USC Acceptance Rate 2023 | All Admission Requirements

USC Acceptance Rate and All Admission Requirements
USC Acceptance Rate and All Admission Requirements

If you are applying to USC, one of the things to look out for is USC acceptance rate. Acceptance rate will inform you about the number of students admitted annually, and how difficult a particular college is difficult to get into.

A very low acceptance rate indicates that a school is extremely selective, while a college with a very high acceptance rate may not be selective.

Acceptance rates are a ratio of the number of total applicants to accepted students. For example, if 100 people apply to a university and 15 are accepted, the university has a 15% acceptance rate.

In this article, we will cover all you need to get into USC, from USC acceptance rate to all the admission requirements needed.

About USC

USC is the abbreviation for the University of Southern California. The University of Southern California is a top-ranked private research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States.

Founded by Robert M. Widney, USC first opened its doors to 53 students and 10 teachers in 1880. Currently, USC is home to 49,500 students, including 11,729 International Students.  It is the oldest private research university in California.

USC’s main campus, large city university park campus is located in Los Angeles’s Downtown Arts and Education Corridor.

What is the Acceptance Rate of USC?

USC is one of the world’s leading private research universities and has one of the lowest acceptance rates among American institutions.

Why? USC receives thousands of applications annually but can only accept a small percentage.

In 2020, the acceptance rate for USC was 16%. This means in 100 students, only 16 students were accepted. 12.5% of 71,032 freshmen (fall 2021) applicants were admitted. Currently, USC’s acceptance rate is less than 12%.

What are USC Admission Requirements?

As a highly selective school, applicants are expected to be among the top 10 percent of their graduating class, and their median standardized test score is in the top 5 percent.

Incoming first-year students are expected to have earned a grade of C or above in at least three years of high school mathematics, including Advanced Algebra (Algebra II).

Outside of Mathematics, no specific curriculum is required, though students offered admission typically pursue the most rigorous program available to them in English, Science, Social Studies, Foreign language, and the arts.

In 2021, the average unweighted GPA for entering freshman class is 3.75 to 4.00. According to Niche, a college ranking site, USC’s SAT score range is from 1340 to 1530 and the ACT score range is from 30 to 34.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Applicants

I. For first-year students

USC requires the following from first-year students:

  • Common Application and use Writing Supplements
  • Official Test Scores: SAT or ACT. USC does not require the writing section for either the ACT or the SAT general test.
  • Official transcripts of all high school and college coursework completed
  • Letters of Recommendation: One letter is required from either your school counselor or teacher. Some departments may require two letters of recommendation, For example, the School of Cinematic Arts.
  • Portfolio, resume and/or additional writing samples, if required by major. Performance majors may also require auditions
  • Submit your fall grades via the common application or applicant portal
  • Essay and short-answer responses.

II. For Transfer Students

USC requires the following from transfer students:

  • Common Application
  • Official final high school transcripts
  • Official college transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Letters of recommendation (optional, although may be required for some majors)
  • Portfolio, resume and/or additional writing samples, if required by major. Performance majors may also require auditions
  • Essay and responses to short answer topics.

III. For International Students

International Applicants must have the following:

  • Official copies of academic records from all secondary schools, pre-university programs, colleges, and universities attended. They must be submitted in their native language, with a translation in English, if the native language is not English
  • External examination results, like GCSE/IGCSE results, IB or A-level results, Indian based examination results, Australian ATAR, e.t.c
  • Standardized test scores: ACT or SAT
  • Financial Statement of Personal or Family Support, which includes: a signed form, proof of sufficient funds, and a copy of current passport
  • English language proficiency test scores.

USC approved examinations for English language proficiency include:

  • TOEFL (or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition) with a minimum score of 100 and no less than a score of 20 in each section
  • IELTS score of 7
  • PTE score of 68
  • 650 on the SAT Evidence-based Reading and Writing section
  • 27 on the ACT English section.

