Major Mondays: Health and Human Sciences

Happy Major Mondays – Health and Human Services (B.A.) edition! If you haven’t heard, every Monday in the USC admission world is Major Mondays! I am excited to share some great information about the Health & Human Sciences (HHSC) major, which is housed in our Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, & Sciences. 

Overview: The field of healthcare, including medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and allied health providers has changed drastically over the years. The Health & Human Sciences curriculum combines all the necessary science, social science, humanities, and critical thinking concepts, as well as field experience in order to broadly educate students and prepare them for a health-related field.  

Curriculum: Students in this major will understand how psychological, cultural, social economic, ethical, and biological factors influence our lives and, most importantly, our health. Here at USC, the HHSC major is designed so that every student will be able to choose a semester abroad program as a component to this major. The HHSC major is open to all students and they do not need to pursue a pre-health track to declare this major.  

Experiential Opportunities: Some experiential opportunities available in the Health & Human Sciences major include the opportunity to study abroad and understand how health affects people around the globe by spending a semester in countries like Brazil, Chile, South Africa, or Ireland. Don’t have time to study a whole semester? You can also participate in Problems Without Passports courses in England or Guatemala that occur during the summer session.  

You will also have the opportunity to better understand how health issues relate to different fields through a medical internship that many students feel helped prepare them for their respective fields after graduation. Lastly, you could work in the Ethnographics laboratory, which is a part of the Center for Visual Anthropology. This laboratory provides archival and computer facilities for students and faculty who work with nonlinear editing systems and interactive media in anthropology.  

Student Experience & Takeaways: We asked Najah Boyd (HHSC Class of 2022) about her experience studying abroad at the University of Bristol. She stated that “my experience studying abroad as an HHSC major was wonderful. In this major, I had a lot of flexibility in the classes that I took, and that definitely transferred over to my time at the University of Bristol. I was able to take a class on the science of creativity and another on interpreting statistics. I feel like both of these courses allowed me to go beyond ‘hard’ science and to consider my major in a new light.”  

I hope that you enjoyed learning about the Health & Human Sciences as much as I enjoyed writing about it. Stay tuned for more Major Mondays! Fight On!  

Written by: 

Dominique Young, Assistant Director – USC Office of Undergraduate Admission

December 1 Application Deadline Frequently Asked Questions for Fall 2023 Applicants 

December 1 is the final application deadline for all first-year applicants applying to programs requiring a portfolio or audition. That includes all majors in the following schools:  

Iovine and Young Academy 
Kaufman School of Dance 
Roski School of Art & Design 
School of Architecture 
School of Cinematic Arts 
School of Dramatic Arts 
Thornton School of Music 

It is also the final deadline for transfer applicants applying to BFA programs in the School of Cinematic Arts and School of Dramatic Arts; and to any major in the Thornton School of Music, the Iovine and Young Academy, and the Kaufman School of Dance.  

Prospective first-year and transfer students applying to these programs by the December 1 deadline will be considered for merit scholarships.  

You can read more information on USC’s Admission Dates and Deadlines.  

This post will address some common questions we are getting about the December 1 deadline! 

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 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 2023 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: My second-choice major also requires a portfolio. Do I have to submit two SlideRoom portfolios?

A: Yes, even within the same school the portfolio requirements may differ so a separate SlideRoom application is required for each major. Please review application requirements for both your first- and second-choice majors, and feel free to contact your intended department directly with any portfolio or audition questions.  

Iovine and Young Academy – (213) 821-6140 |
Kaufman School of Dance – (213) 740-9327 |
Roski School of Art & Design – (213) 740-2787 |
School of Architecture – (213) 740-2723 |
School of Cinematic Arts – (213) 740-8358 |
School of Dramatic Arts – (213) 740-1286 |
Thornton School of Music – (213) 740-8986 |

Q: My test scores, letter of recommendation and/or transcript won’t arrive until after the deadline. Is that okay?

A: If your Common Application and SlideRoom department supplements 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:Please allow at least two weeks for processing. Even if your transcript* or test scores are showing up as downloaded or received by USC on your ordering platform, it will still take some time to add each document to an individual student’s file. It is also important to verify that your name on your transcript or test scores matches exactly as it appears on your Common Application.  

