Healthcare Decision Analysis is a certified STEM degree program by the USC Office of International Services (OIS), qualifying eligible graduates on student visas for an optional practical training (OPT) extension.

Preparing to Apply

1. Choose your intended semester

SpringSeptember 1
FallJune 1

2. GRE/GMAT test scores are not required

3. For international applicants, learn about USC’s English Language Requirement

  • USC accepts:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): An Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) with minimum test score 90, and 20 or above on each sub-score; or
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Online-version with minimum test score 6.5, and 6 or above on each band; or
    • PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic with mimimum test score 61, and 53 or above on each band
  • If you bachelor’s degree was earned in a non-English speaking country and you are not a United States citizen or permanent resident, you will need to submit official English language proficiency test scores.
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Test scores validity dates will be based on the application submission date. Scores must be dated within 2 years of the application date. For example, a prospective student applying to Fall 2024 who submits their USC application in December 2023 must have taken the test no earlier than December 2021.
  • In cases where an applicant defers (or updates) their application to a future term (within one year of the original application), the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE validity date will remain as the original application submission date.
  • Applicants are exempt from the English-proficiency requirement:
    • If your native language is English.
    • If you hold a bachelor’s degree completed in its entirety in the United States or another Anglophone country.
    • If you have earned a master’s or doctoral degree from a country in which English is both the language of instruction and the only official language. The degree must be fully completed by the USC application submission date.
  • If you have any questions about program requirements, please contact Michelle Ton at

4. For International students, prepare Proof of Financial Support documentation. It is not required for intent to admit notification, but is required for formal admission and issuance of I-20.

5. Prepare supplemental materials:

Personal Statement
This statement should succinctly describe:

  • Your reasons for applying to the Healthcare Decision Analysis program
  • Your preparation for this field of study
  • Study interests
  • Future career plans
  • Other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study

Letters of Recommendation
Identify your recommenders: faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential graduate study.

Additional supplemental materials such as résumés/CVs may also be included.

Ready to Apply

Online Application

Submit your application using the USC Graduate Online Application System. Any technical questions should be directed to ASK USC.

Part 1

1) Select “Create Account”

2) Under “Add Program” tab, select the following information:

  • School: USC Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Program Level: Master or Graduate Certificate
  • Department: Healthcare Decision Analysis
  • Term: Select which semester you are applying for
  • Delivery: On-Campus

3) Go to the “My Application” tab to fill out the Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information (optional), and Program Materials quadrants

4) Personal Statement

  • Upload a two-page personal statement; single-spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins
  • In the personal statement, please be sure to address why you are interested in healthcare, and why specifically the Healthcare Decision Analysis program at USC Mann

5) Letters of Recommendation

  • At least two letters of recommendation must accompany your application
  • Recommenders must submit their letters through the USC Online Application System
  • The recommender will receive notification from USC so that they can submit their letter of recommendation
  • You are responsible for ensuring that your recommenders upload an accompanying letter of recommendation to the system

6) Resume/curriculum vitae

7) No GRE/GMAT test scores required

8) $90 application fee (mandatory)

  • The HCDA program does not administer the online application system and cannot comment on and/or waive the fee
  • Please direct your inquiry to ASK USC

Please contact us if you have questions or run into issues with the application process.

Part 2

1) TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores

  • If applicable, request the testing agency send official TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores electronically to USC. Photocopies or paper copies of test scores are not acceptable.
  • USC’s ETS Institution Code is 4852 or University of Southern California
    • A program code is not necessary

2) Transcripts

We can process scanned copies of official, Registrar-issued transcripts submitted to Michelle Ton at Please use PDF or JPEG format only and ensure the file is less than 10 MB.

Mail official, sealed transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended (with official English translations if necessary) to the address below:

Michelle Ton
USC Schaeffer Center
635 Downey Way, Suite 312
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3333

  • You may submit your official transcripts by either 1) asking your undergraduate and/or institution to send your transcripts directly to our office or, 2) obtaining the official transcripts in a sealed envelope from the university and send them to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  • If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree, submit transcripts for all semesters you have completed
    • After you have completed your degree, you will need to submit your complete official transcripts
    • For faster processing, include your 10-digit USC ID with your transcripts, and send to the address listed above
    • We encourage you to submit official transcripts as soon as possible

IMPORTANT: Your application cannot be reviewed without official electronic test scores and official transcripts.

3) Submit the Proof of Financial Support documentation and a photocopy of the first two pages of your passport

International students recommended for admission are required to submit proof of sufficient financial support and passport verification in order to issue an I-20. While these documents are not required for your application to be reviewed, we highly recommend that you submit them as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit the USC Graduate Admission website.  Enter Key Word Financial Documentation in Search function.

After You Apply

After your application package is complete, it is sent to a graduate committee for review. Once a decision is made, an official notification letter will be sent to you.

Note: All required application materials must be received by the respective application deadline to guarantee review for the intended semester.

Additional Information

If you have any questions about the application process, application status, or any general inquiries about the program, please contact our program administrator for admissions:

Michelle Ton 
(213) 821-6478