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PRE-MASTER'S PROGRAM

PREPARE. EXCEL. SUCCEED.

Gain admission to one of USC’s highly selective master’s programs and then improve your English-language proficiency, academic skills, test scores, and potential for success.
COURSE OVERVIEW

Pre-Master’s courses are designed to prepare your English and academic skills for the rigors of USC graduate coursework. You will learn how to read and critically assess academic texts, communicate effectively in writing and speech, develop a graduate-level vocabulary, and improve your GRE/GMAT test-taking strategies to help you reach your required score for your degree program.

Split into two tracks, courses are tailored to the reading and writing styles of your discipline and will introduce you to topics and content relevant to your field of study. Through a comprehensive but focused curriculum, you will become well-versed in texts and skills commonly used in your area of study.

PROGRAM BENEFITS
  • Gain admission to one of USC’s elite graduate programs prior to achieving the required TOEFL iBT/IELTS/PTE Academic or GRE/GMAT exam scores
  • Achieve your target GRE /GMAT score through world-class test preparation
  • Receive academic advising from the master’s degree program to which you are admitted
  • Acquire skills that will prepare you for success at USC

WHICH USC MASTER'S PROGRAMS OFFER ADMISSION THROUGH THE PRE-MASTER’S PROGRAM?

Over 100 top-ranked USC master’s degree programs across a wide array of disciplines offer admission to qualified international students through the Pre-Master’s Program, including Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Life Sciences, Architecture, and more.
ACADEMIC TRACKS
BUSINESS, SOCIAL SCIENCE AND ARTS SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH
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COURSES

*Denotes Core Class

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ACADEMIC ENGLISH SKILLS FOR GRADUATE STUDIES*

This content-based, integrated skills course is designed for international students who are preparing for graduate studies at USC and other universities. The goal of this course is to help students develop their ability to use English within the context of academic assignments, which require critical thinking, research, discussion and teamwork. In this class, students will critically analyze the content and structure of academic articles and content-based videos and will learn to synthesize ideas across multiple sources. Strategies for self-directed learning and self-editing will be taught to equip students with the ability to study and work independently.

GRADUATE COMMUNICATION SKILLS*

Communication Skills (CS) is a content-based, project-based course designed to help international students preparing for graduate studies to develop personal communication, classroom communication and public speaking skills. Students will build communicative and pragmatic competence in speaking during conversations, whole class and small group discussions, and presentations. Classwork and projects will provide practice for students to apply critical thinking, teamwork, and self-editing strategies. The goal of this course is to develop students as confident communicators who are able to navigate between modes of communication utilized in graduate school studies.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND GRADUATE STUDY EXPECTATIONS

The goal of this 7-week course is to teach new students about American university expectations for academic integrity and graduate level work. Students will learn how to avoid different types of academic integrity violations to include plagiarism, cheating, unauthorized collaboration, and falsifying academic records. Topics discussed for graduate level studies will include expectations for library research, information literacy, time management, communication with professors, class participation and student conduct.

AMERICAN CULTURE

In this course, students will develop their critical reading and discussion skills as they learn about American expectations and norms for business, education and family/relationships.

CAMPUS LIFE

The goal of this course is to teach students about the resources and opportunities available to get involved in campus life at USC. Topics discussed will include getting to know the USC campus, clubs and events, mental and physical health resources, campus safety and academic services.

CONVERSATIONAL GRAMMAR

This course offers students a chance to focus their attention on making appropriate responses with accurate grammar in short conversations and in-class responses. Students will practice speaking in various contexts where conversations or responses may occur quickly. Strategies for how to respond and how to monitor grammatical accuracy will be learned.

GRAMMAR IN GRADUATE WRITING

This course takes a sentence-composing approach to improving writing by using model sentences written by professional writers. Students will learn the grammatical and compositional tools authors use and apply them to various kinds of writing: paragraphs, essays, short stories, reports, and research papers.

GRE/GMAT TEST PREPARATION

Combining proven methods with the best instructors, our intensive GRE/GMAT test preparation courses offer in-depth instruction on all content categories, including effective test-taking strategies and practice exercises to help you reach your required score for your degree program.

INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

In this course, students will develop their interpersonal communication skills and awareness of the subtleties surrounding interactions between people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. An examination of topics ranging from values, beliefs, gender roles, and etiquette will be covered so that students are better equipped to manage relationships in a diverse American academic setting and beyond.

