As a newly admitted graduate student, you should follow these five essential steps to make sure your paperwork is in order:

1. Complete the Statement of Intent: Graduate Studies form which you can access via youSC.
2. Submit the required commitment deposit, if applicable to your program.
3. Note any continuing registration requirements described in your official letter of admission.
4. Provide final, official transcripts and other necessary documentation to verify your previous degrees.
5. Determine how you will finance your graduate studies.

Statement of Intent Form

As soon as you finalize your academic plans, please submit the Statement of Intent form via youSC. If your program notifies you of a certification deadline, you must make sure to complete it by that date. We can better prepare for your arrival if we receive the form at least four weeks before the registration period for the term in which you plan to enroll. You will receive a confirmation from USC once you submit it. If your department also requests confirmation of your intent to enroll, please complete the department’s form in addition to the basic Statement of Intent form.

Commitment Deposit

Many programs at USC require a commitment deposit to reserve your place in the program. Depending on the program, you may have to pay your deposit via youSC at the same time you complete your Intent to Enroll form.  You will receive confirmation from USC once you submit your payment. Otherwise, your program will notify you via a separate email if you are required to pay a deposit and if there is a deadline to make the payment.

USC Computer Account and Email

One to two business days after the Office of Admission has received your Statement of Intent form, you can visit to set up your USC computer account and receive your official USC email.

Please note: Email is the primary channel for official communication with students at the University of Southern California. Check your USC email regularly for important notifications. Failure to read official university communications sent to your USC email address is not a valid excuse for failing to comply with the content of these communications. You are also responsible for all course requirements faculty may send you via email.

Continuing Registration Requirement

Read your university letter of admission carefully. If the second page of your admit letter indicates that you have continuing registration requirements, you must satisfy them as stated in the letter. (For example, you may need to verify your previous degree, or your department may require you to maintain a specified grade point average.) If you have questions about these requirements, please contact the Office of Graduate Admission or your department.

Verification of Previous Degrees

Enrollment in a graduate program at USC is contingent upon having satisfactorily completed a bachelor’s or more advanced degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States, or its international equivalent. If you have a continuing registration requirement to verify your previous degree(s), this process must be completed no later than the end of your first semester of enrollment at USC. Failure to do so may prevent enrollment in future terms.

Students with Prior Bachelor’s Degree(s) from U.S. Institutions
You can complete degree verification on campus by submitting final, official transcripts, in addition to all other documents specified in the registration requirement section of your letter of admission. These documents must be brought to the Registrar One Stop Center in the lobby of John Hubbard Hall (JHH).

Students with Bachelor’s Degree(s) from International Institutions
Verification of all international degrees must be completed through the International Education Research Foundation (IERF). USC does not accept degree verification reports from any other credential evaluation service.

  • You can begin the verification process with IERF before you arrive on campus. There is a fee for this service. This service is coordinated via the Office of Degree Progress.
  • Any documents sent to USC with your application cannot be forwarded to IERF. Please note: IERF may ask you to send another set of official credentials, including your original diploma certificate and/or official English translations of your documents. Please visit the IERF website  for detailed documentation requirements for each country.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement

Once you have been admitted to a graduate degree program at USC, you must enroll for each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements are fulfilled. All exceptions to the continuous enrollment requirement are governed by USC policies regarding leaves of absence and re-admission.

Updating Your Application

If you will not be arriving at USC for the semester to which you are admitted, you may request permission to update your application to that program for up to one year. If you wish to move your application to a future term, please contact your admitting department.

It is important to remember that an application update is not a guarantee of re-admission, but rather a request that your original application be evaluated for admission to a subsequent term. If your request for reconsideration is granted, you do not need to submit a new application or pay another set of applicant fees.

First Steps