International Applicants FAQs

Do I need to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?

In general, international students are required to submit an official TOEFL iBT or IELTS score as part of their application, with the following exceptions:

  1. You hold a bachelor’s degree completed in its entirety in the United States or another country where English is both the language of instruction and the only officially recognized language of the country.
  2. Your native language is English and English is both the language of instruction and the only officially recognized language of the country.

To determine if USC requires TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores for your country of study, check the International Students Country Requirements page.

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What are the requirements for English language proficiency test scores?

You must have taken the TOEFL iBT or IELTS test no earlier than 2 years (24 months) prior to the start of the term to which you are applying. In order to be a competitive applicant, you must receive a score at or above 100 iBT with a minimum score of 20 in each subsection for the TOEFL or a score at or above 7.0 for the IELTS.

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Does USC require transcripts in my country’s original language?

USC requires official transcripts in English as well as in your country’s original language. Be sure that the original percentage grades are also included.

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What type of financial assistance is available for international applicants?

Federal financial aid is not available for international students and only doctoral students are eligible for teaching assistantships through the USC Rossier School of Education. For information about scholarships and other financial resources, visit our Financing Graduate Study web page. You may also find helpful information through the USC Office of International Services.

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How do I request an I-20?

If you are admitted to a program in the USC Rossier School of Education, have provided a financial statement, and submitted other necessary documents to demonstrate sufficient financial support, you will be issued an I-20 after you submit your intent to enroll. Visit youSC to formally accept USC’s offer of admission and complete this process.

While it is not necessary to submit your financial documents and a copy of your passport to have your application reviewed, we highly recommend that you this early during the application process. This will help prevent possible delays in receiving your I-20/DS-2019 once you are admitted.

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What is the ISE?

The International Student Exam (ISE) is required for admitted international students who have a TOEFL score below 100 iBT. Students whose official letter of admission indicates a continuing registration requirement to take the ISE should contact the USC American Language Institute to register for the test.

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For further details on requirements for international applicants, please read the information on the USC Graduate Admission website:

USC Graduate Admission – International Student: International Applicants
USC Graduate Admission – International Student: Proficiency In English