USC Academic Calendar

November 1, 2022
By AdmissionSight

USC Academic Calendar

Does USC Use Semesters Or Quarters?

Does USC use semesters or quarters? The USC academic calendar follows the semester system that is made up of the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. There are roughly 14 to 16 weeks in each semester. There are 68 instructional days in the fall semester, 69 in the spring semester, and 57 in the summer semester.

University students talking in front of a laptop.

Check out the USC academic calendar for 2022–2023 for significant dates and deadlines. Last August 23, 2021, Monday, the University of Southern California, USC, resumed in-person academic instruction after about a year and a half.

Fall Semester 2022 

Open Registration August 15-19
Move-In August 17
Fall Semester Classes Begin August 22
Labor Day September 5
Fall Recess October 13-14
Veterans Day November 11
Thanksgiving Holiday November 23-27
Fall Semester Classes End December 2
Study Days December 3-6
Exams December 7-14
Winter Recess December 15-January 8

Spring Semester 2023

Open Registration January 5-6
Classes Begin January 9
Martin Luther King’s Birthday January 16
President’s Day February 20
Spring Recess March 12-19
Classes End April 28
Study Days April 29-May 2
Exams May 3-10
Commencement May 12

Summer Semester 2023

Registration May 15-16
Summer Classes Begin May 17
Memorial Day May 29
Juneteenth June 19
Independence Day July 3-4
Summer Classes End August 8

How Many Classes Can You Take In A Semester At USC?

How many classes can you take in a semester at USC? Undergraduate students often take 16 units every semester in the USC academic calendar, whereas graduate students typically take 8 units (500-level). The university advises graduate students to enroll in no more than 16 units and undergraduates to take no more than 18 units. The student’s home department must give written consent for enrollment in more than 20 units.

Group of high school students listening intently in a classroom.

The Registrar’s office determines a student’s enrollment status based on several factors, such as the number of registered units, exceptional courses, graduate assistantships, and the class level of the program they are pursuing, such as an undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral degree.

A student’s enrollment status will only be given to those who are enrolled in a university degree or certificate program. No enrollment status will be awarded to auditors or visitors (limited standing), regardless of the number of units or kinds of courses they have registered for. The enrollment status does not apply to units taken for audit.

When taking 12 or more units, undergraduate students are deemed full-time; when taking 6 or more units, they are deemed half-time. When enrolled in 8 units or more, enrolled in a special course, or enrolled in the minimum number of units necessary to be a graduate assistant, master’s students are regarded as full-time students. If a graduate assistant is enrolled in half the minimum number of units necessary or is enrolled in at least 4 units, they are regarded to be half-time students. When enrolled in 6 or more units or registered for an exceptional course, doctoral students are deemed full-time; when enrolled in 3 or more units, they are deemed half-time.

What Is the Application Deadline For USC?

Before checking the USC academic calendar, applicants must be aware of the admission options and application deadlines at USC.

Early Action (EA) is not a commitment, it is not a restriction, and it’s not available for majors that demand a portfolio or an interview. Students who choose to apply through USC’s Early Action (EA) plan must submit their documents earlier in the application process, but they will get an admissions decision (or a deferral to Regular Decision) sooner than students who choose to apply through Regular Decision.

View of two students using a laptop on a table.

The Regular Decision (RD) approach at USC adheres to a more conventional schedule: Depending on your major, you must submit your application by December 1 or January 15 in order to receive a decision by April 1. Waiting until the Regular Decision (RD) deadline may be preferable for students who need more time to complete their applications or who want their records from their senior year’s fall semester to be included.

The programs listed below do not take part in Early Action:

  • Iovine and Young Academy
  • Kaufman School of Dance
  • Roski School of Art & Design
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Cinematic Arts
  • School of Dramatic Arts
  • Thornton School of Music

To be considered for admission and USC Merit Scholarships, students applying to these majors must submit their application materials by December 1.

What is the application deadline for USC? For more details, please refer to the guidelines below.

Early Action

In the middle to end of January 2023, applicants who chose Early Action will be informed of their acceptance or deferral to Regular Decision.

Deadline for applications: November 1, 2022

Early Action (EA) is not a commitment, it’s not a restriction, and it’s not available for majors that demand a portfolio or an interview. Except in cases when their preferred major does not participate in Early Action, students must apply EA in order to be considered for USC Merit Scholarships.

