Return to: Undergraduate Education
- Catalogue Regulations, Policies and Procedures
- Graduation Date
- Discontinued Degree Programs
- Closed Record
- Degree Requirements
- Grade Point Average Requirement
- Unit Requirement
- Pass/No Pass Graded Work
- General Education Requirements
- Gateway Course
- Upper-division Major Course Work
- Minor Programs
- Honors Programs
- Graduation with University Honors
- Graduate Credit for 400 and 500 Level Work Taken as an Undergraduate
Catalogue Regulations, Policies and Procedures
In addition to degree requirements outlined below, undergraduate and graduate students are also subject to current catalogue regulations, policies and procedures. Examples include, but are not limited to, the policy on the grade of incomplete and graduation with honors. Unlike degree requirements, changes in regulations, policies and procedures are immediate and supersede those in any prior catalogue.
A student will be awarded the graduation date for the term in which degree requirements, including submission of supporting documents, have been met. Although course work may have been completed in a prior term, the degree will be awarded only for the term for which all academic and administrative requirements have been fulfilled. Students wishing to change the degree date from that indicated on the STARS Reportmay do so under Other Services inusc.edu/OASIS. You may only set a term three semesters in advance.If your expected graduation date is more than three semesters away, please emailDegree Progress.
Discontinued Degree Programs
Students pursuing major or minor programs that the university discontinues will be allowed to complete them within a specified time limit. The time limit will be specified at the point of discontinuance of a major or minor program and begins at that point. It is determined according to the student’s progress toward degree completion and will not exceed five years for any student.
The academic record of a student who has completed the program of study or ceased attendance is considered closed. Once a student’s record is closed, no further additions or changes may be made. This includes, but is not limited to, such things as registering in additional course work, resolution of marks of incomplete (IN) and missing grade (MG), declaration of minors, etc.
Undergraduate degree requirements consist of grade point averages, residence requirements, general education requirements, the writing requirement, the diversity requirement, pre-major and major requirements, and minor requirements. Undergraduate students may elect to follow (a) the degree requirements in the catalogue current in their first term of enrollment after admission or readmission at USC or (b) degree requirements in a subsequent catalogue as long as they were enrolled in a term in which it was in effect. However, students may not mix catalogues. An exception is that students may follow the requirements for a minor from a different catalogue year than the major; and students pursuing two majors may follow major requirements from different catalogue years.
While there are no specific time limits for completing the bachelor’s degree, over the years many departments change their major requirements in accordance with developments in the field and department. Occasionally, general education requirements are changed or a degree program is discontinued.
Therefore, undergraduate students who do not complete their degrees within six consecutive years from the beginning of the semester of their first completed USC course work will not be allowed automatically to continue following their pre-major, major and minor requirements as specified above. (This time limit includes semesters during which students are not enrolled.) The pertinent department chair will decide what pre-major, major and minor requirements each student must follow and communicate the decision to the student in writing.
Students who do not complete their degrees within 10 consecutive years from the beginning of the semester of their first completed USC course work will not be allowed automatically to continue their general education requirements. (This time limit includes semesters during which students are not enrolled.) The General Education Office will decide what general education requirements each student must follow and communicate the decision to the student in writing.
An appeal of a department’s decision may be made to the dean of the appropriate academic unit or the Provost’s Office for academic units without departments. An appeal of a general education decision may be made to the Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures (CAPP).
Grade Point Average Requirement
A grade point average of at least C (2.0) on all baccalaureate units attempted at USC, as well as on the combined USC-transfer GPA, is required for undergraduate degrees. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all upper division courses applied toward the major is also required, regardless of the department in which the courses are taken. The university will not deviate from policies governing the calculation of the grade point average through inclusion or exclusion of course work.
Students are required to take a minimum of 128 baccalaureate units at the undergraduate level (of which not more than 4 units may be physical education units). A student may earn a maximum of 16 units for individual instruction in music at the 101/201/301 levels and comparable transfer courses. Of the 128 unit minimum at least 32 units must be upper-division course work. Students must also complete all upper-division course work in the major at USC. The university will not deviate from the minimum unit requirements stated above or the additional unit-specific requirements. Some disciplines require more than the minimum requirements. Check individual department listings for specific requirements.
Unit credit indicates the number of semester units earned in the course; these units may or may not be applicable to the degree. Degree credit indicates the units are applicable to the degree.
Pass/No Pass Graded Work
A maximum of 24 units of undergraduate course work taken on a pass/no pass basis may be used toward an undergraduate degree and a maximum of 4 of these 24 units may be applied to the general education requirements. WRIT 130, WRIT 150andWRIT 340will not fulfill undergraduate writing requirements if taken on a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) basis.
