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Terms and Conditions

USC International Academy reserves the right to change prices, to cancel, to change courses and/or to amend timetables at any time prior to enrollment and to make additions or amendments to these terms and conditions.


You must be at least 17 years old to attend the USC International Academy. If you are 17 years old, you will need a parent and/or guardian to sign the application, liability waiver form, image release form and other legal documents for the USC International Academy.


There is a non-refundable application fee of $175 for all USC International Academy programs. Once all documents have been received, you will be notified of your admission status after review. If you are officially admitted and choose to accept the admission offer, you will need to pay the non-refundable enrollment deposit to secure your space in the program. Your enrollment will be processed and an admission packet with an I-20, Admission Letter and other important pre-arrival information will be mailed to you after your deposit has been received.


To secure your enrollment and to receive your I-20/admission packet in the Pre-Master’s Program, you must pay an enrollment deposit of $2500 not later than 30 days after the date of your admission decision. To secure your enrollment and to receive your I-20/admission packet in the Intensive English Program and Master’s Preparation Program, you must pay a deposit of $1000 at least 30 days before the first day of your program. These enrollment deposits are non-refundable unless your visa is denied. You will need to provide the USC International Academy with a copy of the Embassy’s visa denial letter in order to be refunded the enrollment deposit. If you apply within 30 days from the first day of your program, your application fee and enrollment deposit will be due upon admission.


You must pay the remaining balance of your tuition and service fees before the first day of your program. Payment can be made in the following ways:

  • personal check in U.S. dollars from a U.S. bank
  • cashier’s check or money order in U.S. dollars
  • Traveler’s checks in U.S. dollars
  • bank wire transfer
  • credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover)

Make checks payable to USC. When paying by check, please write your full name and USC student ID number on the bottom of the check. Students will be charged a $50 fee for returned checks. You will be charged a $100 late payment fee for each week your payment is late. If your remaining balance is not fully paid by the 2nd week of classes, you will be asked to withdraw from the program.


If you are sponsored by your government, your company and/or a non-profit agency/ institution, you must submit your financial guarantee/support letter on or before the first day of your program. If you are unable to provide us with a financial guarantee/support letter, you must be prepared to pay the full balance of your tuition and service fees on or before the first day of classes. You will NOT be allowed to start classes without some form of payment – either a financial guarantee letter or payment from personal funds.


If you are unable to begin your program on the scheduled start date, you must notify the Admissions Advisor as soon as possible. Arriving in the United States after the report date on your I-20 will cause problems when entering the country. We can fax or send a letter to you requesting that you be allowed to enter the country after the report date on the I-20. If necessary, the Admission Advisor will issue a new I-20 with a revised entry date. You must enter the country, pay the late testing fee of $100, take the level placement test, and be ready to start classes by the fifth day of the program. No refund will be made for the time missed. Periods of absence cannot be made up with a free extension of the course.


Students in Pre-Master’s Program:
Pre-Master’s Program students are reviewed for and admitted to a specific term at the USC International Academy.  In limited circumstances, deferral may be granted in specific cases related to medical issues. In most other cases, students will need to reapply (with no guarantee of admission) should they wish to attend the University in a future term.   

Students in Intensive English or Master’s Preparation Programs:
If you need to defer your admission to the following semester/session, you must notify the Admissions Advisor in writing as soon as possible. You will need to pay an enrollment deferral fee of $100 for another I-20 to be mailed to you.


All cancellations and refund requests must be submitted in writing to the Admissions Advisor. The USC International Academy application fee, housing fees and enrollment deposits are non-refundable. You may receive a refund of the tuition and service fees (less deposit paid) if you cancel in writing with the Admissions Advisor at any time before the first day of the program. You may receive a 50% refund of tuition fee only (less deposits paid) if you cancel in writing after the program start date but not later than 5pm on the fifth calendar day of your program. No refunds are available after 5 p.m. on the fifth calendar day of the program. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing.

If you withdraw before the subsequent session or semester you forfeit fees for that session or semester.

Refunds will be granted in the same form of payment and to the same person as the initial purchase. For example, if you pay via credit card, refunds will be made to the credit card number originally charged. If you pay by wire transfer, money order, traveler’s checks or cash, the funds may be refunded via check.


On the program start date, all new students are required to attend two days of orientation which will include an English Placement Exam. If you do not test during the scheduled placement test period, you will be charged a $100 late testing fee for individual placement testing. However, Pre-Master’s students can gain an exemption from the English Placement Exam by submitting an official TOEFL iBT or IELTS or PTE Academic Test Score Report by the application deadline. USC International Academy will review your Test Score Report or English Placement Exam and determine the number of semesters you are required to study.


For the Pre-Master’s and Master’s Programs, you must maintain a B average overall with no grades less than a B in core courses and/or C in focus courses to progress to the next semester/level. For the Intensive English Program, you must receive a B or higher in core courses and at least a C in focus skills course to progress to the next semester/level. If you have less than a C- grade point average at the end of the semester/session, you may be discontinued from the USC International Academy at the discretion of the Academic Director.


Students in the Intensive English Program:
Newly enrolled students may submit a Placement Reevaluation Request Form by the third day of class. Requests are reviewed carefully. Placement decisions are based on class performance, English ability, test results and teacher recommendations. Placement changes are made for language reasons only. We do not make changes to a student’s class schedule because of classroom location or preference for a different teacher. Continuing students are not eligible for a placement review.

