Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Preparing to Apply

What is the average duration of the MS and PhD programs?
It takes an average of five years to complete the PhD program — two years of coursework and approximately three years of research and writing of the dissertation. The MS program is a two-year program.

Do you offer online, distance learning or part-time programs?
No, we do not offer online, distance learning or a part-time programs.

What is the admission criteria for your programs?
Please refer to the program information on our website for an outline of the criteria.

Do you admit for spring or summer terms?
We only admit for the fall semester, as follows:

  • PhD program in Health Economics: admits every even year
  • MS program in Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy: admits every even year
  • MS and PhD programs in Pharmaceutical and Translational Sciences (PHTS): admits every year

Do you accept transfer students?
No, we do not accept transfer students. Interested applicants are required to submit an application for consideration as a new student. Upon acceptance into the program, you may request that the department review your transcripts to determine if any units are transferable.

Do you offer conditional admission?
No, the graduate programs do not offer conditional admission.

Fees/Tuition/Financial Aid

Do you offer financial aid for Master’s or PhD students?
If you are admitted as PhD student, both domestic and international students are eligible for financial aid in the form of teaching assistantship, research assistantship, or a fellowship.  A typical funding package covers students in good standing for five years.  Students receive full tuition and fees, and a generous stipend for living expenses.

MS students are self-pay students. We do not offer any financial aid.

For further information on tuition and fees, please visit the following:


What is the deadline for the application?
The application deadline for all programs is January 15 (9PM PST; 12AM EST).

What are the deadline for transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation?
We recommend that you first submit an application and once you have been assigned a USC 10-digit ID number, arrange for the information to be sent.

Applying to USC

How can I access the application?
The application is accessible via the following link:

International Students

Are your admission requirements different for international students?
Admission requirements are essentially the same for domestic and international applicants. The only exception is the English-language proficiency test TOEFL/IELTS/PTE. In addition, USC Graduate Admission requires specific documentation once you are admitted. Please refer the following link for more information:

I’m an international student who received a Master’s degree in the US. Am I exempt from taking the English-language proficiency test TOEFL/IELTS/PTE?
As per the USC Office of Graduate Admission, you are only exempt if the following apply:

  • You hold a Bachelor’s degree completed in residency in United States or other Anglophone country.
  • Your native language is English.

For further information, please visit the Office of Graduate Admission website


Where do I send my transcripts
Materials may be sent to the USC Office of Graduate Admission or the School of Pharmacy:

Office of Graduate Admission
By regular mail
University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

By courier service, such as DHL or FedEx:
University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 1
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

(213) 740-1111

School of Pharmacy

University of Southern California
School of Pharmacy
Graduate Affairs
1985 Zonal Ave, PSC 714
Los Angeles, CA  90089

(323) 442-1474

Standardized Tests

Under what circumstances will the USC School of Pharmacy waive the GRE?
The USC School of Pharmacy does not waive the GRE under any circumstances.

Can I substitute any other test for the GRE?
You may not substitute any other test for the GRE.  The test is mandatory.

Application Status Check

How and when will you notify students of their application status?
You will receive a notification about your decision via email to check starting in March through the Spring.

How can I ensure that my application is complete?
During the peak admission period (January to May), admission processing takes a minimum of four weeks after we receive your application.

You may log back into your application anytime to check your current application status. Please note that the status check only displays the current stage of your application. It does not show whether or not specific materials have been received. USC Graduate Admission will notify you via e-mail if additional information or materials are needed to complete our evaluation. Please be sure that you have provided a valid e-mail address and to check it regularly.

Note that Graduate Admission does not track letters of recommendation or supplemental documents.  For this information, contact