University of Southern California

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Advising and Academic Services

Debra Bernstein
Dornsife College Advising Office
College Academic Services Building,
Room 120
(213) 740-2534
FAX: (213) 740-3664

The Dornsife College Advising Office provides a wide range of advising services and programs that integrate students, faculty, staff, academic disciplines and curricula into a meaningful educational experience. ­Academic advisers work closely with students to help familiarize them with the academic life of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, choose or change their majors and fulfill core requirements so they can graduate in a timely manner.

Academic advising is mandatory for all students entering the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences until they have completed 32 units at USC. Students without declared majors are required to receive academic advising every semester. All students in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences are strongly encouraged to seek individual academic advisement at least once each semester until graduation. Guidance regarding academic requirements, policies and program planning is available in the Dornsife College Advising Office by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Advising in major course requirements is available within the department of the student’s major.

The services of a college ombudsman are available to students who have academic concerns that cannot be adequately addressed by the usual mechanisms of consulting instructors, department chairs or other university offices. The ombudsman can be particularly helpful in the case of grade appeals that are complex in nature. The ombudsman functions as an intermediary between the student, the faculty and other offices on campus.

Advising for Pre-law Programs

Students who are interested in going to law school consult one-on-one with academic advisers in the of Dornsife College Advising Office who specialize in this area. Pre-law advisers assist students in crafting an undergraduate academic program designed to lead to law school admission and success. Pre-law students are supported in all aspects of the law school application process, including how to write an effective personal statement and how to request appropriate letters of recommendation.

Pre-law advisers also help students target the most appropriate law school, put students in contact with pre-law societies and notify students of relevant pre-law and law-related events. Pre-law students are also invited to subscribe to an email listserv sponsored by the Dornsife College Advising Office in order to connect with pre-law resources.

Pre-graduate School Advising

The pre-graduate school adviser assists USC undergraduates and alumni interested in applying to all graduate programs other than law and medicine. The adviser helps students determine when and if they should apply to graduate school and guides students in the process of researching and choosing appro­priate schools and programs. Students can expect support in such areas as navigating the admissions process, writing statements of purpose, requesting letters of recommendation, exploring test preparation resources, and identifying and pursuing sources of funding.

Studying Abroad

The Office of Overseas Studies provides semester and year-long opportunities for students to study in other countries. Eligible students can choose between 51 academic programs in 29 countries and study for one or two semesters. The Office of Overseas Studies is located in the College House, Room 201. For more information, call (213) 740-3636, email or visit

Dornsife College also offers short-term course work abroad in several different formats. For more information, contact the associate dean at (213) 740-4949 or Overseas Studies at (213) 740-3636.