Use of Pass/No Pass course work to fulfill major requirements must be approved in writing by the academic department. Course work required for a minor may not be taken on a P/NP basis. Individual academic departments may have placed further restrictions on whether a course taken on a Pass/No Pass basis can be used to fulfill specific requirements.
In cases where a student has registered for a course on Pass/No Pass (P/NP) basis, and the student is subsequently found to have committed an academic integrity violation in the course, the instructor may elect to assign a penalty letter grade, rather than assign a mark of Pass or No Pass.
General Education Requirements
General education and writing requirements for all students are provided on theGeneral Education Programpage. Additional specific information is included with the information on individual majors.
A gateway course is a lower division 3–4 unit course that introduces and showcases the minor or major curricula of an academic field of study. It is intended to be a student’s first exposure to a field of study.
Upper-division Major Course Work
The university requires that all undergraduate students successfully complete at USC all the upper-division courses that are applied to their major. Substitution of a comparable upper-division course for a required one may be entered in the STARS exception process by the departmental adviser with the support of the department. Substitutions and waivers of USC or transfer courses for upper-division requirements for majors are to be limited to a combination of 25 percent. Substitution of courses with the same departmental prefix are exempted from this limit. Lower-division courses cannot be substituted for upper-division course requirements.
Application for a minor must be made to the department or professional school and an appropriate endorsement must appear on a change/addition of major or minor degree objectives form. Students who decide not to complete a declared minor must formally drop the minor program. Failure to drop a declared minor may delay the awarding of the student’s degree.
The following guidelines apply to minor programs:
- Minor programs are available to students matriculated in an undergraduate degree program and must be completed simultaneously with the major degree program.
- Minors constituted of course work from a single department may not be earned by students majoring in that department.
- Students may take an interdepartmental minor in which their major unit participates as long as at least 16 units required for the minor are not courses offered by the major department.
- Students must take at least 16 units, which are unique to the minor (i.e., not required to fulfill the student’s major or another minor).
- All upper-division course work required for the minor must be taken at USC.
- Departments at their discretion may substitute no more than 25 percent of the required units defined in the catalogue for a given minor program. Substitution of courses with the same departmental prefix are exempted from this limit. Lower-division courses cannot be substituted for upper-division course requirements.
- Departments at their discretion may waive no more than 4 units for minor programs with 17 to 20 units or no more than 8 units for minor programs with more than 20 units for each student. The number of units unique to the minor after any departmental waivers or substitutions must total at least 16 units.
- No course work required for the minor may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis.
- A minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA must be achieved in all courses applied toward the minor. A higher minimum may be required by the sponsoring department or unit.
- Students whose major degree programs do not include a language requirement need not satisfy that requirement to earn a minor from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences or a professional school that has a language requirement unless the minor specifically requires the language.
- Completion of the minor program will be recorded on the transcript. The student receives a separate minor certificate for each minor program completed.
- Undergraduate students may elect to follow the minor requirements in (a) the catalogue current in their first term of enrollment after admission or readmission to USC, or (b) a subsequent catalogue year if the minor was newly introduced or revised after their term of admission or readmission. This does not affect the catalogue year they follow for their major.
The following departments have received approval from the university Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for their majors to graduate with departmental honors:
Accounting (BS); American Studies and Ethnicity; Anthropology; Art History; Biochemistry; Biological Sciences (BA and BS); Business (BS); Chemistry (BA and BS); Cinematic Arts (Critical Studies); Classics; Communication; Comparative Literature; Earth Sciences; East Asian Languages and Cultures; Economics; English; French; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Geodesign; Geological Sciences; History; Human Development and Aging (BS); International Relations; Linguistics; Linguistics/Philosophy; Linguistics/Psychology; Mathematics (BA and BS); Media Arts and Practice (Digital Studies minor); Neuroscience; Philosophy; Policy, Planning, and Development; Political Science; Psychology; Public Relations; Religion; Sociology; Spanish; and Spatial Sciences.
The minimal requirements for receiving departmental honors are that the student: (1) satisfactorily completes course work for an honors project and (2) achieves no less than a 3.5 GPA (A = 4.0) in the major at the time of graduation. Each program, department or school will designate what it considers the appropriate course work and honors project.
Departmental honors are noted on academic transcripts but not on the diploma.
Renaissance Scholar Honors
The Steven and Kathryn Sample Renaissance Scholars program recognizes select undergraduate students who have excelled in their studies while completing a major and a minor (or two majors) in widely separated fields of study. In order to be designated a USC Renaissance Scholar candidate, a student must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and must have his or her fields of study certified to meet the breadth with depth requirement.
