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Trojan scholars and urban warriors
Yeah, We’re Good at That—and That, and That, and That
A leader in many research and professional fields, USC is on the rise in the academic community and can offer ambitious students the chance to branch out intellectually and creatively. The College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and the seventeen professional schools at USC offer a staggering 150-plus majors and almost as many minors. The first year, during which students complete the required six-course core curriculum, can be less challenging than years two through four. For those who want to up the intellectual ante, there are the Freshman Seminars and the Thematic Option, general education honors programs that replace the core. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1, class sizes average twenty-six, and TAs often lead discussion sections and labs. Undergrads are encouraged to spend a year abroad; USC has several overseas centers and partners with other programs to send students to all corners of the globe.
Strike Up the Fun
Trojan athletics make up a huge part of campus life: The Spirit of Troy, the USC marching band, leads the way to football games past the statue of Tommy Trojan and to the historic Coliseum across the street. Another athletic nucleus is the brand new Galen Center, home of basketball and volleyball games. Nearly half of USC’s undergraduates come from out of state. For some, USC life equals Greek life, but the great majority of students don’t rush. Students can pick from over six hundred campus clubs. They can also (and many do) spend time volunteering in the community or working on a creative project, big business idea, or the latest scientific innovation. Classes, libraries, and tasty food are never far away no matter where students are on the compact University Park campus. The city’s excitement draws many students out on the weekends, but there are still plenty of movie screenings and events on campus to keep life interesting.
It’s a Brick House
You don’t see lots of brick in earthquake-prone Los Angeles, but the Romanesque buildings on USC’s University Park campus are an exception, and their beauty makes the risk worth it. More modern and contemporary buildings also incorporate brick, but the lines are cleaner and less ornate. Recent renovations to the urban campus have brought more green space, adding tranquility to this big-city campus. Downtown is nearby, decreasingly sketchy Exposition Park is across the street, and still-sketchy neighborhoods are beyond. The original University Park campus is still at the heart of USC, but the university itself has major buildings and facilities throughout Los Angeles, including Los Angeles County–USC Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and down into Orange County.