Academic Advising and Earning Credit
Students may earn major and/or minor credit abroad but must consult with their academic advisor(s) to have courses pre-approved 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. 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 Dornsife Overseas Studies. Students who decide not to pursue major credit on an overseas program are encouraged to pursue credit toward a minor.
Overseas Studies “Course Pre-Approval” Form
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 “Course Pre-Approval” form. 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.
Students in Other USC Schools
Undergraduates in all of USC’s undergraduate schools are welcome on Dornsife semester programs. Students who have a second major or a minor in Dornsife and/or want to improve their foreign language skills often participate in Dornsife programs. A number of schools grant major credit for courses on Dornsife semester abroad programs. Some schools offer their own programs, and students can earn major credit abroad only on those programs.
USC General Education/Core Requirements
Students are not allowed to fulfill General Education (GE) or Writing (WRIT) requirements on a semester or yearlong study abroad program.
With the exception of the USC Paris and USC Madrid programs, all 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 USC GPA.
Although a student’s USC GPA may be unaffected by courses taken abroad, students should be aware that graduate and professional schools may request a copy of the official, letter-graded transcript from the overseas institution, which may factor into admissions decisions.