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USC Office of Articulation

WHAT KIND OF SUBJECT CREDIT (General Education, other USC Core, etc.) CAN YOU PETITION FOR?

The kind of subject credit a transfer course can earn depends on when you took the course, the content of the course, and (in some cases) how the course was taught. Step 3 of the online petition process will show you what kind of subject credit you can request depending on when you took the course, but the content and goals of your course must meet the expectations for that kind of credit at USC. Read below to learn more about what kind of credit is available to different groups of transfer students as well as what criteria are used to grant subject credit.

SUBJECT CREDIT AVAILABLE ACCORDING TO WHEN THE COURSE WAS TAKEN

Courses taken before high school graduation:
GE Categories I, II, III, and V, but not categories IV or VI, Diversity nor writing.
No equivalence to a USC course is allowed, but see your department for possible waiver of prerequisites or requirements using courses taken before high school graduation.
Courses must be taught on a college campus by college faculty and not be used toward the student's high school graduation to earn any kind of credit.

Courses taken after high school graduation and before entering USC can earn:
GE Categories I, II, III, or V, but not IV or VI
Diversity
Lower division writing requirement (WRIT 150) but not the upper division writing requirement (WRIT 340)
Language course credit at the first-, second-, or third-semester level. (The third semester fulfills the language requirement for most students.)
Certain equivalences. The Articulation Office is only authorized to grant a limited number of equivalences. Those available will be shown in Step 3 of the petition process. If you want some other equivalence, see your departmental advisor.

Courses taken after entering USC can earn:
Diversity
Language course credit
Certain equivalences. The Articulation Office is only authorized to grant a limited number of equivalences. Those available will be shown in Step 3 of the petition process. If you want some other equivalence, see your departmental advisor.


DESCRIPTIONS OF SUBJECT CREDIT (General Education, other USC Core, etc.)

General Education (GE) categories:

A transfer course must meet the definition of the relevant requirements in the USC Catalogue (excerpted below) in order to meet the requirement you request. It is not necessary that it be similar to a specific USC GE course. A significant majority of the course must meet the criterion in order to fulfill GE.


Category I. Western Cultures and Traditions

Courses in this category introduce students to an area of academic inquiry traditionally perceived to be central to general education. They stress concepts, values, and events in Western history that have shaped contemporary American and European civilization. Courses are distinguished by their historical sweep, which allows students to become aware of the continuing legacies of the past in contemporary culture. Students learn to situate contemporary society in a broad historical context and to think critically about the past and its relationship to the present, while becoming acquainted with the most significant analytic methods by which we attempt to understand the meaning of history. Comparative insights may also be offered with the non-Western cultural traditions studied in Category II.


Category II. Global Cultures and Traditions

Courses in this category introduce students to cultures and civilizations associated with Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Native America, and Russia. Each course examines the distinctive qualities of the cultures studied and seeks to engage and explain those characteristics on their own terms. Students learn to understand the impact of historical development on cultures that interact in the contemporary geopolitical scene and to articulate the role that cultural differences play in those interactions. As a result, they are better prepared to participate actively in an increasingly global cultural and political landscape. Courses in this category are distinguished by their breadth of perspective over a substantial period of time. Comparative insights may also be offered between these cultures and those studied in Category I.


Category III. Scientific Inquiry

In this category, students learn about the process and methods of scientific inquiry, examining the fundamental principles underlying a body of scientific knowledge and how those principles were developed. Students learn to evaluate the soundness of scientific arguments and appreciate how current ideas might change in response to new data. Students engage in scientific inquiry through field experiences or a practical component. A section of laboratory or field experience is required.

On-line or hybrid (mix of classroom and computer instruction) laboratories will not satisfy GE III or earn course equivalence; elective units only will be granted.


Category V. Arts and Letters

In this category students develop their skills for critical analysis through intense engagement with works of literature, philosophy, visual arts, music, and film. The works studied may be associated with a particular country, time period, genre, or theme. Students will learn to use techniques of literary and artistic analysis. At the same time they will become familiar with disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods of argument and persuasion. Intensive reading and writing is demanded in these courses.


Diversity:

At least a third of the course must meet the definition of diversity credit from the USC Catalogue:

The diversity requirement is designed to provide undergraduate students with the background knowledge and analytical skills to enable them to understand and respect differences between groups of people and to understand the potential resources and conflicts arising from human differences on the contemporary American and international scene. Students will increasingly need to grapple with issues arising from different dimensions of human diversity such as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, sexual orientation and social class. These dimensions and their social and cultural consequences will have important ramifications for students' personal, professional and intellectual lives, both for the time they are students and in later life. Students will gain exposure to analytical frameworks within which these issues are to be understood and addressed, including social, political, cultural, ethical and public policy analysis.


Lower Division Writing Requirement (WRIT 150):

If a school offers two semesters of composition (e.g. Composition 1 and 2), you must take the second course to fulfill the lower division writing requirement. If your TCR shows "Reading and Composition 1," that is the title USC gives to first-semester transfer writing courses. However, if your school offers or requires only one lower-division composition course, you can petition for WRIT 150 equivalence. A message to that effect might already appear on your Transfer Credit Report. The course must have taught argumentative, rhetorical writing (not creative writing), and you must submit your course syllabus and final drafts of all papers you wrote for the course.

WRIT-340 MUST be taken at USC; it cannot be fulfilled with a transfer course.


Language Requirement

Modern language courses must teach "four skills" (reading, writing, speaking, listening) to fulfill language credit. At a semester-calendar school, they must earn at least 4 units; at a quarter-calendar school, the second course in the sequence gets equivalence to the first semester at USC, and the fifth course fulfills the third-semester language requirement. On-line or hybrid (mix of classroom and computer instruction) classes will not satisfy language credit or earn course equivalence; elective units only will be granted.


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