The Best Universities in the World Today
1. Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Harvard University is the standard by which all other research universities are measured. No school in recent history has challenged its position as the world’s premier academic institution. It is the oldest school in the world’s richest nation, and has capitalized on the benefits this grants. Under financial guru Jack Meyer’s management, the school’s endowment grew from $ billion to $ in 15 years. Today, the school possesses over $ billion and its fortune is still growing. But there is more to Harvard than massive wealth. The school has produced 49 Nobel laureates, 32 heads of state, and 48 Pulitzer Prize winners. It boasts the largest academic library in the world, leading medical, law, and business schools, and an alumni network integrated across the globe. Not only is Harvard dominant across a broad spectrum of fields, it is also ideally situated to work alongside a variety of other schools. The most obvious example is MIT, situated at the opposite end of Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge; however, the greater Boston area is also home to Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, Tufts University, and Brandeis University— some 60 institutions of higher learning, all in all. This equips both students and faculty with endless opportunities for collaborative research.
2. University of Cambridge
Cambridge, England, U.K.
As the seventh-oldest university in the world, Cambridge is an ancient school steeped in tradition dating back to It is but small exaggeration to say the history of Western science is built on a cornerstone called Cambridge. The long list of great scientists, mathematicians, and logicians who either studied or taught there (or both) includes Isaac Newton, Augustus De Morgan, Charles Darwin, Charles Babbage, James Clerk Maxwell, J.J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford, Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, G.H. Hardy, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Alan Turing, Francis Crick, James D. Watson, Rosalind Franklin, and Stephen Hawking, among many others. Whether in fundamental physics, mathematical logic, number theory, astrophysics, the theory of computation, or structural chemistry and biology, Cambridge has been at the forefront of humanity’s quest for truth longer than most nations have existed. Nevertheless, its great achievements have not been restricted to the sciences. Numerous towering intellects in the humanities such as Erasmus of Rotterdam, William Tyndale, Francis Bacon, John Milton, Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Ludwig Wittgenstein, John Maynard Keynes, C.S. Lewis, Sylvia Plath, and Ted Hughes all studied or taught here. But despite the many memories that tread past its imposing Gothic architecture, Cambridge does not live in the past. Cambridge remains one of the world’s elite research institutions, with only Oxford to rival it in the U.K. and only a handful of American schools able to do so from overseas. Its over 18, students represent more than countries and its faculty have earned over 80 Nobel Prizes.
3. Columbia University
New York City, New York, U.S.
As the fifth-oldest school in the United States and one of the colonial colleges, Columbia has a lot of history. That history has created an internationally recognized, elite university with a $10 billion endowment and a library with nearly 13 million volumes. This school, which once produced America’s first MD, now graduates nearly 1, doctors per year from one of the world’s most well-connected medical schools. Columbia is spread across five distinct campuses in the New York metropolitan area. As the leading school in New York City, its students have numerous unique opportunities that only proximity to Wall Street, Broadway, the United Nations, and other epicenters of business, culture, and politics can bring. Columbia’s ideal location simultaneously gives its students the chance to interact with various other respected institutions such as New York University. Ninety-six Columbians have won a Nobel Prize, making it third in the world in that coveted category (after Harvard and Cambridge University in the U.K.). It has also produced 29 heads of state, including three US Presidents. Columbia also administers the Pulitzer Prize.
4. University of Oxford
Oxford, England, U.K.
Oxford University traces its origins back to the thirteenth century. Like the other great medieval universities, it was founded by Catholic clerics who espoused a philosophy that combined Christian teachings with the doctrines of Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient and medieval thinkers, which came to be known as the “philosophy of the Schools”, or “Scholasticism.” However, Oxford evolved with the times, surviving down through the centuries the manifold changes wrought by the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment, to grow into one of the contemporary world’s most impressive centers of learning. Today, just as years ago, Oxford’s name is synonymous with knowledge and learning. Its high reputation is well earned, as is evidenced (among other things) by the fact that the school runs the world’s largest — and many would say, most prestigious — academic press, with offices in over 50 countries. One in five people who learn English worldwide do so with Oxford University Press materials. This international appeal explains why almost 40 percent of the student body comes from outside the U.K.. Over 17, people applied for 3, undergraduate places in But despite many hundreds of students willing to pay tuition, and centuries of accumulated assets, the school’s highest source of income continues to be research grants and contracts. Oxford’s academic community includes 80 Fellows of the Royal Society and Fellows of the British Academy.
5. Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Yale University has everything one would expect form a major research university. It is one of the original eight Ivy League schools, it has a $20 billion endowment, and roughly one in six of its students come from foreign nations. Yale has also had a disproportionate influence over American Politics. Numerous major US political careers begin at Yale (the infamous Skull and Bones Society by itself has produced three Presidents), and Yale Law School has been the preeminent US law school for years. Its research centers address topics as varied as Benjamin Franklin’s writings, bioethics, magnetic resonance imaging research, and the Russian archives. Whereas many other elite institutions have developed areas of specialization — be they Caltech’s and MIT’s focus on science or Princeton’s focus on research in the humanities and social sciences — Yale is equally dominant in the humanities, the sciences, and the professions. This gives the school a unique ability to pursue interdisciplinary research, as well as a flexible alumni network that stretches to every corner of the globe.
6. Stanford University
Stanford, California, U.S.
With an $ billion endowment, Stanford has access to numerous world-class research resources. The school’s acre Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve lets scientists study ecosystems firsthand. Its foot radio telescope, nicknamed the Dish, enables studies of the ionosphere. Stanford also boasts a acre habitat reserve, which is trying to bring back the endangered California tiger salamander, as well as the SLAC Accelerator Laboratory, which actively advances the US Department of Energy’s research. Furthermore, Stanford is affiliated with the prestigious Hoover Institution, which is one of the leading social, political, and economic think tanks. But it takes more than just great laboratories and facilities to build a great research center. Stanford also has some of the finest minds in the world working for it. The school’s faculty currently include 22 Nobel laureates, 51 members of the American Philosophical Society, three Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, National Academy of Science members, five Pulitzer Prize winners, and 27 MacArthur Fellows.
7. University of Paris (Sorbonne)
Today, the University of Paris is a network of universities spread across the historic City of Lights. The nucleus of this network dates to the twelfth century, but the modern division into 11 main campuses dates from the reorganization which occurred in in the wake of “the events of ’” The word “Sorbonne” has long been used in a loose sense as a synonym for the University of Paris as a whole, but also, and more correctly, in a stricter sense for the campus located on the original site of the university in the Latin Quarter. Beginning in , some consolidation of this mammoth system will begin to occur, notably the reunification of Paris-Sorbonne University (specializing in the humanities) and Pierre et Marie Curie University (science and medicine). The reorganized system will once again be officially known as Sorbonne Universities. Other notable entities comprising this grand alliance of schools include the following: the technological institute UTC; the medical school INSERM; the performing arts school PSPBB; the education school CIEP; the business school INSEAD; and the highly prestigious think tank, CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique). CNRS is the world’s top producer of scientific research papers; all by itself this one branch of the Sorbonne has produced 20 Nobel Prize laureates and 12 Fields Medalists.
8. University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
The University of Chicago was only founded in , making it one of the youngest elite universities in the world. But despite its youth the school has spearheaded many of the world’s most important scientific achievements. The famous Miller— Urey experiment, which proved seminal for the development of research on the origin of life, was carried out there in Chicago is now one of the leading universities in the sciences, famous for its many distinguished alums, such as James D. Watson, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA who also helped launch the Human Genome Project. And for better or for worse, émigré Italian physicist Enrico Fermi created the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at Chicago in But the university is not just a science school. It also possesses great depth with elite programs in social studies and the humanities. Of the school’s 90 Nobel Prize winners, 29 have been in economics since the Prize was first awarded in , which has proved useful as the university — home of the world-famous “Chicago school of economics”quickly recovered from the — 09 world financial crisis. This has left Chicago with a nearly $7 billion endowment that is rapidly growing, with all the ample research opportunities that such resources provide.
9. University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
With 50, students and 5, faculty spread over three campuses, the University of Michigan is an extremely large research university with the expansive alumni networks that such numbers grant. Students have 17 distinct schools and colleges, roughly majors, over student organizations, and a staggering concerts and recitals annually to choose from. The pleasant college town of Ann Arbor was listed as the number one college town in by Forbes Magazine. The University faculty include Pulitzer, Guggenheim, MacArthur, and Emmy recipients. The school’s alumni have produced 14 Nobel Prize winners and one Fields Medalist. Michigan also runs one of the world’s largest healthcare facilities, gives its students first-class computer access, and utilizes a library with over 13 million volumes. It is little wonder why the school attracts students from all 50 states and over countries. Almost half of the student body graduated in the top five percent of their class, and two thirds graduated in the top Michigan puts more students into medical school than any other school in America
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
Princeton University is one of the oldest, most historic universities in the United States. Its famous Nassau Hall still bears a cannon ball scar from the Battle of Princeton, and its former president, John Witherspoon, was the only university president to sign the Declaration of Independence. The school’s nearly three-century history has given it ample time to develop an impressive $ billion endowment. But unlike the other big institutions it competes with, such as Yale, Harvard, and Stanford, Princeton spreads its considerable wealth across a far smaller number of students and programs. Princeton has no law school, medical school, business school, or divinity school. Instead of developing professional programs, it has self-consciously evolved into a massive, research-driven think tank. Whereas other schools typically drive their elite faculty’s attention towards graduate students, Princeton expects its professors to teach undergraduates, as well. Moreover, Princeton continues to challenge its students with a difficult grading scale, to a much greater degree than many other leading institutions. Even brilliant valedictorians need to focus on their studies if they come here.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
In the century and a half since its beginning in , MIT has become the world’s preeminent science research center. MIT is known for a focused approach that uses first-class methodologies to tackle world-class problems. This pragmatic creativity has produced legions of scientists and engineers, as well as 80 Nobel laureates, 56 National Medal of Science winners, 43 MacArthur Fellows, and 28 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners. Nevertheless, the school’s more than $10 billion endowment still leaves plenty of room for the arts and humanities. That is why MIT’s university press can publish 30 journals and academic books every year. Since , the MIT Technology Review has continuously researched developing trends in the industrial sciences and other related fields, making their publications essential for anyone trying to understand where future innovation is headed. Notable people affiliated with MIT include Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, founder of modern linguistics Noam Chomsky, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
University of California – Berkeley
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Berkeley is unique among the elite universities of the world. Most of the schools it competes with are privately owned, but Berkeley is a state school with the elite status of a private school. The school is nestled in a pleasant city of the same name within easy commuting distance of San Francisco. With over 42, students, Berkeley is large for a school of its status. Such an impressive selection of talented students feeds its over degree programs and produces more PhD’s annually than any other US institution. Student research is encouraged as each year 52% of seniors assist their professors in their research. Berkeley draws students from over nations. During the previous decade, the National Science Foundation granted its students more graduate research fellowships than any other school. The school’s faculty, who benefit from a more than $4 billion endowment, include 42 members of the American Philosophical Society, Faculty Fulbright Scholars, 31 Faculty MacArthur Fellows, and 30 Nobel Prize winners (seven of whom are current faculty members).
