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University of Southern California

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University of Southern California Overview

University of Southern California is a private not-for-profit institution situated in Los Angeles, California. The location of the school is great for students who enjoy the amenities of city life.

What Is University of Southern California Known For?

5,337 Undergraduate Awards
$54,432 Avg Cost After Aid
16% Acceptance Rate
  • Students at USC may have an easier time interacting with their teachers since the student to faculty ratio at the school is 9 to 1.
  • The 2% student loan default rate at USC is better than the national rate of 10.1%. That's a good sign that you may be able to pay off student loans easier than your peers at other schools can.
  • The doctor's degree is the highest award offered at USC.
  • For the 2017-2018 academic year, 59% of the faculty were full-time.
  • A student who earns a bachelor's degree from USC makes roughly $74,000 a year. This is 81% more than their peers from other colleges and universities.
  • The average USC student graduates in 4.2 years. That's better than the national average of 4.4 years.

Best Schools

University of Southern California Rankings

USC is ranked #103 out of 2,320 schools in the nation for overall quality on our 2021 Best Colleges list. This puts it in the top 5% of all schools in the nation. It is also ranked #12 out of 220 schools in California.

Our rankings are based on an outcomes-based approach rather than subjective ones used by other media outlets. As such, we utilize data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard, among other sources. Visit our rankings and methodology section to learn more.

USC has also been awarded the following overall awards by our latest rankings.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#1 Most Popular Graduate Certificate Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Most Popular Doctor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#3 Most Popular Online Graduate Certificate Schools Tweet It - Post It
#5 Most Popular Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#6 Most Popular Online Doctor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#23 Best Graduate Certificate Schools Tweet It - Post It
#51 Best Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#55 Best Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#62 Best Doctor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#83 Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Program Level Awards

These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at USC.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#1 Best Other Public Administration Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#1 Best Real Estate Development Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#1 Best East Asian Languages Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Architecture & Related Services Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Philosophy & Religious Studies Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#4 Best Foreign Languages & Linguistics Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#7 Best Psychology Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#13 Best Business, Management & Marketing Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#13 Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#14 Best Communication & Journalism Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Awards From Around the Web

The following table lists some notable awards USC has earned from around the web.

Rank Ranking Name Source
#3 Best Colleges for Architecture & Related Services College Factual
#4 Best Colleges for Communication & Journalism College Factual
#10 Best Colleges for Computer & Information Sciences College Factual
#10 Best Colleges for Visual & Performing Arts College Factual
#14 Best Nursing Schools Nursing Degree Search
#21 Best Colleges for Business, Management & Marketing College Factual

Where Is University of Southern California?

Location of University of Southern California

Contact details for USC are given below.

Contact Details
Address: University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Phone: 213-740-2311
Website: www.usc.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/usc
Twitter: https://twitter.com/usc

How Do I Get Into USC?

You can apply to USC online at: https://www.commonapp.org/

Admission Requirements for USC

Submission Required?
High School GPA required
High School Rank neither required nor recommended
High School Transcript required
College Prep Program required
Recommendations required
SAT or ACT Scores required
TOEFL required

How Hard Is It To Get Into USC?

16% Acceptance Rate
51% Of Accepted Are Women
55% Submit SAT Scores
With an acceptance rate of 16%, USC is one of the most selective schools in the country. If the admissions department requests additional materials, be sure to submit them promptly. This could be a sign that you're on the border line of being accepted or denied.

Approximately 49% of accepted students are men and 51% are women. The acceptance rate for men is 17%, and the acceptance rate for women is 15%.

Average Test Scores

About 55% of students accepted to USC submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 650 and 730. Math scores were between 650 and 770.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for University of Southern California  ( 650 to 730 )
200
800

SAT Math Scores for University of Southern California  ( 650 to 770 )
200
800
USC received ACT scores from 61% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT English scores ranged between 30 and 35. Math scores were between 28 and 34. Composite scores were between 30 and 34.

ACT English Scores for University of Southern California  ( 30 to 35 )
1
36
ACT Math Scores for University of Southern California  ( 28 to 34 )
1
36
ACT Composite Scores for University of Southern California  ( 30 to 34 )
1
36

Can I Afford University of Southern California?

