University of Southern California

USC Email

You must obtain and activate your USC computer account before using USC email. Answers to frequently asked questions about USC email are provided below.

What is my email address?

Your email address is composed as follows:, e.g.,

The university also assigns a friendly address, usually composed of your first and last name, e.g., You can find both forms of your address in the Account Summary under Options in USC Webmail.

Your mail server is This server is for email only.

I’m sure I’m putting in my correct username and password, but I’m not able to get into my account. What should I do?

Remember that your username is not your entire email address, so make sure you are not including the when asked to login. Also remember that your password must contain 7 to 8 characters, of which at least one is upper case, one lower case, and one a number. Make sure the Caps Lock key is not on. Try another computer if possible. If it still does not work, call the Technology Support Center at (323) 442-1968.

How do I check my email?

You can access USC email through various programs (Eudora, Outlook, Netscape, etc.) or you can use USC WebMail through most web browsers. Online documentation is available from the USC Information Technology Services (ITS). Copies of the documentation are also available in the library's Technology Support Center and computer lab.

Computers are available throughout the library to check your mail.

How long am I allowed to keep email on USC's email server?

ITS will retain electronic mail and attachments on its central servers for 1 year AFTER the emails have been received or sent. Faculty and staff who wish to retain email beyond 1 year on ITS's central servers may be eligible for an USC Email Archive Folder. Students are not eligible for this folder. You may also backup your messages to your personal machines or to another form of media.

What if I already use a different e-mail address?

If you already have an email account with another Internet Service Provider, we recommend that you forward your mail from your USC account. Important messages may be sent to your USC address from
the university, ITS, the Norris Library, and others.

I have questions about spam, how do I get help?

The university uses Cisco’s Ironport for filtering out spam, but if you are still receiving spam, you can report it to ITS. If you know that you should have received something that might have been tagged as spam, then you can also report that problem to ITS. See more details about spam at the ITS web site.

ITS Key Topics page is also an excellent resource for information on computing, networking and data storage at USC.

For additional help, contact the library's Technology Support Center at (323) 442-1968 or

Revised 6/19/09


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