Academic Policies: Academic Policies

Deferral Policy

Undergraduate students could be granted deferrals in specific cases relating to medical issues, religious obligations or required military/national service. However, deferral requests for other reasons will generally not be granted.

New students who have committed to enroll at USC but fail to do so will forfeit their spot in the entering class and will need to reapply (with no guarantee of admission) should they wish to attend the university in a future term.

Students seeking deferrals for health-related reasons should connect with the Office of Student Accessibility Services to see whether there are accommodations or supports that might make matriculating possible, or if a Health Deferral is needed. If a Health Deferral is indicated, the student will be referred to the office of Campus Support and Intervention to engage in the Health Leave/Deferral process, which includes developing a plan for growth, evidence-based treatment, and recovery during their time away.

If you have questions about the above policy or wish to proceed with requesting a deferral, please contact your admission counselor.

Exam Credit Policy

Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Levels (A-Levels) Credit Policy

A maximum of 32 units is granted under the AP, IB or A-Level program, or in combination. Test results must be sent directly to USC from the testing agency. Once we receive them, they will be added to your transfer credit report. Exams may earn credit and may satisfy some General Education, foreign language or degree requirements for an intended major. For more information, please visit the Undergraduate Transfer Credit Services office or refer to our Transfer Planning Worksheet.

College Courses Taken During High School

USC accepts a maximum of 16 elective units, included in the 32-unit combined maximum for exam credits. These courses must be taught by college faculty on a college campus, appear on your transcript as part of the regular college curriculum and must not be applied to your high school diploma. They can fulfill General Education requirements, but they cannot fulfill the Writing or Foreign Language requirements nor receive equivalence to USC courses.

Switching Majors

The Office of Admission does not facilitate switching majors. A change of major is granted at the discretion of the academic departments, who set their own policies and procedures for doing so. An admitted student who wishes to change majors must contact both the current and intended academic departments to receive the appropriate permission and advising.


“USC has broadened my perspective by showing me that I don't have to wait till graduation to make an impact on the world.”

—Shoko Furukawa. Tokyo, Japan

Withdraw Your Application

Admitted students can decline their offer of admission on the Admit Reply form in the applicant portal.

If you have already accepted your offer of admission and no longer intend to enroll at USC, please let us know by visiting your USC Applicant Portal and clicking on the link under “Withdraw Your Intended Enrollment”.