Take the next step toward your career goals. Learn key information about the USC Rossier admission process and application requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching program.


In order to apply for this program, you must have a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from a college or university that is regionally accredited or recognized by a ministry of education. The institution must have been accredited at the time your degree was conferred.

Note regarding felonies and misdemeanors: To obtain a teaching credential, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) requires credential applicants to disclose convictions of a felony or misdemeanor. While a felony or misdemeanor will not necessarily prevent you from being admitted to the program, you may not be eligible to participate in student teaching, which is a requirement of the program.

Note regarding international students: To complete teaching credential requirements, you must obtain a Social Security number (SSN) from the United States Social Security Administration. Contact the Office of International Services for assistance.


Program applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but we encourage you to apply early.

Deadline Date
Priority Deadline* December 1, 2024
Regular Deadline* February 15, 2025
Final Deadline March 28, 2025

*scholarship priority deadlines

Application Instructions

Review the detailed instructions in the dropdowns for each section of the online application. If you need accommodation for any part of the application process, please contact the Office of Admission and Scholarships at We encourage you to submit your request for accommodation at least two weeks before the accommodation is needed so our team can make necessary arrangements.


  • Submit all application materials by the deadline. Incomplete applications may be delayed to the next application review.
  • Skip ahead to the “Recommendations” section and use the application platform to send requests for letters of recommendation first. We recommend you complete this step right away to provide each recommender with the maximum amount of time to complete their letter.
  • Follow the transcript submission instructions carefully. Please upload your registrar-issued transcripts from each institution attended to the USC application portal. Upon acceptance and submission of intent to enroll, you will need to submit official transcripts to the USC Office of Graduate Admissions separately.
  • Be sure to submit a qualifying form of official documentation for the basic skills requirement. Review the related dropdown for details.


Application Instructions

Where to find it on the application: My Application > Personal Information

  • Enter your name as it appears on your government issued I.D. Indicate any alternate or previous names in the “other name” field (i.e. maiden name).
  • Enter the email address USC Rossier should use to communicate with you throughout the application process.

Where to find it on the application: My Application > Academic History > Colleges Attended > Add a College > Upload a Transcript 

To expedite admission decisions, please upload registrar-issued transcripts from all attended institutions to the USC application portal. Official transcripts should be submitted separately to the USC Office of Graduate Admissions upon acceptance and submission of intent to enroll.  

International students should refer to USC’s country specific requirements to determine which academic records they need to submit. 

To Upload Your Transcript to The Application Portal  

Login to your USC Application Portal and navigate to the Academic History section. Enter detailed information about your academic history from each institution you have attended. 

Once you have saved this information, you will find an option to Upload a Transcript for each institution. You can upload only one PDF per institution. If the transcript consists of multiple pages, you must scan each page and merge them into a single PDF file. If you do not have access to a scanner, you can take clear photos of each page and combine them into one PDF.  

There are various online services available to merge multiple files into a single PDF or convert photos into PDFs. Once you have uploaded your transcripts and completed all other sections of the application, you can proceed to submit your application.  

Upon admission and submission of the statement of intent to enroll, you must submit degree-conferred transcripts from all attended institutions to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

colleges attended

Where to find it on the application: My Application > Supporting Information > Documents > CV/Resume

Your résumé should be detailed enough to help the admission committee understand the various experiences – extracurricular, leadership or volunteer – that have shaped your interest in the program. Outline your roles and responsibilities within each organization and highlight any special achievements or accomplishments. In the “Supporting Information” section of the application, select “Documents”. Select the “add document” button under “CV/Resume.”


Where to find it on the application: My Application > Program Materials > Documents

Essay responses will be used to evaluate your personal, professional and educational perspectives and experiences and the ability to effectively communicate ideas and organize written thoughts. Responses to essay questions should be double-spaced with a 12-point font and one-inch margin on all sides. Include your full name at the beginning of each document. Upload each essay as a separate document in the appropriate section.

Personal Statement – 500 words or less

Write a personal statement discussing your interest in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program and your aspirations as a potential teacher. Highlight significant elements of your personal, family, professional, cultural, and/or academic background that can assist the admission committee in understanding your interest(s), qualifications, and motivation for pursuing a teaching career. Emphasize how your values align with the USC Rossier School of Education mission. 

Upload your Personal Statement in the “Program Materials” section of the application under the tab “Documents.” Select the “add document” button under “Personal Statement”.

Personal Statement

Optional Essay – 250 words or less

To aid the admission committee in evaluating your application, use this essay to discuss anything in your academic and/or professional history that may require additional explanation. This essay is optional.

Upload your optional essay in the “Program Materials” section of the application under the tab “Documents.” Select the “add document” button under “Other.”

other document

Where to find it on the application: My Application > Program Materials > Documents

You are required to submit official documentation that you have satisfied the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) basic skills requirement by way of an acceptable method.

What is official documentation?

Qualifying college-level coursework

Official transcript showing qualifying courses in reading, writing and mathematics courses at a regionally-accredited college or university.

If you completed your previous studies outside the United States, you may submit a WES transcript evaluation report for the Basic Skills Requirement verification. 

