University of Southern California

Degree Programs at the University of Southern California

The University of Southern California appears in our ranking of the Best Petroleum Engineering Schools Online.

The logo for university of southern california

The University of Southern California is a major private university that has hundreds of options for students. It offers a program called the Undergraduate Experience for incoming freshmen. This asks them to:

  • engage in community events
  • do research projects
  • join on-campus clubs and organizations to meet other students
  • take courses to meet their general education requirements

Students can major in acting for the stage, screen and new media, which requires that they perform on stage and in other productions. The American popular culture major is popular among students who want to study television and film along with other aspects of pop culture. Other undergraduate majors are available in:

Featured Programs

  • architectural studies
  • global health sciences
  • biochemistry
  • sociology
  • real estate development
  • accounting
  • civil engineering

One of the top schools at the university is the School of Cinematic Arts. It offers multiple majors for graduate students, including:

  • Animation and digital arts
  • Cinema and media studies
  • Cinematic arts
  • Interactive media

Most of these programs require that students work on productions as:

  • editors
  • writers
  • directors
  • actors

This helps them gain experience in the top areas. They’ll also have the chance to show their work in public and at events on the campus. George Lucas and Judd Apatow are just two of the famous faces who once studied at this school. Through its other schools, the university also offers graduate programs in:

  • engineering
  • education
  • technology
  • business
  • communications

More than 100 graduate degree and certificate programs are also available from the University of Southern California’s online system. The entertainment law and industry certificate program helps prepare students for working with actors and others in the entertainment field. It includes:

  • Business Organizations
  • Entertainment Law and Industry
  • Contract Drafting and Strategy

The Master of Public Health (MPH) online program is popular because of concentrations such as community health promotion and health services and policy. Students can also study online:

  • engineering
  • education
  • law, and other subjects

About the University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a private university that grew from an enrollment of around 50 students to more than 45,000. Established in 1880, it is one of the prominent schools in Los Angeles and the southern region of the state. The USC Village is a new part of the campus that offers housing for students and restaurant/retail space. According to U.S. News and World Report, USC is the nation’s 22nd best university and the 62nd in the world. It also ranks on the lists of the best programs in:

  • business
  • law
  • public health
  • sociology
  • engineering

University of Southern California Accreditation Details

With regional accreditation, USC can evaluate the transcripts that students provide to determine if the credits they have will transfer into a new program. This accreditation is also the reason why students can submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for a financial aid package. USC has regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It holds other accreditation from organizations, including:

  • the American Bar Association (ABA)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NACTE)

University of Southern California Application Requirements

As USC is a selective private university, it has a low acceptance rate of below 17 percent. It looks at each student as an individual and examines factors such as hobbies or interests and test scores and grades. Students will apply through the Common Application and complete the USC writing supplement on the application. They will also provide an ACT or SAT score.

If the student took the test multiple times, the university asks for the highest score earned in each section. They should also submit:

  • a mid-year report
  • high school transcript
  • a letter of recommendation

Though USC only requires one letter of recommendation, those applying to the School of Cinematic Arts must submit three. Select majors and programs may ask for writing samples, portfolios or copies of the student’s resume too. There is a December first deadline for students seeking scholarships and a final deadline of January 15.

With more than 20 colleges in the USC Graduate School, students should check the application requirements of each department before they apply. All prospective students should apply and pay the application fee at the same time. Most programs ask for:

  • one to three letters of recommendation
  • transcripts
  • an official score from an exam such as the GRE

The university’s art and design programs ask for portfolios to see the work that students do. They may need to interview for a spot in the program or audition for faculty members. Cinematic arts majors will also need to submit a reel that shows the films and productions they previously shot.

Tuition and Financial Aid

USC estimates the cost of attendance for both undergrads and graduate students. Undergrads pay $57,256 every year for tuition. This lets them take 12 to 18 credits in two different semesters. They also pay fees of $939 each year. Students attending the university for the first time will pay an extra $450 in their first semesters. Undergrads also pay $15,900 each year for their room and board costs. Graduate students pay tuition that ranges from $23,163 for those taking up to seven credits to $38,560 for those taking 14 credits. The university charges different fees for students taking 15 or more credits and those doing dissertation work. USC charges graduate students fees of $2,397 each year too.

With more than $600 million in aid given out each year, USC students can get a lot of money towards their costs. Around 20 percent of incoming freshmen will receive a merit scholarship. More than 70 percent of the aid given to undergrads consists of grants and scholarships too.

The university must have a copy of the student’s FAFSA on hand before it will award an aid package. Some loans go to all types of students and special programs for the parents of university students. Work-study programs are open to undergrads and graduate students too. The University of Southern California will send out award letters in the early spring to show students in all of its degree programs the financial aid they received for the next year.