General Information about 
USC
spacer Undergraduate 
Admission

Admission to the university is granted through the USC Office of Undergraduate 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 Undergraduate Admission and the appropriate selection committees.


Application Procedures

Application forms may be obtained by mail or in person from the Office of Undergraduate 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 Undergraduate Admission. Mail application requests to: Application Requests, University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911 or on the World Wide Web (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 Undergraduate 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 Undergraduate Admission by the deadlines stated on the application. Certain schools and departments do have different spring and fall semester application deadlines, however, and some do not admit for the spring semester.

Factors given prime consideration for admission to undergraduate study are an applicant’s previous academic success and the quality of all records presented. To assure 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 Undergraduate 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 Requirements

Because 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. After students meet the grade requirements for the introductory accounting courses, applicants may change their major to accounting. In some cases, high school students who have demonstrated exceptional scholastic aptitude for the accounting major will be considered for admission as freshmen. Those wishing to be considered for the Accounting Scholars Program should list their first-choice major as pre-business and their pre-professional emphasis as pre-accounting (PACC). For more information, please write or call the USC Marshall School of Business, Office of Undergraduate Admission, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1421, (213) 740-8885, email busadm@sba.usc.edu or consult USCweb (www.marshall.usc.edu/lsoa/).

School of Architecture (B.Arch.) Applicants are admitted for the fall semester. Spring admission will be considered for the B.Arch. only in special circumstances. Transfer students should note that the core curriculum will take five years to complete. For more information, write or call the USC School of Architecture, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0291, (213) 740-2420, email cherry@usc.edu or consult USCweb (www.usc.edu/dept/architecture/).

Marshall School of Business In some cases, high school students who have demonstrated exceptional scholastic aptitude for the business major, based on GPA and SAT I or ACT scores, will be considered for admission as freshmen. Typically however, the Marshall School of Business admits students to junior standing only. Prospective business applicants will be considered for the pre-business curriculum (not a degree program) in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. After completing prerequisite courses and general education requirements, pre-business candidates and transfer students will be eligible to apply to the USC Marshall School of Business. Transfer students should indicate "pre-business" on their applications. For further information, write or call the USC Marshall School of Business, Office of Undergraduate Admission, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1421, (213) 740-8885, send email to busadm@sba.usc.edu or consult the school’s Web site (www.marshall.usc.edu).

School of Cinema-Television/Critical Studies (B.A.) The application deadline for fall semester is January 30; for spring semester it is September 15. For specific instructions on applications and required supplementary material, applicants must write or call the USC School of Cinema-Television, Student Affairs Office, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-8358 or consult USCweb (www- cntv.usc.edu/programs/criticalstudies).

School of Cinema-Television/Filmic Writing (B.F.A.) The application deadline for fall semester is January 30; applicants are admitted to fall semester only. For specific instructions on applications and required supplementary material, applicants must write or call the Filmic Writing Program, USC School of Cinema-Television, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-3303 or consult USCweb (www-cntv.usc.edu/). Transfer students should note that the core curriculum will take four years to complete.

School of Cinema-Television/Production (B.A.) The application deadline for fall semester is January 30. The application deadline for spring semester for the production major is September 1. For specific instructions on applications and required supplementary material, applicants must write or call the USC School of Cinema-Television, Student Affairs Office, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-8358. Additional information is available on USCweb (www-cntv.usc.edu).

School of Dentistry Applicants for the six-year dental program must contact the School of Dentistry for a supplementary application and program requirements. The application deadline is January 31. For further information, write or call the USC School of Dentistry, Office of Admission and Student Affairs, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641, (213) 740-2841; email scdental@hsc.usc.edu or visit the school’s Web site (www.usc.edu/ hsc/dental/).

School of Fine Arts (B.F.A. and B.A.) Priority consideration for admission to the fall semester is given to those students who submit applications by January 30; the deadline for spring semester is September 15. A supplemental application and three letters of recommendation is required. Slide portfolios are required of all transfer applicants to the B.F.A. and B.A. (Studio Arts) programs and may be requested of freshman applicants to these programs. Applicants must write or call the USC School of Fine Arts, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0292, (213) 740-2787 for specific instructions about applications and required supplementary materials. Additional information regarding School of Fine Arts programs is available on USCweb (www.usc.edu/dept/finearts).

