P-M
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
WHICH USC MASTER'S PROGRAMS OFFER
CONDITIONAL ADMISSION THROUGH THE
PRE-MASTER’S PROGRAM?
Nearly 100 top-ranked USC master’s degree programs across a wide array of disciplines offer conditional 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
COURSES
CLICK BOXES FOR MORE INFO

ACADEMIC WRITING FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL I

Students gain ability and confidence in all aspects of the academic writing process, including: awareness of audience, critical thinking, brainstorming, outlining, thesis, drafting, organization and development, use of sources and citations, and revision. Various genres and viewpoints are addressed, as students improve clarity and accuracy by responding to graduate-level questions.

ACADEMIC WRITING FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL II

Students develop the tools for writing in-depth research papers, synthesizing information from a variety of sources and perspectives to state logical conclusions. Emphasis is on analysis, critique, and assessment. Students must correctly cite sources and demonstrate understanding of the importance of avoiding plagiarism. Topics are aligned to students’ fields of study whenever possible.

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.

GRADUATE COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Graduate students must understand lectures and classroom exchanges with ease and express themselves spontaneously. This course focuses on: explaining, summarizing information, expressing critical thought, negotiating, stating opinions, and speaking persuasively. Precise speaking is practiced in presentations and interaction. Assignments are linked to students’ fields of study.

ACADEMIC LISTENING AND SPEAKING

Students learn strategies and skills for listening and note-taking in academic lectures. Communication skills are strengthened by engaging in classroom debates, initiating and participating in discussions, and asking and answering questions using academic vocabulary and U.S. classroom style. Students receive guidance in delivering presentations with effective visual aids.

ACADEMIC READING AND VOCABULARY BUILDING I

Students improve general and academic reading skills through development of fluency and vocabulary. Students learn to use cues and clues from sentence structures, word forms, and affixation to increase critical-reading ability and comprehension. Assignments strengthen skills in analyzing and synthesizing material, recognizing rhetorical strategies, and inferring stance and tone.

ACADEMIC READING AND VOCABULARY BUILDING II

Reading speed and capacity are increased by extensive reading and practice in determining an author’s purpose, view, and tone, and by employing inference and prediction while skimming to identify main and secondary ideas. Students develop an active academic vocabulary, become familiar with genres such as literature reviews, research studies, and policy papers, and gain skills for reading long texts. Exposure to idiomatic and colloquial references increases proficiency and confidence.

RESEARCH METHODS FOR GRADUATE STUDY

Research skills are developed with an emphasis on planning, organization, and clarity. Using a theoretical framework, students learn to search reference materials, use library and online database resources, evaluate and utilize sources, and correctly use appropriate styles of documentation. Note-taking practices that serve to prevent accidental plagiarism are taught and practiced.

PURSUING YOUR GRADUATE SCHOOL EDUCATION

Students will explore their degree program of study, write Statements of Purpose, and gain familiarity with college catalogs and course syllabi. The course provides time for students to meet with professors and professionals from their field.

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

USC faculty 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

To gain full admission from your USC master's degree program, you must maintain at least a “B” average with no grades lower than a “C” in your Pre-Master's courses, successfully complete the GRE/GMAT test preparation courses AND achieve at least the minimum qualifying GRE/GMAT score required by your graduate program.

P-M
PRE-MASTER'S TIMELINE:
THE PATH TO YOUR USC MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAM
  • Complete online application
  • Upload supporting documents
  • Pay application fee
  • Submit English test scores* (if applicable)
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
PRE-MASTER'S PROGRAM
MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAM
Depending on your English level, you will study in the Pre-Master’s Program for one or two semesters.
Nearly 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.
* If you haven’t taken the TOEFL/IELTS, we will schedule the Academy English Proficiency Exam for you at one of USC’s international offices.
IS PRE-MASTER'S RIGHT FOR YOU?
CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR ADMISSION INFORMATION INCLUDING
REQUIREMENTS, DATES, COSTS, AND APPLICATION PROCEDURES