Answers to questions every Dornsife student should know:

Do I have to take at least 16 units each semester?

Taking at least 16 units each semester will help facilitate the completion of your degree within four years. Keep in mind that you are charged tuition on a flat fee basis between 12–18 units. You are considered a part-time student if you are enrolled in less than 12 units and are charged accordingly per unit. Please be sure to check with the USC Financial Aid Office and/or your scholarship coordinator to find out if being a part-time student will affect your financial aid package and/or scholarship. Being a part-time student may also affect you if you are covered under your parents’ health insurance. Be sure to check with your insurance company for verification.

What is the Foreign Language requirement for the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences?

The foreign language requirement may be satisfied in one of the following ways: 1) Earning a passing grade in Course III of a foreign language sequence at USC or its equivalent elsewhere; or 2) Scoring on the placement examination at a level considered by the language program as equivalent to the completion of Course III; or 3) Scoring on a national or statewide examination (i.e. AP/IB)at a level set by the department and approved by the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences; or 4) If you are fluent in a language other than those used to meet the language requirement at USC, passing a competency examof advanced language skills, administered at USC, subject to the availability of suitable academic examiners. The competency exam will test proficiency in speaking, reading and writing skills.

What is the USC College unit rule?

For those undergraduate students earning a degree in the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, a minimum of 104 units applicable to the degree must be earned in College academic departments. For students graduating with a minor or a second bachelor's degree, this minimum is reduced to 96 units.

Is a double-major the same as a Second Bachelor’s in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences?

A double major consists of two majors which allow the student to earn the same degree, either a B.A. or B.S. degree, within the college. The student must complete the requirements for both majors and whatever other course work is needed to complete 128 units. A second bachelor's consists of two majors that culminate in two different degrees. For example, the first degree within the college is a B.A. and the second degree is any of the following: B.S, B.M., B.F.A., B.Arch. or B.L.Arch. A second bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 32 additional units above the 128 unit minimum. In some cases, more than the 32 additional units may be needed in order to successfully complete the requirements set forth for each degree.

What is the best way to inquire about my registration appointment-time for an upcoming academic semester?

The best way to inquire about your registration appointment for an upcoming semester is to log in to MyUSC. Once logged into MyUSC select OASIS, and then Permit to Register. Your registration time and date will be displayed.

What is a mandatory academic advisement hold and how can I remove it?

A mandatory academic advisement hold indicates that a student must first meet with their respective major advisor prior to registration. Otherwise, a student will not be able to register for classes regardless of their registration appointment time. It is strongly recommended that a student contact and meet with his or her academic advisor for advisement well in advance of the registration appointment.

What is an R-clearance class?

If there is an “R” after the five-digit class number (ex: 10620R), it is an R-clearance class. R-clearance classes are restricted by room size and any undergraduate student, regardless of major, can typically register for R-clearance classes. When all of the seats are filled in a class that is designated as “R,” the class closes.

What is Departmental Clearance (D-clearance) and who needs it?

The departmental clearance process is to ensure that required prerequisites have been met, as well as manage class enrollment within various departments. If there is a “D” after the five-digit class number (ex: 61495D), you must first obtain D-clearance before you can register. A D-clearance does not necessarily reserve a seat in the class for you. You have simply been given permission to add the course, based on you meeting the requirements set to register. D-clearances are given with an expiration date, so you must be sure to register by the assigned deadline given to you. If you fail to do so, your seat may be made available to other students interested in taking the course.

What is pass/no pass (P/NP)? When is the deadline to decide whether or not I want to take a class pass/no pass?

Pass/no pass grades do not factor into your GPA. No more than 24 units of undergraduate course work may be taken on a P/NP basis and only a maximum of four of these 24 units may be applied to the General Education requirements. In the P/NP option, students must earn a C- or above to pass the course. Grades of D+ or below receive a “no pass.” A passing grade will be recorded as a P and a “no pass” will be recorded as an NP. Students can select the P/NP option via web registration. Students have until the Friday of the third week of classes (or third week equivalency for any session lasting less than 15 weeks) to decide on whether or not to take a class P/NP. If you have any questions, please refer to the P/NP section in the USC Catalogue.

What types of courses may be taken pass/no pass?

  • One GE Course
  • Foreign Language
  • Diversity (Transfer)
  • General Electives

What is “Freshman Forgiveness”?

According to the USC Catalogue, a special provision governs the repeat of courses by students who enter USC as a first-time freshman. You may repeat a maximum of three courses taken during your first two semesters at USC if a grade of D+ or below is earned. This includes grades of UW and IX. Your first grade is eliminated from your GPA, and only your subsequent letter grade (even if lower) will be calculated into your GPA. These courses must be repeated at USC for a letter grade, and both grades will appear on your transcript.

Students who were admitted for spring and were first-time freshman elsewhere in the previous fall may repeat a maximum of two courses taken during the first semester at USC in which grades of D+ or below were received with the same set of provisions established for first-time freshmen.

Students who have been assigned a grade as a result of a Student Conduct sanction may not repeat a course under this provision. In no case will additional degree credit be allowed for repeated courses or duplicated work.

I have been offered an internship; however they require that I receive internship or school credit. What classes can I take?

A list of classes available for internship credit is available here. (PDF) Most of our students take EDCO 248 – Theories of Career Development (2 units), or MDA 250 – Internship for Liberal Arts: Work and Career, Theory and Practice (1-2 units).

I am thinking about taking a class in the summer at USC. How long is each summer session?

Each summer session varies in length. Please consult the Schedule of Classes each summer. A link on the left-hand side of the summer Schedule of Classes titled “Session Codes” will direct you to the summer session code and length of the class. Please pay attention to the first three digits of the class number, as this indicates your summer session code and length of the class. For example, a class number of 050-50800R represents a summer session code of 050.

I am thinking about taking summer classes at another institution. What do I need to do?

There are significant restrictions on transferring courses. Before taking courses at another college, please consult with your academic advisor and also log into OASIS to complete the online “Request for pre-approval to transfer course work to USC.” Select the school you would like to attend, and the courses you are considering transferring. Most undergraduates:

    • May only transfer in a maximum of 64 units.
    • May only transfer up to 8 units after completion of 64 college level units (combined USC and transfer) and only up to the 64-unit transfer limit.
    • May take course work outside of USC in the summer term only.
    • May complete the diversity and foreign language requirement outside of USC.
    • May take lower level (100-299) courses only; no upper division courses may be transferred.
    • May NOT take writing or general education requirements at another institution after starting classes at USC.

Once you have completed your courses, please have your official transcripts sent to:

University of Southern California
University Park Campus
Degree Progress Department
700 Childs Way, JHH 010
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0912

What if I am on Academic Probation? How do I register for classes?

A student whose overall USC GPA falls below 2.0 is on academic probation. Continued enrollment requires clearance from an academic review counselor and your academic advisor. Proof of advisement must be filed with the Academic Review Department before any registration request will be processed. The Academic Review Department will only accept an official Academic Review Advisement Record form with an authorized school signature as proof of advisement. 

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