University of Southern California Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Sivan

My classmates were very competitive, which made me work harder than ever to keep up and work to my fullest potential, but they were also extremely helpful and always willing to go out of their way to help other people out.

Autumn

My classmates break the barriers of all stereotypes and prove that whether you're a rich sorority girl, a shy engineer from India, or a violin major, if you're here, you're bloody brilliant.

Lawrence

Great people are all around if you look for them.

Dennis

A mix of really pretentious kids and "how did I get into film school" kids - partying and socializing is encouraged by the teachers. Started really hanging out with people from my major when the intense classes started sophomore year and it's been great. I really like them. Some of my best friends who will turn into lifelong friendships / working relationships.

Marjorie

They are full of themselves and self confident; they are artsy and buisness oriented; they are generally happy they are sometimes sad; they love USC and they hate USC; they are more beautiful than the students on any other campus I have ever been to.

Sarah

My most prominent classmates are wealthy, white, and blonde.

I

Friendly.

Benoit

They are definitely diverse, passionate, and really talented.

Paige

Most of my classmates are very engaged in the subject and take part in discussions and ask several questions, but there are those who are just there for the credit.

Heather

Friendly, approachable, studious, insightful

Janine

They're easy to make friends with and willing to help with notes, etc.

Julia

Members of the Trojan Family always support eachother, and there is such a great sense of school spirit and community involvement on the USC campus.

Jimena

At the USC business school, we work hard and play hard both in and out of the classroom.

Maureen

most of them come from upper middle class backgrounds and are fairly ignorant about the world at large, but it is possible to find pockets of people who are more socially aware.

Tiffany

This is a really diverse campus, all different types of people from a million different backgrounds.

Katie

There is no possible way to describe the range of people you can meet at USC in one sentence except: variety.

Oluwole

My classmates are cool.

Jonathan

Classmates are always eager to help, friendly, and challenge me to work harder.

Hunter

My classmates at USC were all very smart, talented, social, well-rounded individuals.

Travis

enthused and happy yet often superficial.

Elliot

USC classmates are warm, generous, intelligent, and energetic.

Monet

My classmates come from very diverse backgrounds and express their intellectual and analytical perspectives in a respectful and understanding manner, encouraging an environment for open discussion and critical thinking.

Reid

You can find just about anyone at USC. There are enough clubs and groups on campus that there is some place you'll fit in. If you want to be social, its pretty imperative that you go greek (though I know some people who aren't greek and still have good social lives). You have to be prepared to run into a lot of OC types--the school has a substantial number of them. There really is no student body stereotype that can describe everyone. Well there might be one, everyone here is pretty smart or at least talented in their field of study.

Allyse

USC is truly a diverse campus, and not the kind of diverse where there are Asians, white people, and not much else. We have one of the highest numbers of international students, and there are also many financial backgrounds from which students come. Because SC is a private school, there are a higher proportion of rich students, and we also have a smattering of famous people. For every rich kid, though, there is a student paying his or her way through school with scholarships and part-time jobs.

Emma

Awesome students! You will learn more from them than your professors. They will raise the bar for you and by product you will force yourself to be better-and-better.

Ryan

USC is one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, and it is obvious when walking around. The student body is huge, so the best way to meet people is in the dorms or in clubs and fraternities.

Anne

The student body here is very diverse. You get a "clique" mentality from some sorotities and fraternities (some, not all), which is unfortunate because outside of that you will see tons of different people hanging out and mixing with others. There is a huge number of SC students that are from California, and there is also a significant number of international students, although the latter tend to keep to themselves on campus. In addition to these groups you have people from all over the United States that are coming to take advantage of California weather and beaches. There's atleast a little bit of everything here. The stereotype that only rich people go to USC because they're the ones that can afford it is not true; USC is very generous with scholarships, without which not many would be able to stay at school here. You do have a portion of the student body that is wealthy and wears very nice designers to class, but there are also people that wear baggy sweats and t-shirts to class. There is absolutely no reason to wear nice clothes to class unless you want to.

