4.5 out of 5 Stars
The campus is beautiful and the instructors are high qualityDowners
Surrounding neighborhood can be dangerous especially at night, though it is getting betterComments
The school is second to none in Los Angeles. I would chose USC over UCLA over and over again.Would You Recommend
Athletic programs, quality education, weather/city brings together a truly encompassing college experience.Downers
Being research-focused, the professors could place more emphasis on student education development versus personal research goals.Comments
Rising educational costs emphasizes the need for greater tuition assistance from the school, which does not stay consistent as you progress during your studies.Would You Recommend
Weather, Social Life, International Relations major, Incredible Resources, Los AngelesDowners
Culture; the location was really bad at times, LA traffic is the worstComments
USC is an expensive place to go to school, but it is worth it if you are smart, but also fratty.Would You Recommend
Very holistic overall. No early decision but there is an early deadline for which students can put themselves in the running for several merit-based scholarships.
Financial aid is very comprehensive and the office really works with students to make a college education possible for any family.Level
The general education requirements are within 6 categories and within each category are different classes you can take. Every major has the same GE's to take. Also before we graduate, we are required to take two writing courses. I have an academic adviser that I have to meet with every time I schedule for classes. The average class size is 26 students and if the class is bigger than 50 students, it is broken down into discussion sections that are taught by teacher's assistants. Each professor has office hours where you can sit with them on a one on one basis to talk about problems in the lecture or to just talk to them about how they obtain their job and interest. I am doing research for the School of Pharmacy and all I had to do was to talk to my professor about my interest in it and he helped me find another professor looking for students.Quality of Life
USC has a lot of pride and it shows on campus. Everyone is very happy and excited to be at this school. The cost of housing for first years is around the same price while upperclassmen have more difficulty because most of the housing is privately owned. The campus is beautiful. There are 19 libraries on campus and one is 24 hours. We work well with the neighborhood around us by working with a Joint Educational Project which offers tutoring to students in the area.Admissions
Two applications. The first part was just basic information about yourself like address. The second application was list of activities, essays and regular application questions. It was a regular decision application process but it was not part of the Common Application. There were separate deadlines if you wanted to be considered for scholarship or not. The unique part of the application was Quick Takes which were questions like what is your favorite movie and food?Level
we have two writing requirements, then six general education courses; western culture, global culture and tradition, scientific inquiry, arts and letters, social issues, and science and its significance. Major requirements are composed of lower class and upper class division courses. every student has an academic advisor,you meet with them at least twice a year. I am very close with mine, and they make themselves available as much as possible to students, it is very easy to meet with one's advisor. Class sizes are on average 26, but there are some classes that may reach 250 people. Classes over the size of 50 are broken down into discussion classes with 10-20 people and are lead by a teacher assistant. Because USC is a private school, it is not impacted, which makes classes available to students. Professors have regular office hours that they are available and are more than willing to meet with students at their availability as well. There are research opportunities for USC students beginning their freshman year in all the various departments. Classes are competitive because the university is selective and full of intelligent, ambitious students. Many faculty are professionals in their industry or field, which is an amazing resource for students and provides excellent connections to the career world. Grading is either on the letter scale-ABCDF, or pass no pass. USC has a very expansive study abroad program, with programs in over 50 countries. One must apply a semester before the planned date to leave, have a 3.0 minimum GPA. Workload in some classes can be heavy, and other lighter, it is the student who creates their own productiveness and any class's workload can be completed.Quality of Life
The area around USC is considered by many, especially outsiders or people visiting to be very unsafe, but as s tduent living on campus, I found it not only safe, but enjoyable and fun. The community is very close and supportive, there are always events or things going n around campus. The food is good, the housing in some buildings is a little old =, but there are newer, very nice dorms and apartments on campus as well. The cost of living is high, but that is because it is Downtown Los Angeles, the area is expensive to live in. Libraries are beautiful, open at most hours and have a great atmosphere. The university prides itself on the great relationship we have with the surrounding community, how students will do community service at schools in the area and how the university keep the area protected and nice. Crime happens, but USC keeps students updated with every altercation, we have an amazing campus police force, trained by LAPD, they patrol campus and three mile radius of campus all the time. We have trams to give students rides around campus, as well as blue emergency lights al around campus. I find USC students, and myself to be very happy, I love the school, the people and the area.Admissions
The application is looked at holistically; it is made up of family history, academic history, test scores, short answer questions, extra-curricular activities summary, an essay, and a recommendation letter is required, all these parts to the application are looked at and read over by various admissions counselors. There is a quick takes question section, which is unique to the application because it looks at the students likes and dislikes...what is your favorite food? favorite movie? book? It is a fun section. The questions and essay are really about finding out who this student is aside from their test scores and grades, their morals, experiences, values, ambition and personality should come through here. supplemental applications are necessary for certain majors. Beginning in August, interviews for applying freshman become available and go throughout December, they are offered on campus and off campus in large cities, i.e San Francisco, Boston, New York, Denver, around the US. Students must apply for financial AId, and will receive information about filling out a package, turning in the FAFSA and CSS profile by a certain date. To apply for scholarships, students must submit their applications in early December, otherwise the regular due date for regular admission is early January.Level
Unique application. The "quick takes" were a fun way to start off the application. All material seemed unique to the individual. I really felt like they were recruiting me to attend school thereLevel
