Students Say

The University of Southern California boasts “a dynamic and culturally diverse campus located in a world-class city which is equally dynamic and culturally diverse.” Everything related to cinema is “top notch.” Among the other 150 or so majors here, programs in journalism, business, engineering, and architecture are particularly notable. The honors programs are “very good,” too. One of the best perks about USC is its “large and enthusiastic alumni network.” Becoming “part of the Trojan Family” is a great way to jumpstart your career because USC graduates love to hire other USC graduates. “Almost everyone talks about getting job offers based solely on going to USC.”

Overview

Applicants
51,920
Acceptance Rate
18%
Average HS GPA
3.73

GPA Breakdown

59%
Over 3.75
25%
3.50 - 3.74
9%
3.25 - 3.49
4%
3.00 - 3.24
2%
2.50 - 2.99

Test Scores

SAT Reading
620 - 720
SAT Math
660 - 760
SAT Writing
640 - 740
ACT Composite
29 - 33

Deadlines


Regular
January 15

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores
Application Essay
Recommendation(s)

Overall

Students Say

The University of Southern California boasts “a dynamic and culturally diverse campus located in a world-class city which is equally dynamic and culturally diverse.” Everything related to cinema is “top notch.” Among the other 150 or so majors here, programs in journalism, business, engineering, and architecture are particularly notable. The honors programs are “very good,” too. One of the best perks about USC is its “large and enthusiastic alumni network.” Becoming “part of the Trojan Family” is a great way to jumpstart your career because USC graduates love to hire other USC graduates. “Almost everyone talks about getting job offers based solely on going to USC.” “The school seems to run very smoothly, with few administrative issues ever being problematic enough to reach the awareness of the USC student community,” says an international relations major. The top brass “is a bit mysterious and heavy handed,” though. Also, “they milk every dime they can get from you.” Academically, some students call the general education courses “a complete waste of time.” There are a few “real narcissists” on the faculty as well as some professors “who seem to just be there because they want to do research.” Overall, though, students report professors “make the subject matter come alive” and make themselves “very available” outside the classroom. “My academic experience at USC is fabulous,” gushes an aerospace engineering major. “I would not choose any other school.”

Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
9:1
Total Faculty
3,268
with Terminal Degree
2,615

1,918
Men
1,350
Women
942
Minority

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
20 - 29

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
76%
Graduate in 5 years
89%
Graduate in 6 years
91%

Majors

  • Architecture and Related Service

  • Architecture
  • City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning

  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • African-American/Black Studies
  • American/United States Studies/Civilization
  • Asian-American Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Ethnic, Cultural Minority, and Gender Studies, Other
  • Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies
  • Near and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Women's Studies

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
  • Biophysics
  • Neurobiology and Neurosciences
  • Neuroscience

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration and Management, General
  • International Business/Trade/Commerce
  • Real Estate

  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations/Image Management

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer Science
  • Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation

  • Engineering

  • Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering, General
  • Civil Engineering, Other
  • Computer Engineering, General
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • Creative Writing
  • English Language and Literature, General

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Comparative Literature
  • East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • French Language and Literature
  • Italian Language and Literature
  • Linguistic, Comparative, and Related Language Studies and Services, Other
  • Linguistics
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

  • Behavioral Aspects of Health
  • Dental Hygiene/Hygienist
  • Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General
  • International Public Health/International Health
  • Occupational Therapy/Therapist

  • History

  • History, General
  • History, Other

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

  • General Studies

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Computational and Applied Mathematics
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Cognitive Science
  • Gerontology
  • Human Biology
  • International/Global Studies
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Natural Resources and Conservation

