Application Requirements

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MAT-TESOL)

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.

Tips for completing your application:

  • Submit all application materials by the round deadline. Incomplete applications may be delayed to the next application review round.
  • Submit an application in round one or two for primary consideration for USC Rossier scholarships.
  • Send out requests for letters of recommendation first. Requests should be sent through the application platform. We recommend that you complete this step first to provide each evaluator with the maximum amount of time to complete their letter.
  • Follow the transcript submission instructions carefully.

You may save your information in the application and continue to complete it at a later date. If you have any questions about completing your application, email info@rossier.usc.edu or call (213) 740-0224.

Please note: If you wish to apply to the World Masters in Language Teaching (WMLT) Program, you must apply using the WMLT application. You may not apply to the Master of Arts in Teaching – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MAT-TESOL) program and be admitted to the WMLT program. If you are considering applying to both the WMLT and MAT-TESOL programs, please contact Callah Darmali or call (213) 740-0224.

Deadlines

Deadline Notification by
Round 1 November 1, 2018 January 11, 2019
Round 2 January 15, 2019 March 8, 2019
Round 3 March 15, 2019 April 19, 2019

Application Instructions

Personal Information

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.
  • Indicate your citizenship status.*

*Please note that the USC application does not include a citizenship option for undocumented immigrants. If you are an undocumented immigrant, please select the citizenship option “international student.” If you wish to disclose your citizenship status, contact the admissions team at info@rossier.usc.edu prior to submitting your application so that we can withdraw you from receiving communications intended for international students.

Transcripts

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

In order to provide more timely admissions decisions, USC Rossier requires that you submit two copies of each transcript from each postsecondary institution you attended. The first copy is used for application review and the second copy is the official document for the university. If you are an international student, please follow USC’s country specific requirements to determine which academic records you should submit.

Step 1: Request transcripts for application review

Request one copy of your transcript from each college or university you attended, even if you did not earn a credit or degree from each institution.* Printouts from portals are not acceptable. Ask the registrar at each college or university to send one copy of your transcript to your personal mailing or email address. Because these copies of your transcripts are not delivered directly to USC by the institution, they are not considered official and are only used in application review.

*Even if your final transcript includes a list of classes taken at other colleges and universities, you are still required to send the transcripts from each college and university.

Step 2: Upload transcripts for application review into the application

When you receive the first copy of each transcript delivered to your personal mailing or email address, login to the USC application ‘Academic History’ section and add information about your academic history at each college or university. After saving this information, you will see an option to ‘upload a transcript’ for each college. Only one PDF per college or university can be uploaded. If the transcript from a college or university contains multiple pages, you will need to scan each page and combine the pages into a single PDF. If you don’t have access to a scanner, you can take a legible photo of each page and combine the images into one PDF. Several online services can help you merge multiple files into one PDF and/or turn photos into PDFs. Once you’ve uploaded your transcripts and completed all other portions of the application, you can submit your application.

Step 3: Request official transcripts for the university

After you submit your application, you will receive an email from USC Rossier with your 10-digit USC ID number. After receiving this I.D. number, request a second copy of all your transcripts from each college or university you attended. This copy of your transcripts should be sent from the institution directly to the University of Southern California by postal mail, courier service or email.

It is preferred that you ask each college or university to fill out USC College/University transcript cover page and include it with the transcripts sent to the university. The cover page includes a blank space for your USC ID number.

If delivered by postal mail, the transcripts must arrive to USC in a sealed envelope from the institution. You may not send transcripts that have been previously opened and we will not accept transcripts that are hand delivered to our office on campus.

Mailing address for transcripts:
University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

Email address for transcripts:
etrans@usc.edu

Verifying transcript receipt

After your transcripts have been sent, you can log into your USC Rossier personal portal at any time and visit your application status tracker page to verify when the USC Office of Graduate Admission has received and reviewed your transcripts. Please note that there can be a delay of several days between when your transcripts have been received and reviewed and when your application status page is updated. This processing time can increase during heavy processing periods or holidays.

Standardized Tests (Optional)

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

Standardized test scores, such as the GRE or GMAT, are accepted by USC Rossier, but are not required for applicants to this program. If submitted, test scores may not be more than five years old by the first day of classes for the program for which you are applying.

If you choose to submit test scores, 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.

USC’s ETS school code is 4852. If you are sending any tests administered by ETS, such as the GRE, use this code to ensure that USC receives your official test results. No department code is required.

If you are sending GMAT scores, please select “University of Southern California” from the list of schools available for official score submission. For the Master of Arts in Teaching –Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MAT-TESOL) program, indicate the program code “1401”.


Résumé/CV

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

Your résumé should be detailed enough to help the admissions 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.”


Essays

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 and at the beginning of each document. Upload each essay as a separate document in the appropriate section.

Statement of Purpose – 500 words or less

The USC Rossier Master of Arts in Teaching—Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MAT–TESOL) program focuses on equipping teachers to exhibit rigorous language instruction, deep cultural awareness and a belief in the learning potential of all students. We expect our graduates to become leaders in using language education to help close opportunity gaps around the world. Given what you know about the mission of the USC Rossier School of Education and the MAT-TESOL program, explain why you think this program is the best fit for you to academically to achieve your future teaching goals.

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”.

Optional Essay – 250 words or less

To help us evaluate your application, use this essay to discuss anything in your academic and/or professional history that may require additional explanation, such as a low GPA or employment gap. 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.”