University of Edinburgh
Founded in , the University of Edinburgh is one of the oldest schools in the English-speaking world. Its list of historic luminaries includes Adam Smith, David Hume, Charles Darwin, James Clerk Maxwell, and Alexander Graham Bell. The school has also produced heads of state for Malawi, Tanzania, Syria, South Korea, Nicaragua, Canada, and, of course, the United Kingdom. Edinburgh scientists cloned Dolly the sheep (the first cloned mammal). Peter Higgs created the Higgs Boson theory here. This university created the first genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, and helped design the first industrial assembly robot. Students can choose from among degree programs spread throughout disciplines. Edinburgh has the largest proportion of international students of any school in Scotland (two-thirds of the world’s nations are represented in the study body), as well as many foreign exchange programs. Students can enjoy all these opportunities right in the middle of Scotland’s beautiful capital. The school now has a £ million endowment and a £ million operating budget.
Ithaca, New York, U.S.
Cornell University is a sprawling city of science that almost seems out of place amidst the rolling upstate New York countryside surrounding the village of Ithaca (town pop. approx. 10,; gown pop. about twice that). Typically, schools numbering in the tens of thousands are integrated into much larger cities. Thus, Cornell in many ways has both the character of a quaint college nestled in the woods and the endless opportunity characteristic of urban centers. But Cornell is not limited by its beautiful campus. It runs one of the nation’s leading medical schools in New York City. It is also among the most active schools in seeking out international connections. In it started the first American medical school outside the United States, in Qatar, and continues to develop strong ties with China, India, and Singapore. Cornell is building itself into a transnational hub of intellectual inquiry. It has also developed multiple interdisciplinary research centers in nanotechnology, biotechnology, genomics, and supercomputing. Moreover, the university was the first to build entire Colleges for hotel administration, labor relations, and veterinary medicine.
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
The University of Pennsylvania (“Penn”) is an Ivy League school dating back to To this day, it carries on the pragmatic curiosity of its illustrious founder, Benjamin Franklin, in a wide spectrum of fields, and has become an integral part of the history and character of Philadelphia. Penn is extremely diverse. Of the class of , 50 percent of the student body is black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American. The school also has just under international students. The faculty include 84 Academy of Arts and Sciences members, 81 Institute of Medicine members, 33 National Academy of Science members, 31 American Philosophical Society members, Guggenheim Fellowship recipients, and 12 National Academy of Engineering members. These first-class thinkers empower the school’s over research centers and institutes and direct much of its $8 billion endowment. The school has buildings spread over acres, in addition to its own teaching hospital.
Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin is the oldest of Berlin’s four universities. Founded in by Wilhelm von Humboldt, it was the first university to emphasize the unity of research and teaching in addition to the value of research without restrictions. During the Cold War, the university split into the original university in East Berlin and a sister administration called the Free University of Berlin in West Berlin. Today, the two are still linked by a shared medical school. Humboldt prioritizes research in several disciplines and collaborates with other faculties through Integrative Research Institutes and Interdisciplinary Centres. The university has a long history as the preeminent university for the natural sciences. Today, in addition to natural sciences, Humboldt University is also considered one of the finest universities in the world for its disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, cultural studies, mathematics, medicine, and agricultural sciences.
New York University
New York City, New York, U.S.
New York City is filled with great places of learning from secondary schools up through graduate research centers. Nevertheless, even in this extremely wealthy and competitive environment, New York University has earned an impressive reputation second only to Columbia’s. NYU pursues its academic excellence while striving to be as diverse as the city it resides in. Eighty-seven different foreign nations and 48 states are represented in its freshman class alone. NYU also sends more students abroad than any other American school. Even in the present time of economic unpredictability, 83 percent of the graduating class leave with jobs. This number increases to 94 percent employed or in graduate school within six months of commencement. Furthermore, the average starting salary is an impressive $53, Almost half of the graduating class will receive multiple job offers. NYU has also expanded into two foreign countries, with campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. Students can choose from over areas of study and enjoy an intimate student/faculty ratio.
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Northwestern University’s 21, students enjoy three campuses, two of which border Lake Michigan (one in suburban Evanston just north of Chicago, the other in the city itself), while the third is in Doha, Qatar. These campuses house 12 Schools and Colleges. The university employs a prestigious 3, full-time faculty members who currently include a Nobel Prize laureate and several MacArthur Fellowship and Tony Award winners. The university is also known for its 19 teams’ presence within the Big Ten athletic conference. Its $ billion endowment is why the school can afford to utilize more than $ million for research in a given year, and why its library holds over five million books. along with numerous journals and microforms. As is so often the case, this leading research university comes in a pair and benefits from its close proximity to the University of Chicago. The school also runs several major graduate research initiatives, including the Center for Global Health, the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, and the Global and Research Opportunities at Northwestern.
Johns Hopkins University
Many of the schools in this ranking were founded amid humble ambitions; they may have begun as small colleges or places aimed primarily at religious instruction. In contrast, from its very inception its founders wanted Johns Hopkins to be at the forefront of scientific discovery. That is one reason why the school has blossomed into the elite vanguard of research that it now is. Located in Baltimore, the university operates what is widely regarded as the leading medical school in the world, and has received more extramural National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards than any other medical school. This is also why it receives more federal research funds than any competitor. But Johns Hopkins is much more than just a medical school. The university at large also receives more federal research and development funds than any other school, which helps further its prestigious School of Advanced International Studies, Carey Business School, and Whiting School of Engineering. The faculty include 51 American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellows, 61 Institute of Medicine Members, 28 National Academy of Science members, and four Nobel Prize winners.
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The University of Toronto is the leading Canadian research university. Even by the standards of large state schools, this institution is utterly massive with over 80, students, 20, faculty and staff, and , alumni around the world. Students can choose from graduate, 60 professional, and more than undergraduate degree programs spread over three different campuses. The student body represents over nations. The school has 44 libraries with over 21 million holdings, and an operating budget of $ billion; it contributes $ billion to the Canadian economy every year. Toronto has produced no fewer than 10 Nobel Prizes, including the first two from Canada. Given its immense size and resources coupled with the world-class intellects it attracts, it should come as no surprise that Toronto ranks second in North American publications and third in North American citations. Its ample research leads to dozens of new patents every year and many new technological spin-offs.
City University of New York
New York City, New York, U.S.
As its name suggests, City University of New York (CUNY) has actively tried to integrate itself into arguably the world’s most-influential city. It began life in when the school combined the city’s year-old municipal college system into an overarching university. Today, with 24 campuses, 6, full-time faculty, more than 10, part-time faculty, and roughly , students spread across a city with easy access to the United Nations, Wall Street, and a diverse cultural capital, this $3 billion— endowment university exposes its pupils to a world of opportunity. With approximately centers and institutes, the school has produced a Fields Medalist, 13 Nobel laureates, and 21 MacArthur Fellows. The school is also associated with many famous individuals, such as the political figures Secretary of State General Colin Powell and Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the scientist Charlotte Friend, discoverer of the Friend leukemia virus, and the inventor Eli Friedman, developer of the portable dialysis machine.
University of Vienna
Founded in by Rudolph IV, Duke of Austria, the University of Vienna is one of the oldest universities in the world, and one of the most respected among the German-speaking peoples. Over its six-and-a-half-century existence, it has grown large enough to serve 94, students, about a third of whom are international students from over different nations. It offers different degree programs and about 40 continuing education programs. The university also benefits from its location: It is spread across 70 different venues intertwined throughout the Austrian capital. The school has produced 15 Nobel Prizes and maintains a library that houses well over seven million volumes. Not surprisingly, the University of Vienna is the largest university in Austria. Famous alumni and professors include Protestant reformer Huldrych Zwingli; physicists Ernst Mach, Ludwig Boltzmann, Paul Ehrenfest, Erwin Schrödinger, and Lise Meitner; philosophers Franz Brentano, Edmund Husserl, Alexius Meinong, and the “Vienna Circle” (Moritz Schlick, Rudolph Carnap, Otto Neurath, and Karl Popper, among others); mathematician Kurt Gödel; psychologists Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Reich; writers Adalbert Stifter, Stefan Zweig, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Arthur Schnitzler; composer Gustav Mahler; and the economists now known as the “Austrian School of Economics” (principally Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Friedrich von Wieser, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich A. Hayek), as well as Joseph Schumpeter.
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Washington’s $ billion endowment combines with 56, students paying state school tuition via a combination of three campuses and distance learning. This makes the school a profound research center available to the masses. Located in Seattle, the school runs several highly respected professional schools in medicine, engineering, business, and law. But unlike many schools of its size and caliber, Washington does not forget about its undergraduates. They enjoy a low student/teacher ratio, participate in an annual undergraduate research symposium, and boast an impressive 93 percent freshman retention rate. The school has launched multiple prominent social research centers such as the Diversity Research Institute, the Center for Women’s Health and Gender Research, the Institute for Ethnic Studies in the US, and the West Coast Poverty Center. Washington has produced 35 Rhodes Scholars and seven Marshall Scholars. The school spends some $ million on research annually, and has 24 small business development centers and four research and extension centers to help further state-wide agriculture.
Durham, North Carolina, U.S.
Often called the Ivy League of the South, Duke University has some 14, students who enjoy a first-class education in the city of Durham, North Carolina, one of the three vertices of that state’s “research triangle” (the other two being the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh). Duke is especially well known for its two most prestigious professional programs: the first is Duke’s medical program, which includes Duke University Health System, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Duke Hospital, all which work in partnership; the second is its well-rated law school, which consistently ranks among the top 10 in the country, and has never dropped out of the prestigious top Given these two areas of expertise, it is not surprising that Duke runs one of the world’s most sought-after dual JD/MD programs. The school also operates Duke University Press, which publishes about new books each year and maintains 30 academic journals. Duke also preserves acres of pristine woods called Duke Forest, which serves as a natural laboratory.
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, has more people than most armies in history had soldiers. With just under 70, people studying under its instruction, 25, faculty administering that instruction, and an alumni network of over ,, Minnesota’s web of influence has encircled the globe. The giant school, sprawling along the boundary between the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, now impacts Minnesota’s economy to the tune of $ billion annually. This combination of massive financial resources and legions of brilliant minds is why Minnesota has no fewer than research centers and institutes, giving students the opportunity to pursue their passions no matter where they lead. The school has developed an especially successful medical research program through its children’s hospital and biomedical library. Typically, one would expect a school of such size and prominence to be driven solely by publications and patents. The University of Minnesota, however, has maintained a compassionate touch with its giant hands. In addition to its children’s hospital, the school also runs an extremely successful education program for pupils in grades K This allows children and parents, as well as future educators, to learn about learning while learning about everything else; as a result, Minnesota stands at the forefront of education research.
King’s College London
London, England, U.K.
Historically, King’s College London (King’s, or KCL) stood at the forefront of extending higher education to women, as well as to men from the lower social and economic classes. The school has developed and merged with several other respected academic institutions, including the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals (the latter of which created the world’s first professional school for nursing), Chelsea College, Queen Elizabeth College, and the Institute of Psychiatry. Today, this unified conglomerate forms a first-class research university with an endowment exceeding £ million. KCL is connected to 12 Nobel Prizes. It was here that the great Romantic poet John Keats received his training, the civil rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu began his fight against apartheid, and the distinguished Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell conducted his research proving that light, electricity, and magnetism are all different aspects of the same phenomenon.
