Los Angeles, CA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 2199 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Great School Spirit – I fell in love with USC because of the incredible amount of school spirit on campus, which is present all year round but is especially tangible during football season. Even though we were sanctioned last year and still cannot participate in post-season play, there is absolutely nothing better than gameday at USC and being in the student section at the coliseum. The band's awesome, the tailgates are awesome, the whole experience is just...awesome. There's so much energy. We also dominate at other sports like water polo and tennis.

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: There is no one-size fits all model of student at University of Southern California. It is a representation of the diverse city it is in. There are Asian, Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, preppy, athletic, attractive, unattractive. The looks really run the gambit.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: there are multiple shuttle spots on campus that can take you places; however, they are a bit of a hassle. i often take campus cruiser, which is a fairly good system, except on really busy nights. we often would walk if the campus cruiser was going to take to long, which is a problem since we live in LA. we would ride our bikes often, which was a more effective mode of transportation at times. i have my own car on campus so i don't take public transportation. there are shuttles to some places such as LA Live and to the airport.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greeks Are Very Dominant on Campus – i am in a sorority and love it. i would recommend others to join when they are a freshmen because it is a way to get instantly involved with the school and to make a ton of great friends. there is a downfall because greek life at USC has received much negative publicity this past year, which reflects poorly upon everyone involved. i would love to see USC greek life reach its full potential like it has in the past. it is terrible for the row to close and to shut down the fun. i hope to see us improve and hopefully have less problems this year.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Beautiful Campus – the buildings and classrooms are nice. it is a great place to learn and you can study anywhere on campus. there are many places to eat, however the campus center is a bit crowded at times.

2 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Bikes Taken Too Seriously – Seriously I've gotten a ticket for riding my bike slowly to the gym. Apparently there are restricted hours for restricted intersections. Ridiculous.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Variety by Lottery – The dorm you get randomly assigned to really decides a lot of your convenience, comfort, luxuries, friend circles, and social life throughout freshman year.

5 College Sophomore

Computers: Wireless Good – The Wireless Internet at USC is very convenient and reliable!

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The main dining halls for students who live on campus are EVK and parkside. They aren't horrible but the food gets very, very repetitive very quickly. A lot of people choose to spend "dining dollars" at the campus center instead, where there is a Panda Express, California Pizza Kitchen, Lemonade, Carl's Jr., and Seeds Marketplace. You only have dining dollars if you have the Gold or Trojan meal plans. You don't have dining dollars with the least expensive option, Cardinal plan.

4 College Sophomore

Parking: Parking is available to all students if they choose, even freshmen. Parking is $8 a day and parking passes are a couple hundred for the year. There is also plenty of parking except on game day.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Go Trojans – Everyone that has ever been to USC alumni, current students, and prospective students is obsessed with the university! Football games are crazy and people are out tailgating as early as 6 in the morning. The campus bleeds cardinal and gold and everyone supports their athletes and attends the games. Intramural sports are popular and fun.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Love LA – LA offers so much to USC students from Lakers games, to LA LIve concerts, shopping and restaurants to the beach and hiking to the Hollywood sign. LA has something for everyone and USC transportation services helps students get around practically free! Living is a "bad" area is barely noticeable and not dangerous at all if you act wisely.

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Many Scholarship Opportunities – USC is lucky to receive many generous donations from alumni each year, which makes it possible for the school to give out a TON of scholarship money. I received a Presidential scholarship which covers half the cost of tuition for all four years. I believe about 200 of these are usually given out to incoming freshman. There is also the Trustee scholarship, which pays the full price of tuition for four years. I think around 150 of those are given out. Dean's and University scholarships are smaller but still significant. I know a TON of people w/ scholarship money. These scholarships are based on merit, not on need.

