University of Southern California

USC Online

Exceptional graduate and professional programs

USC – A Leading Private Research University

USC with Downtown Los Angeles in Background - Photo Credit Gus Ruelas

The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international business, USC’s diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments.

In a comprehensive 2018 ranking, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranked USC 17th among more than 1,000 public and private universities. Among all California institutions — public and private — only USC, Caltech and Stanford University ranked within the top 20. Of the 150 universities surveyed in the western U.S., USC ranks No. 3. Among the top 25 schools, USC ranked No. 2 in engagement and No. 4 in environment, a measure of diversity and inclusion.

This year, USC received a record number of applications for its fall freshman class — more than 64,000 applied — making 2018-2019 the institution’s most selective year on record, with a record-breaking acceptance rate of 13 percent. One in seven students (14 percent) of the class of 2022 are first-generation college students. With one of the most abundant financial aid pools in the country, USC provides more than $337 million in scholarships and aid.

USC’s distinguished faculty of 4,000 innovative scholars, researchers, teachers and mentors includes five Nobel laureates, and dozens of recipients of prestigious national honors including the MacArthur “Genius” Award, Guggenheim Award, the National Medal of the Arts, the National Humanities Medal, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and Pulitzer Prize.

USC first opened its doors to 53 students and 10 teachers in 1880, when the newly founded “city” still lacked paved streets, electric lights, telephones and a reliable fire alarm system. Today, USC is home to 44,000 students and 4,000 full-time faculty, and is located in the heart of one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world.