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.
As an applicant for this program, you will be automatically considered for limited USC Rossier scholarships, with priority consideration given to applicants in deadline rounds one and two. 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.
Tips for completing your application:
- Submit all application materials by the round deadline. Incomplete applications may be delayed to the next application review round.
- Skip to the “Recommendations” section and 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.
For additional guidance, read our blog post, Insider Grad School Application Tips.
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 email@example.com or call (213) 740-0224.
Note: International students must apply no later than round 3.
*Scholarship priority deadlines
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 admission team at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to submitting your application so that we can withdraw you from receiving communications intended for international students.
Where to find it on the application: My Application > Academic History > Colleges Attended > Add a College > Upload a Transcript
PLEASE NOTE: Applicants are encouraged to submit their official transcripts electronically via email@example.com rather than submitting them by mail.
In order to provide more timely admission decisions, USC Rossier requires that you submit two copies of each transcript from each postsecondary institution you attended. The first copy you will upload to your online application for application review and the second copy must be mailed or emailed from each institution directly to USC.
If you are an international student, please follow USC’s country specific requirements to determine which academic records you should submit.
Step 1: Request two copies of official transcripts
Request two official copies of your transcripts from each college or university you attended, even if you did not earn a credit or degree from each institution. Note: 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.
Ask the registrar at each college or university to send one official copy of your transcript to your personal mailing or email address and a second official copy from the institution directly to the University of Southern California by postal mail, courier service or email. Printouts from portals are not acceptable for either official copy of your transcript.
If the second official copy is 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:
Step 2: Upload transcripts for application review into the application
When you receive the official copy of each transcript delivered to your personal mailing or email address, login to your USC application. Go to the ‘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.
Verifying transcript receipt
After the second copy of your transcripts have been sent directly to the University, you can log into your USC Rossier personal portal at any time 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 portal 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 Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program, indicate the program code “1088”.
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
Complete one personal statement addressing the following, with a total length of 500 words or less for the entire statement:
- Describe your reasons for applying to the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program
- Specifically discuss your short-term and long-term career goals and preparation for this field of study
- Reflecting on the mission of the USC Rossier School of Education and the mission of the MFT program, explain why you think this program aligns with your personal and professional values.
MFT mission: MFT students are trained to identify and develop strengths within clients to help them overcome serious barriers to their well-being, and attain their life goals. USC MFT students are trained to challenge and deconstruct systems of oppression and domination; and to become change agents in the field of mental health.
Upload your Personal Statement in the “Program Materials” section of the application under the tab “Documents.” Select the “add document” button under “Personal Statement”.
Short Answer – 250 words or less
Describe a notable difficulty or challenge you have encountered in your life and how this experience has shaped and influenced who you are today.
Upload your short answer essay in the “Program Materials” section of the application under the tab “Documents”. Select the “add document: button under “Writing Sample.”
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, 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.”
Letters of Recommendation
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.
- 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.
Timed Writing Assessment
Where to find it: An email from USC Rossier following the submission of your application
The timed writing assessment will allow you to demonstrate your writing skills and analytical ability. The admission committee will evaluate your responses on the basis of its logic and clarity. No advance preparation is required.
- 48 hours after your application is submitted, you will be sent an email with instructions regarding how to complete a 30-min timed writing assessment. If you haven’t received the assessment within a few days of submitting your application, check your spam or junk mail folders.
- Once you begin the assessment, you will be provided with the essay topic. You will have 30 minutes to compose and submit your response. Do not use citations or conduct research on the topic while writing your response.
- As a general guideline, the essay should be structured with an introduction containing a thesis statement, a body containing your major points and a conclusion.
- There is no minimum or maximum word count, however, we recommend a length of 350 to 700 words.
- The system will automatically submit your response when the time is up. You are allowed to take the online interview/writing assessment one time only.
- We recommend that you submit your application at least one week prior to the deadline to ensure that you are able to complete the timed writing assessment prior to the application deadline.
On-Campus Interview (by invitation only)
After your application is submitted, competitive applicants will be invited by email to participate in an on-campus interview. The MFT interview is a full day event that includes an interview, programming about the degree and networking with other potential cohort members, faculty, students and alumni.
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 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
For more information on English Proficiency requirements, English-language test waivers, and other alternate accepted exams, please visit the USC Graduate Admission page.
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.
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.
USC Rossier adheres to the university’s non-discrimination policy, and is committed to providing equal opportunity for all students.
If you require accommodation for any part of the USC Rossier application process, please contact the Office of Admission and Scholarships at firstname.lastname@example.org