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3607 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089

(213) 740-2311 

University of Southern California

University of Southern California

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.

An Undergraduate Experience Like No Other

By providing a distinctive undergraduate experience built on excellent liberal arts and professional programs, we aim to create unique opportunities for career preparation through innovative collaborations across disciplines. The university’s commitment to becoming the world center for innovative interdisciplinary research and undergraduate education is reflected in the emphasis on providing opportunities for students to participate in research and related scholarly endeavors. Our academic programs span the spectrum from basic to applied research with a high degree of societal relevance. This focus on undergraduate participation in the creation of knowledge is a principal ingredient of the academic experience at USC.

In addition to formal academic major and minor programs, USC offers undergraduates an academic life full of opportunities — to conduct research with faculty, to study abroad, to learn by serving the community and much more. We know that tomorrow’s leaders will have broad backgrounds in diverse fields. They will be life-long learners with the ability and passion to continuously acquire and synthesize knowledge. In short, they will have both a breadth and a depth of knowledge. Academic life at USC offers a constellation of opportunity. For those who accept them, there are challenges here to be seized and shaped for a lifetime of leadership, intelligent citizenship, and enlightened living.


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.

Our first priority as faculty and staff is the education of our students, from freshmen to post-doctorals, through a broad array of academic, professional, extracurricular and athletic programs of the first rank. The integration of liberal and professional learning is one of USC’s special strengths. We strive constantly for excellence in teaching knowledge and skills to our students, while at the same time helping them to acquire wisdom and insight, love of truth and beauty, moral discernment, understanding of self, and respect and appreciation for others.

Research of the highest quality by our faculty and students is fundamental to our mission. USC is one of a very small number of premier academic institutions in which research and teaching are inextricably intertwined, and on which the nation depends for a steady stream of new knowledge, art, and technology. Our faculty are not simply teachers of the works of others, but active contributors to what is taught, thought and practiced throughout the world.

USC is pluralistic, welcoming outstanding men and women of every race, creed and background. We are a global institution in a global center, attracting more international students over the years than any other American university. And we are private, unfettered by political control, strongly committed to academic freedom, and proud of our entrepreneurial heritage.

An extraordinary closeness and willingness to help one another are evident among USC students, alumni, faculty, and staff; indeed, for those within its compass the Trojan Family is a genuinely supportive community. Alumni, trustees, volunteers and friends of USC are essential to this family tradition, providing generous financial support, participating in university governance, and assisting students at every turn.

In our surrounding neighborhoods and around the globe, USC provides public leadership and public service in such diverse fields as health care, economic development, social welfare, scientific research, public policy and the arts. We also serve the public interest by being the largest private employer in the city of Los Angeles, as well as the city’s largest export industry in the private sector.

USC has played a major role in the development of Southern California for more than a century, and plays an increasingly important role in the development of the nation and the world. We expect to continue to play these roles for many centuries to come. Thus our planning, commitments and fiscal policies are directed toward building quality and excellence in the long term.


The Victory Sign: It has become a long-standing tradition for Trojan fans to sport the victory sign whenever the Trojan Marching Band plays "USC Fanfare," "Tribute to Troy," or "Conquest." Fans also thrust the victory sign into the air whenever the Trojans make a shot in Basketball, play offense in Football, or if a player is injured.

Victory Bell Celebration: The Victory Bell is an annual trophy given to either USC or UCLA. The winner of the annual football contest keeps the bell for a year and paints it the school’s color: “Cardinal” for USC or “True Blue” for UCLA.

USC Homecoming Parade: A tradition where student groups build a float on a golf cart and compete in the Homecoming Parade the next day.

Weekender at Cal: For decades Trojan Fans have been traveling to Northern California to cheer on the USC Football team in games against Cal and Stanford.

The Spirit of Troy: Also known as the USC Trojan Marching Band, The Spirit of Troy features over 300 student band members. A contingent of the band has performed at 284 consecutive football games and is unrivaled by any other university band.

