University of Southern California

Frequently Asked Questions

Essays/Short Answer Questions

All applicants -- even current USC students -- are required to respond to the questions posed in the Downloadable Form that corresponds with the certificate identified on the application.

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

Holding a prior master’s degree does not automatically 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 required courses 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.

Application of Graduate Certificate Coursework to master's degree requirements

A Graduate Certificate may be completed in conjunction with course work required for another program in which the student is already enrolled. Applicability of certificate courses to the student's primary degree program is determined by the student's home department. Current MBA students may apply all 15 units of the graduate certificate program to their MBA degree. Coursework may be applied to both the certificate and another graduate degree only if the certificate is completed prior to or in the same semester as the master’s or Ph.D. degree.

Conferral of the certificate and documentation on the transcript requires that the individual formally apply to the program and be admitted. See the Admissions page for more information about this process.

USC alumni: Courses completed in conjunction with an individual's prior degree may not be credited toward the certificate.

MBA Students - Creating a New Application

Q: I'm an MBA student at USC. When I log into the application system it recalls my MBA application file. How do I change it to apply for the certificate program?

A: Applying to a new program requires a new profile and password in the application system. If you enter exactly the same name and contact information, the system may find a match and ask if you want to copy information from your original application into the new one. Another option is to open a separate browser and copy/paste information from your MBA application into the new application.

Also,

  • In the "Application Information" section, complete the current student waiver questions to avoid an application fee.
  • In the "Academic Background" section don't forget to add your current USC degree program to your education history.
  • In the "Recommendations" section, when the system asks for two recommenders, make up two faux names and check the box indicating that they will not be submitting recommendations online.
  • Yes, the "essay" questions (see Downloadable Forms) are required.

Other Current USC Students - Creating a New Application

Applying to a new program requires a new profile, password, and application under the Marshall instance of the online admissions system (http://www.marshall.usc.edu/admissions/applyonline). Much of the required information is the same, so you might want to open two browsers and copy/paste information from your original USC application into the Marshall application.

Also,

  • In the "Application Information" section, complete the current student waiver questions to avoid an application fee.
  • In the "Academic Background" section don't forget to add your current USC degree program to your education history.
  • When the system asks for two recommenders, make up two faux names and check the box indicating that they will not be submitting recommendations online.
  • Yes, the "essay/additional information" questions (see Downloadable Forms) are required.

Tuition and Fees

Current USC tuition and fee information is available at http://www.usc.edu/soc. 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

Career Development and Placement Services for Certificate-only students are provided by the USC Career Center. Certificate students are not provided with specialized Marshall School career development or placement services. Certificate students are welcome to join Marshall graduate student organizations and attend open-invitation presentations by guest speakers.

What did we miss?

For more information, write to Sustainability@marshall.usc.edu or call (213) 740-0671.

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