If you are not a United States national, and you will be entering, or have already entered, the United States with an H-1B visa or equivalent, you should apply as an international student.
Permanent residents of the United States, naturalized U.S. citizens, and U.S. citizens residing abroad and attending a university outside the United States are not considered international students.
Records of your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees
When uploading transcripts into your online application or when providing the official transcripts (for all enrolling students) from the college/university, please follow these instructions.
Submit one set of records from each college or university you have attended. The records should indicate the number of lecture and laboratory hours devoted to each course and the grades (marks) you received. Included should be an explanation of the grading system and information about how the transcript should be assessed. Transcripts in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation performed by the university or a certified professional translator. You may send a certified copy of the official document instead of the original.
You must also submit an official document showing the title and date of each degree you have earned. For schools in some countries, the transcript indicates this information. In other countries, this information is provided on another document (e.g., graduation certification, diploma). You should upload copies of these documents along with your transcripts in the “Academic History” section of the application.
International Degree Verification (for enrolling students only)
The USC Office of Degree Progress requires verification of prior international degrees for all enrolling students from the International Education Research Foundation (IERF). Details about their services, including application forms, fees, and required documents are available at www.ierf.org/usc.
Please contact Degree Progress firstname.lastname@example.org, 213.740.7070 if you have any questions, or need more information regarding prior degree verification.
USC Policy on English-language proficiency
International graduate applicants must demonstrate English-language proficiency by submitting either TOEFL or IELTS scores. Please review the USC English Proficiency policies. International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement under one of the following circumstances:
- You hold a bachelor’s degree completed in its entirety in the United States or another Anglophone country – The bachelor’s degree should be earned at a regionally accredited university located in the United States, or at an officially recognized university in another country where English is both the language of instruction and the only officially recognized language of the country. Please note that the entire program needs to have been completed in the qualifying country. Note: Dual-degree holders who completed part of their degree in the U.S. do not qualify for this waiver.
- Your native language is English – This applies to native English speakers from countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec), where English is both the only official language of the country and the language of instruction.
USC does not waive the English-proficiency requirement based on any other consideration such as work experience, ESL enrollment, etc. It also cannot be waived for undergraduate programs taught in English in non-Anglophone countries, or for graduate degrees earned in the U.S. or other qualifying countries. To determine if USC requires TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores for the country of study, please check here.
Once an international applicant is admitted, they are encouraged to start utilizing the services offered through the Office of International Services. This office provides orientation programs and continuing support services for international students and their dependents. Specially trained professional counselors and student peer counselors are available to advise you about immigration regulations, academic progress, financial concerns, housing and adjusting to life in the United States. Year-round social and cultural activities are also sponsored through this office. For information, contact (213) 740-2666, or visit the Office of International Services.