Is USC Orientation Online?

All USC Summer Orientation events are online. Email invitations will be sent on a rolling basis to students by major. Students admitted for the spring semester will receive an update on Winter Orientation later in the summer.

Is Orientation mandatory?

All new students are expected to participate in the Online Orientation Experience. Your participation will ensure that you are able to register for your first semester of courses. You will also receive information and resources integral to your success as a student at USC.

If I attended admitted student events, should I still come to Orientation?

Yes. Orientation is different from admitted student events because it is designed to prepare you for your first semester at USC. You will (virtually) meet orientation advisors, academic advisors, campus staff members and your fellow new students. Most importantly, you will register for your first-semester courses.

When is Orientation? How long is it?

The Online Orientation Experience begins in June for freshmen and July for transfer students, and it continues with online events and information sessions throughout the summer. Spring-admitted students will receive Winter Orientation details later in the summer.

When can I reserve a spot for my Online Orientation Experience?

Students will receive email invitations to reserve a Permit to Register on a rolling basis, depending on major and whether they are first-year or transfer students. Your Permit to Register time is when you will register for first-semester courses.

After you reserve your Permit to Register and add up to four guests to the reservation, you and your guests are considered registered for the entire Online Orientation Experience.

The reservation system for Permits to Register is open Monday to Friday, excluding holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

When does registration take place?

For fall freshmen, the registration process will take place in June. For fall transfer students,  registration will take place in July–August.  Students admitted to the spring semester will receive information about Winter Orientation events later in the summer.

I deferred my admission from a previous semester. Do I need to participate in the Online Orientation Experience?

If you did not attend Orientation prior to your deferral, you should participate in Orientation in order to receive first-semester advising and register for your courses.

If your deferral was for one semester and you attended Orientation prior to your deferral, you do not need to attend online Orientation events or complete the Pre-Registration Checklist. Please work directly with your academic advisor to complete your first-semester advising. You may register for your courses at the date and time stated in your Permit to Register. However, you are welcome to attend online Orientation events if you would like.

If your deferral was for two (or more) semesters, we strongly recommend you participate in the Online Orientation Experience, even if you attended an Orientation event prior to your deferral.

Below are several questions that were submitted by participants of the Guest Welcome Webinar. The freshman and transfer webinar videos are also available for your convenience.

Remember to review Orientation’s Parent Handbook for more detailed information about your role as the support team for your student. More detailed information and answers to the questions below can also be found in the handbook.


You will receive information directly from Housing as soon as it is available. As of June 25, we don’t yet have an update with specifics on what Housing will look like in the fall, but check USC COVID-19 Resource Center in the coming days for updates.

Health Center:

Does USC have a health insurance plan for students?
Information is available on the USC Student Health website.

My student has a medical plan under my insurance. Do we still need to purchase medical insurance from USC?
Please refer to the USC Student Health website to find out if your current plan is sufficient for your student.

Can students use the Student Health Center if they are using their own insurance, not USC health insurance?
Yes, the Student Health Fee is separate from insurance and is exactly for this purpose.

Do you offer dental only if students have California medical coverage under their parents?
See the USC Student Health website for more information about Dental Insurance.

Can my student use the Student Health Center for ongoing prescriptions?
USC has pharmacies for prescriptions. Visit the USC Pharmacies website for more information.


What is the difference between Orientation and the Permit to Register?
Once students sign up for a Permit to Register, they are considered to be signed up for the entire Orientation experience. Students’ Permit to Register is when they will actually register for courses. However, students are able to make changes to their schedule for the remainder of the summer and through the first three weeks of courses.

When does class registration begin?
Students register for classes during their specific Permit to Register time. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Is there a disadvantage to having your registration appointment later in the month as opposed to earlier in the month?
There will be seats open in courses during every Permit to Register window.

When can students meet one-on-one with an advisor for student-specific Q&A?
During the summer, each individual department determines when students may meet with advisors. Once the fall semester has begun, all students will have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one appointment with their advisor.

