Review Recruiting Guidelines & Policies


Our highest priority is ensuring that both students and employers enjoy an equitable and successful recruiting environment. As such, we hold both parties to the highest ethical standards. Behavior by any participant found to be illegal or inappropriate will result in an immediate, temporary, or permanent ban from any or all of our services. Additionally, we reserve the right to refuse service if an organization has any unresolved investigations, complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau or California Secretary of State, or for any inappropriate or egregious behavior as determined by the USC Career Center and our campus community. These penalties, which include the removal of job postings, can be invoked at any time, with or without explanation. Our guidelines for defining illegal and inappropriate behavior are the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Principles for Ethical Professional Practice, the policies and guidelines on this page, and, always, common sense. The Career Center reserves the right to decline any employer or job posting at our sole discretion with or without explanation. Questions regarding our policies and guidelines can be directed to the Employer Engagement Team.

All organizations, that transact in legal business and in accordance with our Recruiting Guidelines and Policies, are welcome and invited to recruit through the USC Career Center. We are not able to cull out certain organizations or industries based on individual student values. Different students have different preferences, values, and opinions. If a particular organization or industry does not align with your values or beliefs, it may align with another group of students. Please be sensitive that this practice allows us to offer the widest array of employment opportunities for all students.

Notice of Non-Discrimination and Employer Acknowledgement

The University of Southern California prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), creed, sex, age (40 years and over in the employment context), marital status, national origin, citizenship status, employment status, income status, ancestry, partnership status, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), pregnancy (including childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), disability, political belief or affiliation, domestic violence victim status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the University’s educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination Act of 1967; the California Fair Employment and Housing Act; and other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation.

The University prohibits unlawful harassment of students, employees, and third parties on the basis of any protected characteristic as identified above.

The University also prohibits retaliation against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by university policy or law, or because the individual makes a good faith report or formal complaint, testifies, assists, participates, or refuses to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under USC’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.

The University will respond promptly and effectively to all reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and, when appropriate, to remedy behavior that violates the University’s policy. For more information, visit the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX.

Note: By registering for any of the University’s recruiting programs and services or posting a job, employers are acknowledging their employment and hiring practices are consistent with USC’s prohibition against discrimination and harassment.

Where an employer provides an internship or employment to a USC student, the employer also acknowledges and agrees to the following requirements:

  • As part of the on-boarding and initial training, providing the student with:
    • Copy of the employer’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies
    • Information about how to report discrimination or harassment
    • The name and contact information of personnel designated by the employer for reporting workplace harassment
    • Information about the prohibition against retaliation.
  • Notify USC of allegations of discrimination or harassment involving a USC student (either as a complainant or respondent) to allow USC to provide appropriate supportive measures or pursue an internal investigation.

Any questions about these provisions can be directed to the USC Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX.

Additionally, the USC Career Center encourages all hiring organizations to commit to the following diversity, equity, and inclusion practices when recruiting our Trojans:

  • Consciously provide students and alumni with educational opportunities to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion competency.
  • Take action to create an increasingly diverse, equitable, and inclusive work force by engaging in continuous organizational self-assessment aimed at overcoming systematic organizational and societal barriers.
  • Implement equitable opportunities for historically underrepresented or marginalized individuals and groups to participate in organizational change within your organization despite position or authority.
  • Expand opportunities for your organization’s senior leadership to understand the experience of historically underrepresented hires by centering their voices and incorporating their feedback into organizational decision-making.

USC’s Commitment to a Safe, Harassment-Free Environment

USC expects all members of the university community – students, faculty, staff, employers, mentors, and visitors – to pursue their work and education in a safe environment, free from discrimination or harassment based on protected characteristics, sexual misconduct, and interpersonal violence. Thus, it is imperative that all individuals meet USC’s expectation that any environment where our students engage remain focused on respect and be free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. If you experience, see, or hear of behavior that violates this expectation, contact the USC Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX at to learn about resources and options available to you. Further, if you are in a supervisory position, you are obligated to make a report as a Designated Employee. You should also contact the Career Center. Individuals who report in good faith are encouraged and protected per USC’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.

Review the Career Center’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Guidelines for detailed information.

COVID-19 Internship Guidelines

For an in-person, on-site internship or a hybrid internship with elements of in-person tasks and remote work, you need to adhere to your local, state, or health department COVID-19 guidelines.

Alcohol and Marijuana Policy

The use of alcohol or marijuana at any point during on- or off-campus events — including sporting events — is prohibited. Any organization violating this policy will no longer be eligible to participate in any Career Center events, programs, or services.

Cannabis Industry Recruiting Policy

USC adheres to federal law regarding marijuana. Employers whose primary business is in the cannabis industry are not permitted to post jobs in connectSC, Handshake, any other USC platform, or otherwise recruit on campus or virtually.

Job Offer Policies and Guidelines

Organizations are responsible for all representations and offers made to students by their recruiters. When making an employment offer, students need to be notified in writing, including salary, location, benefits, and starting date.

Students should be given sufficient time to make an informed decision regarding the offers they receive. Listed below are the time frame minimums which the Career Center expects employers to offer students:

Two weeks from the receipt of the written offer.

Two weeks from the receipt of the written offer.

When extending an offer at the end of a student’s summer program/internship, we recommend that employers give the student until October 1 to accept an offer.

We advise that recruiters neither pressure students to accept offers in less time than indicated above, nor attach bonuses that “explode” if the offer is not immediately accepted.

Additionally, we discourage recruiters from pursuing students who have already accepted job offers from another organization. We also recommend that employers respect the commitment students have for their academics as well as any previously scheduled interviews with other organizations.

On-Campus or Virtual Recruiting Requirement

All organizations participating in any on-campus or virtual recruiting programs through the Career Center, including Career Fairs, the Virtual “On-Campus” Recruiting Program, and i3, must be actively recruiting for (1) full-time, salaried positions or (2) paid, structured internship opportunities. Without exception, we expect all organizations to adhere to the U.S. Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act when it comes to wages and compensation. Organizations not adhering to these guidelines will not be able to participate in on-campus or virtual recruiting events or post opportunities in connectSC or Handshake. Positions that are solely based on commission with no base pay are not permitted.

Student-Athlete Hires and Athletic Compliance

Before you make an offer to a student athlete, visit the Office of Athletic Compliance’s webpage or contact Monica Morita, Director of Athlete Career Transition Programs.

Third-Party Recruiters

Without written permission from the Director of Employer Engagement, third-party recruiters are not permitted to participate in any on-campus or virtual recruiting events unless they are recruiting for their organization and not for other clients. Third-party recruiters seeking to post jobs in connectSC or Handshake may email the Employer Engagement Team to inquire. Note that third-party organizations are not permitted to purchase resume books. We also do not permit any online job boards to cross post their opportunities in connectSC or Handshake.

Multi-Level Organizations

Multi-level (“pyramid”) organizations are not allowed to participate in any on-campus or virtual recruiting events or post opportunities in connectSC, Handshake, or any other USC platform.

Faculty Guide to Ethical and Legal Standards in Student Hiring

This guide provides faculty with information about the ethical and legal implications associated with referring students for internship and employment opportunities.

Back to top