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Texas is one of the fastest-growing regions in the US with an ever -increasing population and business potential. The University of Texas at Austin has become the flagship university of the larger, state-wide University of Texas System, which contains nine universities and six medical schools. It is considered one of the public Ivy League schools. Its endowment is $ billion, and its research allowance approaches $ million. There are 17 libraries and seven museums on campus. Moreover, the university, which is affiliated with nine Nobel Prize winners, runs the McDonald Observatory. The school’s faculty have also earned honors such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Wolf Prize, and the National Medal of Science. The University of Texas is very successful in the athletic arena, as well, where it competes within the well-known Big 12 Conference. Here, 51, students and 24, faculty and staff pursue the love of learning.
University College London
London, England, U.K.
With almost 39, students from over countries, University College London (UCL) is the third-largest school in the U.K., and its more than 20, graduate students give it the largest collection of such students in the country. Founded in , it is also the third-oldest U.K. school. It was founded on the principles of social philosopher Jeremy Bentham, one of the principal creators of modern Utilitarianism. Not surprisingly, it became the first university to admit women on an equal basis with men, in It was also the first university in Britain to welcome students of any religious creed. UCL is affiliated with 30 Nobel Prizes — making it the leading school in that category within the University of London network of schools — as well as three Fields Medals. Famous alumni include five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Mohandas K. (“Mahatma”) Gandhi, and co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA, Francis Crick. University College London also operates campuses in the countries of Qatar and Australia.
London School of Economics
London, England, U.K.
The London School of Economics and Political Science (to give its full name) is the U.K.’s only social science— based university. As its name suggests, the school produces substantial research related to money and society. It has an entire department dedicated to the specialist field of economic history and runs many research centers such as the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, the International Growth Centre, the Financial Markets Group, and the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion. The university is exceptionally cosmopolitan with over languages spoken on campus, nations represented, and over 70 percent international students (the highest in Britain), thus making it arguably the most diverse school in the world. Furthermore, the London School of Economics has access to the vibrant city lifestyle and numerous neighboring schools surrounding it. The school was founded in and now serves well over 10, students and employs almost 1, academic staff.
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
The University of Wisconsin at Madison is a large public school of 40, students in 13 Schools and Colleges; it has a more than $2 billion endowment, which has enabled it to rank as high as third in the US for research expenditures. Speaking of its impressive budget, the school has recently invested a lot of money into building new facilities. In it built the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, which is designed for biomedical research. In it added a ,square-foot addition to its Human Ecology Building. And in it opened the Wisconsin Energy Institute for advancing alternative energy technology. But the University of Wisconsin at Madison represents more than state-of-the-art facilities. For over years this school has developed a tradition of public service. Moreover, from a vast collection of research programs directed towards solving important empirical problems, the school’s Morgridge Center for Public Service has also engaged numerous social issues, such as poverty, inequality, and globalization.
University of Göttingen
The University of Göttingen was founded in in the German city of the same name. It supports 31, students and 4, academic staff. The school is connected to no fewer than 40 Nobel Prizes and has a more than € billion budget. It participates in multiple prestigious university affiliations, such as the German Universities Excellence Initiative and the Coimbra Group. The school also maintains close ties with the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (the pioneering physicist was associated with the university and is buried in the town of Göttingen) and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community. Its eight-million-unit library is one of the largest in all Germany. Numerous luminaries from intellectual history have graced its halls, from sociologist Max Weber, physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, and mathematician Emmy Noether, to statesman Otto von Bismarck and the pioneering folklorists, the Brothers Grimm. The school has 13 facilities and 47 centers and institutes.
University of Glasgow
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Founded by Pope Nicholas V in , Scotland’s University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world. It was one of the first universities in the 19th century to educate students from the urban and middle classes instead of only the wealthy. The University of Glasgow is currently a member of Universitas 21, the Russell Group, and the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities. The university comprises four colleges: The College of Arts; the College of Science and Engineering; the College of Medical, Veterinary, and Life Sciences; and the College of Social Sciences. Students from over countries attend the University of Glasgow; they are drawn by its focus on interdisciplinary education and research.
University of California – Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
With over 72, applications for the fall alone, UCLA receives more applications than any other school in America. This is all the more impressive when one considers that the institution was only founded in , as a two-year, undergraduate teacher training program. Now, the university has produced 13 Nobel laureates, 12 Rhodes Scholars, 12 MacArthur Fellows, 10 National Medal of Science winners, three Pulitzer Prize winners, and a Fields Medalist. UCLA has also produced numerous athletic achievements, with over NCAA championships, professional athletes, dominance over the No. 1 pick in the major league drafts, and Olympic medals. With a roughly $3 billion endowment and a budget exceeding $ billion, UCLA has recovered rapidly from the financial crisis. Its substantial research funds are part of the reason why over companies have been created based on technology developed at UCLA.
Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College Dublin was first established by Queen Elizabeth I in Although modeled after the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, only one college was established. Graduates of Trinity College can receive equivalent degrees at either Oxford or Cambridge without further examination. Trinity College boasts a liberal environment with diverse interdisciplinary fields of study. Students who attend Trinity can choose from over societies and sports clubs as well as pursuing a degree in any of the major disciplines in the arts and humanities, business, law, engineering, science, and health sciences. The college also houses the Book of Kells, a medieval manuscript that documents the four Gospels of Jesus Christ; visitors from around the world come to view it. The Library of Trinity College is also a legal deposit library for Ireland and Great Britain and contains over million books and manuscripts.
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Any school can assign you a textbook to read on your own. Real research universities pride themselves on giving you the opportunity to work alongside the leaders in their respective fields who write those textbooks. Of course, in order to do this efficiently, a school needs a decent student/faculty ratio. Few schools can beat Caltech’s ratio, which is one of the many reasons why this relatively young institution, located in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, has risen so quickly to international prominence. Its faculty includes 37 Nobel laureates, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 13 National Medal of Technology and Innovation recipients, and National Academies members. But to gain access to this prestigious collection of brilliant professors, you will have to be the best of the best. Nearly 7, applicants compete to be one of the to members of the freshman class, which is why 98 percent of the student body graduated in the top 10 percent of their class. These students and teachers also study and conduct research at some of the school’s world-famous research centers, such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Seismological Laboratory, and the International Observatory Network.
Pennsylvania State University
State College, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Even by the standards of world-class state-run research universities, the Pennsylvania State University System (“Penn State”) is utterly massive. It takes 24 campuses to fit its nearly , students and 9, faculty statewide. Its flagship campus alone, University Park, with an enrollment of about 48, undergraduate and graduate students, is one of the largest in the country. The university also runs one of the largest graduate schools in the US, and cycles through more than $2 million in research every day. In addition to the over $ million spent annually on research, Penn State also generates $ million in industry and private funding each year. It has a $ billion endowment and a $ billion budget. Its hospital, with integrated medical school, treats over one million patients each year. Penn State’s over half-million alumni have access to the largest dues-required alumni association in the US with over branches across the globe. The school also runs an online campus and the world’s largest student-organized and -led philanthropic society.
The University of Munich — or, to give it its official name, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München — is a leading European research university over half a millennium in age. It was chosen by the German government’s Excellence Initiative as a “university of excellence.” Six thousand academic staff members conduct research via its many laboratories and medical facilities. Unlike many younger schools, which have a far stronger tendency to focus on the hard sciences, the University of Munich also maintains an impressive emphasis on the humanities. For example, it has two separate theology departments, one Protestant and the other Catholic, that work side by side with its philosophy department. Half of Munich’s 18 faculties are dedicated to studying various aspects of culture. The school offers subjects for its 51, students, five percent (about 6,) of whom are foreign students. The school’s operating budget is an impressive € billion, which leaves plenty of room to still focus on the hard sciences. This is why Munich has produced 36 Nobel Prizes, and has 1, doctors treating over , patients each year.
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Ohio State University’s main campus is in the state capital of Columbus, one of the most prosperous places in the US. The school is also one of the top public universities in the US with 59, students (plus an additional 7, spread across other campuses) in majors, specializations, various graduate and professional schools, and over 1, extracurricular activities and internships. This makes Ohio State the third-largest university in the United States. The school has a $ billion endowment, and is one of the few schools with land, sea, and space grants. It also runs several major medical research centers, such as the Arthur James Cancer Hospital and the Heart and Lung Research Institute. Its faculty includes a Nobel Prize winner, and since the university has always been either first or second among American schools for the number of faculty members affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Athletes from Ohio State University have won Olympic medals, including 44 gold, 35 silver, and 21 bronze.
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Nestled in the historic town of Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University is the seventh-oldest school in the US. This beautiful community is a federally listed architectural district with a high concentration of vintage buildings, which gives Brown a collegial atmosphere. But despite its long history, this Ivy League school has maintained a relatively small, intimate setting with over 9, undergraduate, graduate, and medical school students, as well as more than faculty members. The university nevertheless boldly marches into the future: Brown files for close to patents a year. Given the school’s small student size, its impressive $ billion endowment produces a tremendous amount of resources per student. Brown Library’s special collections alone hold over three million items of rare and historic value. The university is affiliated with eight Nobel Prize laureates, five National Humanities medalists, 10 National Medal of Science winners, 55 Rhodes Scholars, 52 Gates Cambridge Scholars, 49 Marshall Scholars, 19 Pulitzer Prize winners, 12 MacArthur Fellows, and 54 members of Congress.
Leipzig University, in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, emphasizes three strategic research fields that cover the humanities and social sciences, the life sciences, and the natural sciences. The university was initially founded in and has been engaged in teaching and research since its creation. It houses one of the oldest German university libraries, the University Library of Leipzig, which contains historical and special collections that are nationally and internationally renowned. The university itself comprises 38 locations in Leipzig; the main buildings remain located in the same spots as the original buildings built in Students at Leipzig University can earn degrees in over study programs. The student body is diverse, due to not only the range of available subjects, but also due to multiple colleges and universities located in the city of Leipzig. Student activities and organizations include an annual dance festival, a book fair, and sports training opportunities.
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Although the University of Southern California (USC), located in Los Angeles, is a relatively young school among such prestigious company, it is the oldest private school in the western US, and has become one of the premier universities in America. USC enrolls more international students than any other American university. It has 42, students, almost 24, of whom are seeking graduate or professional training, and has an impressive $ billion endowment, which leads to a $ billion budget. USC has produced many noteworthy alumni, such as Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. It is also affiliated with Olympic medals. The school’s faculty can boast of six Nobel Prizes, three National Medals of Science, three National Medals of Technology, and five MacArthur Fellowships, and has contributed 97 Members to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Also, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has nominated at least one USC graduate every year since the creation of the Academy Awards in
University of Manchester
Manchester, England, U.K.
The University of Manchester’s 38, students and over 4, academic and research staff make this school the largest single-campus university in the United Kingdom. The school has many illustrious honors to its name, including 25 Nobel laureates. Several famous scientific experiments were performed here, including Ernest Rutherford’s celebrated experiment demonstrating the nuclear model of the atom by bouncing alpha particles off of the nuclei of the atoms in a sheet of gold foil. Also, Alan Turing continued his earlier foundational work in the theory of computation and artificial intelligence here, while also developing software for one of the world’s first true computers, which was built at Manchester. This university is also responsible for the discovery of graphene. The Research Assessment Exercise found nearly two-thirds of Manchester’s work to be either world-leading or internationally excellent. Over 90 percent of graduates directly enter employment or further studies. And as if all this success were not enough, Manchester has just invested £ million into upgrading its facilities, and plans to spend a further £1 billion by This will be the greatest amount of money ever invested into any British university.