School of Journalism (includes majors in broadcast journalism, print journalism, public relations, journalism/East Asian area studies and journalism/Russian). Transfer and international students must submit SAT I or ACT results. 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. For more information, write or call the USC School of Journalism, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0281, (213) 740-0900 or consult USCweb (www.usc.edu/schools/annenberg/)

School of Music (all majors) An audition is required. Contact the school for audition dates. A supplementary application form must be obtained from and returned to the School of Music Office of Admission, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0851, (213) 740-8986. Applicants are urged to apply as early as possible. For additional information, visit the school’s Web site (www.usc.edu/dept/Music).

Department of Nursing All prerequisite and general course work must be completed prior to entering nursing classes, which begin in fall of the student’s junior year. Contact the department about completing necessary courses at USC or elsewhere. Admission is for fall semester only, except for R.N.s seeking the B.S.N. A nursing supplemental application and two letters of recommendation are required. For information and an application, write or call the USC Department of Nursing, 1540 Alcazar St., Los Angeles, CA 90033, (323) 442-2020 or visit the department’s Web site (uscnurse.usc.edu).

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 after the student has completed one semester of full-time study at USC. Admission to the program is competitive. 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 90033, (323) 442-2850 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 is provided in the pharmacy section. 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 90033-1089, (323) 442-1466 or consult USCweb (www.usc.edu/hsc/pharmacy/).

Physician Assistant Program The application deadline for fall is November 1; admission is for fall only. Students must be at junior level or higher. All prerequisite and general education courses must be completed prior to application. Students should contact the department for a supplementary application. For more information, write or call Primary Care Physician Assistant Program, 1975 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033-1039, (323) 442-1328 or consult USCweb (www.usc.edu/hsc/medicine/family_med/pa/).

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, 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 5. The deadline for applying to the B.A. program is January 30 for fall semester and September 15 for spring semester. Additional information is available on the school’s Web site (www.usc.edu/dept/theatre/DramaNet/).


Admission from Secondary Schools

General Academic Requirements

Evidence 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 Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT I) 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.

The Dean of Admission and Financial Aid has the discretionary authority to grant waivers of the university’s normal entrance requirements.


Unit Requirements

Although 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 Requirement

All applicants for admission as freshmen are required to take either the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT I) 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.

The Office of Undergraduate Admission strongly encourages applicants to take three SAT II Subject Tests administered by the College Board and have the test results sent to USC. If possible, one of the three subject exams should be the writing test.

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 II Subject Tests scores, including one in math and one in English writing.


Credit by Examination

Students 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 page 50 under "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 Undergraduate Admission, (213) 740-1111 or visit the Articulation Office Website (www.usc.edu/dept/ARR/articula/apindex.htm).


International Baccalaureate

USC grants six semester units of college credit for each score of 5, 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations. Students may earn up to 18 units of credit in this manner. International Baccalaureate results should be forwarded to the Office of International Admissions, Student Union 311, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0898.


Credit by Special Examination

See the 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 Universities

An 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; (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 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 transcripts – the results of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Testing (ACT) assessment, which will be considered along with the college work.

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 Undergraduate Admission when completing the application form. Omitting such information constitutes a violation of the applicant’s affidavit and may result in the retroactive withdrawal of the admission decision.

Records of 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.


Transfer Scholars Partnership Program

Through the Transfer Scholars Partnership program, USC works with selected California community colleges to encourage transfer admission. Students who complete honors programs at participating schools are guaranteed admission to majors in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Business, Education, Engineering and Policy, Planning, and Development, provided they meet specific requirements.

Participating colleges currently include: Antelope Valley College, Cerritos College, Chaffey College, College of the Canyons, East Los Angeles College, El Camino College, Fullerton College, Glendale Community College, Irvine Valley College, Long Beach City College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles Pierce College, Los Angeles Valley College, Mount San Antonio College, Orange Coast College, Pasadena City College, Saddleback College, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, Santa Ana College, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Monica College, West Los Angeles College and West Valley College.

Call the Office of Admission for information.