USC, University of Southern California Admissions

SAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, Tuition, Graduation Rate & More

USC Doheny Memorial Library
USC Doheny Memorial Library. Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

University of Southern California Admissions Overview:

With an acceptance rate of just 18%, the University of Southern California is highly selective, and the school has been getting even more selective in recent years. Applicants will have a slim chance of being admitted without grades and SAT/ACT scores that are well above average. USC will also be looking for applicants who can contribute to the campus community in meaningful ways.

The school's holistic admissions policy takes into consideration application essays, extracurricular activities, leadership qualities, and, if you choose, a personal interview.

Will You Get In?

Calculate Your Chances of Getting In with this free tool from Cappex.

Admissions Data (2015):

Explore the Campus

USC Photo Tour

USC Description:

USC, the University of Southern California, is a highly competitive private university located in the University Park neighborhood southwest of downtown Los Angeles. The university offers over 130 majors for undergraduates with Business Administration drawing the greatest number of students.

USC tends to place high in national rankings. It has strong research programs and is a member of the Association of American Universities, and strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned the university a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Academics are supported by a 9 to 1 student / faculty ratio.

In athletics, the USC Trojans have won more NCAA Division I championships than all but a couple other universities. The Trojans compete in the Pac 12 Conference.

Enrollment (2015):

  • Total Enrollment: 43,401 (18,810 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 49% Male / 51% Female
  • 97% Full-time

Costs (2016 - 17):

  • Tuition and Fees: $52,283
  • Books: $1,200 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $14,348
  • Other Expenses: $1,880
  • Total Cost: $69,711

USC Financial Aid (2014 - 15):

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 61%
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 56%
    • Loans: 32%
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $33,178
    • Loans: $7,212

Academic Programs:

Transfer, Graduation and Retention Rates:

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 96%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 77%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 92%

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs:

  • Men's Sports: Football, Water Polo, Baseball, Swimming, Track and Field, Volleyball, Golf, Tennis
  • Women's Sports: Basketball, Volleyball, Rowing, Soccer, Swimming, Water Polo, Track and Field

    Data Source:

    National Center for Educational Statistics

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    USC Mission Statement:

    Complete mission statement available on the USC website here:

    "The central mission of the University of Southern California is the development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit.

    The principal means by which our mission is accomplished are teaching, research, artistic creation, professional practice and selected forms of public service."