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USC Dornslife college of letters
USC Dornslife college of letters

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Published by: brooklynsnow on Jul 24, 2013
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 The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is the academic heartof the University of Southern California. The oldest, largest and most diverse of USC’s academic divisions, USC Dornsife is composed of approximately 10,000undergraduate and graduate students and nearly 800 faculty. The breadth anddepth of USC Dornsife is vast with more than 30 academic departments andprograms across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and dozensof research centers and institutes.USC Dornsife fosters the liberal arts ethos of small classes and close workingrelationships between students and faculty within the context of a great researchuniversity, where internationally recognized scholars are constantly pursuing new  ventures. Undergraduates select from more than 150 courses of study as well asexplore opportunities such as overseas studies, service-learning and internships. With more than 75 doctoral degee and master’s programs administered throughthe USC Graduate School, USC Dornsife not only trains the next generation of scholars, but also ensures that America’s research enterprise remains competitive.By immersing its students in deep scholarship and discovery-based learningopportunities, USC Dornsife prepares its graduates to become tomorrow’s lead-ers, prepared to succeed in any field or advanced degree program.
The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciencesconnects undergraduates to the local community through outreach programs such as "The Writer in theCommunity," a course developed by English profes-sors Aimee Bender and Cecilia Woloch. Students teachpoetry and fiction to elementary and middle schoolstudents in the area surrounding USC.
/ USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Steve A. Kay, Ph.D.,
 Anna H. Bing Dean’s Chair in theUSC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciencesand Professor of Biological Sciences, Neurology,Physiology and Biophysics
Dani Byrd, Ph.D.,
Vice Dean for Institutional Affairs
Steven Lamy, Ph.D.,
Vice Dean for Academic Programs
George Sanchez, Ph.D.,
Vice Dean for College Diversity and Strategic Initiatives
Donal Manahan, Ph.D.,
Vice Dean for Students
Charles McKenna, Ph.D.,
Vice Dean for NaturalSciences
Peter C. Mancall, Ph.D.,
Vice Dean for the Humanities
Wendy Wood, Ph.D.,
Vice Dean for Social Sciences
Emily Cavalcanti,
Executive Director for the Office of Communication
Neil Macready, M.S.,
Senior Associate Dean for  Advancement
Ted Budge,
Chief Financial Officer and Senior  Associate Dean
Kathleen Speer, MLS,
 Associate Dean
Jane M. Cody, Ph.D.,
Associate Dean for AcademicPrograms
Wayne Combs, M.B.A.,
 Associate Dean for  Advancement Operations
Richard Fliegel, Ph.D.,
 Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs
Susan H. Kamei, J.D.,
Associate Dean for Advancedand Professional Programs
Linda Lopez, Ph.D.,
 Associate Dean for Diversity andStrategic Initiatives
Karen Rowan-Badger, B.S.,
 Assistant Dean for  Admission
James R. McElwain, A.I.A.,
Departments and Programs
American Studies and EthnicityAnthropologyArt HistoryBiological SciencesChemistryClassicsComparative LiteratureComparative Studies in Literature and CultureEarth SciencesEast Asian Languages and CulturesEast Asian Studies CenterEconomicsEnglishEnvironmental StudiesFrench and ItalianGender StudiesGeographyGermanHealth and HumanityHistoryInterdisciplinary StudiesInternational RelationsJudaic StudiesKinesiologyLiberal StudiesLinguisticsMathematicsMiddle East StudiesNarrative StudiesNeuroscienceOcean SciencesPhilosophyPhysics and AstronomyPolitical ScienceProfessional WritingPsychologyReligionSlavic Languages and LiteraturesSociologySpanish and PortugueseSpatial Sciences Institute
Additional Programs Administered byUSC Dornsife
American Language InstituteFreshman SeminarsGeneral EducationJoint Educational ProjectLearner Centered CurriculaOverseas StudiesPostbaccalaureate Premedical ProgramResident Honors ProgramSupplemental Instruction ProgramThematic Option ProgramWriting Program
Graduate Studies in Letters, Arts andSciences
Graduate studies leading to the master’s and Ph.D. de-grees are available within most departments of the USCDornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Candi-dates for graduate degrees must complete both thedepartmental requirements listed for each degree andthe general requirements set by the Graduate School.
Undergraduate Programs
The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciencesawards the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in a number of disciplines. Each degreerequires a minimum of 128 units.
Students in the college may major in a single disciplineor combine several interests in an interdisciplinaryprogram.
