Learn how to apply

USC Leonard Davis provides a wide range of degree programs and learning tracks to launch you toward your professional goals. We offer master’s degrees both on-site and in a convenient online format to fit your life. Learn how to apply below.

Undergraduate Applicants

Undergraduate admission to USC is competitive. Each year over 50,000 high school seniors from all over the country and world apply to USC. At the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, all of our undergraduate students are processed through the main university admissions department; therefore, we highly recommend directing admission and application-specific questions to your USC Admission Counselor.

Application Deadline

First-Year Application Deadline for Scholarship Consideration

December 1

First-Year Application Deadline

January 15

Learn more about undergraduate admission at USC and how to access the Common Application below.

Apply now

Progressive Degree Applicants

To apply, you need:

  • To be in your junior year (between 64-96 units)
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Make an appointment for an assessment with the gerontology student advisor
  • Choose between the Master of Science in Gerontology (MSG), the Master of Arts in Aging Services Management (MAASM), the Master of Arts in Medical Gerontology (MAMG), or the Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality (MASLH) progressive degree
  • No GRE required
Learn more

Minor Applicants

USC students interested in supplementing their USC major with a minor from the USC Leonard Davis School should make an appointment with the USC Leonard Davis School undergraduate student advisor to review the requirements. To set up an appointment please call or email us at (213) 740-5156 or ldsgero@usc.edu.

For more information on the degree course requirements for our undergraduate programs please visit the undergraduate program curriculum.

Transfer Applicants

At the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, all of our transfer applicants are processed through the university’s central undergraduate admission department. We highly recommend directing admission and application-specific questions to the USC Office of Admission.

Internal Transfers

If you are a current USC student interested in either the Human Development and Aging (Social Science or Health Science) or Lifespan Health major, please contact academic advisor Sara Robinson, at sararobi@usc.edu.

Application Deadline

Transfer Application Deadline for Scholarship and Regular Consideration

February 1

We encourage you to visit USC’s transfer website to learn more about the transfer process.

Apply now

Master’s Applicants

Review the application guidelines for your degree program before starting the online USC Graduate Admission Application. Please be sure to also complete the Gerontology Supplemental Application found in the university application. The merit-based scholarship application may also be found in the Gerontology Supplemental Application section.

Students who apply by the priority deadline will be the first group to be reviewed for admission. Once the priority deadline has passed we review applications on a rolling basis as they come in. Once all documents are submitted we will review the application for admission.

Priority Application Deadlines

Fall Start Date

March 15

Spring Start Date

October 15

Master of Nutrition Fall Start Date

January 15*

*The MS Nutrition program has a strict January 15th deadline for the fall start date.

Application Requirements

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Complete supplemental application included as part of university application
  • In your university application, you must upload your resume and statement of interest
  • 2 letters of recommendation, either uploaded in your university application or mailed separately by your recommenders
  • Official transcripts should be mailed directly to our office, or submitted electronically. Students must declare all schools on the application and submit transcripts from all institutions attended (even if it was for just one semester) after high school:

USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Office of Admission and Student Services
3715 McClintock Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191

On your university application, include your scholarship application—merit-based scholarships are available to qualified applicants. The GRE may be waived by having strong academics. If the GRE is required, you will be notified during the review process.

Statement of Interest

Your statement of interest plays an important role in helping our faculty consider your application for graduate study. The following prompt is designed to help you but is not an exhaustive list of information you should include in your statement. We recommend that your statement is within three to five pages double-spaced pages. The statement should be uploaded as part of the university application.

  • Tell us why you chose to apply to the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
  • Tell us about your experiences in gerontology
  • Describe your educational and career goals
  • Please describe your strengths and weaknesses
Additional Requirements for MS in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity Program

Prerequisite courses must be completed before starting the program.

  • For the list of prerequisite courses, please view: MSNHL Program Description
  • All prerequisite courses cannot be more than 10 years old at the time of application (the exception is the general psychology and the math)
  • All prerequisite courses must meet our minimum unit requirement in the semester system.  Courses taken on any other system, including the quarter system, must be converted to semester units.
  • Not required to complete all at USC
  • Complete the prerequisite template and upload it with your online application: Prerequisite Template

40 hours of experience with an RD

  • Summarize your experience, identify your mentor and contact information, obtain a signature for at least 40 hours, and upload it with your online application
Application Fee

The application fee is $90 and must be paid when you submit your application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Graduate degree programs are eligible for federal and private student loans. Students should determine their eligibility for federal assistance by filling out at a FAFSA form. USC’s school code is 001328. If you have any questions, please contact USC’s financial aid office at financialaid.usc.edu.

Tuition Cost

Tuition is $1,995 per unit plus fees for all students, regardless of location. This tuition rate is subject to change. Students may pay their tuition by logging into USCe.pay.

Merit-Based Scholarships

We award over $500,000 in merit-based scholarships to our graduate students each year. Students are encouraged to apply for these funds within their graduate application. If you apply for a scholarship in your application, you will be considered by the scholarship committee upon admission.

VA or GI Bill Tuition Assistance

USC’s Master’s Programs accept VA and GI Bill tuition assistance. Payment can be coordinated through USC’s Veterans Resource Center at vrc.usc.edu.

