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Dates and Deadlines

Please refer to the Admission-Related Inquiries, Dates and Deadlines section of the FAQs for related questions.

Does my program have a separate deadline for international students?

Deadlines are set by individual academic departments and typically apply to all students. Check the online application or your intended program’s website for details.

Application Fees and Waivers

Please refer to the Admission-Related Inquiries, Application Fees and Waivers section of the FAQs for related questions.

Does USC offer international students application fee waivers for financial hardship?

Unfortunately, financial hardship fee waivers are available only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. However, international students are eligible for application fee waivers in certain categories. For more information, click here.

Tuition and Financial Assistance

Please refer to the Admission-Related Inquiries, Tuition and Financial Assistance section of the FAQs for related questions.

Does USC offer scholarships, assistantships or fellowships to international students? 

All financial assistance for international graduate students (such as fellowships, teaching or research assistantships, etc.) is administered directly through academic departments and schools. Please review the information provided here and address any further questions or concerns to your intended graduate department. We also encourage you to review options for external scholarships on USC’s Awards and Fellowships Database.

Are international students eligible for financial aid?

International students are not eligible for federal financial aid (loans, grants and work-study), but private financing (through banks and lending institutions) may be available. Please visit the USC Financial Aid Office for more information.

Where can I find a detailed cost breakdown for my program?

Please visit the USC Financial Aid Office for the estimated cost of attendance for graduate programs at USC. Program-specific information will be available on your school’s website.

The cost breakdown provided by the Financial Aid Office is an estimate only and may differ from the figures listed on your I-20. An I-20 does not represent an actual bill, and is calculated only for immigration purposes.

The tuition amount displayed on my program’s website is different. Why do I need to show proof of more funding?

Your I-20s or DS-2019 will demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to stay in the United States. We calculate the program costs listed here specifically for immigration purposes. Expenses are calculated using the tuition amount for the maximum number of credits a student would enroll in during a particular term, plus the cost of materials, living expenses, supplies, laboratory costs and insurance, etc. This helps us ensure that the student has enough financial resources to meet all possible financial obligations to the university without becoming a ward of the state.

Financial Documents for Visa

What documents do I need to submit to receive my I-20 or DS-2019?

Guidelines and instructions for submitting financial documents for the issuance of an I-20 or DS-2019 can be found here.

What is “proof of financial support”?

“Proof of financial support” consists of financial documents that prove you have sufficient resources to stay in the United States during the course of your academic program at USC. Your financial documents need to show adequate funds to cover only your first year’s worth of expenses at USC. All documents should be issued and dated no more than a year from the start of your intended first term at USC.

Please click here for more information and guidelines.

What is the deadline for submitting my financial documents?

We do not have a posted deadline for submitting financial documents. However, we highly recommend that you submit your financial documents (along with a copy of your passport) at your earliest convenience. If you are admitted and you choose to enroll at USC, this will prevent possible delays in issuing your I-20 or DS-2019 during the peak visa application season.

Please contact your department for any program-specific deadlines they may have for submitting financial documents or certifying your enrollment at USC.

When and how should I submit my financial documents?

Ideally, you should submit them when you complete your online application. Copies of financial documents and your passport can be uploaded to the Documents tab of the Supporting Materials section.

If you have already submitted your application, you can log back in to upload these documents. Only one Upload button is available for each document type, so make sure to consolidate as many of your documents as possible.

If you have already used the upload feature on the application and have more documents to send in, you may do so here. Please do not send us the same documents repeatedly as this will delay review considerably.

We ask that you not send us your financial documents prior to submitting your application, or they will not be reviewed.

What type of financial documents should I submit?

Please click here for guidelines for submitting your proof of financial support.

How much funding do I need to show proof of? 

Please click here for more information regarding program costs. If your program is not specifically listed, please use the “General” cost for your appropriate education level.

Will you consider my application and admit me without proof of financial support?

Please be assured that we will conduct an academic review of your file even if we do not have documentation of financial support. However, if and when you are admitted to USC, please be sure that your financial support documentation and a copy of your passport are uploaded to your application as soon as possible. If you certify your enrollment at USC, we will not be able to process your visa documentation without these documents.

Do I need to submit financial documents if I am applying to a PhD program at USC?

PhD students at USC are typically funded by their departments through fellowships and assistantships and therefore do not need to submit any financial documents. You will need to submit financial documents only if your program has informed you that you will not be receiving any funding from USC. All PhD applicants should upload a copy of their passport to their application.

Do I need to show proof of funding for my dependents?

You will need to show additional funding for dependents (such as a spouse and children) only if you intend to bring them with you to USC. You must submit proof of funding for an additional $7,200 for your spouse and an additional $3,000 for each child.

Students enrolled in hybrid programs are not eligible to receive I-20s or DS-2019s for their dependents.

What financial documents do I need to submit if my company is sponsoring me?

Please submit your company’s sponsorship letter on their official letterhead, stating the terms and amount of your scholarship. If your company will cover the expenses for any dependents travelling with you, this should be explicitly stated. You must also submit a copy of your passport, and the passports of any dependents you intend to bring with you to USC.

As a Fulbright scholar, I will not need a DS-2019 from USC. What documents, if any, should I submit?

