USC Dorm Room

November 29, 2022
By AdmissionSight

USC Dorm Room

Where Do Most Students Live At USC?

USC is in an urban metropolis a few miles south of downtown Los Angeles. The sheer vastness of Los Angeles can be overwhelming for USC’s numerous out-of-state and international students. However, the housing options give students a secure and welcoming place to live. The various buildings come in a variety of USC dorm rooms, floor plans, sizes, and levels of “niceness,” yet they all prominently emphasize companionship. A crucial component of your undergraduate experience is developing long-lasting relationships.

So, where do most students live at USC? Let’s take a look at the housing options below.

Residence Halls

The residence halls at USC provide easy access to the university’s services because they are housed within two residential colleges, New North and South. These structures’ around 1,100 spots are mostly reserved for freshmen. The typical collegiate housing experience is available here.

Young woman sitting on a dorm room full of things.

Students share common restrooms, lounges, study spaces, and exercise facilities while staying in double-occupancy USC dorm rooms. Residence halls are a very popular option because of this style and the fascinating histories of some of these structures.


The McCarthy Honors College is in the USC Village, together with the Parkside Arts & Humanities and International Residential Colleges, which are all three suite-style buildings at USC. There are over 1,300 openings for incoming freshmen in these buildings.

The number of rooms in a suite can range from two to four, with either single or double occupancy, and one large bathroom or two smaller bathrooms, depending on the building. Some also have a modest communal room, as those in the International Residential College.


Freshmen may request residences in the Webb Tower and Parkside Apartments, which are on-campus residential colleges. Additionally, they have the option of living in Cardinal Gardens or the nearby Cale and Irani Residential College. There aren’t many spaces available for freshmen because these buildings are mostly for upperclassmen. There are about 700 places set out for first-year students.

Most of the housing located on campus is reserved for freshmen however, UCLA has 35 housing options for upperclassmen and graduate students in the nearby North University Park neighborhood.

Upperclassmen who are continuing their studies and transfer students are eligible for a range of living alternatives, including university-owned apartments and residential colleges.

The term “continuing upperclassmen” at USC refers to students who have earned credits at USC for at least one semester but did not take part in the returning resident housing assignment process. At USC, “transfers” are new entering students with college credits.

Many of the current USC residents who are staying for another year populate the undergraduate housing. Transferring undergraduates are not guaranteed a housing assignment, unlike new first-year freshmen.

Undergraduate Off-Campus Options

Most college students reside in apartments in the North University Park neighborhood close to the main USC campus. The tenants of these buildings can take advantage of the numerous activities the university offers because of their proximity to the campus hub.

About 3,800 beds are available in twelve housing buildings, offering students a variety of floor types, neighborhoods, and rents. Most undergraduates are given shared apartments. One- and two-bedroom apartments in bigger apartment complexes like Cardinal Gardens, a group of nine townhouse-style structures, or Century Apartments are examples of this.

Webb Tower and Parkside, which are both on campus, provide a variety of studio, one-, and two-bedroom designs. There are several different one-to-three-bedroom apartments available at the USC Village’s four substantial residential colleges.

How Do Dorms Work At USC?

How do dorms work at USC? Within a week of being admitted, Housing will provide you a link to set up your housing portal. Remember that you can set up your portal and submit a housing application before deciding whether you will be attending USC on May 1st.

Male students studying in his dorm room.

You will answer questions about your preferences for living and offer basic personal information about yourself (e.g. wake-up time, bedtime, preferred noise level, desired frequency of visitors, etc.). In addition, you will be asked to list your top five building placement preferences. You can also want to live in special interest communities however, these may require an additional application.

Roommate Request

Your application is complete even without one request for a specific roommate, so you can ask for one later or even as you are filling out the application.

Also, your request for a roommate is not always guaranteed. Both roommates must request one another and provide the same building and special interest community preferences, if there are any, for your roommate request to be considered.

Housing Assignment

You must be determined to attend USC and have your $300 enrollment deposit received by USC before receiving a housing assignment.

You will be informed of your housing assignment through email once a room has been allotted to you. You will be able to see your placement as well as everyone in your USC dorm room and/or suite after you receive this email.

Special Housing Assignments

For students who need special accommodations or who have disabilities, the Office of Student Accessibility Services (OSAS) enables all-inclusive participation for impaired students at USC.

To qualify for special housing considerations, students must submit a housing application, register with OSAS, and receive OSAS approval. If you have such needs (including requests for solitary lodgings), please get in touch with USC Housing and OSAS as soon as you can.

Two students cleaning their dorm room.

Housing for students with impairments is accessible in a variety of places and at various access levels. Because there is a high demand for this housing and a small supply available, USC cannot guarantee assignment to a particular building or room type. Based on availability and OSAS’s recommendations, USC Housing collaborates closely with OSAS to allocate students with special needs to suitable accommodations.

Gender-Inclusive Housing

Apartments that allow USC students to live with housemates regardless of gender identity or biological sex are known as gender-inclusive housing. Particularly for LGBTQ+ people, traditional housing alternatives that assign roommates based on biological sex can be hazardous and unwelcoming. Students who choose the gender-inclusive housing option can do so in a welcoming and secure atmosphere.