Erin

I have friends of all different racial backgrounds at USC. I made friends from my dorm that were white, Korean, Armenian, Singaporean, and Vietnamese. I've only met a couple people who feel out of place at USC... they didn't feel comfortable with the Greek life or partying. A lot of students have money so they dress pretty nicely every day: designer jeans, nice blouses, expensive purses, etc. However, you also find many students sporting sweats and t-shirts, especially during early classes. All students at USC are very ambitious, and people often discuss their career and money goals.

Wyatt

I can't think of any kind of student who would feel out of place at USC. Like I said before, it's an incredibly diverse campus (in an incredibly diverse city), so there's a spot for everyone. People who aren't serious about their studies would face difficulty, though.

Eric

USC is one of the most diverse campuses in the world, which can be good and bad. The good is meeting cool people from all over the world and becoming friends with people that have different perspectives, insights, and personalities. USC has a lot of Californians but there are students from all over the country since it's a great private school. You will find, however, that most international students are from asia and are not very exciting or outgoing. In some of my business and accounting classes, international students represent more than 50% of the class, and they do not talk or voice their opinions, nor do they add much value to your academic experience in classes. People come from many different backgrounds racially, economically, and culturally. Most people come from successful families, however, but this creates a strong bond at USC, and most students are very motivated to become successful and financially well off. Being financially successful is a big deal at USC. I feel like most people want to have big careers and are very motivated by success, money, and power, and they work hard because of it. This is obviously more prevalent in the business school though. Students usually dress casual in jeans, t-shirts, sandals (it's So Cal) and occasionally people are dressed nicer and don't receive any weird looks. In business classes, you will dress in business-casual clothes and suits occasionally for presentations. Students are politically aware and can engage in intellectually stimulating conversations in and out of class. You will always find more liberal people at USC, and will frequently engage in conversations in classes about politics and foreign issues. I'd say dating isn't big at USC because most people are pretty concerned with themselves and it just isn't really a big thing to have lasting relationships.

Mel

The student body at USC is very diverse--racially, ethnically, religiously, economically, musically. We have a large international student population, so you'll come across someone who's not from America. Even with all this diversity, the problem is that these groups do not interact. This school tends to be quite segregated. I wish that could change. Go to the website or attend a tour at USC for statistics.

Sean

SC has a very large population of International Students, especially from India. They come from all over the world though. I feel, however, that most are grad students or engineers or both that stay in their own cliques. I say going to parties, dining halls, and social events...it feels like a predominantly white campus. There are many Asians as well, but I feel like many minority groups are "Americanized" any way so there are not many racial differences or stigma. Most SC students are more affluent that your average college student. This may or may not reflect on the individual and on how they dress and act. A LOT of girls go to classes in dresses and pretty shoes. I think some are pretty, but a lot wear those ridiculous bug-eye sunglasses. Maybe it is just an American girl thing not an SC girl. Needless to say the student boy is very attractive. Greek guys currently wear 80s sunglasses and hang out with Greek girls. And getting into their parties can be a a friend issue. I'm not a fan of the business students. But, most of the people I have met are awesome...some of the best personalities of anyone I have met or could aspire to meet in my life. I feel proud to be a Trojan and I give fight ons all the time.

Alene

There is so much school spirit on this campus and I LOVE it! Most of my friends are from out of state which allows for cultural diversity. In the dining halls, the tables are all filled with different groups of people who have different majors and likes and dislikes. It is great!

Kate

Diverse is the key word. As opposed to other 'big' schools like UCLA, UVA, or Michigan, USC has a broader of a socio-economic range with trust-fund babies from New York and scholarship kids who are from Compton. Surprisingly, there is not a segregated social network despite this. Because everyone loves the school so much, people become family because of that. The people who might feel out of place at USC are people who are bent on being anti-social. There are some people who are really just looking to be intellectually challenged and spend most of their time in their books. USC is not a place for that--people will try and drag you out of your dorm to a game or to a event of some kind (Obama and Natalie Portman came last semester). Politically, I would say most students are conservative, but generally speaking the school is moderate, with a lot of different groups representing both sides of the fence.