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4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Everything in LA expensive and off-campus apartments and houses are no exception. The apartments, such as Gateway, Tuscany and West 27th are all very nice and clean but for many families, they are not a reasonable option because of finances. All of these apartments are technically "unaffiliated" with USC, meaning they are not classified as "campus housing," but they are convenient to campus. Especially Gateway, which is literally across the street from campus.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Notoriously 'Bad' Neighborhood Has Gotten MUCH Better – So going into my freshman year, pretty much every time I would tell an adult I was going to USC in the fall, I could count on them asking something along the lines of "Isn't that in a really bad area? Are your parents worried about that?" This notion is not entirely untrue, but it has been WAY exaggerated throughout the years. There has never been a time that I have felt truly unsafe on the USC campus or the immediately surrounding area. USC can afford a ton of security, so there are security guards literally everywhere. The campus felt safer than many other schools I visited because of that. Department of Public Safety does a great job. Just don't walk alone at night off or even on campus. Ever.

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: Many Opportunities – USC fosters a very active student life and encourages students to participate and join clubs and organizations. More than half of the student body is involved in Greek life and nearly all the students I know are actively involved in some sort of club or organization. Also, there is also many concerts and various events that take place on campus throughout the year. Being located in downtown LA, USC is a very active and moving campus. Because USC encourages students to be involved and fosters a very active college life, I would definitely choose USC over other colleges any day.

2 College Senior

Drug Safety: Out of Sight Out of Mind – It is inevitable to have a fraternity party without alcohol. When you see a frat house hosting an open party, there most likely will be a ton of alcohol, and even other drugs. The most common are marijuana and liquor. Most college campuses deal with the same issue, if the drugs are out of sight it's out of mind. USC's alcohol and drug policy is very fair - students caught with drugs or are engaging in underage drinking will need to face with the consequences, which may be suspension or being expelled. Peer pressure is average, meaning that it does exist.

4 College Senior

Academics: USC has one of the most prestigious occupational therapy programs in the country. This year, the department decided to upgrade the curriculum, giving the students the opportunity to obtain knowledge and then have hands on application during their fieldwork days. Each week, students are required to perform a day of fieldwork, where they get to transfer their knowledge from the classroom to the workplace. This new curriculum allows each student to learn the practice of occupational therapy in a new and practical way while gaining clinical experience. Although the program is very competitive, USC's highly qualified and knowledgeable professors go a great job in preparing their students for their future careers as occupational therapists. The facilities are clean and resourceful, providing a excellent environment for students to learn. Job opportunities after graduating also should not be a problem. The connections that the USC students build with their educators provide a great network to find jobs and get connected to different opportunities as well. Many students even have the opportunity to travel to Uganda to serve the people and practice occupational therapy.

