USC accepts units from all accredited colleges and universities in the United States. Please read carefully the rules governing transfer credit acceptance at USC.
Courses and Units that Will Transfer to USC Accredited courses:
Course work and/or degrees from U.S. institutions accredited by the regional agencies, as well as from foreign post-secondary institutions recognized and approved by the local Ministry of Education as a degree-granting institution.
Advanced Placement (A.P.)
and International Baccalaureate (I.B.) credits:
A maximum of 32 units is granted under either the A.P. or the I.B. program, or in combination. Test results must be sent directly to USC from the testing agency. Once we receive them, your transfer credit report will show the credit.
- You receive 4 elective units for each score of 4 or higher. For exams taken spring 2008 or earlier, credit is awarded for scores of 3 or higher, except for Computer Science. General Education credit is available for Category I with a score of four or higher in Art History and European History and for Category III with a score of four or higher in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics. The three-semester foreign language requirement is fulfilled with a score of 4 or 5 on a foreign language AP exam (not Latin).
- For the I.B. program, 6 elective units apiece are earned for scores of five or above on high-level exams, or 20 elective units if you earn the I.B. diploma with a score of 30 or higher. General Education credit is available for some history and science exams.
College courses taken prior to leaving high school:
Students can receive a maximum of 16 elective units for college courses taken before leaving high school. These courses must appear on the college transcript as part of the regular college curriculum, are expected to be taught on the college campus by regular college faculty and not used toward high school graduation. They can fulfill General Education categories I, II, III or V but may not receive equivalence to USC courses College courses taken before high school graduation are included in the 32-unit combined maximum for A.P. or I.B. exams and college courses taken before high school graduation.
Transfer unit limits: Up to four units each of English as a Second Language, physical education activity courses, and music ensemble courses; up to eight units of dance; and a maximum of 12 units each of music lessons and physical education theory. There are also limits on the number of courses we accept from subcategories of studio or performing arts.
Courses and Units that May Transfer,
to be Determined on a Case-by-Case Basis
- You must submit copies of the syllabi for credit evaluation.
- Nontraditional formats or time frames: This includes distance learning, online, and weekend/intensive sessions.
- Nontraditional courses at four-year colleges: Independent study, directed study, internships, and extension courses (only if the college where they were taken accepts them toward the baccalaureate degree).
- Military: Courses completed through the armed services.
Courses and Units that Will Not Transfer
- Non-accredited: Course work or degrees taken at unaccredited institutions.
- Grades: Courses graded with less than a "C-" (these will still affect your transfer grade point average (GPA)).
- Courses in areas of study not offered by USC, including: agriculture, business office procedures, hotel management, food services, industrial mechanics, interior design, fire science, police science, forestry, and similar technical or professional programs.
- Same material: Credit may not be earned for an A.P. exam and an I.B. exam (or a college course) covering the same material.
- Experience: Life experience, portfolio work, courses offered by business or governmental agencies (even if evaluated by the American Council on Education), work experience, or equivalence examination units.
- Placement exams: Course and/or unit credits awarded by another institution for placement examinations.
- Remedial classes: Remedial, college preparatory, or personal development course work, including mathematics courses below the level of college algebra. (Intermediate algebra, USC’s minimum math requirement, is not transferable.)
- Nontraditional course work at two-year colleges: Independent study, directed study, correspondence courses, internships, or travel courses.
Determining Your Transfer and USC GPA
For the admission decision, all grades in USC transferable courses (including grades of "D+" and below) are calculated into the grade point average (GPA). USC takes into account plus/minus grading. Incompletes and missing grades from your transfer institution are treated as an “F.” Credit/No Credit and Pass/No Pass marks are not included in the transfer GPA.
If you repeat a transferable course, each grade earned in that course will be used to calculate the transfer GPA for admission. Further, USC does not honor academic renewal or academic forgiveness programs that allow students to improve recorded substandard academic performance.
1 Courses approved to meet USC's general education requirements, diversity and other requirements, and pre-major requirements must be at least 2.67-semester or four quarter units.
2 Professional, technical, creative, or remedial writing courses will not satisfy the writing requirement. Once you are admitted, a transfer GPA will be established for all transferable course work; this average will be considered with your USC GPA to determine your eligibility for graduation with honors.
3 Your class standing at the time of admission is based strictly on the number of transferable units completed at the time of the admission decision. If you subsequently complete transferable work and submit official transcripts, your class standing will be adjusted according to university guidelines.