Sara

i've found with the people that i live around, people in my classes, and people i've made friends with, that for the most part there's very little judgement happening. mostly everyone is accepted...i mean, of course there's drama, but if you really don't want to be a part of it, you don't have to. students are from all over the place, which i think is neat because everyone has had unique experiences.

Nico

There are people from EVERYWHERE at USC. I could hear 3 different languages walking to class my freshmen year. I think we are #1 in the country for having the most diverse student body and international students in the country. The majors however are not as diverse as the overall school. The Schools of Engineering and Computer Science are mostly Middle Eastern. The Liberal Arts are mostly white kids. The School of Social Work is mostly African American, and you can find Asian people just about anywhere. All the ethnicities have their own student body assemblies and have centers they can hang out at. The Row (where all the Fraternities and Sororities are) are mostly white. They only let black people into their really big parties if they are athletes. Most of the people who are greek on The Row are white except for an Asian house and a few other non-whites sprinkled into some houses. I don't think anyone can feel out of place at USC. There is a niche for EVERYONE. Whatever interest you, will also interest at least one other person. Another thing about SC is that people wear everything under the sun. It's not like high school where everyone looks like a clone and they got to wear brand X. People have style hear. Some styles I don't really understand, but they all have their own flavor. The girls put together outfits I could never think of. Others though keep it simple and wear USC sweatshirts everyday (USC sweatshirts and gear are a MUST HAVE no matter what your style is). People interact, especially freshman because roommate assignments are random and this exposes you to many different types of people. Most Students are from California, but there are students from everywhere here. Texas is well represented and so are the other surrounding states. There are a lot of kids with money here (parents who are big in the entertainment industry, etc) but I think there are more well-off kids than poor kids and more middle class students than all of them. Some students are more politically aware than others. Quite a few are apathetic. But there are a lot of political organization like CALPIRG, who are always out petitioning for one cause or another. The business students talk salary a lot.

Pat

USC is not an extremely liberal college. Many of the students are from the more conservative part of California but there is so much diversity here it won't phase you at all. There's something for everyone, seriously. Because the weather is pretty much perfect around the clock, most of the student body will wear flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt. USC apparel is ubiquitous around campus. USC students are known for being very aware of what is happening in the political and financial worlds they are about to enter.

Robin

The girls spend A LOT of time deciding what to wear to class and how to wear their hair. Guys walk into class with their balls hanging out of their shit-stained pajamas and smelling like doodoo. Indian engineering students don't use deodorant. Film students don't use razors. Fraternity boys don't use condoms. Typical stereotypes. But you can't take anybody down a peg whose parents make millions of dollars more than your own parents. It's just like that.

Emily

Of my ten closest friends here at USC, two are from California. Seven are on academic scholarship, and all of them received some amount of financial aid. USC has really popular student groups that range from groups for Chicano students interested in medicine, to the black students in business. I feel that USC is very open and accepting of LGBT students because at our university, there's really not much that can bother us now, because we are making the best of our time. Most students have the mind set "If that's what you like, then go for it" for the wide range of social groups on campus. I have personally had success in finding a spiritual group that suits me, and there are even fraternities that value spirituality as a criterion for their members. USC students are pretty laid back, less preppy than the east coast. It is normal to walk by a grassy knoll in one of our quads and see a sea of bodies laying around, soaking up the sun or playing frisbee on a beautiful spring day.

Rebecca

USC has a very diverse student body. There are a lot of student from out of state and out of the country. Everyone is friends with everyone. People come from a variety of financial backgrounds.

Jordan

There are many different cultures and races represented at USC. By attending USC, I have met many people whose lives and upbringing are completely different from my own. I think all kinds of different students would feel comfortable at USC. Walking around campus one can easily see different groups interacting and enjoying each other's company. Most students at USC dress very casually, which is typical for the California style. I would say the most popular look would be jeans, a shirt and Rainbow sandals. There are those girls who get very dressed up but they are in the minority. Some kids come to school so casually that they do not even bother to change into clothes and come to class in their pajamas! Students from USC come from all over the country and many different countries all over the world. That was one thing that was suprising to me when I first came to USC, was the large number of international students and teaching assistants. There is also a large number of California natives who come from the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. There are many different financial backgrounds. Some students come from very wealthy families and then there are students who come to school with full financial aide. Students do not really discuss the money they will earn one day, they are just focused on getting that good starter job.

