University of Southern California Admissions 2022: Requirements, Fee Details & FAQs ,Los Angeles,USA

  • Los Angeles,USA

Considered as the oldest private research university in California, the University of Southern California (USC) was established about 140 years ago in the early 1880s. It has a record of innovations and research work that has strongly impacted the history and development of humankind. It was one of the earliest nodes on ARPANET (the Internet’s technical foundation) and home to the Domain Name System (DNS). DNA computing, dynamic programming, image compression, and antivirus software are other innovations that took place at USC. Apart from this, the university sponsors a variety of intercollegiate sports. As a member of the Pac-12 Conference, it also competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). USC athletes have won various medals in the Olympic Games, and over 500 football players have been drafted to the National Football League. The university’s alumni also include 11 Rhodes Scholars, 12 Marshall Scholars, nine Nobel laureates, six MacArthur Fellows, one Turing Award winner, and over 30 Academy Award winners. It has 23 libraries and a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, making the average undergraduate class size of 26 students. In 2019, USC had 4,604 full-time academic faculty and 28,873 total staff on its payroll, making it the largest private employer in Los Angeles (LA). It is estimated that the university contributes approximately USD 8 billion to the Los Angeles and California economy every year.

Courses Offered


What all courses are available to international students?


To undergraduate students, USC offers over 150 majors and minors through its 22 academic schools and units. PG aspirants can choose from over 400 highly regarded graduate and professional programs offered through their liberal arts college and 20 professional schools.


Pre-master’s Program

This program helps international students enhance their English language proficiency and improve their academic skills and test scores. This prepares them for the rigors of a master’s curriculum at the University of Southern California. Courses are split into two ways that focus on a student’s reading and writing style. It also introduces topics related to the chosen course to help students level up to the university curriculum. This program’s benefits include:

  • Gaining admission to one of the USC’s elite graduate programs before achieving the required English proficiency or standardized exam scores
  • Achieving the targeted GRE /GMAT score through guided test preparation
  • Receiving academic advice from the respective graduate school/faculty
  • Acquiring skills that prepare students for success at USC


Intensive English Program

This program is developed to meet the needs of a student’s unique skill set and goals across all levels of language proficiency, from beginner to advanced. Students can attend the class for 20 hours per week and supplement their in-class studies with conversation groups or language labs. The option of university admission workshops is also available. The benefits of this program include:

  • Small and interactive class sized to deliver high-quality English instruction
  • Classes and language labs are focused on a student’s interests
  • Provides college admission assistance through group application workshops
  • Meetings with USC International Academy Partner Schools
  • Access to campus facilities, such as libraries and computer labs, medical centers, gyms, and restaurants and cafes
  • Social interactions through cultural programming and campus immersion activities
  • Optional SAT preparation by experts (Level 5+ students only)


Master’s Preparation Program

Similar courses to the Pre-master’s Program are offered along with TOEFL/IELTS test preparation and comprehensive academic advising by experts. Program benefits include:

  • A chance to improve TOEFL/IELTS and GRE/GMAT test scores
  • Enhance and polish academic English skills for graduate-level coursework
  • Working closely with USC advisers to plan a path for a master’s degree at selected universities

To know more about courses offered by USC, read the catalog here.


Eligibility & Documents Required


What are the eligibility requirements?


Undergraduate aspirants should meet the following eligibility requirements:


Standardized Tests (Any One)

English Proficiency (Any One)

Grade 11 and 12 scores (score requirements vary as per course)


  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 650


SAT/ACT may be optional for 2021-22 admissions. Applicants may or may not submit these scores. Students who do not submit these scores will not be at a disadvantage or penalized.


