USC and Hamilton College: A Look at the Rivalry

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young woman using a laptop on a table.

USC and Hamilton College: A Look at the Rivalry

The rivalry between USC and Hamilton College is one that has been raging on for years. Both universities have their strengths and weaknesses. Be it academics, athletics, campus culture, and student life. In this article, we will take a closer look at these aspects to help you decide which university fits you best.

The History of the USC vs Hamilton College Rivalry

The USC vs Hamilton College rivalry dates back to the early 20th century. The two universities have faced off in various sporting events, with each team looking to claim bragging rights. One of the most notable events in this rivalry was the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game in 1948. USC emerged victorious, and this win has remained a part of Trojan history.

Over the years, the rivalry has extended beyond just sports. USC and Hamilton College have also competed in academic competitions, with each university striving to outperform the other. This has led to a healthy academic rivalry, with both institutions pushing each other to excel in various fields.

Despite the intense competition, there is also a sense of camaraderie between the two universities. Many students and alumni from both USC and Hamilton College have formed lasting friendships, and there have been instances of collaboration between the two institutions on various projects.

Comparing the Academics of USC and Hamilton College

When it comes to academics, both universities have their strengths. USC is renowned for its programs in film, business, and engineering, while Hamilton College is known for its liberal arts programs.

View of computer engineers working on a project.

USC has a larger student body, with over 47,000 students enrolled in various undergraduate and graduate programs. Hamilton College, on the other hand, has a smaller student body of just over 1,800 students. Both universities have a faculty-student ratio of 1:9, ensuring that students receive individualized attention from their professors.

Additionally, USC offers a wider range of majors and minors compared to Hamilton College. Students at USC can choose from over 150 majors and minors, while Hamilton College offers around 50 majors and minors.

USC also has a more diverse student body, with students from over 135 countries, while Hamilton College has a predominantly domestic student population. However, Hamilton College has a strong emphasis on writing and communication skills, with a required writing-intensive course for all students.

A Deep Dive into the Athletics Programs at USC and Hamilton College

USC and Hamilton College have distinct sports programs. USC’s athletics department has a rich history, with 21 NCAA team championships and over 107 individual championships to its name. The Trojan football team is one of the most popular college football teams in the country. Hamilton College, on the other hand, has a strong tradition in ice hockey, with its team, known as the Continentals, competing in the NCAA Division III.

Aside from football, USC also has a dominant track and field program, with numerous Olympic medalists and world record holders among its alumni. The Trojans have won 26 NCAA championships in track and field, making it one of the most successful programs in the country. In addition, USC has a strong women’s volleyball team, which has won six national championships.

Hamilton College, on the other hand, has a thriving squash program, with both its men’s and women’s teams consistently ranked among the top in the country. The college also has a successful rowing program, with its men’s and women’s crews competing in the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta and other major events. Hamilton’s cross-country and track and field teams have also produced several All-Americans and conference champions in recent years.

The Campus Culture: USC vs Hamilton College

The campus culture at USC and Hamilton College is significantly different. USC is located in the heart of Los Angeles and is known for its diverse student body and vibrant campus life. Hamilton College, on the other hand, is located in a small village in upstate New York and has a close-knit community. The Hamilton campus is home to numerous student organizations, and students often come together to participate in various events and activities.

Multiracial students talking while walking.

One of the defining features of USC’s campus culture is its emphasis on networking and career development. The university has strong connections with various industries, and students have access to a wide range of internships and job opportunities. USC also hosts numerous career fairs and networking events throughout the year, providing students with valuable opportunities to connect with potential employers.

At Hamilton College, the campus culture is characterized by a strong sense of community and collaboration. Students often work together on group projects and assignments, and professors are known for their accessibility and willingness to provide one-on-one support.

The college also places a strong emphasis on service and civic engagement, with many students participating in community service projects and volunteering opportunities both on and off campus.

Student Life at USC and Hamilton College Compared

Student life at USC and Hamilton College is rich and varied. At USC, students have access to a wide range of events and activities, from sporting events to concerts and exhibitions. Hamilton College has a more intimate campus life, with opportunities for students to engage with each other through clubs, organizations, and community service.

