Please review our FAQ below for questions you may have about the undergraduate application process. If you don't find an answer to your question, please contact us.

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    Are SAT II exams required?

    We typically require SAT Subject tests only from first-year applicants who do not attend a regionally accredited high school (e.g., students who are home-schooled, or who attended some non-accredited parochial or community-based programs). These applicants typically must submit three SAT Subject exams, including one in mathematics. For all other applicants, SAT Subject tests are optional.


    However, due to disruptions in testing schedules caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all prospective students may apply to USC for the 2021-2022 Academic Year without submitting SAT Subject exam scores.

    Please note that for home-schooled students, we still find it helpful to have work that is externally graded or examined. Therefore, we recommend submitting either SAT/ACT results, SAT subject exam results, AP exam results, or transcripts from college courses or other accredited online schooling programs if possible.

     
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    Does USC require the SAT/ACT?

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


    For students who take the SAT more than once, USC records the highest scores for each section -- Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Mathematics -- even if achieved in different sittings. USC does not superscore the ACT; we will consider the highest composite score for admission.

    Neither the SAT Essay nor the ACT Writing is required.

     
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    Does USC accept first-year (freshman) or transfer applications for the spring semester?

    USC does not accept freshman or transfer applications for spring admission.

     
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    Does USC accept late applications?

    Applications postmarked after USC's deadlines will be considered late and may not be considered for the term in question. If this is the case, USC will automatically consider the application for the next available semester (the applicant will be informed if this is the case).


    In no case will USC return a student's application or refund an application fee.

     
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    Are USC application deadlines postmark deadlines?

    USC application deadlines are postmark deadlines. Therefore, as long as an application or other materials are mailed and postmarked by the deadline date, they will be considered on-time. For students submitting online applications, anything submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) of the deadline day will be considered "on time."

     
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    I am not a California resident. Will it be harder for me to gain admission? Will my tuition and fees be higher than those for California residents?

    USC is a private university and thus has no state residency requirements. We recruit nationally and internationally and almost half of our student body comes from outside of California. Tuition and fees are the same for all students, regardless of state of residence or national citizenship.

     
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    English is not my native language. Which exam is required of me?

    All international applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency in the following manner:

    First-year (freshman) international applicants should earn:

    • Minimum scores of 600 on the SAT Critical Reading exam or 27 on the ACT English exam; OR
    • A minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum score of 20 in each section); OR
    • A minimum IELTS score of 7; OR
    • A minimum PTE score of 68.

    Transfer international applicants should earn:

    • A minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum score of 20 in each section); OR
    • A minimum IELTS score of 7; OR
    • A minimum PTE score of 68.


     
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    Does USC offer early decision or early action admission?

    No, USC does not employ an Early Action or Early Decision program in its admission process. We also do not maintain admission waitlists. Instead, students who apply for fall admission may be invited to enroll in the spring semester. All students who apply to the university by the appropriate deadline (December 1st for first-year scholarship applicants, January 15th for all other first-year applicants and February 1st or all transfer applicants) are given equal consideration in the application review process.

     
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    Does a student's financial need affect an admission decision?

    No. USC is need-blind in its admission process—a student’s financial need will never influence an admission decision. In fact, nearly two-thirds of undergraduate students at USC receive financial aid.

     
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    What are USC's tuition and fees? Do you have a net price calculator?

    See a full listing of tuition and fees on USC's Financial Aid Office website. The USC Net Price Calculator will help you and your family plan for the cost of a USC Education.