Our General Education system is designed to ensure that no student will have to stay an extra semester or year if they decide to double major or change their course of study. Once students have completed one class in each of our 6 GE categories and 2 writing components along with those classes, they can change studies or study abroad or pick up 2 minors and not have to take any additional classes to graduate. Most major degree requirements are at least 60 units to be completed at USC, while some are more rigorous and may take up more units at USC, nearly every student is able to graduate in 4 years with the program they enter USC under (aside from the 5 year Architecture program). Average class size is only 26 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1 at a University of over 35,000, and every student is assigned to an academic advisor who helps create a curriculum that gets students a chance to complete their degree requirements but also to take classes that interest them. Every class over 50 students is broken down into a Discussion Section which is a review-only class led by a TA (so nothing new is being taught) and in addition, every single professor holds office hours each week to meet with students and to get to know who they are. I've gone to office hours for classes of 120 students and for 20 students to meet with faculty, and that makes the classes feel even smaller. There are tons of research opportunities, either along with faculty or that can be done independently, and we have several funds to give students the resources they need to complete research on their own. As far as studying abroad, every student is eligible as long as they maintain a certain GPA and complete a certain amount of work at USC. Once that is completed, students can successfully travel abroad for a semester or perhaps a year at a time to over 30 countries. And advisors will help to ensure that students are taking classes that are going toward degree credit. All of this gives us a huge competitive advantage over other schools, and though students are driven to succeed, there is not nearly as big a sense of competition once students are at the University, but rather during the process to be admitted. Once students are here they have many opportunities to balance a social life along with their workload, which from my experience hasn't been too stressful or unmanageable.Quality of Life
Being in Southern California, housing is somewhat compact just because of our location in the city, but the cost of living is reasonable especially for being in the area we are and for having all the things we have access to. I feel very safe on campus and I feel like the quality of the environment at USC is getting better and better each year as we do more to get students living on or very close to campus to create that vibrant community.Admissions
USC has no Early Action or Early Decision deadlines, but rather we have a Scholarship Priority Deadline (typically December 1 of every year) for students who apply to be eligible for a full, half, or quarter tuition merit based scholarship. Those who apply by the Priority deadline are not obligated to attend the University, however, and these students may or may not hear about their admission before those who apply by our second "Regular Decision" deadline, usually January 11 or so. Our Application, not found on the Common Application, is designed to give the University a holistic view of each applicant. So we look at grades, extra-curricular activities, SAT and ACT scores, letters of recommendation, and also a few writing samples to get a view of the student's personality. The admission process is a need-blind process, and then once students are admitted, they are encouraged to apply for financial aid since USC is committed to meeting 100% of our student's demonstrated financial need based on the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and the student's family tax returns. Interviews may be included in the admission process for any student wishing to do so, however they are not required.Level
There is a GE program with 9 required classes from the arts, history, sciences, writing, social issues, and diversity. There is also a GE honors program called Thematic Option which is for students who are more writing and reading inclined. The nice thing about the GE classes is that within each category there are many different class options. So for my science category, I don't have to take the usual Chemistry or Physics, I can take something like the Science of Happiness. Both of my major requirements are straightforward and have many options to make sure that I can get all of my classes. All students have academic advisors that they meet for the first time at orientation. Students have required meetings their first year and after their third year, and after are able to meet with advisors when they want. Advisors are readily available, through email, phone and in person. The average class size is 26 students and the student to faculty ratio is 9:1. Professors, TAs and faculty are really available for students and are not hard to talk to. USC is a research university, and thus research is available in EVERY single department. I worked in a Psychology Research lab starting the summer after my Freshman year - something that I might not have been able to do anywhere else. In addition to getting the experience, they had the funds to even pay me for my work! USC is competitive, but in a friendly way. All students want to (and will) do well, but are not cut-throat about it - there is a friendly group work atmosphere here. USC has many notable faculty and many of them are adjunct professors - those who currently are professionals in their field and are also teaching our students. There are also many study abroad opportunities, through the semesters, years, and even spring, winter and summer breaks. The workload is perfect - most of our students are involved in outside the classroom activities and are able to manage the coursework.Quality of Life
There are many housing options, both on campus and off, university owned and private.
There are 19 libraries on campus with over 4 million volumes in the entire USC library system.
USC has great community relations with their surroundings, we were named Best Neighbor of the Year in 2000 by TIME magazine. There are many clubs and organizations that center around community service.
I personally haven't met a USC student that isn't happy to be here - everyone loves being a part of the Trojan Family!Admissions
USC has it's own application - no common application. The application asks the students general demographic information, previous coursework, exam scores, extra curricular activities, and has personal statements. There is one main essay in addition to two short answers and quick takes - fun little questions like 'Your most valued possession' or 'The last book you read for pleasure'. They also ask for letters of recommendations. Interviews are allowed, but not mandatory and are offered on campus as well as off campus. There is no early decision, but there are two deadlines for the application. The first is around December 1st and if you apply by then, you are automatically considered for a merit based scholarship (full tuition, half tuition, or quarter tuition). There is no separate application, just turn it in by the first deadline. The second deadline is around January 10th and is the absolute deadline for admission.Level
General Education program with 6 different categories and a wide range of classes within each category. Great opportunities for interdisciplinary study and multiple degrees. Small class size allows for relationships with fellow students and professors. All disciplines have exceptional faculty. Over 50 study abroad programs in 30 countries ranging from summer, semester, and full year programs.Quality of Life
housing is typical of college, guaranteed for 2 years. great libraries. lots of dining options. great safety measure. campus is always busy and happy.Admissions
no early action/decision or common app. no waitlisting-only fall admit, spring admit, or denial. there is an optional part 1 of the application that has no bearing on acceptance. optional interviews but very few slots available. financial aid is very helpful, need blind, meets 100% of USC demonstrated need. scholarships range from quarter to full tuition which you are automatically considered for if you submit your app by December 1stLevel