Major Mondays: International Relations (IR), International Relations – Global Business (IRGB), International Relations – Global Economy (IRGE)

Majors: The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International Relations (IR), B.A. in International Relations – Global Business (IRGB), and B.A. in International Relations – Global Economy (IRGE) fall within the Department of Political Science and International Relations, housed under the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. These programs are available to applying first-year and transfer students interested in pursuing careers in government, law, administration, research, public policy, and related professions. Please note: regardless of which major a student chooses, the diploma will read “B.A. in International Relations”, and the emphasis will not appear on the diploma. 

Overview: International Relations (IR) is a constantly evolving field of study that focuses on the ever-changing world of tomorrow. The general IR major is an incredible path for students hoping to pursue future studies or work in the associated fields of political science, public administration, foreign affairs, and more. Students in this major will approach IR from various angles and have the opportunity to select upper division coursework from each of the prominent fields within IR. 

The International Relations – Global Business (IRGB) major combines IR courses and foreign language study to explore state relations with international actors. Students will take a majority of their coursework within Dornsife, but will also pick a specialization that involves taking courses in USC’s Marshall School of Business. Note, this major is housed in USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.  

The International Relations – Global Economy (IRGE) major combines IR and Economics coursework to prepare students for careers in foreign policy, international finance, political risk analysis, and similar fields. This interdisciplinary major is a great option for students interested in diving deeper into the social sciences.  

Research: Did you know USC has a Center for International Studies (CIS) dedicated to research and discussions of international policy and economic affairs? Students also have access to many current projects like the Security and Political Economy (SPEC) Lab that explores issues relating to climate change, security, and economic development. 

Academic Opportunities – Study Abroad: Students studying International Relations can fulfill major requirements abroad! IR majors have the opportunity to take upper division units at another university outside of the US, and can pick from multiple institutions across five different continents. One popular option for students studying International Relations is USC’s semester in Paris, where students will focus on foreign policy while rounding out their schedule with some French courses. This option is offered for both the fall and spring semesters, with available courses like “European Interrogation” and “French Foreign Policy”. You can find more information on the program through USC’s Office of Overseas Studies page

Want to Learn More? 
For students interested in exploring International Relations on a smaller scale, there are two International Relations related minors! International Policy & Management Minor and International Relations.

USC Dornsife has an entire cohort of Student Ambassadors who offer insight into what it’s like to be a student within USC’s liberal arts college. Visit their website to learn more, access the student blog, and live chat with a current Dornsife student. 

Also, for up-to-date information about the Center for International Studies programs, speaker series and newsletter, follow the CIS Twitter account.  

Written by Natasha Hunter, Assistant Director 

December 1 Application Deadline Frequently Asked Questions for Fall 2022 Applicants

The first application deadline is around the corner. Have questions? We have answers! Check out the list of questions you might have about submitting your USC application for Fall 2022. 

As a reminder, we do not offer Early Decision or Early Action at USC. December 1 is the deadline for first-year applicants to be considered for USC Merit Scholarships. It is also the final deadline for some programs in both the first-year and transfer process (see more information on USC’s Admission Dates and Deadlines.) Transfer applicants will be considered for the Transfer Merit Scholarship as long as they apply by February 15.  

Q: I submitted my application on December 1 before midnight, but my confirmation email says I submitted on December 2. What’s going on? 
A: The Common App timestamp is on Eastern Standard Time, so depending on where you live, it may look like your application was submitted on December 2. That’s okay! We still consider applications received in the early morning of December 2 to be on time. 

Q: Do I need to submit anything extra to be considered for the Office of Admission scholarships? 
A: Nope! Just submit all required application materials by December 1.  

There are some organizations at USC that offer additional scholarships you may be eligible for that require an extra application. Please review our full list of scholarships for more information.  

*Note, USC is test optional for Fall 2022 undergraduate applicants. Applicants who indicate on the Common App that they do not wish to have their test scores considered are not required to submit test scores in order to be considered for a merit-based scholarship. 