Alison

There is a lot of diversity in the USC student body; there is definitely a place for everyone.

Robin

The student population at USC is very diverse. During my time here, I have met people from London, Guatamala, Nigeria, Italy, France, and countless other countries as well as states accross the United States. This diversity aids the learning process in classes because of the many diverse perspectives provided in class discussions.

Jessie

I have been told that we have the most LGBT friendly campus in the country. There are representatives from every state, race, religion etc. There is a large Asian population as well as a prominent Jewish community. The only group I have found underrepresented is the black community. Many students are politically aware; we have many political organizations and they are all big on registering people to vote. There are people as far left and right as they come, but I would say most people are predominantly in the center.

Phil

Stuff on campus: think its all pretty friendly, i havent heard of any major situations of prejudice occurring Student who would feel out of place would probably be someone totally disgusted with the entire Hollywood scene. But even they'd find a niche, hopefully Students wear anything they want to class. I wear a tshirt and jeans but it depends yes different types of students interact 4 tables - i dont know, this is kind of a weird question Most USC students from California Financial backgrounds - everyone seems more rich than me and my family is definitely not poor Very politically aware, varying on activeness predominantly left but lots of rights and centers Not in definite monetary terms, i am pretty sure everyone wants a lot of money though

Andy

I am an active participant in many racial organizations on campus, and I frequently attend the USC Catholic Center. I think that the type of person who would feel out of place at USC is someone who places his or herself away from USC. There is an organization, or major, or class for everyone if you're willing to look and apply the time!

Kelly

My favorite part about USC is getting to know people from other countries. My first year here, there was a girl from Jordan and a guy who was from Hong Kong, who both lived on my floor. I have also gotten to know people from Kuwait, Columbia, Estonia, Malaysia and India. I love the diversity of the student body and I love all of the friends I have made, not only from other countries, but also from different states. Living in the dorms is the best way to meet people and I am still friends with about 90 percent of the people that lived on my floor the first two years I attended USC.

Reese

USC is definitely segregated. In general, races tend to hang out amongst themselves and rich kids hang out with themselves. The socio-economic gap is unfortunate. Poor kids get left out in that they can't experience LA/college like the rich ones. I feel like I've missed out in that I can't afford to go to the restaurants, clubs, bars, concerts, games, or vacations everyone else is going on. Fortunately, the school is big enough you can find people you associate with.

Alex

USC is known as a very diverse university, but I think this is a fairly deceptive tag used by the university as a marketing tool. Yes, in terms of raw numbers, USC is one of the most diverse schools in the country. There are large amounts of Latino, Asian, and Black students. There are plenty of International students. The problem, however, and why I think the diversity at USC is overrated, is that these groups are very socially segregated. Students tend to stick with their own racial or ethnic group. This is furthered by student organizations that tend to encourage this separation and labeling. There is some intermingling, yes, but the groups are more separate than people would like to admit. 50% of USC students are Californians, statistically and from my experience. The other 50% are from a ridiculous amount of different places. Students tend to lean slightly left. There are very active groups on both the left wing and right wing side though.

Harper

I am a Black Southern student from the lower-middle class, so fitting into the USC model was intimidating. USC tries very hard to promote diversity within its student body, but as a university it can only do so much. I sometimes feel alienated by more "traditional students," and faculty members tend to notice you more in class, often scrutinizing your actions. However, the efforts of the University offsets individuals wishing not to promote diversity. Although interest is increasing, I find USC overall to be politically apathetic. There are strong students on both the left and the right, but too many students worry about their own lives than the political scheme. Most students I found to be middle class students on financial aid, which was expected. The working class students and the upper-class students tend to clash. Everyone tends to have the idea that going to USC will automatically make all your financial dreams come true. Many incoming freshmen dress to the 9s to go to class, but by midterm time, most of the student body wears sweats, jeans, and even pjs to class. In the warmer months, you will see tons of sunglasses and flip-flops. A large amount of students seem to wear USC colors daily. I know I wear school colors at least twice a week.