University of Southern California

About USC

Located at the heart of the USC campus, Tommy Trojan is the university’s most iconic landmark. The statue’s granite pedestal bears the five qualities of the ideal Trojan: faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous and ambitious.

USC Today

Located near the heart of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is one of the top private research universities in the United States, attracting students from around the globe and operating an integrated academic medical center that serves more than a million patients each year.

Since its establishment in 1880, USC has conferred degrees on more than a quarter million students — leaders who have helped Southern California emerge as an international trendsetter in public policy, economic and business affairs, urban planning and engineering, scientific research, health care, communications and the arts. Today, USC and its graduates carry forward this heritage of leadership.

The traditional function of the university is to teach students. USC is committed to promoting lifelong learning and to the principle that education thrives in a context of new knowledge creation.

USC places a premium on research, scholarship and the credentials of its faculty. Since 1969, it has been a member of the Association of American Universities, the elective body that unites the 62 premier research universities in the United States and Canada. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 985 Atlantic Ave., Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001. Students may review USC’s accreditation documents by contacting associate provost Robin Romans.

From the start, USC has contributed to the welfare of students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as to Southern California, the nation and the world. The university’s hospitals, affiliated hospitals and partnerships with business and nonprofit organizations help spread USC’s expertise across the community at large.

Academic Programs

The University of Southern California upholds a tradition of academic strength at all levels — from freshman year to postdoctoral fellowship.

USC offers bachelor’s degrees in 172 undergraduate majors, and, as of fall 2013, graduate students were enrolled in nearly 392 master’s, certificate, doctoral and professional degree programs. Alongside these many majors, USC has developed 174 different academic and professional minors — the broadest selection of any U.S. university — to encourage students to study subjects across widely separated fields. Students may select from a variety of degree combinations under the direction of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School and the university’s 18 professional schools.

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is at the heart of the university’s commitment to teaching and research in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The largest and most diverse of USC’s academic divisions — in terms of both student enrollment and faculty — the college serves nearly 8,000 undergraduates and more than 1,700 graduate students, and offers more than 140 undergraduate courses of study and a full range of master’s and doctoral degree programs. In addition to the undergraduate degrees offered by the college, many of the university’s professional schools also offer bachelor’s degree programs.


USC’s full-time faculty numbers nearly 3,800. In addition, more than 4,000 volunteer faculty members are affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and more than 400 volunteer faculty are affiliated with the USC School of Pharmacy. Research, teaching, patient care and community service are supported by a staff of more than 12,000.

USC’s faculty includes Nobel laureates George A. Olah, Murray Gell-Mann, Daniel McFadden and Ariel Warshel, as well as National Medal of Arts winners Morten Lauridsen and George Lucas, National Humanities Medal winner Kevin Starr, National Medal of Science winners Simon Ramo, Andrew Viterbi and Solomon Golomb, Turing Prize recipient Leonard Adleman, Pritzker Prize honoree Frank Gehry, MacArthur fellows Elyn Saks, Jacob Soll and Luis Alfaro, renowned violinist Midori Goto, Michael Waterman (a founder of computational genomics), Manuel Castells (interpreter of the Internet age), and Antonio Damasio (pioneer in the neural bases of emotions). More than 200 faculty members have received prestigious academic and professional awards from organizations as varied as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Also on the faculty are members of the National Academy of Sciences (16), National Academy of Engineering (37), National Academy of Education (1), Institute of Medicine (17) and American Academy of Arts and Sciences (33).


Diversity is a hallmark of the student community. USC students come from all 50 states, five territories and 115 countries. There are 41,000 students enrolled at the university, including some 18,000 undergraduates and 23,000 graduate and professional students. In fall 2013, nearly 50 percent of new freshmen were from California. Almost 40 percent of the university’s total enrollment is composed of American minorities; a further 21 percent are international students. For 13 consecutive years, USC has been at the top of American universities in terms of international enrollment. Among undergraduates, approximately 50 percent are men and 50 percent are women.

