University of Southern California

Top ranked University of Southern California is a private research university located in the heart of Los Angeles on a historic and beautiful 226-acre campus. USC is a large school home to 19,000 undergraduates and close to 25, 000 graduate students. USC Village, a brand new residential and retail complex directly north of campus is opening in the fall of 2017 adding 2, 700 students beds and serving as a town center for all students. School spirit runs high and game days supporting the beloved Trojans are legendary. USC is close to Downtown LA, once rundown, but in the midst of a renewal and resurgence, emerging as a cultural center of the city.

Visitor Information: Tour USC

Stay: Los Angeles has notoriously bad traffic so we suggest you stay near USC, a 5-mile trip can easily take over a half hour depending on the day and route. Across the street from the USC campus check into the Radisson, it’s the most convenient option especially if you have an early morning tour. Downtown Los Angeles is a 10-minute drive from campus. Many families choose to stay at the Omni Los Angeles, Doubletree by HiltonThe Ritz Carlton or the JW Marriott. Channeling your inner hipster, book a room at the trendy Ace Hotel in the historic United Artists building with a killer rooftop bar.

Coffee: USC is truly an urban campus and the major chains have cafes right on the grounds. Popular Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has two locations: in the Campus Center and at the Lucas School of Cinematic Arts. Starbucks at the Trojan Grounds is open 24/7, offering grab and go meals plus snacks - it’s a gathering place for students and a good place to observe campus life.

Breakfast: Close to campus, everyone’s favorite is Natures Brew, a counter service café with solid food, juices and smoothies.  Students rave about the pancakes and omelets at nearby Jacks 'N Joe, serving breakfast all day. Located downtown, The Original Pantry is an LA institution open 24 hours welcoming customers since 1924.

Lunch: Head to the Ronald Tutor Campus Center where students flock for healthy fare to LA’s popular Lemonade, or to Seeds, Verde or California Pizza Kitchen. Gastro pub Study Hall, is a few blocks from  campus, it’s a homey neighborhood spot near Fraternity Row where you’re sure to mingle with students. Chichen Itza in the Mercado la Paloma, a multicultural colorful marketplace just east of campus, has legions of fans among students and LA foodies alike, famous for its Cochinita Pibil.  Downtown’s Grand Central Market, dating back to 1917, is now an awesome 30,000 square foot food emporium and marketplace. It’s hard to choose between Eggslut, Belcampo Meat Co., Sticky Rice LA, Madcapra, Tacos Tumbras and Wexler’s Deli so go hungry! Have a coffee at G and B before you leave.




Casual: Bacaro, a cozy wine bar with a tapas centric menu, may just be every USC student’s favorite, located right near the sororities and fraternities. Students head here at happy hour and on the weekends for boozy brunches with bottomless Sangria, Mimosas and Bloody Marys. It’s hand rolls only at downtown’s Kazu Nori, close to the Expo Metro Line, from chef Kazunori Nozawa of the hot small chain Sugarfish, also located nearby and another excellent choice. Chef Josef Centeno of Tex-Mex Bar Ama and Baco Mercat, was one of the early pioneers of downtown’s culinary resurgence. His newest restaurant, Ledlow is an all day spot perfect for a bite at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Officine Brera is a big, bustling place with very good food. Red Bird housed in a stunning space in an old rectory is an innovative New American menu with an awesome bar.


A Step Up: Considered one of LA’s best restaurants; book way in advance to get a table at trendy Italian Bestia, an impossible reservation due to a combination of excellent food served in a buzzy industrial space. In the mood for modern, upscale Mexican head to newcomer Broken Spanish. Mixing Japanese and Italian, Orsa and Winston is chef Centeno’s upscale neighborhood restaurant garnering much acclaim.

Late Night Snack: Students love Cream’s handmade ice cream sandwiches and cookies, it’s close to campus and open till midnight.

Local Attractions: Downtown, The Broad, a contemporary art museum from philanthropist Eli and Edythe Broad made quite the splash when it opened last year. The 120,000 foot, $140 million building is home to the Broad’s personal art collection in a striking building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The restaurant Otium, adjacent to the museum from former French Laundry chef Timothy Hollingsworth, has been garnering great buzz as well. Students highly recommend hiking Runyon Canyon. It’s not that difficult and your reward is a great view of LA. Check what’s happening at Grand Central Market, in addition to all the great food there’s festivals, live music and outdoor movie screenings. The Expo Line (a light rail system) connects USC to stops such as Downtown, Santa Monica, Culver City and Union Station, making exploring the city easily accessible to students and visitors alike.

— The Best of LA —


The two best things about USC are obviously the weather but also the people that I’ve met. Everyone is extremely nice, yet come from all different backgrounds— I don’t feel like I’m trapped in a bubble.
— Anne
My advice to new students…as a freshman, try and live in the dorm New North if you can! It’s the most social and fun—I lived there and loved it.
— Fisher
Where else but in LA can you go to a school where the School of Cinematic Arts has buildings named after George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg?
— Meredith
You will be forever be a Trojan, even though I graduated a few years ago I pass people on the street wearing a USC shirt and we share a rousing “Fight On”!
— Jordan






School Colors

Cardinal & Gold

Acceptance Rate

16.5% (2016)

Common Application


Supplement Essays


Early Action/Decision









Admissions Office

Office of Admission University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911

(p) (213) 740-1111
(f) (213) 821-0200

Timothy Brunold, Dean of Admission

Sports Divisions

NCAA Division I

Greek Life


Noteworthy Alumni

George Lucas
John Wayne
Judd Apatow
Ron Howard
Will Ferrell
Marcus Allen

H: +86°
L: +49°
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