CBEST or CSET Multiple Subject (all 3 subtests) and Writing (additional subtest)

Upon your passage of the exam, CTC Exams will email you an official score report as a PDF attachment. You may also access a copy of your official scores by signing into your CTC Exams account. In some cases, you may not see the official scores in your account if you took the exam a number of years ago. In that case, reach out to CTC Exams for your official scores. Screenshots and images of your score report are not acceptable.

SAT Score Reports

You may access your official electronic score report by logging into your CollegeBoard account and looking for a download option. Once downloaded, please double check to see whether the report has the word “unofficial” across the top; if so, the report is not acceptable. If you do not see a download option and/or the score report you are able to download is unofficial, the official score report feature is not available and you must either locate your original hard copy report or request a new one directly from CollegeBoard to be mailed to your home address. Once received, you may scan all sides into one PDF document and submit. Official test score reports sent directly to the university may cause a significant delay in processing.

ACT Score Reports

Please scan your hard copy official report (typically red and white in color), all sides, into one PDF. Electronic official score reports may be available to you if you took the exam in recent years. If so, please send the PDF. Screenshots of scores are not acceptable. Official test score reports sent directly to the university may cause a significant delay in processing.

CSU early assessment program or placement exam or College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams

Request an official score report from the vendor of your exam. Score reports that have the word “unofficial” across the top are not acceptable. Official test score reports sent directly to the university may cause a significant delay in processing.

Alternatively, if your passing status appears on your undergraduate transcript, you may use your transcript as official documentation.

Out-of-state Basic Skills Equivalent

Score reports look vastly different depending on the state in which you took the exam; please ensure your report is a PDF file sent directly to you from the vendor of your exam. Screenshots and images are unacceptable.

If you are unsure whether the score report in your possession is official, you may send a message for evaluation.

You can increase your competitiveness in the job market by completing the requirements for additional credentials, authorizations and certificates. You will declare Additional Pathways when you apply to the program.

Teach Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities - Education Specialist Credential 

Prepare to work with students with mild to moderate learning disabilities in K-12 grade settings. The coursework requirements for this credential are integrated with the curriculum, but you must complete additional exams and student teaching to be recommended for this credential.

Teach Students Whose Primary Language is Spanish - Bilingual Authorization in Spanish

Prepare to teach K-12 grade language learners whose primary language is Spanish. This authorization provides the option to teach in either bilingual settings or in English dominant settings with learners whose primary language is Spanish. You must demonstrate fluency in Spanish and complete additional student teaching to pursue this authorization. Learn more about California Bilingual Authorization.

Teach Advanced and Gifted Students - USC Gifted Education Certificate

Prepare to recognize and respond to the potential, interests and abilities of gifted and advanced PreK-12 grade learners from diverse backgrounds. Learn to design and provide an appropriate curriculum for each learner. Requires the addition of a four-unit course during the summer session.

Where to find it on the application: My Application > Program Materials > Recommendations > Add Recommendation

USC Rossier requires two letters of recommendation to complete the application. One recommendation should come from a current or former supervisor who can comment on the value you have added to your workplace. The second recommendation letter should come from a current or former professor who can attest to your ability to perform well in graduate level courses.

  • To submit the names of your recommenders, go to the “Program Materials” section of the application and click on the tab “Recommendations.”
  • Using the ‘Add Recommendation’ button, enter the name and email address of each recommender you’ve asked to electronically submit a letter of recommendation. Each recommender will automatically receive an email that includes a password and directions for submitting the letter of recommendation. If the recommender does not receive the recommendation letter request, advise them to check their spam or junk mail folders.
  • Recommendation letters must be typed on official letterhead from the organization with a signature. If the recommender is not able to obtain company letterhead, this must be noted somewhere in the letter.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure all recommendation letters are submitted in the proper format prior to the appropriate deadline. Letters uploaded in the incorrect format without explanation are subject to further review.
  • Recommendations letters should be submitted by recommenders by the application deadline, but they are not required to be submitted at the time you submit your application.

Please note: recommendation letters are program-specific and cannot be used to apply to additional programs. If you withdraw your application from a particular program, your letters of recommendation will be deleted along with the application.

Where to find it: My Application > Program Materials > Kira Assessment

The recorded video response is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your communication skills in professional settings. No advance preparation is required for either assessment. You are allowed to take the assessment one time only (no exceptions). For technical assistance with the video response, email

  • Click the “Open Kira Assessment” button on the “Kira Assessment” tab in the application. Note: clicking this link will NOT require you to take the assessment immediately. You can register for the assessment and return at any time to complete it.
  • When the page opens, click the “Check In” button.
  • Click the registration module. Your first and last name and email should pre-populate in the registration form. Agree to the terms of agreement and privacy policy and click the “Register” button. After you register, a link to Kira will also be sent to your email address for easy access at the time you choose to complete your assessment.
  • Complete the device set up and practice modules to prepare for your assessment.
  • Click the assessment module (final step) at the time you are ready to begin your assessment.
  • Once completed, your assessment will be reviewed in conjunction with other application materials by the admission committee.