*High school transcripts will not appear on your portal checklist if you are applying as a first-year applicant. We have your self-reported grades on Common App which we can refer to until your official transcript is added to your file. If after a couple weeks we still don’t have an official transcript, we will let you know we are missing documents by sending you an email.  

Q: I am an international applicant. Is it okay if my financial statement is submitted after the application deadline?    

A: Yes, but don’t wait too long. In order to submit your financial statement you need access to your portal, which won’t become available until after your application is processed into our system. It is totally fine to submit your financial statement after the deadline, but please upload it as soon as possible as it is a required piece of the application for international students, even if you are applying for merit scholarship consideration. Our website has more information about requirements for international applicants.    

Q: What is the applicant portal and how do I access it?

A: A day or two 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 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. 

Be sure you can receive emails from us, and please read your emails! If you set up your Common App account using an email address you never check, it means you will be missing out on important information from USC. If you have used your school’s email address, please be sure your school email system does not block messages from outside the school. Similarly, be sure your email account has space to receive new messages.  

Q: What application items need to be submitted by the application deadline?

A: For your application to be considered on time, you will need to submit your Common Application and SlideRoom portfolio(s) by December 1. 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 know if I am invited to a live audition/interview?

A: Students applying to majors that require a live audition (or interview) will be emailed between mid-December and mid-January, depending on the major to which you have applied. You will either be invited to audition/interview with your intended department, or you will be informed you are no longer being considered for those programs. Students not selected may choose to withdraw their application at that time, or they can remain in the applicant pool to be considered for their second-choice or the Undecided/Exploratory major. 

Q: When will I get a final decision?

A: All first-year applicants will have an admission and merit scholarship decision by April 1.  

Transfer applicants will receive an admission decision or a request for their spring grades by May 31.  If spring grades are requested, you may not have a final decision until mid-July.  

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: Yes, eventually* we need an official report. In the meantime, you can upload an unofficial copy of your SAT and/or ACT scores through the USC Applicant Portal.  Please be sure the unofficial copy includes scores from all sections for each sitting you are submitting (superscores on their own will not fulfill the requirement). It should also have identifying information such as your name and birthdate, address, or school listed on the report.  

*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: 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, it has 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 nor expected for admission to the university. We don’t want your voice to get lost amidst a sea of letters from other people. If you truly feel your application would be incomplete without this extra perspective, 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 financial hardship, utilize the Common Application fee waiver option.  

First-Year Applicants will find this option in the Profile section of 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.  

Additionally, USC also offers school-specific fee waiver options which can be found in the USC Questions section of both the first-year and transfer application. These school-specific waivers are intended for US Veterans/Active Military/Reserves and their dependents, NAI Scholars, and children of USC employees.  

Q: I paid the application feel on Common App. Does this mean my application is submitted?

A: Not yet. After you pay the application fee you’ll need to go back into Common App to “Review and Submit” your application.

Q: How do I log in to my Financial Aid Summary and Tasks (FAST) portal?

A: FAST is a website where students can access their Financial Aid Summary and determine the current status of their application for need-based financial aid. You will have access to your FAST portal a couple days after we receive your application. You will find a link to FAST in your USC Applicant Portal. 

Q: Should I submit my financial aid application before I get an admission decision?  

A: Yes! If you are applying for a portfolio-based program by December 1, you will be automatically considered for merit-based scholarships, but need-based aid has a separate process. You should submit the FAFSA and CSS Profile by February 10, 2023 if you are a first-year applicant or by March 2, 2023 as a transfer applicant. This will allow you to receive your need-based aid summary soon after you receive an admission decision. USC is need-blind, meaning we do not consider financial need when making admission decisions.   

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 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. 

For any questions about SlideRoom or the audition process, you can reach out to your intended department directly:  

Iovine and Young Academy – (213) 821-6140 |
Kaufman School of Dance – (213) 740-9327 |  
Roski School of Art & Design – (213) 740-2787 |  
School of Architecture – (213) 740-2723 |  
School of Cinematic Arts – (213) 740-8358 |
School of Dramatic Arts – (213) 740-1286 |
Thornton School of Music – (213) 740-8986 |

You can also follow @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!

