Boston College vs USC: A Look at the Rivalry

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a female student typing in her laptop

Boston College vs USC: A Look at the Rivalry

For many students deciding on a college, the choice often comes down to two or three top picks. In the case of Boston College and the University of Southern California (USC), these institutions have emerged as rivals in the college search process. While both schools have their strengths, it can be challenging to determine which one is best for you. In this article, we’ll delve into a comprehensive comparison of Boston College vs USC, exploring everything from academic programs to campus culture to athletics and alumni networks.

The history of the Boston College and USC rivalry

Although Boston College and USC are located on opposite sides of the country, they’ve developed a fierce yet friendly rivalry. It all began when the two colleges met in the Cotton Bowl in 1984, resulting in Boston College winning in a last-second field goal. This victory over the mighty USC Trojans sent shockwaves across the nation. Since then, the two teams have faced off on several occasions, each time delivering memorable games.

One of the most notable games in the Boston College and USC rivalry occurred in 1993, when Boston College upset USC in a 31-14 victory. This game was particularly significant because USC was ranked #1 in the nation at the time, and Boston College was considered a major underdog. The win propelled Boston College to a top 10 ranking and solidified the rivalry between the two schools.

Another interesting aspect of the Boston College and USC rivalry is the cultural differences between the two institutions. Boston College is a private Jesuit university located in the Northeast, while USC is a large public university located in Southern California. These differences in culture and geography add an extra layer of intrigue to the rivalry, as fans and alumni from both schools often have very different perspectives on life and sports.

Notable games in the Boston College and USC rivalry

While Boston College and USC may have only played each other a handful of times, the games have been filled with nail-biting moments. In addition to the legendary Cotton Bowl game in 1984, another notable matchup occurred when Matt Ryan and the Boston College Eagles shocked the third-ranked Trojans in 2002. Ryan, the eventual NFL MVP, orchestrated a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter to secure an upset victory for Boston College.

Another memorable game in the Boston College and USC rivalry took place in 2013, when the Eagles pulled off a stunning upset against the then-ranked #9 Trojans. Boston College’s defense dominated the game, holding USC to just 20 rushing yards and intercepting two passes. The Eagles’ offense, led by quarterback Chase Rettig, put up 452 total yards and scored 7 touchdowns to secure a 37-31 victory.

Despite the limited number of games played between the two teams, the Boston College and USC rivalry has become a highly anticipated matchup for college football fans. The intense competition and history of close games have made it a must-watch event whenever the two teams face off against each other.

Boston College vs USC: Academic Programs

When it comes to academics, both Boston College and USC offer a diverse range of majors and programs that cater to different interests. Boston College is known for its strong liberal arts program and is particularly lauded for its economics and political science departments.

Meanwhile, USC offers an array of programs with a focus on engineering, business, and film. One key difference between the schools is that Boston College is a smaller institution, which can lead to more intimate class sizes and greater access to professors. USC, on the other hand, is a larger university with more resources available for research and extracurricular activities.

Two students talking to each other.

Another notable difference between Boston College and USC is their location. Boston College is located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, which is a suburban area just outside of Boston. This provides students with access to the city’s rich history and culture, as well as numerous internship and job opportunities.

USC, on the other hand, is located in the heart of Los Angeles, California, which is a bustling city with a thriving entertainment industry. This location provides students with unique opportunities to network and gain experience in fields such as film, music, and television.

Boston College vs USC: Campus Culture

While Boston College and USC have unique campus cultures rooted in their respective locations and histories, they share some similarities. Both institutions have a strong sense of community, with students engaging in various clubs, organizations, and events.

Boston College is situated in Chestnut Hill, a suburb of Boston that offers a quieter, more traditional campus experience. USC, by contrast, is located in the heart of Los Angeles, which provides students with ample opportunities to explore the city and its vibrant culture.

One notable difference between the campus cultures at Boston College and USC is the sports scene. Boston College is known for its strong athletic programs, particularly in football and hockey, which draw large crowds of enthusiastic fans. USC, on the other hand, has a more diverse range of sports teams, including successful programs in basketball and volleyball, but the school’s football team is the most popular among students and alumni.

View of students walking in the campus.

Another aspect of campus culture that sets Boston College and USC apart is their academic focus. Boston College is a Jesuit institution that emphasizes a liberal arts education, with a strong emphasis on ethics and social justice. USC, by contrast, is a research university that offers a wide range of academic programs, including professional schools in law, business, and medicine. While both schools are highly respected academically, their different approaches to education attract different types of students.

Athletic programs: How do Boston College and USC compare?

Boston College and USC both have rich traditions in athletics, with each school boasting strong and competitive sports teams. Boston College is known for football and hockey, while USC is a powerhouse in football, basketball, and baseball.

