University of Southern California
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Graduate Degrees


Applicants for admission to graduate degree programs must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. Admission to graduate programs in the Rossier School of Education is highly selective and competitive. A grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) is usually expected as well as satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test and three letters of recommendation. For specific information on admission and application procedures, contact the Office of Admission and Recruitment, (213) 740-0224.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A graduate grade point average of at least 3.0 is required at all times. Any student whose graduate grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation who do not raise their GPA to 3.0 after two semesters of written notification of academic probation will be academically disqualified. Students must maintain satisfactory progress toward their stated degree objective at all times.

Time Limit for Degree Completion

The time limit for completing a master’s degree is five years. The time limit for completing a doctoral degree is eight years. For students who earned an applicable master’s degree within five years prior to admission to the doctorate, the time limit for completion is six years.

The time limit begins with the first course at USC applied toward a specified degree and ends the semester during which all requirements are met.

A primary consideration of the setting of time limits is the currency of the course work and research with respect to the date the degree is to be conferred. Equally important is the concern that the faculty members serving as advisors or committee members be available to the student for the duration of graduate studies at USC.

Occasionally a student finds it impossible to comply with prescribed time limits for completion of a degree. If a significant delay is likely to occur, the student must make arrangements in advance by petitioning for an extension of time. Such petitions will be considered when there is clear justification based on sound academic or critical personal reasons. An academic department may grant an extension of up to one year at a time for a maximum of two years.