Note: If you are unable to sit for any of the USC-approved examinations, you can sit for the Duolingo English Test and achieve a minimum score of 120.

Admission Requirements for Graduate Applicants

USC requires the following from graduate applicants:

  • Official transcripts from previous institutions attended
  • GRE/GMAT Scores or other tests. Scores are considered valid only if earned within five years to the month of your intended first term at USC.
  • Resume/CV
  • Letters of Recommendation (may be optional for some programs at USC).

Additional requirements for International Students include:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions you have attended. The transcripts must be written in their native language, and sent with an English translation, if the native language is not English.
  • Official English language test scores: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores.
  • Financial Documentation

Other Admission Requirements

Admission officers consider more than grades and test scores when evaluating an applicant.

In addition to grades, selective colleges have interest in the:

  • Amount of subjects taken
  • Level of competition in previous school
  • Upward or downward trends in your grades
  • Essay
  • Extracurricular and Leadership activities.

What are the Academic Programs offered by USC?

The University of Southern California offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across 23 schools and divisions, which includes:

  • Letters, Arts, and Sciences
  • Accounting
  • Architecture
  • Art and Design
  • Art, Technology, Business
  • Business
  • Cinematic Arts
  • Communication and Journalism
  • Dance
  • Dentistry
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Gerontology
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Professional Studies
  • Public Policy
  • Social Work.

How much will it cost to attend USC?

Tuition is charged at the same rate for in-state and out-of-state students.

The following are estimated costs for two semesters:

  • Tuition: $63,468
  • Application Fee: From $85 for undergraduates and $90 for graduates
  • Health Center Fee: $1,054
  • Housing: $12,600
  • Dining: $6,930
  • Books and Supplies: $1,200
  • New Student Fee: $55
  • Transportation: $2,628

Note: The estimated costs above are only valid for 2022-2023 academic year. Do well to check USC’s official website for the current cost of attendance.

Does USC offer Financial Aid?

The University of Southern California has one of the most abundant financial aid among the private universities in America. USC provides more than $640 million in scholarships and aids.

Students from families earning $80,000 or less attend tuition-free under a new USC initiative to make college more affordable for lower and middle-income families.

USC offers financial aid to students through need-based grants, merit scholarships, loans, and federal work-study programs.

Merit scholarships are awarded based on students’ academic and extracurricular achievements. Need-based financial aid is offered according to the demonstrated need of the student and family.

International applicants are not eligible for need-based financial aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is USC an Ivy League School?

USC is not an Ivy League School. There are only eight ivy league schools in the United States, and none is located in California.

Who are USC Trojans?

USC Trojans is a widely-known sport team, consists of both men and women. The USC Trojans are the intercollegiate athletic team representing the University of Southern California (USC). USC Trojans have won more than 133 team national championships, 110 of which are National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national championships.

What GPA do I need to get into USC?

USC doesn't have minimum requirements for grades, class rank or test scores. Although, most admitted students (first-year students) are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school classes and have at least a 3.79 GPA.

Does my program requires GRE, GMAT, or any other test scores?

Most USC graduate programs require either GRE or GMAT scores. Test requirements differ, depending on the program.

Does USC require SAT/ACT scores?

Although SAT/ACT scores are optional, they may still be submitted. Applicants will not be penalized if they choose not to submit SAT or ACT. Most USC admitted students have an average SAT score between 1340 to 1530 or an average ACT score of 30 to 34.

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Conclusion on USC Acceptance Rate

USC’s acceptance rate shows that getting into USC is highly competitive, as thousands of students apply annually. Sadly, only a small percentage of the total applicants will be admitted.

Most admitted students are students that have excellent grades, participate in extracurricular activities and possess good leadership skills.

A low acceptance rate should not discourage you from applying to USC, instead, it should motivate you to do better in your academics.

We hope this article was helpful to you.

Let us know if you have further questions in the comment section.