Admission

Take the next step toward your career goals. Learn key information about the USC Rossier admission process and application requirements for the School Counseling online program.

Prerequisites

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 PPS 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 field experience, which is a requirement of the program.

Note regarding international students: To complete field experience requirements, international students must reside in or relocate to a state in which USC Rossier is authorized to operate. You must also obtain a Social Security number (SSN) from the United States Social Security Administration. Contact the Office of International Services for assistance.

Deadlines

The SC online program has three start dates throughout the year: spring, summer and fall. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but we encourage you to apply early. 

Fall 2024

Program Start Date: Week of August 21, 2024

Deadline Date
Final Submit Deadline June 7, 2024

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 rsoeadm@rossier.usc.edu. We encourage you to submit your request for accommodation at least two weeks before the accommodation is needed so our team can make the necessary arrangements.

Tips

  • 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.

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.”

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 that explains your interest in the Master of Education in Educational Counseling (EC) program and how the program will help you achieve your goals in the field of educational counseling in a college or university setting. 

Discuss the following: 

  • Share with us your previous life experiences, values, and goals and how it informs your pursuit of the Educational Counseling program. 
  • Describe your professional interests and short-term and long-term goals as it relates to working with college students at either the community college or four year college/university level. 
  • Explain how your values align with the mission of the USC Rossier School of Education and how you strive to make a positive impact through your work in education. 

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

Personal Statement

Short Answer - 250 words or less

Reflect on your personal and professional experiences as a student in postsecondary education. Identify and describe a problem, barrier, or challenge in higher education that is relevant to educational counseling (i.e. student academic difficulties, education funding struggles, etc.)

Discuss the following:

  • Why is addressing this problem, barrier, or challenge important?,
  • approaches and/or recommendations that may be effective to address it,
  • provide discussion on the needs of a diverse student population that should be considered, and
  • specifically address any goals or recommendations related to working with students from historically marginalized groups.

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 > Recommendations > Add Recommendation

USC Rossier requires two letters of recommendation to complete the application. Letters should come from supervisors and/or former instructors or faculty who can comment on significant contributions you have made in your workplace, your leadership skills as well as your commitment to life-long learning and your ability to perform well in master’s-level coursework.

  • 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.
    recommendations
  • 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 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:

  • Start your online application but do not submit the application until the fee waiver is approved.
  • Provide supporting documents to demonstrate qualification.
  • Have your fee waiver request approved.
  • 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. USC does not waive the English proficiency requirement for graduate degree(s) earned in the United States or other qualifying countries; requirements are based on the completion of undergraduate studies. 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 a competitive applicant, you should receive a TOEFL score at or above 100 iBT and 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 round application deadline, expect to receive notification of your admission decision by the corresponding notification date.
  • You will receive a decision letter from both USC Rossier and the USC Office of Graduate admission.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Your diploma will read “Master of Education in School Counseling”.

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.

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. 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.

You may request to transfer up to six units of graduate coursework completed at another college or university that are similar to the courses in the school counseling online program. However, you will be required to replace these units with elective courses. All students complete a total of 49 units in this program. Contact the Master’s Program Office at rsoempo@rossier.usc.edu to find out if your transfer courses can be applied to your degree.

GRE scores are not required, nor accepted for admission at USC Rossier.

Yes. However, we recommend that you work closely with your academic and career specialist to plan your academic schedule. 
 

Document Submission Policy

Transcripts and all other materials submitted for admission consideration 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.

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, with priority consideration given to applicants who apply by the priority and regular deadlines. 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. All USC Rossier scholarships are awarded at the time of admission.


 

Contact

Casey Burford

Casey Burford

Admission Manager, Online Admission