The athletic facilities at both institutions are top-notch, with Boston College’s Conte Forum and USC’s Galen Center serving as showcase venues. While athletics shouldn’t be the sole factor in choosing a college, they’re an essential part of campus life at both Boston College and USC.

However, there are some differences in the athletic programs at Boston College and USC. Boston College has a strong focus on team sports, with a wide range of options for students to participate in. USC, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on individual sports such as track and field, swimming, and tennis.

Additionally, Boston College has a strong intramural sports program, allowing students of all skill levels to participate in a variety of sports. USC also offers intramural sports, but they are not as extensive as those at Boston College.

Alumni networks: A comparison between Boston College and USC

After graduation, alumni networks can be vital in finding employment opportunities and building connections within various industries. Boston College and USC each have strong alumni networks, with graduates of both institutions going on to successful careers in fields such as finance, law, and entertainment.

One advantage of Boston College is its proximity to Boston, which offers numerous job prospects and professional networking opportunities. USC, meanwhile, is situated in Los Angeles, providing graduates with access to Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

In addition to the location advantages, Boston College also has a strong alumni network in the healthcare industry. Many graduates have gone on to work in hospitals and healthcare organizations in the Boston area, and the alumni network provides valuable connections and resources for those interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.

Three caucasian students talking to each other.

On the other hand, USC’s alumni network has a strong presence in the technology industry. Many graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, and the alumni network provides opportunities for mentorship, job referrals, and networking events within the tech industry.

Location: Boston College vs USC

When it comes to location, Boston College and USC couldn’t be more different. Boston College’s location in Chestnut Hill provides students with a picturesque suburban setting, offering a small escape from the bustle of the nearby city of Boston. On the other hand, USC is located in the heart of Los Angeles, which enables students to explore one of the world’s most exciting cities. Both locations have their pros and cons, depending on what type of setting a student prefers.

Another advantage of Boston College’s location is its proximity to other colleges and universities in the Boston area. This allows for easy access to a wide range of academic and social opportunities. Additionally, the suburban setting provides a quieter and more peaceful environment for studying and focusing on academics.

Meanwhile, USC’s location in Los Angeles offers students access to a diverse range of cultural experiences, including museums, theaters, and music venues. The city’s thriving entertainment industry also provides opportunities for internships and networking. However, the urban setting can also be overwhelming for some students, and the traffic and noise can make it difficult to focus on academics.

Affordability: Which is more expensive, Boston College or USC?

College can come with a hefty price tag, and both Boston College and USC are private institutions that can be costly. Boston College’s tuition and fees are $64,176, while USC’s tuition and fees are $64,726 for the same period. However, both institutions offer financial aid packages, scholarships, and grants, which can significantly reduce the net cost. Students should investigate each school’s financial aid policy before making a decision.

In addition to financial aid, there are other factors that can impact the overall cost of attending college. For example, the cost of living in the surrounding area can vary greatly. Boston is known for being an expensive city, which can make living expenses higher for students attending Boston College. On the other hand, USC is located in Los Angeles, which is also known for being pricey. However, USC offers a variety of housing options, including on-campus dorms and off-campus apartments, which can help students find affordable living arrangements.

Another factor to consider is the potential return on investment. While both Boston College and USC are prestigious institutions, certain majors may lead to higher-paying careers.

For example, USC has a strong film program and is located in the heart of the entertainment industry, which could lead to more job opportunities in that field. Boston College has a strong business program and is located in a major financial hub, which could lead to more job opportunities in finance and consulting. Students should research the potential career paths for their desired major and consider the earning potential when making a decision about which school to attend.

Admissions requirements: How do they compare between Boston College and USC?

Both Boston College and USC are selective schools with competitive admission requirements. Boston College’s admission rate is 19%, while USC’s acceptance rate was 13%. Boston College requires the Common Application, along with a supplemental essay, standardized test scores, and recommendations. USC also requires the Common Application and a supplemental essay, as well as test scores, recommendations, and an interview for some applicants. Interested students should check each school’s website for detailed admission requirements.

It is important to note that both Boston College and USC consider a student’s extracurricular activities, leadership experience, and community involvement in their admissions decisions. Boston College values a student’s commitment to service and social justice, while USC looks for students who have demonstrated a passion for their chosen field of study. Both schools also offer early decision and early action options for students who are certain that they want to attend.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

Additionally, Boston College and USC have different policies regarding standardized test scores. Boston College is test-optional for the class of 2025 and beyond, meaning that students can choose whether or not to submit their SAT or ACT scores. USC, on the other hand, requires students to submit either SAT or ACT scores, although they do offer a test-optional policy for students who are unable to take the exams due to COVID-19 related issues.

