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The University of Southern California is a private, non-profit university, located in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1880 and is known for the fact that is enrolls more international students than any other school of higher learning in the USA – students come from 120 countries, and all 50 states. Furthermore, the University of Southern California is the oldest research school in the state, having developed a strong tradition in integrating liberal and professional education. The institution offers amazing opportunities for study abroad and internships – it highly encourages students to ‘cross both academic and geographic boundaries in the pursuit of knowledge’.

Another notable fact is that USC was named "College of the Year 2000" by the editors of Time and The Princeton Review for the university's extensive community-service programs. The institution is the most economically diverse top-ranked school in the States, also sponsoring a wide range of intercollegiate sports and competing in the NCAA Pacific-12 Conference.

Finally, rankings reveal the high quality educational service that the institution offers, too. USC is ranked 23rd among national universities by U.S.News & World Report, 46th among world universities, and 35th among universities in the Americas by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Here are some more specific rankings by the USNWR: The School of Law is 18th, the Marshall School of Business is ranked 10th in undergraduate education, and the Keck School of Medicine is 34th in research; the Viterbi School of Engineering is 7th, and the Rossier School of Education - 14th.

The facilities provided by the University of Southern California are very good, and students in professional schools of Accounting, Business, Communication, and Cinema/Television have excellent classroom extras available. Furthermore, varsity athletes have separate facilities for training and dining. On the other hand, however, non-athlete students believe that the sports and wellness facilities made available to them could be improved. Still, there are a number of swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, etc.

The student center has been renovated to include more space for students – restaurants, places to hold organizations meetings, and so on; other facilities are also constantly improved. Libraries are very well stocked, while students appreciate the fact that the campus is very green – there are small parks and fountains, where they can rest or read.

The main campus of the University of Southern California is the University Park campus, located in the West Adams district of South Los Angeles. Most of the buildings on the campus are in the Romanesque style, but some dormitories, engineering buildings, and physical sciences labs are in various Modernist styles. Widney Alumni House, which was built in 1880 is the oldest university building in Southern California.

What is interesting about the place is that since the 1960s traffic through the campus has been banned, and students can actually easily walk to landmarks like the Shrine Auditorium, Staples Center, and Los Angeles Coliseum. To end with, the campus has undergone a number of renovations over the last few years – old roads have been removed and replaced with traditional university quads and gardens.

On top of the main campus, there is a Health Sciences Campus, located about 2 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. What is being named as the university’s third campus is the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, staffed by USC faculty from the Keck School of Medicine. Moreover, the institution has opened an Orange County center in Irvine for business, pharmacy, social work, and education. There is also an Information Sciences Institute with centers in Arlingotn, Virginia, and Marina del Rey. The Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, located on Catalina Island is especially designed for Catalina Island. Finally, the School of Policy, Planning, and Development also runs a satellite campus in Sacramento.

A final important point is that the university won the recognition of College of the Year 2000 by the Time/Princeton Review College Guide thanks to the visible and sustained improvements it made in the neighborhoods surrounding both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. Some major facilities developed are The International Residential College at Parkside; The Marshall School of Business's Popovich Hall; The Galen Center – home to USC Basketball and USC Volleyball; The USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex; the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center and Trojan Plaza; and others. There is a University Park 2030 Master Plan that includes many more innovations, like a new football complex, plaza, and gardens, as well as a shopping center, campus offices, and housing development.