Video Response

  • Record your responses using an internet-connected computer with a webcam.
  • Dress professionally and behave as you would during an in-person interview.
  • Make sure you have a pen and notepad available for taking notes on the prompt.
  • Once you begin the assessment, you will be provided with one prompt, followed by five minutes of prep time for each prompt.
  • You will have two minutes to complete your response. There will be a countdown timer and a progress bar during preparation and response time so you can track how much time you have left. If you finish before time is up, you can submit your response using the “submit” button in the lower right corner. The system will automatically submit your response when the time is up.

Where to find it on the application: Submit Application Tab

Application fees must be paid by credit or debit card

An application fee waiver is available to applicants who meet certain eligibility criteria. Eligibility criteria and instructions for obtaining a fee waiver can be found at the USC Graduate Admission website. If you choose to apply for a fee waiver you must:

  1. Start your online application but do not submit the application until the fee waiver is approved.
  2. Provide supporting documents to demonstrate qualification.
  3. Have your fee waiver request approved.
  4. Complete and submit your online application.

USC Rossier welcomes international applicants. If your prior study was completed outside of the United States, you must have earned the equivalent of a United States bachelor’s degree to be eligible for admission. View the international application requirements based on your country of study

International students whose native language is not English and who completed their undergraduate work outside of the United States are required to demonstrate proficiency in English as part of the application process. For more information on English proficiency requirements, English-language test waivers and other alternate accepted exams, please visit the USC Graduate Admission English-Language Proficiency page.

TOEFL or IELTS Test Scores

Where to find it on the application: My Application > Academic History > Standardized Tests > Add a Test Score

International students whose native language is not English and who completed their undergraduate work outside of the United States are required to submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score as part of their application. You must have taken one of these tests within the past two years.

In order to be considered for admission, you should receive a TOEFL score at or above 90 iBT with no less than a score of 20 on each band, or an IELTS score at or above 6.5 with no less than a score of 6 on each band.

You may upload your test score report in the “Academic History” section of the application to be used in application review. However, only scores received electronically from the testing service are considered official. Official test scores should be sent from the testing agency directly to USC.

  • TOEFL: To send official scores, use USC ETS code 4852. Please note that USC does not accept super-scoring for the TOEFL.
  • IELTS: Select “University of Southern California” at the time of registration. Alternatively, provide this information to your testing center after taking the test.
  • No department code is required to send TOEFL or IELTS scores
    Standarized Tests


For more information on English Proficiency requirements, English-language test waivers, and other alternate accepted exams, please visit the USC Graduate Admission page.


Your application materials will be reviewed by both the USC Rossier School of Education Office of Admission and Scholarships and the USC Office of Graduate Admissions.

  • Refer to your USC Rossier personal portal for timely and accurate updates on your application status (including missing items).
  • If your application is complete by the application deadline, expect to receive notification of your admission decision within 5 weeks. 
  • You will receive a decision letter from both USC Rossier and the USC Office of Graduate admission.

Review Process

Your application to USC Rossier will be evaluated using a holistic review process. Academic preparation, professional work experience, personal achievement and commitment to the USC Rossier mission are each considered. No single attribute or characteristic guarantees admission to USC Rossier. 

We seek applicants who will add to our vibrant learning community and whose goals, values and experiences align with the USC Rossier mission and program goals. We adhere to the university’s non-discrimination policy and are committed to providing equal opportunity for all students. 

As an applicant for this program, you will be automatically considered for limited USC Rossier scholarships. There is no need to submit a separate application. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, demonstrated dedication to the USC Rossier mission and other distinguishing characteristics. With the exception of the Leo F. Buscaglia Endowed Fellowship, all USC Rossier scholarships are awarded at the time of admission.

Document Submission Policy

Transcripts and all other application materials become the property of USC. The university does not return or duplicate materials for any reason whatsoever. The information and materials in your submitted application are made available only to the central Office of Admission and the admission committee of the academic department or professional school to which you have applied.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. At USC Rossier, the online and on-campus version of our programs are distinct, with separate applications. If you would like to be considered for a program other than the program for which you have been admitted, you will need to reapply to that program.

No. The on-campus MAT program has one start date per academic year. If you wish to begin the program in another semester, you may consider the Master of Arts in Teaching online program, which has multiple start dates throughout the year. 

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 admission committee’s comprehensive evaluation of candidates. In the application, you may use the optional essay to discuss anything in your academic and/or professional history that may require additional explanation.

If you would like to be considered for a program other than the program for which you have been admitted, you will need to reapply for 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 admission team member for assistance and direction in determining which program is the best fit for you.

Applicants are permitted to apply to up to three USC 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 into 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 (optional for most programs) once.

Working while enrolled in the MAT program is not recommended. Given the short duration of the program, coursework and student teaching result in a rigorous schedule. However, if a student needs to work while enrolled, a flexible part-time job is possible in the first term.

No, the MAT program does not accept transfer courses. 

GRE scores are neither required nor accepted for admission at USC Rossier.


Estevan Hernandez

Estevan R. Hernandez, M.Ed.

Senior Assistant Director, Office of Admission and Scholarships