University of Southern California
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Undergraduate Education

Undergraduate Degree Programs

USC is a major university providing diverse academic programs. As such it has evolved into a complex organization. The basic underlying principle in its organization is simple: groups of faculty with similar areas of knowledge and interest are grouped together to form departments or schools. These units work together in determining the courses to be offered, requirements for degrees, and the content and rationale underlying their curricula.

In practice, the organization becomes more complex. Certain areas of study are based on broad areas of knowledge which need to draw faculty from several departments. The following list of undergraduate degrees provides a guide to the organization of USC. The index includes all degrees offered, and the school which administers the degree.

The basic undergraduate degrees are the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science. Students may obtain these degrees in a variety of majors that have been formally approved. More specialized degrees, such as a Bachelor of Music, require more undergraduate study devoted to professional training.

Area of Emphasis

An Area of Emphasis is a specific focus within a major. Areas of Emphasis are listed within parentheses following the appropriate majors and do not appear on diplomas but are indicated on transcripts.

Combined Program

A combined program is an organized set of requirements from two academic units in a single undergraduate degree program that combines two majors. Examples are: Linguistics/Psychology, Physics/Computer Science and Biomedical/Electrical Engineering.

Double Major Within the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

A double major consists of two majors which allow the student to earn the same degree, either a B.A. or B.S. degree, conferred by the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The College of Letters, Arts and Sciences offers two kinds of majors, "departmental" and "interdepartmental" (see Undergraduate Programs). A double major may consist of two departmental majors, two interdepartmental majors, or one departmental and one interdepartmental major. All double majors require a minimum of 12 upper division courses. Some upper division courses may count for both majors. For double departmental majors two upper division courses may count toward both majors. For departmental and interdepartmental majors, three upper division courses may count toward both majors.

Other Double Majors

Double majors may be offered in other schools. The two majors must be offered by different departments but lead to the same degree, such as a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Music. Double majors consisting of two majors in the same department are not permitted.

Progressive Degree Programs

The progressive degree plan enables an undergraduate student to begin an integrated program of study joining bachelor's degree and master's degree programs in the same or different departments. This option is available to outstanding USC undergraduates who have completed 64 units of course work at USC, and often results in a more expeditious completion of the master's degree than otherwise would be possible.

Students are admitted to the master's degree at the completion of the sixth semester. Progressive degree students must fulfill all requirements for both the bachelor's degree and the master's degree except for the combined total number of units for the degrees. The bachelor's degree can be awarded first. Further details about progressive degrees can be found on Requirements for Graduation.

Second Bachelor's Degree

A second bachelor's degree requires a minimum of 32 additional units. For some degrees more than the 32 additional units may be needed because all requirements for both degrees must be met. Also, the residence requirement for a second bachelor's degree applies, which requires 32 units applicable to the degree beyond the number of units required for the first USC bachelor's degree to be completed in residence or for a student with the first bachelor's degree from another institution, the second bachelor's degree requires 64 units (see Residence Requirements, the policy on residence requirement for a second bachelor’s degree). The student receives a separate diploma for each degree upon completion.

Minor Programs

In addition to the degree programs listed, many academic units offer minor programs. A list of minors appears after the list of undergraduate degrees. The requirements for each minor are listed in the appropriate school section. Minors do not appear on diplomas but are recorded on transcripts. The student receives a separate minor certificate for each minor program completed. See Requirements for Graduation for more detailed information about minor programs.

The Undergraduate Degree Programs List

All degrees are listed alphabetically by the school which provides the program for the degree objective. All degrees are listed alphabetically in the index at the end of this catalogue. Areas of emphasis do not appear on diplomas but are indicated on transcripts.