All Programs Available:
  • Business
    • Nonprofit Leadership and Management
    • International Management
  • Communications
    • Global Communication
    • Creative Writing
  • Computing
    • Bioinformatics
    • Geographical Information Systems
  • Economics
    • Economics
  • Health
    • Neuroscience
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  • Human Studies and Services
    • Child and Family Studies
    • Cognitive Studies
  • Humanities
    • Ancient Religion
    • Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Ethnic Studies
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Art History
    • Comparative Literature
    • Ethics
  • Law
    • Law and Society
  • Philology, Languages, Literature
    • Korean Language and Culture (in Universities)
    • English Language and Literature (in Universities)
    • Classics
    • Italian Language and Literature (in Universities)
    • Philology and Linguistics
    • Asian American Studies
    • German language and literature (in Universities)
    • French Language and Literature (in Universities)
  • Public Administration and Services
    • Peace and Conflict Studies
    • Human Rights
  • Sciences
    • Financial Mathematics
    • Medical Anthropology
    • Cultural Anthropology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Geobiology
    • Human Sciences
    • Computational Biology
    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Geohazards
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Biochemistry
    • Forensic Science
    • Criminology
    • Astronomy
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    • Archeology
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  • Social and Cultural Studies
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    • Latino Studies
    • American Studies
    • Afro-American Studies
    • Jewish-American Studies
    • East Asian Studies
  • Technology
    • Biotechnology
    • Occupational Technology
Language of instruction


