USC Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Sign of University of Southern California.

USC Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

Looking to attend the University of Southern California (USC)? Well, preparing yourself for a highly competitive admissions process is best. With an acceptance rate of only 13%, USC is known for being selective in choosing its students.

What is USC’s Acceptance Rate?

The acceptance rate is the percentage of applicants admitted to a university. In the case of USC, the acceptance rate is a mere 9.75%, meaning that less than 10% of all applicants receive an offer of admission. It’s important to note that this acceptance rate can vary from year to year, and it’s typically lower for more competitive programs and majors.

Short for the University of Southern California, USC is a prestigious private research university in Los Angeles, California. Established in 1880, USC has become one of the top-ranked universities in the United States, known for its vital academic programs, vibrant campus life, and influential alumni network.

With an acceptance rate of 9.75%, USC is highly selective, attracting many applicants yearly. The university receives thousands of applications from students worldwide, making the admissions process highly competitive. As a result, USC has become synonymous with academic excellence and is often a dream school for many aspiring students.

When determining the acceptance rate, USC considers various factors, including academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and personal essays. The university aims to select a diverse and talented student body, ensuring that each incoming class represents various backgrounds, interests, and perspectives.

While the overall acceptance rate at USC is 9.75%, it’s important to note that this figure can vary depending on the specific program or primary to which a student is applying. Some programs, such as the highly competitive film school or the prestigious Marshall School of Business, may have lower acceptance rates. These programs often require additional application materials, auditions, or interviews, further intensifying the competition for admission.

Despite the challenging admissions process, USC offers a variety of resources to support prospective students throughout their application journey. The university provides guidance through informational sessions, campus tours, and online resources, helping students understand the requirements and expectations for admission.

Entrance area of USC and a signage of the university name.


Once admitted, students at USC have access to a world-class education, renowned faculty, and a vibrant campus community. The university offers academic programs across various disciplines, including the arts, sciences, business, engineering, and more. Students can engage in research, internships, study abroad opportunities, and numerous extracurricular activities, allowing them to explore their passions and develop their skills.

Early Decision and Early Action

USC experienced a high influx of early action applications, receiving more than 40,600 for the Class of 2027. Out of these, around 2,400 applicants were accepted, reflecting an acceptance rate of 6% for early action applicants. It’s worth noting that USC did not provide an Early Decision option for the Class of 2027.

USC chose not to offer an early decision option for the Class of 2027 due to its commitment to holistic and equitable admission processes. The university believes that not offering early action or early decision allows them to focus on every applicant and ensure fairness and equity in the admissions process. This approach enables the admissions committee to thoroughly evaluate each applicant and make informed decisions, without the pressure of a binding early decision plan. Additionally, USC’s early action option is non-binding, allowing accepted applicants to have more time to consider and compare their college options before making a final decision.

Here are the USC Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA) rates for the last 5 years:

Class EA
2027 6%
2026 11.88%
2025 12%
2024 15.8%
2023 16.49%

Trends in USC’s Acceptance Rates

Over the past few years, USC’s acceptance rate has experienced a noticeable decline. While the USC acceptance rate was closer to 20% a decade ago, the university has steadily become more selective. This trend suggests that the pool of applicants has been growing more extensive and robust, making it increasingly challenging to secure a spot at USC.


Applicants Admitted Acceptance Rate
Fall 2023 80,808 8,094 9.75%
Fall 2022 69,000 8,198 12%
Fall 2021 70,971 8,804 12%
Fall 2020 71,000 8,800


One of the factors contributing to USC’s declining acceptance rate is the university’s growing reputation as a top-tier institution. With USC’s trends in acceptance rates, USC has consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States, attracting many applicants yearly. As the university’s prestige continues to rise, more and more students aspire to join the Trojan family.

Additionally, USC’s location in Los Angeles plays a significant role in the increasing competitiveness of its admissions process. The allure of living in a vibrant city with a thriving entertainment industry and numerous career opportunities attracts students from all over the world. The university’s proximity to Hollywood and Silicon Beach has made it an attractive choice for students interested in pursuing careers in film, television, technology, and entrepreneurship.