Apply now

Certificate Applicants

Review the application guidelines for your degree program before starting the online USC Graduate Admission Application. Please be sure to also complete the Gerontology Supplemental Application found in the university application. The merit-based scholarship application may also be found in the Gerontology Supplemental Application section.

Students who apply by the priority deadline will be the first group to be reviewed for admission. Once the priority deadline has passed we review applications on a rolling basis as they come in. Once all documents are submitted we will review the application for admission.

Priority Application Deadlines

Fall Start Date

March 15

Spring Start Date

October 15

We will review applications on a rolling basis after these dates. International students applying to a residential program should contact us directly for student visa deadlines.

Application Requirements

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • No GRE required
  • Complete supplemental application included as part of university application
  • In your university application, you must upload your resume and statement of interest
  • 2 letters of recommendation, either uploaded in your university application or mailed separately by your recommenders
  • On your university application, include your scholarship application—merit-based scholarships are available to qualified applicants
  • Official transcripts should be mailed directly to our office, or submitted electronically. Students must declare all schools on the application and submit transcripts from all institutions attended (even if it was for just one semester) after high school:

USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Office of Admission and Student Services
3715 McClintock Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191

Statement of Interest

Your statement of interest plays an important role in helping our faculty consider your application for graduate study. The following prompt is designed to help you but is not an exhaustive list of information you should include in your statement. We recommend that your statement is within three to five pages double-spaced pages. The statement should be uploaded as part of the university application.

  • Tell us why you chose to apply to the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
  • Tell us about your experiences in gerontology
  • Describe your educational and career goals
  • Please describe your strengths and weaknesses
Application Fee

The application fee is $90 and must be paid when you submit your application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Graduate degree programs are eligible for federal and private student loans. Students should determine their eligibility for federal assistance by filling out at a FAFSA form. USC’s school code is 001328. If you have any questions, please contact USC’s financial aid office at financialaid.usc.edu.

Tuition Cost

Tuition is $1,995 per unit plus fees for all students, regardless of location. This tuition rate is subject to change. Students may pay their tuition by logging into USCe.pay.

Merit-Based Scholarships

We award over $500,000 in merit-based scholarships to our graduate students each year. Students are encouraged to apply for these funds within their graduate application. If you apply for a scholarship in your application, you will be considered by the scholarship committee upon admission.

VA or GI Bill Tuition Assistance

USC’s Graduate Certificate in Gerontology accepts VA and GI Bill tuition assistance. Payment can be coordinated through USC’s Veterans Resource Center at vrc.usc.edu.

Apply now

Dual Degree Applicants

The process for applying to the dual degree program is exactly the same as the master’s program. However, you must apply to and be admitted to both individual programs before the dual degree can be activated. Contact the individual programs and student advisors to obtain admission requirements, since they may differ by school.

Advanced Placement Applicants

The Advanced Placement MS program allows the outstanding student who has completed a bachelor’s degree in gerontology to waive several courses in order to complete their gerontology master’s degree in 36 units rather than the 44 units for the regular program. Students who complete this program are typically able to graduate in five years with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Please contact a gerontology advisor for more information.

PhD Applicants

Review the application guidelines for your degree program before starting the online USC Graduate Admission Application. Please be sure to also complete the Gerontology Supplemental Application found in the university application. The merit-based scholarship application may also be found in the Gerontology Supplemental Application section.

Application Deadline

Deadline date

December 1

*The PhD program has a strict December 1 deadline for the fall start date.

Application Requirements

Given the difficulties with access to the GRE exam due to COVID-19, GRE scores the Fall 2021 application will be waived for the PhD Gerontology and Biology of Aging programs. Applications will be reviewed holistically.
  • 3.0 GPA Minimum
  • Complete supplemental application included as part of university application
  • Students are expected to be full-time students for the duration of the PhD program, where 50% of their time should be spent doing research and 50% should be focused on their academic studies.
  • In your university application, you must upload your resume and statement of interest
  • 3 letters of recommendation, either uploaded in your university application or mailed separately by your recommenders
  • In your university application, you may upload your writing sample or, if it is manuscript length, send it to us separately
  • Official transcripts should be mailed directly to our office, or submitted electronically. Students must declare all schools on the application and submit transcripts from all institutions attended (even if it was for just one semester) after high school:

USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Office of Admission and Student Services
3715 McClintock Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191

Statement of Interest

Your statement of interest plays an important role in helping our faculty consider your application for graduate study. The following prompt is designed to help you but is not an exhaustive list of information you should include in your statement. We recommend that your statement is within three to five pages double-spaced pages. The statement should be uploaded as part of the university application.

  • Tell us why you chose to apply to the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
  • Tell us about your experiences in gerontology
  • Describe your educational and career goals
  • Please describe your strengths and weaknesses
  • Please include and identify professors you wish to work within the program and describe why their research is aligned with your research goals
Learn more from FAQWatch an Information Session
Application Fee

The application fee is $90 and must be paid when you submit your application.

Apply now

Limited Status Enrollment

The limited status program is intended for individuals who wish to take a limited number of courses at USC without formally applying for admission to the university. Follow this link to download the form and obtain more information about policies and instructions. It is highly recommended inquirers seek advisement from a student services representative at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology before enrolling as a limited status student.

Together, we make an amazing match.

Our community of ambitious students, eminent faculty and renowned alumni is waiting for you to join us. Our advisory team is ready to answer all your questions. Let’s continue the conversation.

Contact us