University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Reviews

University of Southern California
4.03 Average Rating

Thomas from Houston, TX

a current student here
38 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
University of Southern California is among the top universities in the country, and keeps getting better. The professors at the university are all at the top of their fields, and the extensive alumni list proves that the connections that you make here will impact your career and your life.
Am enjoying being here
The long list of clubs and activities goes for days. The great thing about this university is that you will find all points along the spectrum, i.e. its not a democratic or republican university, its a balanced university that represents all sides of every subject.
Bang for the buck
USC's tuition is very daunting. Very, very daunting. $52,000/year including housing/meal plan/tuition, its not an inexpensive opportunity. However the USC Financial Aid Office is very understanding and very accessible. If you absolutely need the money USC will find it with you.
Tips for prospective students
1) Apply by December 1st

This will allow you to be applicable for most of the school sponsored scholarships, including the Presidential and Trustee Scholarships. Alumni Association Scholarships must be approached to the branch you live in (i.e. Houston, New York, Los Angeles, etc.)

2) Make an effort to visit the campus

Especially for music and theater students, meet the professors. A little known fact for music students is that you can email the professor (at least 2 weeks in advance) and ask for a mock lesson and most times they do it for free.

3) They want a well rounded student body, not necessarily the well rounded student

SPECIALIZE. Not everyone can be the best at everything. Be exceptional at something that sets you apart and use that as your tool to get into this university.
Great for these types of students
If you don't know how to balance life and school, USC will teach you. This is a university to learn, not to prove you know everything already.
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Jordyn from Georgetown, SC

a current student here
26 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am in the Viterbi School of Engineering and USC has definitely taught me how to learn more so than anything else. I walked into my Computer Science major not knowing anything so in my introductory class I was at a disadvantage but with the help of my professor, who is always available for help, and USC resources such as VARC, which is a peer tutoring help center, I succeeded in my class and learned the material with ease. Being at USC teaches you how to use resources available to you to your best interests.
Am enjoying being here
I love USC. Plain and Simple. USC is a huge family. There is a vibe on campus that you will never find anywhere else. For some reason the students here are just extremely friendly, especially on game day. USC is the definition of school spirit and on game day the campus bleeds cardinal and gold. Have to love it.
Bang for the buck
USC is on the expensive side, but I don't think that you can put a price on education, a world wide network of Trojans, and lifetime memories.
Tips for prospective students
The most important thing to emphasize in your application is what you are passionate about. Be sure to tell them who you really are by writing about an experience that has shaped who you are today or challenged you in some type of way. Remember the thing that sets you apart from the thousands of test scores and high gpas is you.
If you have already been accepted to USC, I urge you to research the student organizations USC has to offer and find something you are interested in. Being apart of a student organization, you get to me new people who have some of the same interests as you as well as obtain a foundation of people that can help you throughout your entire stay at USC. USC has an organization for every interest so please take advantage of this.
Great for these types of students
USC is great for multiple types of students. If you are a social person who loves school spirit USC is the place for you. If you love community service then USC has multiple programs that you would enjoy, including a Spring Break Alternative program. If you just want to focus on your studies, USC has plenty of research opportunities and amazing acemic resources.
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Janet from Moreno Valley, CA

a current student here
15 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
USC is known for a lot of things: football, film, expensive, prestigious and snobby by students and non-students. While the last category is debatable, depending on who you meet, USC known for being the University of Stolen Colleagues by the professors from other schools.
And for good reason.

Granted, there are a couple of bad seeds in the teaching staff, but the good seeds overpower the bad ones. Professors at USC are at the top of their fields, and as part of the Trojan family, they are here to help their students succeed. Many science professors conduct research projects outside of teaching and provide students with opportunities to gain experience for medical school.
Am enjoying being here
The people I have met here are quite amazing. Of course, there are people who are legacies, and whose parents are quite rich. However, there are the same amount of people who are on financial aid, scholarships and loans. Either way, you will meet people from Hawaii, New York, Washington, Illinois, as well as people from South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, England, Italy and India. Being at USC has allowed me to expand my social circle, make friends from all over the world, and as well as many lifelong friends.

