Thinking about going to college on the west coast? The University of Southern California (USC) is a great place to consider. Here are five awesome things to know about USC if you’re trying to decide where to apply:
- Great for Freshmen. As a freshman at USC, you’ll be SWIMMING in opportunities to immerse yourself in academics and special topics. The First-Year Investigations program offers challenging courses for freshmen to explore, such as “The Art of Political Bargaining” and “Spirituality and Reality Today.” The Freshman Seminar Program gives you the chance to work closely with faculty in small classes to create genuine connections with faculty and fellow freshmen. The Thematic Option is the General Education honors program for freshmen—less than 200 freshmen have the chance to take an interdisciplinary class with a distinguished faculty member and create a thematic thread between your freshman year courses, research, and writing. This is a truly immersive experience unique to USC, and as a freshman you get to dive right in to some fabulous academic opportunities.
- Diversity Requirement. The USC Core has three distinct parts: the general education requirements, the writing program, and the diversity requirement. The diversity requirement is a course unique to USC. The aim of the requirement is to help students understand human diversity issues such as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, and social class. Some particular courses of note include “Los Angeles and the American Dream,” “Gender and Minority Health Issues,” and “Grassroots Participation in Global Perspective.” If you believe education is about more than just knowledge, but also about compassion, you’ll dig the vibe at USC.
- Research Opportunities. USC is a wellspring of research opportunities. With over 35 research centers and institutes, you’re bound to find a way to explore the research questions that have been nagging at you. The SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) program provides funding for undergraduate academic research and one-on-one mentoring. Through SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fund,) students can apply for grants of up to $3,000 to pursue research over the summer, on or off campus. If politics are your thing, the Unruh Institute provides many opportunities for research.
- College with a Conscience. In 2005, the Princeton Review dubbed USC the “college with a conscience.” It’s no wonder, with USC’s emphasis on service learning. The USC Joint Educational Project is in fact the oldest service-learning program in the United States. JEP courses combine academic coursework with hands-on experience in the community: More than half of USC’s undergraduate students volunteer in the community and 1,700 participate in service projects as part of their curriculum. Your conscience will love that.
- Life in LA. Oh yeah, we almost forgot. USC is located in Los Angeles, the second largest metropolis in the US. The sweet climate allows for year-round outdoor recreational activities such as hiking and surfing. The city of LA offers a diverse array of live music, theatre, art and dance, and museums like the Getty, MOCA, and the California Science Center. We guarantee you will never be bored in LA.
Take a peek at USC’s website to find out more about their academic programs, extracurriculars, and about life in LA, and let us know how we can help with your application!