University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California


#19 National Colleges

11.42% Admission Rate
Very Selective

19,908 Undergraduates Enrolled

  • Private nonprofit
  • Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity
  • Four-year, full-time, more selective, higher transfer-in
  • Four-year, large, primarily residential

Photo by Yansi Keim on Unsplash

The University of Southern California (USC, SC, or Southern Cal) is a private research university in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1880 by Robert M. Widney, it is the oldest private research university in California.

The university is composed of one liberal arts school, the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and twenty-two undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, enrolling roughly 21,000 undergraduate and 28,500 post-graduate students from all fifty U.S. states, and more than 115 countries. USC is ranked as one of the top universities in the United States and admission to its programs is considered highly selective.

USC was one of the earliest nodes on ARPANET and is the birthplace of the Domain Name System. Other technologies invented at USC include DNA computing, dynamic programming, image compression, VoIP, and antivirus software.

USC's notable alumni include 11 Rhodes scholars and 12 Marshall scholars. As of January 2021, 10 Nobel laureates, six MacArthur Fellows, and one Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the university. USC has conferred degrees upon 29 alumni who became billionaires, and has graduated more alumni who have gone on to win Academy and Emmy Awards than any other institution in the world by a significant margin, in part due to the success of the School of Cinematic Arts.

USC sponsors a variety of intercollegiate sports and competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Members of USC's sports teams, the Trojans, have won 107 NCAA team championships, ranking them third in the United States, and 412 NCAA individual championships, ranking them third in the United States and second among NCAA Division I schools. As of 2021, Trojan athletes have won 326 medals at the Olympic Games (153 golds, 96 silvers and 77 bronzes), more than any other university in the United States. In 1969, it joined the Association of American Universities. USC has had a total of 537 football players drafted to the National Football League, the second-highest number of drafted players in the country.

The University of Southern California is the largest private employer in the Los Angeles area and generates an estimated $8 billion of economic impact on the state of California.

"University of Southern California." Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 February 2022,

Los Angeles, California

show map

City: Large (population of 250,000 or more)

Far West (AK, CA, HI, NV, OR, WA)


Predominant Degree Awarded
Predominantly bachelor's-degree granting

Highest Degree Awarded
Graduate degree

Most Popular Fields

Field % Students
Business, Management, Marketing, And Related Support Services 24.9%
Social Sciences 12.3%
Visual And Performing Arts 12.1%
Engineering 8.6%
Communication, Journalism, And Related Programs 8.2%
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 5.9%
Computer And Information Sciences And Support Services 5.1%
Architecture And Related Services 3.9%
Biological And Biomedical Sciences 3.7%
Health Professions And Related Programs 3.0%
Psychology 2.9%
Mathematics And Statistics 2.3%
Foreign Languages, Literatures, And Linguistics 1.1%
English Language And Literature/Letters 1.0%
History 1.0%
Natural Resources And Conservation 0.9%
Philosophy And Religious Studies 0.9%
Physical Sciences 0.7%
Public Administration And Social Service Professions 0.6%
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, And Group Studies 0.5%
Engineering Technologies And Engineering-Related Fields 0.4%
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, And Fitness Studies 0.0%



Percentage Students Receiving Aid

Average Net Cost After Aid


SAT Scores

1453 Composite Average
Percentile 75% 50% 25%
Math 790 740 690
Verbal 740 705 670

ACT Scores

33 Cumulative Average
Percentile 75% 50% 25%
Math 34 31 28
English 35 34 32