Logo: University of Southern California

How do I apply?

What is the step-by-step process to apply?

1) Fill out and submit the online application: http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/apply/. The application fee is $85. Upload any supplemental materials if they are required for your program(s) of interest. Refer to the appropriate departmental page for that information: http://viterbi.usc.edu/msdegrees

2) Contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS, http://www.ets.org) to have official GRE and TOEFL iBT scores sent to the University of Southern California (TOEFL iBT/IELTS for international applicants only). USC’s ETS school code is 4852. A department code is not necessary. Official IELTS scores can be sent through IELTS by selecting USC. Additional test report forms may be requested through the testing center after you have taken the test.

3) Send official copies of all previous college transcripts to USC:
USC Office of Admission
GRADUATE
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, California 90089-0915

If you use a courier service, such as DHL or FedEx, send your material to this address:
University of Southern California
USC Office of Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 1
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915
(213) 740-1111

4) Send Unofficial transcripts.

In the meantime, after you submit the Graduate Admission application and obtain your 10-digit USC ID, and while we process your official transcripts, we recommend that you please submit unofficial copies of your official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, with official English translations if necessary, to the following email address: Viterbi.Documents@usc.edu. Please note that your official transcripts are still required to be mailed to USC.

  • You MUST include your 10-digit USC ID on the transcripts and subject line as such: First Name (Given), Last name (Surname/Family), 10-digit USC ID number. Excluding your USC ID will delay processing of your application.
  • Transcripts must be in PDF or JPEG format (10 MB limit).
  • Documents submitted must be copies of official transcripts.  Portal or online student copies are NOT acceptable.
  • ONLY transcripts sent to this email will be accepted. Do NOT send resumes, LOR, certificates, degrees, etc.  Including additional documents WILL delay processing of your application.  
  • Important Note:  Please do not email Viterbi.Documents@usc.edu with any questions or application status checks.  This email is only for submission of unofficial transcripts.  For inquiries regarding your Graduate Admission application, please contact Viterbi.Gradadmission@usc.edu.

What are the criteria for admission decisions?

There is no single criterion or formula used to determine admission. We do a comprehensive review of all applications to USC. In general, successful applicants have demonstrated outstanding quantitative ability and proven success in previous academic endeavors, particularly coursework relevant to their intended major. We also expect students to be able to understand and be understood in English.

What do I need to submit with my application?

Application requirements vary by department. The following materials are required for all applicants, regardless of degree program:

The GRE exam is required for admission to all graduate programs in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Official scores should be sent by ETS to the University of Southern California Office of Admission, ETS code 4852. You do not need to provide a department code

  • Official (sealed) transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (with official English translations if necessary)

For some applicants, supplemental materials may be required:

  • TOEFL iBT/IELTS (for international applicants only)

Official TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores are required for all international Master’s applicants to the Viterbi School. There are only a few exemptions from submitting the TOEFL iBT or IELTS, and these exemptions are included below. If you do not meet one of these exemptions, you must submit official TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores with your application. TOEFL iBT and IELTS scores are valid when taken within two years of the start of the intended application semester. The fall semester starts in August, and the spring semester starts in January.
 
Official TOEFL iBT scores must be sent directly by ETS to "U Southern Cal," ETS code 4852. While a department code is not required, you may indicate one if necessary. Official IELTS scores can be sent through IELTS by selecting USC. Additional test report forms may be requested through the testing center after you have taken the test
 
While the TOEFL iBT or IELTS is a required application material, there is no minimum TOEFL iBT or IELTS score required for admission to the Viterbi School. Admitted international students are required to take the USC International Student English (ISE) examination during orientation. The results will determine if you will be required to take English language courses at USC. Students who achieve a score of 90 or higher on the TOEFL iBT (including a minimum score of 20 in each section) OR a 6.5 on the IELTS (with a minimum score of 6 in each section) are exempt from taking the ISE exam. If you take the TOEFL iBT or IELTS more than once, we will consider the best overall score you obtained from one of the tests. To be considered for the ISE exam, your official scores need to arrive at USC before orientation.
 
Students who meet the following conditions may not be required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores with their application:
- Students who hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the language of instruction and the only official language of the country. The entire program must be completed in the qualifying country. Please note that a graduate degree from a U.S. college or university does not exempt students from the application requirement and/or taking the ISE exam.
- Students whose 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.

  • Sufficient financial statement of support and passport verification (for international applicants only)   
     
    Even though these documents are not required for your application to be reviewed, we highly recommend that you submit them as soon as possible to be processed into your file before an admission decision is made. That way, if you are admitted, we can issue your official admission package and I20 without delay for your visa procedures.
     
    Your financial statement of support must indicate proof of funding dated within nine months of your intended first day of classes. Your passport verification must be a copy of the first two pages of your passport. You may send these documents as an email attachment in PDF or JPEG format (10 MB limit) to usci20@usc.edu OR as a fax to (213) 821-3725. Your 10-digit USC ID must be clearly written on all documents.
     
    For more information, please visit the USC Graduate Admission Financial Support website at http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/international/financialsupport.html . Refer to the "Guidelines for Submitting Proof of Financial Support" included on that page.
  • Some programs also require additional materials, such as letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, or a CV. Please check the appropriate departmental page for the requirements for your program(s) of interest: http://viterbi.usc.edu/msdegrees

Where should I send application materials?

For faster processing, after you submit your online application and receive your 10-digit USC ID, include your USC ID with your materials, and send them to the following address.

Send complete application packets and official copies of all previous college transcripts to USC:
USC Office of Admission
GRADUATE
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, California 90089-0915

If you use a courier service, such as DHL or FedEx, send your material to this address:
University of Southern California
USC Office of Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 1
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915
(213) 740-1111

If you have additional materials that must be sent separately, please upload them with your application or have them mailed to the appropriate department. Addresses can be found on the departmental web pages: http://viterbi.usc.edu/academics/departments/

What is your application deadline?

Application deadlines vary by term and by department. Please refer to the appropriate web page for the most up-to-date information: http://viterbi.usc.edu/msdegrees . Please note that all required application materials must be received by the application deadline to guarantee review for the intended semester.

My institution does not use a 4.0 GPA grading scale. How do I convert my GPA?

Because every institution has different grading scales, we cannot instruct you on how to convert your GPA. You can contact your institution about how to convert their grading scale. Otherwise, please enter your best estimate. Your official transcripts will be evaluated by the Office of Admission to determine your actual GPA.

Other questions?

Please go back to the previous page and review the answers to those questions. If you still cannot find an answer to your question, contact us here.