Founded in , Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest research university. The school has also used a combination of research-based teaching and effective doctoral training to become one of Europe’s most respected science schools. Heidelberg focuses on four broad areas of research: molecular and cellular biology; material structure and pattern formation; global culture; and self-organization and -regulation. The university also runs the interdisciplinary Marsilius Kolleg (MK) center for advanced study, and works alongside independent research centers, including the German Cancer Research Center and the Max Plank Institute. The school’s 30, students study and work in 12 different faculties and can choose from different programs. This incredibly wide range of topics of study is unparalleled in Germany, and further enhances the institution’s ability to do interdisciplinary research. Heidelberg is also plugged into a worldwide collection of over research universities. It is a member of the League of European Research Universities, the Coimbra Group, and the European University Association. The school also has a satellite campus in Chile, and offers courses in various other locations. Roughly 20 percent of both the student body and the researchers are international. The school is also connected to a staggering 56 Nobel Prizes, as well as numerous other faculty awards.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.
As the oldest public school in America, the University of North Carolina (UNC) combines the long-standing traditions and prestige of a private school with the large-scale appeal of a big state school. It has roughly 30, students served by nearly 4, faculty and over 8, administrative staff and spread out across 17 campuses. Students at the flagship campus of Chapel Hill routinely partake in study abroad programs in 70 countries. UNC also cycles through a staggering number of research dollars. The National Institutes of Health gave North Carolina over $ million in , while another $ million was awarded to various UNC centers and institutes. Altogether, the university spends close to a billion dollars on research supporting over 10, researchers, professors, scientists, and various other UNC staff. Chapel Hill has a $ billion annual operating budget. The UNC School of Medicine partners with NC Memorial Hospital, NC Children’s Hospital, NC Neurosciences Hospital, NC Women’s Hospital, and NC Cancer Hospital.
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
University of Pittsburgh (“Pitt”) is an urban campus with more than buildings on acres of land. At the center of the campus lies the Cathedral of Learning, a story, Gothic-style tower that is also the tallest school building in the Western Hemisphere. Almost 5, faculty train roughly 29, pupils here, including over 10, graduate students. The school’s classrooms enjoy an impressive student/faculty ratio. Pitt has a long list of scientific accomplishments: Its research is responsible for developing the polio vaccine, synthesizing insulin, performing the world’s first double transplant operation, and identifying the most-distant known galaxy. The university has also benefited greatly from a close relationship with the Pittsburgh Medical Center, and stands near the internationally renowned Carnegie Mellon University. The university has an annual operating budget of $ billion, about $1 billion of which is dedicated to research. The University of Pittsburgh is a member of the Association of American Universities.
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland, U.S.
The University of Maryland is the premier public school in its state. The school’s flagship College Park campus benefits from its location just four miles outside of Washington, DC. Thirty-nine thousand students study there alongside of 10, faculty and staff. The school’s alumni network includes over , people. The school is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university. These grants integrate the university into funding and research opportunities connected to agriculture, marine life, and space exploration, all which feed into the school’s impressive $ million endowment and $ billion budget. Students here can study different undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees. Maryland runs several research initiatives relevant to politics and social issues, such as the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism and the Center for American Politics and Citizenship. Maryland also spearheads research in the hard sciences through the Space Systems Laboratory and the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering.
Leiden University is a well-respected school in the Netherlands. The university, which has 27, students coming from nations, along with 1, academic staff, offers 46 bachelor’s and 73 master’s programs. Seven different graduate schools offer the Ph.D. degree, as well. Leiden focuses on 11 broad disciplines: Asia; bioscience, neuroscience, and the fundamentals of science; global community; historical culture and power; health and the human life cycle; legal systems; language; political legitimacy; institutions and identities; drug development; vascular and regenerative medicine. Leiden University has gained inclusion in the prestigious League of European Research Universities. It also collaborates with Leiden’s Bio Science Park, which includes more than 70 specialized life science businesses. Leiden has produced a long list of leaders, including US President John Quincy Adams, Ghana Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia, and U.K. Prime Minister John Stuart, Third Earl of Bute. Sixteen individuals affiliated with Leiden University have won the Nobel Prize, 21 have won Spinoza Prizes, and a dozen have become Vici Award laureates.
University of Bucharest
The second oldest university in Romania is the University of Bucharest, a public university founded in The Romanian Ministry of Education classifies it as an advanced research and education university. Students there can obtain a bachelor’s degree in one of almost majors. There are 20 faculties that cover fields such as the natural sciences, the humanities, the social sciences, and theology. Acceptance is competitive, with 30, candidates vying for only 8, places. Graduate students may wish to undertake Bucharest’s master’s or doctoral programs, which are internationally recognized and accepted. The university does not have a single campus but rather has multiple buildings throughout Bucharest. This allows students to see many aspects of the city on their way to their classes. The University of Bucharest also has partnership agreements with over 50 other universities and participates in European programs that include ERASMUS, UNICA, Lingua, and TEMPRA. The university contains a publishing house and various research institutes and groups, such as the Institute for Political Research, the Center for Byzantine Studies, and the Center for Nuclear Research.
The University of Tokyo
The University of Tokyo is not only the leading school in Japan, it is also one of the leading schools in all Asia. It has made many strides to become an internationally renowned research center: for example, in the university developed PEAK, or “Programs in English at Komaba,” and now attracts students from over nations. It also runs numerous research institutes studying multiple fields, including medical science, earthquakes, Asian cultures, molecular bioscience, cosmic ray research, solid-state physics, and environmental science, and has produced 11 Nobel Prize winners and one Fields Medalist. The university has also fully utilized its strategic location in the world’s largest city, and has had a major impact on the domestic front. Fifteen Japanese prime ministers have come from here. In fact, the school’s influence on the Japanese government has been so extensive that former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa felt the need to order government agencies to reduce the percentage of University of Tokyo alumni on their staffs to under 50 percent in order to promote diversity.
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida, U.S.
The University of Florida has grown substantially since its humble beginnings as a small seminary. Now, the school, whose flagship campus is in Gainesville, enrolls 55, students and is home to 16 colleges and over research centers and institutes. The university has more than 5, faculty members with impressive credentials. They include 34 Eminent Scholar chairs and over 60 elections to one of the national academies. The school also boasts a Fields Medal, two Pulitzer Prizes, the Smithsonian Institution’s conservation award, two Nobel Prizes, and NASA’s top research award. The university spends $ million on research. Gatorade, the original and still most-popular sports drink, is one of the hundreds of products developed from research conducted here. The school has research relationships with groups like Scripps Florida, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, and the Moffitt Cancer Center. The Astronomy Department is especially known for its contribution to telescope technology. The school also holds one of the world’s largest butterfly and moth collections (over nine million specimens and counting). The University of Florida produces $ million worth of commerce, and every state dollar given to the school produces a $15 return.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
In the modern world, many marvel at the technological advances of science. Illinois prides itself on a deep commitment to this progress through the kind of interdisciplinary research done at the Applied Research Institute, which brings together a wide assortment of engineers, or the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, which unites a wide variety of fields such as biology, computation, and physics, or the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which helps propagate the university’s nearly $2 billion endowment. Yet, the school also utilizes more-focused research programs. Among Illinois’s many more-specialized initiatives are the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the European Union Center. This is why the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has produced 24 Nobel laureates and 26 Pulitzer Prize winner. Famous Illinois alumni include many wealthy, successful people such as Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and two of YouTube’s three founders.
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Established in , Moscow State University (MSU) is in Russia’s capital, one of the premier cities of the world. It has over 47, students, 5, specialists who do refresher courses, and 6, professors and lecturers. About 4, international students come to Moscow University each year. It has 1, buildings and structures with eight dormitories. Its library holds nine million books, two million of which are in foreign languages. The school has an extremely decorated faculty and alumni network that includes 11 Nobel laureates and six Fields Medalists. Several famous politicians and activists like Mikhail Gorbachev, Yevgeny Primakov, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and Anna Politkovskaya have been affiliated with MSU, as well as numerous distinguished scientists, such as Alexander Oparin, Andrey Kolmogorov, and Andrei Sakharov; several highly accomplished dramatists, filmmakers, and actors, including Vsevolod Meyerhold, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and Sergei Bodrov, Jr; and many famous writers, such as Mikhail Lermontov, Ivan Turgenev, Anton Chekhov, Boris Pasternak, and Varlam Shalamov. The school has some of the most sophisticated scientific equipment and training in Russia, including the UNESCO courses in International Demography, UNESCO Hydrology, the International Biotechnology Center, and the International LASER Center. MSU also houses Russia’s largest supercomputer. In addition to its Moscow campus, MSU also offers classes in the former Soviet republics, now sovereign countries, of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The University of British Columbia consistently ranks among the world’s top 40 research universities, and likewise among the top 20 public universities. The school has produced seven Nobel laureates, 65 Olympic medalists, and 70 Rhodes Scholars. Both Kim Campbell and Charles Joseph Clark, two of Canada’s prime ministers, graduated from UBC. The school’s great size (over 63, students and 5, faculty) contributes to its vast alumni network of over , people spread out over countries. The school has a C$ billion operating budget and produces C$ billion worth of economic impact on a yearly basis. Currently, different companies have spun off of UBC research. The school is spread across two campuses, the larger of which rests in Vancouver and is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. The second campus is in the city of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley. UBC’s more than ample library system has 15 divisions housing more than seven million items.
University of Copenhagen
Founded in , the University of Copenhagen
Best Value UniversityForbes Magazine,
In (the most recent ranking), Forbes evaluates colleges and universities based on alumni earnings, net price, net student debt, school quality, timely graduation and the number of Pell Grant recipients.
Forbes revised its methodology in to put more emphasis on the survey’s three financial factors — earnings, price and debt — and the publication switched to net price (which takes into account the impact of students’ financial aid and the costs of room and board) instead of list price.
Top American Research UniversitiesCenter for Measuring University Performance,
In (the most recent ranking), the center placed UCLA among the nation’s top research universities — both public and private. This ranking focuses on nine key measures of university research performance, including competitively awarded research grants and contracts, faculty membership in the National Academies, faculty awards, the number of doctorates awarded and other factors. UCLA was ranked in the top 25 among all research universities in seven of these measures, including:
- 7th in the nation in total research expenditures
- 8th in the nation in faculty awards
- 14th in the nation in national academy memberships
Top-Ranked Doctoral Research ProgramsNational Research Council,
In (the most recent ranking), the National Research Council (NRC) compiled the premier assessment of the nation’s doctoral research programs. The NRC placed many of UCLA’s programs in its highest ranks. Of the 59 programs evaluated by the NRC, 40 of UCLA’s graduate programs placed in the range of the top 10 programs nationwide.
The University of Southern California is a private research university located near the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
Unlike the sprawling Beverly Hills-adjacent UCLA, USC’s urban University Park campus is located in Downtown LA’s Arts and Education Corridor. Its Health Sciences campus, including the Keck School of Medicine, sits just northeast of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA).
USC prides itself on having the resources of a large research institution with the student-centered culture of a liberal arts school. Despite a relatively large undergraduate enrollment of 19, students, it boasts an average class size of 26 students and an student to faculty ratio.
USC offers over different majors and concentrations, with countless scholarly research opportunities offered to undergrads. In keeping with its liberal arts-ish culture, USC emphasizes interdisciplinary thinking and encourages students to double major in seemingly unrelated subjects (Business Management and Cinema Studies is one popular combination). It’s also famous for its connection to the entertainment industry and Hollywood.
