Los Angeles, CA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 2429 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: What's NOT Here? USC is less than 5 miles from downtown LA, the Staples Center, museums, galleries, concert halls, shopping, dining and more. We are near China Town, Korea Town, and Little Tokyo. Also not very far away are Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Venice Beach. LA is known for being a cultural mecca, a "hot spot" if you will--a place for fashion, media, music, movies, celebrities, farmers markets, athletic events, education, corporations, etc. The area immediately surrounding campus has a reputation as being not so safe but we have a lot of security personnel looking out for us. USC seems to constantly have events going on: classical and popular music concerts, dance performances, comedian and variety shows, and more. We have 2 radio stations and a coffee shop/concert venue. The local attitude towards students seems to be good--Trojan merchandise and fans can be seen literally everywhere!

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: It's Great – Pros: mild weather; good professors (intelligent, informative, empathetic, enthusiastic helpful, (generally) not conceited or egotistical); amazing selection of majors, minors, classes of all kinds; alumni network; internship and career help like no other; willingness of financial aid department to do all they can so students can attend regardless of income (or lack thereof); quality apartments; diverse student population; visiting professors and lecturers (Steve Miller, for instance); quality museums, performances and other events. . . and the list can go on. . .
Cons: abundance of smokers; inadequate car and bike parking; high food and drink prices; high course material/supply prices; minimum wage employment that offers too few hours
Clearly the pros outweigh the cons!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: I live in a university-owned off-campus apartment. It is a bit expensive and utilities are not included in the cost of rent. The apartments have basic furniture, gas stove/oven, great water pressure. Our broken fridge was replaced quickly too. The complex needs a better system for recycling and for bicycle parking. It is about 1 mile from the center of campus, which makes for a decent walk or easy bike ride. A tram stop is just down the street but I have not used it. Parking is severely limited and inconvenient.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: TOO EXPENSIVE! The cafeterias cost about $10 to enter which is a little steep for a single meal. I have not actually eaten at them yet due to their operating hours not fitting with my non-class times, plus I do not want to pay the price to enter and not find adequate vegan foods. The retail dining establishments are far too expensive--my "dining dollars" were used within the first month and I do not eat more than 3 meals per week on campus.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: A Good Balance – Thoroughly satisfied with 3 out of 4 professors. Workload is just right--not too much that I can't keep up but not so little that I get bored. I am still in shock about the numerous possibilities for majors, minors and other general courses (come on, a popular music major? How amazing is that?) Registration process seems about the same as other schools I have been to. Work-study program needs some improvement-like actually giving students jobs rather than leaving it up to them to search (it is part of financial aid and as such is deemed necessary for the student therefore it should unfailingly be provided by the school), and giving the work-study students adequate hours and pay rate. The university needs to improve its recycling and environmentally-friendly actions, and it needs to ban smoking on all campus-owned property.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Apartments Are Expensive! The apartments are mostly converted home and as such are not secure and are not designed as apartments. Also they are extremely expensive and do not usually include anything extra, such as utilities, parking, etc.

2 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Lacking Dining Options – There are limited dining options. You are mostly limited to sub-par eating establishments.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Police and Safety Services – The university has the largest private police force in the country and they recently added an additional branch for specialized patrols. They make their presence known and provide a feeling of security for the students going to class.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Can Avoid but It's Big – Unfortunately drugs and alcohol are pretty easy to get to and pretty popular. Drinking is definitely bigger but I've met people who do a lot of drugs. Under-aged drinking is practically normal - although the university claims to have a zero under-age drinking policy. Parties are mainly where people drink, I find. Because of our location there are a couple of raves both at the Coliseum and the Shine - walking distance from USC. Again, the raves generally have a zero drug tolerance policy but people still sneak them in.
It happens.

2 College Senior

Greek Life: To be honest, I'm not a big fan of Greek life. My grade depended on answers to the following questions:
How respectful are Greeks to the surrounding neighborhood? How are they to their own? How do they treat non-Greeks?
They can have loud, obnoxious parties and leave trash all over the streets which I find extremely disrespectful to the surrounding communities.
However, beyond that I have not found that Greeks tend to be particularly unpleasant people. There is some catty status gossip among the sororities that I am aware of and not a fan of. There are still ethnic quotas they they stand by - which I find not only outdated but fairly intolerant to have a cap on the number of say Persians you can have in a given house.
If one, like myself, is not a fan it's not impossible to avoid the scene and have a life besides but it is always a presence in the community.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Computers: Decent availability of computers - there are several computer centers on campus. However, as far as printing goes one can rack up quite a bill - 12cents/page single sided, 16cents double sided, and 50cents per color page. I would recommend either having your own printer or finding another way to print.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: The buses to LA Live! are awesome but they end early. The tram to the train station is super convenient for people who live a couple hours north/south to get home. Campus Cruiser is convenient as well

3 College Freshman

Parking: Parking for guests can be expensive and I know parking permits for students are very expensive and there is limited space in the most sought after lots. Most people recommend not bringing a car, you won't really need one.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Campus Activities Abound – The various activities offered on campus at USC are all diverse yet engaging. There is always something going on at USC and this provides opportunities to meet new people, grab food, and enjoy the entertainment offered.

5 College Senior

Weather: So Cal Sun – love the weather here, im outside in shorts right now

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: I gave it a B+ because there is the downtown location but the area is not always safe.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: Permits cost extravagantly. It's pretty much necessary to have a car to get off campus for fun or groceries, since USC is located in a food desert and lacks any decent options for groceries nearby. Parking spaces are both unavailable and inconvenient.

2 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Standard Frat Stuff – I believe Greeks love Greek life except the actual community around the school. Most non-Greeks think Greeks are douches. I hear Greek housing is really expensive and is somewhat limited.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Somewhat Ignorant – Sports and team spirit is huge, but that allows a lot of unethical stuff to go on.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: The campus seems huge until you get a bike and you realize its really small when you have a bike.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: What Not to Do – Nightlife is fun you just have to find the parties for you if your not into constant beer pong dont go to the row. But you can always go to the multicultural (latino) fraternity party cuz they are bomb and so are the black ones because there is drinks and dancing but no corny beer games.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Dorms are fun ... IF you do your research for example you love to party but you sign up for Trojan or Marks where no one talks then ur gunna hate it. But if you go to new north your gunna party it up and love it. But for me I like a balance so I went to fluor which is suite style and I love it because my floor is super close and we party but I can still study in my room. Also the rooms are good or bad depending on if you live in a newer or older dorm but thats college.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Stress on Academic Integrity – Many policies make sure that students do not attempt anything unethical.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Always Alerting Crime – Through email, students receive DPS notification of any crimes that occurred. In addition, security is always present at all times around the campus.

3 College Junior

Computers: Not Enough Computer Labs – For a university this big, I think there aren't enough computer labs present. In addition, the wireless connection is not that reliable.


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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
View all previous student authors

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.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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