  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies

  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Jewish/Judaic Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy, Other
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry, General
  • Geology/Earth Science, General
  • Physical Sciences
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Archeology
  • Economics, General
  • Geography
  • International Relations and Affairs
  • Political Economy
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Social Sciences, General
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Acting
  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
  • Art/Art Studies, General
  • Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management
  • Brass Instruments
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production
  • Dance, General
  • Digital Arts
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other
  • Film/Cinema Studies
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Game and Interactive Media Design
  • Jazz/Jazz Studies
  • Music Management
  • Music Performance, General
  • Music Theory and Composition
  • Music, General
  • Percussion Instruments
  • Piano and Organ
  • Playwriting and Screenwriting
  • Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology
  • Violin, Viola, Guitar and Other Stringed Instruments
  • Visual and Performing Arts, General
  • Voice and Opera
  • Woodwind Instruments


Degrees

Bachelor's
Doctoral
Doctoral Other
Doctoral/Professional
Doctoral/Research
Master's
Post-Bachelor's certificate
Post-Master's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Experiential
Internship

Prominent Alumni


George Lucas
film producer

Marilyn Horne
opera singer

Neil Armstrong
first man on the moon; computer systems executive

Warren Christopher
former U.S. secretary of state

Frank Gehry
architect

Michael Tilson Thomas
symphony conductor

Paul Orfalea
founder of Kinko's

Dates

Financial Aid Rating
95
Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

Business Farm Supp
FAFSA
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Bottom Line

Though tuition runs around $48,347 (with room and board, books, and supplies bringing the total to about $64,181), 67 percent of USC undergrads (including international students) receive financial aid, with an average need-based package of $41,528. A whopping one hundred percent of average need was met. Of the 45% of students who took out a loan of some kind, the average debt upon graduation was $29,136.

Bang For Your Buck

Though the sticker price may be high, USC administers one of the largest financial aid programs in the country and the majority of USC students receive financial aid to offset the cost. In addition to need-based aid, USC has more than a dozen robust scholarship programs, including departmental awards. USC Merit Scholarships (ranging in value from a few thousand dollars up to full tuition) include ten Mork Family Scholarships for full tuition plus a stipend; Stamps Leadership Scholarships for exceptional students whose test scores are in the top 1-2% nationwide; one hundred Trustee Scholarships for full tuition; and two hundred Presidential Scholarships offering half tuition.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$31,692

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$30,656

Average Need-Based Loan
$6,606

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$28,541

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
44%

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$30,520

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodoloy
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Non-Need-Based
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
No

Overall

Students Say

The one thing that unites everyone here is “tons of Trojan pride.” USC students are also “intensely ambitious” and, while there are some “complete slackers,” many students hit the books “harder than they let on.” Otherwise, students insist that, “contrary to popular belief, USC has immense diversity.” “The stereotypical USC student is a surfer fraternity bro or a tan, trendy sorority girl from the O.C.” You’ll find plenty of those. Many students are also “extremely good looking.” “No one cares what your orientation is,” says a first-year student. There are “prissy Los Angeles types” and “spoiled” kids. In some circles, “family income and the brands of clothes you wear definitely matter.” However, “though there are quite a few who come from mega wealth, there are also many who are here on a great deal of financial aid.” There are “lots of nerds,” too, and a smattering of “band geeks and film freaks.

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
18,740
Out of State
32%

International
16%
Foreign Countries Represented
112

Demographics

25.84%
Asian
5.03%
African-American
15.68%
Hispanic
41.78%
Caucasian
5.49%
Unknown
15.90%
International

50% female
50% male
32% are out of state
96% are full time
4% are part time

Overview

Students Say

On campus, life is “vibrant.” There are more than 600 student organizations. Theatrical and musical productions are “excellent.” School spirit is “extreme” and “infectious.” “Football games are huge.” “There is absolutely nothing that can top watching our unbelievable football team throttle the competition,” says a merciless sophomore. “Drinking is a big part of the social scene” as well. “We definitely have some of the sickest parties ever,” claims an impressed freshman. “Greek life is very big” and, on the weekends, a strong contingent of students “religiously” visits “The Row, the street lined with all the fraternity and sorority houses.” Students also have “the sprawling city of Los Angeles as their playground.” It’s an “eclectic place with both high and low culture and some of the best shopping in the world.” “Hollywood clubs and downtown bars” are popular destinations. Art exhibits, concerts, and “hip restaurants” are everywhere. However, “you need a car.” Los Angeles traffic may be “a buzz kill” but students report that it’s considerably preferable to the “absolutely terrible” public transportation system.

