For all of the classes I have taken, the academics have been a good balance of challenging and accomplishable. There has been the occasional 'difficult' professor, but practically all of my TAs have been some of the kindest and most accommodating people one could hope to have leading discussions and grading papers.
Classes are generally under 30 people, aside from general education courses. Professors do know you by name, or at least recognize your face. Class participation is common. Students are competitive especially in the hard science and business majors. But not so much for the social sciences.
Most of my professors manage to remember every student's name and manage to pronounce them right.
My favourite class in USC is the writing class. It helped my a lot about how to write academically and its rigorous grading criteria only made me want to excel in it more.
I student every day though people study differently based on their preference.
Class participation is common,
I tend to discuss intellectually with my friends.
Students aren't specifically competitve despite their willingness to win group projects in order to get good grades.
A great thing about USC is the small class size. Lectures are typically only 50 people even for freshman classes, which is amazing when you have many schools out there that have lectures that are a few hundred people. So, you will get the personalized attention from professor. Most of our professors are also extremely nice (I have not had a class where the professor is not nice until now) and they will more than welcome you when you go for their office hours. The same can be said for our TAs, and with all these nice people around, you are never short of resources when you have questions in your academics.
In short, while USC may seem like a large private school, you can be sure that you are taken care of, academically.
Your schedule would most likely consist of both small and large classes with small classes and discussions being the majority. In small classes professors usually remember your name but if you go to the office hours for the large classes, you can get to know the professor better.
The great thing about USC is the great balance between social life and academics. A lot of kids worry that they have to give up one to have the other, but it's not hard to balance both. As long as you choose classes you think you're going to be interested in (and not just ones you take for the easy A) you'll learn a lot. All of the professors are easy to get along with and if you go to office hours, they'll know your name for sure. In smaller classes, they'll know your name regardless.
The only thing I don't like about USC's academics are the GE requirements. I don't feel like I got much out of them, but I know the school is working to improve the system.
Academics are top notch at USC. Even in huge lecture hall with the notable Dr. Drew Casper, I found that even he knew my name simply by participating the first class in his Intro to Film class. It is by far the most notable class experience that I've had and I look forward to two more classes with Casper next semester. My major has been difficult and I must admit that it was not what I first expected. I am currently seeking a a transfer to the School of Cinematic Arts, the reason that I've began to transfer into the SCA. Studying is not the most time-consuming thing for the USC course curriculum.
Academics at USC are quite diverse. Throughout your four years at USC you are almost guaranteed a class of about 18 students and a large lecture hall sometimes comprised of nearly 200 students. I have been fortunate enough to have professors that not only know my name but also whom if they see me around on campus are not afraid to say hello. I have learned that attending office hours are a vital part of being successful at USC and also a way to better get to know your professor on an individual basis. My favorite classes at USC thus far have been my Communications classes, which as a Communications major makes sense. They have been rigorous classes that challenged my way of thinking about things and the way in which I approach certain situations. In both of my communications classes participation by students was quite common, and also a significant part of our final evaluations. My academic advisor is absolutely amazing and has provided me with fantastic class recommendations. I do not think I would have enjoyed USC as much without her. While some may complain about the General Education requirements, overall I think the option of classes are diverse enough to entertain most students for a semester. As a top research university, academics are a very important part of the university, but this being said, it is not the only part of college, and the social life is just as much a part of everyday life as the academics are.
The good thing about USC is how close the professors get with their students. The latest class I had was about 25 students. My favorite class was Media Consumption at the Annenberg School for Communication. My least favorite was Writing 340, which is a writing requirement at USC. Students student constantly. Because there is no set calendar for midterms, etc, each course has a different schedule. Class participation is very common. Sometimes participation is a major component of the overall class grade. Students get along very well outside of class and meet up most of the time to discuss assignments and projects. While USC is a very competitive academic institution, it is very uncommon for students to go head to head. The most unique class I've taken at USC thus far was Diversity and the Classical Western Tradition which emphasized diversity it classical Greece and Rome. I am a communication major at the Annenberg School for Communication. At Annenberg, there is an emphasis on communicative tendencies and the importance of interpersonal interaction in the business and personal realm. I frequently visit my professors' office hours to get help on a particular assignment or before an exam or sometimes just to chat. I believe that while general education is important at the university level, I feel it becomes a hindrance because of the academic difficulty. USC prides itself on its broad networks in every field imaginable. USC ensures that after graduation, students have the ability to apply and secure great jobs.