However, despite the differences in campus size and atmosphere, both USC and Hamilton College offer students a strong sense of community. USC has a large and diverse student body, but students still find ways to connect through shared interests and experiences. Hamilton College, on the other hand, has a tight-knit community where students often form close relationships with their peers and professors.

Another notable difference between the two schools is their location. USC is located in the heart of Los Angeles, offering students access to all the city has to offer. Hamilton College, on the other hand, is situated in a small town in upstate New York, providing a more secluded and peaceful environment for students to focus on their studies.

Admissions Requirements and Acceptance Rates: USC vs Hamilton College

Admissions requirements and acceptance rates differ between USC and Hamilton College. USC’s acceptance rate stands at 16%, while Hamilton College has a more selective acceptance rate of 16.5%.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

Both universities require standardized test scores and academic transcripts from applicants. USC emphasizes extracurricular activities, community service, and leadership skills in its admissions process.

However, Hamilton College places a greater emphasis on essays and personal statements, as well as letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors. In addition, Hamilton College also considers demonstrated interest in the school, such as campus visits and interviews, as a factor in their admissions decisions. USC, on the other hand, does not consider demonstrated interest in its admissions process.

The Financial Differences between Attending USC and Hamilton College

Financial considerations are essential when deciding between USC and Hamilton College. USC’s annual tuition stands at $59,260, while Hamilton College’s annual tuition is $60,070. However, both universities offer scholarships and financial aid programs to help offset the cost of tuition.

It is important to note that the cost of attending a university goes beyond just tuition. Students must also consider the cost of room and board, textbooks, and other expenses. At USC, the estimated cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is $79,954, while at Hamilton College, it is $76,790. These costs can vary depending on a student’s individual circumstances, such as their housing choices and meal plan options.

Another factor to consider is the potential return on investment of attending each university. USC is located in Los Angeles, a major hub for the entertainment industry, and has strong connections to the business world.

Hamilton College, on the other hand, has a strong liberal arts program and a close-knit community. Depending on a student’s career goals, one university may offer better opportunities for internships and networking.

What to Expect When Visiting USC and Hamilton College

Visiting both universities is an essential part of your decision-making process. USC’s sprawling campus is a fusion of historic and modern architecture. The university has numerous museums, art galleries, and cultural centers.

Hamilton College’s campus is known for its traditional architecture, with buildings dating back to the university’s founding in 1793. The campus has numerous hiking trails and recreational facilities for students to enjoy.

When visiting USC, be sure to check out the Annenberg Community Beach House, located just a few miles from campus. This historic beach house was once owned by William Randolph Hearst and was frequented by Hollywood celebrities in the 1920s.

Today, it serves as a public beach club with a pool, beach volleyball courts, and a restaurant. At Hamilton College, take a stroll through Root Glen, a beautiful botanical garden located on campus. The garden features over 65 species of trees and shrubs, as well as a variety of flowers and other plants. It’s a peaceful and serene spot for students to relax and enjoy nature.

A Look at Research Opportunities at USC and Hamilton College

Both USC and Hamilton College are research-intensive universities. USC is a member of the Association of American Universities, a prestigious organization that comprises leading research universities.

The university invests over $890 million annually in research projects. Hamilton College has numerous research facilities, including the Longyear Museum of Anthropology and the Kennedy Center for Theatre and Studio Arts.

USC has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, with over 100 research centers and institutes that collaborate across various fields. The university also offers undergraduate research opportunities through programs like the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship, which provides funding for students to conduct research with faculty mentors.

Hamilton College has a unique research program called the Levitt Center, which focuses on promoting civic engagement and social responsibility through research. The center offers research grants for students and faculty, as well as opportunities for community-based research projects. Hamilton College also has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with over 50% of students participating in research projects during their time at the college.

