 29 is highly recommended.
  • Secondary school transcripts: fourth-last, third-last and second-last year final transcripts are compulsory (grades 9, 10 and 11 out of 12 or grades 10, 11 and 12 out of 13). Predicted grades of the last year of secondary school can be uploaded together with the CV but they are not compulsory.
  • English prerequisite
  • Personal essay
  • CV/Resume
  • Counselor or teacher recommendation letters
  • Video interview
  • Applications not submitted or without a valid SAT/ACT score uploaded will not be considered.

At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, personal interviews may be required for scholarship consideration.

Tuition and Scholarships

Tuition and Fees

Students will pay the tuition and fees of the university where they are in residence each year.

During the fourth year, students will pay according to the university location they choose to attend.

Below you can find the tuition and fees and accommodation costs at each institution for the WBB program. Please note that fees and costs are subject to change.

Year Year 1 USC Year 2 HKUST Year 3 Bocconi
Tuition USD 55,320.00 HKD 210,000 Euro 18,000
Accommodations* USD 16,071.00 HKD 35,000 – 100,000 Euro 7,000

*Depends on the availability of on-campus dormitory


WBB is for students with an outstanding academic record. A number of scholarships have thus been established to acknowledge students’ achievements. All applicants will be automatically considered for scholarships based on their academic merit and other accomplishments. There is no need to file a separate scholarship application.


All students with European citizenship enrolled in the World Bachelor in Business program can apply for a dedicated loan with a major European bank.

Last updated Nov 2019

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About the School

Università Bocconi, founded in 1902, was the first Italian university to grant a degree in economics.

Università Bocconi, founded in 1902, was the first Italian university to grant a degree in economics. Read less
Milan , Los Angeles + 1 More Less