Who is an international student?
With students representing 135 countries around the world, the USC campus mirrors the rich diversity of the global community. International students make up nearly a quarter of our entire student population.
At USC, an international student is an individual of foreign nationality who will be entering, or has already entered, the United States with a student visa. Students already residing in the United States and holding other non-immigrant visas (for instance, an E2, H2, or L2) are also considered international students.
With the few exceptions noted below, international students follow the same application steps as other first-year or transfer applicants. We are familiar with the educational systems of most countries and will consider your application within the context of your educational environment.
On the application, please write your name as it appears on your passport. If the name on your academic record is different from that on your passport, enter the name from your academic record in the “Preferred name” section. All international applicants must provide a permanent, physical mailing address (that is not a post office box).
”The best thing about USC is the opportunity to meet, learn from and work with an internationally diverse group of people”.
Please click on each option below to learn about additional requirements for international students.
|International applicants must provide official copies of academic records from all secondary or senior secondary schools, pre-university programs, and colleges and universities attended.
Note: USC expects students to prepare work that is their own, factually true and honestly presented. USC does not contract with, nor is represented by, non-USC entities in the recruitment and admission process.
|Standardized Test Scores|
|Due to disruptions in testing schedules caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, prospective first-year students may apply to USC for the 2021-2022 Academic Year without submitting SAT or ACT scores, although students may still choose to submit SAT or ACT scores if they wish. More information about this test optional policy can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
First-year (freshman) international applicants are required to submit:
|English Proficiency Criteria|
|Academic success at USC depends on your ability to communicate effectively in English. All international applicants whose native language is not English must submit test scores from the SAT/ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or Duolingo English Test* in order to demonstrate English proficiency.
Applicants may still be admitted without the following minimum scores. For those who do not demonstrate English proficiency, however, USC requires the International Student Exam (ISE) prior to registration for classes. The results of the ISE determine whether or not a student must enroll in English language courses at the American Language Institute (ALI) at USC.
First-year international applicants should earn:
TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic and Duolingo scores must be recent, earned within two years of the USC application date.
*Please note that although the Duolingo English Test may be submitted to demonstrate English proficiency, it will not waive the ISE requirement.
|English Language Proficiency Supplements|
|Though USC does not offer admission interviews we understand that international students, particularly those in China, want to provide additional evidence of English language ability. To accomplish this, applicants use DuoLingo, InitialView, and Vericant, who provide additional ways to showcase your English proficiency. Your interview will be sent to USC and included with the application for review. Third-party interviews are used only as an additional tool to help assess English language ability, and are not evaluative in nature. To be included in the review of your application, we encourage you to complete the supplement by January 31.
The DuoLingo, InitialView, or Vericant supplement is optional. Please note that your USC application fee does not include the cost of the supplement. To learn more about these opportunities, please visit the websites for Duolingo, InitialView, and Vericant.
|Documentation of Financial Support|
|The US government requires all international students to provide proof of the ability to pay tuition and living expenses for the first academic year. Along with your application for admission, you must submit the Financial Statement of Personal or Family Support, accompanied by documentation of available funds (such as savings deposits, checking accounts, investment portfolios, or a signed bank letter verifying the ability to pay educational expenses). Documentation may also include proof of any scholarships or fellowships you have received or expect to receive.|
|Estimated Undergraduate Cost of Attendance|
|The estimated cost of attendance is based on the average expenses for a full-time undergraduate student (taking 12-18 units per semester) living in university housing. Estimated costs for the current academic year can be found on the Financial Aid website.|
|Financial Aid & Merit Scholarships|
|Although you will not qualify for need-based financial aid if you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible for merit scholarships.
Please note: You will not be able to pay for the full amount of your educational expenses by working while you are in the United States.
|Office of International Services|
|The Office of International Services (OIS) assists international students attending USC, providing workshops and events to help them acclimate to campus life and American culture. For more information, please visit the OIS website.|