University of Southern California

Topics addressed in Frequently Asked Questions

Documents and Essays

All applicants -- even current USC students -- are required to respond to the short-answer/essay questions.

I already hold a master's degree. Do I have to submit test scores?

Holding a prior master’s degree does not exempt applicants from submitting the required test scores. The committee will review the content of the individual’s graduate degree transcript to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence that the individual is qualified for admission. If the individual attended an institution that does not issue grades or distinguishing evaluative marks, test scores are required. If the individual's performance in the graduate program was marginal, test scores will be requested.

What if I took one of the courses in the curriculum with a degree I completed already?

Coursework credited to a degree previously awarded by USC cannot be applied to the Graduate Certificate. Likewise, coursework taken at another university cannot be applied to the Graduate Certificate and should not be repeated at USC. 15 unique units are required.

Can I do both the Graduate Certificate and the M.S. in Global Supply Chain Management?

Because both programs are in the same major – supply chain management – students are not allowed to earn both the graduate certificate and the M.S. degree simultaneously by applying courses to both programs. An individual who starts the graduate certificate program and then decides s/he wishes to earn the M.S. degree instead may apply for admission to the M.S. program and, if admitted, drop out of the Graduate Certificate program. Transitioning from the GCRT to the MS does not guarantee that all coursework completed as part of the certificate program will be applied to the M.S. degree. Determination of which courses can be applied from the certificate to the M.S. is made by the academic director of the M.S. program.

I’m already in the M.S. in Global Supply Chain Management program, and a lot of the courses are the same as in the Graduate Certificate Program. Can my M.S. courses count toward the graduate certificate?


Current USC Students - Creating a New Application

Q: I'm a student at USC. What do I have to do to apply?

A: You will need to submit a new application to apply for admission to this program.

Applications to the Graduate Certificate are submitted on-line via

  • If you have not used this system before, you will need to create a login and password. If you have applied to USC using this system before, use your existing login and password to retrieve your file.
  • Select the "Add Program" tab and follow the directions to request an application fee waiver.
  • Under the "Add Program" tab search for "Program Level" Certificate and select the Graduate Certificate in Optimization and Supply Chain Management from the list.
  • Return to the "My Application" tab and complete the required portions of the application.
  • In the "Academic Background" section don't forget to add your current USC degree program to your education history.
  • In the "Program Materials" quadrant, the "Questions" are required.
  • Don't forget to "Submit Application."

Tuition and Fees

Current USC tuition and fee information is available at Select the next future semester and then the 'Tuition and Fees' tab on the left side of the screen. Tuition rates do increase each year.

Career Development and Placement Services

Certificate students are not provided with the same level of personalized career transition services afforded Marshall master's degree students seeking internships and/or permanent employment post-graduation. Certificate-only students are provided career transition services through the USC Career Center. Certificate students are encouraged to join graduate student clubs and organizations in their field of interest as well.

Other Supply Chain Programs

If you want more than a certificate, consider the Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management (

What did we miss?

For more information, write to or call (213) 740-0671.

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