As the only major private university in Southern California, once the privileged sibling to UCLA, USC can hold its own. Located on 225 acres close to downtown L.A., USC has a beautiful campus with a mix of tradition and modern buildings. The school has recently upgraded housing and buildings on campus and its nothing short of impressive.
With about 18,000 undergrads, USC is a big school. Its most popular majors are business, communications, biology, visual and performing arts, engineering, communication and cinematic arts. All students are required to complete a core curriculum that includes six general ed, two writing and one diversity class. Undergrads can take classes in any of USC’s professional or arts schools. The school encourages students to double major or take a minor in an unrelated field to your core studies. 60% of classes have less than 20 students. USC is known for its strong alumni network, and students talk about the great work and internship connections the school provides. The business ties to LA are a definite advantage at USC.
Some students talk about the competitive vibe on campus and also say the quality of teaching is variable, especially for freshman year classes. I hear from most students that academics are manageable. 43% of students are from CA, 15% international.
30% of students live on campus–dorms full of luxuries that are rare on college campuses including pools and tennis courts. About ¼ of students go Greek. While greek life is a big part of USC, so are club activities and you hear from students that there is really something for everyone. While L.A. isn’t necessarily a “college-town” there are tons of things to do and a variety of experiences that are accessible.
USC participates in Division I Athletics. The school spirit & athletics (football) are strong.
USC offers a ton of opportunities for students looking to pursue opportunities in the LA area and who can hold their own socially. If you are excited about strong academics, an active social scene and school spirit, USC is worth checking out.