Office of Admission and Financial Aid
Admission to undergraduate programs is granted by the USC Office of Admission. This office receives and processes all applications, evaluates credentials, and mails letters of acceptance to applicants who qualify for entrance. Admission to the university's degree programs must be granted in all cases by the USC Office of Admission and the appropriate selection committees. Only a letter from the Office of Admission grants official admission. The academic records of international applicants are also evaluated by the Office of Admission.
The University of Southern California admits qualified men and women as students regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, sexual orientation or status as a disabled veteran. After admission, students are accorded equal rights to participate in all university-sponsored programs and activities. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, sexual orientation or status as a disabled veteran in the administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics and other student activities.
Applicants with DisabilitiesIn compliance with the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), USC offers equal access to its degree programs to academically qualified applicants with physical, psychological or learning disabilities. Applicants will be expected to have demonstrated by their record in a college preparatory high school curriculum or in an appropriate transferable college course of study that they can perform well in a competitive academic environment. See here and here for a discussion of possible accommodations. USC is committed to providing appropriate, reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities.
Retention of RecordsCredentials submitted to the Office of Admission become the property of the university and cannot be returned to the student or duplicated for any purpose.
Application ProceduresApplication forms may be obtained by mail, online or in person from the Office of Admission. A non-refundable fee must be sent with the completed application. For specific application deadlines and requirements, refer to the Undergraduate Application for Admission, available from the Office of Admission. Mail application requests to: Application Requests, University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911 or visit www.usc.edu/admission.
Credentials for admission must include complete records of all previous high school and college or university work and the required test scores. Consult the admission application for the procedure to forward official records directly to the Office of Admission and to request the testing agencies to forward appropriate scores.
USC does not undertake the collection of these credentials. The application for admission and complete credentials should be mailed to the Office of Admission by the deadlines stated on the application. Certain schools and departments do have different application deadlines.
Factors given prime consideration for admission to undergraduate study are an applicant's previous academic success and the quality of all records presented. To ensure diversity in the composition of the student body, other considerations may include outstanding talent and abilities, extracurricular activities and letters of recommendation.
A student is accepted only for the semester and program specified in the letter of admission. If a different semester is desired or if the student cannot arrive on campus in time for the specified semester, an Admission Application Update Request form should be obtained from the Office of Admission. This form should be completed and returned with a written explanation for the update request. If the update request is granted, the student's application will be reviewed again for admission and any new academic records will be evaluated. This does not, however, guarantee readmission. Those updating their applications must meet all appropriate deadlines for admission to selected majors, financial aid, scholarships and housing.
Admitted students may update their applications to a semester that is within one year of the semester for which they originally applied without paying an additional application fee. Students who are denied admission or who wish to update past one year must reapply and pay the application fee.
As a private university, USC seeks a wide geographical distribution among its student body, and evaluates its out-of-state applicants using the same criteria as those used for California residents. Tuition and fees are the same for all students, regardless of state or country of residence.
School and Department Application RequirementsBecause of high competition for admission, several schools and academic departments require supplementary application materials and may employ separate deadlines.
Leventhal School of Accounting Applicants for the B.S. degree in accounting offered through the USC Leventhal School of Accounting must first be admitted to the Marshall School of Business. In some cases, high school students who have demonstrated exceptional scholastic aptitude for the accounting major will be considered for admission as freshmen. For more information, write or call the USC Marshall School of Business, Office of Undergraduate Admission, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0805, (213) 740-8885, email firstname.lastname@example.org or consult USCweb (www.marshall.usc.edu/lsoa).
School of Architecture (B.Arch., B.L.Arch.) Transfer students should note that the core curriculum will take five years to complete. A portfolio is required of all applicants. For more information, write or call the USC School of Architecture, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0291, (213) 740-2420, email email@example.com or consult USCweb (www.usc.edu/dept/architecture).
Marshall School of Business Students may be admitted as incoming freshmen, as USC undergraduates transferring from another major or as students transferring from another college or university. Transfer students will be considered for admission to the Marshall School of Business once they have completed the prerequisite courses (college writing, macro and micro economics, business calculus). Students should contact the Marshall School for a detailed list of equivalent courses. For further information, write or call the USC Marshall School of Business, Office of Undergraduate Admission, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0805, (213) 740-8885, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or consult USCweb (www.marshall.usc.edu).