Students in the Pre-Master’s Program and Master’s Preparation:
Students in Pre-Master’s and Master’s Preparation will move up in level by successfully completing coursework (see Program Advancement section). Students not meeting the expectations of the level may be moved down one level and/or assigned additional mandatory tutorials to ensure successful transition into your Master’s Degree Program.

Pre-Master’s students who want to change their intended major after admission must forfeit their admission in writing and will not be permitted to continue in the Pre-Master’s program. After withdrawing, students can enroll in either the Master’s Preparation or Intensive English Program or choose to formally reapply to the Pre-Master’s Program.


You are expected to attend every class every day. Students who are absent too often risk being dismissed from the school and/or having his/her SEVIS record terminated. Students who are absent more than 20% of Academy courses are not awarded a certificate of completion for the program and will not be eligible for transfer or admission into the degree program. All absences are counted, even those for reasons caused by medical, legal or family emergencies (there are no excused absences). Students with serious medical illnesses should notify the Admissions and Immigration Manager/Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) as soon as possible.


Students who successfully complete 28 weeks of full time study are eligible for vacation for one term per SEVIS regulations. Students remain on our I-20 and enroll in the next term after vacation. A $2500 non-refundable deposit will be collected to guarantee the student’s return for the stated term. Students will sign the vacation agreement with the Admissions and Immigration Advisor and pay the $2500 non-refundable deposit before leaving their current term. When the student returns, the $2500 dollars will be credited against their program/service fees for the current term. If a student remains in the U.S. and decides to transfer to another program within the 60 day grace period, the $2500 can be refunded. However, if after leaving the country, the student decides to transfer to another school or not to return to the Academy, he/she will forfeit the $2500 deposit.


You will receive textbooks for your assigned classes from your USC International Academy teachers at no additional cost.


If you are enrolled in the Master’s Preparation, you will receive extensive guidance by admission advisers dedicated to helping you define your academic goals and realize your academic aspirations. Advisers will help you with all aspects of the application and transfer process to American colleges and universities, including exam preparation and scheduling, personal statements and essays, and interview training. Your advisers will also be able to provide information about admission to partner community colleges and universities. However, please note that completion of the Master’s Preparation does NOT guarantee admission into any college and/or university.


You will receive a certificate of completion showing your highest level achieved and your dates of enrollment when you leave the USC International Academy.


You are expected to abide by the student conduct rules of the USC International Academy, USC Student Conduct Code & Policies, as well as the laws of the United States. You are expected to conduct yourself in a manner that is considerate of those around you. Inappropriate conduct includes but is not limited to disruptions to the learning environment (i.e. use of profanity, harassment); deliberate destruction, misuse, or theft of USC property or the property of fellow classmates; violence or threats of violence towards persons or property of students or USC staff; improper use of email or Internet access; and failure to comply with local copyright or criminal laws forbidding the misappropriation, copying or alteration of copyright-protected materials. If you commit a criminal offence, violate the student conduct code or school policy, such as a poor attendance record (whether or not such attendance is in breach of any visa attendance requirements), are absent for 14 consecutive days without notification, or fail to pay the remaining program and service fee amount for your program by the deadlines set forth above, you may be expelled or suspended. No refund will be given and the immigration authorities will be informed. Travel and other costs incurred as a result of expulsion must be met by you or by your guardian.


If you have a complaint about your classes, teachers, policies and/or fees, you should speak to the USC International Academy staff responsible for that area first. If the problem continues, you can speak to the Director and/or the Academic Director. If the problem is still not resolved, the student may begin formal written complaint procedures.


As a condition of your enrollment in any USC International Academy or USC program, and by submitting your signed application, you agree to discharge and hold USC and USC International Academy (including their officers, trustees, employees and agents) harmless from any and all liabilities, losses, claims, damages, fines, penalties and demands of any kind or nature, known or unknown, either in law or equity, which may arise, either directly or indirectly, as a result of your enrollment or participation as a student in one or more of USC International Academy or USC programs, including any claims for bodily injury, illness, death, or property damage that may result from your participation in such programs, whether caused by the negligence of USC International Academy, USC or otherwise. You are solely responsible for obtaining your own health insurance. To the maximum extent permitted by law, in no event will either party be responsible for any incidental damages, consequential damages, exemplary damages of any kind, lost goodwill, lost profits, lost business and/or any indirect economic damages whatsoever regardless of whether such damages arise from claims based upon contract, negligence, tort (including strict liability or other legal theory), a breach of any warranty or term of your participation in any USC International Academy or USC program, and regardless of whether a party was advised or had reason to know of the possibility of incurring such damages in advance. This release and waiver is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by the laws of the State of California.


As a condition of your enrollment in any USC International Academy or USC program, and by submitting your signed application, you agree that your participation in any USC International Academy or USC program, including your acceptance of these terms and conditions by submitting your application and enrolling in any such program, will be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of California without regard to conflict of law principles, and that you irrevocably consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of competent jurisdiction in Los Angeles County, State of California to resolve any claims, disputes or actions arising out of your participation in any USC International Academy or USC program.