$54,432 Net Price
28% Take Out Loans
1.6% Loan Default Rate
The overall average net price of USC is $54,432. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group.

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.

Student Loan Debt

While almost two-thirds of students nationwide take out loans to pay for college, the percentage may be quite different for the school you plan on attending. At USC, approximately 28% of students took out student loans averaging $8,442 a year. That adds up to $33,768 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at USC is 1.6%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

University of Southern California Undergraduate Student Diversity

19,622 Full-Time Undergraduates
52% Women
48% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
There are 20,351 undergraduate students at USC, with 19,622 being full-time and 729 being part-time.

 Full-Time vs. Part-Time Undergraduate Students at  USC

There are also 27,970 graduate students at the school.

Gender Diversity

Of the 19,622 full-time undergraduates at USC, 48% are male and 52% are female.

Undergraduate Student Gender Diversity at  USC

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

The racial-ethnic breakdown of University of Southern California students is as follows.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of USC Undergraduate Students
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 4,156
Black or African American 940
Hispanic or Latino 3,060
White 7,259
International Students 2,624
Other Races/Ethnicities 1,583

Geographic Diversity

California students aren't the only ones who study at University of Southern California. At this time, all 50 states are represented by the student population at the school.

At this time, 50 states are represented by the student population at the school.

Over 130 countries are represented at USC. The most popular countries sending students to the school are China, India, and South Korea.

Online Learning at University of Southern California

6,707 Took All Classes Online
8,581 Took At Least One Class Online
9.7% Avg Growth Over 4 Years
In 2017-2018, 8,581 students took at least one online class at the school.

The following chart shows how the online learning population at USC has changed over the last few years.

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This school is the 2nd most popular in California for online learning according to the online graduations recorded by the Department of Education for the academic year 2017-2018.

Online Growth Rankings of USC

The average growth rate over the last four years of online students at University of Southern California was 9.7%. This is the #1,356 largest growth rate of all schools that are only partially online. This refers to all students at USC regardless of major.

The following table shows the 1-year growth rate of USC majors that offer at least one online course. This table only includes majors with positive growth.

Major 1-Year Growth Rate
Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering 14%
Biomedical Engineering 4%
Business Administration & Management 4%
Business, Management & Marketing 4%
Communication & Media Studies 2%
Computer & Information Sciences 4%
Computer Engineering 23%
Computer Information Systems 44%
Computer Science 2%
Education 15%
Educational Administration 12%
Educational Assessment 38%
Electrical Engineering 7%
Geography & Cartography 17%
Health & Medical Administrative Services 16%
Hospitality Management 6%
Human Resource Management 83%
Intelligence & Command Control Operations 38%
Legal Professions 21%
Legal Professions (Other) 25%
Legal Research 20%
Library & Information Science 56%
Library Science 56%
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 20%
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 8%
Multi / Interdisciplinary Studies 20%
Nursing 70%
Other Education 11%
Other Engineering 22%
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 36%
Public Administration & Social Service 3%
Public Policy 13%
Social Sciences 9%
Social Work 3%
Special Education 27%
Student Counseling 33%
Teacher Education Subject Specific 11%
Teaching English or French 18%
Urban Studies 56%

The table below shows how the average growth rate over 4 years at USC ranks compared to all other partially online schools that offer a specific major. Note that the majors may or may not be offered online at USC.