School of Cinema-Television (Critical Studies, Production and Writing for Screen and Television) Supplemental materials are due December 10. Transfer students applying to the writing program should note that the core curriculum takes four years to complete. For specific instructions on applications and required supplementary material, contact the USC School of Cinema-Television, Student Affairs Office, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-2911, email email@example.com or visit www.usc.edu/schools/cntv.
School of Dentistry Dental Hygiene All prerequisite and general education course work must be completed prior to entering dental hygiene classes, which begin in the fall of the student's junior year. Contact the department about completing necessary courses at USC or elsewhere. Admission is for the fall semester only. The supplemental application deadline is March 1.
For further information and a supplemental application, write or call the School of Dentistry, Office of Admissions and Student Affairs, 925 West 34th Street, Room 201, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641, (213) 740-2841 or visit the Web site (www.usc.edu/hsc/dental/).
School of Fine Arts (B.F.A. and B.A.) A supplemental application and slide portfolios are required of all applicants to the B.F.A. and B.A. (Studio Arts) programs. Supplemental applications may be downloaded from the school's Web site (www.usc.edu/finearts). Applicants may contact the USC School of Fine Arts, Watt Hall 104, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0292, (213) 740-2787, for questions about applications and required supplementary materials.
School of Journalism (includes majors in broadcast journalism, print journalism and public relations). A one-page statement of intent is required in addition to the main essay. The statement should discuss thoroughly the applicant's background and interest in pursuing an education and a career in journalism. Statements are read with great attention to commitment and literacy. Students whose first language is not English and whose secondary school instruction was not in English must submit TOEFL results. For more information, contact the USC Annenberg School for Communication, Recruitment Office, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0281, (213) 821-0770, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site (www.annenberg.usc.edu).
Thornton School of Music An audition is required for most majors and a supplementary application form is required for all majors. Audition requirements, audition dates and supplementary application forms can be found at the school's Web site (www.usc.edu/music) or by contacting the Thornton School of Music Office of Admission, University Park, UUC 218, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2991, (213) 740-8986. Applicants are urged to apply as early as possible.
Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy The major in occupational therapy leading to the bachelor of science degree is open to USC students only. Students should apply to USC in an undergraduate major of their choice and list Pre-Occupational Therapy (POT) as their pre-professional emphasis. Applications to the major may be submitted to the Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Department at any time. Admission to the program is competitive. Students who plan to enroll in the program after 2004 will be required to obtain a master's degree in occupational therapy in order to practice in the profession. For detailed information and the departmental application form write or call the USC Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, 1540 Alcazar Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003, (866) 385-4250 or visit the department's Web site (www.usc.edu/hsc/ihp/ot).
School of Pharmacy Applicants are admitted to fall semester only. Information about pre-pharmacy course requirements and admission directly from high school (TAP: Trojan Admission Pre-Pharmacy program) is provided here. All applicants should contact the School of Pharmacy for instructions and a separate application by writing or calling the USC School of Pharmacy, 1985 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9121, (323) 442-1466 or visiting the Web site (www.usc.edu/schools/pharmacy).
School of Theatre (B.F.A. and B.A.) A supplementary application form must be obtained from and returned to the USC School of Theatre, Academic Services Office, DRC 107, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0791, (213) 740-1286. An audition/interview is required for admission to the B.F.A. program; applicants must submit the supplementary application before scheduling an audition/interview. Applications for the B.F.A. program are accepted for the fall semester only; the deadline for returning the supplementary application is January 10. The deadline for applying to the B.A. program is January 10 for fall semester. Additional information is available on the school's Web site (www.usc.edu/theatre).
Admission from Secondary Schools
General Academic RequirementsEvidence of intellectual promise for admission to freshman standing will be furnished by the excellence of the applicant's high school academic record and appropriate strength on the SAT Reasoning Test of the College Entrance Examination Board or the assessment of the American College Testing (ACT) Program.
Consideration will be given to students presenting records with a pattern of selecting challenging academic courses, a strong trend in grades and leadership in co-curricular and community activities. The university will determine in each case the adequacy of the academic evidence presented.
Evidence that the student has completed high school (a diploma) is necessary prior to enrolling at USC.
Unit RequirementsAlthough no single pattern of courses is required, a minimum of 16 year-long courses in the following is necessary: 13 year-long courses in English, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences and foreign languages; three additional year-long courses may be taken in the previous areas or in computer science, theatre (except acting or technical theatre), fine arts (except first-year studio art), journalism (except newspaper or yearbook production), music (except ensembles), and speech (except debate or forensics). USC does not recognize in its admission process grades earned in courses other than those listed.
The willingness of the Committee on Admission to consider any variation from the recommended program will depend upon the applicant's promise of academic success and the quality of the total record.
