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Second Bachelor's Degree

Yes, USC Accepts Second Bachelor’s Candidates

We often get a number of questions from recent graduates or working professionals wanting to return to school to study engineering.

Second bachelor’s degree applicants are considered transfer students and, if accepted, must fulfill all of the core requirements of their new major, along with any mandatory General Education requirements not fulfilled during their first degree. Students are required to complete 64 units (roughly two years), applicable to their degree, in residence at USC.

Requirements & Transferable Coursework

Admission Requirements for 2nd Bachelor’s Applicants

  • Calculus II
  • Two Semesters of a lab based science** (Biology, Chemistry, and/or Calculus-Based Physics)

These requirements are not meant to be stopping points. Often, taking more math and science courses can make you a more competitive candidate for admission. Enroll in these classes at your local community college to build your foundation for an engineering education.

Be sure to check out our transfer plans to see which math, science and GE courses you can take that will count toward your major.

**Computer science students may also take programming courses instead of, or in addition to, lab-based science courses before applying to transfer to USC. While programming courses very rarely transfer for course-equivalent credit at USC, they can be good preparation for placement exams. If a student does well enough on a placement exam for a particular course, the student may be able to waive that course requirement. Please visit the section on programming courses for more information.

Finding Transferable Courses from Your School

  • Articulation Histories
    If you will attend a community college or a four-year institution that is not listed in the articulation agreement database (e.g. out-of-state schools and in-state four-year institutions), you should review the USC Articulation Histories website for transferable courses. There is no guarantee the courses listed in the Articulation Histories will transfer, but it is the best guide.

Be sure to review our transfer admission page for more information about the transfer process.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree from USC and are interested in a second bachelor’s, please contact

How to Apply

Second Bachelor’s Candidates are considered transfer students.  To apply, simply follow the transfer application process outlined here.
  • The Application Deadline for Fall is February 15th. Submit the Transfer Common Application by this date to be considered for admission.
  • Note: only applications for the fall semester are accepted. There is no application process for spring admission.

Second Bachelor’s FAQs

Below are answers to Second Bachelor’s FAQs. Second bachelor’s students are considered transfer students and you may want to review additional FAQs on the Transfer FAQs page.

Are Second Bachelor's candidates eligible for financial aid?

Students pursuing their second bachelor’s degree are ineligible for most financial aid programs but may be able to borrow a Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan and a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Students who meet all financial aid application deadlines may also be considered for the Federal Work-Study and Federal Perkins Loan programs.

I just want to take a few engineering classes. Is a second bachelor's degree right for me?

No.  Students who enroll at USC plan to complete the entire degree program enrolling as full-time students over a minimum of two years.

If you’re interested in just taking a few courses related to engineering you may want to look into extension programs or continuing education programs.

How many years will I have left at USC after I transfer?

It depends. All transfer students (including 2nd bach candidates) must complete 64 units (2 years) at USC.  But you may have more units to complete based on the number of transferable courses you have under your belt.

Can second bachelor's students complete the degree online?

No – none of our undergraduate degrees are offered online.

I completed all the General Education/Core classes required for my first degree. Do I really have to satisfy USC's GE's?

Yes, in order to earn a second degree from USC students are required to satisfy USC’s GEs. USC has a distinct GE pattern and it’s possible that the GEs courses you took at your previous school do not align with USC’s. You can check the articulation history between your previous school and USC to determine if you have satisfied USC’s GE Pattern.

For students who started college before fall 2015: You must follow USC’s Roman Numeral GE System.

Transfer/2nd Bachelor students who started college before fall 2015 can satisfy the following Roman Numeral GEs prior to transfer: GE Category I, II, IV* and V.

  • Category IV is satisfied by taking an additional course from Category I or II.
  • Category VI must be taken at USC
  • Completion of USC’s GEs is not an admission requirement – but they are a graduation requirement. Any GEs that are not satisfied prior to transfer must be taken at USC.

When can I submit my application?

USC only accepts undergraduate applications for the fall semester.

Second bachelor’s students are considered transfer students and follow the transfer application process outlined here.

Attend a Transfer Session

If you have read through the Second Bachelor’s Candidate Page and the Transfer Admission Page, it may be in your best interest to attend an upcoming virtual transfer admission and advisement session hosted by a USC Viterbi Admission Counselor. This live virtual session will go over all the transfer requirements, provide course recommendations and advisement, and answer any lingering questions you may have. (Please note this is not an individual, one-on-one session.)


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