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Graduate School

International Applicants

The University of South Carolina has a rich tradition of welcoming and supporting international applicants. In addition to your graduate school application, you may need to submit documentation related to your international status.  

Required documents

Application requirements and the possibility of exemptions to any of these requirements  are administered by our individual academic programs. If you have any questions specific to these requirements, please contact your program. You can find program requirements and contact information here.

 

Prior to Admission

Each of our programs sets its own application requirements and deadlines. If you have specific questions about the requirements, contact the program you are interested in directly. Find your program and contact information here.

Funding is administered by our individual academic programs. Please contact your program of interest directly to discuss the possibility of any assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, and other funding opportunities. Find your program and contact information here.

Yes, but we strongly recommend you focus on the program that best fits your interests and career objectives. Submitting multiple applications without carefully considering the competitiveness of each application based on your fit with each program is not a sound strategy for gaining admission to any program. If you do choose to submit multiple applications, you will be required to submit unique supporting documents for each application. We cannot transfer letters of recommendation, personal statements, resumes/CVs, writing samples, etc. from one application to another.

You may apply before we receive your scores. We will add your scores to your submitted application once we receive them. Note that it can take the testing service 10-15 days to process and send your scores to us.  Refer to the checklist associated with your application.

All international applicants are required to provide English language proficiency exam scores unless they are from a country where English is an official language, or they have earned a degree in a country where English is an official language. We do not waive the requirement based solely on language of instruction. If you earned a degree where the language of instruction was English in a country where English is not an official language, then you will be required to submit scores.

A list of exempt countries can be found here.

Our departments have the discretion to require English language proficiency exam scores regardless of your country of origin. For example, our College of Engineering and Computing requires all international applicants to provide scores. Please check with your program of interest if you have questions about this requirement.

  • TOEFL (link to site): Minimum score of 80 for internet-based tests
    • TOEFL iBT
    • TOEFL iBT Home Edition
    • TOEFL iBT Paper Edition
  • IELTS International Academic Course Type 2 (link): Minimum score of 6.5
  • PTE Academic (link): Minimum score of 53

You must submit official test scores directly from the testing service. Language test scores are valid for two years. Copies of scores are not considered official. Use the following codes for USC:

  • TOEFL: 5818
  • IELTS: No numerical code. Choose “University of South Carolina, Columbia Graduate Admissions” for electronic delivery.
  • PTE: University of South Carolina

We are allowing Duolingo scores to meet the English language proficiency requirement through the 2024-25 application/admission cycle. Our minimum required Duolingo score is 115.

Unfortunately, we are unable to troubleshoot this issue. Our application vendor, CollegeNET, can assist you or your recommender if you email them at lor_help@collegenet.com.  Please contact your program office if your program is not using the CollegeNet ApplyWeb application.

After Admission

Be sure to read your admission letter carefully. If you are conditionally admitted, you will need to meet the requirements specifically stated in your admission letter in order to register for subsequent semesters.

Admitted international students will work with International Student and Scholar Support to obtain an I-20 and to apply for the student visa at a U.S. Consulate. International Student and Scholar Support will reach out to you with further details about the financial requirements and other materials needed after you have been admitted to USC. For more information, visit the International Student and Scholar Support website.

Official transcripts must be sent to USC directly by your previous institution(s). They can be sent electronically from approved NACES-accredited transcript services (e.g. WES ICAP, Educational Perspectives, Digitary by Parchment, etc.) to gradapp@mailbox.sc.edu or physically to:

Graduate School
1705 College Street
Close-Hipp Suite 552
Columbia, SC 29208

If you are in possession of your official transcripts, they must be delivered to the Graduate School in person and in the original, sealed envelope provided by your previous institution(s). Once you arrive in Columbia, bring these to:

Graduate School
1705 College Street
Close-Hipp Suite 552
Columbia, SC 29208

Refer to your admission letter to make sure you have satisfied all conditions associated with your admission. Once any submitted documents are processed, the appropriate university office will lift the associated hold(s) on your account.

 


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