International Students

Please be sure to consult with the Graduate Admission pages for International Students

If you’re an international applicant, we highly recommend that you submit your application for the fall semester since the University has the most support for orienting new incoming international students for this term. If you wish to apply for the fall semester, please have all application documents in by February 1.

It is important that international students apply before or by the application deadline to ensure that an admissions decision is made in time for you to apply for an international student visa, which is required for study in the U.S. Allow at least two weeks for airmail to reach us when sending in documents. General questions about visas, academic documentation, or legal issues related to studying in the U.S. should be directed to the Office of International Services at (213) 740-2666. Please contact us directly for admission committee review dates to ensure your application is reviewed in time.

In order to remain competitive and for your file to be reviewed for admissions to our program, international applicants should have:

  • GRE Scores of 144 Quantitative and 153 Verbal
  • GPA range is between 3.0-3.7 (competitive is 3.3 and above)
  • A TOEFL score of 100 or an IELTS score of 7.


TOEFL Services
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, USA
Telephone: (609) 771-7100

Financial Support Documentation

International applicants (those who are or will be in the United States on non-immigrant visas) are required to provide documented evidence of financial support. The United States government requires all international applicants to provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses before a formal letter of admission and the form needed for obtaining a visa will be issued. To this end, each applicant relying on personal or family support must furnish a financial guarantee letter – preferably a bank letter – indicating the sponsor’s name, address and source of income. You can contact the USC Graduate and International Admissions Office directly. For specifics questions, you can contact them.

Internship Options: CPT (Curricular Practical Training)

While many students are interested in pursuing an internship option, an internship is not required for completion of the program. However, we understand that an internship can be beneficial and we will offer our support in your pursuit of one. PER IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS, OFF CAMPUS INTERNSHIPS CAN BE PURSUED BY INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ONLY AFTER COMPLETING ONE ACADEMIC YEAR OF STUDY. If you’re an international applicant and your native language is not English you will want to click on this link regarding internship options. It is important to know this information while you are applying to the program: InternationalStudents_Internship_2016

OPT (Optional Practical Training): Our STEM Designated MS Programs

Students who wish to extend their training while in the US are eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT),  a work authorization for F-1 students who are completing a bachelor’s or graduate degree in the US. OPT provides an opportunity for employment in a student’s field of study. In addition, our MS programs are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) designated, which provides students the option for an extension of OPT beyond the 12 months. For details about your eligibility, please consult with OIS (Office of International Services).


Many international students choose to live on-campus for at least their first semester, and some live on-campus during their entire program.

The University of Southern California has two campuses. Your classes will take place at the smaller Health Sciences Campus. While there is on-campus housing at Health Sciences Campus, most students choose to live on the larger University Park Campus because:

  • There are more housing options
  • There are more activities on that campus
  • The campus is somewhat closer to more options for groceries and restaurants

However, since classes are mostly on weekends, students living on the University Park Campus will need to commute between the campuses using either the university’s buses or public transit. It’s not a big commute, but you would want to keep in in mind.

To learn more about on-campus housing visit

Some students choose to live off-campus. Some cities that aren’t far from the Health Science Campus (where you will study) are Glendale, Alhambra, Burbank and parts of downtown Los Angeles. Here is some information about off-campus housing.

Los Angeles is a vibrant city in which to live. While you will be very engaged in your exciting studies with us, there is also a great deal to do in the region.

We look forward to having you join us!