USC Enrollment

August 15, 2022
By AdmissionSight

USC Enrollment

How Many Students Are Enrolled At USC?

Around 21,000 undergraduates and 28,500 graduate and professional students are enrolled, with a total of 49,500 (rounded to the nearest 500) being part of USC enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The numbers showing how many students are enrolled at USC show that it is a large institution, including a total of 28,119 faculty and staff members and student workers, with the exemption of the teaching and research assistants. It has an 8:1 student-to-instructor ratio.

What Is USC’s Acceptance Rate?

The University of Southern California is a well-liked choice for the best students in the Golden State because it is one of the best universities in the state. Now, let’s talk about one popular query “What is USC’s acceptance rate?”

The 70,000 aspirants submitted applications to study at USC for the 2021 academic year alone. 8,400 of them received offers of admission, representing a 12 percent acceptance rate.

Undoubtedly, that is an extremely low acceptance rate. But it’s not out of character for other universities with USC’s standing.

View of USC building with a tower and a walkway.

The University of California at Los Angeles, the school’s main rival, admitted 15,602 students out of 108,877 applicants, or 14 percent, according to their acceptance rate.

However, simply because USC’s acceptance percentage is lower than that of other colleges with comparable standards of excellence does not imply that admission is simple. At most two students out of every 10 will be accepted, and typically only one student will advance. The majority of observers think USC is a highly competitive institution.

Although it is difficult to meet, there are advantages to having such a high standard.

One reason is that a school has greater prestige the more elite it is. Additionally, when a school has strict admission requirements, only the top applicants are admitted, allowing everyone to bring out the best in one another.

What GPA Is Required for USC?

What GPA is required for USC is an important factor you need to consider. However, there is no minimum GPA requirement for USC admissions. Additionally, there is no standard USC GPA that will ensure your entrance to the institution. Try to equal the USC average GPA in order to increase your chances of admission.

The class of 2025’s USC average GPA was 3.83. This USC GPA is the greatest USC average GPA in university history, combined with the USC average GPA for the class of 2024.

The USC average GPA can alter each year depending on the academic profile of the incoming class, therefore it’s critical to constantly aim for a high GPA. The USC GPA will probably rise with each application cycle based on the existing trend.

Your junior year GPA will be used by USC to determine your chances of admission. It is therefore imperative that you perform well in your high school courses. Choosing the appropriate courses for you is the first step. If you utilize the resources at your disposal, your chances of matching the USC average GPA will be higher.

Group of students talking in a library.

Students that have an interest in education, research, and community service are sought after by USC. So don’t be concerned if your USC GPA is lower than the USC average. You might strengthen other areas of your application to make it more competitive.

Is USC Test Optional for 2023?

Since a lot of universities are extending their test-optional policies, is USC test optional for 2023? On February 22, the USC Office of Admissions sent a notice on its website stating that the university would be maintaining its test-optional policy for the forthcoming academic years 2022–2023 and 2023–2024.

USC has joined many other universities in removing the ACT and SAT requirements for candidates, including the University of California campuses, Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia. Applicants for USC scholarships are also permitted to do so without taking the required exams.

USC Dean of Admissions Timothy Brunold claims that the decision is a result of the need for a fair admissions procedure as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement posted on the admissions website, Brunold stated, “The pandemic, the economic downturn, and our country’s anti-racist social reckoning all require us to pay greater attention to how our processes can best serve the diversity of students and families that we seek to add to the USC community.”

Students taking an exam in a desk.

Additionally, the decision was made to give the admissions office some time to assess the results of the test-optional rule from the previous year. That policy was initially made public by the institution in April 2020.

What Are the Requirements for USC Enrollment?

What are the requirements for USC enrollment? Let’s see the admission deadlines first.

USC Admission Deadlines

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 non-binding and non-restrictive and it’s not available for majors that demand a portfolio or an interview. Candidates for EA will be given consideration 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 regular decision will be informed of the outcome.

Application deadline for majors needing a portfolio or interview: 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

USC’s Pre-requisites for Applications:

Using The Common App for Application

USC accepts Common App for application purposes. Add USC to the “My College” area to accomplish that.

Fee for Application

You must include $80 in application fees when applying.

