Please note that the information provided on this page is subject to change pending any updated guidance offered by DHS-SEVP and/or other US governmental authorities. For the most updated guidance concerning international students at USC, please visit the USC Office of International Students at https://ois.usc.edu.
International students who are experiencing particular challenges in arriving to the US for in-person instruction should contact their Thornton academic advisor immediately.
Passport Verification (PPV)
All new international students are required to complete Passport Verification (PPV) with the Office of International Services (OIS) upon arrival to the United States. You must complete PPV before you are able to register for courses in the fall semester. PPV cannot be completed outside of the the United States.
Please visit the OIS website for specific guidance on how to complete PPV – https://ois.usc.edu/new-students/firstweeks/passport-verification-ppv/. You will need to follow the three steps described in order to complete PPV once you have arrived to the United States.
You can still meet with your academic advisor to plan your course registration, but you will only be able to register for courses upon completion of PPV.
USC Student Health Insurance and Immunization Requirements for International Students
Per the USC Catalogue, all international students will automatically be enrolled in the USC Student Health Insurance Plan upon course registration, regardless of the number of units in which they are enrolled. For details regarding insurance and immunization requirements, please visit the USC Engemann Student Health Center at https://studenthealth.usc.edu/health-requirements-for-new-students/.
You may be subject to registration holds that will prevent you from being able to register for your spring courses in Web Registration. For international students, there are two particular holds that must be addressed- Passport Verification (PPV) (described earlier) and International Student English Exam (ISE). These holds must be resolved before you can register for courses in the fall semester.
Passport Verification (PPV)
As described earlier, all international students must complete Passport Verification (PPV). This process will be completed online through OIS at the OIS PPV website. Students who do not complete the PPV process will have a registration hold (STU50) that will prevent you from registering for classes in the fall.
International Student English (ISE) Exam
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 in August. The ISE exam is administered online through the American Language Institute (ALI). Exam dates/times (all listed in PDT) and sign-up information are available on the ALI website- https://ali.usc.edu/ise/.
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.
You may also notice other holds on your records in OASIS or Web Registration. These holds will not prevent you from registering for classes in the fall semester, however, they can prevent registration in future semesters if not resolved:
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- https://ierf.org/uni-evaluation/usc/
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 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.
Once you have reviewed this content in this module, please return to the USC Thornton Graduate Orientation home page and review the next module.