As for academics, I, like many other students, do not enjoy the coursework just because it is coursework. Being a science major just adds to the distaste. However, I have found what I enjoy through taking variety of classes, from history to computer programming to health promotion. And as many people will tell you, you will do well in whatever subject you enjoy.
Bang for the buck
I will admit, having to pay 50+ grand a year is daunting task and few people, especially parents, would want to shoulder such a huge responsibility. However, since USC is a private school and funding doesn't depend on the state economy, it can and will give money to anyone who applies for financial aid. And when it is not enough, many students appeal and more often than not, they will receive more money from USC.

I know friends from UCs who do not get any financial aid at all, and are paying full price, even though it is much lower than 50+ grand. Because of USC, however, I do not even have to pay half of my tuition, and I don't even have to pay as much as a student from UCLA because USC provided me with a good amount of financial aid.
Tips for prospective students
1. Apply by December 1st

You can still apply to USC after December 1st (The second deadline is in January.) However, I would encourage students to apply by December 1st in order to be considered for scholarships. And even if you don't receive one, your application would already by done, and you can enjoy Winter Break without stressing about it.

2. Apply for Financial Aid.

If you do not receive a scholarship from USC, make sure to apply for financial aid. And even if you do, apply for it if you don't get a full scholarship. As stated before, USC is very good at giving financial aid, and will give you more if the first amount is not enough. You will need to send it a lot of papers, especially your parents' if you are still an independent. Nevertheless, it is worth it to receive any sort of financial aid.

3. Ask Questions, Do Research.

During my freshman year, I learned things that would have been very helpful as a high school graduate going into college. Quiet frankly, my high school did not prepare me at all. No one told me that if I wanted to be pre-med/pre-pharm, I don't have to be a science major. As long as I take the required courses (and MCATS if I am pre-med), I can apply for medical or pharmacy school. Having a science degree helps, but it is not required. I know a person who is a business major and planning on going to medical school. This kind of knowledge would have been very helpful in deciding my major as well as my courses for freshmen year.

4. Go to Professor's Office Hours

They are willing to answer any questions you have, as well as get to know you. They are teaching 200+ students, so knowing a few of them personally would be nice. Also, when you need recommendation letters for grad/medical/pharmacy school, you can always ask them, and many are more than willing to write you one, given that they know you personally.

5. Join Clubs/Organizations

While studying is important, it is also important to meet new people and cre...
Great for these types of students
1. Likes to learn
2. Ambitious
3. Spirited
4. Well-rounded
5. Down-to-earth
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chelsea

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
best decision i've ever made. usc provides the quintessential college experience for those who want it, while also offering more alternative and "less-traveled" paths for those who aren't as conventional in their college search/career.
Tips for prospective students
study, get good grades, but also make sure you're well rounded in your extracurriculars.
Academic Rigor
usc has a reputation for being a "party" school, which isn't necessarily true. you definitely need to study and work hard to succeed here.
Dorm Life
all freshman dorms are on campus, other usc housing is located off campus (but still fairly close). as a first year, you have a wide variety of options of dorms to choose from which is great.
Food and Dining
there are 3 dining halls on campus and an array of other restaurants. lots of options to choose from.
What to do for fun
downtown la is always bustling with something fun and exciting. santa monica is only a short drive away, and west hollywood/mid city is right in between. there's always something to do in la whether it's in terms of sports, music, eating, shopping, etc.
Bang for the buck
you're definitely getting your moneys worth with usc. the trojan family is so strong and our alumni really do make a difference.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
before each football game, we kick the flagpoles on the south side of campus for good luck.
Great for these types of students
studious students that also like to have fun.
Clubs and Activities
there are a range of clubs on campus, you'll definitely find something.
Greek Life
around 1 in 4 students are involved in greek life. it's great for people who want to be involved in it, but those who choose not to participate aren't left out either.
Campus Safety
campus is increasingly getting safer, especially with the construction of the university village. university yellow jackets (security) patrol campus within a 2-mile radius of campus. recently, usc has also collaborated with uber to offer students free uber rides (within the 2-mile radius) from 7pm-2am to ensure student safety.
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Elizabeth from Pasadena, CA

