University of Southern California: College Application & Program Overview

Discover everything you need to know about applying to the University of Southern California and explore the diverse range of programs and opportunities available at this prestigious institution.

Posted November 28, 2023

Free Event

Ask Me Anything with Former Ivy League Admissions Committee Member

Wednesday, May 1

12:00 AM UTC · 45 minutes

undefined's profile

Featuring Kirsten S.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the University of Southern California (USC), a prestigious institution known for its academic excellence, rich history, and vibrant campus life. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of USC's college application process and the wide range of undergraduate programs offered at the university.

Introduction to University of Southern California: History, Reputation, and Unique Qualities

Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California (USC) has a rich history that has shaped its reputation as one of the leading research universities in the United States. Situated in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, USC offers students a unique and dynamic learning experience.

USC's journey began when a group of prominent citizens, including Judge Robert Maclay Widney, envisioned a university that would serve as a beacon of knowledge and innovation in Southern California. Their vision became a reality when the university was officially established in 1880.

Over the years, USC has grown and evolved, adapting to the changing needs of society and the demands of higher education. Today, it stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and the pursuit of excellence.

One of USC's greatest assets is its prime location in Los Angeles. Nestled in the heart of this bustling metropolis, the university benefits from its proximity to the entertainment industry and Silicon Beach. This unique advantage provides students with unparalleled opportunities to engage with professionals in various fields, from film and television to technology and entrepreneurship.

USC's strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies sets it apart from other universities. Recognizing that real-world challenges often require a multidisciplinary approach, USC encourages students to explore different fields of study and collaborate across disciplines. This approach fosters creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, equipping students with the tools they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

At USC, learning extends beyond the classroom. The university offers a vibrant campus life, with numerous clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether students are passionate about sports, arts, community service, or cultural exploration, there is something for everyone at USC.

Furthermore, USC prides itself on its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The university values the unique perspectives and experiences that each student brings to the community, fostering an environment that celebrates diversity and promotes understanding.

As a research university, USC is at the forefront of groundbreaking discoveries and innovations. With world-class faculty leading the way, students have the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research and contribute to advancements in their respective fields.

In conclusion, the University of Southern California is a prestigious institution with a storied history, a strong reputation, and unique qualities that set it apart. From its prime location in Los Angeles to its emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, USC offers students an exceptional educational experience that prepares them for success in a rapidly changing world.

Comprehensive List of Undergraduate Programs Offered at USC

USC, the University of Southern California, is renowned for its extensive selection of undergraduate programs. With a commitment to academic excellence and a diverse student body, USC offers a wide range of programs across various fields, ensuring that students have ample opportunities to pursue their academic interests.

One of the standout schools at USC is the prestigious Marshall School of Business. Known for its innovative curriculum and world-class faculty, the Marshall School offers undergraduate programs in business administration, accounting, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Students at Marshall gain a solid foundation in business principles and have access to numerous internship and networking opportunities in the vibrant city of Los Angeles.

Another esteemed school at USC is the Viterbi School of Engineering. Recognized as one of the top engineering schools in the nation, Viterbi offers undergraduate programs in aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and many more. With state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge research initiatives, Viterbi provides students with a comprehensive education that prepares them for successful careers in engineering.

In addition to business and engineering, USC offers a plethora of programs in arts and sciences. The Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is the heart of USC's liberal arts education, offering programs in fields such as biology, chemistry, psychology, sociology, and political science. With distinguished faculty members and a commitment to interdisciplinary learning, Dornsife provides students with a well-rounded education that fosters critical thinking and intellectual growth.

For those interested in the world of entertainment, USC's School of Cinematic Arts is a top choice. With programs in film and television production, animation and digital arts, interactive media, and writing for screen and television, the School of Cinematic Arts prepares students for careers in the dynamic and ever-evolving entertainment industry. With access to cutting-edge facilities and mentorship from industry professionals, students at the School of Cinematic Arts have the opportunity to bring their creative visions to life.

USC also offers programs in communication through the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. With a focus on media, journalism, public relations, and communication studies, Annenberg equips students with the skills necessary to navigate the rapidly changing media landscape. Through hands-on experiences and internships, students at Annenberg gain practical knowledge and develop a deep understanding of the role of communication in society.

Furthermore, USC's School of Architecture provides students with the opportunity to explore the world of design and urban planning. With programs in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design, the School of Architecture fosters creativity and innovation. Students have the chance to work on real-world projects and collaborate with renowned architects, preparing them for impactful careers in shaping the built environment.

These are just a few examples of the diverse undergraduate programs offered at USC. Whether students are interested in business, engineering, arts and sciences, cinematic arts, communication, or architecture, USC provides a wealth of academic options to cater to their diverse interests. With its commitment to excellence and a vibrant campus community, USC continues to be a top choice for undergraduate education.

Free trial!

Access a library of videos, templates, and examples curated by Leland's top coaches.

undefined's profileundefined's profileundefined's profile

From 92 top coaches

Example Essays

Example Essays Image

Example Resumes

Example Resumes Image

Application Prep

Application Prep Image

Video Courses

Video Courses Image

Explanation of the Application Process for USC: 2024 Deadlines & Documents Required

Are you considering applying to USC? Here's what you need to know about the application process.