The middle 50 percent SAT range of the 2013 enrolled freshman class was 1960–2190. The average unweighted GPA was 3.73. In fall 2013, there were 249 National Merit Scholars.

USC students consistently earn nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including Fulbright, Luce, Marshall, Truman, Rhodes and Churchill scholarships.

Research Support

USC is one of a small number of premier research institutions producing a steady stream of new knowledge, art and technology. With more than $600 million in annual research expenditures, it ranks among the top 10 private universities in federal research activity.


The USC Libraries develop collections and services that support and encourage the academic endeavors of faculty, students and staff; build a community of critical consumers of information; and help develop engaged world citizens. With more than 4 million volumes, 3 million photographs, 6 million microforms, and subscriptions to more than 50,000 serials and 33,000 electronic journals, the USC Libraries actively support the discovery, creation and preservation of knowledge.

The largest of USC’s libraries is the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library, which contains the research collections for most of the humanities and social sciences. Doheny Memorial Library also houses the Cinematic Arts Library, the Music Library, the East Asian Library and Special Collections.

The USC Libraries include a number of specialized libraries that serve the unique research needs of the USC community. Three libraries also are devoted to collections for their respective professions: the Asa V. Call Law Library, the Eileen and Kenneth T. Norris Medical Library, and the Jennifer Ann Wilson Dental Library and Learning Center.

The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Library features a core collection of books and journals, two electronic information commons with nearly 200 computer workstations, more than 50 collaborative workspaces, two hands-on learning classrooms, a multimedia auditorium and more than 1,400 reader seats in a variety of formal and informal arrangements. Leavey provides faculty and students with tools to accomplish research using both traditional and electronic resources. Within Leavey, librarians and staff provide faculty with assistance in using technology and information resources to develop materials for instruction and scholarly research.

The USC Libraries have noteworthy collections in the areas of cinema, international and public affairs, American literature, regional history, marine science, philosophy, and Latin American and Korean studies, among others. The Feuchtwanger Memorial Library features an extensive collection of Lion Feuchtwanger’s own works along with the rarest books from his library. The USC Libraries are also home to the Boeckmann Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies, as well as an extensive collection of photographs chronicling the history of Southern California. A complete list of all libraries and updated hours is available online at

USC’s electronic resources, available online at, include a collection of databases, electronic books, electronic journals and visual materials. USC’s online library catalog, HOMER, provides a list of books, periodicals, government documents and dissertations held in libraries on the University Park Campus. The USC Libraries are also engaged in numerous digital initiatives, such as the USC Digital Library. To access these resources and learn about additional services, visit

USC Libraries’ Ask-A-Librarian service provides 24-hour-a-day professional reference assistance to students, faculty and staff. Patrons receive expert answers in person, via phone, email and online chat sessions. Ask-A-Librarian is located online at

Computing Resources

Before activating their USC computing account, students must be registered for classes or have paid their tuition deposit and certified that they will be attending USC. Students must also agree to observe the university’s computing policies, which are available at Students should go to to activate their USC computing account.

Illegal File Sharing

Information Technology Services (ITS) provides a variety of resources to help students understand copyright issues related to digital media and file-sharing technologies, along with the risks of illegal file sharing. For more information, see

USC’s Wireless Network

Most common areas at USC are configured for wireless technology. There are two ways to connect to the USC wireless network: USC Wireless and USC Wireless Plus.

USC Wireless

USC Wireless is an open network. You can connect without entering your USC username and password. Because USC Wireless is an open network, ITS recommends that you use USC’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) software to protect your personal information when using this network. See for instructions.

USC Wireless Plus

USC Wireless Plus is a faster, encrypted network, available only to USC account holders. When connecting to USC Wireless Plus for the first time, you may need to configure your wireless device. For instructions, see


All the rooms in USC residence halls are connected to ResNet, a high-speed wired computer network. For more information, see


USC students receive a special Gmail account that allows them to use their email address. This account provides 30 gigabytes of online storage space and access to Google’s online word processing and spreadsheet programs, sharable calendars and more.