Q: I submitted my Common Application at 11:59 PM on December 1, but my USC Supplement was submitted at 12:01 AM on December 2. Will my application still be considered for scholarship? 
A: Yes! The Common Application and USC Supplement must be submitted individually. Not all students realize this right away, so we do see this happen sometimes. Totally fine! We will consider your application on time for the scholarship deadline. 

Q: My test scores and transcript won’t arrive until after the deadline. Is that okay? 
A: If your Common Application, USC Supplement, and any required department supplements (e.g., SlideRoom) are submitted by December 1, your application will be considered on time. If school documents such as transcripts or letters of recommendation trickle in a little after the deadline, that is okay, but be sure those are sent as soon as possible! 

Q: My transcript and test scores were sent, but they haven’t shown up on my portal checklist. What do I do? 
A: If the USC Applicant Portal indicates that your test scores (if you chose to submit scores) or transcripts are not yet received, please verify that your name on the item matches exactly your name as it appears on your Common Application. If you have only recently requested your scores to be sent to USC, be sure to allow at least two weeks for processing. 

Q: What is the applicant portal and how do I access it? 
A: A couple of days after submitting your Common Application, you will receive an email with instructions to access your portal, so make sure to check your inbox! The subject of the email is “USC Admission Has Received Your Application – Set up your applicant portal today!” Your portal is where you can check on the status of your application, including information about any missing items. You are welcome to check the status of your submitted application by logging in to the USC Applicant Portal. The portal is updated as materials are processed into our system.

Q: What application items need to be submitted by the application deadline? 
AFor your application to be considered on time, you will need to submit your Common Application, USC Supplement, and any supplemental materials required by your department (for example, a SlideRoom required portfolio) by the deadline. If transcripts, letters of recommendation, or test scores come in after the deadline, that is okay! Just be sure they are on their way. 

Q: When will I get a decision? 
A: All first-year applicants will have an admission decision by April 1. Applicants who apply by December 1 will be notified in mid-February whether they have been selected to interview for a scholarship. Those that are not asked to interview are still being considered for admission, so they will not receive an admission decision at this time. 

Transfer applicants will receive an admission decision or a request for their spring grades by May 31.  

Q: I received an email about signing an Affirmation, how do I do this? 
A: You will need to login to your USC Applicant Portal and navigate to the Application Affirmation section. This is an electronic signature acknowledging that everything in your application is truthful, correct, and yours. This is required for all USC applicants. You can preview the affirmations here

Q: If I decide to report my SAT/ACT scores, do you require the official test score report? 
A: You can send us your official score report or (in the meantime), upload an unofficial copy of your SAT and/or ACT scores through the USC Applicant Portal.  

*Note, all students who ultimately enroll at USC, and chose to have their scores considered, must submit an official score report directly through the testing agency.
USC SAT code number: 4852 
USC ACT code number: 0470 

Q: I am not going to submit official test scores, but my portal notes that the SAT/ACT score report is missing. What is happening? 
A: This data comes from the SAT/ACT question on the Common Application. If you indicated that you would like to consider your official test scores, we will wait for the score report in order to complete your file. If you are no longer interested in submitting your test scores, and we have not already received your scores, you can update your testing plan in the Applicant Portal.   

Q: I used a different website when I registered for a virtual USC information session. Is this the same as the applicant portal? 
A: No, the USC Applicant Portal is separate from the Discover USC site. You will be able to create your USC applicant portal after you submit your Common Application. The USC applicant portal will be helpful to track the status of your USC application. 

Q: My recommender submitted their letter of recommendation on my behalf, why don’t I see this as a checklist item on my USC Applicant Portal? 
A:  Your USC Applicant Portal checklist will not list letters of recommendation as items. Rest assured, if a recommender has submitted a letter on your behalf, they have been added to your file.    

Q: I have additional letters of recommendation I want to add. How do I do this? 
A: Additional letters are not required for admission to the University, but you can submit them for consideration. Recommenders may email their letters to the appropriate USC admission counselor and should include your full name and birthdate or reference ID (found in your applicant portal) in order to match them to the correct application. Please note that quality is more important than quantity! 