I feel that it is a big misconception that USC is not academically challenging, but that is not the case. I am on merit scholarship, but I still find all my courses academically stimulating, and I have to put in a great deal of work in order to get good grades. It is definitely possible to get As here, but it is certainly not easy. Many students here study much more than it may appear, although this is not the case for everyone. General education courses tend to be larger, lecture style classes that are more impersonal, but if you go to office hours and put in the extra effort, most professors are very friendly. However, many of the upper level courses within one's major are much more personal. I am a print journalism major within the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and this is a main reason I decided to come here. The classes are small, about 20 people but sometimes less, and professors definitely know their students names. Annenberg is very well-respected, as are USC's other professional schools, including Viterbi School for Engineering and Marshall School of Business.
Since USC is a "small" school, you really have the opportunity to connect with your professors. At a big school like UCLA, you are just one of tens of thousands of undergrads, and it is much more difficult to stand out. For example, lecture sizes for general education classes at USC rarely exceed 100, while at UCLA, most have about 300 kids in them! At USC, you never have to wonder about if you are going to have a seat in class, or if your professor knows who you are. Once you get into your major classes, the average class ratio is like 15:1, student to professor, and when your professor is able to know you and your work, this has obvious advantages.
But don't think that getting into USC is easy! The average GPA of high school coming into USC is about a 4.2, so you have to be the best of the best to get in here. USC does not accept mediocrity!
Also, USC is a private school, which has many advantages of its own. For one, classes are guaranteed; you never have to stress about not getting into a class that you need to graduate. This cannot be said of any of the UC schools, as their classes are often threatened by over-enrollment and state budget cuts. That's also something that you should consider in applying to college.
USC offers a variety of unique classes, like one I am in right now called Cinema Symposium. In this class, we screen movies before they debut (this term we saw "Drive", "The Descendants", "Tintin", "Hugo", and "Like Crazy" before they came out), and then we have a Q&A session with an actor, or a member of the production staff. Another popular class is called the LA Experience, where the class goes on trips throughout LA to experience things that the city is iconic for. These are just two of dozens of classes that USC offers that provide unique experiences.
As far as required classes go, the courses here are by no means easy! You really have to work hard for an A, as most professors feel that if you knew how to do the work already, you wouldn't be in college. This is especially true in my school, the Annenberg school for Journalism. All of my professors are Emmy Award-winning reporters or producers, so I am getting a top-notch education from people who have actually worked in the field. Furthermore, USC uses technology in the classroom that each respective industry uses every day. For example, the editing software we use to make our news packages is the same software that ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN use. And, they teach us everything today that will help us get hired tomorrow. Many employers have said that this gives SC kids an advantage over others, because we already know how to use things and they don't have to train us as much. As a matter of fact, when job fairs are held in LA, the UCLA kids get mad because the Trojans get way more jobs than they, the Bruins.
So basically, if you want to live and work in LA, you absolutely should go to USC.
Academics at my school are challenging but extremely rewarding. Professors will know your name in the smaller classes, but if you want to be known in the larger lectures, you have to speak up. If you are scared to talk in those huge classes though, no worries, you will always have a discussion section where you can ask questions and talk out difficult concepts with a TA, teaching assistant. My favorite classes are those in my major, Communication. I learn about entertainment, music, philosophy, race and class and so much more. I feel that what I am learning in class is making me so much more aware of the world around me and I love it. My least favorite class was again, a general elective course, and this one was about science- specifically astronomy (not my thing). I felt that the class was not only very hard for me, but had so much information I got lost in the stars. On the bright side, I still did well in the class. Study, study, study! Studying is extremely important to succeed at USC, and the libraries will be packed when midterms and finals come around- so go early to make sure you get a good spot! Students are definitely competitive here so you will need to work hard to keep up with everyone else. The education at USC, I would say, is geared for a job. You definitely learn just for the love of learning, but everything that you take in can be applied in real life. At least that is how I feel about the Comm major. You work hard both inside and outside of class. They hope that when you get out of school, you have the experience and knowledge you need to go out and be successful.
Most of my professors know my name. It's harder with big lectures, but you'd have to be the one to make the effort to get to know the professors. All of the professors in my upper division classes know my name.
