University of Southern California
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Advising and Academic Services

Office of College Advising
College Academic Services Building 120
(213) 740-2534
FAX: (213) 740-3664

The Office of College Advising provides a wide range of advising services and programs that integrate students, faculty, staff, academic disciplines and curricula into a meaningful educational experience. Academic advisors work closely with students to help familiarize them with the academic life of the College, choose or change their majors and fulfill core requirements so they can graduate in a timely manner.

Academic advising is mandatory for all students entering the College until they have completed 24 units at USC. Students without declared majors are required to receive academic advising every semester. All students in the College are strongly encouraged to seek individual academic advisement at least once each semester until graduation. Guidance regarding academic requirements, policies and program planning is available in the Office of College Advising by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Advising in major course requirements is available within the department of the student's major.

The services of a College ombudsman are available to students who have academic concerns that cannot be adequately addressed by the usual mechanisms of consulting instructors, department chairs or other university offices. The ombudsman can be particularly helpful in the case of grade appeals that are complex in nature. The ombudsman functions as an intermediary between the student, the faculty and other offices on campus.

Advising for Pre-Health Programs

Pre-health advisors help students determine the most advantageous academic and extracurricular program to prepare for the health professions (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biokinesiology and physical therapy, occupational science and occupational therapy and other allied health professions). Pre-health advisors also support students as they consider general education courses, majors, minors and the optimal use of electives. Pre-health students are guided through the admission process in their chosen field, including how to write an effective personal statement, how to gain clinical or research experience, how to request appropriate letters of recommendation and how to complete the application. The Office of College Advising maintains an email listserv and a Web site for pre-health students.

Advising for Pre-Law Programs

Students who are interested in going to law school consult one-on-one with academic advisors in the Office of College Advising who specialize in this area. Pre-law advisors assist students in crafting an undergraduate academic program designed to lead to law school admission and success. Pre-law students are supported in all aspects of the law school application process, including how to write an effective personal statement and how to request appropriate letters of recommendation.

Pre-law advisors also help students target the most appropriate law school, put students in contact with pre-law societies and notify students of relevant pre-law and law-related events. Pre-law students are also invited to subscribe to an email listserv sponsored by the Office of College Advising in order to connect with pre-law resources.

Pre-Graduate School Advising

The pre-graduate school advisor assists USC undergraduates and alumni interested in applying to all graduate programs other than law and medicine. The advisor helps students determine when and if they should apply to graduate school and guides students in the process of researching and choosing appro­priate schools and programs. Students can expect support in such areas as navigating the admissions process, writing statements of purpose, requesting letters of recommendation, exploring test preparation resources, and identifying and pursuing sources of funding.

Studying Abroad

The Office of Overseas Studies provides opportunities for students to study in other countries. Eligible students can choose between 51 academic programs in 29 countries and study for one or two semesters. The Office of Overseas Studies is located in the College House, Room 201. For more information, call (213) 740-3636, email or visit

Other Programs

The Office of College Advising provides and coordinates other special services for students. Learning Communities help freshmen without majors acclimate to the academic life of the university by giving them a shared experience, special access to faculty and staff advisors and co-curricular activities. The Office of College Advising also works closely with the staff and faculty of the professional schools in addition to the Career Planning and Placement Center to help students who find themselves inadmissible to their first-choice major. Advisors help such students find alternative majors and acquire other experiences to prepare them well for their chosen careers.