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

Quality of life rating
78
First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Large Urban
Fire safety rating
95

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Frat Sorority
International Student
Other
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions


Director
Edward Roth, Ph.D

College Entrance Tests Required
No

Interview Required
No

Documentation Requred for LD
WAIS-III; WJ; Achievement

Special Need Services Offered


Computer allowed in exams
Yes

Spellchecker allowed in exams
Yes

Extended test time
Yes

Scribes
Yes

Proctors
Yes

Oral exams
No

Notetakers
Yes

Distraction-free environment
Yes

Accommodation for students with ADHD
No

Reading machine
Yes

Other assistive technology
Yes

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
850
Number of Honor Societies
46

Number of Social Sororities
26
Number of Religious Organizations
87

25% join a fraternity
20% join a sorority

Sports

Athletic Division
Division I

Men's Sports (Trojans)
10 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Diving
Football
Golf
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball
Water Polo
Women's Sports (Trojans)
12 Sports

Basketball
Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Diving
Golf
Lacrosse
Soccer
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball
Water Polo

Student Services

Day Care
Health
LGBT Support Groups: Lesbian, gay, bi, transgender Center. http://www.usc.edu/student-affairs/glbss/ Also student groups.

Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered on-campus
Navy ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered on-campus

Sustainability

USC’s sustainable campus actually begins well below the earth’s surface: a three million gallon thermal energy water storage (TES) system stands 40 feet below grade, and is estimated to conserve more than 4,000 MWh of electricity each year. As a large private research university, USC can offer extensive research opportunities to both graduate and undergraduate students through: USC Energy Institute’s Future Fuels and Energy Initiative, which emphasizes research in energy alternatives to fossil fuels; the Green Visions Plan, a partnership between state land conservancies and USC to create plans for building a mutually-beneficial relationship between people and the environment; and the School of Architecture’s Materials, Systems and Sustainability Program, which focuses on long-term sustainability. <p>The School of Architecture participates in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. USC’s Sustainability Steering Committee, comprised of administrators, students, staff, and faculty, identifies opportunities for the university to advance sustainability, and makes recommendations to the administration. USC, which has committed to using LEED standards for all new buildings, has also implemented a Green Office Certification Program that provides students, faculty, and staff with a framework for implementing sustainable practices in their workplaces. During football season, the USC Office of Sustainability spearheads the Tailgate Waste Diversion Program, which promotes sustainable tailgating before kickoff.. Year-round, the office also maintains the school’s Urban Garden, where monthly workshops are provided on such topics as integrated pest management, composting and organic gardening.

Green Rating
87
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
6%

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
225

Average Number of PC's per Lab
46

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
Yes

Student Web Pages Provided
Yes

Partnerships with Technology Companies
Yes

Online Class Registration Available
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Undergraduates that Own Computers
98%

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Yes

Description
Multiple vendors through the University Bookstore and elsewhere.

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
Yes

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
Yes

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Joy Oaks
Director, USC Admission Center

Address
Admission Center
Tutor Campus Center
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911

Phone
(213) 740-1111

Email
visitusc@usc.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Tutor Campus Center
Galen Center (event & training pavilion)
Leavey Library (open 24 hours)
Heritage Hall (athletic awards)
Fisher Museum of Art
Throughout USC’s 229-acre University Park campus, courtyards, grassy areas and other lushly planted public spaces offer popular spots for quiet reflection as well as social interaction.

