Admission to Graduate and Professional Course Work
Each summer the university offers a range of courses for regular credit in USC’s various graduate programs. Enrollment in the summer session does not in itself constitute admission to USC. Students who wish to be admitted and register in the fall semester must submit a formal application to the Office of Graduate and International Admission. Please note that the following graduate programs have separate admissions offices: Gould School of Law, Keck School of Medicine, Ostrow School of Dentistry and the Marshall School of Business (MBA programs only).
Admission to graduate standing requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with undergraduate preparation in a subject appropriate to the intended graduate major. Any variation will depend on the applicant’s potential for academic success and the quality of the total record. Supplementary work may be required of an applicant, depending on the strength and balance of the student’s background.
All students who apply for admission to the Graduate School and most professional schools must submit the results of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE); see the official Application for Admission for exceptions. All international graduate applicants are required to submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). There are no minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores required for admission. For current fees and test dates for the TOEFL, contact Educational Testing Services at (877) 863-3546 or ets.org. For information about the IELTS, contact IELTS at firstname.lastname@example.org or ielts.org. At the option of individual departments, a Subject Test may be required. Until all transcripts and reports of required portions of the GRE (and, for international applicants, the TOEFL or IELTS) have been received, a student cannot be considered for admission to regular status. For detailed information regarding graduate and graduate professional degree requirements, see the USC Catalogue and professional school bulletins.
Graduate and Professional Completion Course Work
A master’s candidate who is writing a thesis and has completed all course work for the degree must enroll each fall and spring semester in the appropriate thesis registration until the thesis has been approved. Students should consult the appropriate school or departmental section of the USC Catalogue for specific thesis registration requirements.
For programs under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School, students may not register for more than 2 units of 594 in a given semester. After 594a and 594b, a student must register and pay for 2 units of 594z each fall and spring semester until the student completes the thesis, makes any committee-required revisions and submits all graduation forms and the thesis to the university. Students who submit their completed and signed graduation forms to the university and then, once cleared by the thesis coordinator, upload their manuscript by the Add/Drop date of the fall or spring semester will not be required to register in 794 in that term. A list of required graduation forms is available from the Graduate School.
No more than 4 units of credit in 594 may be received or applied toward the degree regardless of the number of semesters the candidate may be required to register.
Doctoral students completing a dissertation are to be registered in Dissertation 794 each fall and spring semester, for a minimum of two semesters (794a and 794b) after being admitted to candidacy (i.e., after passing the qualifying examination), until the student completes and defends the dissertation, makes any committee-required revisions and submits all graduation forms and the dissertation to the university. Students who submit their completed and signed graduation forms to the university and then, once cleared by the thesis coordinator, upload their manuscript by the Add/Drop date of the fall or spring semester will not be required to register in 594 or 794 in that term. Detailed information and a list of the required graduation forms are available from the Graduate School Website. Students may not register for more than 2 units of 794 in a given semester. Students may not register in 794 prior to being admitted to candidacy; such registrations are invalid. No more than 8 units of credit in 794 may be received regardless of the number of semesters the candidate may be required to register. After registration in 794a, 794b, 794c, and 794d, students must register and pay for 2 units of 794z although the registration carries zero units of credit. Grades recorded for 794 will remain as “IP” (In Progress) until the degree is conferred. Credit will be applied toward 794abc and 794d registrations when the degree has been cleared by the Degree Progress Department. Please refer to the Graduate School section of the USC Catalogue for further information.
GRSC 800 Series
The GRSC 800 series is a mandatory non-credit registration for graduate students who have completed all course work and who are not otherwise registered while taking the master’s comprehensive or the doctoral qualifying examination. Fees are equivalent to one unit of tuition. All registrations are subject to verification of the completion of the following prerequisites for each course. Students may enroll in three semesters of GRSC 800 before approval from the university is required.
GRSC 800 Studies for the Qualifying Examination: Refer to the Graduate School section of the USC Catalogue for further information on eligibility to take the qualifying examination.
GRSC 810 Studies for the Master’s Examination: completion of all course work for the master’s degree as verified on the Credit Summary. The Credit Summary is issued by the Degree Progress Department after the student has filed the proper forms with the appropriate school.
The Internship for Curricular Practical Training is a 1-unit course designed to allow an international student to gain practical work experience in the student’s field of study. The internship must be located at an off-campus facility, and USC faculty must individually supervise students in the academic component. To enroll, students must be in good academic standing (have completed a minimum of one academic semester of full-time enrollment with at least a 3.0 GPA) and be enrolled full-time in the term of intended GRSC 596 registration. All students must complete an application (available from the student’s academic adviser) and provide a copy of the internship/employment offer letter.