As part of their Regular Decision process, students applying to majors that demand a portfolio or audition (see below) will be given consideration for USC Merit Scholarships.

Regular Decision

By April 1, 2023, applicants who choose or defer to the Regular Decision round will be informed of the outcome.

For majors requiring an audition or portfolio, the deadline for applications is December 1, 2022. The following schools’ final application deadline for students pursuing the following majors is today:

  • Iovine and Young Academy
  • Kaufman School of Dance
  • Roski School of Art & Design
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Cinematic Arts
  • School of Dramatic Arts
  • Thornton School of Music

For details about your chosen program, see Additional Major Requirements.

Candidates who apply to these programs via Regular Decision by December 1 will be given consideration for USC Merit Scholarships.

All Other Majors

Deadline for applications: January 15, 2023 (Early Action not applicable)

Financial Aid

Deadline for Early Application: January 9, 2023

Deadline for Regular Decisions: February 10, 2023

The FAFSA* and CSS Profile applications must be submitted by the appropriate deadline for applicants who wish to be considered for need-based financial aid.

*Undocumented or DACA students should submit their 2020 tax return and third-party letter confirming their undocumented status in lieu of the FAFSA.

Cal Grant Application

Deadline for California residents for Cal Grant applications: March 2, 2023

For additional information, please visit the Financial Aid website. Visit the FAST page in your applicant portal to find out the status of your financial aid application.

What Are the Big Social Events At USC?

For students who are committed to working hard and having fun, the University of Southern California is a utopia on the west coast. Aside from the activities noted in the USC academic calendar, you might be excited to know what are the big social events at USC. Here’s a list of the few customs and events at the University of Southern California.

Card Stunts

The Trojan Knights, led by Yell Leader Lindley Bothwell, invented the first sequential card stunt on October 21st, 1922, using a record-breaking 500 cards. The Knights created the first moving card stunt at Bovard Field, while Cal and Stanford had been practicing card stunts since the early 1900s.

Due to worries about the safety of the cards that would be tossed following the acrobatics, card stunts stopped occurring during USC football games in the late 1980s. Card stunts made a victorious comeback in 2011 at the USC-UCLA game, this time with a flexible plastic card as opposed to the more conventional hard plastic cards. Card tricks are now performed at football games’ halftime shows and the annual New Student Rally held during Welcome Week.

Crosstown Rivalry

The distance between UCLA’s Westwood campus and USC’s University Park Campus is about 11 miles. But in the eyes of a lot of the Trojan and Bruin faithful, they could not be more dissimilar.

The traditional crosstown college rivalry in Los Angeles boils down to (usually) friendly competition, from academic standards to yearly spirit rituals. But sports, especially football, are the best at capturing the heart of the USC-UCLA rivalry. Last year was the 91st football game between these two colleges. At each school, bonfire rallies will be staged, and bragging rights in Los Angeles will be at stake.

Trojan Family Weekend

Families have the chance to visit their children during this yearly event and see firsthand how the campus community excels in teaching, research, and community involvement.

Trojan Family Weekend offers something special for every family member to experience with over 200 distinct programs, including lectures provided by award-winning faculty, open homes highlighting great USC resources, and a pre-game pep rally with the Spirit of Troy Marching Band.

The CONQUEST Bonfire and the CONQUEST celebration, which feature a spirit rally, a carnival, and live entertainment, are part of Troy Week. Vigils are held to defend the university’s campus and its landmarks from the UCLA Bruins.

Song Fest

Songfest, one of USC’s oldest charitable customs, is a celebration of talent and cordial competition. In order to win Songfest, student organizations from all across USC compete against one another to create the best act. Troy Camp will receive all of the funds raised. In 1954, the Greek Theatre hosted the first Songfest, which drew 20,000 spectators to the Hollywood Bowl.

At Bovard Auditorium early this April, Trojan Pride successfully hosted Songfest for the first time since 2015. Songfest, one of USC’s oldest traditions, began in 1954 as a judged fundraiser when student performers displayed their unique abilities and competed with one another to generate money for Troy Camp, a student-run charity that offers mentoring to students in South Los Angeles.

What Is It Like Being At USC?

USC is renowned for its elite academic programs, pleasant climate, successful athletics departments, well-known alumni, and more. What is it like being at USC? We’ll examine USC’s reputation and the reasons it’s a school to think about.