Every student must take a freshman seminar, a literary course, and two global perspective courses that teach students about global social responsibility. Students can also participate in USC Global, which offers one of the best study abroad selections of any U.S. university with over 50 programs on 5 different continents.
USC has made a lot of progress on its financial aid program, but it still has the reputation of a private school attended by mostly children from affluent families and remains a very expensive option with a total price tag of around $, over four years. Adding to that expense, many students and former students say it’s necessary to have a car.
If your child is interested in a large research university but still wants the student-centered support system and interdisciplinary thinking of a much smaller school, USC may be the one for them.
(Further reading: How to Get Into USC)
USC vs. UCLA: School experience
The primary difference between UCLA and USC is that the first is a public institution while the second is private. That means that UCLA is primarily funded through state government allocations and USC money is from student tuition and private donors. This may not sound like much, but it makes a difference in comparing tuition and financial aid packages. Tuition at UCLA is significantly less expensive than tuition at USC, especially if your child is a California resident.
When taking into account the total cost of attendance (i.e. tuition, room, board, and fees), the yearly sticker price at USC is around $45, higher than it is for California residents attending UCLA. Even for out-of-state students, UCLA is nearly $20, cheaper than USC.
However, both schools have need-blind admissions practices, which means they do not consider your family’s financial status when evaluating the merit of your child’s application. And if your child is accepted, both schools commit to meeting percent of your demonstrated financial need.
There are some discrepancies in student culture. For instance, UCLA’s student body is more diverse than USC, though USC has more international students. And then there’s the culture of California itself. Less than half of USC’s undergraduates hail from the Golden State, whereas more than 75 percent of UCLA undergrads are California residents.
USC also has a much more prominent culture of Greek life than UCLA—more than a quarter of both men and women at USC participate in sororities and fraternities.
Both schools have strong NCAA sports programs, as well as a historic football rivalry. But USC has a stronger sports-oriented school culture and a rabidly supportive alumni fan base.
Since we’re talking about Los Angeles, the cost of living is expensive at both institutions. The area around UCLA is much more expensive than the area around USC, but the school also guarantees three years of housing for students. (At USC, most leave student housing after freshman year.)
USC vs. UCLA: Admissions
UCLA and USC use two different application systems. Since UCLA is part of the UC system, it uses theUC Application. USC, on the other hand, uses the Common App.
If your child decides to apply to UCLA, they should take advantage of the UC application (not to mention the application fee!) and apply to other schools in the UC system. The UC Application is different than the Common App, and includes a series of special short-format essays known as “personal insight questions” rather than the traditional personal statement essay.
There’s are a couple other crucial components to UC applications. First, admissions teams will only consider in-state applications from students who have a GPA, and out-of-state applications from students with a GPA. USC doesn’t have a cutoff.
Second, UC schools no longer consider the SAT or ACT in their admissions processes. On the other hand, while USC is currently test-optional due to the coronavirus pandemic, we can assume that standardized tests will be required in future admissions cycles.
In terms of selectivity, the schools rank fairly equally—UCLA has a percent acceptance rate (getting more competitive every year) and USC’s acceptance rate is percent. But remember: 75 percent of UCLA students are in-state applicants, so if your child is applying as an out of state applicant, admission will be especially challenging.
Overall, it may be harder to get admitted to UCLA if your child is not a California resident than USC. If they have the good fortune of being a Californian, it might be a bit easier to be admitted to UCLA than USC.
Both UCLA and USC are great choices for high-achieving students interested in attending a large research-oriented university (including those looking for a great premed school in California).
As you navigate the college process or help your child make their final decision on where to matriculate, take some time to figure out what’s most important—school culture, class size, or particular courses of study? If your child knows they want to study business management or enter the film industry, or if they prefer smaller classes, USC would be a better option. But if they don’t mind big lecture halls, are set on a STEM field, and skip out on football games for academics, UCLA could be a more ideal fit.
In any case, we recommend a college visit to both schools if possible. It’s always good to give your child a chance to soak up the in-person atmosphere—plus, a weekend in the California sunshine never hurts.
University of Southern California
Private university in Los Angeles, California
For other universities also known as USC, see USC.
|Motto||Latin: Palmam qui meruit ferat|
|Let whoever earns the palm bear it|
|Established||October6, ; years ago()|
|Endowment||$ billion ()|
|Budget||$ billion ()|
University Park campus
Health Sciences campus
79 acres (km2)
|Colors||Cardinal and Gold|
|NCAA Division IFBS – Pac|
ACHA(ice hockey), MPSF
The University of Southern California (USC, SC, or Southern Cal[a]) is a privateresearch university in Los Angeles, California. Founded in by Robert M. Widney, it is the oldest private research university in California.
The university is composed of one liberal arts school, the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and twenty-two undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, enrolling an average of 19, undergraduate and 26, post-graduate students from all fifty U.S. states and more than countries. USC is ranked among the top universities in the United States and admission to its programs is highly selective.
USC was one of the earliest nodes on ARPANET and is the birthplace of the Domain Name System. Other technologies invented at USC include DNA computing, dynamic programming, image compression, VoIP, and antivirus software.
USC's notable alumni include 11 Rhodes scholars and 12 Marshall scholars. As of January , 10 Nobel laureates, six MacArthur Fellows, and one Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the university. USC has conferred degrees upon 29 alumni who became billionaires, and has graduated more alumni who have gone on to win Academy and Emmy Awards than any other institution in the world by a significant margin, in part due to the success of the School of Cinematic Arts.
USC sponsors a variety of intercollegiate sports and competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a member of the Pac Conference. Members of USC's sports teams, the Trojans, have won NCAA team championships, ranking them third in the United States, and NCAA individual championships, ranking them third in the United States and second among NCAA Division I schools. As of , Trojan athletes have won medals at the Olympic Games ( golds, 96 silvers and 77 bronzes), more than any other university in the United States. In , it joined the Association of American Universities. USC has had a total of football players drafted to the National Football League, the second-highest number of drafted players in the country.
The University of Southern California is the largest private employer in the Los Angeles area and generates an estimated $8 billion of economic impact on California.
Foundation and early years
The University of Southern California was founded following the efforts of Judge Robert M. Widney, who helped secure donations from several key figures in early Los Angeles history - a Protestant nurseryman, Ozro Childs, an Irish Catholic former governor, John Gately Downey, and a German Jewish banker, Isaias W. Hellman. The three donated lots of land to establish the campus and provided the necessary seed money for the construction of the first buildings. Originally operated in affiliation with the Methodist Church, the school mandated from the start that "no student would be denied admission because of race". The university is no longer affiliated with any church, having severed formal ties in When USC opened in , tuition was $ per term, and students were not allowed to leave town without the knowledge and consent of the university president. The school had an enrollment of 53 students and a faculty of The city lacked paved streets, electric lights, telephones, and a reliable fire-alarm system. Its first graduating class in was a class of three—two males and female valedictorian Minnie C. Miltimore.
The colors of USC are cardinal and gold, which were approved by USC's third president, the Reverend George W. White, in In , the shade of gold, which was originally more of an orange color, was changed to a more yellow shade. The letterman's awards were the first to make the change.[d]
USC students and athletes are known as Trojans, epitomized by the Trojan Shrine, nicknamed "Tommy Trojan", near the center of campus. Until , USC students (especially athletes) were known as Fighting Methodists or Wesleyans, though neither name was approved by the university. During a fateful track and field meet with Stanford University, the USC team was beaten early and seemingly conclusively. After only the first few events, it seemed implausible USC would ever win, but the team fought back, winning many of the later events, to lose only by a slight margin. After this contest, Los Angeles Times sportswriter Owen Bird reported the USC athletes "fought on like the Trojans of antiquity", and the president of the university at the time, George F. Bovard, approved the name officially.
During World War II, USC was one of colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V Navy College Training Program, which offered students a path to a Navy commission.
USC is responsible for $8 billion in economic output in Los Angeles County; USC students spend $ million yearly in the local economy, and visitors to the campus add another $ million.
Recognizing that China–United States relations would play a great role in shaping the 21st century, in , USC established the USC U.S.-China Institute (USCI). Known for its conferences, speakers series, training programs, publications, and documentaries, USCI works to inform public discussion with policy-relevant research and timely programming. It publishes US-China Today and is widely known for its twelve-part Assignment:China documentary series on how China has been covered by American journalists since the s. In , the U.S. government and the USA Pavilion organizers asked USCI to manage the recruitment, selection, training and supervision of the students selected to staff the pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.
Concerns and controversies
On May 1, , USC was named as one of many higher-education institutions under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights for potential Title IX violations by Barack Obama's White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. USC is also under a concurrent Title IX investigation for potential antimale bias in disciplinary proceedings, as well as denial of counseling resources to male students, as of 8March[update]. In , USC was ordered to pay $, in legal fees to a male student accused of rape after the Title IX investigation run by Gretchen Means Gaspari was deemed unfair. In , USC was penalized for its faulty Title IX processes by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
In , the university came into the national spotlight when the Los Angeles Times published information about Carmen A. Puliafito, the dean of USC's medical school. After accusations of drug use, he resigned from his position as dean in and was fired from the school the following year after the news stories were published. His medical license was subsequently suspended pending a decision whether it should be terminated. On August 17, , his license G in the State of California was revoked based on discipline orders. In , USC lost accreditation for their joint-run fellowship program in cardiovascular disease.
To replace Puliafito, USC named Rohit Varma as dean of Keck School of Medicine of USC, but in , Varma resigned after it came to light that USC had disciplined him for inappropriate behavior 15 years earlier.
The following year, the Los Angeles Times broke another story about USC focusing on George Tyndall, a gynecologist accused of abusing 52 patients at USC. The reports span from to , and include using racist and sexual language, conducting exams without gloves, and taking pictures of his patients' genitals. Inside Higher Ed noted that "other incidents in which the university is perceived to have failed to act on misconduct by powerful officials" have occurred, when it reported that the university's president, C. L. Max Nikias, was resigning. Tyndall was fired in after reaching a settlement with the university. The school did not report him to state medical authorities or law enforcement at the time, though the LAPD is now investigating Tyndall. As of June 1, , people had contacted a special hotline to receive complaints about the doctor. On October 18, nearly women were reported to have filed new lawsuits against the university, bringing the number of accusations up to over current and former students. USC agreed to pay $ million as a settlement after hundreds of women claimed the school did not address their complaints. In , Nikias reportedly received $ million as an exit package, including $, for his wife, Niki Nikias, as "first lady". On 25 March , USC and a group of women suing the university announced that they had reached an $ million settlement, the largest sexual abuse settlement against any university. This brought the total value of the Tyndall settlements to over $ billion.
In , Dennis Kelly resigned as men's health physician at USC after almost 20 years. The following year, he was accused by six male graduate students of inappropriate conduct. By , 49 accusations of misconduct had been made against Dr. Kelly, all by gay or bisexual students and former students.
USC was one of several universities involved in the college admissions bribery scandal. On March 12, , three coaches and one athletic director were charged with having accepted bribes from wealthy families in return for fraudulently facilitating their children's admission to USC. Among the 12 university personnel charged for their involvement in the scandal nationwide, four were associated with USC.
