Mar 08, 2021  
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 
USC Catalogue 2020-2021

American Language Institute

Return to: Office of the Provost  

PSD 106
(213) 740-0079
FAX: (213) 740-8549

Director: James Valentine, PhD

Associate Professor (Teaching): James Polk, PhD

Assistant Professors (Teaching): Lucienne Aarsen, MA; Reka Clausen, MA; Tracy Levin, PhD

Master Lecturers: Barry Griner, MA; Eric H. Roth, MA; Anastassia Tzoytzoyrakos, MA

Senior Lecturers: Kimberley Briesch-Sumner, MA; Nina Kang, EdD, MLS; Juli Ann Kirkpatrick, MA; Mary Ann Murphy, MA

Lecturer: Olivia Martinez, MA

Purpose of the Program

The American Language Institute provides instruction in English as a Second Language for international students who need or desire to improve their English language skills in order to participate successfully in their degree programs. Before beginning studies with ALI, all students must be admitted to the university in a degree program. The institute also provides student advisement.

Placement in the Program

Most international students entering USC must take the International Student English Examination (ISE Exam). The examination is offered immediately prior to the beginning of classes each semester. The purpose of this examination is to evaluate the level of a student’s proficiency in English and to determine how well prepared the student is to undertake his or her degree studies in English. On the basis of the scores achieved, students are placed at the appropriate levels of instruction or are exempted from having to receive English language instruction.

Elective Credit

Undergraduates may earn up to 12 units of credit toward their degree for ALI courses numbered 100 or above. Some departmental restrictions may apply.

Limitation on Enrollment

International students placed into ALI classes must commence their ALI course work in their first semester at USC and must register in ALI courses each fall and spring semester until their ALI requirements are satisfied. Students must successfully complete their ALI required courses within four semesters in order to remain academically eligible to pursue a degree program. Students who receive a final grade of “No Credit” more than once in any of their ALI required classes will not be allowed to continue to complete their ALI requirement.

Students not meeting the ALI requirement will not be allowed to continue at USC. The Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures will consider appeals if submitted within 10 working days of being dropped from ALI. Contact the Academic Review Department at for details.


    American Language Institute