Selecting a Major 
A major may be chosen because the student is espe-cially interested in a subject, because of particular abili-ties in certain areas, or because it is an especially fittingpreparation for a profession. The choice of a major maythus become part of planning for a career. But a choicein the college does not limit the student to a single ca-reer or line of work. Liberal arts majors are unusuallyadaptable; they are suitable preparations for manycareers.A student may declare a major at any time, but isexpected to record his or her major in the Office of Aca-demic Records and Registrar at or before the beginningof the junior year or completion of 64 units. This allowssufficient time to fulfill the course requirements of themajor in the student’s third and fourth years. For somemajors, however, and especially for a major in one of thenatural sciences aiming for the B.S. degree, it is advan-tageous to declare the major sooner, so the programcan be spaced over the full four years.
Changing a Major 
If, after a major has been declared, the student wishesto change to a different field (or add another field of study to the existing one), a Change of Major form mustbe filed. The form may be obtained in the Dornsife Col-lege Advising Office or the Office of Academic Recordsand Registrar in John Hubbard Hall. The form must becompleted and returned to the Office of Academic Rec-ords and Registrar. When a major is changed, the newdepartment adviser must sign the form.
Types of Majors and Major Requirements
Departmental Major (B.A. or B.S. Degree)
A departmental major for the B.A. degree consists of specified lower-division courses and, generally, not lessthan 24 or more than 32 upper-division units in a singledepartment or discipline. A greater concentration of units in a single discipline is usually required in majorsfor the B.S. degree than in majors for the B.A. degree.The specific requirements for each departmentmajor will be found in the departmental sections of thiscatalogue.
Double Major (B.A./B.A. or B.S./B.S.)
A double major consists of two majors which allow thestudent to earn the same degree, either a B.A. or B.S.degree, within the college. The student must completethe requirements for both majors and whatever othercourse work is needed to complete 128 units. Combina-tions of interdepartmental and department majors arealso possible. See page 51 for rules governing the over-lap of courses allowed for a double major.
Interdepartmental MajorsHumanities or Social Sciences Major (B.A. Degree)
A humanities or social sciences major consists of notless than 32 upper-division units within departmentsin the humanities or departments in the social sci-ences. Of the 32 required upper-division units for theinterdepartmental major, 20 are typically taken in onedepartment, and the additional 12 units are taken fromapplicable courses in the area in which the departmentof concentration is housed. See the departmental listingfor more specific requirements for the interdepartmen-tal major, including lower-division requirements.
Physical Sciences Major (B.S. Degree)
The departments of chemistry, earth sciences, andphysics and astronomy, cooperating with one another,offer a physical sciences major in the natural sciencesand mathematics. The major requires specific lower-division courses in chemistry, earth sciences, math-ematics, physics and 28 upper-division units of majorcourses in the four departments. Of the 28 requiredupper-division units, at least four units must be taken ineach of the four cooperating departments.
Undergraduate Programs /
Program Major (B.A. or B.S. Degree)
A program major consists of designated courses andnot less than 24 upper-division units chosen from thelist of courses which make up the program. The collegehas a number of special programs, many of which offermajors.Because programs are often organized around thestudy of a region or a topic, and hence are not specific toany single discipline, or because two or more disciplineshave joined to deal with a common problem, programmajors are interdisciplinary. An interdisciplinary majoroffers unusual range to students who have topical inter-ests. Specific requirements for all program majors arelisted under the program titles.
Dual Degree
A dual degree is one that has course work from twoschools or two different degree programs within thesame school which has been organized into a single pro-gram. Listings of graduate dual degrees can be found onpage 76. The student receives two diplomas.
Progressive Degree Program
A progressive degree program enables a USC DornsifeCollege of Letters, Arts and Sciences undergraduate tobegin work on a master’s degree while completing re-quirements for the bachelor’s degree. The progressivedegree may be in the same or different departments,but should be in a closely-related field of study. Stu-dents in a progressive degree program must fulfill allrequirements for both the bachelor’s degree and themaster’s degree except for the combined number of units for the two separate degrees. The master’s degreemay be awarded at the same time as, but not prior to,the bachelor’s degree. The student receives two diplo-mas. Further details about progressive degrees can befound on page 70.
