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Privacy Policy

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USC Policy Website

The University of Southern California ("USC" or the "University") is committed to safeguarding the privacy of individuals who apply for admission. This Privacy Notice outlines the University's collection, use, and disclosure of information provided by prospective students and applicants. When you submit your application to us, or otherwise provide us with information in your application for admission, or use our websites and other services, you consent to our collection, use, and disclosure of that information as described in this Privacy Notice.

Information Collected by Graduate Admissions

As part of the application process, the University may collect information or Sensitive Information that is provided by you either directly or through a third party that you have authorized to process your application, test scores or other information (such as Law School Admission Council). For purposes of this Privacy Notice, Sensitive Information is defined as your voluntary response in the application for admission to questions concerning your race, ethnic origin, and history of criminal conviction. Sensitive Information also includes religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health data, or sexual orientation that may be volunteered by you in a personal essay or other information submitted with your application for admission.

The University will also collect information about any prior violations of law or criminal charges. The University is required to collect this information as part of its accreditation by the American Bar Association and to ensure that its students will have the ability to pass bar admission standards related to moral character in order to practice law after graduating.

As part of the application process, the University also collects general information from you such as your name, address, phone number, and educational background. For purposes of this Privacy Notice, "Information" refers to all other, non-sensitive information that you have provided to the University in your application.

University Use of Information

USC will use Information that you provide to us and Information we collect about you to administer your application. In addition, we may use your Information to analyze and improve our admissions process, for outreach efforts, and for other University processes and functions related to your admission as a student. We also might de-identify your Information and Sensitive Information to use for research or statistical purposes. We may use and share your Information and Sensitive Information internally with other University offices and units to support your success as a student if you are admitted. We will also share your Information with other University offices to deliver education, advising, residence, athletic, student development, and financial aid services, as well as for fundraising, if you are enrolled as a student of the University.

Third Parties

We may disclose your Information to third parties as follows:

Consent. We may use and disclose your Information to third parties if we have your consent to do so.

Parents and Guardians. In some cases, we may share your Information or Sensitive Information with a parent or guardian if necessary to properly complete the admissions process or in the event of an emergency.

Service Providers. We may use third parties to support our operations. In such cases, we may share your Sensitive Information and Information with such third parties who are obligated to safeguard it from unauthorized disclosure.

School Counselors and Administrators. We may use your Information and Sensitive Information and share it with your school counselors and administrators as necessary.

University Affiliated Programs. We may share your Information with third parties that are affiliated with the University for the purpose of contacting you about goods, services, or experiences that may be of interest to you.

Research and Studies. We may share your Information with third parties that study admissions or other topics related to higher education. We may also share your Information with third parties that conduct research or develop products or services designed to improve admissions and other higher education functions.

Required by Law. We may share your Information with third parties to the extent we are required to do so by law, court order, or subpoena.

Emergency Circumstances. We may share your Information with third parties if, in our sole judgment, such disclosure is necessary to protect the health, safety, or property of any person.

De-Identified and Aggregate Information. We may collect, use and disclose Sensitive Information or other Information about our applicants in de-identified or aggregate form without limitation.

Security

We seek to implement appropriate security measures to protect your Information stored on our systems. Unfortunately, no data transmission or storage can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. We use industry standard SSL (secure socket layer) encryption to protect your data. Your application account password is protected so that only you can access it and view information through your application portal. We strongly advise you not to share your password with anyone.

Retention and Destruction of your Information

Your Information will be retained by Admissions in accordance with the applicable retention periods in the University's Record Management Policy and Appendix, available at https://policy.usc.edu/record-management/. The manner of destruction shall be appropriate to preserve and ensure the confidentiality of your Information given the level of sensitivity, value and criticality to the University.

If you are located in the European Union, you may also have additional rights with respect to your Information, such as: (i) data access and portability; (ii) data correction (including the ability to update your personal data); (iii) data deletion (including the right to have USC delete your personal information, except information we are required to retain, by contacting us); and (iv) withdrawal of consent or objection to processing (including, in limited circumstances, the right to ask USC to stop processing your personal data, with some exceptions, by contacting us). You may also be able to file a complaint with the appropriate supervisory authority in the European Union.

Updates to this Policy

We may update or change this policy at any time. Your continued use of this site after any such change indicates your acceptance of such changes.

USC General Practices Privacy Notice

University of Southern California ("USC") is committed to delivering information services that recognize and respect users' privacy concerns. This Privacy Notice is intended to inform you of our general policies and practices regarding our collection, use, and disclosure of the information that you submit to us and that we collect from you during your use of the www.usc.edu website.

The types of information we collect may vary depending on the specific USC site you visit or application you use. Accordingly, this Privacy Notice is intended to be a general statement and may be supplemented by more specific privacy notices that pertain to personal information exclusively associated with a specific department, unit or function.

Our Information Collection and Use Practices

Information you submit voluntarily through our websites, such as your name, email, or other contact information, may be collected by USC to respond to your inquiries, as well as for internal marketing and development purposes.

USC websites may use online data entry forms to collect personally identifiable information, including your name and contact information (email, address, telephone number) and other identifiers in order to allow you to provide website feedback, register for events, or use USC's online applications and services.

We may reveal personally identifiable information about you to unaffiliated third parties:

  • if you request or authorize it;
  • if the information is provided to help complete a transaction for you;
  • if the information is provided to comply with the law, applicable regulations, governmental and quasi-governmental requests, court orders or subpoenas, to enforce our Terms of Use or other agreements, or to protect our rights, property or safety or the rights, property or safety of our users or others (e.g., to a consumer reporting agency for fraud protection etc.);
  • if the information is provided to our agents, outside vendors or service providers to perform functions on our behalf (e.g., analyzing data, providing marketing assistance, providing customer service, processing orders, etc.); or
  • as otherwise described in this Privacy Notice or in a more specific privacy notice associated with a particular department, unit or function.

We may share information that does not personally identify you without restriction.

USC will not sell any personal information to third parties for their use in direct marketing, advertising, or promoting their products or services.

Cookies and Website Analytics

We use cookies and similar technology to collect aggregate (non-personal) information about website usage by all of our visitors and to help us remember you and your preferences when you revisit the websites. These cookies may stay on your browser into the future until they expire or you delete them. We also use technology to remember you the next time you log in. Some of these cookies are erased when you close your browser window and some persist for a period of time. Further general information about cookies and how they work is available at www.allaboutcookies.org. You can decline cookies by adjusting your browser settings but some features of the websites may not function.

We may allow selected third parties to place cookies through the website to provide us with better insights into the use of the website or user demographics or to provide relevant advertising to you. These third parties may collect information about a user's online activities over time and across different websites when he or she uses our website.

Many USC.edu websites use Google Analytics (or other similar web analytics tools) to collect information about visitor traffic and behavior. This allows us to identify usage trends and to improve the performance and content of our websites.

We do not use this tool to collect or store your personal information, and it cannot be used to identify who you are.

You can use the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-on to disable tracking by Google Analytics.

We currently do not use technology that responds to do-not-track signals from your browser.

Access and Choice

You can choose not to receive certain emails from us by "unsubscribing" using the instructions in any email you receive from us. This will not stop us from sending emails about your account or education with us.

Updates to Privacy Notice

USC reserves the right to modify this privacy notice at any time. We encourage visitors to frequently check this page for any changes to this Privacy Notice. If we make changes, we will post an updated effective date below. Your continued use of this site after any change in this Privacy Policy will constitute your acceptance of such change.

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