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What are the Best Majors at USC?

August 25, 2023
By AdmissionSight
View of USC building with landscaped garden.

What are the Best Majors at USC?

What are the best majors at USC? The University of Southern California (USC) is recognized in the world as a hub for worldwide business, art, and technology. Students are provided with possibilities for study across disciplinary lines as well as for working with prominent scholars.

During your time at USC, you will be faced with a significant number of choices and decisions. The selection of a major may be simultaneously one of the most challenging and thrilling decisions for many students. Some individuals enter college knowing exactly what they want to study at the undergraduate level, while others require additional time to identify and investigate their areas of interest before selecting a major field of study.

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Remember that identifying your academic focus might require multiple semesters of dedication on your part. While some students may gain clarity after just one introductory course, others might only truly understand their direction after gaining hands-on experience as interns or research assistants in the related field. Hence, to help you out, below are some of the best majors being offered at USC:

Business Administration

The Marshall School of Business stands as a globally recognized leader in business education and is nestled within a top-tier private research university. At Marshall, you’ll delve deep into a curriculum built on the ethos of “breadth with depth”, covering all crucial aspects of business. This approach ensures you grasp a holistic view of the corporate landscape.

Subsequently, you’ll further refine your expertise by pursuing advanced courses in the business sectors that intrigue you most. However, first-year students at Marshall don’t solely focus on business modules. The program’s adaptability gives you a robust grounding in business tenets and lets you chase personal and career passions.

Social Sciences (Economics Focus)

Offered by the Economics department, the Social Science major emphasizing Economics is tailored for those whose interests span across diverse social science domains. Most mandatory coursework falls within the emphasis, supplemented by advanced courses in Anthropology, Geography, History, International Relations, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology.

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Visual and Performing Arts

This multidisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree is a collaborative effort of the Schools of Dramatic Arts, Architecture, Cinematic Arts, Roski School of Art and Design, Thornton School of Music, and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at the University of Southern California.

Communication

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is a trailblazer in the domains of communication, journalism, public relations, and advertising, focusing on their societal impacts. Named in honor of Walter H. Annenberg, undergraduates here imbibe pivotal skills like leadership, innovation, service, and entrepreneurship, all while leveraging a global university located in the heart of the media world.

Engineering

This unique undergraduate pathway culminates in a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. The program encourages innovation, fosters academic excellence, and nurtures leadership. USC offers a plethora of ten diverse majors in this domain, making it an ideal choice for those committed to thriving in their chosen field.

Accounting

The Leventhal School of Accounting emphasizes nurturing students’ analytical prowess, communicative ability, and ethical consciousness. As part of the USC Marshall School of Business, accounting is foundational. Beyond the standard curriculum that imparts essential professional skills, students are also encouraged to adopt a progressive mindset.

Urban Studies and Planning

The Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and Planning at the Price School melds rigorous coursework with practical internships. Graduates are equipped with the tools to bring about lasting positive transformation in urban environments.

Law

The USC Gould School of Law is a beacon in legal education in the U.S., boasting a rich history of excellence spanning over a century. It prioritizes cultivating analytical, communicative, critical reading, and research capabilities in its undergraduates.

Public Policy

The Bachelor of Science in Public Policy blends teachings from political science, economics, quantitative methods, and management. This degree provides undergraduates the hands-on exposure needed to engage with communities and address issues on local to global scales, all while understanding the roles of governmental, non-profit, and private sectors in shaping policies.

Ultimately, the University of Southern California offers a myriad of world-class academic programs, each uniquely tailored to equip students with comprehensive knowledge and practical experience. Whether you’re drawn to the arts, passionate about policy, or aiming to ascend the corporate ladder, USC provides an environment where ambition meets unparalleled instruction. The institution’s commitment to excellence ensures that whatever major you choose, you’re amongst the best in the world.

How Do You Decide on Your Major?

Choosing a major is arguably one of the most pivotal decisions in a student’s academic journey. At an esteemed institution like the University of Southern California (USC), the breadth and quality of academic programs can make this choice seem daunting. With countless fields of study ranging from the arts to sciences, business to engineering, how does one settle on the right major? Here are some guidelines to help prospective USC students navigate this crucial decision:

View of main building of USC and their gate.

