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Academy Courses

The USC Language Academy approach is designed to help you develop the academic English skills you need for the university classroom as well as the practical English skills you need for real-life situations.
Academy coursework is divided into seven levels of proficiency, from beginning to advanced. Students in each level will have core courses, elective courses and special interest language labs totaling up to 21 hours of study each week.

Core Courses

Core courses are designed to develop the four basic language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The courses in the core curriculum are Reading/Writing, Oral Skills and Grammar, all with an academic focus.


Reading and Writing

Reading and Writing courses use literature, scholarly articles and professional essays to introduce new language and develop reading and writing skills. These course are similar to university courses because they require students to focus on information and content as well as language acquisition. These courses meet 5 hours each week.

Oral Skills

Oral Skills courses develop the academic and practical English skills needed for daily interaction in the U.S. These courses emphasize listening skills, conversation, public speaking, pronunciation, discussion leading, and vocabulary building so students can use spoken English with confidence. These courses meet 6 hours each week.


Grammar courses focus on fundamental uses of English grammar at the lower levels and fully contextualized grammar structures in the upper levels. At levels 5 and 6, there is special emphasis on grammatical accuracy in integrated writing topics. These courses met 4 hours each week.

Elective Courses

Elective course focus on a specific area of interest. Students choose one elective course each term. These courses meet 4 hours each week. Some typical elective offerings:

* Pronunciation/Accent Reduction
* Business Communication
* English Through Film
* iBT TOEFL Preparation
*GRE/GMAT Preparation
* Journalism
* Spelling and Vocabulary
* Slang and Idioms
* Life in L.A.

Custom Track Options

Custom Tracks are also offered with courses focusing on a specific subject such as TOEFL test preparation and Business English. Custom Tracks meet during Reading and Writing class as well as Elective class, totaling 9 hours each week. There may be an additional fee to participate in a Custom Track.

Concurrent Enrollment

Students in level 6 may be eligible to enroll in a USC course along with their full-time Language Academy course work. Concurrently enrolled students are allowed to register for one USC course as "limited status" students or as auditors. Eligibility for concurrent enrollment is subject to Language Academy and departmental approval. Limited status study is not admission to USC and is charged at the full USC tuition rate.

USC Admission

The USC Language Academy does not offer conditional admission to USC. Students who successfully complete studies at the USC Language Academy are not guaranteed admission to the university. Students who wish to attend USC must apply directly, but may want to be familiar with the policies for intenational students and those of their department of study.

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USC Language Academy

950 West Jefferson Blvd. JEF Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1292
Telephone: 213-740-0080 • Fax: 213-740-0088

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