I have many favorite classes at USC, and in one of them, I and another student choreographed a modern dance peace as a creative interpretation of a future political message. It was pretty awesome. In another class, we'd discuss the psychological and social aspects of dying, which aren't a topic much discussed. It was very educational and enlightening, and I have gained new respect for the value and integrity of human life as well as the ending of human life.
The amount of studying depends drastically by the student and by the major. It really all depends.
Class participation is very common, especially among smaller classes. One of my class was about 95% student discussion.
Students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class. Most students you'd meet at USC are smart, driven, and thoughtful.
I was a pre-med student, and I can say that while students here are definitely competitive, they are also very willing to work with each other. I would say that the competition here is very friendly, which is very different from some of the cutting-throat competition stories I'd hear from else where.
I've taken a class on sailing at USC. It was awesome. I'd learned old navigation techniques as well as going on an overnight sailing trip, where I actually got to man the sails. Experience of a lifetime.
My major is Human Development and Aging, health science track, in the School of Gerontology. We focus on the study of aging, particularly the biological process of aging. In my major, we'd also have a breadth in discipline, crossing sociology, policy, and psychology. It's a great inter-disciplinary major with plenty of hands-on experience.
I spend a lot of time with professors outside of class due to my current research. In addition, I also spend time talking with professors after class. Most of them are very friendly and love to talk to students.
USC is definitely demanding more academically from its students, and I feel it is appropriate considering the rising academic standard at the school.
USC is traditionally known for being a professional school, with many of its more well-established departments geared towards getting a job, such as cinema and engineering. However, the school has been raising efforts to establish liberal arts studies, especially with the recent endowment for the Dornsife College. The general education honors program (Thematic Options) is also a great program focused on critical thinking and liberal arts.
USC is full of brilliant, caring professors. Whereas this does not describe every USC professor, most are superb. And even though many people bemoan the General Education requirements, they are flexible enough that you more often than not will be able to find a class you enjoy in a category you may not be fond of at first glance. Within the GE classes as well as all of the classes I took for my majors (Communication and French), there was a concerted effort on the part of the professors to get to know their students and offer them valuable learning experiences that both contribute to personal and professional growth. This engenders a cooperative, challenging, and stimulating in-class experience that translates to work and interactions outside of the classroom as well.
Accessible professors who are always willing to answer questions (even during lecture). Fascinating classes. Tons of work. Students are willing to help each other, (unlike at UCLA). However, some students don't really seem to care about learning and are more interested in greek life, partying, other inconsequential shit.
Majors: There are so many majors at USC that cater to your future aspirations for instance it is probably one of the only universities in the country that have business administration,finance, accounting, entrepreneurship, journalism, communications, engineering (any), architecture, art, public policy, computer science, film...(etc etc you get the point) available as majors in one university. One of the reasons why USC remains so popular today is because there are many majors that are tailored for careers that they want to enter once they graduate. many students participate in research, all you have to do is ask! professors love it when you help them out, it also a resume booster.
Professors:Many of the professors have made it a point to learn everybody's names, if you participate frequently and go to office hours they will definitely get to know you. If you sit in the back and never talk or participate they won't know you. BE AN ACTIVE LEARNER! The quality of lectures depends on the quality of a professor's teaching abilities, some are good some are bad just like any university. IMO and experience most professors enjoy teaching and want to get to know you. You don't have to go to lectures (most professors don't really care if you go at all) but it is helpful since they give you hints about midterms.
TAs: I have to take a lot of math classes as a part of my major requirement and for that you really need to be on top of your shit. Discussions are very helpful, all of my math TAs have been wonderful and really know their stuff, if i'm ever in a jam they can help me out, same with Econ TAs. However for some other classes I feel like Discussions are a complete bore and waste of time and you're always looking at the time, the worst is when they take attendance, in that case you have to be there whehter you like it or not.
Smart people vary from major to major, i think there are some majors that have a high percent of highly capable people who are hardworking and will likely be successful (think science,math, engineering and other specialty majors) other majors are a complete joke and honestly I don't take them seriously, sorry guys! YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN!
GEs: While I like learning about a wide range of topics I think the lower level requirements outside of your major (such as Writing 140 & 340 and other GE requirements) are a waste of time and money.