Self-Reflection and Assessment

Before diving into the expansive list of majors at USC, spend time reflecting on your interests, strengths, and long-term goals. Ask yourself: What subjects or activities have you always been drawn to? What tasks or projects have felt most rewarding? Are there any careers you’ve always envisioned for yourself? Utilizing tools like personality and career aptitude tests can also offer insights.

Research

Familiarize yourself with the various majors offered at USC. Delve deep into course structures, potential career paths, faculty profiles, and even alumni success stories. USC’s website, brochures, and academic advisors are valuable resources in this phase.

Practical Exposure

Many students arrive at college with a predetermined major, only to discover a change of heart after a semester or two. This is perfectly natural. To minimize such shifts, consider gaining hands-on experience in your field of interest. Internships, workshops, summer programs, or even informational interviews with professionals can provide a realistic picture of what pursuing a particular major might entail.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

USC celebrates a holistic approach to education, often allowing students to combine or customize their majors. If you’re torn between two fields, look into minors, double majors, or interdisciplinary programs. For instance, you could major in business while minoring in digital media, bridging your love for commerce with creativity.

Engage with Current Students and Faculty

Who better to offer a firsthand account of a major than students currently enrolled in it? Reach out, ask questions, and attend departmental meetings or open days. Engaging with faculty can also offer clarity. Their academic and professional trajectories can serve as inspiration and guidance.

Consider Future Employment and Trends

While passion should be a driving factor in choosing a major, it’s also prudent to consider the employment landscape. Research the demand for professions within your desired field, potential salary brackets, and future industry trends. Will there be a significant demand for jobs related to your major in the next 10 years?

Flexibility and Openness

Remember, choosing a major is not carving your destiny in stone. Many individuals end up in careers unrelated to their undergraduate majors. The skills, experiences, and networks you cultivate at USC will hold value, irrespective of your chosen field. Be open to change if, along the way, you discover a new calling.

Consult an Academic Advisor

USC boasts a robust academic advisory system. Take advantage of this. Schedule regular meetings with advisors who can offer tailored guidance, highlight resources, and even connect you with alumni or professionals in your desired field.

While the decision to select a major is significant, it’s essential to remember that it’s just one of the many choices you’ll make in your educational journey. USC’s diverse academic landscape is designed not just to offer specialized knowledge but also to foster critical thinking, adaptability, and lifelong learning. With introspection, research, and the myriad resources at your disposal, you’re well-equipped to make an informed decision that aligns with both your passion and future aspirations.

What are Your Chances of Getting Into USC?

USC’s acceptance rate stands at a selective 1 in 12 applicants. This translates to only 12 out of every 100 applicants receiving the coveted acceptance letter, leaving the other 88 without further consideration.

While USC’s entrance criteria aren’t as stringent as Ivy League institutions, they are notably more rigorous than most other universities.

However, USC adopts a thorough and holistic approach to application assessments. They evaluate not just your academic prowess but also your individual character and qualities. The goal is to discern your unique narrative and determine how you can leverage and benefit from what USC offers.

To stand out, it’s crucial to maintain a stellar academic record, primarily filled with A’s. Most USC admits typically rank within the top 10% of their high school class. Hence, it’s vital to be diligent in your studies, submit assignments promptly, and actively engage in all your classes. Should you find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to seek help from teachers, peers, or tutors.

Aiming for a GPA of around 3.79 and scoring at least a 34 on the ACT or 1530 on the SAT can bolster your application. Additionally, immerse yourself deeply in extracurricular activities you’re passionate about, taking on leadership roles, and achieving notable milestones within them.

When drafting your essays, research extensively about USC and your chosen major. Let your unique voice, personality, and keenness for USC shine through. Illustrate to the admissions team why you deserve a spot and how you can enrich the USC community.

Committing to community service during high school is commendable and reflects positively on your application. Such initiatives not only foster personal growth but also demonstrate your commitment to societal betterment. A track record of impactful community service signals to USC that you’re poised to make meaningful contributions to both the university community and the broader world.

In sum, to elevate your chances at USC, focus on academic excellence, invest deeply in extracurriculars, and heed the guidance provided here.

If you need help in choosing among the best majors being offered at USC or if you need help putting the finishing touches on your college applications,  at AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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