If Star Wars and Indiana Jones excite you, then you need to know that the creator of these blockbusters, George Walton Lucas Jr., graduated from the University of Southern California (USC or Southern Cal) School of Cinematic Arts. Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is one of the oldest private research universities in the US. 

USC was founded by Robert Maclay Widney, an American lawyer, and a judge,  in the year 1880. He is also credited with starting the first successful public rail transit company in Los Angeles. It boasts 23 exceptional schools catering to varied faculties such as Engineering, Medicine, Cinematic Arts, Architecture, and Business to name a few.  It was also one of the first universities in the world to have a school devoted to the study of motion pictures.

Robert Widney set out to found USC at a time when the city of Los Angeles was still a rough and tumble town battling civic issues including the lack of streetlights and a reliable fire alarm system. From a humble beginning with only 53 students, USC is now home to about 49,500 students from diverse backgrounds. The university contributes about $8 billion to the local economy in the Los Angeles region and is the largest private-sector employer in the city. 


At the core of USC’s belief lies its desire to enrich fellow humans and society with its research, teaching, and professional practices. New ideas, knowledge, and advances in the field of technology and medicine are direct outcomes of extensive research. With this in mind, USC has kept Academics and Research tightly coupled. 

The professors here not only teach but also contribute to significant research activities thus making path-breaking discoveries that are changing people’s lives. For example, Prof. Albert Rizzo, Director for Medical Virtual Reality at USC, is developing Siri-like assistants and VR travel for older patients and their caregivers: an innovation that can improve the quality of life for the elderly and their families. Thus, USC is at the vanguard of life-changing research.

Programs Offered

The University of Southern California has about 23 schools and academic units that offer several graduate programs in different fields of study. Some of the popular programs offered by the university are in disciplines such as Engineering, Neurosciences, Gerontology, Business, Cinematic Arts, Design & Architecture, Law, and Medicine.

Some of the well-known schools at USC are Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, USC Marshall School of Business, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and USC Gould School of Law, among others.   

Criteria for Admissions

The eligibility criteria for admissions depend on the course one chooses to pursue. While the usual requirements such as GPA and scores from standardised tests definitely add weight to your application, it must be complemented by two other essential articles: a strong letter of recommendation (LoR) and a perfectly crafted resume. 

Additionally, a well-defined statement of purpose puts all the pieces of an application into context. Also, being one of the most competitive universities in the world, USC has a relatively low acceptance rates of 12 percent. 

Why USC?

Among all universities in the state of California, both public and private, USC is ranked within the top 20. Another aspect that makes USC unique is the fact that it has produced more Olympians and medalists than any other university in the US. In fact, USC-affiliated athletes won 11 gold, 5 silver, and 5 bronze medals at the most recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

USC professors are winners of several academic and professional honors across multiple fields. These awards include the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Academy, Emmy, and Grammy awards. 

Above all, USC has an excellent network of alumni (a part of the Trojan Family) that comes together to support the alumni and provide assistance to its fellow members. The Trojan Family is a community rooted in the values of USC. Its members include classmates, activists, professors at the institution, and so on, who share common interests and goals. 

With other highlights such as engaging classes and a distinguished faculty, pursuing a course at USC is perhaps the best step you can take to succeed in your academic and professional endeavours. While all the constituent schools of USC and the programs offered by them are sought-after, the
USC Marshall School of Business and its MBA are the most coveted. Hence, we will discuss the latter at length below. 

USC Marshall School of Business 

For someone considering an MBA degree, USC’s Marshall School of Business offers full-time, part-time, Executive MBA, Mid-Career MBA, and Online MBA programs. These programs are crafted to help students build core business knowledge, analytical skills, and leadership skills required to lead high-performing teams as professionals in the future. 

Ranked #19 in the Best Business Schools by US News Ranking 2023, USC Marshall School of Business is definitely an excellent business school to apply to. It is one among the handful of institutions in the US that offers a full-time MBA that is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) certified. This alignment with STEM helps candidates with a  decision-making process that is data and analytics-driven.

If you are considering a full-time MBA at Marshall School of Business, then here  are some important details that might help you in making an informed decision about enrolling at the institution:

  • Average batch size of the Class of 2023 is about 218.
  • Average years of experience is around 63 months
  • Average GMAT score is about 716
  • The pre-MBA experience of students includes industries such as Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail, Transportation and Logistics, Energy, Military, Media and Entertainment, and Hospitality, to name a few.
  • The students are also from a diverse mix of undergraduate majors such as Economics, Law, Engineering, Social Sciences, and Humanities, among others.

The tuition fee for a full-time MBA  at Marshall School of Business is $62,760 per annum and is $2,092 per credit for a part-time MBA. An executive MBA costs about $125,520. The university automatically considers eligible students for scholarships. Academic achievements, honors, and the skills one possesses are some of the considerations based on which scholarships are awarded.  The placement rate following the completion of USC’s full-time MBA program stands at 78.60 percent. 

The application requirements for the full-time MBA program include: 

  • A completed application submitted online
  • A four-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent, from an accredited institution
  • Academic transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Standardized test scores – GMAT or GRE (optional)
  • Essays
  • A professional résumé
  • TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable) 

We hope that the information provided in this article has given you an insight into USC and its legacy, and helps you ascertain whether it fits your academic and professional aspirations. All the best!


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