Antivirus and Other Software

For free antivirus and other software, visit (A USC login is required.) An overview of software resources is available at For tips on secure computing, go to

For useful information about IT-related security threats and updates, including warnings about the latest phishing attempts, go to the ITS Security Blog at


Blackboard is the online learning management system used by USC instructors to provide students with digital copies of syllabi, course notes, handouts, media files, Website links and hosted discussion forums. Blackboard allows students to upload assignments, take quizzes, communicate with classmates and track progress in their classes. For more information, see


MyUSC is the university’s portal, designed to provide personalized access to wide-ranging campus resources in a single location. Features include university and student group announcements, national and university news and events feeds, and access to online registration, OASIS, Blackboard and other services. MyUSC is available at

USC students have free access to, an online training provider offering more than 2,380 video-based courses on a broad range of computing and technology topics, including Google Apps, Blackboard, Adobe products, Microsoft Office, Web design and development, audio/video production, computer programming and mobile devices. For more information, visit


USCmobile ( provides access to a broad range of USC content from your smartphone or tablet, including campus directories, maps, news, events, tram routes and arrival times, and more.

Computing Documentation, Network Alerts and ITS Announcements

In addition to documentation on connecting to the USC network and using supported software programs, the ITS Website provides information about network performance issues and announcements about scheduled maintenance. Visit

USC Computing Centers

USC’s computing centers offer technology-enhanced collaboration spaces, computers, wireless networking, laptop lending, and wireless printing services for USC students, faculty and staff. Laptop lending is available at Waite Phillips Hall of Education (WPH B34), King Olympic Hall (KOH 206) and Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL 125). You may be asked to show your USC ID card. For more information, including computing center hours, visit

Getting Help

For help with network connectivity and software, contact the ITS Customer Support Center by calling 740-5555 or sending an email to Walk-in support is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, in Leavey Library’s Information Commons, on the lower level. For more information, see

Hospitals and Patient Care

The schools of medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, together with the divisions of biokinesiology and physical therapy and of occupational science and occupational therapy, train professionals in the health care fields, conduct original research in all aspects of biomedicine and health care, and provide high-quality patient care to the Southern California community.

The Health Sciences Campus is home to Keck Medicine of USC, the University of Southern California’s medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in Los Angeles County. Encompassing academic, research and clinical entities, it consists of:

  • Keck School of Medicine of USC, one of the top medical schools in Southern California;
  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the first comprehensive cancer centers established in the United States;
  • USC Care Medical Group, the faculty practice;
  • Keck Medical Center of USC, which includes two acute care hospitals: 
401-bed Keck Hospital of USC and 60-bed USC Norris Cancer Hospital;
  • USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, a 158-bed community hospital;
  • outpatient facilities in Beverly Hills, downtown Los Angeles, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, and the USC University Park Campus; and
  • Keck Medicine of USC Medical Foundation, a group of physicians affiliated with Keck Medicine of USC.

The Keck School of Medicine of USC also provides medical staffing for the adjacent Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country, and for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, ranked fifth on the U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of best children’s hospitals.

The physicians who are faculty members of the Keck School of Medicine provide care in a wide range of medical specialties from the most complex diagnoses and treatments to primary care for the entire family. In addition to teaching, conducting research and caring for patients, Keck School faculty members train more than 900 medical residents and fellows.

The USC School of Pharmacy operates three campus pharmacies. Two are located on the University Park Campus — the USC Pharmacy in the Gwynn Wilson Student Union and the Health Center Pharmacy immediately adjacent to the Engemann Student Health Center. On the Health Sciences Campus, the Medical Plaza Pharmacy is located in the Healthcare Consultation Center I building adjacent to the Keck Hospital of USC. These pharmacies provide full pharmacy services including disease screenings, immunizations, medication therapy management, medication compounding, an international travel clinic and transplant pharmacy services. School of Pharmacy faculty, residents and students also provide pharmacy services and patient consultations at the Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital, the LAC+USC Medical Center and other hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing facilities, home health care agencies and pharmacies throughout Southern California.

