Coronavirus: Coronavirus

The rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is causing uncertainty and concern across the globe. We want to assure our prospective students that USC is monitoring developments closely, following the guidance of various public health authorities, and actively preparing contingency plans.

Prospective Applicants

Tours and Information Sessions

To protect the health and safety of our community, we have canceled all campus tours and in-person events until further notice. However, we are happy to be able to offer virtual information sessions, panels and tours to help you learn more about all that USC has to offer. Please see our webpage for a full list of virtual resources.

Please know that we do not use demonstrated interest in our application reviews. Whether or not you are able to visit campus or attend our virtual sessions will not impact any future applications to USC.

Test-Optional Policy

Due to disruptions in testing schedules caused by COVID-19, 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.

International students whose native language is not English must still submit test scores to demonstrate English proficiency.

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about this policy.

Evaluating 2020 Transcripts

We always take context into consideration when reviewing applications. The effects of COVID-19 will be considered as we evaluate applications for years to come. Common App is adding a section for students and schools to report any necessary information about the impacts of COVID-19 as it relates to the student’s home life as well as any changes implemented by the school.

Transfer students:

See our Transfer Credit Policy in our Transferring to USC brochure. Please note that exceptions to our policies about which (and how many) courses may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis will apply to courses taken during the spring 2020 term only. Transfer applicants must still meet the minimum math requirement by earning a C or better in the required math courses. The writing requirement should be taken for a letter grade unless it was taken during the spring 2020 term. We may also grant exceptions to our policy on foreign language or laboratory science courses taken online in spring, summer, or fall 2020 if they were intended to be completed in person but moved online due to COVID-19. Transcripts will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

At this time, we are not planning to change our scholarship or financial aid processes due to COVID-19.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

English Language Proficiency

We still require English Language Proficiency test results from students whose native language is not English. Applicants must submit test results from the TOEFL (or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition), IELTS (or IELTS Indicator), Duolingo English Test or PTE Academic English proficiency examinations. We are unable to accept TOEFL ITP Plus for China.

Please note that students who submit results from the Duolingo English Test will still be required to take the International Student Exam. See our webpage for more details about English Proficiency Criteria.

Admitted First-Year Students

Admission Letters

We expect to mail printed admission letters and certificates to all committed students as soon as we can. For now, physical distancing requirements are keeping this project on hold. We are so excited to welcome you to the Trojan Family!

AP, IB and A-Level Exam Credit

USC’s AP, IB and A-Level exam credit policies are thoroughly documented on our Registrar’s website. For fall 2020, please note the following, as it relates to temporary measures put into place by the various testing organizations:

The university’s AP credit-granting policy remains unchanged, given that students will be able to sit for exams. Please note: College Board has announced that the deadline for choosing the college, university or scholarship program that you want to send your 2020 AP scores to for free has been extended to June 30.

Because A-level exams will not be offered, USC will award credit based on the “calculated grades” awarded by the student’s school.

Although IB exams will not be administered this year, the IB Organization has announced that it will centrally score IB subjects and Diplomas (using the same scale as the IB examinations). USC will grant credit based on these scores, as outlined in our existing credit policies.

Final Transcripts

One of the conditions of admission for every USC first-year student is that they must provide final official high school transcripts showing proof of graduation. Please arrange to have a transcript that includes your graduation date sent to USC as soon as possible. This may require you to let your counselor or school registrar know where you plan to attend or for you to order the transcript yourself. Please follow whatever protocol your school uses.

We understand some schools will need more time than usual to send out final transcripts due to school buildings being closed and staff working remotely. We also know that students at international schools may not be able to provide proof of high school completion until much later in the summer. That will not impede your enrollment. However, we would like to complete your record as soon as possible, so we will continue to let you know that this transcript is missing until it has been received.

Class Registration and Orientation

Orientation will be online this summer. Feel free to visit our Office of Orientation Programs website for up-to-date information on summer orientation programming. This is also where you will find information about placement exams.

USC Housing

Please refer to the university housing FAQs on the COVID-19 Resource Center for more information. If you have questions about your housing application, contact housing@usc.edu.

Health & Well-Being

Please refer to the Student Health Services section of the USC COVID-19 Resource Center and the USC Student Health website for campus health updates and ways to stay well during stressful times.

