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University of Southern California: Narrative Description


University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Tel: (213)740-2311
Admissions: (213)740-1111
Fax: (213)740-6364
Web Site:


Independent, university, coed. Awards bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and first professional degrees and post-master's and first professional certificates. Founded 1880. Setting: 155-acre urban campus. Endowment: $2.4 billion. Research spending 2003-04: $386 million. Total enrollment: 32,160. Faculty: 2,408 (1,489 full-time, 919 part-time). Student-undergrad faculty ratio is 10:1. 29,792 applied, 27% were admitted. 84% from top 10% of their high school class, 94% from top quarter, 100% from top half. 179 National Merit Scholars. Full-time: 15,776 students, 51% women, 49% men. Part-time: 698 students, 42% women, 58% men. Students come from 52 states and territories, 134 other countries, 32% from out-of-state, 1% Native American, 13% Hispanic, 6% black, 21% Asian American or Pacific Islander, 9% international, 6% 25 or older, 36% live on campus, 8% transferred in. Retention: 94% of full-time freshmen returned the following year. Academic areas with the most degrees conferred: business/marketing; social sciences and history; visual/performing arts. Core. Calendar: semesters. ESL program, services for LD students, advanced placement, accelerated degree program, self-designed majors, freshman honors college, honors program, independent study, distance learning, double major, summer session for credit, part-time degree program, co-op programs and internships, graduate courses open to undergrads. Off campus study at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Howard University, American University. Study abroad program. ROTC: Army, Air Force.

Entrance Requirements:

Options: electronic application, international baccalaureate accepted. Required: essay, high school transcript, SAT or ACT. Recommended: recommendations, interview, SAT and SAT Subject Tests or ACT. Required for some: recommendations. Entrance: most difficult. Application deadline: 1/10. Notification: 4/1.

Costs Per Year:

Application fee: $65. Comprehensive fee: $39,500 includes full-time tuition ($29,988), mandatory fees ($524), and college room and board ($8988). College room only: $4960. Full-time tuition and fees vary according to program. Room and board charges vary according to board plan and housing facility. Part-time tuition: $1010 per credit hour. Part-time mandatory fees: $524 per term. Part-time tuition and fees vary according to course load and program.

Collegiate Environment:

Orientation program. Drama-theater group, choral group, marching band, student-run newspaper, radio station. Social organizations: 450 open to all; national fraternities, national sororities, local fraternities, local sororities; 16% of eligible men and 17% of eligible women are members. Most popular organizations: Troy Camp, USC Helenes, Program Board, Student Senate, Alpha Phi Omega. Major annual events: Springfest, Troy Week, homecoming. Student services: health clinic, personal-psychological counseling, women's center. Campus security: 24-hour emergency response devices and patrols, student patrols, late night transport-escort service, controlled dormitory access. 6,100 college housing spaces available; all were occupied in 2003-04. Freshmen guaranteed college housing. Option: coed housing available. Doheny Memorial Library plus 20 others with 3.9 million books, 6.2 million microform titles, 52,569 serials, 3.3 million audiovisual materials, an OPAC, and a Web page. Operations spending 2003-04: $28.8 million. 2,500 computers available on campus for general student use. Computer purchase/lease plans available. A campuswide network can be accessed from student residence rooms and from off campus. Staffed computer lab on campus.

Community Environment:

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, USC exposes undergraduates to one of the world's great cosmopolitan centers. Students take advantage of this setting through internships with major corporations, new technology ventures, the entertainment industry, museums and galleries, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Across the street from the campus in Exposition Park are museums, gardens, and the Memorial Coliseum. The nearby Figueroa Boulevard "Sports and Entertainment Corridor" includes the Shrine Auditorium, frequent host to the Grammy and Oscar events; the enormous Los Angeles Convention Center; the Staples Arena, which hosts the Lakers, Kings, and Clippers, and the 2000 Democratic Convention; and the Los Angeles Music Center, which offers world-class theatre, concerts, and opera. The campus is minutes away from the beaches of Santa Monica and Venice and also offers easy access to the hiking and bike trails of the Santa Monica Mountains. Local ski resorts are about a 90-minute drive from the campus.

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