In , an assistant professor in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Erick Guerrero, resigned due to allegations of an affair with a student. In , USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Dean Marilyn Flynn moved to a "new role" after allegations of inappropriate financial transactions. In , Interim President Wanda Austin fired USC Marshall School of Business Dean James Ellis for the large number of complaints about harassment in his 12 years as dean. In , USC School of Dramatic Arts Dean David Bridel resigned after admitting to an affair with an undergraduate.
In , the head of the Title IX Office, Gretchen Means Gaspari, left USC after a whistleblower suit was filed alleging that USC had been involved in "the systematic destruction of investigative records, including the deletion of a 'preservation file' related to George Tyndall". Means Gaspari was also accused of "retaliating against the attorney for reporting that her own husband, John Gaspari, was convicted of misusing graphic photographs involving another woman". John Gaspari was the executive director of USC's Center for Work and Family Life from to , and he received the President's Award for Staff Achievement from Nikias in He was "convicted of misusing graphic photographs involving another woman" and fired from USC in 
The University Park campus is in the University Park district of Los Angeles, 2 miles (km) southwest of downtown Los Angeles. The campus's boundaries are Jefferson Boulevard on the north and northeast, Figueroa Street on the southeast, Exposition Boulevard on the south, and Vermont Avenue on the west. Since the s, through-campus vehicle traffic has been either severely restricted or entirely prohibited on some thoroughfares. The University Park campus is within walking distance to Los Angeles landmarks such as the Shrine Auditorium and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which is operated and managed by the University. Most buildings are in the Romanesque Revival style, although some dormitories, engineering buildings, and physical sciences labs are of various Modernist styles (especially two large Brutalist dormitories at the campus's northern edge) that sharply contrast with the predominantly red-brick campus. Widney Alumni House, built-in , is the oldest university building in Southern California. In recent years the campus has been renovated to remove the vestiges of old roads and replace them with traditional university quads and gardens. The historic portion of the main campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in
Besides its main campus at University Park, USC also operates the Health Sciences Campus about 2 miles (km) northeast of downtown. In addition, the Children's Hospital Los Angeles is staffed by USC faculty from the Keck School of Medicine, and is often referred to as USC's third campus. USC also operates an Orange County center in Irvine for business, pharmacy, social work, and education, and the Information Sciences Institute, with centers in Arlington, Virginia, and Marina del Rey. For its science students, USC operates the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies on Catalina Island just 20 miles (32km) off the coast of Los Angeles, and home to the Philip K. Wrigley Marine Science Center.
The Price School of Public Policy also runs a satellite campus in Sacramento. In , USC established a federal relations office in Washington, DC. A Health Sciences Alhambra campus holds the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program, the Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research (IPR), and the Masters in Public Health Program.
USC was developed under two master plans drafted and implemented some 40 years apart. The first was prepared by the Parkinsons in , which guided much of the campus's early construction and established its Romanesque style and degree building orientation.
The second and largest master plan was prepared in under the supervision of President Norman Topping, campus development director Anthony Lazzaro, and architect William Pereira. This plan annexed a great deal of the surrounding city, and many of the older nonuniversity structures within the new boundaries were leveled. Most of the Pereira buildings were constructed in the s. Pereira maintained a predominantly red-brick architecture for the new buildings, but infused them with his trademark technomodernism stylings. More recently under President C. L. Max Nikias, the architectural orientation of the campus has moved towards a Gothic Revival style, taking cues from the scholastic styles of Oxford University and Harvard University, while underpinning USC's own historic identity that is present in the red-brick construction.
USC's role in making visible and sustained improvements in the neighborhoods surrounding both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses earned it the distinction of College of the Year by the Time/Princeton Review College Guide.
Roughly half of the university's students volunteer in community-service programs in neighborhoods around campus and throughout Los Angeles. These outreach programs, as well as previous administrations' commitment to remaining in South Los Angeles amid widespread calls to move the campus following the Watts Riots, are credited for the safety of the university during the Los Angeles Riots. (That the university emerged from the riots completely unscathed is all the more remarkable in light of the complete destruction of several strip malls in the area, including one just across Vermont Avenue from the campus's western security fence.)
The ZIP Code for USC is and that of the surrounding University Park community is
USC has an endowment of $ billion and carries out about $ million per year in sponsored research. USC became the only university to receive eight separate nine-figure gifts: $ million from Ambassador Walter Annenberg to create the Annenberg Center for Communication and a later additional gift of $ million for the USC Annenberg School for Communication; $ million from Alfred Mann to establish the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering; $ million from the W. M. Keck Foundation for USC's School of Medicine; $ million from the W. M. Keck Foundation for USC's School of Medicine; $ million from George Lucas to the USC School of Cinema-Television, now renamed USC School of Cinematic Arts, $ million from Dana and David Dornsife for USC's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences to support undergraduate and Ph.D. programs, $ million from John and Julie Mork for undergraduate scholarships, and $ million from Larry Ellison to launch the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine.
Donations helped fund major new projects throughout the university. These developments include:
In September , the university began construction on USC Village, a million-square-foot residential and retail center directly adjacent to USC's University Park campus on 15 acres of land owned by the university. The USC Village has over , square feet of retail space on the ground floor, with student housing on the four floors above. The $ million project is the biggest development in the history of USC and is also one of the largest in the history of South Los Angeles. With a grand opening held on August 17, , the USC Village includes a Trader Joe's, a Target, a fitness center, restaurants, and outdoor dining, retail parking spots, a community room, and housing for 2, students.
Health Sciences campus
Located three miles (5km) from downtown Los Angeles and seven miles (11km) from the University Park campus, USC's Health Sciences campus is a major center for basic and clinical biomedical research in the fields of cancer, gene therapy, the neurosciences, and transplantation biology, among others. The acre (32ha) campus is home to the region's first and oldest medical and pharmacy schools, as well as acclaimed programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant (which are respectively ranked No. 1, No. 4, and No. 10 by U.S. News & World Report) and pharmacy.
In addition to the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, which is one of the nation's largest teaching hospitals, the campus includes three patient care facilities: USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck Hospital of USC, and the USC Eye Institute. USC faculty staffs these and many other hospitals in Southern California, including the internationally acclaimed Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The health sciences campus is also home to the USC School of Pharmacy and several research buildings such as USC/Norris Cancer Research Tower, Institute for Genetic Medicine, Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Harlyne J. Norris Cancer Research Tower and Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.
The Keck Hospital of USC is ranked No. 5 out of hospitals in the State of California and No. 16 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
In July , the University expanded its medical services into the foothill communities of northern Los Angeles when it acquired the bed Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, California. USC planned on making at least $30 million in capital improvements to the facility, which was officially renamed USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. This year-old hospital provides the community a hour emergency department, primary stroke center, maternity/labor and delivery, cardiac rehabilitation, and imaging and diagnostic services.
USC physicians serve more than one million patients each year.
USC is served by several rapid transit stations. The Metro E Linelight rail service between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica wraps around the south and eastern edges of the University Park campus. The E Line has three stations in the vicinity of the USC main campus: Jefferson/USC Station, Expo Park/USC Station, and Vermont/Expo Station.
The Metro J Line bus service serves both the University Park campus at 37th Street/USC station and the Health Sciences campus at LA County+USC Medical Center station.
In addition, both campuses are served by several Metro and municipal bus routes.
Former agricultural college campus
Chaffey College was founded in in the city of Ontario, California, as an agricultural college branch campus of USC under the name of Chaffey College of Agriculture of the University of Southern California. USC ran the Chaffey College of Agriculture until financial troubles closed the school in In , the school was reopened by the municipal and regional government and thus officially separated from USC. Renamed as Chaffey College, it now exists as a community college as part of the California Community College System.
Organization and administration
USC is a private public-benefit nonprofit corporation controlled by a board of trustees composed of 50 voting members and several life trustees, honorary trustees, and trustees emeriti who do not vote. Voting members of the Board of Trustees are elected for five-year terms. One-fifth of the Trustees stand for re-election each year, and votes are cast only by the trustees not standing for election. Trustees tend to be high-ranking executives of large corporations (both domestic and international), successful alumni, members of the upper echelons of university administration, or some combination of the three.
The university administration consists of a president, a provost, several vice-presidents of various departments, a treasurer, a chief information officer, and an athletic director. The current president is Carol Folt who on July 1, succeeded Board of Trustee member Wanda Austin who had been appointed the interim president by the Board when the former president C. L. Max Nikias resigned in 
The USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, the Graduate School, and the 20 professional schools are each led by an academic dean. USC occasionally awards emeritus titles to former administrators. There are six administrators emeriti.
The University of Southern California's 20 professional schools include the USC Leventhal School of Accounting, USC School of Architecture, USC Roski School of Art and Design, USC Iovine and Young Academy, USC Marshall School of Business, USC School of Cinematic Arts, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, USC School of Dramatic Arts, USC Rossier School of Education, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, USC Gould School of Law, Keck School of Medicine of USC, USC Thornton School of Music, USC School of Pharmacy, USC Bovard College, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, and USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.
The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) is the official representative government of the undergraduate students at USC. It consists of a popularly elected president and vice president who lead an appointed executive cabinet, a popularly elected legislative branch, and judicial oversight. The executive cabinet oversees funding, communications, programming, and advocacy work. All USG activities are funded by the student activity fee. In addition to USG, residents within university housing are represented and governed by the Residential Housing Association (RHA), which is divided by residence hall. The Graduate Student Government (GSG) consists of senators elected by the students of each school proportional to its enrollment and its activities are funded by a graduate and professional student activity fee.
- Marion M. Bovard (–)
- Joseph P. Widney (–)
- George W. White (–)
- George F. Bovard (–)
- Rufus B. von KleinSmid (–)
- Fred D. Fagg, Jr. (–)
- Norman Topping (–)
- John R. Hubbard (–)
- James H. Zumberge (–)
- Steven B. Sample (–)
- C. L. Max Nikias (–)
- Wanda Austin (interim) (–)
- Carol Folt (–Present)
Department of Public Safety
The USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) is one of the largest campus law enforcement agencies in the United States, currently employing full-time personnel and 30 part-time student workers. DPS's patrol and response jurisdiction includes a square mile area around each USC campus. The Department of Public Safety headquarters is on the University Park campus, and there are substations in the University Village and on the Health Sciences campus. The department operates 24 hours a day, days a year. All armed USC Public Safety Officers (approximately ) are required to be police academy graduates so that under California Penal Code statute they can be granted peace officer power of arrest authority while on duty, enforce state laws and local city municipal codes, and investigate crimes.
The Department has a formal working relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), which includes USC paying for newly hired Public Safety Officers to attend the six month-long Los Angeles Police Academy. A special joint USC/LAPD crime task force composed of USC DPS personnel and approximately 40 selected Los Angeles police officers, including a dedicated specially trained LAPD SWAT team, is assigned exclusively to the USC campus community to address crime and quality of life issues.
Main article: University of Southern California academics
USC is a large, primarily residential research university. The majority of the student body was undergraduate until , when graduate student enrollment began to exceed undergraduate. The four-year, full-time undergraduate instructional program is classified as "balanced arts & sciences/professions" with a high graduate coexistence. Admissions are characterized as "most selective, lower transfer in"; 95 undergraduate majors and academic and professional minors are offered. The graduate program is classified as "comprehensive" and offers master's, doctoral, and professional degrees through 20 professional schools. USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The university was elected to the Association of American Universities in  USC's academic departments fall either under the general liberal arts and sciences of the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences for undergraduates, the Graduate School for graduates, or the university's 20 professional schools.