For graduate aspirants, USC has country-specific requirements. For Indian students, eligibility criteria are:


Standardized Tests (As Per Course Requirement)

English Proficiency (Any One)

  • A four-year undergraduate degree or a three-year undergraduate degree and a master’s degree from an institution recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC)
  • Work experience

  • TOEFL iBT: Minimum 90 for MS and 100 for Ph.D. courses
  • IELTS: Minimum 6.5 for MS and 7 for Ph.D. courses
  • PTE: Minimum 61 for MS and 68 for Ph.D. courses


For the USC Marshall Full-Time MBA program, the following are the eligibility requirements for international students:


Standardized Tests (Any One)

English Proficiency (Any One)

  • A four-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent, from an accredited institution
  • Work experience
  •  TOEFL
  •  IELTS


What all documents are needed for application?


USC required all documents to be original drafts and in English or translated in English. Thus, students need to get their documents evaluated by trusted credential evaluators.

For UG aspirants, the following documents are required:

Academic transcripts

IELTS/TOEFL/PTE/DET score reports

SAT or ACT score reports

Two letters of recommendation (LORs)

Supplement essays

Additional supplements such as audio recordings, videos, or portfolios

Financial documents


Fee waiver form or scholarship letter

For PG aspirants, the following documents are required:

Academic transcripts

IELTS/TOEFL score reports

GRE/GMAT score reports

Two to three LORs

Essays or SOP, as per course requirement

Additional supplements such as video statement, portfolios, etc.

Financial documents


Fee waiver form or scholarship letter


Application & Tuition Fees


Is there any application fees?


USC’s undergraduate application fee is USD 85, and for graduate applications, it is USD 90. Some professional courses such as MD, JD, DDS, and PharmD may have a different application fee. USC charges no application fee for the Marshall Full-Time MBA program. All application fees are non-refundable.


What is the fee structure of courses offered by the university?


The tuition fee may vary slightly as per the course. The table below is an estimation of the annual tuition fee for international students:

USC Tuition Fee

Note:Tuition fee excludes student and program fees, which may differ as per program. Tuition fee and other charges are subject to change each year. Check the university website for the current academic year fee structure.


Scholarships & Financial Aid


Is there any scholarship or financial aid available for international students?


International students are not eligible for any federal or USC need-based aid. However, they can apply for merit scholarships and other awards conferred by the academic departments. Students are considered for these scholarships by default if they submit their complete applications by the respective course deadline.


Admission Process


When do the admissions start?


Admission to USC opens for Fall and Summer Intakes. UG and MBA courses are offered in the Fall Intake only, while graduate programs are offered in both Fall and Summer Intakes. Check the website to know which courses are offered in each intake.

UG applicants can apply as soon as the admission opens in the Common Application portal. Generally, UG courses’ closing dates are as follows:

USC UG Deadlines

Deadlines for graduate programs are course-specific. Check the respective course page to know about the application closing date.

MBA programs have rolling deadlines, and the Full-Time MBA program at USC Marshall School of Business has the following deadlines are as follows:

USC MBA Deadlines

*Applications received after the April deadline will be considered on a space availability basis.

Note: Deadlines may vary each academic year. Check the respective course or program website to know the exact closing dates.


How to apply to UG courses?


International students need to apply to USC through the Common Application portal. USC does not conduct any interviews with undergraduates. However, students can approach their USC admission counselor with any queries related to the admission process.


How to apply to PG courses?


As an international graduate applicant, you can apply to USC through the university’s application portal. An interview may or may not be involved as per the program/course selected. You can apply to a maximum of three different graduate courses in a single term. Professional courses have a separate application portal.

Applying through USC’s Application Portal

New students need to create an account first and then login with the registered details.


USC PG Application


Step 1: After registering and logging in to the portal, you should be able to see this page. Read the instructions carefully before proceeding.

USC PG Apllication Step 1


Step 2: You can use the filter option to find your desired course. You can add up to three courses.

USC PG Apllication Step 2


Step 3: After selecting your program, you should arrive at this page. Click on ‘Continue To My Application’ to start filling the application form.

USC PG Apllication Step 3


Step 4: Enter your personal information, academic history, supplementary material, and test scores. Pay the application fee and submit the application.

USC PG Apllication Step 4


Step 5: After applying, you can keep a track of your application through this section.

USC PG Apllication Step 5



When will I hear from the university after I submit my application?