Major Growth Rate Rank
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences #1
Petroleum Engineering #2
Materials Engineering #4
Taxation #5
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences #6
Intelligence & Command Control Operations #6
Educational Assessment #9
Chemical Engineering #9
Biomedical Engineering #9
Public Policy #10
Legal Research #11
Construction Management #11
Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering #11
Other Engineering #13
Gerontology #16
Industrial Engineering #18
Computer Engineering #18
Other Health Professions #18
Systems Engineering #18
Mechanical Engineering #20
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods #20
Civil Engineering #21
Library & Information Science #22
Geography & Cartography #22
Electrical Engineering #27
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions #28
Library Science #28
Computer Software & Applications #28
Other Education #29
Teaching English or French #31
Student Counseling #32
Computer Science #34
Social Work #39
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology #43
Public Health #50
Communication & Media Studies #53
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies #53
Public Administration #55
Legal Professions #58
Information Technology #59
Engineering #66
Human Resource Management #71
Communication & Journalism #81
Social Sciences #104
Special Education #105
Teacher Education Subject Specific #110
Multi / Interdisciplinary Studies #111
Public Administration & Social Service #119
Psychology #126
Teacher Education Grade Specific #149
Educational Administration #154
Health & Medical Administrative Services #178
Computer & Information Sciences #202
Nursing #289
Education #370
Business Administration & Management #453
Health Professions #479

When we speak of partially online, we are referring to schools whose online population is less than 50% of its total student body. Mostly online refers to those with online populations greater than or equal to 50%.

University of Southern California Undergraduate Concentrations

The table below shows the number of awards for each concentration.

