International Student Admission

The USC Thornton School of Music is home to approximately 150 international students from roughly 40 countries. International students make up an important part of our student population, and add depth and diversity to our school.

International applicants are expected to follow the same application procedure that domestic applicants follow. There is no special international application for admission; however, international applicants are required to submit a few extra items that are not required from domestic applicants. Additionally, the academic review process for international applicants can be time consuming and complex; thus international applicants are encouraged to submit all required application materials by the published application deadlines. Failure to do so could cause the entire application to be withdrawn from consideration.

The following additional application materials are required from all international applicants:

Please note that all of the above must be submitted directly to the USC Admission office according to the directions given with the USC application.
Undergraduate requirements can be found here.
Graduate applicant requirements can be found here.

The I-20 Process

When an international applicant is admitted to USC and the Thornton School of Music, the applicant must accept the offer of admission (submit your statement of intent) before an I-20 will be issued. The applicant’s financial support documents will be evaluated, and if acceptable an I-20 form will be prepared by the USC Office of Graduate and International Admission and will be sent to the applicant. The applicant will then use the I-20 to apply for a student (F-1) visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy. The process of issuing I-20s from USC can be time consuming. It is typical for the preparation of an I-20 to take up to 2-4 weeks. Additionally, the visa application and interview process can also be quite time consuming and complicated, depending on the applicant’s home country. Because of this, applicants are urged to submit all required application materials by the published deadlines, to ensure that there is sufficient time for I-20 preparation and the visa interview process. Additional details about the issuance of I-20 forms can be found here.


Please refer to the details FAQ section available on USC’s Graduate Admission website. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have throughout the process. We can be reached at (213) 740-8986 or