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Exposition Park/ L.A. Memorial Coliseum
L.A. area museums
Staples Center/L.A. Live
Local beaches and mountains
Walt Disney Concert Hall
USC students enjoy proximity to Los Angeles’ Arts and Education Corridor, extending from downtown Los Angeles to USC’s University Park campus, which offers the finest in arts, culture and entertainment.

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday
8:30am-5pm
(213) 740-1111

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Most days Mon-Fri; 10am - 3pm
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
Yes

Information Sessions
Available

Times
Weekdays

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Year-round

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
3 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit
visitusc@usc.edu

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Varies

Arrangements
Contact the admission office of your intended department

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Los Angeles International Airport is 15 miles from campus. Taxis and the Super Shuttle are available for the ride between airport and campus. For Super Shuttle, call 310-782-6600 a day or two in advance or when you arrive. Local transportation includes local buses, commuter rail, and USC tram service.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From 10 Fwy (east-bound): Exit the freeway at Hoover Street. At the bottom of the off-ramp, turn right on Hoover Street. Take Hoover to where it ends at Jefferson Boulevard. Turn left onto Jefferson and take it to Figueroa Street. Turn right onto Figueroa. Turn right into campus at USC McCarthy Way (USC Gate #3) From 10 Fwy (west-bound): Exit the freeway at Hoover Street. At the bottom of the off-ramp, turn right at the signal and proceed to Hoover Street. Turn right onto Hoover. Take Hoover to where it ends at Jefferson Boulevard. Turn left onto Jefferson and take it to Figueroa Street. Turn right onto Figueroa. Turn right into campus at USC McCarthy Way (USC Gate #3) From 110 Fwy (north-bound): Exit the freeway at Exposition Boulevard. At the bottom of the off-ramp, go straight through the signal and keep to the left. Follow the road under the freeway. Cross Flower Street and turn right onto Figueroa Street. Turn left into campus at USC McCarthy Way (USC Gate # 3). From 110 Fwy (south-bound): Exit the freeway at Exposition Boulevard. At the bottom of the off-ramp, cross Flower Street and turn right onto Figueroa Street. Turn left into campus at USC McCarthy Way (USC Gate #3). From L.A. Airport (LAX). (USC is 13 miles from LAX). Exit the Airport going south on Sepulveda Boulevard. Get on the 105 (Century) Freeway East. Take the 105 to the 110 (Harbor) Freeway North Exit the 110 at Exposition Boulevard. At the bottom of the off-ramp, go straight through the signal and keep to the left. Follow the road under the freeway. Cross Flower Street and turn right onto Figueroa Street. Turn left into campus at USC McCarthy Way (USC Gate #3). From 405 (San Diego Freeway) South or North: Transition to the 10 (Santa Monica Freeway) east heading toward Los Angeles. Take the Hoover Street exit. Turn right at the light. Continue until Hoover Street ends at Jefferson Boulevard. Turn left on Jefferson Boulevard, then turn right on Figueroa Street. Turn right into campus at USC McCarthy Way (USC Gate #3) 101 (Hollywood/Ventura Freeway) North or South: Transition to the 110 (Harbor) Freeway South Exit the freeway at Exposition Boulevard. At the bottom of the off-ramp, cross Flower Street and turn right onto Figueroa Street. Turn left into campus at USC McCarthy Way (USC Gate #3). 5 (Golden State/Santa Ana Freeway) North or South: Transition to the 10 west (Santa Monica Freeway) and then to the 110 south (Harbor Freeway). Note: An alternate route if you are north of downtown and driving south on the 5: Exit directly to the 110 south and take it through the downtown area to Exposition Boulevard which is just south of downtown. Exit the freeway at Exposition Boulevard. At the bottom of the off-ramp, cross Flower Street and turn right onto Figueroa Street. Turn left into campus at USC McCarthy Way (USC Gate #3).
University of Southern California campus - Image 0
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Key Stats

51,920
Applicants
18,740
Size
18%
Acceptance Rate
1380
SAT Scores

Rankings & Lists