Cost of Attendance

The estimated cost of attendance represents average costs for one year of attendance at USC and is used to determine your financial aid eligibility. Figures are based on standard expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, food and other living expenses.

Tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state residents.

Keep in mind that your actual costs may differ. Estimated budgets for students in some programs may be higher because of longer enrollment periods, special laboratory or studio supply fees, or other additional costs incurred by all students in the program.

In addition, although your direct costs (those billed by the university, such as tuition and fees) may be fixed, you will have more control over your indirect costs (those not billed by the university), based on the lifestyle choices you make (such as choosing to use public transit instead of bringing a car).

Your estimated cost of attendance is available online via your Financial Aid Summary and Tasks (FAST) page.

In some cases, we can increase your budget to consider additional expenses. Visit Special Circumstances and Appeals for details.

*The tuition amount is based on an estimated number of units for each enrollment level. For example, for most master’s degree students, full-time enrollment is based on 10 units, and half-time enrollment is based on 6 units. Enrollment levels differ by program. If your actual tuition exceeds the amount in the estimated cost of attendance, you can request a budget increase.

**Housing and food amounts are based on the assumption that students will not maintain the same standard of living they did while employed. This may mean cutting expenses by living with roommates, preparing more meals at home or making other lifestyle adjustments.

Students enrolled in MM, DMA, and Certificate programs in the Thornton School of Music should make the following selections in the table above: 

  • Housing: On Campus 
  • School: Standard Doctoral 
  • Class Level: Doctoral 
  • Program: Doctoral 

Thornton MM and DMA students should refer to the Full-Time Doctoral Cost of Attendance.
Thornton Certificate students should refer to the Half-Time Graduate Cost of Attendance. 

Students Enrolled in Thornton’s MM in Screen Scoring, MS in Music Industry, or MS in Arts Leadership should select Standard Masters and refer to the Full Time Graduate Cost of Attendance.  

Students will also be charged a New Student Fee their first semester.

Payment Deadlines and Methods

Visit USC Student Financial Services for details.

Investing in Graduate Education

Cost is often a crucial part of the decision-making process when students choose a college or university. The information contained in the Investing in Graduate Education booklet will help you navigate the financial aid process at USC.