USC presently has six Nobel Laureates on staff, eight Rhodes Scholars, six MacArthur Fellows, Fulbright Scholars, one Turing Award winner, three winners of the National Medal of Arts, one winner of the National Humanities Medal, three winners of the National Medal of Science, and three winners of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation among its alumni and faculty. In addition to its academic awards, USC has produced the most Oscar winners out of any institution in the world by a significant margin.
The USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, the oldest and largest of the USC schools, grants undergraduate degrees in more than majors and minors across the humanities, social sciences, and natural/physical sciences, and offers doctoral and masters programs in more than 20 fields. Dornsife College is responsible for the general education program for all USC undergraduates and houses a full-time faculty of approximately , more than undergraduate majors (roughly half the total USC undergraduate population), and doctoral students. In addition to 30 academic departments, the college also houses dozens of research centers and institutes. In the – academic year, 4, undergraduate degrees and 5, advanced degrees were awarded. Formerly called "USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences", the college received a $ million gift from USC trustees Dana and David Dornsife on March 23, , after which the college was renamed in their honor, following the naming pattern of other professional schools and departments at the University. All Ph.D. degrees awarded at USC and most master's degrees are under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Professional degrees are awarded by each of the respective professional schools.
The School of Cinematic Arts, the oldest and largest film school in the country, confers degrees in six different programs. As the university administration considered cinematic skills too valuable to be kept to film industry professionals, the school opened its classes to the university at large in  In , the film school added an Interactive Media & Games Division studying stereoscopic cinema, panoramic cinema, immersive cinema, interactive cinema, video games, virtual reality, and mobile media. In September , George Lucas donated $ million to expand the film school, which at the time was the largest single donation to USC (and its fifth over $ million). The donation will be used to build new structures and expand the faculty. The acceptance rate to the School of Cinematic Arts has consistently remained between % for the past several years.
The USC School of Architecture was established in , the first in Southern California. From at least to , and likely for a number of years prior to , it was called The School of Architecture and Fine Art. The School of Fine Art (known as SOFA for a number of years after Architecture and Fine Art separated) was eventually named the Roski School of Fine Arts in during a ceremony to open the then-new Masters of Fine Art building, which occupies the previous and completely refurbished Lucky Blue Jean factory. This small department grew rapidly with the help of the Allied Architects of Los Angeles. A separate School of Architecture was organized in September The school has been home to teachers such as Richard Neutra, Ralph Knowles, James Steele, A. Quincy Jones, William Pereira and Pierre Koenig. The school of architecture also claims notable alumni Frank Gehry, Jon Jerde, Thom Mayne, Raphael Soriano, Gregory Ain, and Pierre Koenig. Two of the alumni have become Pritzker Prize winners. In , Qingyun Ma, a distinguished Shanghai-based architect, was named dean of the school.
The Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering is headed by Dean Yannis Yortsos. Previously known as the USC School of Engineering, it was renamed on March 2, , in honor of Qualcomm co-founder Andrew Viterbi and his wife Erna, who had donated $52 million to the school. Viterbi School of Engineering has been ranked No. 11 and No. 9 in the United States in U.S. News & World Report's engineering rankings for and respectively.
The Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, founded in , is one of the two communication programs in the country endowed by Walter Annenberg (the other is at the University of Pennsylvania). The School of Journalism, which became part of the School for Communication in , features a core curriculum that requires students to devote themselves equally to print, broadcast and online media for the first year of study. The journalism school consistently ranks among the nation's top undergraduate journalism schools. USC's Annenberg School's endowment rose from $ million to $ million between and  In , the new building named for Wallis Annenberg started serving all faculty and students.
The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California was established in as The College of Dentistry, and today, awards undergraduate and graduate degrees. Headed by Dean Avishai Sadan, D.M.D., the school traditionally has maintained five Divisions: Academic Affairs & Student Life, Clinical Affairs, Continuing Education, Research, and Community Health Programs and Hospital Affairs. In , the USC Department of Physical Therapy and Biokinesiology, and the USC Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, which both had previously been organized as "Independent Health Professions" programs at the USC College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, were administratively aligned under the School of Dentistry and renamed "Divisions", bringing the total number of Divisions at the School of Dentistry to seven. In , alumnus Herman Ostrow donated $35 million to name the school the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. In , the school introduced an eighth division, and in , a $20 million gift endowed and named the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.
USC collaborated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University to offer the USC (Executive) EMBA program in Shanghai. USC Dornsife also operates two international study centers in Paris and Madrid. The Marshall School of Business has satellite campuses in Orange County and San Diego.
In , USC established the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, the university's first new school in 40 years, which was a gift from philanthropist Glorya Kaufman. The USC Kaufman School offers individual classes in technique, performance, choreography, production, theory and history open to all students at USC. In the fall of , the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance began to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to a select number of undergraduates who wish to pursue dance as their major. This four-year professional degree is housed in the state-of-the-art Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center.
In , USC established the Bovard College, which offers graduate-level programs in Human Resource Management, Project Management, and Criminal Justice. The college is named after Emma Bovard, who was one of the first students to enroll at USC in 
University library system
Main article: University of Southern California libraries
The USC Libraries are among the oldest private academic research libraries in California. For more than a century USC has been building collections in support of the university's teaching and research interests. Especially noteworthy collections include American literature, Cinema-Television including the Warner Bros. studio archives, European philosophy, gerontology, German exile literature, international relations, Korean studies, studies of Latin America, natural history, Southern California history, and the University Archives.
The USC Warner Bros. Archives is the largest single studio collection in the world. Donated in to the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts by Warner Communications, the WBA houses departmental records that detail Warner Bros. activities from the studio's first major feature, My Four Years in Germany (), to its sale to Seven Arts in
Announced in June , the testimony of 52, survivors, rescuers and others involved in The Holocaust is housed in the USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences as a part of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education.
In addition to the Shoah Foundation, the USC Libraries digital collection highlights include photographs from the California Historical Society, Korean American Archives Automobile Club of Southern California, and the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. The USC Digital Library provides a wealth of primary and original source material in a variety of formats.
In October , the collections at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, the largest repository for documents from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the world, became a part of the USC Libraries system. The collections at ONE include over two million archival items documenting LGBT history including periodicals; books; film, video and audio recordings; photographs; artworks; ephemera, such clothing, costumes, and buttons; organizational records; and personal paper.
USC's 22 libraries and other archives hold nearly 4 million printed volumes, 6 million items in microform, and 3 million photographs and subscribe to more than 30, current serial titles, nearly 44, feet (13,m) of manuscripts and archives, and subscribe to over electronic databases and more than 14, journals in print and electronic formats. Annually, reference transactions number close to 50, and approximately 1, instructional presentations are made to 16, participants. The University of Southern California Library system is among the top 35 largest university library systems in the United States.
The Leavey Library is the undergraduate library and is open 24 hours a day. The newly open basement has many discussion tables for students to share thoughts and have group discussions. The Edward L. Doheny, Jr. Memorial Library is the main research library on campus.
USC was ranked 22nd in U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of national universities. In the Niche Best Colleges rankings, USC ranked 19th overall for based on academics and quality of student life. USC is ranked 32nd among national universities in the U.S. and 55th in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and 13th (tied with seven other universities) among national universities by The Center for Measuring University Performance. In , USA Today ranked USC 22nd overall for American universities based on data from College Factual. Among top 25 universities, USC was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as having the 4th most economically diverse student body.Reuters ranked USC as the 14th most innovative university in the world in , as measured by the university's global commercial impact and patents granted. USC was ranked 15th overall in the inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranking of U.S. colleges.
In , USC was ranked as a "Top 10 Dream College" according to The Princeton Review, as conferred from a survey of 10, respondents. USC appeared in the top 10 list for both parents and students.
On the "Green Report Card", issued by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, the university received a B-.
The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism was ranked 1st in by USA Today. In its rankings, U.S. News & World Report rates USC's School of Law as 17th, the Marshall School of Business tied for 17th with the USC Leventhal School of Accounting 7th and the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies 9th; the Keck School of Medicine of USC was ranked tied for 30th in research and tied for 53rd in primary care, the Viterbi School of Engineering 9th, the Rossier School of Education 12th, the Roski School of Fine Arts graduate program 69th, the Sol Price School of Public Policy 3rd, the USC School of Social Work 25th, and the USC School of Pharmacy tied for 9th. USC's graduate programs in occupational therapy and physical therapy are ranked the nation's 1st and 4th best programs, respectively, for by U.S. News & World Report. The Philosophical Gourmet Report in ranked USC's graduate philosophy program as 8th nationally.
The Hollywood Reporter ranked the School of Cinematic Arts the No. 1 film school in the United States for the third year in a row in  In addition, USA Today ranked the School of Cinematic Arts the No. 1 film school in the United States in The program's range of classes, facilities, and close proximity to the industry were the primary reasons for this ranking.
USA Today ranked the USC Marshall School of Business as the No. 3 school to study undergraduate business in the nation, as of [update]. In , Forbes ranked the USC Marshall School of Business 3rd in the nation in producing graduates who are most satisfied with their jobs.
The Princeton Review ranked USC video game design program as 1st out of schools in North America. The university's video game design programs are interdisciplinary, involving the Interactive Media & Games Division of the School of Cinematic Arts and the CS Games program in the Department of Computer Science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities in ranked USC's combined departments of engineering and computer sciences as 10th in the world, social sciences 31st, and economics and business departments 29th.
USC has a total enrollment of roughly 47, students, of which 20, are at the undergraduate and 27, at the graduate and professional levels. Approximately 53% of students are female and 47% are male. For the entering first-year class in , 43% of incoming students are drawn from California, 42% from the rest of the United States, and 15% from abroad. USC's student body encompasses 12, international students, the second most out of all universities in the United States. Of the regularly enrolled international students, the most represented countries/regions are China (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan not included), India, South Korea, and Taiwan, in that order.
Like other private universities, the nominal cost of attendance is high; however, the university's large endowment and significant revenue streams allow it to offer generous financial aid packages. USC also offer some very competitive and highly valued merit-based scholarships (the full-tuition, four-year Mork Family, Stamps and Trustee scholarships; the half-tuition Presidential Scholarship; the one-quarter tuition Deans Scholarship), with only % of scholarship applicants being selected as finalists for the final interview invitation at the USC campus in Spring. This makes USC one of the highest ranked universities to offer half-tuition and full-tuition merit-based scholarships. These factors have propelled USC into being the 4th most economically diverse university in the nation.
Twenty percent of admitted and attending students are SCions, or students with familial ties to USC, while 14 percent are the first generation in their family to attend any form of college. Twenty-four percent of undergraduates at USC are Pell Grant-eligible, which is defined by having come from a family household income of less than $50, There are over , living Trojan alumni.
The USC-MSA reference is a numbering system developed by the Muslim Students' Association of the University of Southern California to access their database of the six major Hadith collections. Although the project currently parked, the referencing remains widely used throughout the Internet.
|SAT mid% Range |
(out of through ;
|ACT mid% Range|
(out of 36)
USC is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as "Most Selective", and Princeton Review rates its admissions selectivity of 98 out of  Over 70, students applied for admission to the undergraduate class entering in , with 12% being admitted.
Among enrolled freshman for Fall , the interquartile (middle 50%) range of SAT scores was for evidence-based reading and writing, for math, and for the composite. The middle 50% ACT score range was for math, for English, and for the composite. USC was ranked the 10th most applied to university in the nation for fall by U.S. News & World Report.