Students and advanced specialty residents of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, under the supervision of expert faculty, practice at the Norris Dental Science Center on the University Park Campus. Dental faculty members treat patients at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry Faculty Practice within the Engemann Student Health Center, also on the University Park Campus. In addition, students and faculty care for patients in hospitals, fixed satellite clinics, mobile clinics and other community oral health programs throughout Southern California.

Biokinesiology and physical therapy faculty see patients at the USC Physical Therapy Associates clinics in the new USC Engemann Student Health Center on the University Park Campus, at Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital and clinical offices in the USC Health Research Association building adjacent to the Health Sciences Campus.

Occupational therapy faculty see patients at Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital, USC/Eisner Family Medicine Center at California Hospital and Keck Medicine of USC Pasadena, and provide Lifestyle Redesign® treatment at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice in the Clinical Sciences Center on the Health Sciences Campus and in the Engemann Student Health Center on the University Park Campus.

Civic Engagement

The region’s oldest research university, USC has been an integral part of its community for more than 130 years. Today, USC is the largest private employer in Los Angeles and is renowned for innovative university-community partnerships aimed at strengthening the neighborhoods around its University Park and Health Sciences campuses. Implemented in partnership with community agencies, civic leaders and public officials, USC’s university-community initiatives focus on providing educational, cultural and developmental opportunities for children who live in the immediate neighborhoods; working with neighbors, city and county officials, and other agencies to provide safer streets; encouraging more entrepreneurs, and especially minority entrepreneurs, to establish businesses in the immediate vicinity of the campuses; and striving to employ at USC more persons who live in the areas surrounding the two campuses.

Today, academic and administrative units across the university are involved with some 400 community service programs that are making a real difference in the lives of USC’s neighbors. Through the USC Family of Schools, for example, the university partners with 15 local schools, improving the classroom experience for 15,000 K–12 students. Since 1997, the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI), a six-year pre-college-enrichment program designed to prepare low-income neighborhood students to succeed in college, has graduated almost 800 students, 100 percent of whom have earned their high school diplomas and 99 percent of whom have gone on to college. NAI graduates who are accepted to USC receive a full financial package, minus loans. Kid Watch, launched in 1996, brings together the university, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Unified School District Police Department and more than 800 community volunteers to watch over more than 6,000 students as they walk to and from school.

Additionally, since 1994, employees, alumni and friends have lent their support to the university-community initiatives by making voluntary contributions to the annual USC Good Neighbors Campaign. As of 2013, the campaign has raised more than $17.5 million, funding 550 university-community partnership projects.

For more information about USC’s community-engagement efforts, visit

Cultural Life

USC and its graduates play an important role in making Los Angeles one of the world’s great centers for arts and culture. The USC Thornton School of Music is the most active producer of live music performances in the city, presenting more than 500 music events annually. The USC School of Dramatic Arts produces a full schedule of performances as well, the USC Fisher Museum of Art regularly offers exhibitions ranging from contemporary works to antiquities, and the USC School of Cinematic Arts presents film screenings and other events, many of which are open to the public. USC’s storied Doheny Memorial Library also hosts a wide variety of lectures, readings, conferences, concerts and special exhibits. In addition, Visions and Voices, USC’s campus-wide arts and humanities initiative, attracts nearly 30,000 students each year to theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings, and other activities both on and off campus. For up-to-date information about cultural programming at USC, call the University Ticket Office at (213) 740‑GOSC (4672) or visit the online arts and events calendar (


USC sponsors nine varsity sports for men and 12 for women, involving more than 600 of the nation’s top-ranked athletes. In their pursuit of athletic and academic excellence, USC varsity teams have won more national championships than all but two NCAA member institutions: 25 women’s team titles and 96 men’s team titles — including 11 unofficial football titles. USC is one of only three universities in intercollegiate athletic history to win at least five national championships in one year (1962–63 and 1976–77). Fifty-two USC athletes have been awarded NCAA postgraduate scholarships.