USC’s commitment to academic excellence and its diverse range of programs also contribute to the growing number of applicants. The university offers various majors and minors, allowing students to pursue their passions and interests. From the renowned School of Cinematic Arts to the prestigious Marshall School of Business, USC provides students with exceptional educational opportunities across various disciplines.

Furthermore, USC’s strong alumni network and connections to industry leaders make it an appealing choice for students seeking valuable networking opportunities. The university’s alumni include successful individuals in entertainment, business, politics, and technology. This network provides students access to internships, job opportunities, and mentorship, enhancing their career prospects upon graduation.

As USC’s acceptance rate declines, the university remains committed to maintaining a diverse and talented student body. The university’s holistic admissions process considers academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, leadership potential, and personal qualities. USC seeks to admit students who will contribute to the campus community and positively impact society.

a student thinking while holding his pen

USC Admissions Statistics

Let’s delve into some specific numbers regarding USC’s admissions process. In recent years, USC has received an astonishing number of applications, reaching over 60,000 in some admission cycles. This high volume of applications reflects the university’s reputation as a top-tier institution and its appeal to students worldwide.

White 23%
Asian / Asian American 22%
Latine / Hispanic 20%
International (student visa holders) 17%
Black / African American 8%
Multiple Ethnicities 8%
Not reported 1%
Native American / Pacific Islander 1%

Only a tiny fraction of these tens of thousands of hopefuls are accepted. The admissions committee faces the challenge of selecting the most qualified and promising individuals from this highly competitive pool. Each application is carefully reviewed, considering various factors contributing to a student’s potential for success at USC.

Within the applicant pool, USC values academic achievement and well-roundedness. While having outstanding grades and strong standardized test scores is essential, the admissions committee also pays close attention to a student’s extracurricular involvement, leadership qualities, and personal achievements. USC seeks students who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in all areas of their lives.

Moreover, demonstrating a genuine passion for one’s chosen field of study can significantly enhance applicants’ chances of acceptance. USC is known for its diverse range of academic programs, and the university seeks students who are not only academically strong but also deeply engaged in their chosen disciplines. Whether through research, internships, or personal projects, USC values students who have shown genuine curiosity and dedication to their academic pursuits.

Additionally, USC considers the unique experiences and backgrounds each applicant brings to the university. The admissions committee recognizes the importance of diversity and seeks to create a vibrant and inclusive community on campus. Students who have overcome significant challenges demonstrated resilience, or positively impacted their communities are highly regarded in the admissions process.

Furthermore, USC is committed to providing opportunities for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The university offers a generous financial aid program, ensuring talented students can access a USC education regardless of financial circumstances. The admissions committee considers an applicant’s financial need as part of the holistic review process.

SAT/ACT Scores for USC Admits

Students admitted to the University of Southern California (USC) have an average SAT score between 1410-1540 or an average ACT score of 32-35. The SAT scores for the 25th and 75th percentiles are 690-750 for reading and 720-790 for math. The ACT scores for the 25th and 75th percentiles are 34-35 for English and 30-35 for math. The average SAT score for the Class of 2024 was 1410-1540, and the average ACT score was 32-35.

Regarding SAT scores, USC considers both the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math sections. The university looks for students who excel in both areas, as it demonstrates a well-rounded academic ability. Achieving a high score in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section showcases strong reading comprehension, critical thinking, and writing skills. On the other hand, a high score in the Math section indicates proficiency in mathematical concepts and problem-solving abilities.

Similarly, for ACT scores, USC considers the composite score average of the four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each section provides valuable insights into a student’s academic strengths. A high score in the English section reflects strong grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension skills. The Math section assesses a student’s mathematical knowledge and problem-solving abilities. The Reading section measures students’ ability to comprehend and analyze written passages. Lastly, the Science section evaluates students’ scientific reasoning and interpretation skills.

While SAT and ACT scores are essential, USC recognizes that they do not define a student’s academic potential. The university understands that students may have different strengths and weaknesses and takes a holistic approach to evaluating applicants. USC looks beyond test scores and considers extracurricular activities, leadership experiences, community involvement, letters of recommendation, and personal essays. These additional components provide a more comprehensive understanding of an applicant’s character, passions, and potential contributions to the USC community.

