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College of Mass Communications and Information Studies


Admission Guidelines

Admission to the School of Library and Information Science is selective and is based on the faculty's assessment of the applicant's aptitude for graduate study and potential contribution to the profession. We take a holistic approach to the admissions process. All supporting documents, along with the application, are taken into consideration before a decision is made. The admission policies apply to every applicant.

If you’re applying to one of our graduate programs, start by gathering your materials and information.

Complete the online Graduate School application.  A School of Library and Information Science supplemental application is part of the application. It has an essay requirement.  You must write your essay in response to the five statements included in the instructions.

To apply, you’ll need your official score from the GRE (the USC institution code is 5818) or MAT. International students whose native language is not English will need an official TOEFL score. IELTS is not accepted.

  • For students having taken the GRE in the last five years but before August 2011, combined verbal and quantitative scores need to be 950. Verbal score needs to be at least 500.
  • For students taking the GRE after August 2011, combined scores need to be at least 294, with a verbal score of at least 153.
  • For students, the School of Library and Information Science requires a minimum score of 4.0 on the writing portion of the GRE.
  • For students taking the MAT (must have been taken within the past five years), official scores need to be at least 410.
  • For international students, an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) report with a minimum paper-based score of 570 or minimum internet-based score of 80.

Other application requirements include:

  • Your official academic transcripts from all schools attended — whether or not you earned a degree.
  • A grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Letters should evaluate your undergraduate or graduate academic performance or your job performance. Letters from friends and relatives about your personal attributes will not be accepted. If you have questions, call the admissions coordinator at 803-777-3887 for guidance.

The application must be submitted online and requires an application fee. Your application will not be processed at the Graduate School without the $50 fee.  It is best to pay the fee online with a credit or debit card.  You must submit your application before submitting supporting documents.  Your application will not be reviewed until everything is received. It’s best to arrange for document transfers and transcripts well in advance of the application deadline.