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USC Quick Start Guide


The USC Centralized Application Service simplifies the process of applying to USC programs. You start by selecting the programs you wish to apply to, then you submit one application that includes all necessary materials. Once received by USC, your application and materials are transmitted to all of your selected programs. 

Click here to start your application for the 2018-2019 cycle. If you applied in the 2017-2018 cycle, click here to view your application.

Click here to review admissions-related questions. 

How long does the application process take? 

It's important you apply as early as possible since completing your application can be a lengthy process, and since application processing times vary throughout the cycle. Below is a suggested timeline that includes key actions to keep the application process on track. This timeline may need to be adjusted based on your programs' deadlines and requirements. 


Key Actions

Prior to the Start of the Application Process

  1. Research the programs you wish to apply to. Pay special attention to:
    • Cycle dates and deadline requirements. 
    • Application fees.
    • Recommendation requirements. 
    • Minimum requirements, including prerequisites, standardized test scores, supplemental applications, foreign evaluations, etc. 
  2. Begin contacting potential Recommendations to confirm their participation. 
  3. Review the instructions in this Help Center, as well as our video tutorials

At Least 3 Months Prior to Deadline

  1. Create your account
  2. Complete the Colleges Attended section. 
  3. Review program requirements and begin requesting Recommendations

At Least 10-12 Weeks Prior to Deadline

  1. Ask your schools to send official transcripts directly to USC. If there are any holds on your account at a school, resolve them now to avoid delays in sending transcripts. 
  2. Check in with your recommendations to confirm that they received the recommendation request via email.

At Least 6-8 Weeks Prior to Deadline

Submit your applicationMonitor your application for receipt of transcripts and letters of recommendation and follow up on any missing items.

At Least 4-6 Weeks Prior to Deadline

Continue monitoring your application until all required materials are received. 

After Deadline

Download a copy of your application for your records. 

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