Furthermore, USC values diversity and seeks to create a vibrant and inclusive campus environment. The university actively encourages students from different backgrounds and experiences to apply. USC believes that a diverse student body enriches the educational experience for all students, fostering a dynamic and culturally rich community. Therefore, while SAT and ACT scores are important, they are just one piece of the overall evaluation process.

What is USC looking for? How can you navigate USC’s low acceptance rate?

USC seeks a diverse and talented student body, and its admissions process takes a holistic approach to evaluating applicants. While specific criteria can evolve, here are several factors that USC typically looks for in applicants:

  1. Academic Excellence:
    • USC looks for students who have excelled academically. This includes a solid high school GPA, challenging coursework (such as honors, AP, IB, or dual enrollment courses), and high standardized test scores (SAT or ACT). While a high GPA and strong standardized test scores are important, they are not the sole determinants of admission. USC recognizes the importance of a well-rounded education and looks for applicants who have challenged themselves academically, taking rigorous courses and demonstrating intellectual curiosity.
  2. Extracurricular Involvement:
    • USC values well-rounded individuals who actively participate in extracurricular activities, such as clubs, sports, arts, community service, or leadership roles. Quality of involvement and depth of commitment may be more significant than sheer quantity. USC seeks students who are academically inclined and actively engaged in their communities.
  3. Personal Achievements and Talents:
    • USC is interested in learning about your unique talents and personal achievements. This could include exceptional skills in the arts, athletics, research, entrepreneurship, or any other area where you have demonstrated passion and dedication.
  4. Leadership and Initiative:
    • USC looks for students with leadership qualities and a proactive approach to making a positive impact. Leadership roles in school, community, or extracurricular activities are considered.
  5. Diversity and Inclusion:
    • USC values diversity and seeks students who will contribute to the university’s diverse and inclusive community. Your background, experiences, perspectives, and how you can contribute to the diversity of the student body are considered, as they believe that a diverse student body enriches the educational experience for everyone. So, if you have a unique background or a compelling personal story, highlight it in your application.
  6. Passion and Enthusiasm:
    • USC wants to see genuine passion and enthusiasm for your chosen field. Your statements, essays, and letters of recommendation should reflect your authentic interests, goals, and motivations.
  7. Letters of Recommendation:
    • Strong letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or others who know you well and can speak to your character, achievements, and potential are essential. These allow you to showcase your character, passion, and potential. A well-written essay can make a lasting impression on the admissions committee, so take the time to craft a compelling narrative that reflects your values and aspirations.
  8. Portfolio or Audition (for Certain Programs):
    • If you are applying to programs in the arts, film, music, or other creative fields, USC may require a portfolio, audition, or other evidence of your skills and abilities.
  9. Demonstrated Interest:
    • USC appreciates applicants who demonstrate a genuine interest in the university. This can include attending information sessions and campus visits, participating in USC-related events, and expressing why USC is a good fit for you.
  10. Essay Responses:
    • The personal statements and essay responses are crucial components of the application. USC is interested in your writing skills and ability to articulate your thoughts, experiences, and aspirations.

It’s important to note that admission criteria can vary across different programs and schools within USC. Prospective applicants should check USC’s official admissions website for the most up-to-date and program-specific information. Always remember that the admissions process is competitive, and presenting a well-rounded and authentic application is crucial.

How hard is it to get into USC? What is USC’s Acceptance Rate?

Given USC’s acceptance rate of 13% and the competitive nature of the admissions process, it’s undeniable that getting into USC is challenging. However, while the odds may seem daunting, it’s important to remember that many qualified applicants are still accepted each year.

