Undergraduate Admission Blog

Follow the Official USC Undergraduate Admission Blog for information, advice, and a behind-the-scenes look at our process

May 4, 2017

Will My Courses Transfer?

If you look up the word “articulation,” you’ll find a good number of definitions…none of which explain what articulation means in the transfer admission process.  So what are we talking about when we say articulation?  And how does it affect you?

Transfer Credit Services is a small but very important office at USC!  Their goal is to best serve you and facilitate the process of articulation–they want your courses to transfer, but they also don’t want to put you in a position where you will be unprepared for subsequent work.  Our experts comb through syllabi and course descriptions to determine how courses will transfer to USC, and there are several possibilities:

  • A course at your current college might have a USC equivalent (e.g., if you take Math 35 at your current college, you will learn the same material as students enrolled in Math 125 at USC).
  • A course might not have a USC equivalent but can still meet certain requirements (e.g.,  maybe we don’t offer a specific class on cave paintings throughout the world, but it could still meet a general education requirement at USC…also, that class sounds awesome).
  • A course might come in for elective credit only (e.g., a class you took isn’t equivalent to a specific USC course and doesn’t meet a GE category, but we recognize its academic nature and can provide you with unit credit towards your degree).
  • A course does not transfer (this is usually the case with fields of study we don’t offer, remedial courses, or non academic courses).

To find out which of your courses will transfer to USC and how they will articulate, you can use some of the great tools at your fingertips!  For students attending California community colleges, you can use our articulation agreements.  These documents tell you which courses you should take to guarantee that you meet our admission requirements and recommendations.  You can also use the transfer planning guide, which will provide you with more specific information regarding your major.  If you are attending a four year school or an out of state community college, you can reach out to your USC admission counselor about an articulation history.  These documents show which courses from your current institution have transferred to USC in the past.  While we can’t guarantee how they will articulate in the future (curricula sometimes change!), an articulation history can still serve as a useful guide in course selection.

As I said, our Transfer Credit Services office is small and, unfortunately, they can’t review individual transcripts during the application process.  Once you accept an offer of admission to USC, however, all of your coursework and exam scores will be reviewed, and a transfer credit report (TCR) will be generated in your USC portal.

Transferring can be a complicated process, especially where articulation is concerned!  But if you use the tools available to you, you can get a good sense of which classes will best prepare you to transfer to USC.