Student life: A comparison of the experience at Boston College vs USC

Living on a college campus is an integral part of the college experience, and both Boston College and USC provide unique opportunities for students to make the most of their time outside the classroom. Boston College has a residential campus, with most students living on campus for all four years. USC, by contrast, has more of a commuter culture, with many students living off-campus. Both schools have a wide range of student activities and events, including clubs, sports, and community service opportunities.

Three students looking at each other.

However, the student life experience at Boston College and USC differs in terms of the social scene. Boston College is known for its strong sense of community and emphasis on Catholic values, which is reflected in the social events and activities on campus. USC, on the other hand, has a more diverse student body and a vibrant party scene, with many students taking advantage of the nightlife in Los Angeles. It’s important for prospective students to consider their personal preferences and priorities when choosing between these two schools.

Faculty and Research: How do they compare between Boston College and USC?

Faculty and research opportunities are essential factors to consider when choosing a college. Boston College has a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which offers a more intimate learning experience. The university is renowned for its commitment to research and scholarship, with numerous institutes and centers dedicated to various fields of study. Similarly, USC is a research powerhouse, with groundbreaking research conducted in fields such as medicine and engineering. USC has a faculty-student ratio of 9:1, indicating a higher level of individualized attention for students.

Aside from the faculty-student ratio, Boston College also boasts a diverse and accomplished faculty. The university has over 800 full-time faculty members, with 98% holding a terminal degree in their field. Many of these faculty members are also actively engaged in research, providing students with opportunities to work alongside them and gain valuable experience.

On the other hand, USC’s faculty is equally impressive, with over 4,000 full-time faculty members. The university has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research, with many faculty members collaborating across departments and schools. USC also has a number of research centers and institutes, including the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, which are at the forefront of cutting-edge research.

Sports facilities: A comparison between Boston College and USC

In addition to their strong athletics programs, both Boston College and USC have state-of-the-art sports facilities that support student-athletes and provide opportunities for recreation. Boston College’s athletic facilities include the Conte Forum, which houses the main arena and training facilities for hockey and basketball, as well as the Flynn Recreation Complex, which provides fitness and intramural sports opportunities. USC’s athletic facilities include the Galen Center, home to the basketball and volleyball teams, and the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, a world-class swimming and diving venue.

However, there are some differences between the sports facilities at Boston College and USC. Boston College has a dedicated ice hockey rink, while USC does not have a facility for ice hockey. On the other hand, USC has a dedicated beach volleyball court, which is not available at Boston College. Additionally, USC has a larger outdoor track and field facility compared to Boston College’s indoor track and field facility.

Which college is better for your major? A comparison of degree programs at Boston College vs USC.

Ultimately, when deciding between Boston College and USC, a student’s choice may come down to their particular major. Both institutions offer strong programs in various fields, but students should consider which college offers the best fit for their academic interests. For example, Boston College might be better suited for students interested in the humanities or social sciences, while USC might be a preferred option for those interested in engineering or film. Students should research and compare each school’s degree programs and department offerings to determine which institution aligns with their goals.

It is also important for students to consider the location and campus culture of each institution. Boston College is located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, a suburban area just outside of Boston. USC, on the other hand, is located in the heart of Los Angeles, California. The campus culture at each school also differs, with Boston College having a strong emphasis on Catholicism and community service, while USC has a more diverse and urban campus culture. These factors can also play a role in a student’s decision-making process when choosing between the two schools.

Campus tour comparison: What to expect when touring Boston College vs USC?

Visiting a college in person can provide invaluable insight into the campus culture, academic programs, and student experience. Both Boston College and USC offer campus tours and information sessions that provide prospective students with a chance to immerse themselves in the college environment. Boston College’s campus tour features highlights of the school’s historic campus and typically includes a student-led tour of the residence halls. USC’s tour, by contrast, provides a broader overview of the university’s academic and extracurricular opportunities, including stops at various landmarks on campus.

When touring Boston College, prospective students can also expect to learn about the school’s strong commitment to community service and social justice. The tour may include a visit to the Campus Ministry office, where students can learn about volunteer opportunities and service trips. Additionally, Boston College’s tour guides often highlight the school’s Jesuit values and how they are integrated into the curriculum and campus life.

On the other hand, USC’s campus tour may also include a visit to the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, which is consistently ranked as one of the top communication programs in the country. Prospective students can learn about the school’s state-of-the-art facilities and opportunities for hands-on experience in media production. USC’s tour may also showcase the university’s strong athletic programs, including a visit to the Galen Center or the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Wrapping it up

Ultimately, the choice between Boston College and USC comes down to a variety of factors, including academic interests, campus culture, location, and cost. Students should take the time to research each institution thoroughly, review their admission requirements and financial aid options, and consider their goals for college and beyond. While both schools are unique and offer a wealth of opportunities, the right choice will depend on each student’s individual preferences and aspirations.

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