University of Southern California

Internationally recognized for strong academic departments and cutting-edge research, the University of Southern California (USC) is home to more than 40,000 students from more than 150 countries with 300,000+ alumni worldwide. Located in Los Angeles, a world-class center for arts, technology, and international trade, USC is among a small number of institutions on which the world depends for a steady stream of new knowledge, art, and innovation. 

Student demographics

Students (2014-2015 academic year):

Undergraduates       18,000

Graduates                 22,000

Total                           40,000

Facts and Figures about USC

USC has the largest number of international students of any U.S. university. View international student breakdown by country. 

ESL program and/or support services

Since 1959, the American Language Institute (ALI) has been providing English language instruction, assessment, and resources to support the academic and professional success of non-native speakers of English pursuing a degree at USC. The ALI offers English language courses for those students who want to improve their English as well as those who are required to take classes as a result of taking the International Student English (ISE) exam. The ALI is also responsible for testing and providing English language instruction for the university’s international teaching assistants.

Student Housing options

USC provides several resources for students in search of housing options:

USC Housing

Off-Campus Housing

Office of International Services

Application deadlines

All deadlines for USC graduate programs are set by individual academic departments, not the Office of Admission. Deadlines vary from program to program and are subject to change. Please refer to the homepage of your intended academic department or contact them directly for this information.

 Admission requirements for first year and transfer students

First-year applicants are evaluated on the content and rigor of their high school coursework, their grades, standardized test scores, activity summary, essay, short answers and counselor/teacher recommendations. There are no absolute “cutoffs” or minimums for grades, rank in class, or test scores. We are interested in the interplay of these elements as well as your personal accomplishments and potential for success. For more information, please visit Undergraduate Admission.

Prospective undergraduate transfer students should refer to our Prospective Transfer Students section for more information about transferring to USC.

For information on application to Master’s and Ph.D. programs, please visit Graduate Admission.

International Student visas issued

F1 and J1

Cost of attendance and financial assistance

Cost of tuition varies by school and program – Please visit the Schedule of Courses for complete tuition information.

International students may be eligible for academic department fellowships, teaching and research assistantships, and merit-based tuition waivers. For more information, contact the department to which you are seeking admission.

 Internship opportunities

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization that allows F-1 international students to participate in paid off-campus academic internships during their degree program. Students must have been in F-1 student status for at least one academic year in a degree-seeking program before they can apply for CPT and must have properly maintained F-1 status each semester. For more information, please visit the Office of International Services.

Student activities and campus life

Beyond the classroom, USC offers an exciting array of activities with over 750 student-run organizations and clubs. Every student has the opportunity to pursue extra-curricular interests, including leadership opportunities, recreational sports, a rich spiritual life and a variety of rewarding volunteer opportunities. Southern California’s moderate climate and varied landscape allows for year-round recreation including skiing, hiking and surfing, among many other activities. With close proximity to the ocean and beautiful beaches, the campus is located within an hour’s drive to the desert and mountains. USC campus neighbors include world-renowned cultural institutions and sports and entertainment venues in the exciting city of Los Angeles.

For more information, please visit USC Student Life & Involvement.