Fulbright recipients do not need to submit any financial documents to USC. We do, however, need an official letter from Fulbright confirming that you are a Fulbright fellow and that they will be issuing your DS-2019. The Fulbright letter should include the name of your program of study and the start term for your award, which should match the term of admission at USC.

Can I submit proof of multiple sources of funding?

Yes. Please submit separate letters of sponsorship or the Confidential Statement for Sponsored Studies at USC. To upload multiple letters as part of your application, you will need to consolidate them into one file (for example, as multiple pages of a PDF).

The bank will not approve my loan without proof of my I-20 first. Can you send me my I-20 before I show proof of funding?

An educational loan can be accepted as proof of funding only if the loan amount is fully and finally sanctioned, granted or approved BEFORE the receipt of an I-20 or official admission letter from USC. The loan funds can be disbursed after the official USC admission letter and I-20 are received by the funding bank.

The proof of funding I need to show is in different bank accounts, so I have several financial documents I need to submit. Is there a limit to the number of documents I can submit?

Although you are welcome to submit multiple financial documents to demonstrate that you can meet the cost of your program, the same documents you send USC must also be presented to the U.S. Embassy at a visa interview. The visa officer must be able to quickly determine your available funds without having to review a large number of documents or perform long calculations.

In light of this, please consolidate your financial information into as few documents as possible and submit them to our office. For example, you need to submit only the most recent bank statement, not statements from the last several months. We recommend you obtain a clearly worded letter from your bank that states the total available balance, particularly in regard to multiple time deposits or maturity certificates.

My bank statement lists the balance in my country’s currency. Do I need to convert it to U.S. dollars?

No. We can accept financial documents that list available funds in your country’s currency. You do not need to provide us any conversion information. We will do the conversion to U.S. dollars ourselves and contact you if we need any additional information or documentation.

I am a dual citizen. Which passport should I submit to USC for my I-20 processing?

If you are a dual citizen with the U.S. being one of your countries of citizenship, we encourage you to apply as a U.S. citizen. Students with dual citizenships from other countries should first determine where they plan to apply for their F-1 visa and submit their passport accordingly. Please make sure to list this country as your first country of citizenship on your online application to USC as well.

Can I submit a driver’s license, national identification card or birth certificate instead of a passport?

No. We need to make sure that the personal information on your I-20 or DS-2019 matches that on your passport, since that is the document on which your visa will be based. You must, therefore, submit a copy of your passport to receive an I-20 or DS-2019 from USC.

Communicating with USC

How do I contact USC if I have further questions?

You are welcome to email our office with any questions regarding general admission policies and procedures. If you have specific questions about your intended program of study, we recommend you contact the program directly. Please keep in mind that during our peak admission season (November-April) our office receives hundreds of messages every week, so it may take us five to seven business days to respond to emails.

I am unable to attend any of the scheduled campus tours. How can I familiarize myself with USC? 

We encourage prospective students to visit USC, even if they are unable to attend one of our on-campus information sessions. A campus visit will give you the opportunity to tour the campus and schedule meetings with departmental representatives (if available). We have created a downloadable guide (in PDF format) that will introduce you to our campus, its landmarks, traditions and academic programs. To access it, click here.

How do I meet with an admission or program representative from USC?

In addition to our Spotlight: USC events, a graduate admission officer is on call at the campus Admission Center, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Pacific Time, Monday through Thursday. All in-person counseling is walk-in only and subject to staff availability. Additionally, USC graduate departments may be available to meet with prospective graduate applicants (though availability may vary). Please contact your intended graduate department or school for details.

Do you offer information sessions or recruitment events for prospective graduate applicants?

Yes. We strongly encourage applicants in the Los Angeles area to attend one of our Spotlight: USC sessions, which are held on-campus during the fall semester. In addition, the Office of Graduate Admission also participates in a number of off-campus events for prospective graduate applicants. For more information, please visit our Learn About USC page.

How do I get help with technical issues?

  • USC CAS Application: On the bottom left corner of your application you will find the Instructions and FAQs and Contact Us Please review the instructions and FAQs before requesting help via email. If you are unable to find what you need, please send your CAS ID, the school to which you are applying, and a brief description of your issue to uscsupport@liaisonedu.com or call (857) 304-2092 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.
  • youSC: For technical issues related to youSC, please refer to our youSC FAQ

How do I let you know if my personal information (such as mailing address, telephone number, email address) has changed?

If your application is in progress, please use the directions in the Biographical Information section to make the necessary changes.

If you have already submitted your application, be sure to update it AND contact us directly.

How do I check the status of my application?

Because of the high volume of materials we process, we do not send confirmation emails when specific items have been received. We will contact you only if we need to request additional materials. To ensure that you have submitted a complete application, please refer to our checklists.

The Notification status page on your application will include the following updates:

  • Receipt of transcripts uploaded to the application.
  • Receipt of official GRE and TOEFL scores.
  • Receipt of recommendation letters.

You may contact us via email to check the following:

  • Receipt of official (mailed or electronic) transcripts.
  • Receipt of GMAT, IELTS and PTE scores.
  • Status of your application.

Graduate admission staff are also available via Skype from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Pacific Time, Monday-Thursday. Please add graduate.admissions.usc to your contact list.

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