University of Southern California

Academic Policies


New Student Orientation

Orientation Programs are available for all new USC students. The university strongly recommends that all students attend an Orientation Program to assist in a smooth transition to USC life. There are programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

For undergraduate students there are on-campus programs, as well as three sessions in June for international students who live in and around the cities of Beijing, Hong Kong or Shanghai. All international students are required to attend an on-campus international student orientation, which is offered prior to the beginning of each semester. More details can be found on the Orientation Website at

Graduate students are offered a centralized Graduate Orientation Program in August. Many academic departments and professional schools offer additional orientation sessions for their specific departments. Visit the Orientation Website at for a list of department and professional school sessions. Sessions are also available for graduate assistants through the Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET). For information about CET’s programs, see Special Study Options or visit Email to subscribe to the Friends of CET weekly updates.

Program descriptions and session dates are mailed to newly admitted students in their Welcome Packet and can be accessed online at During Orientation, students will learn about the resources available on campus and meet with academic advisers to plan their first-semester schedule.

Parents and family members are invited to attend Orientation with their student to become acquainted with the university. There is an additional charge for parents and family members to attend Orientation. Prices can be accessed online at

All students entering USC for the first time will be assessed a New Student Orientation Fee that will appear on the fee bill. This is a one-time fee assessed for all services available on campus, internationally and online. Fee details can be found on the orientation Website at