USC is a great school if you’re looking for graduate school programs in a large metropolis and prefer to stay on the West Coast! USC is the oldest private research university in the Western United States. It was established in 1880 and its main campus, University Park, is located just minutes from Downtown Los Angeles. It has a stellar reputation both for its undergrad and graduate programs and is in the top 1% of all colleges and universities in terms of selectivity and was voted “College of the Year” in 2000 by TIME Magazine.
At USC, programs with similar areas of knowledge and interest are grouped together to form schools (such as the Keck School of Medicine, the USC Thornton School of Music and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering) and academic departments within the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences (such as Biology, English and Sociology). USC awards Master of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, as well as doctoral degrees in professional fields. Enrollments include students from over 115 countries and the university offers extensive opportunities for internships and study abroad.
The main campus is home to the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences as well as 17 professional schools. The main University Park campus is easily accessible by foot, with cars limited to only a couple streets, and contains many beautiful buildings, a combination of East Coast-style original brick and newer research facilities. USC also has a Health Sciences campus, northeast of downtown LA, which houses the Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine as well as programs in Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy.
Recently USC became the recipient of five large grants: $120 million to create the Annenberg Center for Communication, $100 million for the USC Annenberg School for Communication, $112.5 million for the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering, $110 million for USC’s School of Medicine and $175 million from George Lucas to the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Besides its academic excellence, USC is known for its strong sports teams (“Fight On!”) and active social life. USC’s biggest rival is cross-town school UCLA (another great graduate school—look for it in a future “Graduate School Spotlight” blog!), and the annual football games are popular events for students. Other social activities include a number of popular clubs, a large student government, and the famous student newspaper, The Daily Trojan, which has been published continuously since 1912.
You can find out more about USC here!