A Leading Private Research University
The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international business, USC’s diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments.
In its comprehensive 2021 ranking, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranked USC 19th among more than 1,000 public and private universities. Among all California institutions — public and private — only USC, Caltech and Stanford University ranked within the top 20. Of the 150 universities surveyed in the western U.S., USC ranks No. 3. Among the top 25 schools, USC ranked No. 5 in engagement, which measures student sentiment on how their education prepares them for the real world.
This year, USC received more than 59,000 applicants for its fall freshman class, an acceptance rate of 16 percent. The number of students who are the first in their families to attend USC has been growing steadily for five years — 22 percent of the incoming class are first-generation college students, and 30 percent of the Class of 2024 are students of color. With one of the most abundant financial aid pools in the country, USC provides more than $450 million in scholarships and aid. This incoming class is the first under a new USC initiative to make college more affordable for lower and middle-income families. Students from families earning $80,000 or less each year attend tuition-free.
USC’s distinguished faculty of 4,000 innovative scholars, researchers, teachers and mentors includes five Nobel laureates, and dozens of recipients of prestigious national honors including the MacArthur “Genius” Award, Guggenheim Award, the National Medal of the Arts, the National Humanities Medal, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and Pulitzer Prize.