JOB READY

In this course you will practice important skills for applying to internships and jobs during your graduate studies. These skills include writing a resume, creating/updating an online employment profile, holding small talk conversations about yourself, researching job opportunities and interviewing for jobs.

LA CULTURE AND COMMUNITY

The goal of this community-focused course is to help students learn about the history, communities and locations that shape the culture of Los Angeles. Students will be encouraged to discover opportunities to learn about LA and integrate within the LA community.

PRONUNCIATION I & II

The goal of this focus skill course is to help students develop awareness of pronunciation skills and learn strategies to improve their comprehensibility. Students will develop confidence in English while speaking in both formal and informal situations through in-class fluency, speaking, and presentation activities.

PUBLIC SPEAKING I & II

In this course you will develop your ability to speak in public on a variety of different topics and in different speaking styles. You will become familiar with platform, organizational, and rhetorical skills necessary to present planned and unplanned speeches in both formal and informal contexts, such as business meetings, classroom presentations, debates, and formal social occasions.

VIEWS IN THE NEWS

This integrated skills course will focus on using current issues in the news to prompt language learning by encouraging students to critically read and discuss news stories. Students will look at a variety of news and social media sources to determine validity, bias, reliability, and other factors involved in evaluating current events, including the phenomenon of “fake news”. Students will engage in both online and in-class activities to learn the pragmatics of engaging in passionate, yet respectful, dialogue on current events during academic classroom discussions.

PROGRESSING TO YOUR USC MASTER'S DEGREE
RECEIVE GUIDANCE BY ACADEMIC ADVISERS

USC academic advisers are dedicated to helping you define your goals and realize your academic aspirations. By developing a relationship with your adviser early on, you are better positioned to maximize your potential and successfully progress through your graduate degree.

MEET EXIT REQUIREMENTS

In order to progress into your USC master’s degree program, you must maintain a B average overall with no grades less than a B in core courses, and a C in focus courses. Students must achieve the required GRE/GMAT score by your graduate program.

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PRE-MASTER'S TIMELINE:
THE PATH TO YOUR USC MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAM

Complete online application
□ Upload supporting documents
□ Submit English test scores
□ Pay application fee

Allow six to eight weeks after applying to receive an admission decision.

» If admitted, confirm.
» If denied, consider Master’s Preparation program.

APPLY AT ANY TIME

Complete online application
□ Upload supporting documents
□ Submit English test scores
□ Pay application fee

PRE-MASTER'S PROGRAM

Depending on your USC graduate degree program requirements, USC International Academy students will study one or two semesters in the Pre-Master’s Program. Students with a TOEFL iBT score of 61 or an IELTS score of 5.5 or PTE Academic score of 44 or above are welcome to apply. However, students at lower English proficiency levels may need to study additional semesters in the Pre-Master’s Program.

To determine your placement, submit an official TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or PTE Academic Test Score Report electronically by the application deadline. If you do not submit an official score, you will be required to take the USC International Academy English Placement Exam on the program start date during orientation which consists of a timed, written essay and an oral exam. A placement review of your Test Score Report or English Placement Exam will determine the number of semesters you are required to study.

MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAM

Over 100 top-ranked USC master’s degree programs across a wide array of disciplines offer admission to qualified international students through the Pre-Master’s Program, including Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Life Sciences, Architecture, and more.

 

APPLY AT ANY TIME
PRE-MASTER'S PROGRAM
MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAM

Depending on your USC graduate degree program requirements, USC International Academy students will study one or two semesters in the Pre-Master’s Program. Students with a TOEFL iBT score of 61 or an IELTS score of 5.5 or PTE Academic score of 44 or above are welcome to apply. However, students at lower English proficiency levels may need to study additional semesters in the Pre-Master’s Program.

To determine your placement, submit an official TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or PTE Academic Test Score Report electronically by the application deadline. If you do not submit an official score, you will be required to take the USC International Academy English Placement Exam on the program start date during orientation which consists of a timed, written essay and an oral exam. A placement review of your Test Score Report or English Placement Exam will determine the number of semesters you are required to study.

Over 100 top-ranked USC master’s degree programs across a wide array of disciplines offer admission to qualified international students through the Pre-Master’s Program, including Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Life Sciences, Architecture, and more.

 

IS PRE-MASTER'S RIGHT FOR YOU?

CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR ADMISSION INFORMATION INCLUDING REQUIREMENTS, DATES, COSTS, AND APPLICATION PROCEDURES