Second Bachelor’s Degree
A second bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 32 units beyond the number required for the first. If thefirst bachelor’s degree was earned at USC, a minimumof 32 units for the second must be completed at USC.If the first bachelor’s degree was earned at anotherinstitution, a minimum of 64 units toward the secondmust be completed at USC. (See page 52, the policy onresidence requirement for a second bachelor’s degree.)For some degrees, more than the 32 units beyondthe first bachelor’s degree will be required because allrequirements for both degrees must be met. The stu-dent receives a separate diploma for each degree uponcompletion.The first and second bachelor’s degrees may becompleted at the same time but there is no require-ment that they be.
Substitution for Major Requirements
If a student wishes an adjustment to the major require-ments in his or her department or program, the depart-ment adviser may, with the support of the department,substitute a comparable upper-division course fora required one. Substitutions and waivers of USC ortransfer courses for upper-division requirements forprograms are to be limited to a combination of 25 per-cent. Lower-division courses cannot be substituted forupper-division requirements.
Unit Limitation
No more than 40 upper-division units in the major maybe applied to any degree under the jurisdiction of theUSC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Astudent wishing to exceed this limit must obtain theapproval of the major department and the dean of un-dergraduate programs.
The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciencesoffers a wide array of minors that can provide uniquebreadth and complement or enhance the major fieldof study. Many of the college minors themselves areinterdisciplinary and combine classes in two or morecollege departments or work in college departmentswith classes or internships in one of USC’s professionalschools.
Basic Requirement for a Degree from theUSC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
For those undergraduate students earning a degree inthe USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences,a minimum of 104 units applicable to the degree mustbe earned in college academic departments. For stu-dents graduating with a minor or a second bachelor’sdegree, this minimum is reduced to 96 units. Other ex-ceptions will be considered by the dean of undergradu-ate programs in Dornsife College.Students who are completing major degree pro-grams in a professional school, but whose degree isconferred by Dornsife College, are exempt from thispolicy.This policy also applies to transferable courses (seepage 44).
Units Required Each Semester 
The student is expected to complete about 16 unitseach semester; 18 units are generally considered to bethe maximum number in a manageable program. If thestudent wants to enroll in more than 18 units, he or shemay do so, but should consult first with the academicadviser.
Grade Point Average Requirement
A grade point average of at least C (2.0) on all unitsattempted at USC is required for undergraduate de-grees. The college requires a minimum 2.0 grade pointaverage in upper-division courses applied toward themajor. Some departments require grades of C or higherin specified courses. A grade point average of at least B(3.0) on all units attempted at USC is required for mas-ter’s degrees. A grade point average of at least B (3.0)on all units attempted at USC is required for doctoraldegrees.
Advising and Academic Services
Debra BernsteinDornsife College Advising OfficeCollege Academic Services Building,Room 120(213) 740-2534FAX: (213) 740-3664Email: cas@dornsife.usc.edu
The Dornsife College Advising Office provides a widerange of advising services and programs that inte-grate students, faculty, staff, academic disciplinesand curricula into a meaningful educational experi-ence. Academic advisers work closely with students tohelp familiarize them with the academic life of the USCDornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, chooseor change their majors and fulfill core requirements sothey can graduate in a timely manner.Academic advising is mandatory for all studentsentering the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts andSciences until they have completed 32 units at USC.Students without declared majors are required to re-ceive academic advising every semester. All students inthe USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciencesare strongly encouraged to seek individual academicadvisement at least once each semester until gradua-tion. Guidance regarding academic requirements, poli-cies and program planning is available in the DornsifeCollege Advising Office by appointment or on a walk-inbasis. Advising in major course requirements is availablewithin the department of the student’s major.The services of a college ombudsman are availableto students who have academic concerns that cannotbe adequately addressed by the usual mechanismsof consulting instructors, department chairs or otheruniversity offices. The ombudsman can be particularlyhelpful in the case of grade appeals that are complexin nature. The ombudsman functions as an intermedi-ary between the student, the faculty and other officeson campus.
Advising for Pre-law Programs
Students who are interested in going to law schoolconsult one-on-one with academic advisers in the of Dornsife College Advising Office who specialize in thisarea. Pre-law advisers assist students in crafting anundergraduate academic program designed to lead tolaw school admission and success. Pre-law students aresupported in all aspects of the law school applicationprocess, including how to write an effective personalstatement and how to request appropriate letters of recommendation.Pre-law advisers also help students target the mostappropriate law school, put students in contact withpre-law societies and notify students of relevant pre-law and law-related events. Pre-law students are alsoinvited to subscribe to an email listserv sponsored bythe Dornsife College Advising Office in order to connectwith pre-law resources.

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