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.

▲ Back to top



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.

▲ Back to top



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.

▲ Back to top



What type of financial assistance is available for international applicants?

Federal financial aid is not available for international students and only Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education Policy 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.

▲ Back to top



How do I request an I-20?

If you complete an application and are admitted to attend USC Rossier, you will be issued an I-20 after you:

  • Submit financial documents/verification of funds, a letter of sponsorship and a copy of a passport.
  • Submit your intent to enroll in the program.

Submission of financial documents/verification of funds, a letter of sponsorship and a copy of a passport are not required to be considered for admission, but may be uploaded into your application. We highly recommend submitting the required materials as soon as possible to prevent possible delay in receiving your I-20/DS-2019.

Note: Because USC provides funding to PhD students, applicants to the PhD program need only submit a passport copy. No financial statement is required.

▲ Back to top



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.

▲ Back to top


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