Q: Paying the USC application fee is a financial hardship for me and my family. Can I have the Common Application fee waived? 
A: If paying the application fee would cause you a financial hardship, utilize the Common Application fee waiver option. 

First-Year Applicants will find this option in the Profile section of the Common Application. School-specific fee waiver options can be found in the USC supplement to the Common Application. You can watch the video below about how to do this! 

Transfer Applicants will find this option in the “My Application” section of the Common Application. School-specific fee waiver options can be found in the Program Materials section of the Common Application. 

Q: How do I log in to my FAST portal? 
A: FAST (Financial Aid Summary and Tasks) is a website where students can access their Financial Aid Summary and determine the current status of their application and aid. You will have access to your FAST portal a couple days after we receive your application. Please log in through the USC Applicant Portal

Q: I just submitted all my USC application materials. Now what do I do? 
A: Nice job! Want to know what to do next? Take a look at the admission blog article Top 5 Things to Do After Applying to USC” as a final check to your USC application. 

Q: I have more questions. Who can I talk to? 
A: If you have any questions, or wish to email the Office of Admission, we invite you to askUSC. Applicants can also call the Admission Contact Center at (213) 740-1111.

You can also contact your Admission Counselor. Find out who your counselor is by visiting: 

Follow USC Admission on social media (@USCAdmission on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube) We will post application tips and reminders, as well as answer any final questions you may have.  

Good Luck and Fight On

Top 5 Things to Do After Applying to USC for Fall 2022

You have pressed “submit” on your application to USC – congratulations! Wondering if there are any next steps? Check out our top five things to do after applying.  

  1. Set up your USC Applicant Portal 
    A day or two after you apply, you’ll get an email confirming that you submitted your application. The subject line will read “USC Admission Has Received Your Application – Set Up Your Applicant Portal Today!”  Once you open this email, it will have the PIN you’ll need to set up your USC portal. From there you can check on the status of your materials and, eventually, see your admission decision.  
  2. Be patient as we process your materials 
    If you’ve submitted your Common Application by the deadline, your application is considered on time – even if materials like transcripts, recommendation letters, or test scores arrive a little later. We receive thousands of documents that we need to process which includes transcripts, letters of recommendations, and test scores.  It takes us about two to three weeks to process documents during our busy season, so please give us some time. There may be additional delays if documents lack proper identifying information. For example, if the name on your test scores does not exactly match the name on your application. 

    A green check mark will only appear on your USC Applicant Portal next to items we have processed which means that we may have already received those materials, but they just have not been added to our system yet. * 

    *Please note that the USC Applicant Portal checklist will not list letters of recommendation or SlideRoom as items. First-year applicants may also notice that transcripts are not listed either.   
  3. Sign the Applicant Affirmation and Notice of Potential Audit 
    Your application will not be complete until you electronically sign the Application Affirmation form, which can be accessed through your USC Applicant Portal. The notification that the form is ready to be signed will come a couple of days after you submit your application.
  4. Double check that you submitted the USC Supplement 
    Don’t forget to submit BOTH the Common Application and the USC Supplement. The USC Supplement is the portion of the application that is USC specific, so though it’s on the Common App, you access it under the “My Colleges” tab.  Make sure to press “submit” so we have your completed application by the correct deadline. 
  5. If applicable, upload your test scores 
    If you have indicated on Common App that you would like your SAT or ACT standardized test score to be considered with your application, you can upload your score report through your USC Applicant Portal. International applicants who are required to submit English proficiency exams may also upload an unofficial score report for review purposes. Score reports must include your name, date of the exam, and all sections from that sitting. 

    Students that ultimately enroll at USC will be required to submit official test scores if unofficial scores were used during the application process.

Bonus step, breathe 
Take a deep breath, relax and congratulate yourself on a job well done! You did all that you could, submitted all the required materials and now all you have to do is wait. Give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy some time to yourself!

Fight On!