Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
PhD: In addition to the above, applicants must also have demonstrated research experience.
However, work experience information can be included as part of the résumé/CV.
PhD: All doctoral programs are on-campus only.
INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY
*Please note, on-campus prospective students who wish to be considered for scholarships must submit a Graduate Application for Admission and official transcripts by December 15 for the Fall semester and by August 31 for the Spring semester. Scholarships are not offered for the Summer semester.
PhD: Doctoral programs only have Fall admission with an application deadline of December 15.
PhD: Doctoral applicants need to submit GRE scores, official transcripts, 3 Letters of Recommendation,
Personal Statement (Statement of Purpose) and a résumé/CV.
To apply for an additional program, a unique SECOND PROGRAM APPLICATION FEE WAIVER code must be provided by the USC Graduate Admission office and must be entered into the online application.
PLEASE NOTE: Applications submitted for multiple Viterbi School programs without a valid waiver will be charged for each additional program and no refunds will be given. See Application Fee Waiver Instructions for instructions on receiving a waiver to apply for a second Viterbi School program.
Please note that that your application will not be considered complete until USC has received your official GRE scores electronically from ETS.
PhD: If all or part of a doctoral application will be submitted after the deadline, we recommend contacting the appropriate department PhD advisor to find out whether the department accepts late applications.
IMPORTANT: Because the USC ID number needs to be included with the transcript, we urge applicants to submit their application prior to the application deadline.
You will need to include your USC ID with your official, sealed transcript. It should also be included in all email and correspondence with USC. If, after 10 business days you have checked your email Junk and Clutter folders and have not received a USC ID, you can request it by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, date of birth and the program to which you are applying.
Note: The USC ID is not the CAS ID number.
Please note that the date an application is submitted does not determine the date an admission decision will be issued.
PhD: Doctoral applicants need to contact the appropriate department PhD advisor to check on the status of an application.
1) Log into your submitted application, go to the Program Materials quadrant and open the Documents tab.
2) Use one of the Other documents slots to add the updated/corrected document.
3) If you have used all of your Other document slots, you will need to send the updated/corrected document as an attachment to email@example.com. Make sure to include your USC ID in the email. (Note: This is the number that was emailed to you after you submitted the application. It is not the CAS ID.)
1) Go to the Graduate Admission Submit a Question page.
2) Fill in the form. Make sure to include your USC ID number. (Note: This is the number you were emailed after you you submitted the application. It is not the CAS ID.)
3) Under Select an Area, choose Graduate Admission
4) Under Category, choose General Information
5) Use Subject and Question, to tell them what needs to be corrected
5) Click the Submit Your Question button
INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY
Please note, if you are an international student your application will not be considered complete until USC has received your official TOEFL/IELTS scores electronically from the testing agency. For additional information on this requirement and the circumstances under which it can be waived, visit USC Graduate Admission’s English Proficiency page.
Note: The financial documentation must be submitted no later than April 15 for Fall admission or October 25 for Spring admission.
PhD: Because USC tries to fully fund all doctoral students, applicants should not submit financial documentation.
The following applicants are waived from the requirement to submit a GRE test score as part of their application to a USC Viterbi Masters’ program:
- Applicants who are enrolled in or have complete an Undergraduate degree at the Viterbi School of Engineering, with a GPA of 3.2 or higher
- Applicants who are enrolled in or have completed a Master’s program in the Viterbi School of Engineering.
- Applicants who are enrolled in or have completed PhD program in the Viterbi School of Engineering.
PhD: Your application will be reviewed on an individual basis so there are no minimum score requirements. However, a GPA of 3.5 or higher and strong Quantitative GRE scores are recommended to be competitive.
Valid GRE scores must be dated within five years of the start of the intended application semester. The Fall semester starts in August, and the Spring semester starts in January.
Note: If you earned a previous Viterbi School graduate degree you do not need to submit GRE scores.
Official, sealed transcripts must be received by USC by the final application deadlines.
If your recommenders are having problems with the Letters of Recommendation system, please click on the CONTACT US link in the lower left corner of the application for assistance.
1) Log back into your application(s)
2) In the Program Materials quadrant, in the Documents tab you can add new/updated materials as an Other document.
3) Choose the file and click the Upload This Document button
Note: Once an application has been submitted, updated transcripts and Personal Statements can only be added as an Other document.
INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY
Valid TOEFL scores must be dated within two years of the start of the intended application semester. The Fall semester starts in August, and the Spring semester starts in January.
You may also request that your IELTS results be sent to USC after you receive your scores by contacting the test center where you took the test and request that your results be sent to the University of Southern California electronically, not by postal mail. You can search for contact details for all IELTS test centers at www.ielts.org/testcentres.
Valid IELTS scores must be dated within two years of the start of the intended application semester. The Fall semester starts in August, and the Spring semester starts in January.
PhD: USC tries to fully fund all of its doctoral students, so there is no need to apply separately for funding.
All other application and supplemental materials required for the program(s) to which you are applying, such as GRE and TOEFL scores, must be submitted by the application deadline of January 15 for the Fall semester and September 15 for the Spring semester.
PhD: Doctoral applicants do not apply for Viterbi scholarships.
PhD: This does not apply to doctoral applicants.
PhD: Doctoral applicants are automatically considered for research/teaching assistantships. A separate application is not needed.
PhD: The Fall deadline to submit the Statement of Intent is April 15.
Once you have been admitted, log into your YouSC account and go to your Statement of Intent. Once you have selected your program in the Statement of Intent, you will be prompted to pay the $500 commitment deposit. (See below for image.)
PhD: There is no commitment deposit for doctoral students.
1) Your Full Name
2) 10-digit USC ID Number
3) The term/semester to which you want to have the application updated
Note: Even if you opt not to attend USC, we ask that you submit the Statement of Intent.
1) If you did not receive an admit decision for the semester to which you applied, you can have your application updated within one year of your original application term. To have your application updated to a future semester, send an e-mail to our Viterbi Graduate Admissions Office. The e-mail should include the following information:
- Your Full Name
- USC ID Number
- The term/semester to which you want to have the application updated
2) If you were denied admission and choose to reapply, it is in your best interest to submit new and compelling academic information that was not part of your original application, such as updated transcripts and/or test scores. You will need to submit a new application and pay another application fee. (On the application, make sure to indicate that you have applied before and input your USC ID number when prompted.) You can send an email to our Viterbi Graduate Admissions Office to check on whether you will need to re-submit transcripts and test scores. (Make sure to include your USC ID number in the email.) Any materials that have changed since their original application (including updated transcripts, test scores need to be submitted by the application deadline for the new semester to which you are applying.
Note: It is recommended that PhD applicants try contacting faculty before submitting a new application.
INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY
Note: Financial documentation needs to be submitted before the Statement of Intent becomes available in the you.usc.edu portal.
PhD: I-20 papers are generally issued within a week of when the Statement of Intent has been submitted.