Residential colleges with instructors living on-site and a staff of resident assistants are where all first-year students are accommodated. USC Housing favors new freshmen and incoming sophomores for its inventory of little under 7,000 undergraduate sleeping spaces. However, there are significantly more undergraduate students registered at USC as of the academic year 2021–2022, than UCLA can accommodate. As a result, non-university housing is where 65% of undergraduate upper-class students live.

The 40 resident halls and apartment buildings on campus are still home to nearly 98% of USC students.  Each residential college encourages students to continue their studies outside of the classroom, meet new people, and develop their leadership skills by providing a variety of unique on- and off-campus activities, from dinners with guest speakers to community service opportunities.

Living options include niche neighborhoods like the Rainbow LGBTQ+ Community, Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American Leadership Community, Women in Science and Engineering Floor, Latinx Sol y La Luna Floors, and Somerville Place, which aims to foster a sense of family and community while promoting respect and understanding for Black culture.


Academically, USC is routinely rated as one of the top 30 colleges in the country. The university grants 126 undergraduate degrees in total. The Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and 22 graduate and professional schools make up its 23 schools. Game/Simulation Development, Real Estate, Accounting, International Business, and Engineering are among USC’s top-ranked undergraduate majors.

View of students actively listening on a lecture.

The Marshall School of Business, Rossier School of Education, Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering, Gould School of Law, Keck School of Medicine, School of Social Work, and Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism are among the top-ranked graduate institutions. Perhaps the most well-known program at USC is the esteemed School of Cinematic Arts. It is the oldest film school in the country and its alumni and professors include several Emmy and Academy Award winners.

Student Clubs and Activities

With so many students residing on campus, USC provides a vibrant on-campus community as well as a large range of clubs and extracurricular activities for students to participate in.

The university is renowned for having more than a thousand student organizations, including teams for recreational athletics, clubs connected to degree programs and professional interests, religious and cultural organizations, and organizations related to degree programs. Additionally, USC has a thriving Greek community with over 50 chapters and a participation rate of roughly 25%. USC’s thriving Greek community contributes to the campus’s reputation as a “party school.”

The USC LavaLab is one of the greatest professional clubs. To build a start-up company from scratch, the LavaLab divides a cohort of 28 student designers, developers, and project coordinators into manageable teams of four each semester. Participants gain knowledge about product development, innovation, and project management.

The Healing Process and Active Mind, two well-known clubs, are focused on health and well-being. By providing group activities, therapy sessions, and peer exercises, Active Mind is committed to promoting greater awareness of mental health concerns and eradicating the stigma associated with anxiety and despair.

Are community service or mentoring of interest to you? Female students in middle school receive mentoring services from Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE). Best Buddies, on the other hand, matches USC students with local Los Angeles adults who have a disability of some kind. While meeting twice a month, pairs go to sporting events or engage in other enjoyable activities together.

The USC Helenes is one of the oldest and most well-known charitable groups on campus. The Downtown Women’s Center, 32nd Street School, and CSU/Expo Urban Mini Farm are just a few of the charity organizations they support in the broader Los Angeles area in addition to USC.


USC is renowned for its successful Division I Pac-12 Conference athletics program. The USC Trojans are the school’s athletic teams, and they play in cardinal and gold. Teams from USC have triumphed in 131 national titles overall.

View of sports equipments stacked together.

The football squad is particularly well-known, having won seven Heisman Trophy winners and 11 national titles. More USC alumni than any other university in the country have earned Olympic medals—more than 300 in all.


The 229-acre USC University Park Campus is located about three miles south of Downtown Los Angeles and features a dynamic blend of modern and classic buildings, green and park areas, fountains, and sculptures. The University Park campus (UPC), which is close to Exposition Park, one of the city’s major cultural hubs, is easily reachable from downtown Los Angeles by major freeways as well as the brand-new Metro Expo line.

We finished exploring the USC academic calendar, traditions, and deadlines for application at USC. While those might give you an idea of what the school is like, moreover, USC has a significant economic impact on the region surrounding Los Angeles and is renowned for its thorough and extensive research. Thus, the institution is also extremely exclusive, with thousands of hopeful Trojans competing for a spot each year.

If you are interested to get into USC, AdmissionSight could assist you in your application. AdmissionSight has 10 years of experience in college admissions counseling. We have helped students in navigating the challenging admissions process so they can enroll in the best colleges in the world. Book an initial consultation to discuss your application further.

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