Grading: I hear that USC gives out relatively higher grades than other schools such as UC berkeley. This is both good and bad. Potential employers or grad school admissions might see a high GPA and are a more likely to accept/hire you, on the other hand they might know about USCs grading and thus be less likelier to hire you.
Professors do know your name here! Even as a first year undergrad, you'll have small classes and get to know your professors. In larger classes, the TAs will know your name from discussion sections, and the professor will know you if you speak up in lectures.
Students have intellectual conversations outside of class. People will talk about philosophy, religion, politics, social issues, etc. over dinner or in the quad between classes.
Students are driven but not necessarily overtly competitive. There's a general consensus that we're all smart kids--after all, we all got in--and now we're working harder for ourselves rather than to outdo other people as we might have done in high school.
The GEs are really varied and some seem kind of strange, but overall, they're good. They let you experience a lot of different topics, but don't take up too many credits; you still have plenty of time to double major and graduate in four years.
Students here are definitely focused on an end goal, even as freshmen, whether that be law school or med school, grad school, or a good position in a desired career field. People here expect to be taken seriously upon graduation, and they expect to be successful.
There are very few HUGE classes at USC, and the ones that are have smaller discussion sections that allow you to get to know your TA better. These larger classes will pretty much only be for your General Education requirements, or your intro classes. Once you are done with them, your classes are all pretty small. The teachers are all very dedicated and passionate about what they teach, and all more than willing to talk to you after class or in office hours. The topics of classes are interesting as well, such as The End Of The World:Armageddon Stories, or a class fully on the Beatles!
The education at USC defies the idea of "learning for the sake of learning". It is quintessentially pre-professional, and the quality of professors and classes vary from school to school within the larger university. I've had great professors and not-so-great professors, but many of my classes were very large. Discussion sections aren't particularly helpful as many TAs don't know how to handle their
The academics are wonderful. However, academics wherever you are become what you make of them. I have developed a personal relationship with every professor I have had. They all know me by name, they all are willing to go grab lunch, they go the extra mile (One of my professors is a good drinking buddy of mine now).
USC has a lot of top programs. Marshall is a top ten business school, our film school is the nation's best, we have the oldest IR department in the country (third oldest in the world), our music school is premier, and most students double major, or major and minor. Its rare to find anyone with only one area of interest.
I will speak of the business school, because that's what I know best. First of all, there used to be a strict curve to which all the business professors had to adhere. As of last year, this curve is no longer mandatory (professors are given the discretion to move the average up if they feel their group of students was particularly bright), but as far as I could tell, almost all professors are sticking to that curve. In most cases, the curve ends up helping you more than it hurts (when you get your first 60% on a midterm you will freak out, until you realize that curved it might be a B).
The students at the business school are all about getting high-paying jobs, especially those students with a finance concentration. They have their eyes set on Goldman and Citibank and will stop at nothing. I personally loved the upper-level finance classes but hated the students in them- they were fiercely competitive, not collaborative, and uninterested in putting in a lot of work. They just wanted to get a good grade and figure out what they needed to know to get an internship at an I-bank. With that said, FBE 421, a valuation class, was extremely useful- I learned so much, and from that class I feel capable of researching and evaluating stocks without having to consult Jim Cramer. Although, as I said, students are fixated on getting the perfect job, I don't think professors have this focus in mind when teaching a class. They simply care about what they do and would like to impart this knowledge to others.
Students grumble about the GE system, and I agree that it needs a little work. It seems that professors often get disgruntled that they are teaching students who have to take the class, and otherwise have no interest in the subject. Surprisingly, and quite refreshingly, USC often has some of its best and most engaging professors teach GEs. I had Craig Stanford for an anthropology GE, and he is one of the foremost anthropology researchers in the world. I also loved one of the GE categories; it's called Arts and Letters, which doesn't explain much, but it includes the most random subjects. I took one on Modern Russian Art- I thought I would hate it, but it was perhaps the most interesting class I took at SC. The GEs here are really meant to stretch you- they want you to take things that will make you an interesting, worldly thinker.
The professors in the film school are comprised of two categories: 1) They are professionals, working in the industry who use the teaching position as a means to make a steady-income. You are not their top priority and it feels as though they come to class merely to "get the job done".
and 2) Professors who've committed themselves to teaching, but have no worldly experience or have never worked in the industry so their lessons are one-faceted, containing no "street smarts". Their lesson are in a sense valueless because the information they feed you is directly from the text book, one in which you can buy and learn independently, without paying the $1200/unit required to take the course.