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4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: There are 11 sororities and about 24 or 25 frats at USC. I am a part of greek life and it has been an awesome experience so far, in terms of great parties, meeting a lot of people, and making lasting friendships. You will always have something to do if you are a part of Greek life. It's really, really fun. One downside is that sorority rush is very intense and superficial. However, once the recruitment process is finished, most people seem to end up very happy where they are -- the process is designed for girls to find the right houses for them. There is a "Top 4" sorority group which, in my opinion, is a useless and superficial ranking that creates an unnecessary divide between people. But, if you want to, that is something you can easily ignore. I am not in a Top 4 sorority and I LOVE my experience. My guy friends and my boyfriend are not in "top frats" but they are so much fun and their parties are still crackin. They have a great brotherhood, too. If you are rushing, do NOT listen to the stupid rankings and reputations of the houses, because those pre-conceived, biased notions will only hurt you when you go through recruitment.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Mostly Greek – In my experience, most of the huge parties I've been to have been thrown by frats. A lot of people have fake ID's so even under-classmen are regulars at the bars, especially the 9-0 which is located right next to Greek Row.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Great and Getting Better – Top-notch academics. You definitely get out of it what you put in. Most professors and TA's are helpful, though there are a few bad ones in the bunch. USC is especially strong (literally one of the best) in Communications & Journalism, Film Studies, International Relations and Global Business, and English / other humanities. The business and engineering schools are also awesome, mainly because of the special opportunities and alumni job network they offer. USC is climbing in academic rankings, having passed UCLA 2 years ago. We are now ranked one behind UC Berkely, and we are tied with Carnegie Mellon and University of Virginia.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Not So Great – Public Transportation is notoriously lacking in LA. Luckily, USC is located right in the heart of the city, and some of the most exciting things to do are literally right down the street. USC provides a free shuttle to LA Live, which is where the Staples Center (where the LA Lakers play)is. There are also tons of great restaurants at LA Live, the Grammy Museum, a bowling alley, and a huge movie theater. This is a popular destination for students, and when the free shuttle isn't running it's only a 10 dollar cab ride away. However, if you want to go to the beach (highly reccomend that, by the way) you're gonna need a car or about 60 dollars to pay for a to and from cab (and that's if you're splitting it). This is why most upper-classmen have cars, which is also a drag because it's expensive to have one in LA and the traffic sucks.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Our new president, Max Nikias, really cracked down on the Greek system this year which effects everyone because Greeks throw the biggest parties. The entire row has been put on probation multiple times, namely one 2 or 3 week stretch at the beginning of the year and one stretch that started in mid April this year and is still in effect as of today. It sucks when this happens but most people find good alternatives/ways around the probation. We're all just hoping it doesn't get worse or the party life will really be in jeopardy. Nikias has also started to implement some annoying rules regarding football tailgates on campus. Fall of 2010, all tailgates were on campus and were a blast. There were tons and tons of tents set up all around campus, and no one blinked an eye at underage drinking. I don't even remember DPS being present. Apparently, though, the administration has been threatening to put an end to that. As USC goes up in the rankings for academics, the administration has slowly been trying to make it less of a party school. As far as campus housing goes they are not very strict at all compared to other schools I've heard about.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Statistically, USC is one of the most racially/ethnically/socio-economically diverse universities in the US. We have more international students than any other university, and the school really does a good job of giving scholarship and financial aid money, so there is a wide range of socio-economic standings represented. The problem is that these groups glob together and tend not to interact much with people outside their own groups, which, from the inside, makes USC seem not very diverse at all. For example, the Greek system is predominately white. There are a few people of color represented in each respective house, and even fewer people who are openly gay/lesbian/bisexual. Also, unfortunately there are some people in the Greek system who come off as very intolerant. This is just one example. Basically, in order to find diversity at USC you need to branch out and get involved in lots of different classes/activities, and reach outside your comfort zone or you will end up confined to one group and miss out on the cultural diversity USC really has to offer.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: USC has many opportunities in research and has a very good name in the LA area tha can land you amazing internships and networking with big names in any field. The Trojan family is well-known for providing students and alumni with great networking opportunities and chances to get involved with others in similar fields.


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Tommy Trojan
Tommy Trojan
Tommy Trojan Tommy Trojan USC's mascot, Tommy Trojan.
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

BJ Grip
Colorado Springs, CO
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Students from Southern California usually love USC from the beginning and strengthen their bonds with the school as time passes. Students who travel to USC from longer distances tend to adapt more slowly, dealing at first with the culture shock that inevitably comes with a first impression of LA. Universally, those who can survive the transition into the USC way of life fall in love with the school after first semester. Typically, students entering school with a skeptical mind-set ends up getting the most pride out of being a Trojan. At the very least, they come away with a new affinity toward college football.

The opportunities on campus are plentiful, and in LA, opportunities are endless. Time flies for everyone at USC, and changes in living conditions, academic standards, and career goals come quicker than newcomers might expect. USC graduates are sure to look back on a college experience that could not have been offered anywhere else. Basically, the more that students are willing to explore the opportunities available to them, the more they endorse the idea that USC is the perfect school for its time and place.

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