You can enhance your chances of joining the Trojan family at USC by presenting a solid application that showcases your academic achievements, extracurricular pursuits, and personal qualities. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Selectivity:
    • USC is a highly selective institution, and its admissions process is competitive. The university receives many applications, and the acceptance rate can be relatively low compared to the number of applicants.
  2. Academic Requirements:
    • USC looks for students with a solid academic record, including a high GPA and competitive standardized test scores (SAT or ACT). The specific academic criteria can vary by program and significance.
  3. Extracurricular Involvement:
    • USC values students engaged in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and community service. Demonstrating a well-rounded profile and active involvement outside the classroom is essential.
  4. Diversity and Holistic Admissions:
    • USC is committed to building a diverse and inclusive student body. The university takes a holistic approach to admissions, considering not only academic achievements but also personal qualities, talents, and contributions to the community.
  5. Program-Specific Criteria:
    • Some programs within USC may have specific admissions criteria or requirements, such as portfolio submissions, auditions, or interviews, especially in fields like the arts, film, and music.
  6. Essays and Personal Statements:
    • USC emphasizes personal statements and essays as they provide insight into the applicant’s personality, aspirations, and motivations. Strong writing skills and the ability to articulate one’s thoughts are valued.
  7. Demonstrated Interest:
    • While not always a formal part of the admissions process, demonstrating a genuine interest in USC through campus visits, information sessions, or other interactions can be beneficial.
  8. Admissions Statistics:
    • It’s advisable to check USC’s most recent admissions statistics, including acceptance rates, average GPA, and standardized test scores of admitted students. These figures can provide insights into the competitiveness of the admissions process.

Remember that admission to selective universities is competitive, and meeting or exceeding the published averages does not guarantee acceptance. Applicants are encouraged to present a well-rounded and authentic application that reflects their strengths, experiences, and aspirations. For the most current and specific information about USC’s admissions process and acceptance rates, it is recommended to check the university’s official website or contact the admissions office.

a female student thinking of something while using laptop

USC Popular Programs

The USC offers diverse programs across various disciplines, catering to various academic interests. While the popularity of programs can evolve, here are some of the notable and famous programs at USC:

  1. Cinema and Media Studies (School of Cinematic Arts):
    • USC’s School of Cinematic Arts is renowned for its film and media studies programs. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in film production, animation, screenwriting, and interactive media.
  2. Business Administration (Marshall School of Business):
    • USC’s Marshall School of Business is highly regarded, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration. Students can specialize in finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, and business analytics.
  3. Computer Science (Viterbi School of Engineering):
    • USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering provides a strong computer science program. Students can pursue degrees in computer science, computer engineering, and related fields, preparing them for careers in technology and innovation.
  4. Biomedical Engineering (Viterbi School of Engineering):
    • USC’s biomedical engineering program is known for its research and innovation. Students can explore the intersection of engineering and biology, contributing to advancements in healthcare.
  5. International Relations (Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences):
    • USC’s Dornsife College offers a robust international relations program. Students can study global affairs, diplomacy, and international politics, preparing for government, nonprofit, and international business careers.
  6. Communication and Journalism (Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism):
    • The Annenberg School is known for its programs in communication and journalism. Students can pursue communication, public relations, broadcast and digital journalism degrees, and more.
  7. Psychology (Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences):
    • USC’s psychology program is well-regarded, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology. Students can explore various subfields, including clinical, cognitive, and developmental psychology.
  8. Public Policy and Management (Sol Price School of Public Policy):
    • USC’s Price School of Public Policy offers public administration, public policy, and urban planning programs. Students can engage in governance, social policy, and sustainable development studies.
  9. Dramatic Arts (School of Dramatic Arts):
    • USC’s School of Dramatic Arts provides theater, acting, and dramatic writing programs. Students can receive training in performance, playwriting, and various aspects of the dramatic arts.
  10. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies (Keck School of Medicine):
    • USC’s Keck School of Medicine offers programs in health promotion, disease prevention, and global health. Students can explore public health issues and work towards improving community well-being.

These programs represent just a snapshot of the diverse academic offerings at USC. Prospective students are encouraged to explore USC’s official website and contact academic advisors for the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about specific programs, majors, and opportunities.

How to know which major is for you

Choosing a major can be a significant decision that impacts your academic and career path. Here are some steps to help you determine which major is the right fit for you:

