Want to be a USC Trojan? Bookmark this page to help plan your application essays for the University of Southern California!
USC is one of the most popular colleges on the west coast. Located in Southern California, USC attracts a lot of students who enjoy nice, sunny weather all year round. Especially in a city like Los Angeles that offers students endless of cultural activities and internship opportunities they can take advantage of.
On top of USC’s ideal location and weather, USC is well known for their undergraduate business and media studies. USC Marshall School of Business is ranked no. 9 for their undergraduate business program, specifically strong in accounting and entrepreneurship. USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism is also a popular choice for students interested in media studies, especially when paired with media internships available in an entertainment-focused city like LA.
USC also has a very unique program called the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy (IYA). Students accepted to the program will be studying Arts, Technology and Business Innovation. Over the 4 years, IYA students will gain an in-depth knowledge in art and design, engineering and computer science, and finally, business and venture management. The application requires an additional portfolio and is highly selective. On average, only 25 students are accepted per graduating class.
Does USC offer what you’re interested? If you are applying this fall, here are the short answer questions and supplemental essays for the 2017-2018 application season:
1. Short Answer Questions
- Describe yourself in three words
- What is your favorite snack?
- Hashtag to describe yourself
- What TV show will you binge watch next?
- Place you are most content?
TIP: These short answer questions are meant to help the admissions office know a little bit more about you and your personality. Don’t spend too much time on these questions, and be true to who you are!
2. Supplemental Essay #1
Please respond to one of the prompts below. (250 word limit)
Prompt 1: USC believes that one learns best when interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Tell us about a time you were exposed to a new idea or when your beliefs were challenged by another point of view.
Prompt 2: Describe something outside of your intended academic focus about which you are interested in learning.
Prompt 3:What is something about yourself that is essential to understanding you?
TIP: When you choose which essay prompt to write, take into account what essay topic you’ve chosen for your personal statement and what you plan on writing for the second supplemental essay. The admissions office will be reading your application as a whole, so it should all come together to tell them who you are, what you’re interested and what USC can offer you to achieve your dreams.
3. Supplemental Essay #2
Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests at USC. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. (250 word limit)
TIP: This is essentially your “Why USC” supplemental essay. Do your research about the program you want to apply. In fact, reach out to the professors in the department you’re interested in studying and learn more about the program. It’s important to know what USC offers, so you can talk about how those resources and facilities can enable you to achieve your interests or support your studies in a specific field. Do not just iterate what programs they have. This essay is about how USC can help you in a way no other universities can, and about how you can give back to the university’s community by being a part of it.
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With so many options at USC, it might be a little overwhelming to choose a major let alone know how to pursue it. CollegeVine is here to help you narrow down your interests and find ways to express them at USC.
Before we dive in, here are a few facts about USC that will help you get started:
- USC is located in metropolitan L.A., the home of many large companies such as Deloitte, Bank of America, and Paul Hastings.
- USC has its own medical school, the Keck School of Medicine.
- USC has its own buisness school — the Marshall School of Business — that offers programs for undergraduates.
To approach this prompt, you should first evaluate your academic interests and your selected major. Next, you should ask yourself, “Why USC?” What does USC offer in your major that no other college offers? If you are interested in medicine, you might discuss the practical experience that the Keck School of Medicine can provide you. Perhaps you have a strong interest in stem cells, and will pursue this by conducting medical research at Keck. Or maybe you are more interested in clinical experience and are hoping to shadow doctors at the medical school’s hospital.
If you are interested in business economics, you can analyze USC’s optimal location in downtown Los Angeles, discussing how the school’s geography gives you access to internships with the nation’s top corporations. You can include a brief paragraph on the strengths of USC’s Marshall School of Business, raving about how an education there will provide you with the necessary leadership skills to succeed in business.
Avoid vague and cliché answers such as “USC has a good business school,” or “USC is prestigious and highly ranked.” These types of responses don’t particularly answer the question, nor do they show that you have done your research on the school.
No matter what subject you intend to pursue, the most important thing is to show the school what you will do at USC if you are accepted.Which professors do you look forward to working with? What special curriculum path do you hope to head down? What resource do you plan to take advantage of? There is no right or wrong answer; USC just wants to understand the academic path you intend to follow. You don’t have to be too creative or try to think of an outside-the-box answer. For this prompt, simple and straightforward is better.