University of southern california  los angeles  california   united states
US News Ranking 10
Qsranking 128
Timesranking 47

Brief background:

Started in 1880, the University of Southern California is one of the first private universities founded in California. It is highly ranked due to its offer of a high level of research activity on its campus. Students from about 112 countries claim to have sought admission to this university yet being there it gives you a feel of being in India.


University of Southern California ranking is 19th in the US College Rankings by the Times Higher Education's world university rankings 2021. QS ranking of the university is #121 in the Global World Ranking 2021. The University of South California computer science ranking is #20 by The US News while it ranked the college as #24 in the National Universities.  

Acceptance Rate

The University of Southern California acceptance rate is around 13% showcasing how tough it is to get admission to the university. There is no absolute SAT score requirement for USC but on average, SAT scores from 1350 to 1530 can get the student admission to the university. USC is a fairly competitive school when it comes to graduate admissions. On average, the GRE scores of admitted students are in the range of about 151 to 162 for Verbal and 155 to 167 for Quant.


Extended over an area of 235 acres the campus boasts of having two chief libraries. These two together houses more than a million books on various topics. Along with these, the campus also houses two well-loved cafeterias Ground Zero and Trojan Grounds in addition to a bar - “Traditions in The Lot”.

Residing options:

For on-campus dorm stay for students, you have Pardee Tower, Fluor Tower, and Cardinal Gardens as popular options. Students favoring to stay off-campus usually have a pick from any one of the facilities like The Bungalows, 30th Street Villas, The Medici, or Conquest Housing. Being just 5 km the stay at these is safe and secure and costing anywhere between $900-1200. It may seem a little expensive yet it is preferred by a few for the good facilities they offer.

Faculty and pedagogy:

You have exceedingly knowledgeable faculty at the engineering college of this university- Viterbi School of Engineering. Being approachable they are greatly admired by the students. The faculty is known to create a good balance between their own specific research work and teaching the students and also helping them in different ways.


The University of Southern California fees for Indian students is around $30,000 annually. The annual off-campus living cost is around $9,000. 

Financial aid:

Financial aid is not easily available.

Jobs and placements:

In the case of Bachelors of Science graduates, the salary range is $51,618 - $115,085. The salary pack for MS graduate students of the USC is between $61,438 - $124,217. The average salary of USC graduates is $82K according to Payscale. The highest packages among USC graduates are bagged by Senior Software Engineers who make a median salary of $125K per year. The next are Software Engineers who earn around $100K and Mechanical Engineers who earn about $77K according to Payscale. Male graduates of USC earn significantly more than the female students, earning an average of approximately $90K as opposed to $67K for women. The graduates are highly satisfied with the salary packages that they acquire each year through the placements. The student rated their job satisfaction as 5 out of 5 on Payscale. The university comes under the top 19 percent of universities by return on investment. The top recruiters employing graduates from the university include Northrop Grumman Corporation, University of Southern California (USC), The Boeing Company,, Inc Intel Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, and The Walt Disney Company.


The list of the University of Southern California includes the likes of David Bohnett who is the Founder of Geocities and also its former CEO, Scott Cook who is the Chairman and Co-founder of Intuit.Inc. Apart from them, the first man to land on the moon - Neil Armstrong is also an alumnus of this institution.


The University of Southern Carolina is among a few universities that are preferred by the Indians for studying in America. Indeed, it is an awesome institute and it is relatively easy to get into it. It is considered an ideal by a student from India with a conservative mindset.


Located in the heart of Los Angeles, USC’s University Park campus is a part of the city’s Downtown Arts and Education Corridor and is home to the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. The Health Sciences campus, northeast of downtown Los Angeles, is home to the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the School of Pharmacy, three major teaching hospitals. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, staffed by USC faculty from the Keck School of Medicine, is often referred to as USC’s third campus.
The USC campus, known as the University Park campus, is right next to downtown Los Angeles, offering an unbelievable amount of activities and opportunities for students. Off-campus, a whole world of excitement awaits, with entertainment, restaurants, shopping, museums, and more. Aside from the city lights of LA., beaches, mountains, and plenty of outdoor activities are only a few minutes away from the USC campus.
The University Park campus is within walking distance from Los Angeles landmarks such as the Shrine Auditorium, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that are operated and managed by the University.
USC is well connected to rapid transit stations. The Metro Expo Line light rail service between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica wraps around the south and eastern edges of the University Park campus. The Expo Line has three stations in the vicinity of the USC main campus. The Metro Silver Line bus service serves both the University Park campus at 37th Street/USC station and the Health Sciences campus at LA County and USC Medical Center station.