  1. Self-Reflection:
    • Reflect on your interests, passions, and hobbies. Consider what subjects you enjoy studying and find intellectually stimulating. Think about activities that make you lose track of time or topics you enjoy discussing with others.
  2. Strengths and Skills:
    • Identify your strengths and skills. What are you naturally good at? Your strengths and skills can guide you toward majors that align with your abilities and talents.
  3. Career Exploration:
    • Explore potential careers associated with different majors. Research job prospects, industries, and the skills required for various professions. Consider talking to professionals in fields you find interesting.
  4. Take Introductory Courses:
    • Enroll in introductory courses in different disciplines. Many universities allow students to explore a variety of subjects before declaring a major. Intro courses can provide a taste of what each major entails.
  5. Talk to Academic Advisors:
    • Schedule meetings with academic advisors or career counselors. They can provide guidance, discuss your academic interests, and help you explore majors that align with your goals.
  6. Networking and Informational Interviews:
    • Connect with professionals in different fields through networking events or informational interviews. Gain insights into their career paths, daily responsibilities, and the educational background required for their roles.
  7. Internships and Volunteering:
    • Participate in internships or volunteer opportunities related to different fields. Practical experience can provide valuable insights into the day-to-day aspects of various professions.
  8. Consider Interdisciplinary Options:
    • Explore interdisciplinary majors that combine multiple fields of study. These programs may allow you to integrate your interests and pursue a unique academic path.
  9. Evaluate Coursework and Requirements:
    • Review the coursework and requirements for potential majors. Consider whether the classes are engaging and whether the major aligns with your long-term goals.
  10. Seek Guidance from Mentors:
    • Seek advice from mentors, teachers, or professionals in your network. They may share their experiences, offer insights, and provide valuable advice on choosing a major.
  11. Personal Values and Goals:
    • Consider your values and long-term goals. What kind of impact do you want to make in your career? Choose a major that aligns with your values and contributes to your life goals.
  12. Be Open to Change:
    • Keep in mind that it’s okay to change majors. Your interests and goals may evolve as you gain exposure to different subjects and experiences.

It’s essential for prospective students to explore the full list of majors offered at USC and consider their personal interests and career goals when choosing a major. Additionally, students often have the flexibility to pursue interdisciplinary studies and customize their academic paths.

USC Admission Requirements

The application requirements for USC may be subject to change. Therefore, it’s crucial to check USC’s official admissions website or contact the admissions office for the most up-to-date and accurate information. Below are general components that are typically part of the USC undergraduate application:

  1. Common Application or Coalition Application:
    • USC accepts either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. Applicants can choose the platform that best suits their preferences.
  2. Application Fee:
    • A non-refundable application fee is usually required. However, USC provides fee waivers for eligible students with financial need.
  3. High School Transcript:
    • Applicants must submit official high school transcripts, including grades and coursework. The transcript should demonstrate strong academic performance.
  4. Letters of Recommendation:
    • USC typically requires letters of recommendation. These letters should be written by teachers, counselors, or others who can provide insights into the applicant’s academic abilities and character.
  5. Standardized Test Scores:
    • While USC has moved to a test-optional policy, meaning that submitting standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) is not required, applicants may still choose to submit scores if they believe it strengthens their application.
  6. Personal Statement/Essays:
    • USC typically requires one or more personal statements or essays. These essays allow applicants to showcase their personality, experiences, and aspirations.
  7. Resume or Activities List:
    • Applicants are often asked to provide a resume or a list of extracurricular activities, leadership roles, work experiences, and community service involvement.
  8. Portfolio or Audition (for Certain Programs):
    • Some programs, especially in the arts, may require applicants to submit a portfolio, audition, or additional materials to demonstrate their skills and talents.
  9. Interview (Optional):
    • While interviews are not typically required, USC may offer optional interviews as part of the admissions process. Interviews provide an opportunity for applicants to share more about themselves.
  10. Demonstrated Interest (Optional):
    • USC does not consider demonstrated interest in the admissions process. However, applicants are encouraged to attend informational sessions and campus tours to learn more about the university.

It’s important to note that USC’s application requirements can vary by program and significance. Therefore, applicants should carefully review the specific requirements for the program to which they are applying. Additionally, given that admissions policies can change, it’s advisable to refer to USC’s official admissions website for the most accurate and current information.

A female student looking at her laptop and thinking.

USC’s Interview Process

USC generally does not conduct formal interviews as part of the undergraduate admissions process. USC’s admissions process is primarily based on the information provided in the application, including transcripts, standardized test scores (if submitted), essays, letters of recommendation, and other relevant materials.