Writing Supplement for USC

You must also fill out the USC writing supplement with the necessary details while submitting your common app application. There are essays and questions in the writing supplement.

Official Test Results

Tests are not required at USC, thus you are free to provide your results or not. If you send the test results, they will be taken into account while determining admission. Even if you choose not to provide your test results, you won’t be at a disadvantage.

Authentic Transcript

Your high school performance is summarized on your official transcript, which you must provide.

Character Reference Letters

One letter of recommendation must be provided to the College. Either your school counselor or a teacher who covered one of your core subjects should write this letter of recommendation for you. In order to be considered for admission to the school of cinematic arts, you must provide recommendations.

Fall Grades

You must submit your fall grade on the Mid-Year Report form for the Common Application or by going to your application site.

Conditions for Additional Requirements

For certain majors, there might be several more application requirements to complete.

What Should You Do If You’re an International Applicant?

Academic Pre-requisites

Academically, USC seeks out applicants who are eager to achieve their objectives by enrolling in a wide range of classes across disciplines and making use of the school’s numerous programs. While their median standardized test scores are in the top 5 percent, the majority of accepted students are among the top 10% of their graduating class. When learning about how to get into USC, keep in mind that admissions to this university are extremely hard. The approved students’ median GPA ranges from 3.8 to 4.00.

Standardized tests scores median ranges:

  • Evidence-based reading and writing on the SAT: 690–760
  • Math SAT: 720–800
  • 32–36 ACT Composite

It goes without saying that if you’re thinking about how to gain USC enrollment, you must work hard. The reader will take note of your “willingness to go above the requirements, to dig deeply into literature, to investigate ideas and become a lifelong learner” while considering your application.

USC wants to know from your coursework that you are willing to challenge yourself, so make sure you have taken the most challenging courses you could in English, math, science, social studies, foreign language, and the arts.

As you can see, you must put in a lot of effort if you want the best score on test day. Having said that, admissions officers are aware that your SAT results represent an average from one day. Therefore, having a GPA that demonstrates effort and commitment over the course of four years of high school is the most crucial component. Although USC doesn’t ask for or demand SAT subject tests, you may submit your subject test score if you feel your SAT composite doesn’t adequately reflect your skills and you want to further highlight your expertise in a particular field.

Character Reference Letters

Admissions officers are interested in your classroom behavior and highly regard the letters from your high school teachers. Your suggestions should further demonstrate your intellectual curiosity in order to satisfy USC’s requirement that the writer should be either your school counselor or teacher. For instance, USC values applicants who aren’t hesitant to speak up in class and push their classmates to think critically. Make sure to bring up situations with your professors that demonstrate these qualities.


The University of Southern California evaluates applicants based on their extracurricular activities in addition to their academic performance, as do many other institutions that use a holistic admissions process. Make sure you’ve pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone outside of the classroom while you’re considering how to get into USC.

Your activities list should emphasize that you have taken an interest in your chosen topic through what you have accomplished and participated in outside of school because the majority of USC majors are extremely particular, such as “American Popular Culture.”

Step away from popular organizations like debate and MUN and establish your own initiative if you want to stand out from other applicants. Admissions officers will recognize right away that you’re committed to pursuing your passions if, for instance, you’re interested in the Film & Television Production major and you produced a full-length documentary as a high school student.

Personal Statement

Your personal statement helps USC learn more about your past and the viewpoint you bring to campus. Don’t skimp on this part because it will help the admissions staff understand how you can give back to the community.

Using a laptop to type in a table.

Don’t limit yourself to describing a math test you might have failed or a week-long service trip. This essay’s goal is to demonstrate what you can offer that other students can’t. Therefore, your response can concentrate on a facet of your past or extracurricular activities that have been significant but that most students can’t relate to, or it might highlight an event that you think sets you apart from your classmates.

Supplemental Essays

Making the most of the extra essays is one of the best methods to demonstrate your enthusiasm to become a part of USC enrollment for the next academic year. USC has a total of four questions (with multiple sub-responses) that you must respond to in order for the admissions staff to learn more about you. In contrast, some institutions simply ask one question. Here is USC’s set of questions:

Question 1

Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. (Approximately 250 words)

Question 2

Please respond to ONE of the prompts below. (250 words)

  • USC believes that one learns best when interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Tell us about a time you were exposed to a new idea or when your beliefs were challenged by another point of view. Please discuss the significance of the experience and its effect on you.
  • USC faculty place an emphasis on interdisciplinary academic opportunities. Describe something outside of your intended academic focus about which you are interested in learning.
  • What is something about yourself that is essential to understanding you?