The application deadline for the fall of 2024 is December 1, 2023. This gives prospective students ample time to gather all the necessary documents and complete their applications. It is important to note that USC has a strict deadline policy, so it is crucial to submit your application and all required materials before the deadline to ensure consideration.

In addition to the standard Common Application, USC requires the submission of the university-specific Writing Supplement. This supplement provides an opportunity for applicants to showcase their writing skills and express their interest in attending USC. It is important to carefully review and complete this supplement, as it plays a significant role in the evaluation of your application.

Along with the Writing Supplement, USC requires the submission of official high school transcripts. These transcripts provide the admissions committee with a comprehensive overview of your academic performance throughout high school. It is essential to ensure that your transcripts are accurate and up-to-date, as any discrepancies may negatively impact your application.

In addition to transcripts, USC also requires applicants to submit their SAT or ACT scores. These standardized test scores provide a benchmark for evaluating an applicant's academic abilities. It is important to note that USC does not have a preference for either the SAT or ACT, so you can choose the test that best represents your strengths.

Furthermore, USC requires applicants to submit letters of recommendation. These letters should be written by individuals who can speak to your character, academic abilities, and potential for success at USC. It is recommended to choose recommenders who know you well and can provide specific examples of your accomplishments and personal qualities.

While the aforementioned documents are required, USC also encourages applicants to submit any additional materials that showcase their talents and capabilities. This could include portfolios, creative samples, or any other relevant work that demonstrates your skills and passions. These additional materials can provide a more holistic view of your abilities and may enhance your application.

Overall, the application process for USC requires careful attention to detail and timely submission of all required documents. By following the guidelines and submitting a comprehensive application, you give yourself the best chance of being considered for admission to USC and joining the vibrant and diverse community of scholars and artists.

Detailed List of the Admissions Criteria and Requirements for USC

USC has a holistic admissions process that takes into account various factors beyond grades and test scores. While academic performance is crucial, the admissions committee also considers extracurricular activities, leadership experiences, community involvement, and personal achievements. A strong personal statement plays a significant role in demonstrating one's character and potential contribution to the campus community. USC values diversity and actively seeks students with different backgrounds and perspectives.

Overview of Campus Life & Student Facilities at USC

Once you become a student at USC, you will immerse yourself in a vibrant campus life filled with opportunities for personal growth and engagement. The university boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including libraries, research centers, fitness centers, and numerous student organizations. Whether you are passionate about sports, culture, or community service, USC offers a wide range of clubs and activities to cater to your interests. The campus is also home to a vibrant arts scene, hosting concerts, theater performances, and art exhibitions throughout the year.

Numbered List of USC Scholarships and Financial Aid Opportunities

USC is committed to making education accessible and affordable to all students. The university offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid options to help alleviate the financial burden. From merit-based scholarships to need-based grants, USC provides opportunities for students to pursue their educational goals without excessive financial stress. Some notable scholarships include the Trustee Scholars Program, Presidential Scholars Program, and the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund.

Discussion of Career Services, Internships, and Alumni Network at USC

USC takes great pride in its strong career services, which are designed to support students in their professional development. The university's dedicated career advisors provide guidance and resources to help students explore career paths, develop job search strategies, and connect with internship and employment opportunities. USC's extensive alumni network spans across the globe and includes influential individuals in various industries. This network provides students with invaluable connections and mentorship opportunities.

Answers to 10 Common FAQs About USC

1. Is USC a public or private university? USC is a private research university.2. What is the average class size at USC? The average class size is around 26 students.3. Does USC offer study abroad programs? Yes, USC offers a wide range of study abroad opportunities.4. What is USC's tuition and financial aid process? Tuition costs vary by program, and the financial aid process can be accessed through the USC Financial Aid Office.5. Are there on-campus housing options? Yes, USC provides on-campus housing for undergraduate students.6. How diverse is the student body at USC? USC prides itself on its diverse student body, with students hailing from all 50 U.S. states and over 115 countries.7. What research opportunities are available to undergraduates? USC offers numerous research opportunities, allowing undergraduates to work alongside faculty on groundbreaking projects.8. Are there opportunities for community service involvement? USC actively encourages community service and offers various programs and initiatives to engage students in giving back to the community.9. Can students get involved in athletics at USC? Yes, USC has a strong athletic program, with many students participating in varsity sports or intramural activities.10. What support services are available for students with disabilities? USC provides comprehensive support services for students with disabilities through its Disability Services and Programs office.

Summary and Tips for Applying to USC

Applying to USC can be an exciting and challenging process. To maximize your chances of admission, it is crucial to submit a compelling application that highlights your academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, and personal qualities. Take advantage of the resources available, such as USC's admissions website and campus visits, to gain a deeper understanding of the university and its offerings. Don't forget to showcase your unique talents and passions in your application essays, and don't be afraid to reach out to current students or alumni for advice.

If you have any further questions or need additional information, you can reach USC's Office of Admission through the following contact details:

  • Phone: (213) 740-1111
  • Email: admission@usc.edu

For more specific inquiries and to explore USC's programs and resources, visit the official USC website at

Embark on a remarkable journey of academic and personal growth at the University of Southern California. As one of the top institutions in the country, USC offers a plethora of opportunities to discover your passions and succeed in your chosen field. Begin your USC adventure today!

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles