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Office of Undergraduate Admissions

International Applicants

We're excited to welcome applicants from all over the world, and our team is here to help guide you throughout the process.

Complete either the USC Application or the Common App if you're an international student entering college for the first time or if you attempted college credit before high school graduation. Choose the application that you are most comfortable submitting. There is no advantage in the admission process to using one application over the other.  

International students who have attempted any college work at a college or university after graduation from a secondary school should complete the transfer application

Required Materials

All international freshman applicants must submit the following credentials: 

You'll provide your high school courses/grades for your senior year only, choose your first and second-choice majors, complete the essay, and list your extracurricular activities, honors and awards regardless of application type. You will also decide whether you want us to consider your ACT/SAT scores in the review process. 

Regardless of which application you select, you must pay the nonrefundable $100 application fee.

TOEFL Internet Based
TOEFL Paper Based
Reading Writing Subscore)
(English Subscore)

English proficiency scores are not required for students from countries on our exempt list nor from graduates of high schools in the United States.

English proficiency exempt list:

  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada (note: residents of Quebec students must take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE)
  • Dominica
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Grand Cayman
  • Guam
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Swaziland (Eswatini)
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad/Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

If you are unable to obtain a minimum English proficiency score, our English Programs for Internationals  might be an option. Undergraduate students interested in conditional admission should complete the undergraduate admissions application and indicate their interest in both English Programs for Internationals (USC's intensive English program) and conditional admission. Students will also need to contact English Programs for International (EPI) to submit the EPI application.

You may also be interested in learning about the University of South Carolina's International Accelerator Program, a one-year transition program for international students that leads to a four-year degree at the University of South Carolina.

Official secondary transcripts must be from all secondary schools.

If your transcript is not in English, you must submit a certified transcript translated into English by a school official.

If you apply for admission before graduating from high school, you must submit an official (or attested copy) of all final transcript(s) after you graduate from high school.

A document is considered official if it comes from an original source and is not opened prior to arriving at the university. Stamped and sealed envelopes that we receive from your school, a credential evaluation company, or a test center are considered official. Official documents submitted via email by a verifiable school is also acceptable.

All official documents can be sent to: 

University of South Carolina                                     
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
902 Sumter Street/Lieber College
Columbia, SC 29208

The test-optional policy for spring, summer and fall 2024 applies to international freshman applicants. You should decide if you want to include an ACT or SAT score for our review. We still require proof of English proficiency in our review process, depending on your country of citizenship.

Review frequently asked questions about USC's test-optional policy. 

Important Dates

Our application for freshman international students is open. International freshman applications and all credentials must be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • October 15

    Early Action Application Deadline

    Apply by Oct. 15 and have a complete application filed by Nov. 1 to get an admissions decision in mid-December.

  • November 15

    Honors College Supplement Deadline

    Apply by Nov. 15  and have a complete application filed by Dec. 1 to be considered for Top Scholars awards and the SCHC.

  • December 1

    Regular Application Deadline

    Apply by Dec. 1 and have a complete application filed by Jan. 15 to get an admissions decision by mid-March.

Application Review

International freshman admission is based primarily on a student's academic performance and english proficiency scores, if required. The admissions committee evaluates each applicant in that year's pool and selects applicants based on the following factors:

Part of our review process includes your choice of major. Some majors are more competitive than others based on student interest among the applicant pool and available capacity. That’s why we ask students to list a second-choice major. If you are unsure of your major, you can select “Undeclared” in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

The essay is your opportunity to tell us something about yourself that is not already in your application. The purpose is to get to know you better. The best essay topic is going to be the one you are most excited to write about and one that reflects on a personal experience. Make it less about the topic and more about you! 

There is one required essay on the application that is reviewed as part of our holistic admissions process. You will choose an essay prompt from the list provided in the application, regardless of application type. 

This section allows you to list and explain up to 10 extracurricular activities you’ve been involved in throughout high school. In the description, include your duties, recognitions or leadership roles. Explain the activity and your specific involvement. It’s more about quality than quantity in this section! 

After You Apply

After you submit the application, you can check your application status on your USC Admissions Portal. You can also request changes to your applicationOnce we've made a decision on your application, you will receive an email instructing you to check your portal.

USC Admissions Portal

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