Academics

Location
Los Angeles, CA
Undergrads
17,619
Tuition
$46,363
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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4 College Freshman

Academics: degree is very valued, the education is very good as are the professors

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: The engineering school is very difficult, viterbi is awesome

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: So far, I've had a good experience with my classes. I'm a Thematic Option student, and my experience in the program has been extremely positive; all of these classes were excellent for my learning style and I loved the open discussion format. The professors were extraordinary and content was very good as well. However, for my other classes, my experiences have been hit or miss. I've had a few good professors, a few OK ones, and one awful professor. As far as study spaces go, we have some of the most beautiful nooks and crannies to study in!

1 person found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Academics: I've just switched to this major, so it I can't say anything specific yet.

3 College Senior

Academics: As an engineering student, the professors are very hit-or-miss. I've had a few courses where the professor struggled to speak english. Other than that, the I can only say good things about the academic experience.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 33rd
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 37th
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 38th
    Best Course Variety
  • 72nd
    Smartest Professors
  • 83rd
    Best Registration Process

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

BJ Grip
Hometown
Colorado Springs, CO
Major
Theater
View all previous student authors

The most widely discussed issue that students have about academics at USC is that teaching assistants tend to not be entirely fluent in English, which is due to a fair number of international graduate students. Students who feel uncomfortable talking with TAs usually have to fight for their teachers’ attention during office hours. Although this problem tends to be blown out of proportion, the student-TA language barrier has had debilitating effects ome students' level of interest in a class over the course of a semester.

Another widely discussed issue is the grading curve at the Marshall School of Business. Although most undergraduate business schools in the country operate on a grading curve, students have a hard time dealing with the fact that a predetermined amount of As, Bs, Cs, Ds, and Fs are distributed at the end of a semester. All in all, students are happy with the academics at USC. Resourceful students are ecstatic about courses, and passive students have good and bad things to say.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
9:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,723
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
1,401
Total FT Faculty
3,321
Faculty with Terminal Degree
90%
Average Faculty Salary
$114,315
Full-Time Retention Rate
97%
Part-Time Retention Rate
0%
Transfer-Out Rate
6%
Graduation Rate
90%
Programs/Majors Offered
194
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 64%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 21%
  • 50 or More Students: 15%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
  • School for Communication
  • School of Accounting
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Business
  • School of Cinematic Arts
  • School of Dentistry
  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Fine Arts
  • School of Gerontology
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Music
  • School of Policy, Planning, and Development
  • School of Theatre
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Other
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 6%
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering: 2%
  • Social Work: 2%
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other: 3%
Special Study Options
Study abroad
Best Places to Study
  • Doheny Library
  • Leavey Library
  • Study lounges in residence halls
  • Taper Hall
Tips to Succeed
  • Apply for internships early in the year.
  • Check your e-mail at least three times a day.
  • Don't ever be afraid to ask questions; no one will make fun of you for getting an A.
  • Don't miss class if you don't have to.
  • Get involved on campus.
  • Get to know Los Angeles.
  • Research all of your teachers before your first class.
  • Take the classes that appeal to you, not the classes that seem impressive to others.
  • Think about studying abroad.
  • Visit teachers in office hours.
Did You Know?
  • USC athletic teams were called the Methodists before they were named Trojans in 1912.
  • Actor John Wayne, also known as Marion Morrison, played tackle while at USC and graduated in 1929.
  • Battle-bound troops in the Aleutians Campaign during World War II were inspired by USC's "Fight On" song.
  • USC graduates designed the Department of Water and Power Building, St. Basil's Catholic Church, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Los Angeles' City Hall.
  • Robert Zemeckis, Ron Howard, George Lucas, and Bryan Singer are all USC film school graduates.
  • Since 1912, USC is the only university in the world to have a gold medal-winning athlete in every summer Olympics.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 119 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 18 responses

  • 27% George Lucas - film director
  • 25% Will Ferrell - actor, entertainer
  • 18% Neil Armstrong - astronaut
  • 12% John Wayne - actor
  • 9% Robert Zemeckis - film director
  • 5% John Carpenter - film director
  • 4% Randy Johnson- Baseball player
  • 0% Laura Ziskin - film producer

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 116 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

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