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
All of the faculty and staff at USC are highly educated and extremely knowledgeable in their field. Most of the professors perform research in addition to teaching, but this doesn’t prevent them from creating an excellent learning environment. As engineering major, many of my courses are challenging and on numerous occasions I sought extra help from the professors outside of class. They explained the difficult concepts more in depth and also became more invested in my overall education encouraging me to visit them more often during weekly office hours. This extra effort put forth by the professors makes USC one of the best places to learn because they don’t want you to just pass the class, they want to share their passion with you and make the learning experience less stressful and more enjoyable.
Am enjoying being here
I love being a part of the Trojan Family! Looking back on my freshman year, one of the most enjoyable things about USC are the football games. The entire campus is covered with energetic and dedicated fans from early morning until late at night. The school spirit here is incredible and makes the entire community feel more like a family of football lovers than complete strangers. In addition to football, there are many events, like free concerts or club fund raisers, going on around campus that there is hardly a dull moment. But all of the hustle and bustle is not the only thing that makes USC such a fantastic school. The student body is so diverse that it is impossible not to find a core group of friends that share your common interests. And if you’re looking to step away from the college scene for a few hours, LA and it’s surrounding neighborhoods offer plenty of entertainment for a night on the town!
Bang for the buck
While USC has a fairly high tuition, the overall experience is well worth the money. The education you receive is one of the best in the country and the alumni network is extremely valuable. Being a lifelong member of the Trojan Family is priceless and can connect you to valuable experiences long after you graduate from the university.
Tips for prospective students
One of the most important things I learned from freshman year is always go to the professor’s office hours. They are always willing to answer any questions and offer all the help they can. They want you to succeed in their course and make it an enjoyable experience. It is also extremely valuable to have the prof. Know your name because when it comes time to assign grades they will be more likely to give you a higher grade because you made the extra effort to speak to them and ask for their help. Also, it is easy to get caught up in school work and partying, but a great way to just relax and hang out with other students is by joining a club or organization on campus. Clubs are a fun and easy way to express yourself and do things that you enjoy rather than spending all your time studying in the library. They are also excellent ways to meet friends who share the same interests.
Great for these types of students
USC has a place for almost every student. While most of the students here are focused on their work, this is not to say that we don’t know how to have fun as well. Students that know how to balance their academic and social lives will excel in this environment and get the most out of their experience.
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Madison from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
USC is the place for opportunities. You are not only paying for a great education, but also connections and resume builders that will help you get where you want in life. USC is a school for leaders and overachievers.
Tips for prospective students
Never say No to an opportunity. Do as much as you can in high school. Take all the AP classes you can, don't skip out on your 4th year in math, science, or foreign language and take an easy senior year, keep challenging yourself. Try to do as many different things as you can, the application process for USC is very long and it really tries to get to know you as an individual, not just all the offices you have held or your GPA. They are interested in what you enjoy doing, and that you enjoy doing multiple things. I went to a seminar when I first got accepted and it basically said that we were chosen because we worked hard and had many possible directions that we could take. If they had the choice of someone who was the year book editor all 4 years of high school and wanted to go into journalism, or a ballerina soccer player who wanted to major in engineering and minor in dance, that is the person they would choose. Be open with everything that you enjoy and try to experience it all. Audition for one of the Drama departments performances or try out for a sport. Show USC that you are more then just a number.
Academic Rigor
USC is hard. The professors are hard, they read everything you turn in, and they know what they are talking about. In high school sometimes you can get away with doing something with half the amount of effort because you know the teacher is just going to stamp it the next day and you can get on with your life. Well, there is no stamping here. When a professor tells you to read something, read it. When there is an essay do, get on it right away.
Start working on these things in high school, it will prepare you for the work load in college.
Dorm Life
The dorms are fine, I just don't particularly enjoy living with other people. Probably because I am a light sleeper and all my other room mates snore. Dorm life is an experience, good or bad, it is a one of a kind experience that everyone should go through. It makes you learn how to deal with problems and communicating with other people. Its just something you need to learn from and get through.
Food and Dining
The food is really good, the cafeterias get a little old, but there is a nice fine dining place called Moreton Fig (I actually work there) that has really good fresh food, if you don't mind spending a little extra $$. USC has everything from Panda Express, Carls Jr., CPK, and Wahoos. As well as little coffee places all around the campus.
What to do for fun
For fun there is the LA Live center that is really close by and free shuttles that take you there on fridays and saturdays. I personally really like theatre so I go out to see a bunch of shows. There are a tone of small theaters all over LA that are really good prices and have really fantastic shows. There is also the Downtown art walk on the first Thursday of every month that I highly suggest.
Me and my old room mate go out every saturday and try to find something new in LA that we didn't know existed. You would be surprised at how many things we have found.
Bang for the buck
I fell that you are basically paying for future opportunities and connections with USC. You do learn a lot, but in the long run, it is the people who come to USC looking for students to work for them that you are really paying for.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Moreton Fig- Ask for the Moreton Burger (its not on the menu). It has a fired egg, avocado, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, and bacon. AMAZING!
Great for these types of students
Everyone.
Clubs and Activities
There is a club for basically anything and everything at USC, and if for some reason you find a club that does not exist, you can create one!
Greek Life
I really love our greek life. I am an Alpha Chi Omega and I really love my sorority. I didn't rush until my Junior year and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. Its a great way to meet amazing people and create friendships that will last forever.
Campus Safety
There is a security guard almost everywhere you go, but things still get stollen. Just watch where you go, make smart choices, and travel in groups. Don't walk alone at 2 am and expect nothing to happen to you.
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Elton from Rowland Heights, CA

