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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?

International applicants admitted to a USC program who have also committed to attend can submit their financial/passport documents to Trojan International to request an I-20. Access to Trojan International requires a USC NetID which is issued after committing to a USC degree program.

For more information on Trojan International, please see the Trojan International Checklist.

General guidelines on financial documents for the issuance of an I-20 or DS-2019 can be found here.

What is the deadline for submitting my financial documents?

Financial documents and/or passports are not required or accepted at the application stage. Applicants that are admitted to a USC program and who also commit to attend USC by submitting a Statement of Intent, can submit their financial/passport documents to Trojan International to request an I-20. Some programs may have a specific deadline to request an I-20. Please check with your program.

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.

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.

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 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.

Please review this video tutorial to navigate the application status verification process.

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.

Frequently Asked