To be designated a Renaissance Scholar upon graduation, a student must graduate within five years of matriculation at USC, with a minimum 3.5 overall grade point average, a minimum 3.5 grade point average in each of the major(s) and/or minor(s) course requirements and with university honors. A student with multiple certified program combinations (three or more academic programs) may fulfill the 3.5 major and/or minor grade point average requirement with a minimum of two programs from one of his or her certified pairings of academic programs.
Renaissance Scholar honors are noted on academic transcripts but not on the diploma.
Discovery Scholar Honors
The Discovery Scholars program recognizes undergraduate students who have excelled in their studies while demonstrating the ability to create exceptional new scholarship or artistic works. In order to be designated a USC Discovery Scholar candidate, a student must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and must meet the criteria established by his or her school for outstanding original research or creative work. The criteria may include submission of a research thesis, an artistic portfolio or some other evidence of original contributions to the discipline. Faculty letters of recommendation may also be required.
To be designated a Discovery Scholar upon graduation, a student must graduate within five years of matriculation at USC with a minimum 3.5 overall grade point average and with university honors.
Discovery Scholar honors are noted on academic transcripts but not on the diploma.
Global Scholar Honors
The Global Scholars program recognizes undergraduate students who have excelled in their studies both at home and abroad. Applicants must have participated in one or more international programs administered by USC or an outside institution for a minimum of 10 weeks. In order to be designated a USC Global Scholar candidate, a student must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and must submit a capstone paper, project or research paper based on criteria established by his or her school, as well as a reflective essay. Faculty letters of recommendation may also be required.
To be designated a Global Scholar upon graduation, a student must graduate within five years of matriculation at USC with a minimum 3.5 overall grade point average and with university honors.
Global Scholar honors are noted on academic transcripts but not on the diploma.
Distinction in Liberal Arts Honors
See Thematic Optionfor a full description of this honors program.
Graduation with University Honors
To be eligible for undergraduate honors at graduation, a minimum overall grade point average of 3.5 for cum laude, 3.7 for magna cum laude and 3.9 for summa cum laude is required. Students must meet these averages, both on residence work attempted and on combined transferred and residence work attempted. The honors award is then determined by either the GPA for the residence work or the GPA for the combined transferred and residence work, whichever is lower. USC does not honor other colleges’ academic “renewal” or “forgiveness” programs that permit students to improve a substandard grade. If you repeat a transferable course for which you earned a grade of D+ or lower, both grades will be included in your transfer GPA. If the grade on the first course was a C- or higher, only the first grade is included.
The university will not deviate from policies governing the calculation of the grade point averages required for graduation with honors through inclusion or exclusion of course work. University honors are noted on academic transcripts and the diploma.
Graduate Credit for 400- and 500-Level Work Taken as an Undergraduate
An undergraduate student who is within 12 semester units of the bachelor’s degree and has a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 may request to enroll in and reserve for graduate credit a limited amount of work at the 400 and 500 levels during the last semester as a senior, provided that the semester program does not exceed 16 semester units. A written request should be submitted to theRegistrar One Stop Centerand should bear the endorsements of the chair of the student’s major department and of the department in which the reserved work is to be taken. One Stop staff verify that the units being reserved are not needed to fulfill requirements for the bachelor’s degree.
How many credits do you need to graduate from university of Southern California? ›
Per USC requirements, a minimum of 128 units is necessary to graduate with a single Bachelor's degree, however, some majors may require more than 128 units to complete all requirements. For students pursuing a second Bachelor's degree, the minimum number of units increases to 160.What GPA do you need for grad school USC? ›
USC does not have a university-wide minimum GPA requirement for graduate admission eligibility.How many units do you need to graduate USC Marshall? ›
128 units (for one degree).Can I graduate early from USC? ›
Attending USC without financial aid costs at least $41,000 per year, not including books and other expenses. Graduating a semester early can save students thousands of dollars and give them a chance to either begin working earlier or just take a break.Is a C passing at USC? ›
USC uses the following grading system: CR = credit (passing grade for a non–letter graded course equivalent to “B” or 3.0 quality or better for graduate credit and “C–” or 1.7 for undergraduate credit)What is a B+ at USC? ›
A– = 3.7 points. B+ = 3.3 points. B = 3.0 points.How hard is it to get into USC graduate? ›
With a highly competitive acceptance rate of 18 percent, USC has implemented strict academic criteria new applicants must exceed for enrollment. Graduates pursuing one of the online master's in education programs must already hold a bachelor's degree or foreign equivalent from an accredited university.What GPA is needed for UCLA? ›
You might find yourself asking – “What GPA do you need to get into UCLA?” UCLA candidates must additionally meet the UCLA GPA requirements for admission in-state. Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, while out-of-state students must have a 3.4 GPA or greater.What is the average GPA for USC? ›
Average GPA: 3.79
With a GPA of 3.79, USC requires you to be above average in your high school class. You'll need a mix of A's and B's, with a leaning toward A's.