USC’s Plans for Fall 2020

Please refer to the Project Restart page on our COVID-19 Resource Center for more information.

Admitted Transfer Students

Please refer to our Admitted Transfer FAQ for additional information not covered on this site.

Admission Letters

We expect to mail printed admission letters and certificates to all committed students as soon as we can. For now, physical distancing requirements are keeping this project on hold. We are so excited to welcome you to the Trojan Family!

Admitted Transfer Student Events

We are thrilled to welcome you to the Trojan Family! We will host a virtual event for admitted transfer students. You can register for that event here and access the recording of our June event in your portal.

Meeting Conditions of Admission Regarding GPA

If you were admitted on the condition that you receive a specific GPA for the spring term but your school changed its spring 2020 grading policy to Pass/No Pass or Credit/No Credit, please be assured we will evaluate these circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Transcripts

Please arrange to have your college send your transcripts electronically. If your school’s system requires an email address in order to send the transcript, please use etrans@usc.edu. Paper transcripts will not be processed as quickly, which may delay course registration or the creation of your Transfer Credit Report.

Class Registration and Orientation

Orientation will be online this summer. Feel free to visit our Office of Orientation Programs website for up-to-date information on summer orientation programming. This is also where you will find information about placement exams.

USC Housing

University housing for transfer students is not guaranteed and is limited this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and local public health guidance. Please refer to the university housing FAQs on the COVID-19 Resource Center for more information. If you have questions about your housing application, contact housing@usc.edu.

Health & Well-Being

Please refer to the Student Health Services section of the USC COVID-19 Resource Center and the USC Student Health website for campus health updates and ways to stay well during stressful times.

USC’s Plans for Fall 2020

Please refer to the Project Restart page on our COVID-19 Resource Center for more information.

Admitted International Students

Please refer to the USC COVID-19 Resource Center page for International Students for the most up to date information.

We will also send out emails as more information becomes available.

Travel

When making plans to travel to the U.S., be advised of current government travel restrictions and plan your travel carefully. For information and tips about how to plan your trip in accordance with any restrictions, please see Travel Restrictions and Guidance on the International Students page of USC’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

I-20 Information

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USC I-20 Processing has been unable to print and mail out I-20s in significant quantities. However, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that schools will be permitted to electronically send out I-20 certificates that have been digitally signed. International students who have been admitted, submitted their statement of intent, and paid their commitment deposit (if applicable) will receive digital I-20s.

Following the announcement of the new academic calendar for the fall 2020 semester, we are reissuing all received I-20s to reflect the new start date for the academic year. If you have already received your I-20, please note that it will be re-issued within the next few weeks to reflect our new academic start date of August 17, 2020.

If you are still due to receive an I-20 from USC, your I-20 will be issued with the August 17 start date. Please refer to the instructions sent previously in an email with the subject line “USC I-20 Process” for more information on how to obtain your I-20.

Please be assured that the SEVIS ID you previously received will remain the same. Your SEVIS payment and any visa appointments that you have made DO NOT need to be cancelled or re-scheduled due to these changes. Should a visa appointment slot become available in the next week or two, please use the SEVIS ID on your current I-20 to make an appointment.

Please visit our I-20 Processing page for updates.

Transfer Admits:

Remember that in order for USC to issue you an I-20, you need to contact your current university and ask them to transfer your SEVIS record to USC. We cannot issue an I-20 until that process happens. Once it does, we will prepare a digital I-20 that will be available in your USC Google drive. Please refer to the email we sent titled “USC I-20 Process” and our I-20 website for more information.

SPRING TRANSFER ADMITS: If you plan to remain at your current university for the fall semester, please do not initiate the SEVIS record transfer until the end of the fall.

Visas*

If you are unable to obtain a student visa in time to arrive in Los Angeles for the start of the fall term, you may still enroll at USC this fall by taking your first-semester coursework remotely. If you pursue this online option, you won’t have to obtain your student visa until later this fall; you will still need it in order to start on campus in January.

*Canadian citizens are exempt from obtaining an F-1/J-1 visa as they do not need an F-1/J-1 visa stamp in passport to enter the U.S. in international student status.