Undergraduate decisions are declared early-April for students who apply by the course deadline. Graduate aspirants can expect a revert from the university between January and March for Fall admissions, and for Spring admissions, decisions are mailed between September and December.


Student Diversity & Preferred Profile


What are the chances to get into this university?


Admission to USC is competitive, which even reflects in its UG acceptance rate. In 2020-2021, 16.1 percent of UG aspirants were offered admission out of 59,712 applicants. The middle 50 percent average GPA was 3.70–4.00 (unweighted), and the SAT range was 1360-1510 for the Freshman Class (Fall 2020). The MBA Class of 2022 featured 12 percent of international students. The university conducts a comprehensive review of a student’s application. It considers academic and personal characteristics, performance in school/college, the rigor of the program, writing skills, and test scores. USC also considers personal qualities, usually revealed through a student’s community involvement, leadership, and achievements. Students are advised to check the previous year’s class profiles to get an idea about the scores to target.

USC MBA Class Profile



How many Indian/international students are studying at the university?


The total student body count in 2020 was 46,000, out of which 19,500 were undergraduates, and 26,500 were graduate and professional program aspirants. In 2019, USC admitted 10,402 international students, and the Freshman Class of 2024 features 12 percent of international students. Major countries represented in the Freshman Class of 2024 are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • UK

 Countries represented in the MBA Class of 2022 are:

USC Countries in MBA Class


USC Student Demographics


USC International Student Body



Part Time Work While Studying


Can I work while studying here?


International students are not eligible for work-study positions on campus as these are open for US citizens and permanent residents of the USA. However, they can work part-time on and off-campus as per the visa rules. F1 Visa students can get on-campus employment, and their work hours are limited to 20 hours a week (part-time) during the academic session and 40 hours a week (full-time) during summer and university breaks. F1 students can begin working on campus at the beginning of their first semester at USC. The university advises students to sign up for a direct deposit to receive payment for hourly work, stipends, and reimbursements. Students can find on-campus job openings on the university’s job portals – Career Center and Daily Trojan Classified. On-campus employment opportunities include working in:

  • Bookstores
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Libraries
  • Hospitality services
  • Transportation services
  • Assistantship/fellowship in academic departments

For off-campus employment, the Office of International Services (OIS) would require a letter from a student’s academic advisor confirming that the employment meets all of the qualifications’ requirements given below:

  • The employer should be educationally affiliated with USC.
    • Currently, only Hebrew Union College and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles are considered for on-campus employment.
  • The educational affiliation is associated with USC’s established curriculum or is related to a graduate-level research project as per its contract with USC.
  • The employment is an integral part of the student’s academic program, such as internships.


Campuses & Accommodation


How many colleges and campuses does the university have?


USC has two campuses located within a 12 km radius – the University Park campus (main) and Health Sciences campus. These two campuses house 22 academic schools and units that offer courses in several fields, including Business, Law, Film, Engineering, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, and Medicine. The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is often referred to as the third USC campus as it is staffed by USC’s Keck School of Medicine.


Is on-campus housing available?


Both the options of on-campus and off-campus housing are available for international students are USC. The university assists students in finding off-campus housing options in Currie Hall and nearby areas in LA. However, the university recommends students to stay in university housing to be a part of the student community. Staying in university housing has the following advantages:

USC Housing Advantages

USC offers three types of accommodation on campus with the following facilities:

USC Housing Types


USC UG Housing


USC PG Housing

The estimated yearly living expense for an undergraduate aspirant ranges from USD 14,559 to USD 19,609, including rent, full meal plans, and parking. On the other hand, a graduate aspirant can expect to spend approximately USD 12,335–14,835 as a part of living expenses. This includes rent, meal plans, and optional parking.

Note: Rates are subject to change. Check the university website for the current academic year housing rates.


University Contact Information


Whom should I contact in case of any doubts?


International students can contact the USC International Academy in case of any doubt:

Address: University of Southern California, Davidson Conference Center (DCC), 3415 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0875, USA


Contact No: +1-213-740-0080


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