The Foreign Language Requirement at USC
Students who have previous experience with a foreign language in high school, or elsewhere, prior to enrolling at USC must take the placement examination.
How many units do you need for USC MBA? ›
Total units required for degree: 63.Does USC Marshall require work experience? ›
Work experience is not required to apply, but on average, the Fall 2021 entering class had 5 years of work experience. Students with work experience generally get more out of the program and contribute to classroom discussion and team projects.Can you graduate USC in three years? ›
This is usually a bachelor's degree (generally three years) or a bachelor's degree with honours (generally four years). USC also offers a wide range of single or double bachelor degrees. Some USC degrees (also called 'programs') offer a graduate entry option.
Overall, 91.5% of USC Undergrads Finish Within Six Years
After an additional two years, 92.5% of this class eventually completed their degree. We consider the "on-time" graduation rate for a bachelor's degree to be four years, but colleges typically report their graduation rates after six or even eight years.
Grade Point Average Rules
The semester grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of semester grade points earned by the total number of semester hours attempted for credit. Semester hours attempted on a Pass-Fail or audit basis do not affect your GPA.
If the course you fail is a requirement for your program, you will have to successfully complete it before you can become eligible to graduate. Check the course information to see when the course will be offered again.What is a failing grade at USC? ›
|Pass (PS)||50%–64 %|
|Marginal Fail (MF)||47%-49%|
What is PASS? PASS sessions are optional sessions attached to a specific USC course. The sessions are free and are designed to provide a peer-led approach for processing the course material assigned by the lecturer. Sessions are facilitated by a peer who is a PASS Leader.What is a good GPA at USC? ›
To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1530 SAT or a 34 ACT. You should also have a 3.79 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.What percentage is a pass at USC? ›
The percentages below constitute standard final grade parameters: Grade Parameters span> High Distinction (HD) 85%–100% Distinction (DN) 75%–84% Credit (CR) 65%–74% Pass (PS) 50%–64 %...
Is USC a good school? ›
Among all California institutions — public and private — only USC, Caltech and Stanford University ranked within the top 20. Of the 150 universities surveyed in the western U.S., USC ranks No. 3 overall. Among the top 25 schools, USC ranked No.Can I get into USC with a 3.5 GPA? ›
Although the school does not have a minimum GPA requirement, USC wants students who rank in the top 10% of their class. To keep in line with that standard, students should try to have a GPA of at least 3.79, if not better. That kind of grade can only be earned by mainly getting A's in high school classes.How much does tuition cost at USC? › Is USC a prestigious school? ›
USC, UCLA, and Stanford are among the most prestigious universities outside the Ivy League. These top universities have challenging classes, distinguished professors, competitive acceptance rates, and distinguished alumni networks like their Ivy League counterparts.What GPA is required for Harvard? ›
You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Harvard, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application.What GPA is required for Berkeley? ›
Although there is no minimum GPA requirement for applying to the major, the most successful applicants have a prerequisite GPA above 2.75. If you have further questions, contact our Berkeley Public Health undergraduate academic advisor.
The commonly used 0-4 scale (also known as an unweighted scale) caps the highest score at 4.0, but weighted scales like the 0-4.5 or 0-5 scale make higher GPAs possible. Typically, high schools that use weighted GPAs opt for the 0-5 scale that makes 5.0 the highest possible grade.Is USC or UCLA harder to get into? ›
In terms of selectivity, the schools rank fairly equally—UCLA has an 8.6 percent acceptance rate (getting more competitive every year) and USC's acceptance rate is 11.8 percent.Is UCLA or USC better? ›
UCLA vs USC: Ranking.
|US News 2021||13th||51st|
|Qs World Universities Ranking 2022||40th||112nd|
|National Universities USA||20th||24th|
The most popular majors at University of Southern California include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Social Sciences; Visual and Performing Arts; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Engineering; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Computer and Information Sciences and Support ...
