Admission Requirements for Graduate Programs at University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is extremely competitive and selective in its admission process. The admission requirements differ from program to program and the duration for which they are offered. However, some application requirements remain common for all graduate programs. 

Applicants need to submit test scores like the GRE or GMAT. The test scores are considered valid only if earned within five years of the month of the intended first term at USC. A resume highlighting one’s experience and achievements and letters of recommendation are to be submitted as part of the application process.  

There are certain country-specific requirements including English proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL results for International students. 

What is the average range of GRE/GMAT scores considered for admissions to USC's Graduate programs?

The test score requirement varies for every program. However, there are no minimum GRE or GMAT scores listed by USC graduate programs for admission. Considering the competitive level of the University of Southern California, applicants must aim to get between mid-150s to 160s in their GRE test. 

For instance, if a student wants to pursue a Business Analytics MS from USC, they must take either the GRE or GMAT test. The university does not mention any minimum score requirement. However, the average GRE scores for verbal and quant range around 320

Are there master's programs at USC that do not necessitate GRE or GMAT scores for admission?

Yes, the University of Southern California offers some master's programs that don't need the applicants to submit test scores like the GRE or GMAT. For getting admission into any Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science graduate program, no GRE scores are required. The waiver was announced by the USC Office of the Provost in 2021.

How does a lower GPA factor into the difficulty of being accepted into USC's Master's programs?

USC admissions are hard to crack considering the high GPAs expected from applicants applying to various Masters programs. There is no set GPA quoted by any of the graduate programs. Since USC’s expected acceptance rate is going to be as low as 12%, applicants must maintain strong GPAs to get into graduate programs. 

Even though there is no minimum GPA mentioned by graduate schools, a low GPA can reduce one’s chances of getting admission. Along with GPA, applicants must also work on their resumes, letters of recommendation, and personal statements to strengthen their application. 

How competitive is the application process for international students seeking admission to USC?

USC is one of the leading private research universities in the United States with an immensely competitive admission rate. However, the university maintains a diverse community with students enrolled from 135 countries around the world. International student applicants are considered in relation to their educational environment. International students must also submit proof of English proficiency like the IELTS or TOEFL test scores. 

Do applicants to USC's Master's or joint-degree programs undergo an interview process?

Some graduate programs at USC require students to sit for interviews. For pursuing an MBA at The Marshall School of Business, interviews are conducted. They are offered on an invite-only basis. Admission interviews form a major determining factor in the admission process.

Lets explore the admission requirements for various graduate programs at University of Southern California that do not require GRE scores.

MPP Admission

Potential for distinguished academic and professional achievement is the principal criterion for admission to the Master of Public Policy program. In assessing an application, the admission committee evaluates:

1. past performance as evidenced by grades, work experience and community service

2. future promise as indicated by letters of recommendation

3. commitment to educational and career goals, as demonstrated particularly in the writing sample

In general, successful applicants will have at least a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (GPA).

Students are admitted to the fall semester. Students applying are encouraged to submit applications prior to December 15 in order to be considered for the best scholarships. Since the admission review process does not include an interview, submitted materials should present student qualifications clearly and completely.

The following items are required in order to complete the applications process:

1. a USC Graduate Application

2. $90 application fee

3. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Applicants from domestic institutions should have their university registrar send transcripts electronically to [email protected].

4. Price has discontinued the GRE requirement for admission review. Applications will be reviewed holistically.

5. Current resume

6. Three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference.

7. Statement of purpose of approximately 750-1,500 words

8. USC Price Scholarship Application Essays

Master of Science in Computer Science (Data Science) Online

Applicants are expected to have completed or be in process of completing an undergraduate degree in computer science or its equivalent.

The following materials are required to be included with your online application:

  • Transcripts
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter of Recommendation (Optional)

GRE is not required for Master of Science in Computer Science (Data Science) Online program.

MSAdmission Requirements

At USC, they do a comprehensive review of all applications. They do not use a formula or have minimum test score requirements for admission to USC. In general, successful applicants have demonstrated outstanding quantitative ability and proven success in previous academic endeavors, particularly in prerequisite coursework relevant to their intended major.

Qualified applicants will have an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Science or equivalent) in engineering/computer science, math, physics, or another hard science such as biology or chemistry, depending on the Master’s program.

The application deadline for Fall admission is December 15 and the deadline for Spring admission is September 15.

For MS admission the GRE exam is not required.

Submit an electronic copy of official transcripts (.pdf recommended). It is no longer required to mail hard copy transcripts to USC if you are applying for a Viterbi School graduate program (master’s or Ph.D.). Currently, Viterbi is the only USC school that does not require mailed transcripts. Student’s who receive admission will be asked to provide mailed transcripts.

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering - GRE not required

The following materials are required to be included with your online application:

  • Transcripts:
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal Statement 
  • Letters of Recommendation (Optional)

GRE is not required for the Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering program.

The University of Southern California Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis admission requirements are:-

  - Applicants should provide two letters of recommendation.

  - The statement of purpose should be between 500-1000 words in length.

  - Applicants must include their curriculum vitae as part of the admissions process.

Speech-Language Pathology MA - GRE is required

The website provides general information about the program's admission requirements, which include a bachelor's degree, prerequisite coursework, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and an interview. It is advisable to contact the admissions office for detailed admission requirements.