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Colleges / University of Southern California

USC Admissions

If you are considering submitting an applicationto USC, the deadline for Fall 2022 admissions is January 15 and the application fee is $85. Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students with financial need may qualify for for fee waiver for their application.

Students who submit their applications for Fall should hear back from USC by April 1.

Considering Applying Early to USC?

University of Southern California does not offer early decision or early action..

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

Is USC Hard To Get Into?

Getting into USC is extremely difficult. USC evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny.

In 2021, USC **accepted 16% of students, around 9,618 of the 59,712 students who applied.

Schools that are extremely difficult to get into, like USC, accept fewer than 30% of all applicants. At least 75% of admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1310 on the SAT or over 29 on the ACT.

What Does USC Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college decides which factors are are most important in the admissions process. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengthsand any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that put the most emphasis the areas where you shine.

Admissions Factors at USC

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Important
Geographical Residence Not Considered
Class Rank Not Considered
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Important
Level of Applicant's Interest Not Considered
Application Essay Very Important
First Generation Considered
Interview Not Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Not Considered
Talent/Ability Important
Standardized Test Scores Very Important
Volunteer Work Considered

USC Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to USC must submit the following items. Double check with USC's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for some Details (if any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into USC?

Students admitted to USC have an average unweighted GPA of 3.8.

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

At University of Southern California, students GPAs fall in the following ranges
3.75 and 3.99 47.97%
3.50 and 3.74 18.24%
3.25 and 3.49 4.59%
3.00 and 3.24 1.6%
2.50 and 2.9 0.96%
2.00 and 2.49 0.12%
USC does look at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

USC has a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 69% of USC's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 41% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for USC?

To be competitive with other USC applicants, you should strive to earn between 1360 and 1510 (or higher!) on the SAT. At USC 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1510 and 25% of scored lower than 1360, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of USC students scored 790 or higher and 75% of students scored 660 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of USC students scored 740 or higher, and 75% scored a 660 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for USC?

To be most competitive at USC, you should strive to earn between 30 and 34 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 34 means you fall in the 75th percentile for USC's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 34, and three out of four students scored lower than 34 on the ACT.

A 30 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for USC students. Only one out of every four students scored below 30.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to University of Southern California

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is February 1. Applicants should hear back by May 31.

Transfer students can enroll in USC during the following terms: Fall Term Spring Term

USC Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to USC?

Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to USC.

Does USC accept transfer credits?

USC accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions. USC accepts:

ACE recommendations for credit

Does USC accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

USC accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to USC?

No, USC is test optional, so it's up to you if you want to submit test scores or not. If your scores are higher than the school's average, you may want to send them. If your scores are average or below average, you may want not want to include them in your application..

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about USC

Explore other colleges in California or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

USC Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Selective

16%

How hard is it to get into USC? USC is a selective institution. The USC acceptance rate is 16%. This means that the institution accepts 16 out of every 100 applicants.

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USC Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Feb 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to USC is Jan 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to USC is Feb 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

USC ACT Scores

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ACT Range

30 - 34

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

34 and Above

Good

30 to 34

Avg

30 and Less

Low

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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to USC is 32. Students with an ACT score of 34 and above have a good chance of getting into USC. Students with an ACT score that falls between 30 and 34 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 30 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

USC SAT Scores

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Composite SAT Range

1360 - 1510

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Math SAT Range

680 - 790

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Reading SAT Range

660 - 740

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USC GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

3.83

GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At USC, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.83. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment

46,107

Campus Setting

Urban

Acceptance Rate

16%

Tuition and Fees

In State

$61,461

Out-of-State

$61,461

Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
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