Key Application Deadlines for USC

USC has several application deadlines for first-year students:

  1. Application Deadlines:
    • USC sets different application deadlines for first-year students. The Early Action deadline is November 1, allowing applicants to submit their materials early for consideration. The Regular Decision deadline is on January 15, providing an additional opportunity for students who choose not to apply through Early Action.
  2. Early Action Option:
    • In addition to Regular Decision, USC offers an alternative application option known as Early Action. This option has a specific application deadline of November 15, allowing students to apply early and receive an admissions decision earlier in the application cycle.
  3. Strict Application Review Process:
    • USC adheres to a strict application review process. Applications submitted after the specified deadlines, whether for Early Action or Regular Decision, may not be reviewed. This emphasizes the importance of meeting the deadlines to ensure consideration for admission.
  4. Test Scores Deadline:
    • USC has a specific deadline for the receipt of test scores, which is tied to the credentials deadline associated with the type of application (Early Action or Regular Decision). It is essential for applicants to submit their test scores following these deadlines to avoid any negative impact on their application.
  5. Deadline Extensions on a Case-by-Case Basis:
    • USC considers application deadline extensions on a case-by-case basis. This means that if a student has exceptional circumstances that prevent them from meeting the original deadline, they may request an extension. However, such extensions are not guaranteed and are evaluated individually.

Understanding and adhering to these deadlines is crucial for prospective students applying to USC, as missing deadlines can affect the application review process. Applicants should carefully review USC’s official admissions information for the most accurate and current details regarding deadlines and any potential extensions.

Tuition Costs at USC for 2023-2024

The tuition costs for USC for the 2023-2024 academic year are as follows:

  • Tuition (12-18 units for two semesters): $66,640
  • Fees: $1,597
  • Housing (on-campus): $11,910
  • Dining/meals (on-campus): $7,290
  • Total estimated cost of attendance (on-campus): $90,921

It’s important to note that the total cost of attendance includes tuition and fees, housing, dining, books and supplies, personal and miscellaneous expenses, and transportation. Additionally, USC offers financial aid, including merit scholarships, need-based grants, Federal Work-Study, and loans. Incoming first-year students from U.S. families with an annual income of $80,000 or less with typical assets will attend USC tuition-free

USC Scholarships

The University of Southern California (USC) offers several scholarships to help undergraduate students pay for their education. USC administers more than a dozen prestigious scholarship programs, ranging in value from a few thousand dollars to full tuition. These scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, leadership, service, and talent.

It’s important to note that scholarship offerings can change, and prospective students should check USC’s official financial aid and scholarship pages for the most up-to-date information. Here are some common types of scholarships offered at USC:

Mini graduation cap and coins on top of bills.

  1. Merit-Based Scholarships:
    • USC provides a range of merit-based scholarships for incoming undergraduate students. These scholarships are awarded based on academic achievements, standardized test scores, and excellence in various fields.
  2. National Merit Scholarships:
    • USC participates in the National Merit Scholarship Program, and National Merit Finalists who choose USC as their first-choice institution can receive scholarship support.
  3. Leadership and Service Scholarships:
    • USC recognizes students with exceptional leadership skills and a commitment to community service. Leadership and service scholarships may be awarded to those who have positively impacted their schools or communities.
  4. Talent-Based Scholarships:
    • USC is known for its vital programs in the arts, including cinema, music, theater, and more. The university offers talent-based scholarships for students with outstanding abilities and achievements in these areas. These scholarships may involve auditions, portfolio submissions, or other demonstrations of talent.
  5. Diversity Scholarships:
    • USC is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. Diversity scholarships may be available to students from underrepresented backgrounds, including those based on ethnicity, race, or other factors contributing to diversity.
  6. International Scholarships:
    • USC offers scholarships to international students based on academic merit, leadership, and other achievements. These scholarships aim to attract and support a diverse international student body.
  7. USC Associates Scholarship:
    • The USC Associates Scholarship is a prestigious award given to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievements and leadership. It is one of USC’s most competitive scholarships.
  8. Need-Based Financial Aid:
    • In addition to scholarships, USC provides need-based financial aid to eligible students. This aid may include grants, work-study opportunities, and low-interest loans.
  9. Special Program Scholarships:
    • Some USC schools and programs offer specialized scholarships for students in particular fields of study. These scholarships may be tied to specific majors, departments, or academic interests.
  10. Athletic Scholarships:
    • USC has a robust athletic program, and student-athletes may be eligible for athletic scholarships. These scholarships recognize exceptional talent and achievements in sports.

