International Students

USC_VKC Student Flags

USC VKC Student Flags

Healthcare Decision Analysis is a certified STEM-designated degree program by the USC Office of International Services (OIS) that qualifies eligible graduates on student visas for an optional practical training (OPT) extension.

Please review the following steps in order to submit your application to the HCDA program.

Before You Apply 


1)  Choose your intended semester

Semester Deadline
Spring 2017 October 1
Summer 2017 March 1
Fall 2017 June 1

2) Learn about USC’s English Language Requirement

3) Prepare for and take the TOEFL and GRE. [Requirements: TOEFL score= minimum 90 with no less than 20 in each section; or IELTS score= minimum 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score

4) Prepare Proof of Financial Support documentation (not required for intent to admit notification, but is required for formal admission and issuance of I-20)

5) Prepare supplemental materials:


Identify your recommenders: faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential graduate study.


This statement should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the Healthcare Decision Analysis program, your preparation for this field of study, study interests, future career plans,  and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.

Additional supplemental materials such as résumés/CVs may also be included.


Ready To Apply


How to Apply

Step 1: Online Application

Submit your application online using the USC uniCAS application system.

Any technical questions should be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions

    • Select “Create Account”.
    • Under “Add Program” tab, select the following information:
      • School: USC School of Pharmacy
      • Program Level: Master
      • Department: Healthcare Decision Analysis
      • Term: Select which semester you are applying for.
      • Delivery: On-Campus
    • Go to the “My Application” tab to fill out the Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information (optional), and Program Materials quadrants.
    • Upload a one-page personal statement; one page, single-spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins.
    • At least two letters of recommendation must accompany your application. Recommenders should submit their letters online through the USC uniCAS Application System.  The recommender will receive notification from USC so that they can submit their letter of recommendation. You are responsible for ensuring that your recommenders upload an accompanying letter of recommendation to the system.
    • NOTE: If you do not have unofficial transcripts to upload, you can override this requirement in the application system by uploading a “dummy document”. You will then be able to successfully move forward and submit your application to USC. Please email for more info. 
  • Resume/curriculum vitae (optional)
  • $90 application fee (mandatory)
    • The HCDA program does not administer the online application system and cannot comment on and/or waive the fee
    • Please direct your inquiry to the Office of Graduate Admissions
  • Please contact us if you have questions regarding GRE scores
  • Important Note:  After you submit the Graduate Admission application you will receive a 10-digit USC ID typically within 2-3 days of submitting the online application. (During peak periods it may take up to 5-7 business days of submitting the online application)  You will need to include your 10-digit USC ID with all submitted materials by mail

Step 2: Submit GRE and TOEFL or IELTS test scores

Official GRE and TOEFL scores must be sent directly by ETS to “U Southern Cal”, ETS code 4852. A program code is not necessary. Office IELTS scores can be sent through IELTS by selecting USC.

Step 3: Send official, sealed transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (with official English translations if necessary) to the address below:

USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

  • You may submit your official transcripts by either 1) asking your undergraduate and/or institution to send your transcripts directly to USC or, 2) obtaining the official transcripts in a sealed envelope from the university and send them to USC yourself
  • If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree, submit transcripts for all semesters you have completed
    • After you have completed your degree, you will need to submit your complete official transcripts
    • For faster processing, include your 10-digit USC ID with your transcripts, and send to the address listed below
    • We encourage you to submit official transcripts as soon as possible

To facilitate the review process, we encourage you to also mail official transcripts to:

USC Schaeffer Center
Healthcare Decision Analysis Program, Attn: Michelle Ton
Verna & Peter Dauterive Hall (VPD)
635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3333

IMPORTANT: Your application cannot be reviewed without official electronic test scores and official transcripts.

Step 4: Submit the Proof of Financial Support documentation and a photocopy of the first two pages of your passport.

International students recommended for admission are required to submit proof of sufficient financial support and passport verification in order to issue an I-20. While these documents are not required for your application to be reviewed, we highly recommend that you submit them as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit the USC Graduate Admission website.  Refer to the Financial Documentation in the pull-down menu.

Send your financial documents as an email attachment in PDF or JPEG format (10 MB limit) to OR as a fax to (213) 821-3725. Your 10-digit USC ID must be clearly written on all documents.


After You Apply


After your application package is complete, it is sent to a graduate committee for review. Once a decision is made, an official decision letter will be sent to you.

Note: All required application materials must be received by the respective application deadline to guarantee review for the intended semester.


Additional Information

Helpful information for international applicants is available here.

If you have any questions about the application process, application status, or any general inquiries about the program, please contact our Program Administrator, Michelle Ton at