USC Office of Degree Progress
Prior Degree from An International Institution
All graduate students must supply verification that they have been awarded a bachelor’s level degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent degree from an institution outside of the United States.
IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A DEGREE FROM AN INSTITUTION OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES OR CANADA AND ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE DEGREE VERIFICATION, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS:
- Students whose admission is conditional on having their previous degree(s) verified will have an “Activity Restriction Warning,” identified as an ADM40 or RNR40, placed on their records. Failure to complete the verification process in the allotted time may result in delayed or canceled registration and late fees. Your previous degree(s) must be verified before your graduate degree can be awarded.
- This requirement is separate from, and in addition to, the credential review conducted for admission. Therefore, you may be required to submit another set of credentials in addition to the materials submitted with your application for admission.
- Most students will have to satisfy this requirement before the end of their first term at USC.
- Verification of international prior degrees requires a, “General Report” from the International Education Research Foundation (www.ierf.org/usc), or a special WES-USC report from World Education Services (www.wes.org/usc). International prior degree verification is not offered on campus. Please review the information on each of the websites for details regarding their required documents and fees.
The Degree Progress office recognizes two providers of verifications of prior international degrees: World Education Services (WES), and the International Education Research Foundation (IERF). Details about their services, including application forms, fees, and required documents, are available at: www.wes.org/usc, or www.ierf.org/usc. Please review both carefully, then choose the one that best serves your particular needs.
- *GEMBA program students: Please contact the program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding verification of your previous degree(s) before engaging WES or IERF.
If you are admitted to an off-campus program, it is strongly recommended that you initiate the verification process directly with IERF or WES as soon as all of your credentials are available.
- WES -- Your previous school(s), or their authorized record keeper, will have to send credentials directly to WES, but you will not have to send them your originals. This option is best for students who are uncomfortable shipping their original documents, and are from a prior institution that will respond to their request to send credentials and English translations directly to WES in a reasonable amount of time. The transmission of your evaluation results to USC is already included in the base fee.
- IERF -- If you choose IERF, you have to send them your original documents for inspection, but in most (but not all) cases, your prior institution won’t have to send them independent verification. When your verification is complete, IERF will mail your documents back to you. Opting for upgraded return shipping with tracking is strongly recommended. This option is best for students who have all their credentials, and are from an institution where it is difficult to request that credentials be sent to third parties. A discount is available from IERF for USC students. Please follow the instructions here to make sure you get it. Please note that transmission of your evaluation results to USC is already included in the base fee. You do not need to pay for an extra copy of the report.
The Degree Progress office no longer forwards documents to IERF. You will need to arrange shipping through the USPS, FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc. Opting for a level of service that provides a tracking number is strongly recommended.