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Study Abroad Office

Non-USC Programs

Whether an academic interest leads you to an institution with whom USC does not have an existing relationship, or you are pursuing a unique professional opportunity abroad, you will need to seek approval for any program that is not currently on our pre-approved list. 

Non-USC Petition Instructions

Students must have an academically compelling reason for submitting a petition. This is not a program approval process, but rather a case-by-case review of the individual student’s academic reasons for wanting to participate in a particular non-USC program. Cost and location are not valid reasons for submitting a petition. Students who feel they have an academically compelling reason for participating in a non-USC program should follow the instructions below:

  1. Contact the Study Abroad Office to set up an appointment with an advisor to discuss participation in a non-USC program.
  2. Submit a completed petition, in paragraph form, along with Part One of the USC Study Abroad application, by the petition deadline. Late and incomplete petitions are not accepted.  (Please note: When selecting a non-USC program in Symplicity, choose the program titled, "Other Global Partner Program".)
  3. The petition must include all of the following information in order to be considered:
  4. Academic Information:
    1. The name of the organization sponsoring the program, the name of the program and/or host institution abroad, and the location (city and country) of the program.
    2. The term the student intends to go abroad.
    3. Why the student feels that he/she has an academically compelling reason for participating in this program. Petitions should be detailed, specific, and include the courses the student is interested in taking, along with the academic rationale.
    4. What other pre-approved programs the student has already researched.
    5. Why no other pre-approved program will provide a similar academic experience.
  5. Student Services/Support Information:
    1. Who provides the academic credit for the program (e.g. who provides the official transcript, which must include the course name, final grade, credits and/or in-class contact hours).
    2. Description of the comprehensive student support services provided by the program (e.g. is there an on-site director, and other on-site staff? Is an on-site orientation provided? Is there a 24/7 U.S. emergency number, and if so what is it? Is there a 24/7 emergency number abroad, and if so what is it?).
    3. The program’s website link.
  6. The petition review committee will respond to you within 3-4 weeks if all required information is included in the initial petition. Petitions will be denied if you do not provide an academically compelling reason, if the program does not meet minimum standards for approval, if another program on USC's approved list would provide a similar academic experience, or if you knowingly provide false information in the petition. 
  7. As a courtesy to students, petitions may be submitted prior to the stated deadline in order to meet other program or scholarship deadlines.  Petitions will normally be reviewed within three to four weeks after submission, however, the review process may be longer during peak times of the academic year.


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