Frequently Asked Questions




Who should I contact for more information about a particular program?

The USC Rossier Office of Admissions and Scholarships is here to assist you with questions regarding the programs we offer and the application process. You may reach a staff member by calling 213-740-0224, e-mailing rossier.info@usc.edu, or visiting the 3rd floor of Waite Phillips Hall on the USC campus.

If you would like to meet with someone in person, it is best to schedule this in advance to ensure that you receive a comprehensive visit. If you would like to meet with program faculty and current students, as well as take a tour of campus, please Schedule a Campus Visit .

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Can I begin a degree program in the spring semester?

Most on-campus USC Rossier programs begin once a year in the fall semester. The Global Executive Doctor of Education and Master of Marriage and Family Therapy programs begin once a year in the summer.

USC Rossier’s online programs Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts in Teaching (TESOL), and Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership programs have January, May and September start dates. Visit USC Rossier online for more information on start dates and deadlines.

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What does the admissions committee look for in an applicant?

When making admission decisions, the admissions review committee conducts a comprehensive evaluation measuring application materials against university and program-specific requirements. Important qualities in a candidate include a demonstrated capacity to excel in graduate level coursework, evidence of professional promise in their chosen field, passion about the program of interest, and ability to clearly articulate interest in the program and field.

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Is there a minimum GPA required to apply to a USC Rossier program?

There is no minimum GPA required to apply to USC Rossier programs, but competitive applicants typically have a GPA of 3.0 or above. However, GPA is one of many elements evaluated in the admissions committee’s comprehensive evaluation of candidates.

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Does my bachelor’s degree need to be in a field related to the program for which I am applying?

USC Rossier students come from diverse academic backgrounds. Education or experience related to your program of interest can make you a more competitive applicant, however it is not required. If your bachelor’s degree is unrelated to the program for which you are applying, use your application to communicate your passion for working in your selected degree field and explain how your background has poised you to be successful and positively contribute to your chosen field.

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After being admitted, can I change my program of study before classes start?

If you would like to be considered for a program other than the program for which you have been admitted, you will need to re-apply for the new program. You will not need to fill out the entire application a second time; you are only required to complete the questions unique to the new program. Please read the program requirements thoroughly, as they may be different from those specified for the program to which you were admitted. Your application will not be considered complete until all documents required for your new program are received.

Before applying for any program, it is recommended that you speak with an admissions team member for assistance and direction in determining which program is the best fit for you.

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Can I apply to more than one program?

Applicants are permitted to apply to up to three programs within the same academic year. When completing your online application, select all programs to which you would like to apply. Please read each program’s guidelines carefully, as each program may require different documents or methods of assessment. You will only need to complete program-specific questions for each additional program; you will not have to fill out the entire application multiple times.

If you decide you would like to apply to an additional program after submitting your initial application, you can log back in to your application and add another program.

Application fees are required for each program to which you apply, but you will only need to submit transcripts and test scores once.

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Can I work while in graduate school?

Some USC Rossier programs are designed to allow you to work while enrolled, while others are not. Students in the MAT, TESOL and MFT programs are encouraged to focus on their coursework and not seek outside employment. Students in the PhD program are engaged full time in classes and assistantships for 4 years while enrolled and cannot work outside the program. Students in other programs are encouraged to speak with an admissions team member for class schedule details to determine whether it is feasible to work while enrolled in your program.

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How can I find employment at USC?

You may search for part-time or full-time employment at USC through the Jobs at USC website.

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How much is USC’s tuition?

USC’s tuition is assessed per unit; program fees accrue an additional charge. Fees vary by program and increase an average of 4% per year. The USC Schedule of Classes lists tuition per unit for the current academic year. Contact the USC Office of Financial Aid for information about tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year. For additional information on funding, visit the Financing Graduate Study website.

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Does USC Rossier offer scholarships?

USC Rossier offers a limited number of scholarships to incoming graduate students based on academic merit and financial need. All applicants to USC Rossier on-campus programs will be considered for USC Rossier Scholarships upon admission. Applicants who submit a complete application early will receive primary consideration for scholarships. A separate application is not necessary.

Additional USC scholarships and scholarships from external organizations have separate application requirements and deadlines. Please visit the Scholarships, Fellowships & Grants web page for information about additional financing opportunities.

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Does USC Rossier offer teaching assistantships, fellowships or graduate internships to students?

Typically, available teaching assistant positions and fellowships are only offered to PhD students. Program offices will notify students of teaching assistant positions that become available for students in other programs.

USC Rossier School of Education offers Dean’s Scholar internships, similar to graduate assistantships, for a select number of scholarship recipients in the Master’s of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs and Master’s of Education in Educational Counseling programs.

Additionally, graduate assistantships are available through other USC campus departments and other colleges and universities in the area.

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Does USC Rossier help students with placement for fieldwork requirements?

In most instances, students work with a fieldwork coordinator specific to their program of study. The fieldwork coordinator guides the student through placement process and matches them with an institution that aligns with their academic and professional goals.

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Can I transfer courses from another institution?

In some cases, you may be able to receive unit credit for graduate-level course work completed at another college or university. However, your academic department will determine if that course work can be used to satisfy a course requirement for your degree. Read more about USC’s Graduate Transfer Credit policy for steps to request a Graduate Transfer Credit Report, and contact your program’s Assistant Director to find out if your transfer courses can be applied to your degree.

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Is professional work experience required?

For master’s programs, professional work experience in your field of interest is not required. However, work experience, internships, fieldwork, coursework, volunteer work, or other related positions will result in a more competitive application.

The EdD in Educational Leadership program requires applicants to have at least three to five years of full-time professional work and leadership experience.

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