Transferring Coursework

Frequently Asked Questions

For admitted and current USC students following a Fall 1997 or later catalog: (Other students: see below)

1. What do I do if I want to take transfer courses in the summer?
Discuss this with your academic advisor. Then go to OASIS and use the web-based “Request for Pre-approval to transfer course work to USC."

2. Which students can’t use the web-based pre-approval form?
-Students who do not have an active undergraduate Program of Study: Applicants who have been admitted should contact Admissionsfor advice; returning students should contact their academic advisor
-Students who have been disqualified from USC: contact the Academic Review Office.
--If you are following transitional or old GE and wish to earn GE or writing credit, the online Pre-Approval request will not provide that information. You must submit a paper form. Contact Degree Progress for more information.
-Students who are following a catalog prior to Fall 1997 must submit a paper request form. Contact Degree Progress for more information.

3. What courses cannot be pre-approved using the web-based pre-approval form, and what should students do about them?
--Courses taken at most international schools (whether through a US exchange or an international institution): download the pre-approval form, attach a description of the international program and course descriptions, and submit them to Degree Progress. Please plan ahead. These types of requests may take several weeks to process.
--Courses taken to fulfill upper division major or minor requirements: contact your academic advisor to receive and complete a Request for Exception to Residence (not available online).
--Courses taken to fulfill lower division major or minor requirements, if there is no equivalence to a USC course in the articulation agreement: You may use the web-based form on OASIS to see if there is an equivalence to the course you want, but if there is not, download the pre-approval form and have your academic advisor sign it. Provide signed form to Degree Progress.
--Repeated courses: You may not earn units—at most you could fulfill subject credit. You may use the web-based form on OASIS to see if the course is repetitious. If it is, download the pre-approval form and have it signed by the USC department that would have offered the transfer course. Submit completed form to Degree Progress.
--Courses taken in fall, winter or spring: This is not allowed except in special circumstances. Contact your academic advisor.
--Courses taken through a USC-sponsored study abroad program: Discuss with your academic advisor. Do not use this process.

4. What if I’m not eligible to use the web-based form?
If you are not eligible to request pre-approval (see #2 above), download, complete and submit the paper pre-approval form.

5. What courses may I take in transfer?
ONLY electives and lower-division major/minor coursework and the University Diversity requirement may be taken away from USC after matriculation, and ONLY during the summer term. Transfer students following the transitional GE program may additionally transfer GE and Writing courses, but students following current GE may not.

6. How can I find out if courses are transferable?

If you intend to take a course at a California Community College:


  • Review the current articulation agreement (comprehensive list of transferable courses) for the specific California Community College which is posted on the articulation website. If the course you intend to take is listed on the agreement, then the course is transferable. If not, it is not.

    If you intend to take a course at Cal State LA, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA or UC Riverside:


  • Review the articulation history (the list of courses which have previously transferred)which is posted on the articulation website. If the course you intend to take is listed on the agreement, then the course may transfer. If not, it is either not transferable or has not yet been reviewed; please use the pre-approval form on OASIS. Note that extension courses all require pre-approval.

    If you intend to take a course at an institution not listed above:


  • Use the pre-approval form on OASIS.

    If you intend to study abroad (not on a USC-sponsored program):


    Use the paper pre-approval Form. Attach a description of the program and descriptions or, preferably, syllabi of the courses. Hand it in at the lobby of the Registration Building (REG).


    If you intend to take a distance education course (instructional t.v., internet, correspondence, etc.): You cannot receive equivalence to a USC foreign language course or a lab science with a distance education course. For other courses, use the pre-approval form on OASIS.

    7. Where should I have my official transcript sent?
    Upon completion of your coursework, have your institution send your official transcript to:

    USC Degree Progress Department

    700 Childs Way, JHH 010

    Los Angeles, CA  90089-0912

    Official transcripts (secure pdf/electronic) should be e-mailed to:
    USC Admissions

    8. How can I tell if my transfer work has been received and evaluated by USC?
    You will receive an email indicating that your Transfer Credit Report has been updated and can be viewed on OASIS. If your work does not appear, please call (213) 740-7070.

    9. What if this is the last course I need in order to graduate?
    If you plan to finish your final degree requirements with transfer course work, have transcripts sent to USC as soon as possible. There is a submission deadline each term that affects your conferral degree date. Notify Degree Progress as soon as your Transfer Credit Report is updated.

    10. Are there any limits to how many courses I can transfer?
    Residency: To be eligible for graduation, undergraduates must take a minimum of 64 units (80 for B. Arch. students) at USC. Students may transfer in a maximum of 64 units toward the bachelor’s degree (80 units for students in Architecture or the Engineering 3-2 program) with the following limits: After you have earned 64 college-level units, regardless of where they were earned, you may transfer a maximum of 8 units to USC (up to the 64 unit transfer limit). Courses in excess of this limit may earn "subject credit" – i.e., they may fulfill university requirements – but they will not earn units toward the total needed for graduation. For example, if you have already transferred 64 units, you may still take a course outside of USC to fulfill the Diversity subject requirement, but you will not receive units for the course. Courses past the unit limits are still included in your transfer GPA.

    11. What if I want to take transfer courses in the fall or spring?
    This is generally not allowed. Consult your academic advisor if you have a very special circumstance (such as illness) which may qualify you for an exception.

    12. What if I want to fulfill upper division major or minor courses with transfer work?
    Consult your academic advisor. To submit a “Request for Exception to Residence,” this form must be requested from your academic advisor and is not available on the web.

    13. Can I transfer in a course I have already taken at USC (even if I didn’t get any credit at USC)?
    Repeated courses: Unit credit cannot be earned for a course which was successfully completed at USC or elsewhere. In some circumstances, such a repeated course may receive subject credit. Consult your academic advisor. You must get a signature indicating departmental approval on a paper pre-approval form prior to repeating the class.

    14. I have undergraduate coursework from an institution based outside of the United States. How do I get transfer credit for it?
    You need to engage the International Education Research Foundation for a “Detail Report with Course Level Identification”. When their evaluation is complete, they will transmit the results to our office, where the courses will then be evaluated for transfer credit. There is a fee for this service. See the IERF webpage for details (, including a list of required documents.


    For applicants:


    See Transferring to USC, articulation agreements or articulation histories, and Office of Admission.


    For students following a Fall 1996 or earlier catalog:


    Contact Degree Progress and your academic advisor.