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Being and engineering major and business minor I honestly believed USC is providing me with a well rounded education that will prepare me for future success. USC offers a variety of majors and minors to choose from and the opportunity to combine these options to possibly become a renaissance scholar, which is a student with two distinct and different minors and majors. The opportunity to combine different majors and minors and the requirements of GE’s and electives, I have been able to take classes from all around the university in the different professional schools such as Viterbi School of Engineering, Marshall School of Business, and The College of Arts , Letters, and Sciences. GE’s definitely give me a new and better perspective on the real world and life and looking back at the classes I have taken, I have learned so much about Los Angeles, the World, American dreams, and East Asian Countries. My education at USC would not be as fulfilling or rewarding if it was not for the great professors and small discussion classes which help you personally understand each topic. From engineering classes, to math and science, to music, to general education classes I have been provided a well rounded education that is, in my opinion, something many students at other universities may not be able to provide.

Am enjoying being here
I cannot be any happier than I am at USC. From the second I visited the campus to the day I moved my excitement for being a Trojan has just kept growing. USC not only offers many opportunities for student life, organizations, athletics, Greek life and many other, it is also located in the heart of Los Angeles where all the entertainment, different food venues such as the many cultural towns, museums, malls, and many more famous locations. There is a reason why people have so much Trojan pride and emphasize the Trojan family very often, it’s because once you step on campus you get a sense of belonging, a relaxing and comforting feel from all the students, staff, and faculty. It is awesome and nothing compares to student life at SC. One day there will be renowned speakers from the industry speaking about career advice, or another day early movie screenings at Norris with directors, or a another day a concert on McCarthy, a Saturday at a Trojan football game, long nights at Leavey library studying for finals, fun with friends, or doing community service in LA and for USC. The average day of a Trojan is different in so many ways and that is what makes being a Trojan enjoyable, the many combination to live your own college experience and the opportunities and freedom to make your own college career an unforgettable one.
Bang for the buck
If concerts, speakers, great advisors, a beautiful campus, a global network, lifelong friends, top notch organizations, a variety of majors and minors, and be part of the Trojan Family, then USC is definitely worth ever penny. College is an investment and it all depends on how you go about and use it. If you are only at SC for academics or just one aspect of it then it might not be worth the money. Using SC to its fullest potential will make every dollar of yours worth it. The networking events, to the location, to the friends, to the free activities, to the free stuff, to the limitless resources from the school will make your college experience one to remember and priceless.

Tips for prospective students
Meet as the right people and as many as you can, every freshman is new to the college life and are all unfamiliar and as interested in everything as you are.
Not only meet freshman, but seek to make friends with your advisers, upper classman, student leaders, and other faculty as they can provide you with the best advice that are not always written or published on websites or pamphlets.
Always try new things out, if you are semi interested in an organization dont hesitate to check it out because you can find out your new passion, if you dont even go to an info session you may never meet your new best friend.
Use an agenda or google calendar to manage your schedule because there are always things going on, meetings to attend, and important due dates for classes that you do not want to miss.
Strive high and make every moment of your college career worth it because you will not want it to end.
Great for these types of students
Outgoing, ambitious students, well rounded students, students who want to do well in school and contribute to student life, student leaders, students who love LA, students who want to SUCCEED and love being a TROJAN.
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Josephine from Inglewood, CA

