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Glossary of Terms and Services


Pass/No Pass Registration (P/NP) - During the first three weeks of the semester, or third week equivalent for a session that is scheduled for less than 15 weeks, students may elect to take a course numbered below 500 on a pass/no basis. Graduate students must receive department approval to enroll in a graduate course on a pass/no pass basis. Refer to the Pass/No Pass Graded Work section in the USC Catalogue under "Academic Policies." Students should consult their academic advisor before enrolling in any course on a pass/no pass basis. Undergraduates may take a maximum of 24 units pass/no pass. Certain classes, such as those fulfilling the Writing requirement, may not be taken pass/no pass. To change a course to P/NP, students may complete the Pass/No Pass Request form in the Registration Building or change the grade option on the Web registration.

Permit to Register - The Permit To Register form is a document that contains a student’s name, related demographic information, and the student’s registration appointment time. The Permit to Register document is issued to students at the Registration Building (REG). For questions, please contact the Registration Department at (213) 740-8500.

Petitions (Articulation) - See Articulation Petition.

Petitions (Department-Initiated) - Requests for exception to specific degree requirements are generated in the academic unit. Most requests will be forwarded by the advisor to CAPP, via Academic Review, for review. Some exceptions are made by the dean of the academic unit and are recorded in the student exception process by the academic department. See Academic Review

Petitions (Registration-Related) - Requests for exception to published registration procedures and enrollment deadlines are reviewed by the Dean of Academic Records and Registrar. Such requests are generated in the Academic Review and Retention Office. Requests denied by the dean are referred to a CAPP panel for review. Any request to change the official registration for a semester retroactively must be submitted within 24 months of the end of the semester in question. The 24-month period starts with the last day of final examinations for the semester in question.  If appropriate, the time limit can be waived by the dean of the academic unit in which the student is seeking a degree. There is a $150 processing fee for all registration-related petitions, regardless of the outcome. See Academic Review, CAPP.

PIN (Personal Identification Number) - A six-digit number assigned to enrolled students that is used to prevent unauthorized access to a student's record.  Initially students are assigned their six digit birth date (MM/DD/YY) as their PIN. Students must change their PIN to another number at their first login using OASIS. Problems with PINs should be directed to the Registration Department at (213) 740-8500.

Placement Examinations - See Examinations (Placement).

Pre-Approval - Students who are eligible to take course work outside of USC must first obtain written pre-approval from the Degree Progress Department. Even if there is an articulation agreement, pre-approval is necessary to ensure the student’s eligibility. Courses may only be taken in the summer. The Pre-Approval form can be obtained from the student’s academic advisor or from the Web. For more information, review the Transferring Course Work information or contact Degree Progress in the lobby of the Registration Building (REG), (213) 740-7070.

Prerequisites - Prerequisites are courses and/or specific background required of students prior to advancing to the next course in a prescribed sequence of courses. Passage of appropriate examinations or consent of the academic unit offering the course will waive prerequisites. However, a prerequisite course within the same discipline taken after the higher level course has been passed will not be available for unit or grade point average.

Privacy of Student Records - See FERPA

Probation (Academic) - An overall USC grade point average (GPA) of at least C (2.0) on coursework taken at USC is required for completion of undergraduate degrees. A student whose overall USC GPA falls below 2.0 is placed on academic probation. Academic probation is monitored by the Academic Review and Retention Office and clearance from an academic review counselor is required for continued enrollment. See Academic Review