USC has extremely stimulating classes and brilliant instructors.
Engineering at USC is one of the toughest things to keep up with, as the workload tends to rival a full time job. The work is interesting though, and there are many opportunities to take engineering to the next level through paid research. The engineering students are overly smart and talented, but I can't say much about the non-engineering kids as I feel they are underworked in comparison.
Academically, SC was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I have loved every single one of my professors, they are understanding people who know me by name and want each of their students to succeed.
When it comes to GE classes, as long as you're a diligent student, there is no reason why you should get any lower than a B. Professors like to see you show up and pay attention, and they appreciate your hard work. If you're a slacker you need to be worried, but if you're a good student then you're fine, as long as you put effort into your work.
My major is Screenwriting, and the classes that I've taken for my major have been amazing. The film school at SC is incredible. Your professors have worked in the entertainment industry and are legitimately there to make sure you become the best writer, producer, animator etc. that you can be. The School of Cinematic Arts is part competitive, part cooperative. There is nothing like it anywhere else, and even though it requires a lot from you, it also gives a lot back in the long run. If you're decideing between USC's film school and another, choose USC's!
I'm an architecture major, so I spend the majority of my time studying and working on projects. The architecture studios are very small (about 12 people), so you become very close with your peers and instructor. Only a couple students are given A's each semester, so students become very competitive.
This isn't the case for a lot of majors, though. I have a lot of friends who are only in lecture classes, where there can be 100-300 people. There usually isn't much class participation and it's more difficult to get to know your teachers. I think once you get the general classes out of the way, courses become smaller and more personal.
Regardless of what major you're in, though, USC will prepare you for a successful future.
Yes, professors know my name. One can go through a class (expecially a gigantic lecture-style class like International Relations 101) without growing familiar with the professor, but for the classes in which I felt it really mattered, my professors knew each student's name, strengths, areas for improvement, and more.
My favorite classes have definitely been my animation classes (CTAN-101, CTAN-102 so far). They were mostly exploratory classes, probing and expanding the animation freshman class's imaginations. We did basic analog animation assignments in 102, but we have yet to really get going with it. The first two courses have been an excellent start.
I hated Writing 140, but who doesn't? It's a required class, so unfortunately just about all incoming students must take it. I had a really good professor, but the course material seemed lacking at times. The class focuses on argumentative essay writing, but some prompts were not conducive to formulating an argument.
USC is a great school with stellar academics. Business and Accounting classes and students are extremely competitive. All business and accounting classes are curved, based on the scores and average GPA of the students in each section. This can be very good or bad. If you receive 90% scores on tests and do well, but everyone else is receiving the same scores, a 90% will become a B+ because most classes are curved at a B+. This methodology in the school, prevents grade inflation, and ensures that if some exams are somewhat easy, students don't all receive A's and get by with minimal work. Usually, the exams in classes are very difficult and scores will be deviate, making it possible to receive high scores if you study really hard. In some classes, the curve has been amazing because if the average for the class was in the 70s and I received an 85 or 90, I got an A on the exam and usually in the class if I did well on all the exams while the curve remained low. People in business classes are generally very competitive, intelligent, and very motivated to get great jobs and go to top business schools. Almost all of the professors I have had, have been amazing, except for professor Mendy Fygenson, worst business professor at USC, a complete nut job and incompetent.
The introductory classes of any major and the general education classes have large class sizes, typically 200-250 students. In those classes, I don't talk to my professors unless it's related to my major. There are too many requirements to fufill the USC core.
Students tend to fill the library during midterms and finals weeks. It's hard to find a space in Leavey Library during the nighttime hours because everyone is study their asses off at that time. Students in Marshall are very competitive due to the bell curve that school has. I don't know about other schools, but my major doesn't have a bell curve which is great.
My problem is that students don't have intelligent conversations outside of class, but I only see that with the cinema students. They are always talking about films.
For the most part, the classes in my major are interesting, but I don't feel that are preparing me for a job. I don't think that all majors are like this.
It's difficult to generalize all academics together so I would advise caution in reading my analysis and others. I haven't been to another college so it is not relative.