accepted here and planning to attend soon
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
USC is a great school that I feel encourages each person to progress and achieve success. There are so many opportunities in and around campus to to experience Los Angeles and Southern California. When you're on campus, it feels like being part of a big family, that screams FIGHT ON at you every once in a while.
Tips for prospective students
1. Do not be intimidated by test scores, grades, or service/involvement hours. If you are amazing, just let it show through your whole application because they do review it all.
2. Also, don't let the price scare you. There is a lot of help through grants and scholarships if you just look.
3. Keep your grades up and try to take higher level/AP classes to get you prepared.
4. Get in touch with the school if you have any questions because they are actually helpful and will work with you.
Academic Rigor
I start class next week, but my friends there say that studying is a priority for them. Also, balancing work and fun is a challenge sometimes, but it is not impossible. Also most professors are willing to help.
Dorm Life
We have amazing dorms. Only a few have air conditioning, but all of them have nice study spaces, comfortable furnished rooms, and helpful staff.
Food and Dining
I appreciate the variety of food available on campus, including vegan and vegetarian options. Most places accept the meal plans or dining dollars, and there are also private vendors around. Soon there will be more options when the new USC Village is finished. Los Angeles also offers many ethnic specific or fusion restaurants.
What to do for fun
Honestly, the options are endless here. You will find fun or it will find you. My favorite activity is hanging out at the different beaches because each one has its own vibe.
Clubs and Activities
There are over 800 clubs to be involved in. If none of those are for you, then you, four friends and a mentor can submit your idea for a club to student government.
Campus Safety
There are campus police and the LAPD patrolling all around campus. They even have an app that allows you to let your friends keep track of you when you walk alone and campus shuttle so students can travel at night safely. I always felt pretty safe around campus, but it is also important to remember that LA is a big and sometimes dangerous city. Common sense is recommended.
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Devan from Mission Viejo, CA

accepted here and planning to attend soon
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
A wonderful Campus and community for students. Great for meeting people while receiving a great education. I would recommend this college to any person looking for an incredible college experience.
Tips for prospective students
If they ask for something, respond quickly.
Patience is key, they take a while to evaluate the application and respond, but it's worth it when you get that packet in the mail.
Academic Rigor
Excellent professors and curriculum designed to give the student the fullest experience.
Dorm Life
Exciting life with great roommates.
Food and Dining
Excellent selection 24/7
What to do for fun
What isn't there to do for fun. There are over 900 clubs, various events, even the classes and office hours with the professors make your time on campus interesting.
Bang for the buck
While it is a somewhat expensive choice, the opportunities, event, and programs that it provides makes the choice well worth the cost.
Clubs and Activities
Over 900 clubs, 33 fraternities, 11 sororities, and a wide variety of other groups and associations on campus. There is also an endless variety of campus sponsored events and activities.
Campus Safety
Four levels of security makes it so that you'll be able to move around the campus and your dorm 24/7 without worrying too much. Aside from a few common sense recommendations(if it's valuable, take it with you/ etc.) you can feel pretty safe.
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Leslie from Huntington Beach, CA

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I have learned so much through classes in my major of Business Administration as well as through the General Education Program. While some of the GE classes are not very interesting, I have taken classes that sounded interesting to me and I have actually enjoyed attending and learning about all the different cultures. I also love learning about the business world and what it means for my future jobs.
Am enjoying being here
I love the atmosphere on campus. It is in a great location near downtown LA as well as the beach and many other fun spots. I love that there is always something go on around campus, so it is never boring! I love the USC Trojan Marching Band because it is just amazing and is a great pick-me when you hear them around campus.
Bang for the buck
It is expensive, but USC wants you here if you qualify. THey help with financial aid and expenses. I believe the cost that you pay now will help you immensely in the future to make much more than it costs now! The classes are wonderful and small enough that your professors get to know you, unless it is a GE lecture, but then you have TA's who teach the discussion sections.
Tips for prospective students
Don't underestimate the workload and make sure you leave time for fun so that you don't have a bad experience. Make as many friends as possible so that you never feel like a small fish in the huge pond that is USC.
Great for these types of students
Students who enjoy a fun atmosphere and lots of Spirit, especially in football season; Students who want to learn and want a huge campus where everything is always going on.
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