University of Southern California

2014 Quick Stats
University Park

Los Angeles, CA 90089

Phone: (213) 740-2311
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 10
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#23 Overall Score: 76 out of 100. National Universities

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University of Southern California is a private institution that was founded in 1880. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 18,316, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 226 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. University of Southern California's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 23. Its tuition and fees are $46,298 (2013-14).

The University of Southern California’s central campus, referred to as the University Park campus, is located in Los Angeles’s Downtown Arts and Education Corridor. USC has other campuses in L.A. in addition to sites around Southern California and in Sacramento, Calif., and Washington. Students can participate in the more than 700 on-campus organizations, ranging from religious groups to club sports. USC students are not required to live on campus, but the university offers housing in its 40 or so residence halls and apartment buildings. A thriving Greek life comprises more than 60 chapters representing more than 3,500 students. The USC Trojans compete in the Pac-12 Conference and are known for their legendary football program.

USC is comprised of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and 17 graduate and professional schools. The number of graduates exceeds the number of undergraduates at USC, with students enrolled in such programs as the highly ranked Marshall School of Business, Rossier School of Education, Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering, Gould School of Law, Keck School of Medicine and School of Social Work. USC is also well known for its Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and its highly esteemed School of Cinematic Arts, which has graduated students such as directors Judd Apatow and George Lucas. Films including "The Graduate," "Legally Blonde" and "Forrest Gump" all filmed scenes on USC’s campus.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international trade, the University of Southern California is a world-renowned private research institution enrolling more international students than any other U.S. university and operating an integrated academic medical center that serves more than a million patients each year.
USC operates from two main campuses. The University Park campus, south of downtown Los Angeles, is adjacent to the museums and recreational facilities of historic Exposition Park. With its park-like atmosphere and rich architectural history, the campus fosters a stimulating academic environment as well as a vibrant cultural community. The Health Sciences campus, northeast of downtown, offers world-class patient care, classroom and laboratory facilities that draw scientists, patients and students from around the world, forming a dynamic, interactive environment shaping the future of health care.
Within the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and 18 professional schools, USC encourages all students to cross traditional boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge. The university offers bachelor's degrees in 162 majors. As of fall 2012, graduate students were enrolled in nearly 380 master's, certificate, doctoral and professional degree programs. With 155 different academic and professional minors, USC offers the broadest selection of any U.S. university. Selected students may participate in Thematic Option, USC's interdisciplinary undergraduate honors program. The Renaissance Scholars program honors students who study subjects across disparate fields.
USC also presents opportunities for travel, independent discovery, and addressing basic questions of human value and social challenges affecting our country and the world. The Global Scholars program honors undergraduates who excel both at home and abroad, the Discovery Scholars program recognizes students who demonstrate original research and creativity, and the USC Dornsife Scholars program honors graduating college seniors who combine the talents sought in the USC Discovery and Global Scholars programs with an added emphasis on positive human impact.
At the graduate level, each year the Provost's Ph.D. Fellowship Program supports 100 doctoral students who show exceptional promise. The USC Annenberg Graduate Fellowship Program funds cutting-edge study in communication and digital media, and USC's Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program offers grants and fellowships to increase the involvement of women in science and engineering. The new Provost's Postdoctoral Scholars Program in the Humanities eventually will attract up to 10 outstanding humanities scholars to USC.
The university also commits itself to fostering research with wide-ranging social impacts and is one of a few premier research institutions upon which the United States depends for a steady stream of new knowledge, art and technology.
Unusual among major research institutions, the University of Southern California is home to six arts schools, in the disciplines of cinematic arts, music, dramatic arts, architecture, fine arts, and dance. Other top-ranked programs include art history, creative writing, a master's program in professional writing and the new USC International Artists Fellowships, graduate fellowships for promising artists from across the Pacific Rim, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
The university's innovative and university-wide Visions & Voices arts and humanities initiative has few parallels in higher education. It features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by university faculty and schools, including presentations by critically acclaimed artists and distinguished speakers, theatrical productions, music and dance performances, film screenings, lectures and workshops on both USC campuses, as well as a variety of opportunities to experience the dynamic cultural landscape of Los Angeles.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1880
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $3,488,933,000


When applying to University of Southern California, it's important to note the application deadline is January 10. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 15. The application fee at University of Southern California is $80. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 19.9 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 19.9%
Application deadline January 10
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at University of Southern California is 9:1, and the school has 56.8 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at University of Southern California include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Social Sciences; Visual and Performing Arts; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; and Engineering. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 96.8 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 9:1
4-year graduation rate 74%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 26%
Social Sciences 14%
Visual and Performing Arts 13%
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 9%
Engineering 9%

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Student Life

University of Southern California has a total undergraduate enrollment of 18,316, with a gender distribution of 49.3 percent male students and 50.7 percent female students. At this school, 38 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 62 percent of students live off campus. University of Southern California is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 39,958
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

University of Southern California offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. University of Southern California also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at University of Southern California.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At University of Southern California, 42.4 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $29,124.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $46,298 (2013-14)
Room and board $12,902 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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