Major Mondays: Business Emphases

The Emphases in the Marshall School of Business are nine specializations that enhance a student’s approach and preparation for business professions. Through student feedback, Marshall introduced the nine Emphases in fall 2021 to allow students the chance to add a focus of academic study within their major. Through a student’s declared Emphasis, they will have the ability to participate in research, internships, and study abroad opportunities related to their specialization.  

Declaring an Emphasis adds a unique value to a student’s academic studies, including how to grow their ideas into outcomes. The nine Emphases are: 

  1. Business Analytics: “…teaches students analytical and hands-on skills to aid data-driven decision making, execution, and evaluation.” 
  1. Communication: “…provides students with the skills deemed most desirable by employers across all industries and fields to drive individual success as an employee, colleague, and workplace leader.” 
  1. Entrepreneurship and Innovation: “…provides students the skills, tools, and mindset to create new products, new services, new ventures, and new worlds as they meet the needs of customers and help solve the thorny problems we face as an economy and a society.” 
  1. Finance: “…provides specialized skill sets for students wishing to work in the finance industry, preparing them for complex tasks involving finance, economics, and advanced computer modeling.” 
  1. International Relations: “…delivers business acumen with the perspective of diplomatic engagement.” 
  1. Leadership and Innovation: “…teaches students to lead and innovate, identify and solve critical problems, and build a sustainable competitive advantage.” 
  1. Marketing: “…provides students with creative and analytical skills for effective marketing strategy, execution, and evaluation across industries.” 
  1. Real Estate Finance: “…provides specialized skill sets for students wishing to work in real estate finance and development, preparing them for specific complexities of real estate finance, economics, and state-of-the-art computing modeling.” 
  1. Risk Management: “…enables students to manage the risks of an increasingly complex and interconnected business environment.”  

For students who may not know which Emphases they want to declare, there are options to help guide them. Students are encouraged to join Marshall Recognized Student Organizations to help gain hands-on experience. Recommendations of which organizations align with each Emphases can be found on the Emphases links above. Also, students are welcome to talk with professors of specific courses to help them find an Emphasis that would be a good fit. Each Emphases has a list of courses, found on the Emphases links above. Lastly, students can set up an advising appointment with the Marshall Undergraduate Career Services Office to receive guidance toward internships and the Emphasis that may align with their career interests.  

Before declaring an Emphasis, Marshall students need to reach sophomore standing (32 units completed), completed one semester in residence at USC, and completed the gateway course. Gateway courses are specific for each emphasis, for instance, if a student wanted to do an emphasis in Marketing, they would need to take the BAUD 307 Marketing Fundamentals course first before declaring their emphasis. Students will work with an advisor to complete specific gateway courses. Students need a minimum 2.0 overall cumulative GPA and 2.0 GPA in upper-division courses applied to their major to declare an Emphasis. Students will work with their advisors in Marshall to declare a single Emphasis. Students are not required to add an Emphasis and can work with their advisors if they decide to no longer pursue the declared Emphasis or if they want to change Emphases, which can be done all the way up to the second semester of their senior year. 

Student Perspective:  

In reflecting on his major choice, Lorenzo Aguirre (Class of 2024) says that “I chose my emphasis in Real Estate Finance my freshman year after joining the Marshall Real Estate Finance Association (MREFA). Going into USC, I thought I wanted to be a Finance major; however, through my involvement in MREFA I was exposed to commercial real estate (CRE) and its multiple career paths such as brokerage, acquisitions, and lending.  

“I found this industry particularly interesting because I could combine my interest in finance with my goal of having an impactful career. Real estate allows me to invest in local economies and physically improve the built environment while also working through the same intellectual challenges faced in a typical finance-focused, investment role. Declaring an emphasis in Real Estate Finance allows me to take upper division classes such as real estate law, real estate capital markets, and real estate finance and investments.  

“Classes like this help prepare you for the skills needed in your day-to-day role. You also take these classes with other like-minded peers aiming to break into the CRE industry which allows you to further build your network. Electing my emphasis in real estate finance enhanced my experience by identifying myself with a career path and differentiated myself from the general business administration major.” 

Written by: 

Jennifer Price, Assistant Director – USC Office of Undergraduate Admission