Acceptance Rate for Indians 60%
STEM Masters Awarded to International Students 1,798
STEM Doctorates Awarded to International Students 102
TA Appointments 343
RA appointments 549
Research funding $204,677,629
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & partner data as of year 2018

Aerospace and Mechanical

The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering aims to build advanced mechatronic systems through the interaction of mechanical, optical and electronic systems to boost the capability of aerospace systems and components. The department’s faculty includes associate professors, lecturers, adjunct faculty and Emeritus faculty. Prof. Ivan Bermejo-Moreno received the prestigious 2008 GALCIT, Caltech The William F. Ballhaus Prize. In 2018, the strength of Master's students was 382 and that of Full-Time faculty was 29 in the department.
The key research areas of the department include Bio-inspired engineering, combustion and heat transfer, computational engineering, design and manufacturing, dynamical systems and controls, fluid mechanics and aerodynamics, materials, solid and applied mechanics, and robotics. The department has two students’ project labs – AeroDesign and Formula SAE. 
The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering offers B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (BSAE); B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (BSME); M.S. in Aerospace Engineering (MSAE); M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (MSME); M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (MSME): Energy Conversion; M.S. in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering (MSAME): Computational Fluid & Solid Mechanics; M.S. in Product Development Engineering; MSAE / M.S. in Engineering Management; MSME / M.S. in Engineering Management; Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.

Areas of Expertise: Combustion physics; Controls and dynamical systems; Solid mechanics and materials; Computer-aided design; Fluid dynamics and mechanics
List of Labs (Aerospace): Space Engineering Research Center (SERC); Pratt & Whitney Institute for Collaborative Engineering (PWICE)
List of Labs (Mechanical): TCC (Tai Chong Cheang (TCC) Institute for Emissions Reduction in Marine Diesel Engines

Chemical and Materials Science

The USC Chemical Engineering Program under the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science grants BS in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering. It also offers MS in Chemical Engineering, MS in Materials Science, MS in Materials Engineering, MS in Petroleum Engineering, MS in Petroleum Engineering (Geoscience Technologies), MS in Petroleum Engineering (Smart Oilfield Technologies), Dual Degree Program: M.S. Petroleum Engineering / M.S. Engineering Management.
The department received $15 million from energy entrepreneur John Mork and his family in 2005. Michael Ernest Kassner, the Choong Hoon Cho Chair and Professor of Chemical Engineering, received the 2015 TMS Structural Materials Division Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award.
The department has a grand total of 20 research laboratories. The faculty and students conduct research in diverse fields including energy, structural and functional materials, reaction engineering, nanotechnology, polymers, bioengineering, and advanced computing. The department has done some noteworthy work in the field of synthesizing novel cell phone, phosphors, implantable biomimetics, and synthetic cells, and constructing new human therapies.

Area of Expertise: Reaction engineering & catalysis, membrane processes & separation; Polymer science and engineering, composite materials; Heterogeneous materials and porous media; Computational simulations, atomistic and molecular; Electronic/photonic nanostructures, crystal growth; Process optimization and control; Smart oilfield technologies, enhanced recovery and monitoring; Biochemical engineering of surfaces and interfaces, cell culture, bioreactor modeling
List of Labs (Chemical): USC-Chevron Center for Interactive Smart Oilfield Technologies
List of Labs (Materials): Airbus Institute for Engineering Research

Civil and Environmental

The Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers Bachelor of Science (BS) in Civil Engineering; Bachelor of Science (BS) in Environmental Engineering; Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering; Master’s of Science in Environmental Engineering; Master of Construction Management; Master’s of Science in Transportation Systems Management and Ph.D. in Civil or Environmental Engineering. MS in Civil Engineering offers the following concentrations: General Option (Environmental Engineering, Water Resources, and Geotechnical Engineering); Construction Engineering and Management; Structural Engineering; Transportation Engineering; Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (interdisciplinary programs) a) Transportation Systems, b) Water and Waste Management. Roger Georges Ghanem who is the Gordon S. Marshall Professor of Civil Engineering received the 2009 International Association for Structural Safety IASSAR Senior Research Prize.
The key research areas of the department (Civil) include Construction Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, Informatics for Intelligent Built Environments, Structural Engineering and Design, Structural Mechanics, Water Resources Engineering, Coastal Engineering.
The Sonny Astani Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering aims to promote teaching and research in the discipline that is oriented towards creating solutions, structures, and spaces of the future with the sustainability goals of humanity in sight. Prof. Kelly Sanders of the Department was chosen as one of MIT Technology Review's “35 Innovators Under 35” in 2016.
The key research areas of the department in the field of Environmental Engineering are Energy and Sustainability, Environmental Air Pollution, Environmental Chemistry, Global Warming, Transport of Environmental Contaminants: Water, Air, and Land, Water Quality Control. 
The department has around 7 laboratories and research centers. 