In Olympic competition, USC has fielded more athletes than any other institution. Since 1904, 420 Trojan athletes have participated in the Olympic Games, accumulating a total of 135 gold, 88 silver and 65 bronze medals.

At least one USC athlete has won a gold medal in every summer Olympiad since 1912, making USC the only university in the world with this distinction.

USC Alumni Association

The USC Alumni Association’s mission is to support the overall advancement of the University of Southern California by engaging all alumni for life, building a culture of philanthropy among the Trojan Family, and being the representative voice for all USC alumni.

The USC Alumni Association annually hosts hundreds of events and programs around the globe and provides benefits and services to all USC alumni. With more than 340,000 members worldwide, the USC Alumni Association supports over 100 affiliated alumni clubs and chapters, alumnae support groups and multicultural and generational alumni communities. These groups collectively distribute nearly $4 million each year in scholarships for USC students.

Every summer in July and August, alumni clubs and chapters around the world host SCend Offs, a USC tradition, welcoming new students and connecting current students, families and friends to the Trojan Family. Our Student Alumni Society is open to all current USC students and offers programs and events that link students to USC’s vast alumni network. These events include the Trojan SCuppers (alumni-hosted dinners with students) and the USC Alumni Day of SCervice (an opportunity to perform volunteer work in local communities). We also offer great benefits to students such as a car rental program and test preparation discounts. To learn more about the USC Alumni Association and its student programs, visit or call (213) 740-2300.


University Park Campus

Located at the same site since USC’s establishment in 1880 on eight acres of land in the city of Los Angeles, the University Park Campus has grown to its present size of 229 acres. Situated three miles south of the Los Angeles Civic Center, the campus is adjacent to the museums and recreational facilities of Exposition Park, and is served by a network of freeways and Metrolink rail lines that provides access to most cultural, business and recreational areas in Southern California.

The University Park Campus consists of 154 buildings and residence halls totaling approximately 8.3 million gross square feet. Some 70 additional university buildings are located off campus, in the immediate vicinity.

Health Sciences Campus

Located three miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, the USC Health Sciences Campus is a focal point for students, patients, physicians and scientists from around the world. Here, a blend of clinical, classroom and laboratory resources forms a dynamic, interactive environment that is shaping the future of health care.

The 80-acre Health Sciences Campus is home to the region’s first and oldest medical and pharmacy schools, as well as to highly respected programs in biokinesiology and physical therapy and in occupational science and occupational therapy. Medical care is provided on campus by faculty physicians in clinics and at university-owned private hospitals — the state-of-the-art Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital — as well as at the adjacent Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, the primary teaching hospital for the Keck School of Medicine for more than a century. The acclaimed Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, staffed by Keck School faculty, is often referred to as USC’s third campus. Health sciences faculty, residents and students also provide services at university-owned USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, satellite clinics throughout Southern California and at the USC University Park Campus, a collaborative partner in numerous health sciences-related programs.

Other Locations

USC’s other teaching facilities include the Orange County Center (Irvine), State Capital Center (Sacramento) and Wrigley Marine Science Center (Catalina Island).

Orange County Center (949) 437-0000, 2300 Michelson, Irvine, CA 92612, Business, Education, Pharmacy and Social Work.

State Capital Center (916) 442-6911, 1201 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, Public Policy and Education.

Philip K. Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island (310) 510-1364, Wrigley Marine Science Center, P.O. Box 5069, Avalon, CA 90704.

In addition, the USC Washington, D.C., Center, located in the nation’s capital, houses the Office of Federal Relations, which serves as the liaison between the university and the federal government, and the Washington, D.C., Office of Research Advancement, which strengthens ties between the university’s investigators and federal as well as philanthropic research sponsors.

USC Washington, D.C., Center (202) 824-5860, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 540, Washington D.C., 20004