Academic Advisement and Registration

The process of academic advisement at USC Thornton is a partnership between you and your academic advisor. Be sure to study your degree requirements and start planning early, as graduating is your goal and your responsibility.

It is expected that you meet with your academic advisor at least once a semester, but regular contact is encouraged. Contact your advisor as soon as you notice any problems, but also for any support and guidance you may need during your academic journey at USC.

Please note that all official correspondence from your advisor will be sent to your USC e-mail. Please check it regularly. Please also be sure to update your current phone number and local address in OASIS in myUSC, as we may contact you there if necessary.

General Steps for Advisement and Registration

You will receive a notice from the Thornton Student Affairs office regarding the upcoming semester’s registration and the academic advisement period. It is during that period that you must schedule an appointment to see your advisor to plan for registration for the next semester. In particular, most of your classes require Departmental Clearance (D-clearance) which can either may be issued by an advisor or may involve an approval process detailed by your advisor. In general, the advisement process is as follows:

  1. Review your requirements and plan your schedule.
  2. Schedule an academic advisement appointment with your advisor.
  3. Receive D-clearances for your courses.
  4. Register on or after your permit to register date/ time using Web Registration.
  5. Save your registration transaction emails (confirmation emails sent to you by the Registrar’s office) for every registration transaction you complete in Web Registration.

The Advising Process section of the USC Thornton Student Portal is regularly updated before each advisement period to detail the steps you need to take for academic advisement and registration. Be sure to review this page when you are notified about the advisement period to complete all necessary steps to register successfully each semester.

You may also hear from your advisor directly if your program has any additional steps or processes unique to your major for registration.


If you have not already done so, you will not be able to register for your classes until you have activated your USC NetID through the first login page. Your USC NetID will grant you access to the various University pages and resources, including myUSC, Blackboard, your USC email, and Web Registration.

Web Registration

You will register for your courses through Web Registration which can be accessed via the myUSC portal. Web Registration allows you to add or drop courses and change grading options. Please view the following video tutorial to familiarize yourself with Web Registration:

Please note that the video is for demonstration purposes only. You will be able to officially register for courses after meeting with your academic advisor.

Registration Holds

When you access Web Registration, you may notice that there are registration holds placed upon your records. Some holds are “warning holds” which are designed to raise attention to an issue you must resolve, but will not prevent you from registering for classes at least for this term. Other holds are restrictive and will prevent you from registering.

Holds that do not restrict registration

Prior Degree Verification (ADM40)

You must submit verification of your prior Bachelor’s degree by the end of your second semester in your program. Failure to do so will result in a registration restriction in your second semester preventing you from registering for classes (or from completing your degree in one-year programs such as the MM in Screen Scoring). More information about the verification process is described at the Degree Progress website.

Please note that there are different steps if you earned your prior degree from an institution outside the United States. This verification will require a ‘Certification of Studies’ ($85 fee) from IERF-

Conditional Admission (ADM20)

Your admission letter will state if you are conditionally admitted and the terms upon which you must complete and by which semester they must be completed. Failure to complete these conditions within the timeframe described will result in a registration restriction and may affect your status in your degree program. Please be sure to review these conditions with your academic advisor as well as your Department Chair.

Holds that restrict registration

Immigration Status Verification Hold (STU50)

All international students must complete Immigration Status Verification (ISV) before they can register for classes. This process will be completed online through OIS at the OIS ISV website. Students who do not complete the ISV process will have a registration hold (STU50) that will prevent you from registering for classes.

International Student English (ISE) Exam Hold (ALI01)

You may be required to take the International Student English (ISE) exam. Your official letter of admission will detail if you are required to take this exam.

If your admission letter states this condition, you must take the ISE exam to determine your English proficiency. Until you take the ISE exam and determine your placement, you will have a registration hold (ALI01) that will prevent you from registering for spring courses.

Therefore, if required, you should plan to take the ISE exam as soon as possible. The ISE exam is administered online through the American Language Institute (ALI). Exam times and dates (all listed in PST) and sign-up information is provided at the ALI website-

Based on the results of the ISE exam, you are either released from any additional ALI requirement or may receive an ALI placement to take additional coursework to support your English language skills. Your academic advisor will work with you and an ALI advisor to finalize any required ALI course registration in addition to your major requirements.

Mandatory Online Training

As a new USC graduate student, you are required to complete several mandatory online training modules:

Think About It
Staying Safe
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Both modules can be accessed through myUSC under the “Safety & Wellness” widget which also contains other resources and links for your safety and wellness.

These training modules will be active by the start of the semester. You must complete both courses by the stated deadline, or a registration hold will be placed on your records preventing you from registering for next semester’s classes. For more information on these training modules and technical assistance, visit this website.

Registration Deadlines

Your course registration can change during the add/drop period (first three weeks of classes) of the semester, particularly with ensemble placements or MGEE results. Therefore, please note the following registration-related deadlines:

Fall 2023 Registration Deadlines

Friday of the week before classes – August 18
Settlement deadline (tuition and fees due). Late fees and finance charges are assessed if your student billing account is not settled by this deadline.

Friday of the third week of classes – September 8
Add/drop deadline – last day to add courses and last day to drop courses and receive a refund.

Friday of the seventh week of classes – October 6
Last day to drop a course without a mark of “W” on your transcript. No refund is available.

Friday of the twelfth week of classes – November 10
Last day to drop a course with a mark of “W” on your transcript. A mark of “W” indicates on your transcript that you withdrew from a class, but does not affect your GPA. No refund is available.

Please review the Schedule of Classes for official registration deadlines (under Registration Calendar) for each semester.

Once you have reviewed this content in this module, please return to the USC Thornton Graduate Orientation home page and review the next module.