Troy Week: The week preceding the annual football matchup with UCLA is known as “Troy Week” and features a number of traditions including CONQUEST! “The Ultimate Trojan Experience," Save Tommy Night and the CONQUEST! Bonfire.

Songfest: Started in the mid 1950s by two USC sophomores to help unify a diverse post WWII student body, Songfest is an annual campus event where student organizations compete against each other in a musical show that benefits Troy Camp.

Student Life: 

Living in a Residential College/Residential Community is a unique experience where students get to meet people from all across the United States and the World. Together, they learn to live, interact, and socialize together and create memories that soon prove that this is more than just a place to sleep—it is their new home for the year.  Students have the opportunity to attend activities that cultivate their social, academic, and cultural growth as young adults and interact with a variety of staff who are there to support them in their transition not only to college during their first-year, but through the transitions that come with every year at USC.

USC has more than 800 student organizations, which are responsible for the majority of programs and events held on campus, including concerts, lectures, special events, spirit rallies, cultural and social events, and conferences.

Joining a fraternity or sorority at USC opens the doors to limitless opportunities and lifelong friendships. The USC Greek community enhances your personal growth and individuality while linking you to a sisterhood or brotherhood that shares your goals and values.

The Intramural Sports Program is one of the most popular undergraduate and graduate student activities at USC with more than 9,600 participants. USC students compete against other USC students in a less structured format than club sports, ranging from one-day tournaments to six-week leagues. Intramural sports promote physical fitness, competition, social interaction, and student involvement.

The Center is unique in that it is essentially a student-run department within USC’s Division of Student Affairs. Over 300 non-profits and other agencies offer volunteer opportunities in the community in addition to the USC Friends & Neighbors Service Days. 



Traveler, the noble white horse that appears at all USC home football games with a regal Trojan warrior astride, is one of the most famous college mascots. Traveler first made an appearance at USC football games in 1961 (in the home opener versus Georgia Tech). Bob Jani, then USC's director of special events, and Eddie Tannenbaum, then a junior at USC, had spotted Richard Saukko riding his white horse, Traveler I, in the 1961 Rose Parade. They persuaded Saukko to ride his white horse around the Coliseum during USC games, serving as a mascot. Ever since, whenever USC scores, the band plays "Conquest" and Traveler gallops around the Coliseum.

University of Southern California today:

The University of Southern California is composed of 21 schools and units.


The University of Southern California has roughly 19,000 undergraduates and 24,000 graduate and professional students, with a total enrollment of approximately 43,000 students.

Famous graduates:

Louis Zamperini (born January 26, 1917): Raised in California, Zamperini joined the track team in high school. Excelling at long-distance events, Zamperini competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and was set to compete again in the 1940 games in Tokyo, which were canceled when World War II broke out. A bombardier in the Army Air Corps, Zamperini was in a plane that went down, and when he arrived on shore in Japan 47 days later, he was taken as a prisoner of war and tortured for two years. After his release, Zamperini became an inspirational figure, and his life served as the basis for the 2014 biography Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.

Judd Apatow (born December 6, 1967) studied screenwriting and worked as a stand-up comedian before earning an Emmy for his writing on The Ben Stiller Show. After creating the critically acclaimed series Freaks and Geeks, he went on to direct, write and produce the smash 2005 movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin. He followed in 2007 with another hit, Knocked Up, and later directed the films Funny People, This Is 40 and Trainwreck. Apatow has also worked as a producer and screenwriter for several other big-screen comedies, and is an executive producer for the HBO series Girls.

Interesting facts about USC:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated at least one USC alumnus every year since the inception of the Academy Awards in 1929.

The USC marching band is the only one in the United States that has earned a platinum record. In fact, the band’s earned two.

USC’s “Fight On” song was used to inspire combat-bound troops in the Aleutians Campaign during World War II.