University of Southern California

#56 / #23
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
Most Desirable School
Private research university in Los Angeles, California, United States

University of Southern California Featured Rankings

About University of Southern California

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Southern California (USC) was founded as the first private research university in the state (five years before Stanford) largely through the efforts of Judge Robert Widney, one of the most prominent citizens of Los Angeles at that time.

Widney’s vision was of an inclusive institution that would serve all sectors of the already-diverse LA community. Accordingly, the board of trustees he assembled included a wealthy Protestant businessman, a Catholic former-governor, and a Jewish banker. While USC was officially affiliated with the Methodist church during its early years, from the beginning its charter provided that no student would be denied admission on the basis of race.

Today, USC enrolls more than 48,000 students, of whom around a quarter (some 12,000) are international students—one of the highest percentages of any university in the country. Half of all students are undergraduates, while the other half are pursuing graduate or professional training.

Nine Nobel Prize laureates have been connected with USC, including the:

  • Physicist, Murray Gell-Mann
  • Chemist, Arieh Warshel
  • Economists, James Heckman & Angus Deaton

USC faculty member Leonard Adleman, who has a joint appointment in computer science and molecular biology, is a Turing Award–recipient.

Among its many other notable faculty and alumni, we may mention:

  • Astronaut, Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon
  • Architect, Frank Gehry
  • Electrical engineer and entrepreneur, Andrew Viterbi
  • Actors John Wayne, Tom Selleck, LeVar Burton, Cybil Shepherd, Daryl Hannah, Will Ferrell, & Forest Whitaker
  • Television producer and film director, Judd Apatow
  • Film directors, Robert Zemeckis, John Singleton, Ron Howard, & George Lucas
  • Mohamed Morsi, the former president of Egypt
  • Shinzō Abe, the current prime minister of Japan

According to Wikipedia, The University of Southern California is a private research university in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1880 by Robert M. Widney, it is the oldest private research university in California. The university is composed of one liberal arts school, the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and twenty-two undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, enrolling roughly 21,000 undergraduate and 28,500 post-graduate students from all fifty U.S. states, and more than 115 countries. USC is ranked as one of the top universities in the United States and admission to its programs is considered highly selective.

University of Southern California Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual Applications Acceptance Graduation Rate Median SAT Score Median ACT Score
59,712 16% 92% 1445 32

How Much Does University of Southern California Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state)
Price by Family Income
Income Average Net Cost
0 - 30K $14,668
30K - 48K $16,252
48K - 75K $20,050
75K - 110K $30,858
110K+ $52,271

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

How Much Do University of Southern California Graduates Make?

If you graduate from University of Southern California, then you can expect to earn an average of $88,800 per year. You also have a 91% chance of being employed after 10 years.

University of Southern California's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student Body Under-Grads Graduates
39,825 21,992 17,833

Where is University of Southern California?

University of Southern California is located at University Park, Los Angeles CA 90089

What Is University of Southern California Known For?

University of Southern California is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

University of Southern California's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are University of Southern California's Most Influential Alumni?

University of Southern California's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Social Work, Business, and Criminal Justice. Here are some of University of Southern California's most famous alumni:

Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry
A Canadian-American architect.
Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
An American astronaut and the first human to walk on the moon.
Andrew Viterbi
Andrew Viterbi
An Italian-born American electrical engineer and businessman.
Jim Lovell
Jim Lovell
An American astronaut.
Bart Kosko
An American academic.
Boris Podolsky
An American physicist .
John Mearsheimer
John Mearsheimer
An American political scientist.
Maulana Karenga
Maulana Karenga
An American political activist.
James Dobson
James Dobson
An Evangelical Christian psychologist, author, and radio broadcaster.
Anthony Boucher
Anthony Boucher
An Editor, novelist, short story writer .
Greg Bahnsen
Greg Bahnsen
An American theologian and philosopher .
Jack L. Warner
Jack L. Warner
A Canadian-American film executive .

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