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USC Office of Articulation

Information For Spring Admits1 About Transfer Courses

To Be Taken Before Entering USC

 

Which courses transfer for credit to USC?
Policies regarding transferable coursework can be found in the Course Work Taken Elsewhere section of the USC Catalogue. Most college-level courses from appropriately accredited schools will earn elective units in transfer. Some courses are also eligible for subject credit, like General Education, Writing, Foreign Language, and USC course equivalence. For more information about transfer policies, please see the Transferring to USC brochure.

*** Effective Fall 2015, USC is introducing a new set of General Education Program Requirements. These requirements will apply to students who will be graduating high school in Spring or Summer 2015 and whose first full-time term (excluding Summer) at any college or university will be Fall 2015. These students should review the information below for “First Year Students.” Students who started at any college or university before Summer 2015 will follow the GE Program in effect prior to Fall 2015. These students should review the information below for “Transfer Students.”

How can I find out what transfer classes to take in the Fall?
The Articulation homepage displays articulation agreements with many California community colleges that state exactly what credit courses will receive. Please read the entire agreement carefully. USC will honor the transfer credit shown on these agreements. There are also articulation histories with select four-year schools. The articulation agreements and histories currently display subject credit for the GE Program in effect prior to Fall 2015. Incoming First Year students may use these resources to review elective credit, Writing, Foreign Language, and USC course equivalence. However, these are still being updated with available subject credit under the new General Education Program requirements. This information will be available in the Summer 2015.

What if I’m taking courses at a school that doesn’t appear on the Articulation homepage?
First, look at Transferring to USC, which gives guidelines for determining whether a course transfers for elective credit and fulfills a graduation requirement.
Second, click here to access the Transfer Planning Guide (TPG). For many institutions, the TPG will display courses we have evaluated that earn subject credit or satisfy lower division requirements for the selected major. The TPG does NOT contain a complete list of courses taught at these colleges. Therefore, if the school you are planning to attend is not listed or the courses you want to take do not appear, please continue to the third step.
Third, speak with your Admission counselor, who may be able to provide information from our database of courses that have already transferred from the college you plan to attend. You can identify your counselor, with contact information, on the Admission Counselor page, or call Admission at (213) 740-1111.
Fourth, for schools that do not have an articulation agreement, or for courses or credit that are not displayed on the agreement or the TPG, please use the Spring Admit Pre-Approval Form below.

What courses should I take that would apply to my USC major?
Requirements for majors are described in the USC Catalogue. Most departments prefer that students take General Education requirements and courses preparatory to the major (if applicable) before starting at USC, then take major course work at USC.

How can I request pre-approval for Fall 2015 transfer courses?
We offer two different Spring Admit Pre-Approval Forms below, one for each set of GE requirements. Please select your population below for the appropriate form. List the course(s) you want to take and state what credit you would like to earn for each. Please request only the courses for which you intend to register; excessive requests will not be processed. You may request pre-approval for up to 3 courses on a form, and you may submit additional forms as needed.

Once you have completed and signed the appropriate form, you may scan and submit it via email to onestop@usc.edu, fax it to Degree Progress at (213) 821-3757, or mail a printed copy to:

University of Southern California
Degree Progress, TRO 101
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0912

The evaluation of your requests will appear on your Transfer Credit Report (TCR), which can be viewed on OASIS once you have been granted access. We cannot guarantee a response within a specified time frame, but we will work on your request as quickly as possible.

Pre-Approvals for Incoming First-Year Students
Students graduating high school in Spring or Summer 2015, following the new GE Program Requirements

Please use the 2015 Course Work Pre-Approval Form for Incoming First-Year Students. All courses will be considered for elective units. Additionally you may request the following subject credit:

  • General Education Core Literacies (categories A, B, C, D, E and F).
  • General Education Global Perspectives (categories G and H).
  • The lower-division writing requirement (WRIT130/150), which is usually satisfied by a second-semester writing course.
  • The foreign language requirement needed for many majors (generally, a third-semester or fifth-quarter foreign language course).
  • Equivalence to select USC courses.
Pre-Approvals for Incoming Transfer Students
Students who started college prior to Fall 2015, following the GE program in effect prior to Fall 2015.

Please use the 2015 Course Work Pre-Approval Form for Incoming Transfer Students. All courses will be considered for elective units. Additionally you may request the following subject credit:

  • General Education categories I, II, III, and V.
  • Diversity.
  • The lower-division writing requirement (WRIT130/150), which is usually satisfied by a second-semester writing course.
  • The language requirement needed for many majors (generally, a third-semester or fifth-quarter language course).
  • Equivalence to select USC courses.

Can I transfer study abroad courses?
Possibly, but not all overseas programs transfer to USC. Every study abroad program is different and there are several variables that might affect transfer credit. However, USC looks for the following basic criteria to determine if a program will transfer.

Programs through U.S. Colleges and Universities
Some students study abroad through a U.S. college or university. The U.S. institution providing the transcript must be regionally accredited, and USC expects that the U.S. institution’s faculty teach the courses being transferred or retain direct, detailed curricular oversight over the program. If the program involves enrolling directly in an international institution, that university must be recognized by its own country’s Ministry of Education to grant undergraduate degrees.

Direct enroll programs at international institutions
Some students enroll directly at an international university. The foreign university must be recognized by its own country’s Ministry of Education to grant undergraduate degrees and the courses the student takes must be applicable to a degree at that institution. USC expects that faculty from this institution teach the courses being transferred or retain direct, detailed curricular oversight over the program. Transfer credit from this type of program also requires an evaluation from our foreign credit evaluation service, IERF, and cannot be completed in advance. After students complete the program, they should set up a discounted account at www.ierf.org/usc and provide original, authentic transcripts to IERF for review. IERF will then make credit recommendations directly to USC.

Programs taught by unaccredited/unrecognized institutions
Many students study abroad through unaccredited institutions such as language institutes, schools that are not recognized by their home government to grant university degrees, or through for-profit study abroad organizations, etc. While such programs may offer students the chance to receive a transcript from an accredited or recognized institution (often for a fee), USC will not accept these programs for transfer credit. USC expects that the transcripting institution teaches the courses and/or retains direct, detailed curricular oversight over the courses offered on such programs.

How about online courses?
In most cases online courses will receive the same credit in transfer as the classroom version at the sending institution. However, online or hybrid laboratory science classes will not satisfy Category III GE or earn equivalence to USC lab science courses. Online or hybrid foreign language courses are not equivalent to USC foreign language courses nor will they fulfill the language requirement. If you took a traditional classroom version of one of these courses at a school where the course is also available online, we cannot guarantee equivalence or subject credit in advance. You will need to provide additional documentation after you complete the course to demonstrate that you were enrolled in the classroom version of the class. Documentation typically includes a registration summary and your course syllabus; please keep copies of all related materials.

Any courses taught in non-traditional settings or time frames, including compact intersessions or open-ended distance education courses, require individual review after completion of course. In these cases no advance guarantee of credit can be made.

1This process can also be used by Fall Admits who wish to inquire about courses to be taken in the summer before entering USC.