Question 3

Describe yourself in 3 words:

First word:

Second word:

Third word:

Question 4

The following prompts have a limit of 100 characters each.

  • What is your favorite snack?
  • Favorite app/website:
  • Best movie of all time:
  • Hashtag to describe yourself:
  • Dream job:
  • What is your theme song?
  • Dream trip:
  • What TV show will you binge watch next?
  • Place you are most content?
  • Which well-known person or fictional character would be your ideal roommate?
  • Favorite book:
  • If you could teach a class on any topic, what would it be?

How To Get Into USC?

The application procedure may already seem laborious and challenging. Making an application to a private university may seem intimidating. However, by following recommendations and advice, applying may seem easy, simple, and even fun. Here are ten suggestions to help you how to get into USC.

1. Begin early.

Start early with your college preparedness. This is true for both extracurricular activities and academic pursuits. Maintain a GPA of at least 3.7 and engage in extracurricular activities related to the field of study you plan to pursue in college. For instance, becoming actively involved in the drama club and school shows will improve your chances if you wish to pursue dramatic arts.

2. Examine.

Try to pick a variety of academics or extracurricular activities. Be open-minded to topics outside of your area of expertise. Step outside your comfort zone and give new things a try. This will broaden your horizons and prepare you for life after graduation as well as the environment at USC. Additionally, it demonstrates your range and curiosity to the admissions panel.

3. Submit a request for financial aid.

Send in your application as soon as possible if you require financial aid. The university provides a range of choices, such as merit-based scholarships and assistance for students with unique needs. Remember that these have different due dates for submission than the application deadline.

Female student studying using her laptop.

4. Create a checklist for submissions.

Make a list of everything you need to send. Include any supplementary items, such as documents, essays, transcripts, test results, and recordings of any auditions. Make a list of all the crucial deadlines you need to meet as well. Don’t forget about ancillary deadlines like those for financial aid applications. Check the tasks off your list as you finish them to keep track of your progress in USC enrollment.

5. Go on a campus visit.

Nothing is more satisfying than having the opportunity to tour the campus of the university you want to attend. Visualizing yourself as a member of the student body will be beneficial. You’ll have the necessary motivation after completing this step of the procedure to maintain your attention on the goal.

6. Request details.

If you come across something unclear, ask for clarification. Ask if something is unclear or if you simply want more information on the actions you are taking. Any questions you may have regarding the application process can be answered by the admissions team.

7. Engage in activities outside of school.

Participation in the community significantly improves your application. Participate in neighborhood or local church volunteer efforts. These will help you gain experience in skills like teamwork, adaptability, and planning, all of which are necessary for a successful college career.

8. Avoid going it alone.

Do not undertake this procedure by yourself. Be sure to have a support system in place for the times when you might feel overburdened. Whether you are feeling pressured, confused, anxious, or just want to celebrate your accomplishments, find somebody you can confide in. You can count on a mentor or a school counselor for the assistance you require. You can also ask for assistance from experts like AdmissionSight so you will not go through the tough admissions process alone.

9. Show patience.

During this time, patience is definitely a virtue. It can be anxious to hold out for a response after submitting all of your application materials. Don’t worry. The admissions staff at USC is monitoring your application closely. They have plenty of time to process each application because of the deadlines. Once they have processed your application, give them some time and they will get in touch with you.

10. Rejoice!

Take some time to acknowledge your progress. Celebrate your progress as you cross each item off the list. Celebrate when you turn in your last documents. You can avoid getting overwhelmed with worried energy, which can occasionally be counterproductive, by maintaining a cheerful outlook.

Admissions to any of the top universities in the country might be a long shot for almost everyone. However, it’s always worth to try applying to college and exceeding your expectations and limitations to yourself. You never know you’ll succeed unless you try! AdmissionSight is also here to help make your preparations smooth-sailing and with higher chances of admission. Feel free to set up an initial consultation now.


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