Application Requirements

East side of University Park Campus

The application is closed for 2019. The application for 2020 opens fall 2019

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 or call (213) 740-0224.


Deadline Interview Day* Notification by
Round 1 November 1, 2018 November 30, 2018 December 20, 2018
Round 2 January 15, 2019 February 22, 2019 March 15, 2019
Round 3 March 15, 2019 April 12, 2019 April 19, 2019
Round 4 (rolling) May 1, 2019 n/a Every 2 weeks

*By invitation only.

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 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

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 (please note that your USC ID number is different than your USC CAS 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:

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. Please check with your intended program to determine the program code for the GMAT.


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.”


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.

Statement of Purpose – 500 words or less

Describe your reasons for applying to the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program. Specifically, discuss your short-term and long-term career goals, preparation for this field of study and given what you know about the mission of USC Rossier School of Education and the MFT program, explain why you think this program is the best fit for you.

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”.

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 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.”

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 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.
  • Recommendations letters should be submitted by evaluators 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.

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.
Timed Writing Assessment

Where to find it: Your USC Rossier personal portal or an email from USC Rossier following the submission of your application

One to three days after your application is submitted, a new page will appear on your USC Rossier personal portal with instructions for how to complete your timed writing assessment. You will also receive an email notification (be sure to 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. Length will vary according to your individual writing style.
  • 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.
  • The admissions committee will evaluate your responses on the basis of its logic and clarity. No advance preparation is required.
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 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. 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

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