Type of school

Public University


(213) 740-2311


University Park, Los Angeles, CA, The United States, 90089


•Ethics and Moral Philosophy •Folklore and Popular Culture •Forensics and Criminality •French •Gender Studies •Geobiology •Geological Sciences •Geographic Information Science and Technology •Geography •Geohazards •German •Global Communication •History •History and Social Science Education •Human Rights •Human Performance •Interdisciplinary Studies •International Policy and Management •International Relations •International Relations/Global Business •Italian •Jewish American Studies •Judaic Studies •Kinesiology •Korean Studies •Latin American Studies •Law and Society •Linguistics •Linguistics/East Asian Languages and Cultures •Linguistics/Philosophy •Linguistics/Psychology •Managing Human Relations •Mathematical Finance •Mathematics •Medical Anthropology •Middle East Studies •Narrative Studies •Natural Science •Neuroscience •Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism •Occupational Science •Peace and Conflict Studies •Philosophy •Philosophy for Business Law and the Professions •Philosophy, Politics and Law •Photography and Social Change •Physical Sciences •Physics •Physics/Computer Science •Political Organizing in the Digital Age •Political Science •Psychology •Psychology and Law •Race, Ethnicity and Politics •Religion •Russian •Russian Area Studies •Science, Technology and Society •Social Sciences (Economics emphasis) •Social Sciences (Psychology emphasis) •Sociology •Southeast Asia and its People •Spanish •Statistics •Thematic Approaches to Humanities and Society •Theories of Art •Visual Culture Accounting Degree and Certificate Programs •Bachelor of Architecture •Bachelor of Landscape Architecture •Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies •Minor in Architecture •Minor in Landscape Architecture •Minor in Urban Neighborhood Studies •Master of Architecture •Master of Historic Preservation •Master of Landscape Architecture •Master of Building Science •Dual Degree in Architecture and Planning •Dual Degree in Landscape Architecture and Planning •Graduate Certificate in Building Science •Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation •Graduate Certificate in Landscape Architecture •Graduate Certificate in Urbanism and the Built Environment Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation School of Business •Critical Studies •Film & Television Production •John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts •Interactive Media •Writing for Screen & Television •Peter Stark Producing Program 749 School of Communication Degree Programs •Bachelor of Arts in Communication •Progressive B.A. in Communication/Master of Communication Management •Minor in Communication and the Entertainment Industry •Minor in Communication Law and Media Policy •Minor in Cultural Studies •Minor in Global Communication •Minor in Health Communication •Minor in Interactive Media and the Culture of New Technologies •Minor in Law and Society •Minor in Photography and Social Change •Minor in Professional and Managerial Communication •Minor in Sports Media Studies •Master of Arts in Global Communication •Master of Arts in Communication •Master of Communication Management •Master of Public Diplomacy •Doctor of Philosophy in Communication •Dual Degree in Law (J.D.) and Communication Management (M.C.M.) •Dual Degree in Communication Management /Jewish Communal Service School of Journalism Degree Programs •Bachelor of Arts in Print and Digital Journalism •Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast and Digital Journalism •Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations •Minor in Advertising •Minor in News Media and Society •Minor in Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism •Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism •Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) •Master of Arts in Strategic Public Relations Dance occupational therapy) Programs in Dentistry Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) •Doctoral Dental Program (four-year program) •Advanced Standing Program for International Dentists (two-year program) Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (B.S.) •Dental Hygiene Program •Post-Certificate Dental Hygiene Program Advanced Specialty Certificates •Advanced Education in Endodontics •Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry •Advanced Education in Periodontics •Advanced Education in Prosthodontics •Advanced Education in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery* •Advanced Education in Orthodontics** •Oral Medicine with an emphasis on Orofacial Pain •General Practice Residency *In conjunction with the Keck School of Medicine of USC, offers a combined program leading to a specialty certificate and M.D. degree. **In conjunction with the USC Graduate School, offers combined programs with Craniofacial Biology leading to a specialty certificate and M.S. degree. Master of Science (M.S.) Craniofacial Biology Program Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Craniofacial Biology Program Combined Degree Programs •D.D.S./M.B.A Program with the USC Marshall School of Business •D.D.S./M.S. Program with the USC Davis School of Gerontology Programs in Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy •Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) •Residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy •Residency in Orthopedic Physical Therapy •Residency in Sports Physical Therapy •Master of Science in Biokinesiology (M.S.) •Doctor of Philosophy in Biokinesiology (Ph.D.) Programs in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy •Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy (B.S.) •Minor in Occupational Science •Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy (M.A.) •Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) •Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Science (Ph.D.) Degree Programs •Bachelor of Arts in Theatre •Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting •Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design •Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sound Design •Bachelor of Fine Arts in Stage Management •Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Direction •Minor in Applied Theatre Arts •Minor in Dance •Minor in Musical Theatre •Minor in Performing Arts •Minor in Playwriting •Minor in Theatre •Master of Arts in Applied Theatre Arts •Master of Fine Arts in Acting •Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing Degrees Offered •Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Education Policy •Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership •Master of Arts in Teaching •Master of Arts in Teaching – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages •Master of Education in School Counseling (and Pupil Personnel Services Credential) •Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs •Master of Education in Higher Education Counseling •Master of Marriage and Family Therapy Academic Departments and Programs •Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering •Department of Astronautical Engineering •Department of Biomedical Engineering • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science • Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering • Computer Science Department • Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering • Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Degrees Offered •Bachelor of Arts •Bachelor of Fine Arts •Master of Fine Arts •Master of Arts, Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere Areas of Study •Ceramics •Design •Intermedia (Digital Media) •Painting, Drawing and Printmaking •Photography •Sculpture •Critical Studies 160 Master’s students Degree Programs •Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging •Bachelor of Science in Lifespan Health •Minor in Gerontology •Master of Arts in Gerontology •Master of Aging Services Management •Master of Long-Term Care Administration •Master of Science in Gerontology •Doctoral Program in Gerontology Dual-Degree Programs •Master of Science in Gerontology/Master of Business Administration •Master of Science in Gerontology/Doctor of Dental Surgery •Master of Science in Gerontology/Juris Doctor •Master of Science in Gerontology/Master of Public Administration •Master of Science in Gerontology/Master of Health Administration •Master of Science in Gerontology/Master of Social Work •Master of Science in Gerontology/Master of Planning •Master of Science in Gerontology/Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Services LL.M. and M.C.L. candidates Academic Programs •Juris Doctorate (J.D.) Program •Master of Laws (LL.M.) Degree Program •Master of Comparative Law (M.C.L.) Program Academic Departments •Anesthesiology •Biochemistry and Molecular Biology •Cell and Neurobiology •Dermatology •Emergency Medicine •Family Medicine •Medicine •Molecular Microbiology and Immunology •Neurological Surgery •Neurology •Obstetrics and Gynecology •Ophthalmology •Orthopaedic Surgery •Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery •Pathology •Pediatrics •Physiology and Biophysics •Preventive Medicine •Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences •Radiation Oncology •Radiology •Surgery •Urology M.D. Degree Programs •M.D. •M.D./Ph.D. •M.D./M.B.A. •M.D./M.H.A. •M.D./M.P.H. •M.D./M.S. Master’s and Undergraduate Degree Programs •Master of Academic Medicine •Master of Public Health •Master of Science in Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology •Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology •Master of Science in Biostatistics •Master of Science in Clinical and Biomedical Investigations •Master of Science in Experimental and Molecular Pathology •Master of Science in Global Medicine •Master of Science in Molecular Epidemiology •Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia •Master of Physician Assistant Practice •Master of Science in Physiology and Biophysics •Bachelor of Science in Global Health •Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies Ph.D. Programs •Ph.D. in Biostatistics •Ph.D. in Epidemiology •Ph.D. in Genetic, Molecular and Cellular Biology •Ph.D. in Health Behavior Research •Ph.D. in Molecular Epidemiology •Ph.D. in Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology •Ph.D. in Systems Biology and Disease Areas of study •Choral and Sacred Music •Classical Guitar •Composition •Early Music Performance •Jazz Studies •Keyboard Studies and Keyboard Collaborative Arts •Music Education •Music History and Literature •Music Industry •Organ Studies •Popular Music •Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television •Strings •Studio/Jazz Guitar •Vocal Arts and Opera •Winds and Percussion •Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy (B.S.) •Minor in Occupational Science •Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy (M.A.) •Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) •Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Science (Ph.D.) Academic Departments and Programs •Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy •Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences •Regulatory Science Program •Residency and Fellowship Programs (various) •Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics •International Center for Regulatory Science •Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) •Residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy •Residency in Orthopedic Physical Therapy •Residency in Sports Physical Therapy •Master of Science in Biokinesiology (M.S.) •Doctor of Philosophy in Biokinesiology (Ph.D.) •Health Management and Policy •International Public Policy and Management •Public Administration/Public Management •Public Policy •Real Estate Development •Urban and Regional Planning •Master of Social Work •Doctor of Philosophy •Minor in Children and Families in Urban America Dual Degree Programs •Master of Social Work /Master of Business Administration •Master of Social Work /Master of Science in Gerontology •Master of Social Work/ Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Services •Master of Social Work/ Juris Doctor •Master of Social Work/ Master of Planning •Master of Social Work/ Master of Public Administration