Cardinal Gardens and Century both include housing options that are inclusive of all genders. Take note of this in the Special Interest area of the online application if you are interested in living in gender-inclusive housing. You will be asked additional questions about your involvement in the community when you apply.

What Do USC Dorms Come With?

As you imagine yourself living in USC dorm rooms, you might wonder “What do USC dorms come with?” High-speed wireless internet access and cable TV with HD and premium stations are available in all USC housing units. Rent covers the cost of gas, electricity, and water. There are laundry facilities in every building that can be used with a credit or debit card, so you do not need to keep quarters on hand. Recreational areas, study lounges, and other communal areas can be found in most buildings.

Two students packing their things in a dorm room.

Everything in the university residence is provided. Every renter has a desk, chair, three-drawer dresser, and closet space in addition to an extra-long twin bed (36″ X 80″). Additionally, a refrigerator is provided in every bedroom in a suite and dorm room (a small refrigerator-and-microwave combination unit)

How Much Is the Room And Board At USC?

The projected cost of attendance at USC is a typical amount used to establish your eligibility for financial aid. For two semesters of study, it comprises the typical amounts for living costs, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, accommodation, food, and other living expenditures. Remember that your actual expenses can be different.

Additionally, because of specialized laboratory or studio material fees, or other extra costs spent by all students in the program, estimated budgets for students in specific majors may be greater. Both in-state and out-of-state residents pay the same amount for tuition at USC.

We’ll go over the cost of attendance to answer the popular query “How much is the room and board at USC?”

2022-2023 Estimated Cost of Attendance 

On/Off-Campus With Parents or Relatives
Tuition (12-18 units for two semesters) $63,468 $63,468
Fees $1,258 $1,258
Housing* $10,506 $2,500
Dining/Meals* $6,930 $3,500
Books and Supplies $1,200 $1,200
Personal Expenses $1,702 $1,702
Transportation $584 $1,948
Total** $85,648 $75,576

*Includes the typical monthly rent and the basic meal package for freshmen living in on-campus accommodation.

**For the first semester, add $450 for the new student fee.

What Is Special About USC’s Residential Life?

Living on campus puts you near your classes, the USC Libraries, and the clubs and activities that make college life enjoyable. The purpose of USC’s freshman housing is to foster communities where students can live, study, and interact while adjusting to college life while enjoying meals together in the residential dining halls. Numerous programs and activities keep residents engaged, aid in the development of their leadership and intellectual abilities, offer opportunities for relaxation and fun, and aid in the forming of new friendships.

For a freshman student moving away from home for the first time, living in a USC dorm room in residence halls or suite-style facilities offers the most comfortable transition to college life. Earlier, we discussed the housing options at USC and what they could offer. Now, you might be curious “What is special about USC’s residential life?” Students who want to get the most out of their college experience are drawn to USC Living Learning Communities, which bring students and professors together to participate in academic and cultural activities.

Every community provides a unique service. Some group students share the same academic or professional interests. Others draw individuals drawn to a specific culture or way of life. While some villages are quite large, others are small. These groups offer formal and informal events and programs that enrich and broaden your university experience.

What you decide to eat will be among the most crucial aspects of your residential experience at USC. To provide tasty, ethical cuisine for the Trojan Family, USC Hospitality is pleased to present you with selections that have won awards and are in accordance with high standards for nutrition and cooking. The program is created to accommodate the many needs and preferences of the student body, from traditional dining halls to a variety of eateries, cafés, and convenience stores.

Based on a student’s housing situation and academic standing, meal plans are assigned. Students living in residence halls where meal plans are not required may elect to take part in any plan on an optional basis.

In choosing a university to attend, safety is one of the factors often neglected. But students do not have to worry because USC is one of the safest campuses in the country. Due to an ongoing agreement between USC and Lyft, complimentary rides are available seven days a week from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. across campus.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is serving as the hub for security programs at USC. DPS’ main objective is to create a secure environment for the university’s social and academic endeavors. DPS is open every day of the week, round the clock. To report any emergency, including life-threatening mishaps, criminal activity, shady situations, fires, and safety risks, dial DPS.  Security guards are stationed on and around campus by the DPS office.

All university-owned housing is patrolled by community service officers, who also keep an eye on the Access Network every single day. Moreover, there are nearly 300 emergency phones strategically placed throughout the campus, in numerous buildings, and on every level of every parking structure. The emergency phones are easily identifiable by a blue light on top of the booth.

To sum up, the foundation of USC’s residential life is community. First-year students dwell in residential colleges where they participate in events including meals, service opportunities, and guest lecturers with on-campus instructors and staff. Then, students have a variety of housing alternatives to choose from, such as suites, apartments, special interest communities, and residence halls.

While students are excited to experience the residential life at USC, they must bear in mind that USC is one of the top universities in the US. The institution’s vast options for multidisciplinary study and collaboration with top academics in cutting-edge learning facilities make it an anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global hub for the arts, technology, and international business. And as one of the top private research universities in the world, the University of Southern California is highly selective in terms of admitting incoming students.

To boost your chances of admission, you must craft an excellent application. To prepare for the undergraduate requirements at USC, AdmissionSight can help you with each component of your application and assist you through the admissions process. To start, schedule an appointment for an initial consultation with AdmissionSight experts today.


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