Should my student speak with an academic advisor prior to their Permit to Register session, or is that a part of the Permit to Register session?
Your student will speak to an advisor prior to their Permit to Register. Have your student check out the Pre-Registration Checklist on Blackboard for more information.

Where do students find course requirements for each major?
Students have that information in their Pre-Registration Checklist on Blackboard. Parents and guests are welcome to look at department websites, but all students must follow the Blackboard Checklist to ensure they have the details specific for Orientation.

How do students register for certain classes before they’ve received their AP scores? Should they just guess?
Their advisor will help them with that.

Is it possible for my student to enroll in five courses?
Students must submit a request to their department to enroll in more than 18 units. Departments may choose whether or not to approve the request.

How much time should students leave open between classes?
Classes generally end 10 minutes before the hour. That leaves a 10-minute window for students to make it to their next class, which is usually sufficient. Your student can also check the USC interactive map to find out where various buildings are on campus. This is also a great question for your student to ask an Orientation Advisor.

After my student registers for courses, is it possible to change their schedule before classes begin?
Yes, your student’s Permit to Register is open and they will be able to make changes classes for the remainder of the summer and through the first three weeks of classes in the fall.

Will the majority of first-year classes be in-person, online, or both?
USC is still working out the format of all the various first-year classes.

Will there be an option for students to choose an online-only format this fall?
Yes, there will be. We will post details as soon as they become available.

If I want my student to defer enrollment for a semester, what is the guarantee of a seat?
All questions about deferral must be directed to the Admission Office.

Do students have to register for courses before participating in Trojan 101?
Students are able to participate in Trojan 101 before or after their registration time.


When can my student can sign up for student clubs and organizations?
During the Welcome Experience after move-in. More details will be available for your student in

If classes are online, how will students meet one another on campus?
The university community will be planning all types of opportunities throughout the semester for students to meet one another and develop friendships and support systems on campus.

Parent Resources:

Will the handbook be mailed to parents? Is it available now?
The Parent Handbook won’t be mailed out, but it is available now and posted on the Orientation website.

Will the date for family weekend change?
Currently there are no plans to change the date for Family Weekend. Any updates will be posted on the Trojan Family Weekend website.

What is Project Restart?
Project Restart is our campus-wide plan to resume on-campus living, learning and working. The details can be found in USC’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

Is there a parent portal?
Parent resources are available at


What is the parking situation at USC? Is there public transportation to go to downtown Los Angeles from USC?
Please see the USC Transportation website, which will provide updated information about parking in July. This website also outlines various options for students to get anywhere they need to go.


What campus safety measures are in place?
Campus safety is always a priority for our USC Community. The USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) will have information sessions, which are included in the “Student Services” portion of the Online Orientation Experience. You may also visit to the DPS website for more information and to view the DPS safety video.

Is there a shuttle to take from airport to campus?
There is not a USC shuttle to or from the airport. Students should arrange their own transportation.


Is it true that there are no more credit card payments?
Effective July 1, 2020, credit and debit cards will no longer be accepted for payment of tuition, fees or other charges associated with student accounts. Please see our Updated Policy on Credit Card Payments for more information.

Can I pay fees for all four years in advance?
Information about prepayment is available on the Student Financial Service website.

When should my student apply for a student loan?
See the USC Financial Aid website for information.

UPDATE: Settling Fee bill.
Per university policy, the deadline to settle fees is the Friday before the first day of courses. For fall 2020, the university will maintain the original start date to settle bills, which means tuition and fees must be settled Friday, August 21. Refer to the Student Financial Services Website for details on how to pay your fee bill.

Access to your student’s grades:

Is there a way for me to access my student’s grade report or transcript whenever I want?
Yes, if your student grants you permission online through the Online Academic Student Information System (OASIS) for guests.

International Students:

We recommend referring to the Office of International Services website for up-to-date details on travel to the university.