Almost two-thirds of all undergraduates at USC receive some form of financial aid. It is usually in the form of merit scholarships, Federal Work-Study and loans, and need-based grants. The college also helps families apply for student loans to cover their end of the cost of attendance.

Prospective students are encouraged to explore USC’s official financial aid and scholarship websites, contact the financial aid office, and review application instructions to understand the specific requirements and deadlines for each scholarship opportunity. Remember that scholarship availability and criteria may vary across different schools and programs within USC.

Student Life at USC


University of Southern California campus scene with students and bicycles in the background.

The University of Southern California (USC) offers a vibrant and diverse student life with many opportunities for engagement, support, and personal development. Here are some key aspects of student life at USC:

Student Support and Engagement

  • USC Student Life is dedicated to supporting, educating, and engaging students, providing opportunities for them to reach their educational, personal, and professional aspirations.
  • There are numerous ways for students to get involved at USC, including academic school communities, the Trojan Welcome Experience, over 1,000 student groups, and 3,000 student events.
  • USC offers resources to support students’ emotional, physical, and spiritual health, career services, and basic needs support.

Housing and Dining

  • USC provides diverse housing options, and while freshmen are not required to live on campus, 82% of freshmen choose to do so.
  • The university offers a variety of dining options, meal plans, and amenities to support students’ living and dining needs on campus.

Clubs and Organizations

  • USC boasts a rich and dynamic club and organization scene, with over 1,000 student groups and 120+ volunteer events, allowing students to make friends, pursue their passions, and learn new skills.

Campus Life and Activities

  • USC’s campus life is characterized by a dynamic and welcoming atmosphere, with many activities, including student-run events, research showcases, open mic nights, and cultural and recreational activities.
  • The university offers a range of resources and support for students, including multicultural resources, campus ministries, and opportunities for real-world contributions to the community.

Overall, USC provides a supportive and engaging environment that allows students to thrive academically, socially, and personally, with many opportunities for involvement, growth, and exploration.

Clubs and Extracurricular Activities

USC offers a vibrant array of clubs and extracurricular activities that cater to diverse interests and passions. While popularity can vary over time, here are examples of some well-known and famous clubs and activities at USC:

  1. USC Trojan Marching Band (TMB):
    • The USC Trojan Marching Band is a prominent and spirited organization known for its performances at USC athletic events. It brings together students with musical talents, fostering a strong sense of school spirit.
  2. USC Program Board:
    • The USC Program Board organizes various events and activities, including concerts, movie nights, and cultural programs. It allows students to engage in social and entertainment experiences on campus.
  3. USC Student Government:
    • USC’s Student Government plays a crucial role in representing student interests and organizing campus events. It includes various committees and elected positions, allowing students to participate actively in campus governance.
  4. USC Annenberg Media:
    • Annenberg Media encompasses various student-run media outlets, including television stations, radio stations, and online publications. It provides opportunities for journalism, broadcasting, and digital media students.
  5. USC Helenes and Trojan Knights:
    • Helenes and Trojan Knights are prestigious service organizations contributing to campus life and community service. They are known for their involvement in USC traditions and events.
  6. USC Cultural Student Organizations:
    • USC hosts numerous cultural student organizations representing various ethnicities, nationalities, and backgrounds. These organizations celebrate diversity through cultural events, performances, and community engagement.
  7. USC Viterbi Student Organizations:
    • The USC Viterbi School of Engineering supports various student organizations focused on engineering, technology, and innovation. Examples include the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
  8. USC Marshall Student Organizations:
    • The USC Marshall School of Business has student organizations related to business, entrepreneurship, and professional development. Examples include the Marshall Consulting and Strategy Club and the Marshall Finance and Investment Banking Association.
  9. USC Trojan Debate Squad:
    • The Trojan Debate Squad is one of the country’s oldest and most successful collegiate debate programs. It offers opportunities for students interested in competitive debate and public speaking.
  10. USC Performing Arts Clubs:
    • USC has various performing arts clubs, including dance groups, theater organizations, and a cappella groups. These clubs provide a platform for students to showcase their artistic talents.
  11. USC Environmental Student Organizations:
    • For students interested in environmental sustainability and activism, there are organizations like the Environmental Student Assembly (ESA) and the Sustainability Coalition.

