The Master of Education in School Counseling online (SC online) program starts three times throughout the year: Spring (January), Summer (May) and Fall (August). Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, and we are happy to help you throughout the application process so that you can be considered for your preferred start date.

Start Dates




Application Deadlines

May 2024

Early Action Deadline
February 2, 2024
Priority Submit Deadline*
February 16, 2024
Final Submit Deadline
February 26, 2024

*Please note that if you have attended any institution outside of the US, it is strongly recommended that you submit all materials by the Priority Deadline.

Why Apply Early?

Applying before the final deadline gives you an earlier admission decision and the benefit of more time to prepare for your future, including identifying financial aid resources, scholarships and student loans.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but we encourage you to apply early. If you apply by the Early Action Deadline, you will be eligible to receive an application fee waiver. If you apply by the Priority Submit Deadline, your application fee will be reduced from $90 to $50.

Application Requirements

The USC Rossier School of Education maintains the same high admission criteria for our online programs as for our on-campus programs. We seek candidates whose academic background, professional goals, personal commitment and communication skills meet the demands of a rigorous graduate education program. To be eligible for the Master of Education in School Counseling online program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree or its recognized equivalent from a regionally accredited institution
  • The ability to communicate effectively (both written and verbal) as demonstrated by academic performance and/or professional experience
  • A Statement of Purpose that clearly indicates professional career goals and reasons for seeking the degree
  • Two short-answer responses
  • There is no minimum GPA required to apply to USC Rossier programs, but competitive applicants typically have a GPA of 3.0 or above. GPA is one of many elements evaluated in the admission committee’s comprehensive evaluation of candidates. We use a holistic review process whereby academic preparation, professional work experience, personal achievement and commitment to the USC Rossier mission are each considered. No single attribute or characteristic guarantees admission to USC Rossier.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

USC Rossier welcomes international applicants. If your prior study was completed outside of the United States, you must have earned the equivalent of a United States bachelor’s degree to be eligible for admission. View the international application requirements based on your country of study

International students whose native language is not English and who have completed their undergraduate work outside of the United States are required to demonstrate proficiency in English as part of the application process. USC does not waive the English proficiency requirement for graduate degree(s) earned in the United States or other qualifying countries; requirements are based on the completion of undergraduate studies. For more information on English proficiency requirements, English-language test waivers and other alternate accepted exams, please visit the USC Graduate Admission English-Language Proficiency page.

Note: if you have attended any institution outside of the United States, it is strongly recommended that you submit all materials by the priority deadline.

Note regarding international students: To complete PPS-SC credential requirements, you must obtain a Social Security number (SSN) from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Contact the Office of International Services for assistance.

Online Application

The online application includes questions about your personal, academic and professional background. To be considered for admission, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, or the recognized international equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. While the Admission Committee looks for candidates whose academic background demonstrates the capability to succeed in a rigorous graduate program, prior coursework in education is not required.

Personal Essays

The application includes a statement of purpose, which allows the Admission Committee to gain a deeper understanding of your past experiences and professional goals. Applicants will also complete two short answer questions. In addition to providing information about your background, the essays allow you to demonstrate the written communication skills that are critical for success in the program.

Employment Information

You will be asked to provide information about past employment and upload your most current resume or curriculum vitae (CV).

Letters of Recommendation

USC Rossier requires two letters of recommendation to complete the application. Letters should come from supervisors and/or former instructors or faculty who can comment on significant contributions you have made in your workplace, your leadership skills as well as your commitment to life-long learning and your ability to perform well in master’s-level coursework.

  • Recommendation letters must be typed on official letterhead from the organization with a signature. If the recommender is not able to obtain company letterhead, this must be noted somewhere in the letter.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure all recommendation letters are submitted in the proper format prior to the appropriate deadline. Letters uploaded in the incorrect format without explanation are subject to further review.
  • Recommendations letters should be submitted by recommenders by the application deadline, but they are not required to be submitted at the time you submit your application.

Please note: recommendation letters are program-specific and cannot be used to apply to additional programs.


Many schools issue transcripts electronically, either through their own web services or through vendors. If this option is available through the institutions you attended, please specify that your encrypted transcript(s) be sent to This will expedite the delivery of your transcript(s) and the completion of your application.

Sealed, official academic transcripts must be sent directly from all postsecondary institutions you attended, including any community college coursework. Please send all transcripts to:

University of Southern California (USC)
Application Processing Center
USC Rossier
PO Box 30096 024-003
College Station, TX 77842

Please note: To be considered an official transcript, the transcript must be sent directly from your institution(s) or through an electronic transcript vendor retained by that institution. Transcripts submitted by enrolled or prospective students are considered unofficial documents, even if they are in a sealed envelope provided to you by the issuing university.

You will be asked to provide written authorization giving your consent to release your academic records, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Basic Skills Requirement

In order to enroll at USC Rossier (including registering for classes), you are required to submit official documentation that you have satisfied the basic skills requirement. Note: For the summer 2022 cohort, if you plan to use the CBEST to satisfy the basic skills requirement, you will have until the end of the SC online program to take and pass the exam. However, we strongly encourage you to continue working towards satisfying the basic skills requirement as soon as possible, by way of the CBEST or another approved option. Reach out to the admission team for more information.

There are a number of ways to satisfy the basic skills requirement. For details on these options, visit the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) website.

  • Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
  • Official SAT test score of 500 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section combined with a score of 550 or higher on the SAT mathematics exam 1
  • Proof of an official ACT score of 22 or higher on the English exam combined with a score of 23 or higher on the Mathematics exam
  • An official College Board Advanced Placement (AP) English exam and an AP Calculus or AP Statistics exam with a score of 3 or higher
  • Pass a CTC-approved basic skills examination from another state
  • Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations
  • A combination of qualifying college-level coursework and any qualifying exam

Application Fee

The USC application fee is $90.

Supplemental Documents

You may be required to submit additional items to aid our faculty in reviewing your application. These documents verify your graduation date, current enrollment or education history (such as study abroad or credits earned from multiple institutions). These items may include enrollment verifications, degree conferral letters, transfer credit explanations or study abroad explanations.

Your Admission Counselor will work with you to determine which, if any, supplemental documents you should include with your application. You can submit those materials to

Confidentiality and Document Submission Policy

Transcripts and all other materials submitted for admission consideration become the property of USC. The university does not return or duplicate materials for any reason whatsoever. The information and materials in your submitted application are made available only to the central Office of Admission and the admission committee of the academic department or professional school to which you have applied.

Virtual Tours

USC Rossier offers virtual tours of the online classroom experience. To schedule one or to learn more about other virtual engagement opportunities, please contact an an Admissions Counselor at 1-888-628-1872.