Requirements & Application

Progressive DegreeThe Progressive Degree program enables superior USC undergraduates to begin work on a master’s degree while completing requirements for the bachelor’s degree. You should begin investigating potential progressive degrees at the start of your junior year by consulting with graduate departments which offer master’s programs associated with your undergraduate major. Once you have found a complementary master’s program to pursue, you can begin to make your progressive degree plan with your undergraduate and graduate academic advisors. You will need to meet the following requirements to earn both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees:

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA at time of application
  • Submit application as a Junior (this means you have completed at least 64 total units of undergraduate course work, but have not exceeded 96 total units, excluding AP, IB, or transfer units earned prior to graduation from high school).
  • Complete and submit Application for Admission to a Progressive Master’s Program, including:
    • Application form
    • STARS report
    • Two letters of recommendation from USC faculty
    • Proposed Course Plan – the course plan must include all remaining undergraduate course requirements and at least two-thirds of the graduate program requirements
    • You are not required to submit GRE or GMAT scores!
  • Obtain approval signatures for the application and proposed course plan from:
    • Undergraduate program department chair
    • Undergraduate program dean
    • Master’s program department chair
    • Master’s program dean
  • Complete all degree requirements for both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree with a minimum two-thirds of the units required for the master’s degree at or above the 500 level
  • Complete both degree programs within 12 semesters (6 years)

The approved application and course plan will be submitted to Degree Progress by the master’s program department and added to your academic records. Once admitted to the master’s program, all you need to do is follow your approved course plan!

Progressive DegreeAs a progressive degree program student, you will be subject to undergraduate academic progress standards while in undergraduate status and master’s academic progress while in graduate status. In most cases, you will be classified as an undergraduate student for the first eight semesters of college enrollment. In the ninth semester (start of fifth year), you will be changed to graduate status.

While classified as a graduate student, you will be charged the graduate tuition rate appropriate for the master’s degree you are pursuing, and your enrollment status (full-time, part-time) will be determined by graduate standards.

If you receive a research assistant or teaching assistant award before completing eight semesters, you will be changed to graduate status.

The bachelor’s degree may be awarded separately, but the master’s degree will not be awarded before the undergraduate degree.

Ready to apply? Download the application and proposed course plan forms.