COVID-19 Admission Updates

Last updated 1/21/21

As we all grapple with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re taking steps to protect the health and safety of our enrolled and prospective students and their families, as well as our staff. We’ll be updating this page as we monitor developments and recommendations from public health authorities.

On October 8, 2020 the university determined that classes will be primarily remote for the spring 2021 semester. We will continue to align our decision-making with the current guidelines provided by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. We hope the spring semester will serve as a bridge to reopening in fall 2021 when we anticipate the release of a safe and widely available vaccine.

On January 13, 2021, the university determined our plans to return to in-person instruction for the fall 2021 semester. If the situation with COVID-19, including vaccines, changes, or if public health guidance requires a change to our fall plans, we will quickly adjust. We are committed to communicating our plans as early as possible to all members of our community.

Virtual visits for prospective students

We’re excited to meet you online and answer your questions. We’ve got information sessions, events, and multiple ways for you to connect with current USF students. Hope to see you there!


Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 Admission

We recognize that students around the world have experienced many challenges and uncertainties this year. Below are some of the adjustments we’re making, and you can also learn more about what we look for.

  • Deadline extension for fall 2021: We've heard from many students that they'd appreciate more time to submit their application to USF for fall 2021 admission. Therefore, we're extending the application deadline until Monday, February 1 at 11:59 p.m. your time.
  • Standardized testing: Since 2019, we have been a test optional university, so you won’t need test scores to apply.
  • Letters of recommendation: For students applying to the spring 2021 or fall 2021 terms, we will not require a letter of recommendation. You can still submit one if you choose, but we will consider all applications equally.
  • Transcripts: For students applying to the spring 2021 or fall 2021 terms, we will accept unofficial transcripts for admission as long as they are in PDF format and clearly show your full name, your school's name, your courses, and your grades. Unreadable or illegible PDF documents will not be accepted. If you are admitted to USF and you choose to enroll, you’ll be asked to provide your official final transcript.
  • AP/IB exams: If you are unable to take scheduled exams, your admission to USF will not be impacted in any way. If you take these exams at a later date, we’ll award college credit at that point using our AP/IB/College credit criteria.
  • Pass/Fail classes: There will be no impact on your admission to USF if you receive a pass or credit grade instead of a letter grade for classes that were moved to a remote format.
  • (International students only) English Language Proficiency: Due to the closure of many test centers, international students will be allowed to submit the TOEFL iBT ® Special Home Edition. Learn more about our English language requirements, including how to waive these requirements.

We’re Here for You

During tough times like these, we need our USF family more than ever. We hope you will connect with us, lean on us, and take advantage of these opportunities to imagine your future as a Don. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always reach us at or (415) 422-6563.

Please take care of yourself and others, and follow all of the recommendations of your school and community. More than anything, we want to be able to welcome you here, healthy and ready for your next chapter, in the fall.

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