Summer Courses for USC Students

USC students may take coursework outside of USC during the summer term. Elective units, USC course equivalence, Diversity credit, and Foreign Language credit are available for appropriate classes. To find out what credit will be granted in transfer for your summer classes, please use the summer pre-approval process (more information below). Transfer credit is limited to courses taken in the summer term. Courses taken in the fall, winter or spring term will be rejected as “out of residence”. To receive credit for your summer classes, you must earn a C- or higher and order an official transcript sent to USC after your summer grades are available.


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Pre-Approval of Summer Courses from U.S. Institutions

Before submitting a pre-approval, please determine whether or not courses you would like to take will actually be offered in the upcoming summer term. USC cannot conduct a transfer evaluation for summer courses unless the transfer institution’s summer schedule of classes is available. Please submit for pre-approval only those courses you actually plan to attend. The pre-approval process is not intended for students to “shop” for credit. Only a specific number of courses will be allowed before you will be restricted from submitting further pre-approvals and instead be referred to contact Degree Progress regarding your summer plans.


In most cases, online courses will receive the same credit in transfer as the classroom version at the sending institution. 

However, online or hybrid laboratory science classes will not earn equivalence to USC lab science courses. Online or hybrid foreign language courses are not equivalent to USC foreign language courses, nor will they fulfill the language requirement. If you took a traditional classroom version of one of these courses at a school where the course is also available online, we cannot guarantee equivalence or subject credit in advance. You will need to provide additional documentation after you complete the course to demonstrate that you were enrolled in the classroom version of the class. Documentation typically includes a registration summary and your course syllabus. A syllabus alone is not sufficient documentation. Please keep copies of all related materials.

Any courses taught in non-traditional settings or timeframes, including compact intersessions or open-ended distance education courses, require individual review after completion of course. In these cases no advance guarantee of credit can be made.

Pre-Approvals for International Summer Coursework

If you are planning to study abroad this summer, you cannot use the online pre-approval process. Some international study abroad courses can be pre-approved with the Pre-Approval Form (hard copy) available above, whereas others cannot be evaluated in advance. The different types of options (and whether pre-approval is available for each type) are listed below.


Some students study abroad through a U.S. college or university. The U.S. institution providing the transcript must be regionally accredited, and USC expects that the U.S. institution’s faculty either teach the courses being transferred or retain direct, detailed curricular oversight over the program. If the program involves enrolling directly in an international institution, then that university must be recognized by its own country’s Ministry of Education to grant undergraduate degrees.

To request pre-approval for programs offered through a U.S. college or university, please complete the Pre-Approval Form above. You must include as much information as possible about the program you plan to attend. Information about where the courses will be held, the length of the program, and the institution that will provide the transcript is required. Failure to submit this information will result in a delay in processing or a denial of your request.


Some students enroll directly at an international university. Per USC policy, students who wish to receive transfer credit toward their undergraduate degree for coursework taken at an institution outside of the United States (without U.S. regional accreditation) must request a “Detail Report with Course Level Identification” from the International Education Research Foundation (IERF). This evaluation requires an official transcript showing grades for completed coursework and cannot be done in advance. 

To be eligible for transfer credit, you must take coursework at a college or university that is appropriately accredited in the home country, and the courses you take must be part of that school’s regular curriculum, open to that school’s regular students, and reported on that school’s official transcript. You must earn that school’s equivalent of a C- or higher, as determined in the IERF evaluation, to be eligible for credit. 

Some schools create summer sessions intended solely for a study abroad audience to give foreign students an experience with the host institution’s faculty and content. These courses may be based on the home institution’s regular coursework, or they may have “American-style” course numbers, titles and content and may even be taught by visiting faculty from U.S. universities. In either case, these courses are not part of the regular degree curriculum, not intended for regular degree-seeking students, and are generally not applicable to a degree at the host institution. USC does not accept coursework from these programs in transfer.


Many students study abroad through unaccredited institutions such as language institutes, schools that are not recognized by their home government to grant university degrees, or private study abroad organizations. While such programs may offer students the chance to receive a transcript from an accredited or recognized institution (often for a fee), USC will not accept these programs for transfer credit. To be eligible for credit, USC requires that the institution providing the transcript teaches the courses and retains direct, detailed curricular oversight over the courses offered on such programs.


Sending Transcripts

Transcripts from U.S. institutions or institutions located internationally that have U.S. regional accreditation should be mailed to: 


USC Registrar One Stop Center
University Park Campus
700 Childs Way, John Hubbard Hall 106
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0912

Official transcripts (secure pdf/electronic) should be e-mailed to:
USC Admissions

If possible, please have the other institution reference your 10-digit USC ID number.

Transcripts from institutions based outside of the U.S. (without U.S. regional accreditation):

You will need to contact the International Education Research Foundation for a “Detail Report with Course Level Identification”. IERF will transmit the results directly to USC, and a transfer credit evaluation will be performed by Transfer Credit Services. Depending on the country or region, additional documentation may be required in addition to an official transcript. All documentation must be submitted to IERF in accordance with their requirements to be considered official; please do not send transcripts or other documents to USC.