University of Southern California Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know
Overview of the University of Southern California
The University of Southern California (USC) is a private research institution situated in downtown Los Angeles. The institution has a large selection of 150 undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to select from. Students are backed by a 9 to 1 student/faculty ratio, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via the university’s many clubs and organizations. USC has strong research programs and is a member of the Association of American Universities. For excellence in the liberal arts and STEM, USC has a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. In athletics, the USC Trojans play in the Pac 12 Conference.
- Total Enrollment: 47,310 (19,907 undergraduates)
- Gender Breakdown: 49 percent male/51 percent female
- 96 percent full-time
Cost of Attendance Information
- Tuition and Fees: $58,195
- Books: $1,200
- Room and Board: $15,912
- Other Expenses: $2,152
- Total Cost: $77,459
Financial Aid Information
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 69 percent
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
- Grants: 63 percent
- Loans: 28 percent
- Average Amount of Aid
- Grants: $37,647
- Loans: $7,331
Academic Programs Offered
- Most Popular Majors: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Social Sciences; Visual and Performing Arts; Engineering; and Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs
Retention and Graduation
- First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 97 percent
- 4-Year Graduation Rate: 78 percent
- 6-Year Graduation Rate: 92 percent
NCAA Athletic Programs
- Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo
- Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Crew-Rowing, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Volleyball, Water Polo
Overview of the University of Southern California Admissions
The University of Southern California has a highly competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance and high mean SAT/ACT scores. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the admissions offices mean range. After applying, students will receive a message from an admissions counselor about the application process’s next steps.
Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, USC had an acceptance rate of 13%. For every 100 students who submitted applications, 13 students gained admission, making USC’s admissions procedure highly competitive.
SAT Requirements and Scores
Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 61% of students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of USC’s students fall within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. 50% of admitted students scored between 660 and 740 on the evidence-based reading and writing part, while 25% scored under 660 and 25% scored over 740. 50% of students scored between 690 and 790 on the math part, while 25% scored under 690, and 25% scored over 790. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1530 or higher will have a competitive advantage at USC.
ACT Requirements and Scores
Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 52% of students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of USC’s students fall within the top 7% nationally on the ACT. The mean 50% of admitted students to USC received a cumulative ACT score between 30 and 34, while 25% scored over 34, and 25% scored under 30.
In 2019, the mean 50% of the University of Southern California’s incoming class had high school GPAs between 3.7 and 3.97. 25% had a GPA of over 3.97, and 25% had a GPA under 3.7. Successful applicants to USC have A and B grades primarily.
Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission
If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for the University of Southern California, then it should be easy for you to gain admissions to the schools below. If the University of Southern California is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.
Villanova University, Binghamton University, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Texas at Dallas, Stony Brook University, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, University of Connecticut
Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission
If you’re a competitive candidate for the University of Southern California, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.
Georgetown University, New York University, University of Michigan, Emory University, Boston College, Boston University, Tulane University
Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge
These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than the University of Southern California. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, then you’ll be a competitive candidate for these schools.
Harvard College, Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, Brown University
Applying to the University of Southern California
Application Deadline: January 15
Undergraduate Admissions Website: https://admission.usc.edu/
Undergraduate Application Link(s): https://admission.usc.edu/apply/
Graduate Admissions Website: https://gradadm.usc.edu/
Graduate Application Link(s): https://gradadm.usc.edu/apply/