How many classes can you take per semester at USC? ›
A normal academic load is 16 units per semester for undergraduate students and 8 units (500-level) for graduate students. The university recommends that undergraduate students register for no more than 18 units and graduate students for no more than 16 units.Does USC look at letters of recommendation? ›
Transcripts: First-year applicants should submit official transcripts of all high school and college coursework completed. Letter(s) of Recommendation: One letter is required from either your school counselor or a teacher from your school.How many years of foreign language do you need for college? ›
Many universities offer a part-time diploma course for the duration of one year. Apart from that, a full-time B.A. in any foreign language is of 3 years. The duration is split into 6 semesters. Each semester deals with different subjects to widen the horizon of the students.What MBA means? ›
MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. First introduced by Harvard University Graduate School of Administration in 1908 (now Harvard Business School), the MBA is the original graduate degree offered by business schools globally.Do you need work experience for USC MBA? ›
Online MBA Admissions Requirements
To be considered for the USC Online MBA program, candidates must meet the following admissions requirements: Earned a four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution. Completed a minimum of 2 years of professional work experience.
Traditional 2-year MBA Program designed to provide core business building blocks with the opportunity for specialization.
|Avg. Years Work Experience||5.3 years|
Marshall Policy on English-language proficiency
International graduate applicants must demonstrate English-language proficiency by submitting either TOEFL or IELTS scores.
University of Southern California (Marshall) 2023 Rankings
19 (tie) in Best Business Schools and No. 9 in Part-time MBA. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.
A student generally must complete 120 semester units or credits to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. Requirements are described in detail requiring specific courses in Math, Sciences, English, History, Political Science, General Education Courses, and Upper Division Courses in the selected major.
How does USC calculate GPA? ›
Grade Point Average Rules
The semester grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of semester grade points earned by the total number of semester hours attempted for credit. Semester hours attempted on a Pass-Fail or audit basis do not affect your GPA.
A minimum of 180 quarter units are required for graduation. A maximum of 12 units of Internship Courses (92, 192, or a combination) may be counted toward the 180-unit bachelor's degree requirement. More information about the Campus Unit Requirement.How many units does it take to get a master's degree? ›
When it comes to determining how many credits you need for a master's degree, consider the average. Most schools require about 30 credit hours with more complex and in-depth programs increasing this to as much as 40. On the other hand, a few schools require significantly less.What are 2 year degrees called? ›
Different types of associate degrees, such as an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Arts (AA), are 60 credits and can be completed in 2 years or less, and are a great first step toward earning an entry-level job or promotion.What credits do I need to graduate? ›
You usually need 60 credits to graduate college with an associate degree and 120 credits to graduate with a bachelor's degree.Is it worth getting a degree at 40? ›
Is it worth going back to college at 40? Researchers have linked college degrees with higher levels of job security, earning potential, and job satisfaction. Going back to college at 40 can also help you advance your career or make a career change.What is a good GPA at USC? ›
To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1530 SAT or a 34 ACT. You should also have a 3.79 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.What was the highest GPA ever? ›
One student even managed to land a stunning 10.03 GPA by taking 17 advanced classes at a school that awarded bonus points. If the different GPA scales seem a little confusing, check out our guide on how to calculate GPA for a straightforward explanation of weighted and unweighted GPAs.What is a B+ GPA? ›
B+ GPA. A B+ letter grade is equivalent to a 3.3 GPA, or Grade Point Average, on a 4.0 GPA scale, and a percentage grade of 87–89.How many classes can you fail in UC Davis? ›
You are required to maintain an average of 12 units per full-time quarter to be in good standing for minimum progress (MP). If your degree progress average (DPA) falls below 12 units you will be placed on probation on the basis of inadequate progress.
Is D passing in UC Davis? ›
In courses listed in the UC Davis General Catalog as being letter graded, “passing quality” means “of D- quality or better.” This standard holds in such courses whether or not the student has elected to take the course on a Passed/Not Passed (P/NP) or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis.What GPA do you need to graduate from UC Davis? ›
Only grades earned in courses taken at UC Davis will be included in the grade point computations. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) is a minimum of 2.000; major grade point average (GPA) is also a minimum of 2.000 - both are required in order to be eligible for graduation.Is Master's degree hard? ›
Yes. Master's degrees are a bit harder than most undergraduate studies. However, a postgraduate course of study is the best way to improve your academic career and personal life. You'll find ways to adjust to the increased difficulty as you go.How many hours a week is full-time Masters? ›
Yes, 40 hours.Can you have 2 masters degrees? ›
It's entirely possible to earn two master's degrees and there are many reasons to do so. Two master's degrees can help you to pursue more than one academic field, qualify for a position with more responsibility and opportunities and help you to become a top candidate for higher paying jobs.