Transfer chances at USC, could use some direction

Click here to go to the NEW College Discussion Forum

Discus: What Are My Chances?: August 2004 Archive: Transfer chances at USC, could use some direction
By Oxygenbarfight (Oxygenbarfight) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 01:47 pm: Edit

Iím entering into my sophomore year at a small private liberal arts university in Southern California. I study Journalism and Philosophy and thus desire to engage with the best programs possible. In Southern California, this means USC. Since I was an academic Holden Caulfield in high school, I am waiting another year to transfer, so as to distance myself from unselling grades. I should have enough units to omit my SAT scores, which is a definite plus. I also plan on attending USCís Masters of Professional Writing Program and subsequently working on my Ph.D. in Philosophy (think Oxford, Notre Dame, or whoever will take me).

I am working on securing some excellent recommendations, one from a Pulitzer Prize winner and another from an esteemed professor.

Iím going to throw my essays into the crucible until they come out perfect.

Iím a freelance writer working on a number of projects. Come next year I should have some reputable clippings to show Annenberg.

All honest input is appreciated. If you have any questions, ask away.

Here are the statsÖ

Current college GPA Ė 3.68 (full course load with two majors and a minor. I am anticipating itíll ascend to a 3.83 during the next year).

College awards/ECs/etc. Ė
* Awaiting a very competitive fellow designation from the World Journalism Institute (largest independent journalism program in the world)
* Writer for Relevant Magazine (four published articles)
* Social Justice Ministry
* Brown Bag Ministry
* Deanís List
* Czech Republic team (January 2004, humanitarian/service orientated trip in Prague)
* Paid writer for the school paper in the area of Arts and Entertainment (currently 15 articles)
* Media Conference Attendee

High school GPA Ė 3.33-3.4 (I canít remember exactly off-hand and am quite embarrassed)

High school awards/ECs/etc. -
* Entertainment/News/Layout/Copy Editor and Staff writer for high school newspaper (2001-2003, around five hours outside class each week)
* Excellence in Journalism Award (highest honor announced at Senior Awards Banquet)
* Over 700 hours of community service
* Pilot class of the E-Core Program (2001-2003)
* Advanced Video/TV ROP (2001-2002, achieved a high ĎAí)
* Junior Varsity Track and Field (2000-2001)
* Student Spotlight Award (2003, Awarded for youth involvement at Saddleback Church)
* Ministry of Music (2000-2003, Saddleback Church)
* Mexicali/Ensenada team (1999-2003, humanitarian/service-oriented trip during Spring Break; the latter two years I was a leader)
* Venezuela team (August 2000, humanitarian/service orientated trip in Merida)
* Student Leadership Ministry (2000-2003, Saddleback Church)
* Videographer/Editor of over 15 wedding, memory, school, and church projects
* Worked 25 hours/week during Senior year

By Oxygenbarfight (Oxygenbarfight) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 03:23 pm: Edit


By Oxygenbarfight (Oxygenbarfight) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 07:02 pm: Edit


Yes, please.

By Cadettony (Cadettony) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 09:52 pm: Edit

oxygen- just two things before I answer your query:

1. Saddleback Church? Is the that one with Rick Warren? I'm reading his book right now. Good stuff.

2. I, too, was an academic Holden, with nearly the same GPA in HS as well as College as you, in almost the same boat- hopefully will transfer next fall somewhere decent after another year of pulling up that GPA.

Okay, to answer your question, your EC's and awards seem awesome, particularly the Pulitzer rec and various honors. What type of input, exactly, are you looking for?

USC likes prospective students with $$$, and even more if they're legacy students with $$$$. Qualifications are important, but those first two (in my vastly inferior estimation) are key.

You might also want to consider re-taking your SAT to boost it, and to show your commitment in the academic realm. Or not.

Like any transfer student, you just send off your app and pray. Good luck.

By Afterhours (Afterhours) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 04:14 am: Edit

Haha... "academic holden caulfield"... I like that, I'm sure I fit under that umbrella as well.

As for your chances, if I were a betting man I would definitely place my money on you being accepted. I would even go as far to say that if you boost your GPA to 3.83 and follow through with your recommendations and freelance writing, you would be a definite lock.

Great to see you writing for Relevant Magazine... ;)

By Oxygenbarfight (Oxygenbarfight) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 12:39 pm: Edit

Would retaking the SAT really boost my chances? Because, honestly, I'd much rather part ways with that damn test, especially since I have to take the GRE in a year or so.

In terms of input, I'm just looking for people to tell me that I have (or not) a shot against other transfer students.

By Afterhours (Afterhours) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 05:33 pm: Edit

If you have enough units to nullify your SAT score, then why bother? I really don't know too much about Annenberg's admission requirements, but I'd be surprised if they didn't accept you. I highly doubt that you would be anywhere near the median of the pack in terms of prospective transfer students.

By Oxygenbarfight (Oxygenbarfight) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 06:41 pm: Edit

Yeah, that's what I thought about the SAT.

Do you know anything about the Philosophy department's admission process? Are most students from philosophical backgrounds or are they neophytes?

Thanks a ton for your input. It's extremely comforting/exciting.

By Kedstuff (Kedstuff) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 02:53 pm: Edit

Dear Oxybar,

I think your chances look strong for USC. Journalism is a professional school major (Annenberg) so they will evaluate you for admission to that school as a transfer student. Philosophy is part of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and you will not be admitted directly "to" the major. If you apply as a philosophy major, your chances are probably somewhat better than as a journalism major. However, your experience and awards in media/journalism look strong enough that you should have a good chance either way.

Good luck and keep working hard!

By Oxygenbarfight (Oxygenbarfight) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 04:51 pm: Edit

Kedstuff - So if I apply as a Journalism major, I can just tack on the Philosophy major once I'm accepted (or vice versa)?

By Afterhours (Afterhours) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 01:57 am: Edit

"Do you know anything about the Philosophy department's admission process? Are most students from philosophical backgrounds or are they neophytes?"

Know nada about the philosophy dept so I can't help you there. I personally would apply as a journalism major primarily to avoid unnecessary stress and hassles. I came into USC as a kinesiology major but later switched to business. The business school (Marshall) basically gave me an ultimatum pertaining to grades and told me I had to go through another application process. When it comes to the popular schools like Marshall and Annenberg, I highly advise you applying directly into the school especially since you have the necessary grades to get in.

By Oxygenbarfight (Oxygenbarfight) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 04:35 pm: Edit

Thanks for your help.

By Kedstuff (Kedstuff) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 01:45 pm: Edit


Sorry to have been slow but my response didn't post.

You can double major but I'd suggest applying to Journalism since it's harder to enter. Adding it later to a Philosophy major might or might not work. You'll also have to consider how long graduation might take. Depending on what transfers from your college, and the two sets of major requirements you'll have to fulfill, you may be looking at another year. You should also think about major/minor combos of these two. A professional school major/liberal arts minor (or vice versa) is actually strongly encouraged at USC. In fact, Journalism may require this.

Good luck.

Report an offensive message on this page    E-mail this page to a friend
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page