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Academic Advising & Credit

Students may earn major and/or minor credit abroad but must consult with their academic advisor(s) to pre-approve courses during the application process. 

Types of Credit

Students may earn USC credit for courses taken abroad on USC-approved semester or year abroad programs.  With explicit approval from their academic advisor(s), they may earn credit toward their declared major(s) and/or minor(s).  The maximum number of USC units that students can earn varies from program to program and is listed on the individual program pages on this web site.  Provided that the course a student takes (and passes) on the study abroad program is in a subject area offered at USC, the student can earn USC credit.  By default, the credit offered will be elective credit if the courses are not approved for major or minor credit by the student's academic advisor(s).  

Students in all USC undergraduate schools are welcome to participate in the study abroad programs offered through the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Students who decide not to pursue major credit on an overseas program are encouraged to pursue credit toward a minor.  In addition to foreign language and area studies minors, there are many minors for which students may earn credit while abroad.

Types of Coursework

All students are expected to include some coursework in their major or minor field of study and/or advancement of foreign language skills (whether or not for major or minor credit) in their study plan for their semester or year abroad.

Overseas Studies Advising Record

As part of the application process, students are required meet with their academic advisor to discuss major and/or minor credit for the courses they wish to take abroad and jointly complete the Overseas Studies Advising Record. At that point, the advisor may pre-approve courses, tentatively approve courses, or not approve courses for major and/or minor credit.

While most undergraduate courses at USC are 4-unit courses, the number of units per course at overseas institutions may vary considerably.

Business, Communication & Journalism, and Architecture Students

Students in the Marshall School of Business, the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, and the School of Architecture who wish to receive major credit from one of those schools while studying abroad are advised to participate in one of the study abroad programs offered by those schools.  Students can find more information on the web sites of those schools and from their academic advisors. Students in those schools who have a second major or a minor in the College and/or want to improve their foreign language skills are welcome to participate the study abroad programs offered by the College.

USC General Education/Core Requirements

Students are not allowed to fulfill GE, Writing or Diversity requirements on a semester or year study abroad program.

Grading Basis

With the exception of the USC Paris and USC Madrid programs, all of the courses taken abroad will appear on the USC transcript as Credit/No Credit rather than for a letter grade and will not affect a student's GPA. 

Although one's USC GPA may not be affected, students should be aware that graduate and professional schools usually request a copy of the letter-graded transcript from the overseas institution, which may factor into admissions decisions.