More information about Academic Programs

The University of Southern California consists of 17 professional schools, which are the following:

the USC Leventhal School of Accounting, USC School of Architecture, USC Marshall School of Business, USC School of Cinematic Arts, USC Annenberg School for Communication, USC School of Dentistry, USC Rossier School of Education, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, USC Roski School of Fine Arts, USC Davis School of Gerontology, USC Gould School of Law, Keck School of Medicine of USC, USC Thornton School of Music, USC School of Pharmacy, USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, USC School of Social Work, and USC School of Theatre.

Admission Requirements

Requirements of the school do not include minimum grades, rank in class, or test scores. Candidates are selected on the basis of how challenging their high school curriculum has been, their grades, their standardized test scores, activity summary essay, short answers, and counselor/teacher recommendations. The university is mostly interested in the mix of these elements, together with any other personal accomplishments and the overall potential for success.

Some programs, like architecture, cinema-television, fine arts, journalism, music, and theatre do have additional special requirements. These may include an audition, a portfolio, additional essays or writing samples, and/or additional recommendation letters.

To further break requirements down, when it comes to academic expectations, the University of Southern California would expect you to have undergone a challenging high school curriculum in English, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign languages, and the arts. Although the school takes into account individual talents and preferences, they would expect you to have chosen the highest level of classes offered to you at high school.

A strong academic record is also very much preferred by the admissions commission of the university, while the strength and frequency of Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate course work is taken into consideration, too. SAT and ACT scores are required of course, while international candidates whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL.  Still, international freshmen applicants with minimum scores of 600 on SAT Critical Reading, or 27 on ACT English are exempt from taking this exam.

The university is also exceptionally interested in the extra-curricular activities that each applicant has undertaken during their high school years. This activities summary also gives a chance for you to highlight your special talents and skills as well as personal achievements, or interesting experiences in your life. Students are expected to stress on these activities that demonstrate leadership and potential future involvement in the life of USC. The number of activities is not as important as the time and commitment dedicated to fewer, but quality engagements.

