Sep 30

10 Simple Steps to Meet USC Admission Requirements

10 Simple Steps to Meet USC Admission Requirements

The moment has come to begin reviewing college applications. You visited California over the summer and made the decision to move there and enroll at the University of Southern California after spending some time there. (I don’t blame you.) Before you know it, you are looking into USC’s admission criteria.

According to a 2020 USC news article, USC is an extremely prestigious and competitive school with more than 60,000 applicants and a 16% admission rate.

How can you make it?

Do you want to improve your chances of getting into a top-tier university? Schedule your consultation with Tokyo Academics today!

How to Meet USC Admission Requirements in 10 Easy Steps


Step 1 is to finish your high school to-do list.

USC Admissions Prerequisites
English (4 years)
Foreign Languages (2 years)
Math (3 years)
Natural Science (2 years)
Social Science (2 years)

Along with these classes, you should:

  • Have 3 years of extra coursework in the aforementioned fields or academic electives (such as computer science, art, music, speech)
  • Take classes for International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement.


Step 2: 3.79 or higher on the unweighted GPA

One of the key criteria for USC admission is the unweighted GPA, which is a gauge of a student’s general performance in their studies.

Although enrolling in an AP course increases the weighted GPA to represent the difficulty of a particular class, it has no impact on the student’s unweighted GPA. It may even be detrimental to the unweighted GPA.

Rule of Thumb: To prevent dropping below the 3.79, you should have four As for every B you obtain. You will have a better portfolio as a result for USC requirements.


Step 3: A score of 32 on the ACT or a 1440 on the SAT or higher

Despite the excellent scores, anything is conceivable.


Step 4: Fill out your paperwork

Fill out the Common Application to meet the prerequisites for admission to USC.

Don’t forget to submit the Common Application, just like you would for any CSU admissions!

An undergraduate student can use the Common Application website to submit an online application to any of the 500+ member schools.

Start the Common Application


Send your mid-year transcripts.

When a student applies to USC, they look over all of their curriculum from their freshman year through their senior year’s fall semester.

By completing the Mid-Year Report Form, submit your grades.


Obtain a teacher’s recommendation

A teacher or guidance counselor recommendation letter is one of the prerequisites for admission to USC. In this blog post on University of Chicago admissions standards, we discuss the best ways to obtain a teacher or counselor recommendation.

To receive a strong referral:

  • Ask a teacher who has taught you in the11th or 12th grade, has extensive classroom experience, is familiar with you, and who gave you high marks in a topic that is important to your education.
  • Allow them two weeks or more to draft the referral.
  • To assist them, provide them with a brag sheet about you. You can utilize our Student Profile for this. To fill it out, go to our article on extracurricular activities.


Step 5: Write a strong USC admissions essay.

Although the USC admission criteria are technically a part of Step 4, they are an essential aspect of the procedure and will have their own step. You’ll have a choice of several prompts for your USC essay on the Common Application.

The following are some guidelines for writing the USC admissions essay:

– Comply with the directions given.
– Compose 250–650 words.
– Demonstrate your abilities through thoughtful, concise writing.
– Incorporate personality into your essay.


– Don’t overfill your essay with accomplishments.
– Don’t have an identical essay from another application.


Step 6: Play to your advantages.

High grades and test scores are vital when going to a highly competitive institution like USC, but it can still be challenging to stand out from the competition.

The cherry on top of your USC Admissions Sundae can be your extracurricular activities. To succeed, you should be aware of the extracurricular activities that universities prefer to see.


Step 7: Examine the curriculum for your major.

Different majors have different program requirements. The deadlines and conditions for acceptance vary amongst schools.

For instance, letters of recommendation are required for the majors in architecture, journalism, and film. While taking Subject examinations when applying to USC is strongly advised for those who want to study engineering.


Step 8: Meet your deadlines!

Do we really need to elaborate on this?

Fortunately, USC has a checklist of all the prerequisites that must be met. To stay on track, refer to USC’s First Year Application Checklist. Remember to perform the following things as well:

Apply for USC merit-based scholarships by December 1st.

Why not receive compensation for your hard work if your GPA and exam results are already excellent?

Scholarships awarded on the basis of merit recognize and reward effort and commitment, regardless of background or family income.

  • Consideration for a merit scholarship: December 1.
  • Regularly Taken into Account: January 15.

All USC Scholarships are listed here.

Step 9: Check the progress of your application.

Check your application status frequently after you’ve submitted it to make sure nothing is missing.

Respond right once to any emails from USC requesting details or explanations.

Life is hectic and occasionally insane, but don’t let up just yet! Keep in mind that nothing is done until you receive a letter that starts with “Congratulations!”


Step 10: Request a USC interview

USC does not require interviews.

In light of this, we advise you to express your interest in attending USC by asking for an interview. You have to do everything in your power to stand out from the more than 50,000 candidates.

Details About USC Interviews

  • Admissions personnel, admission interns, and USC graduates interview prospective students.
  • Interviewers are curious to understand more about the history, passions, and driving forces of each student they speak with.
  • Business casual is the required attire.
  • You can bring your résumé if you can’t recall it. A portfolio of creative work should not be brought.
  • The average length of an interview is 25 minutes.

Always keep in mind that the USC interview is not a test. USC conducts interviews in order to better understand their prospective students. Therefore, have a calm demeanor and explain why you’re so keen to attend USC.

Additional Information Regarding USC and Program Applications:

  • There is no Early Decision program there.

Don’t rush to submit your application; doing so won’t boost your chances of being accepted. Before submitting your application, make sure it is as strong as it can be.

  • They don’t use the standard waitlist.

Some colleges will place you on a waitlist and record who enrolls in classes and who doesn’t. USC is quite unique. USC might extend an invitation to a student who applied in the fall to enroll in a spring program as opposed to periodically checking their waitlist as other schools do.



USC is a prestigious institution, much like UC Berkeley and UChicago. Not everyone will be admitted because of their competitive admissions process. Just be sure you’re the only one doing it, Tokyo Academics can help! Book your FREE consultation now.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

As a subscriber, you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events, new course offerings, and success stories from our graduates.