Standardized Test RequirementAll applicants for admission as freshmen are required to take either the SAT Reasoning Test of the College Entrance Examination Board or the assessment of the American College Testing Program (ACT). These tests are given several times each year on the USC campus and at many other test centers throughout the country. If test information and application forms are not readily available, write to the Educational Testing Service, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704 or the American College Testing Program, P.O. Box 414, Iowa City, IA 52240. For the SAT, visit www.collegeboard.com; for the ACT visit www.act.org.
The Office of Admission encourages applicants to take three SAT Subject Tests administered by the College Board and have the test results sent to USC.
For students who are home schooled or who attend high schools that are not recognized by one of the regional accrediting associations, test scores will be most important to the application process. These students are required to submit three SAT Subject Tests scores, including one in math.
Credit by ExaminationStudents may establish a total of 32 semester units of credit toward their bachelor's degree by examination. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credit is granted at USC and will be evaluated solely according to USC's Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate policies. Such credit may be established as listed below. Students who have also earned credit for college courses taken while in high school should refer to "College Courses Taken During High School Enrollment."
Advanced Placement Examinations (AP)USC grants college credit for high school advanced placement courses which have been validated by the Advanced Placement Examinations of the Educational Testing Service. A student may be granted four semester units of credit for most AP tests with scores of three, four or five. For specific AP credit information call the Office of Admission, (213) 740-1111 or visit www.usc.edu/articulation.
International BaccalaureateUSC grants either 20 units of credit to students who earn the International Baccalaureate diploma with a score of 30 or higher, or six units for each score of 5, 6 or 7 on the IB Higher Level exams, for a maximum of four exams or whichever is higher. International Baccalaureate results should be forwarded to University of Southern California, Articulation Office, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0912.
Subject Credit by Special ExaminationSee the Subject Credit by Special Examination section for further information.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)USC does not grant credit on the basis of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
Admission from Colleges and UniversitiesAn applicant may be admitted by transfer from a fully accredited college, university or community college, under the following conditions: (1) if the applicant has completed 30 or more transferable college semester units with an appropriately strong grade point average in an academically rigorous selection of courses; (2) if the applicant is not under the penalty of academic or disciplinary disqualification at any college or university previously attended and is entitled to an honorable dismissal; and (3) if proof of high school graduation on a high school transcript has been provided as part of the application materials. If fewer than 30 transferable semester units have been completed at the time of application, the applicant must submit -- in addition to the high school transcript -- the results of the SAT or the ACT assessment, which will be considered along with the college work.
Students intending to transfer to USC should refer to the brochure Transferring to USC for detailed information about the university's transfer, admission and credit policies. Call the USC Office of Admission at (213) 740-1111 or go to www.usc.edu/admission.
The amount of advanced standing granted to a student transferring from another institution is determined in each individual case by the Office of Academic Records and Registrar. A minimum of 64 units toward the bachelor's degree must be earned in residence at USC. For a degree in Architecture, a minimum of 80 units must be earned in residence at USC For students in Engineering's "3-2" Program, at least 48 units must be earned in residence at USC.
It is the student's responsibility to report all college-level course work completed outside USC to the Office of Admission when completing the application form. Omitting such information constitutes a violation of the applicant's affidavit and may result in the revocation of admission to the university.
Records of all courses including correspondence study, extension or summer session courses taken in other institutions after the student's admission to USC must also be filed with the Office of Academic Records and Registrar immediately following the completion of the work.
Admission of International Students
The University of Southern California has an outstanding record of commitment to international education. From a small presence during our early history, our international enrollment grew to an average of 200 students by the 1930s. After declining international enrollments in the years surrounding World War II, USC began rebuilding and in 1951 began providing specialized admission services to international students. By 1964, more than 1,000 international students were enrolled at USC. Today, the Office of Admission serves thousands of prospective students each year by providing both general and specialized information and by maintaining the expertise necessary to evaluate academic records from the various educational systems around the world. The Office of Admission also issues the required eligibility certificates for students to enter the United States.
At USC, an international student is an individual of foreign nationality who will be entering or has already entered the United States with a student visa. However, students already residing in the U.S. and holding other non-immigrant visas (such as E2, H2 or L2) are also international students. International students do not qualify for need-based financial aid. U.S. permanent residents, naturalized U.S. citizens and U.S. citizens residing abroad and attending school outside the United States are not considered to be international students and are eligible for need-based financial aid.
For complete information, see Admission of International Students.