Career Development Resources at USC and Hamilton College Compared

Career development resources are essential in helping students secure internships and jobs after graduation. USC has a robust career center that offers students career counseling, networking events, and job fairs. Hamilton College’s career center provides students with personalized career advising and a host of other resources, including alumni mentorship programs.

a business woman looking at the camera while her colleagues are at her back

However, while USC’s career center is larger and offers more resources, Hamilton College’s career center has a more personalized approach. Students at Hamilton College have the opportunity to work one-on-one with career advisors who help them identify their strengths and interests, and guide them towards career paths that align with their goals.

In addition, Hamilton College’s career center also offers a variety of workshops and seminars that help students develop essential job search skills, such as resume writing, interviewing, and networking. These workshops are led by industry professionals and alumni who provide valuable insights and advice to students.

The Role of Location in Choosing Between USC and Hamilton College

Location is a crucial consideration when choosing between USC and Hamilton College. USC’s location in Los Angeles provides students with access to numerous job and internship opportunities in various industries, including entertainment, fashion, and technology. Hamilton College’s location in upstate New York provides students with access to natural attractions, such as national parks and lakefront communities.

Another factor to consider when choosing between USC and Hamilton College is the climate. USC’s location in Southern California provides students with year-round warm weather, while Hamilton College experiences all four seasons, including cold winters with snow. This may be a deciding factor for students who prefer a certain type of climate.

Additionally, the location of each school can impact the overall cost of attendance. Los Angeles has a higher cost of living compared to upstate New York, which may result in higher expenses for USC students. On the other hand, Hamilton College’s location may require students to have a car or rely on public transportation, which can also add to the cost of attendance.

Diversity on Campus: Comparing USC and Hamilton College

Both USC and Hamilton College value diversity and inclusivity on their campuses. USC’s student body is one of the most diverse in the country, with students from over 120 countries represented. Hamilton College is also committed to diversity, with over 56 countries represented in its student body.

Students smiling at the camera together.

However, the two schools differ in their approach to promoting diversity. USC has a number of student organizations dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, such as the Black Student Assembly and the Asian-Pacific American Student Assembly.

These organizations host events and provide resources for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Hamilton College, on the other hand, has a more decentralized approach to promoting diversity, with individual departments and programs taking the lead on initiatives.

Despite these differences, both schools recognize the importance of diversity in creating a vibrant and inclusive campus community. They both offer resources and support for students from diverse backgrounds, including scholarships, mentorship programs, and cultural centers. By valuing diversity and promoting inclusivity, USC and Hamilton College are creating environments where all students can thrive.

The Impact of Extracurricular Activities on Student Life at USC and Hamilton College

Extracurricular activities play a critical role in shaping the student experience at USC and Hamilton College. USC has over 1,000 student organizations, ranging from cultural clubs to professional groups. Hamilton College also has numerous student organizations, including an active student government and numerous service-oriented clubs.

One of the significant benefits of participating in extracurricular activities is the opportunity to develop leadership skills. USC and Hamilton College offer various leadership positions within their student organizations, allowing students to gain valuable experience in leading and managing teams. These skills are transferable to future careers and can make a significant impact on a student’s professional development.

Moreover, extracurricular activities provide an excellent opportunity for students to network and build relationships with their peers. USC and Hamilton College offer a diverse range of student organizations, allowing students to connect with individuals who share similar interests and passions. These connections can lead to lifelong friendships and professional connections that can be beneficial in the future.


As you can see, USC and Hamilton College have their unique strengths and weaknesses. When deciding which university to attend, it’s essential to consider various factors, such as academics, athletics, campus culture, student life, and location. By doing so, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

Segue to AdmissionSight

At AdmissionSight, we firmly uphold the conviction that every student is entitled to the chance to pursue their dreams at their preferred college. Our mission is to equip you with the expert advice and unwavering support you need to secure a place at the schools you aspire to attend. We also did a comparison of USC and Carnegie Mellon.

Don’t let your future hinge on uncertainty. Reach out to AdmissionSight today to arrange a complimentary consultation and embark on the journey toward realizing your dreams. With our expert mentorship and steadfast support, the sky’s the limit.

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