USC believes that students who undertake an IB curriculum are well prepared for the rigors of university academic life. IB courses are factored into our admission evaluation process because we recognize the extreme rigor of such a curriculum.
USC grants either 20 units of credit to students who earn the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a score of 30 or higher or 6 semester units of credit for each score of 5, 6 or 7 on the IB Higher Level exams, up to a maximum of four exams, whichever is higher. No credit is granted to IB Standard Level exams. Advanced Placement (AP) credit can be accumulated in addition to the IB for a maximum of 32 units. However, credit cannot be earned for AP and IB exams on the same topic.
The USC Articulation Office will only grant elective credit upon receipt of an official IB Certificate. Therefore, students should be sure to have official IB results sent directly to USC.
In addition, the following Higher Level IB exams fulfill USC General Education requirements:
- History route 2: 20th Century World History
HL Option Europe and the Middle East (not Route 1: History of Europe and the Islamic World*) - Fulfills USC GE Category I
- History route 2: 20th century world history**
HL Option Asia and Oceania - Fulfills USC GE Category II
- Biology, Chemistry, or Physics - Fulfills USC GE Category III
*Possible General Education credit for History route 1: Europe and the Islamic World depends on a detailed review of the student’s HL course content. After certifying admission, students may file an articulation petition at www.usc.edu/oasis and provide supporting documentation electronically.
** Possible General Education credit for History route 2: HL Option Africa depends on a detailed review of the student’s HL course content. After certifying admission, students may file an articulation petition at www.usc.edu/oasis and provide supporting documentation electronically.
Besides this unit credit and General Education credit, some departments may use IB scores for placement purposes, such as waiving a course prerequisite or to waive certain degree requirements.
For applicants whose education is based upon the British educational system, USC evaluates application files with results from the GCSE/IGCSE and predicted A-level results. In addition, USC will award transfer credit for each successfully completed A-level for which USC offers comparable coursework.
International students are not eligible for application fee waivers and USC does not accept international reply coupons for application payments. Full-time USC employees and their dependents are exempt from paying the application fee.
USC defines international students as anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. American citizens who reside in other countries or who attend foreign schools are NOT considered international students.
All first-year and transfer international applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic Exam. International freshmen applicants with minimum scores of 600 on SAT Critical Reading or 27 on ACT English are exempt from taking the TOEFL. The TOEFL must have been taken within the past two years from application date.
All international applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency:
- First-year applicants must submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic scores; or SAT or ACT scores.
- Transfer applicants must submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic scores.
First-year and transfer applicants whose native language is English are presumed to be proficient. This includes applicants from countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec) where English is both the first language of the country and the language of instruction. Applicants with minimum scores of 100 on TOEFL iBT (with at least 20 in each section), 600 on SAT Critical Reading, or 27 on ACT English are presumed to be proficient.
For those who do not demonstrate English proficiency, USC requires the International Student Exam (ISE) upon admission and prior to registration. The results on the ISE determine whether or not a student must enroll in intensive language courses at USC.
For more information on student visa applications click here.
International students are not eligible for federal or university need-based financial aid.
There are some resources that may provide assistance to international students. For more information click here.