USC Price School of Public Policy

Course Waivers of Work Taken Outside of USC

In some cases, students may be granted a waiver for a course requirement for a similar course taken at USC or from another institution. Outlined below are USC’s policies governing course waivers.

» Graduate Students
» Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

USC’S Policy
Students admitted to graduate degree objectives are expected to complete the degree requirements listed in the USC Catalogue. A maximum of 25% of the stated degree course requirements, exclusive of Master’s Thesis (594), Doctoral Dissertation (794)and electives, may be approved for waiver or substitution by other USC coursework, directed research or transfer coursework. Waiver or substitution of course requirements does not reduce the minimum number of unit requirements for the degree. Schools or departments may establish a lower maximum.

USC Price Policy
Except under extenuating circumstances, waivers of core courses will only be granted to students who completed and equivalent courses prior to being admitted to a graduate program in USC Price.

Process to Request Course Waivers for Graduate Students
The process to request course waivers follows these steps:

  • Students submit an official transcript to their appropriate student services advisor from the other institution which shows courses and grades received in those courses.
  • Students submit a USC Price Master’s Petition (PDF) (for master’s students), or a USC Price Doctoral Petition (PDF) (for doctoral students) to their appropriate student services advisor requesting that transfer work from the other institution be applied to their degree and that the course(s) be waived by completion of the specific USC courses and units taken at the other institution.
  • The student services advisor will process the request with Degree Progress.
  • Degree Progress will send the student services advisor and the student a report indicating which courses are eligible to be transferred into USC. This report does not indicate that these courses will be transferred to USC. That decision is up to the degree director.
  • The student services advisor will forward the student’s petition and Credit Evaluation to the appropriate degree director for approval.
  • The student is informed in writing by the student services advisor of the outcome of the decision.
  • A waiver does not reduce the number of units required to earn the degree.

For additional information, please go to the Graduate Students page in the Requirements for Graduation section of the USC Catalogue.

Undergraduate Students

The university requires that all undergraduate students successfully complete at USC all the upper division courses that are applied to their major. Substitution of a comparable upper division course for a required one may be entered in the STARS exception process by the departmental advisor with the support of the department. Substitutions and waivers of USC or transfer courses for upper division requirements for major and minor programs are to be limited to a combination of 25%. Substitution of courses with the same departmental prefix is exempted from this limit. Lower division courses cannot be substituted for upper division course requirements.

Process to Request Course Waivers for Undergraduate Students
The process to request course waivers follows these steps:

  • Students submit an official transcript to Degree Progress.
  • Degree Progress will apply appropriate courses to a student’s record.
  • To request a transfer of a course not applied to the major, students submit a USC Price Undergraduate Petition (PDF), and attach a syllabus and other supporting documents.
  • The student services advisor forwards petition to Degree Director for approval.
  • The student is informed in writing by the student services advisor.

For additional information, please go to the Undergraduate Students page in the Requirements for Graduation section of the USC Catalogue.