Major Bachelor’s Graduate Certificate Master’s Doctor’s TOTAL
Business Administration & Management 1,022 134 695 13 1,864
Social Work 0 0 1,367 74 1,441
Computer Science 228 0 853 48 1,129
Legal Professions (Other) 0 642 0 0 642
Electrical Engineering 59 0 516 48 623
Communication & Media Studies 270 9 273 19 571
Legal Research 0 93 449 0 542
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 241 0 173 10 424
Teacher Education Subject Specific 0 0 367 0 367
Public Health 98 0 251 7 356
Educational Administration 0 0 38 314 352
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 8 0 164 177 349
Economics 198 0 92 12 302
Accounting 187 0 104 0 291
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 0 11 55 196 262
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 0 60 200 0 260
International Relations & National Security 223 0 3 9 235
Music 80 20 96 34 230
Law 0 0 0 226 226
Applied Mathematics 111 0 104 6 221
Health & Medical Administrative Services 0 34 186 0 220
Mechanical Engineering 86 0 116 6 208
Human Biology 206 0 0 0 206
Medicine 0 0 0 190 190
Public Relations & Advertising 96 0 83 0 179
Drama & Theater Arts 124 0 54 0 178
Dentistry 0 0 0 173 173
Other Engineering 0 39 133 0 172
Public Policy 32 34 103 3 172
Gerontology 16 9 141 5 171
General Psychology 157 0 13 0 170
Architectural Sciences & Technology 74 6 87 0 167
Biomedical Engineering 74 0 71 22 167
Public Administration 0 0 158 0 158
Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering 49 0 92 7 148
Real Estate Development 91 11 41 0 143
Political Science & Government 141 0 0 0 141
Journalism 65 0 73 0 138
Civil Engineering 29 0 81 10 120
Computer Software & Applications 38 0 78 0 116
Teaching English or French 0 0 115 0 115
Entrepreneurial Studies 0 0 114 0 114
Dispute Resolution 0 60 48 0 108
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 90 0 0 15 105
Fine & Studio Arts 77 7 18 2 104
Human Resource Management 0 0 101 0 101
Chemical Engineering 42 0 50 9 101
Computer Information Systems 0 2 97 0 99
Industrial Engineering 67 0 20 12 99
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 54 0 38 0 92
Special Education 0 90 0 0 90
International Business 32 0 56 0 88
Marketing 0 31 56 0 87
Geography & Cartography 11 30 46 0 87
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 0 0 86 0 86
Urban & Regional Planning 24 0 58 2 84
Sociology 65 0 11 6 82
General Biology 76 0 3 1 80
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 0 48 30 1 79
Computer Engineering 30 0 42 1 73
Arts & Media Management 48 20 3 0 71
Taxation 0 0 70 0 70
Natural Resources Conservation 48 0 19 0 67
History 61 0 0 4 65
Nursing 0 0 63 0 63
Allied Health Professions 0 0 62 0 62
Petroleum Engineering 0 1 54 3 58
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 22 0 18 13 53
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 0 0 48 4 52
Student Counseling 0 0 52 0 52
Mental & Social Health Services 0 0 50 0 50
Philosophy 44 0 0 6 50
Biomathematics & Bioinformatics 0 0 34 15 49
Materials Engineering 0 0 48 0 48
Design & Applied Arts 31 0 16 0 47
Real Estate 46 0 0 0 46
Writing Studies 39 0 4 0 43
Library & Information Science 0 1 42 0 43
Systems Engineering 0 12 29 0 41
Dental Support Services 41 0 0 0 41
Romance Languages 38 0 0 0 38
Environmental Engineering 9 0 20 8 37
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 16 0 11 9 36
Physics 18 0 3 15 36
General Social Sciences 36 0 0 0 36
Hospitality Management 0 34 0 0 34
Cognitive Science 34 0 0 0 34
Chemistry 10 0 1 23 34
General Visual & Performing Arts 15 0 19 0 34
Other Public Administration 0 3 30 0 33
Area Studies 24 0 8 0 32
International Studies 8 0 23 0 31
General English Literature 17 0 5 8 30
Dance 27 0 0 0 27
East Asian Languages 20 0 2 2 24
Mathematics 11 0 4 9 24
Engineering-Related Fields 22 0 0 0 22
Geological & Earth Sciences 8 0 3 11 22
Information Technology 0 0 20 0 20
Other Education 0 0 0 18 18
Construction Management 0 0 16 0 16
Educational Assessment 0 0 16 0 16
Urban Studies 11 0 0 5 16
Ethnic Studies 10 5 0 0 15
Environmental Design 0 14 0 0 14
Microbiological Sciences & Immunology 0 0 14 0 14
Historic Preservation 0 4 10 0 14
Anthropology 8 0 6 0 14
Biotechnology 0 0 13 0 13
Pharmacology & Toxicology 7 0 4 2 13
Intelligence & Command Control Operations 0 13 0 0 13
Medical Science 0 2 10 0 12
Child Development & Psychology 0 0 0 12 12
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 0 0 0 11 11
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 0 0 8 3 11
Materials Sciences 0 0 4 7 11
General Architecture 10 0 0 0 10
Finance & Financial Management 0 10 0 0 10
Sustainability Science 0 10 0 0 10
Genetics 0 0 3 6 9
Operations Research 0 0 9 0 9
Slavic, Baltic & Albanian Languages 5 0 4 0 9
Statistics 0 0 9 0 9
Architecture (Other) 0 0 8 0 8
Health Sciences & Services 7 0 0 0 7
Classical Languages & Literature 2 0 2 2 6
Other Health Professions 0 2 4 0 6
Health & Physical Education 1 0 5 0 6
Religious Studies 6 0 0 0 6
Other Business, Management & Marketing 0 2 3 0 5
Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other) 0 0 1 3 4
Manufacturing Engineering 0 0 4 0 4
Molecular Medicine 0 0 1 2 3
General Business/Commerce 0 3 0 0 3
Other Visual Art 0 3 0 0 3
Astronomy & Astrophysics 2 0 0 0 2
General Physical Sciences 2 0 0 0 2
Archeology 2 0 0 0 2
Architectural History 0 1 0 0 1
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 0 0 1 0 1
Teacher Education Grade Specific 0 0 1 0 1
Landscape Architecture 0 0 0 0 0
Communication & Journalism (Other) 0 0 0 0 0
Computer Systems Networking 0 0 0 0 0
General Education 0 0 0 0 0
Architectural Engineering 0 0 0 0 0
Human Development & Family Studies 0 0 0 0 0
Germanic Languages 0 0 0 0 0
Health/Medical Prep Programs 0 0 0 0 0
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 0 0 0 0 0
Liberal Arts General Studies 0 0 0 0 0
Interdisciplinary Studies 0 0 0 0 0
Marine Science 0 0 0 0 0
Mathematics & Computer Science 0 0 0 0 0
Science, Technology & Society 0 0 0 0 0
Criminal Justice & Corrections 0 0 0 0 0
Sacred Music 0 0 0 0 0
Air Transportation 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 5,337 1,510 9,216 1,859 17,922

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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