Basic Skills Requirement (Recommended)

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

In order to obtain a California teaching credential,* you are required to satisfy the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing basic skills requirement by the end of your first fall semester in the program. However, we strongly encourage you to complete the requirement prior to the beginning of your first semester or earlier.

You can satisfy the basic skills requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Pass California Basic Educational Skills (CBEST) exam**
  • Pass California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): multiple subject plus writing skills exam
  • Pass CSU early assessment program or CSU placement exams
  • Achieve qualifying scores on your ACT (English score of 22+ or
    Mathematics score of 23+)
  • Achieve qualifying scores on your SAT (English score of 500+ or
    Mathematics score of 550+)
  • Achieve qualifying score of 3+ on AP English and 3+ on either AP Calculus or AP Statistics
  • Pass an out-of-state basic skills equivalent examination

If you have already completed an acceptable method of satisfying the requirement, you may upload proof in the “Program Materials” section of the application under the tab “Documents”. Select the ‘Add Document’ button under “Test Score Report.”

*If you plan to teach in another state, talk with our admissions team about alternate requirements for the state in which you plan to teach.

**CBEST exam scores must be no older than ten years by the start of beginning of student teaching.

Subject Matter Requirement

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

In order to obtain a California teaching credential*, you are required to satisfy the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing subject matter requirement by the end of your first fall semester in the program. The most common method of of satisfying the requirement is to pass the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET), however the requirement can be met by alternative methods. We strongly encourage you to complete the requirement prior to the beginning of your first semester or earlier.

At the time of application, USC Rossier requires proof that you have registered for at least one of CSET subtest. In the application, you may upload one of the following:

  1. Proof of test registration for one CSET subtest.
  2. Proof of passage of at least one CSET subtest.**
  3. Proof of a commission-approved subject matter preparation program.

Upload one of these three documents in the “Program Materials” section of the application under the tab “Documents”. Select the “add document” button under “Test Score Report.”


For more information about how to identify the CSET tests that correspond to the subject you plan to teach, how to register for the CSET, or how to satisfy the subject matter requirement using an alternative method, visit the USC Rossier credentialing page.

If you are admitted to the USC Rossier Master of Arts in Teaching program, you will be eligible for complimentary CSET practice assessment and online courses through USC Rossier in partnership with Teacher’s Test Prep, a nationwide leader in credentialing exam preparation.

*If you plan to teach in another state, talk with our admissions team about alternate requirements for the state in which you plan to teach.

**CSET exam scores must be no older than five years by the start of beginning of student teaching.

Letters of Recommendation

Where to find it on the application: My Application > Program Materials > Evaluation Types > Add Evaluation

USC Rossier requires the submission of two letters of recommendation. If possible, recommendations should come from current and former supervisors who can comment on the value you have added to your workplace, or former instructors who can describe your ability to perform well in graduate-level courses.

  • To submit the names of your evaluators, go to the “Program Materials” section of the application and click on the tab “Evaluation Types.”
  • Click the button “Add Evaluation” to enter the name and email address of each evaluator you’d like to ask to electronically submit a letter of recommendation. Each evaluator will automatically receive an email from uscsupport@liaisonedu.com that includes a password and directions for submitting the letter of recommendation. If the evaluator does not receive the recommendation letter request, advise them to check their spam or junk mail folders.

  • Each evaluator must write a letter on official company or organization letterhead with a signature.
  • It is your responsibility as the applicant to ensure all recommendation letters are submitted in the proper format and before the appropriate deadline.

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.

Relevant Coursework (Recommended)

Where to find it on the application: Program Materials > Questions > Relevant Coursework

While not required for admission, it is helpful to the admission committee to know what college-level coursework you have completed in the subject you plan to teach. In the “Program Materials” section of the application, navigate to the tab ‘Questions’. In the provided text box, list all coursework you have completed in your subject matter and the grade you earned for the course. If you have not taken college level coursework in a specific subject, write “None”.

Application Fee

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.
Video Responses

Where to find it: Look for an email from USC Rossier following the submission of your application.

The recorded video responses are an opportunity for you to share your motivation to pursue the program, your leadership potential and how you plan to make the most of your time at USC Rossier.

  • After your application is submitted, the following day you will receive an email with instructions for how to complete your three recorded video responses. You can only access the video software one time; USC Rossier is not able to resend or restart the video response.
  • Record your responses using an internet-connected computer with a webcam. You can only record each response once, however, you have the option to complete practice questions prior to recording your official responses. Once you begin the official questions, you must complete all three questions during the same session. The video responses become part of your application and will be reviewed by the admissions committee in conjunction with other application materials.
  • For assistance with the video interview, email support@kiratalent.com.

Tip: We recommend that you submit your application at least one week before the deadline to ensure that you are able to complete the recorded video responses prior to the application deadline.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

USC Rossier welcomes international applicants. If you are a citizen of a country other than the United States, you are subject to U.S. government regulations regarding entry into the United States and enrollment in programs. Please follow these additional instructions to complete your application:

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 a 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
  • 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

Financial Documents, Letter of Sponsorship and Passport Copy
Where to find it on the application: My Application > Supporting Information > Documents

For international students, financial documents/verification of funds, a letter of sponsorship and a copy of a passport may be uploaded into the application. However, these documents are not required until admission to the program.

For more information, visit the international student FAQ page.


Post Submission

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

Additional Resources