A lot of people (especially those outside of the general Arts and Letters school I am in) dislike the GE requirements. I frankly love them. They are not boring general survey courses. They are taught by some of the better professors at SC.
Students generally participate during lecture but not always in the discussion sessions. A friend told me this was because of apathy but I'm not quite sure.
I've discovered that hot sorority girls are smarter than you think.
All my professors know my name which is incredible! I don't have a favorite class but I can tell you what my least favorite class is...Love and Desire in Medieval Mysticism. It is the worst class I think any campus can offer! I enjoy class participation. I like being able to meet with my professor outside of class and ask question and get help. They are always willing. The music school at usc is fantastic. The faculty members are brilliant and enjoy teaching students about the theory of music.
I participated in TO...aka Thematic Option Honors program. Best decision yet at the school. GEs are decent, my friends all had good experiences, and TO was even more interesting. Major classes are also very stimulating. Professors are fantastic and very accessible, for one of my final projects we all had dinner at the prof's house before delivering our presentations. Classes are also much smaller than at other 'big' schools.
I initially was looking into the Ivy system and some smaller North East schools because I wanted small, challenging course material--and I definitely got it here despite the fact that I didnt anticipate it.
I am in the accounting and business schools. Leventhal was pretty much the best decision of my life. Every semester they arrange with the Big Four a series of socials, meet and greets, case competitions, and Meet The Firms. they also send out a book of every student's resume to any company that calls asking for one. Literally, I kid you not, one week I had calls from 6 Fortune 500 companies asking me for an interview--and all I did was go to class.
i'm premed so the classes are large and difficult, you have to work hard and go to office hours a lot and stuff for the profs to actually know you. students are competitive but never mean in my experience...i'm a neuroscience major so i really liked my intro to psychology class. overall the academics here are top notch.
How well your professors know you depends on your major and if the class is a general education course or for your major. As a Science major all of my classes were 100+ and up to 300 people. The professor only knows you if you make it a point to go to his/her office hours or ask them questions after class. This means that you should get to know them if you want a letter of recommendation down the line. My favorite classes were Ballroom Dancing, Tap, Exploring Cultures Through Film, Film, Power, and American History. How much students study depends on their major. Science and Engineering kids have to study a lot to keep up, but most other majors can study right before midterms. Pre-health students can be competitive. Dance As An Art Form was the most unique class I took because I learned about dance from a world prospective instead of just a Western perspective. Neuroscience is pretty cool because there are only 5 classes that you absolutely have to take and the other 6 are up to you. 11 classes allows you a lot of room to do another major or a couple of minors. I think the education is geared towards learning for learning's sake> They try to make us well-rounded individuals, so you can't graduate without learning a little history, science, sociology, etc. I think the Social Issue requirement is good because it requires privileged people to at least learn about what life is like for the less privileged and it just might stir up some compassion in them.
When meeting many USC students, outsiders presume we are just a bunch of stupid "Laguna Beachers", but what many don't understand is our immensely large intellectual side. Students are extremely competitive to get the best grades but are eager to help each other out. The teachers do for the most part know your name, the only classes that don't are the large lectures, but your TA's do. USC prepares all of its students for success in the outside world and with its huge Alumni program, finding a great job will not be extremely challenging.
I do not like the fact that we are required to take General Education--even though I went to this school to get a broader experience. You have to take a lot of them, they're like a harder version of your least favorite high school classes. Especially Writing 140 (that's a bitch).
Most of the professors I've had really love the material they teach, and the TAs are committed to their fields. Grades always depend on the TAs, who grade the work (in large classes). I've had some pretty tough graders...but with General Education, I'm willing to let a few Cs slide by.
I am an animation major in the cinema school. I've taken 7 years of animation before I came to the school, so there isn't much for me to learn (I am not being arrogant). I was a little disappointed in my professor, who isnt an animator, and who really doesn't know much about animation. This is probably a singular case, because this year is the first year for animation to have a major (took them long enough!). However, I did like my class, and the friendly atmosphere it engendered.
Great variety of classes to take, taught by those at the top of their professions.
Academics are serious here. All of my classes have discussion sections with TA's who have taken the course before and who are very skilled in the classes. The large lectures usually have smaller lab sections, so it is normal to have TA's who know your name and are interested in your work. The students at USC are vocal and well-spoken, and because we have such a variety of students here, somebody in a discussion can provide an outside point of view that exceeds the usual arguements of the class.
