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 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, “Certification of Studies for USC” from the International Education Research Foundation (www.ierf.org/usc). International prior degree verification is not offered on campus. Please review the information on the www.ierf.org/usc website for details regarding their required documents and fees.
The Degree Progress office recognizes the International Education Research Foundation (IERF) as a provider of verifications of prior international degrees. Details about their services, including application forms, fees, and required documents are available at www.ierf.org/usc.
- *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 IERF.
If you are admitted to an off-campus program, it is strongly recommended that you initiate the verification process directly with IERF as soon as all of your credentials are available.
- IERF -- You have to send 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. 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.