All undergraduate students entering USC may receive a combined maximum of 32 elective units for college courses and/or examinations (e.g., AP or IB) taken before graduation from high school. A maximum of 16 of these 32 units will be allowed for college courses taken before high school graduation. These courses must appear on a college transcript as part of a regular college curriculum and are expected to be taught on the college campus by college faculty. These courses (as well as AP and IB exams) can fulfill General Education categories I, II, III and V, but will not receive course equivalence or credit toward writing, diversity, foreign language. However, departments may use them as a basis to waive prerequisites or specific course requirements on a case-by-case basis. Students may not receive credit for both an AP exam (or IB or other international exam) and a college course taken before high school graduation covering the same subject matter, nor for an AP and IB exam covering the same subject matter. Students who began full-time college bachelor's degree programs at four-year institutions before completing their high school diplomas can submit transcripts for course evaluation. More than 16 units may be granted. Programs which award a high school diploma concurrently with first- or second-year college level work are typically conducted on the post-secondary institution's campus and are taught by the regular faculty. These programs will be evaluated on an individual basis, along with the student's high school record, to determine both the student's admissibility and the transferability of courses. Students entering full-time college programs at two-year colleges before graduating from high school are subject to the 16 unit maximum stated above.
Students should successfully complete at least sixteen yearlong college preparatory courses while in high school:
- 4 years of English (composition and literature)
- 2 years of foreign language
- 3 years of mathematics (algebra, geometry, algebra II, trigonometry, or calculus)
- 2 years of natural science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics)
- 2 years of social sciences (e.g. U.S. history, government, economics, geography)
- 3 years of additional courses in subjects above or academic electives (e.g. computer science, art, music, speech)
- Students should pursue Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes whenever possible.
Yes, it is possible for students who completed high school with a GED to be admitted to USC. However, such students will still need to meet all other transfer requirements (at least 30 transferable semester college units, strong academic record, etc.) and must also provide official transcripts of all high school coursework they attempted, in addition to providing an official copy of their GED.