In the essay, short answers, and quick takes potential freshmen have the opportunity to directly speak to the committee in their own voice, and convince them of their suitability. Grammar and punctuation are crucial, but content and organization is as important.

Financial Aid

More than 60 percent of students at the university receive some form of financial aid. Financial aid is broken down into merit-based, need-based, payment plans, and financing. Merit-based aid basically means scholarships, which do not have to be refunded by the student. Merit-based aid is usually given for academic achievements or any personal talents. Students have to research the different types of scholarships provided and apply with a separate application for this type of financial aid. Need-based aid includes grants (usually based on financial need, and do not have to be repaid); loans – have to be repaid with interest after graduation; work-study – payment for a job on campus or off campus. Overall, students have to apply as soon as possible, while also immediately informing the school of any other special circumstances that have occurred.


All freshmen within the university are required to live on campus. Usually, the adjacent New and North Residence Halls are the most sought after by incoming students, although they are not the most modern dorms on campus. Their popularity is due to the coed floors, separated into wings for women and men, combined with the largest concentration of first-year students on campus; this does tend to create a party environment there. The newest housing option for students is Parkside Arts & Humanities, which is also known for the fact that it offers the best food, and therefore has a good reputation. The only disadvantage it has is that it is a bit far from classes and other dorms; still, there are many events organized there, for which reason students like it as an option. Overall, the university gives a very detailed breakdown of each of the residence halls it has available – the type of rooms offered in each building, the style of the building, the recreational facilities, and relative convenience.

Campus apartments are available, too, of which Cardinal Gardens is the preferred one because of its cleanliness and space. Furthermore, this is the most private place for on-campus housing, and is also regarded as the best place to live for students, who prefer peace and quiet.

Another point to mention is that there is the opportunity to live and learn at one of the university’s Special Interest Communities. These bring together students and faculty with similar interests, giving them the opportunity to share inspiration and ideas. All of the communities organize formal and informal programs and events, enabling students to further enhance one’s university life. Special application is required for each of the communities.

Several Metro bus routes serve the university’s main campus together with a LADOT DASH Route F. Besides, the Metro Expo Line, which is a light-rail line currently under construction, will serve the campus when it opens. The Expo Line will have three stations in the surroundings of the USC main campus: Jefferson/USC Station, Expo Park/USC Station, and Vermont/Expo Station.

Services and Activities

The university offers exceptional diversity in the activities available to students. There are over 725 student organizations on campus, meeting every student’s taste, interest, and requirement. The organizations are also the ones responsible for a great number of the programs and events held on campus – concerts, lectures, special events, spirit rallies, cultural and social events, and conferences.

On top of that, there are communities, supporting different groups of students – Asian Pacific American Student Services strives to promote participation, dialogue, and community building, while also serving as a source of cross-cultural educational programming for the whole school; the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs supports students of African origins, and helps them integrate into the university’s environment; El Centro Chicano pursues the goal of retention and graduation of Chicano/Latino students. The center aims to provide programs that enhance leadership skills, cultural identity, and role definition within the university’s environment. There is also a Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Transgendered Center, offering confidential crisis intervention, information, and referral. Finally, the Center for Women and Men offers educational programming aimed at increasing the awareness of gender related issues.

Los Angeles is a big city, and as it can be guessed, students have an opportunity to explore an area full of shopping centers, art museums, galleries, concert halls, dining, night life, celebrities, and more. Only, it may take some time for them to get used to the city’s atmosphere and learn how to get around with public transportation. The university campus itself is located in a neighborhood of low-income communities, which may tense the student’s experience there, although many participate in a number of community service and outreach programs, supporting these communities.

Near the campus, there are a lot of restaurants, movie theatres, as well as the Staples Center, China Town, Korea Town, and Little Tokyo. Also not very far away are Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Venice Beach. Other points of interest in L.A. you can plan to visit are Ahmanson Theater, California Science Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Exposition Park, Grand Central Market,  LA Live,  Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Natural History.

To wrap it up, L.A. definitely is a ‘hot spot’ for fashion, media, music, movies, celebrities, farmers markets, athletic events, education, corporations, etc.

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