These examples highlight the diversity of clubs and extracurricular activities at USC. Remember that USC’s campus is dynamic, and new clubs may emerge over time based on student interests and initiatives. Students are encouraged to explore the USC student organizations directory and attend involvement fairs to discover opportunities that align with their interests and passions.

Academics at USC

USC offers various academic programs across disciplines, including arts and humanities, business and entrepreneurship, and sciences and technology. Some key aspects of USC’s academic offerings include:

  • Over 128 majors and minors include Acting, Art History, Criticism and Conservation, Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management, and Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering.
  • A strong emphasis on research and innovation, with numerous opportunities for students to engage in research projects and collaborate with faculty members.
  • A diverse and interdisciplinary curriculum allows students to explore various fields and combine them uniquely.
  • A student-faculty ratio of 9:1, with 61.9% of classes having fewer than 20 students, provides personalized attention and opportunities for students to excel.
  • A commitment to providing a well-rounded education, with opportunities for students to engage in student-run activities, clubs, organizations, and volunteer work.

USC’s academic programs are designed to foster a diverse and intellectually stimulating environment, allowing students to develop their skills, knowledge, and passions in preparation for their future careers and personal growth.

An athlete is running down the field with the ball in his stick, being chased by the rival team.

Notable USC alumni

USC boasts a distinguished alumni network that includes individuals who have excelled in various fields, including entertainment, business, politics, science, and sports. Here are some notable USC alumni:

  1. George Lucas:
    • Renowned filmmaker and creator of the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises.
  2. Steven Spielberg:
    • Acclaimed film director, producer, and co-founder of DreamWorks SKG.
  3. Neil Armstrong:
    • Astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.
  4. John Wayne:
    • An iconic actor known for his roles in classic Western films.
  5. Will Ferrell:
    • Comedic actor and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member.
  6. Shonda Rhimes:
    • Television producer and writer best known for creating hit shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.”
  7. Forest Whitaker:
    • Academy Award-winning actor known for his roles in films such as “The Last King of Scotland.”
  8. Robert Zemeckis:
    • Film director, producer, and screenwriter known for “Back to the Future” and “Forrest Gump.”
  9. Marc Benioff:
    • Co-founder and CEO of Salesforce, a leading cloud-based software company.
  10. Nikias Nikias:
    • Former President of USC, serving from 2010 to 2018.
  11. Judd Apatow:
    • Film producer, director, and screenwriter known for comedies like “Knocked Up” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
  12. George Tyndall:
    • Former gynecologist at USC’s student health center, involved in a high-profile scandal related to allegations of sexual misconduct.
  13. LeVar Burton:
    • Actor and director known for his roles in “Roots” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
  14. John McKay:
    • Legendary football coach who led USC’s football team to four national championships in the 1960s and 1970s.
  15. Ron Howard:
    • Award-winning filmmaker, actor, and director known for “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13.”

These individuals represent just a tiny fraction of the accomplished USC alumni community. USC has produced leaders and innovators across various industries, contributing significantly to their respective fields. The university continues to foster a strong network of alumni who make significant impacts on a global scale.


Securing a spot at the university is no easy feat, as evidenced by USC’s exceptionally low acceptance rate. However, with careful preparation, dedication, and a compelling application, it’s possible to stand out among the thousands of applicants and gain acceptance to this prestigious institution.

Remember to showcase your academic abilities, extracurricular involvements, leadership potential, and passion for your chosen field. And most importantly, stay motivated and confident throughout the application process. Good luck!

AdmissionSight is your college admission specialist.

The college admission landscape is a constant source of frustration, confusion, and anxiety for students who are eager to make the most of their college experience. The AdmissionSight team is a specialist in the field that’s helped hundreds of students achieve their academic goals by getting into the universities of their dreams.

Whether you want help editing essays, preparing your application, choosing a relevant program, or need one-on-one counseling, we’ve got your back. Our decades of experience in college admissions puts us uniquely positioned to help college students pursue a successful higher education.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you personally. Our initial consultations are completely free.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.