Areas of Expertise: Structural engineering; Disaster and Extreme Event Analysis; Transportation engineering; Geotechnical engineering; Complex Systems Engineering; Environmental engineering; Construction management; Sustainable Development; Water Quality, Access and Distribution
List of Labs: Arid Climate and Water Research Center (AWARE)

Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science provides various programmes in Computer Science which are as follows: BS in Computer Science (CSCI), BS in Computer Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), BS in Computer Science (Games), BS in Computer Science and Business Administration (CSBA), Master of Science in Computer Science (General) with specializations in Data Science, Game Development, Computer Security, Computer Networks, Software Engineering, Intelligent Robotics, Multimedia and Creative Technologies, High Performance Computing and Simulation, Master of Science in Computer Science for Scientists and Engineers.
The Department of Computer Science is also home to the USC Viterbi Data Science Program, which offers graduate degrees such as  Master of Science in Applied Data Science, Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering, Master of Science in Communication Data Science, Master of Science in Healthcare Data Science, Master of Science in Public Policy Data Science, Master of Science in Spatial Data Science. An optional thesis option is also available to students pursuing the master's program.
The department faculty specializes in algorithms, computational complexity, computer viruses, cryptography, and quantum computing. Leonard M Adleman received the prestigious IEEE Kobayashi Award in 2000. The department has more than 90 faculty members, 360 Ph.D. students, 2,000 master’s students, and 1,200 undergraduates.
The key research areas of the department comprise Artificial Intelligence (Ai), Machine Learning, Privacy and Security; Systems, Databases, Software Engineering and Cyber-Physical Systems; Theory and Computation; and Computer Vision, Graphics, Robotics, and Human-computer Interaction. The department has 10 research centers and institutes which include Information Sciences Institute (ISI), Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) and Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society (CAIS), etc.

Electrical/ Electronics

The Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering provides programs such as MS Electrical Engineering (EE), Computer Engineering, EE-Computer Architecture, EE-Computer Networks, EE-Electric Power, ECE-Machine Learning and Data Science, EE-Multimedia and Creative Technologies, EE-VLSI Design, EE-Wireless Health Technology, EE-Wireless Networks, Financial Engineering, Electrical Engineering/ Engineering Management (dual degree). 
The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at USC allows students to pursue research in virtually all branches of EE/CE. Ph.D. candidates have the chance to work in the labs with leading researchers in fields including Communication Sciences, Controls, Electromagnetics, etc. Prof. Murali Annavaram received the prestigious NSF CAREER AWARD in 2010. 
The department has over seventy research centers and labs.

Areas of Expertise: Computer engineering and networks; Control systems; Plasma and Pulsed Power; Photonics and Quantum Electronics; Communications; Integrated Circuits and Hybrid Systems Integration; Signal and Image Processing; Nanotechnology and Microelectromechanical Systems; Electromagnetics, Energy Conversion, and Management
List of labs: Signal and Image Processing Institute (SIPI); USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center; Communication Sciences Institute (CSI)

Industrial & Systems Engineering

The Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering provides BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE), MS in Engineering Management, Industrial & Systems Engineering, MS Industrial & Systems Engineering/MBA, Analytics, Manufacturing Engineering, Operations Research Engineering, Product Development Engineering, Systems Architecting and Engineering and Engineer’s degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering. The faculty is engaged in the following areas for research: informatics, manufacturing, production, transportation, decision analysis, and systems modeling. Prof. Ali Abbas received the Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS: Decision Analysis Best Publication Award in 2010.
Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN), Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), Center for Interdisciplinary Decisions and Ethics (DECIDE), Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies (CRAFT), Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) and Center for Sustainable Cities (CSC) are some of the major research centers of the department.  
The faculty and students conduct research in diverse fields including energy, structural and functional materials, reaction engineering, nanotechnology, polymers, bioengineering, and advanced computing. The department has done noteworthy work in the field of synthesizing novel cell phone phosphors, implantable biomimetics, and synthetic cells and constructing new human therapies.

Areas of Expertise: Health Systems; Manufacturing and Automation; Risk and Economic Analysis; Transportation and Logistics; Engineering Systems Design; Operations Research: Models and Algorithms
List of Labs: DoT National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research (METRANS)

Annual fees for Indians $30,000
Annual off-campus living $9,000
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & university's website as of year 2018

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