Both professors and TA's are required to hold "office hours," which are at least 2-4 extra hours a week where they make themselves available for the students and their questions only. Those are also good opportunities to get to know the professors.
For such a large university, we only have 6 categories of general education requirements that everybody has to take, and there are hundreds of options for those classes, so students generally end up in GEs that they really enjoy and were interested in.
Professors are great. They are very eager to help the students succeed and love talking to you in office hours. Engineering has a lot of hands on projects. I have built robots and loudspeakers for class. Students always study in groups. There's a lot of camaraderie. Graduates have no problem finding a job.
I would say that half of my professors know my name. General Education classes are usually in large auditoriums, so gettig to know the professor on a personal level is quite difficult. In my major, however, the classes are smaller and I can get to know my professors quite well. Currently, my favorite class is Linguistics, and my least favorite was Anthropology. Students who attend USC study a lot and take school work very seriously. As a transfer student, I have experienced two different college atmospheres and their difficulty levels, and can proudly claim that fact. Class participation is good, the students are often involved in the classroom and engage in discussions and lessons. Students do have intellectual conversations outside of class on a pretty regular basis. I can recall a couple of instances when I was walking by a group of people and heard a very serious and thought provoking conversation that I found myself contemplating the subject I overheard. Students are competitive but not so much that it would be intimidating. I would say the competitiveness is on an individual level and focused on grades and not on the other students. I do not spend much time with professors out of class, only when extra help or guidance is needed, which many professors encourage. I believe that if one goes out to lunch with their professor, USC pays for the bill. However, I am not positive if that is true as I overheard someone talking about it. The education at USC is challenging and not for those who stress easily.
Most of my classes have been small. It's strongly encouraged to go to your professor's office hours and/or spend time with them outside of class. I feel like the education at USC is for learning for its own sake as well as towards getting a job.
USC provides so many academic opportunities. The Marshall School of Business is one of the strongest business schools and provides many opportunities to network and tap into the Marshall family. Last spring break, I was able to travel to Beijing, China with 60 other business students and experience international business. This trip cost $950 and included hotel accomodations, airfare, most meals, as well as most transportation. Opportunities such as this are plentiful.
I am in the honors program, Thematic Option, which has smaller classes and supposedly the best teachers. This is sometimes true and sometimes not at all.
I am in the film school also, and have truly enjoyed all of those professors. Most of the classes are very large (my smallest was 20, but my biggest was 300+) The TAs are definitely the luck of the draw.
professor name recognition: normally they do
Students study: i dont know it seems like a lot
Class participation common the longer you take classes
Yes to many (drunken) intellectual conversations outside class
Students arent too cutthroat in terms of competitiveness but im not in the business school
Unique class: Leonard Maltin's Theatrical Film Symposium, you see movies before they come out and talk to the creators
USC Academic requirements: not too bad
Education geared toward getting a job or learning, whichever you set your priorities on. The emphasis on occupation may be more prevalent in other majors
Stay strong throughout because once you've given up, there really is nothing left anyone can do, so go to your ta, teachers, etc. They will help you because they want you to succeed.
Professors will know your name of you put the effort into your classes. Some will especially go out of their way to know your names, but if you aren't interested in the class, they will probably not know your name. Class participation is always common, with many of my classes triggered through discussions on the news, readings and other debatable topics in class. I think USC is geared to suit each person, with some classes preparing you for graduate education, some for learning, and some for getting a job. There's quite a wide range to accommodate each person.
One of the reasons I came to USC was because I knew it had a great journalism program. I knew I would be getting the best education possible in this field and I love the diverse programs the Annenberg School for Communications has offered me.
There are other classes out of my field, however, that I have taken and I don't feel would be offered at any other university. One such class is the Theatrical Film Symposium taught by film critic Leonard Maltin. In this class, students watch films before they come out in theater and then get to here from people who made the movie. This class was very entertaining and enjoyable, but the tests weren't a cake walk; you pretty much had to remember everything the guests talked about.
Another class is The Beatles: Their Music and Their Times. This is a great class all about the Beatles, what could be better? We listen to the Beatles' music watch their movies and learn about what went on behind the scenes.
I don't know if I ever could have experiences like these at another university.
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