Faculty and research
The university is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". According to the National Science Foundation, USC spent $ million on research and development in , ranking it 23rd in the nation.
USC employs approximately 4, full-time faculty, 1, part-time faculty, 16, staff members, and 4, student workers. postdoctoral fellows are supported along with over medical residents. Among the USC faculty, 17 are members of the National Academy of Sciences, 16 are members of the National Academy of Medicine, 37 are members of the National Academy of Engineering, 97 are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and 34 are members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 5 to the American Philosophical Society, and 14 to the National Academy of Public Administration. 29 USC faculty are listed as among the "Highly Cited" in the Institute for Scientific Information database.George Olah won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and was the founding director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. Leonard Adleman won the Turing Award in Arieh Warshel won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The university also supports the Pacific Council on International Policy through joint programming, leadership collaboration, and facilitated connections among students, faculty, and Pacific Council members.
The university has two National Science Foundation–funded Engineering Research Centers: the Integrated Media Systems Center and the Center for Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems. The Department of Homeland Security selected USC as its first Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Since , USC has been the headquarters of the NSF and USGS funded Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC). The University of Southern California is a founding and charter member of CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, the nonprofit organization, which provides extremely high-performance Internet-based networking to California's K research and education community. USC researcher Jonathan Postel was an editor of communications-protocol for the fledgling internet, also known as ARPANET.
In July USC became home to the world's most powerful quantum computer, housed in a super-cooled, magnetically shielded facility at the USC Information Sciences Institute, the only other commercially available quantum computing system operated jointly by NASA and Google.
Notable USC faculty include or have included the following: Leonard Adleman, Richard Bellman, Aimee Bender, Barry Boehm, Warren Bennis, Todd Boyd, T.C. Boyle, Leo Buscaglia, Drew Casper, Manuel Castells, Erwin Chemerinsky, George V. Chilingar, Thomas Crow, António Damásio, Francis De Erdely, Percival Everett, Murray Gell-Mann, Seymour Ginsburg, G. Thomas Goodnight, Jane Goodall, Solomon Golomb, Midori Goto, Susan Estrich, Janet Fitch, Tomlinson Holman, Jascha Heifetz, Henry Jenkins, Thomas H. Jordan, Mark Kac, Pierre Koenig, Neil Leach, Leonard Maltin, Daniel L. McFadden, Viet Thanh Nguyen, George Olah, Scott Page, Tim Page (music critic), Simon Ramo, Claudia Rankine, Irving Reed, Michael Waterman, Frank Gehry, Arieh Warshel, Lloyd Welch, Jonathan Taplin, and Diane Winston.
Main article: USC Trojans
The USC Trojans participate in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) as a member of the Pac Conference and have won total team national championships, 97 for men and 26 for women, including non-NCAA championships. Of this total, 80 and 14 are NCAA National Championships for men and women, respectively. The NCAA does not include college football championships in its calculation. Although there are multiple organizations that name national championships, USC claims 11 football championships. The men's Individual Championships are the second-best in the nation and 53 ahead of third place, Texas Longhorns. USC's cross-town rival is the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), with whom there is fierce athletic and scholastic competition. USC's rivalry with Notre Dame predates the UCLA rivalry by three years. The Notre Dame rivalry stems mainly from the annual football game played between these two universities and is considered one of the greatest rivalries in college athletics.
USC has won NCAA team championships, 3rd behind Stanford () and cross-town rival UCLA (). The Trojans have also won at least one national team title in 26 consecutive years (–60 to –85). USC won the National College All-Sports Championship, an annual ranking by USA Today of the country's top athletic programs, 6 times since its inception in Four Trojans have won the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in America: diver Sammy Lee (), shot putter Parry O'Brien (), swimmer John Naber () and swimmer Janet Evans ().
From the Summer Olympics through the Winter Olympics, Trojan athletes have competed in the Games, taking home gold medals, 93 silver and 72 bronze. If it were an independent country, USC would be ranked 13th in the world in in terms of medals. Since , USC is the only university in the world to have a gold medal-winning athlete in every summer Olympiad.
In men's sports, USC has won 97 team national championships (84 NCAA titles) – more than any other school – and male athletes have won a record individual NCAA titles. The Trojans have won 26 championships in track and field, 21 in tennis, 12 in baseball, 9 in swimming and diving, 9 in water polo, 6 in volleyball, 2 in indoor track and field, and 1 in gymnastics.[c] USC's men's basketball has appeared in the NCAA tournament 15 times, and made 2 NCAA Final Four appearances.
The USC football program has historically ranked among the best in Division I FBS. The Trojans football team has won 11 national championships. Seven players have won the Heisman Trophy, although the school claims six, after alleged violations involving Reggie Bush. As of [update], Trojans have been taken in the NFL draft, making it the school with the most NFL draft picks.
For the season, USC football was ranked 1st overall in recruiting by Rivals.com, with 4 five-star commits, 17 four-star commits, and 5 three-star commits.
Women's teams have earned 27 national championships. The Women of Troy have brought home 64 individual NCAA crowns. Two Women of Troy athletes have won the Honda-Broderick Cup as the top collegiate woman athlete of the year: Cheryl Miller (–84) and Angela Williams (–02). And Trojan women have won 8 Honda Awards, as the top female athlete in their sport.
The Women of Troy have won 7 championships in tennis, 6 in volleyball, 4 in water polo, 3 in golf, 2 in basketball, 2 in beach volleyball, 1 in swimming and diving, 2 in track and field and 2 in soccer.
Traditions and student activities
As one of the oldest universities in California, the University of Southern California has a number of traditions. USC's official fight song is "Fight On", which was composed in by USC dental student Milo Sweet with lyrics by Sweet and Glen Grant.
Main articles: Notre Dame – USC rivalry and UCLA–USC rivalry
USC has rivalries with multiple schools. Although generally limited to football, USC has a major rivalry with Notre Dame. The annual game is played for the Jeweled Shillelagh. The rivalry has featured more national championship teams, Heisman trophy winners, All-Americans, and future NFL hall-of-famers than any other collegiate match-up. The two schools have kept the annual game on their schedules since (except –44 because of World War II travel restrictions) and the game is often referred to as the greatest intersectional rivalry in college football.
USC's most famous rival is UCLA, with whom there is fierce athletic and scholastic competition. Both universities are in Los Angeles and approximately 10 miles (16km) apart. Until the two schools also shared the same football stadium, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The victor of the annual football game takes home the Victory Bell. The Trojans and Bruins also compete in a year-long all-sports competition for the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy. Pranks between UCLA and USC were commonplace several decades ago. Both universities have cracked down on pranks since a incident when USC students released hundreds of crickets into the main UCLA library during finals week. Days before a clash between rivals UCLA and USC in , the Bruins mascot was vandalized. It was splashed in cardinal and gold paint, USC's official colors sparking memories of pranks played in the years earlier. The week preceding the annual football matchup with UCLA is known as "Troy Week" and features a number of traditions including CONQUEST! "The Ultimate Trojan Experience", Save Tommy Night, the CONQUEST! Bonfire, and all-night vigils by the USC Helenes and Trojan Knights to protect the campus from UCLA Bruins.
In addition, USC has rivalries with other Pac schools, particularly the Stanford Cardinal as they are the only two private universities in the Pac Conference and are situated at opposing regions of California, as well as being the two oldest private research universities in California, and respectively. Recently, a rivalry has begun to exist between USC and the University of Oregon because of the two universities' dominant football programs, with each school often serving as the toughest match-up on the opponent's schedule.
Traveler, a white Andalusian horse, is the university's official mascot. It first appeared at a football game in , was ridden by Richard Saukko, and was known as Traveler I. The current horse is known as Traveler IX.
Tommy Trojan, officially known as the Trojan Shrine, is a bronze statue in the model of a Trojan warrior at the center of campus. It is commonly mistaken as the school's official mascot. The statue was modeled after Trojan football players, and the statue is engraved with the ideal characteristics of a Trojan. It is a popular meeting point for students and a landmark for visitors.
In the s, George Tirebiter, a car-chasing dog, was the most popular unofficial mascot. It gained fame among students after it bit the mascot of the UCLA Bruins, and was kept by the Trojan Knights. The dog was known to chase down cars on Trousdale Parkway, which runs through campus. After the original dog died, three others succeeded it. A statue was built in to honor the unofficial mascot.
USC's marching band, known as The Spirit of Troy, has been featured in at least 10 major movies, and has performed in both the and Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. They have also performed on television shows and with other musicians.
The band performed on the title track of the Fleetwood Mac album Tusk, which went on to be a multi-platinum record. The band performed during halftime at Super Bowl XXI in and Super Bowl XXII in In , the band performed live on America's Funniest Home Videos. Additionally, the band later played on another multi-platinum Fleetwood Mac album, The Dance (). The Spirit of Troy is the only collegiate band to have two platinum records. In recent years, the band has appeared at the Grammy Awards, accompanying Radiohead; on the Academy Awards with Beyoncé and Hugh Jackman; and during the finale of American Idol , backing Renaldo Lapuz in instrumentation of his original song "We're Brothers Forever". In , the band played on the show Dancing with the Stars.
The USC band was only one of two American groups invited to march in the Hong Kong Chinese New Year parade in and The Trojan Marching Band performed at the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan. In May , the Trojan Marching Band traveled to Italy, performing once in Florence, and twice in Rome (including in front of the Coliseum). The band has also, for many years, performed the Overture with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (or occasionally with other orchestras) each year at the Hollywood Bowl "Tchaikovsky Spectacular".
For over 45 years, the USC Song Girls have been considered the "Crown Jewels of USC Spirit". Founded in , the USC Song Girls appear at football, basketball, and volleyball games as well as other sporting events, rallies, and university and alumni functions. The squad also performs internationally. The squad has traveled to Italy, Austria, France, Hungary, Czech Republic, Japan, China and Australia, most recently having traveled to Milan, Italy to perform at the World Expo on America's Independence Day. Unlike other college cheer teams, Song Girls are primarily a dance squad and do not perform gymnastics, stunts or lead cheers. The Song Girls perform to the music of and often appear with The Spirit of Troy. Together with the Trojan Marching Band, they are a visible public face of the University and function as the ambassadors of spirit and goodwill for the Trojan Family.
Lindley Bothwell founded the USC Yell Leading Squad in in his first year as a student at USC. He felt that together, with a few friends, he could aid in "firing up" the crowd during football games. The USC Yell Leaders worked closely with The Spirit of Troy and the Song Girls to lead cheers and perform stunts to rally Trojan fans at football, basketball, and volleyball games. The sweater-clad team consisted of all men for most of its existence, though the squad later opened itself up to applicants from both sexes and did feature one female Yell Leader in  They were disbanded by the University after the –06 season and replaced by the co-ed Spirit Leaders.
The USC Spirit Leaders are responsible for leading stadium wide chants and increasing crowd participation at all Trojan athletic events, including football and basketball games. Working in proud partnership with the Trojan Marching Band and the USC Song Girls, the USC Spirit Leaders help to create a winning atmosphere for all Trojan athletes.
The Daily Trojan has been the student newspaper of USC since and is a primary source of news and information for the campus. It secured the first interview of President Richard Nixon after his resignation. The publication does not receive financial aid from the university and instead runs entirely on advertisement revenue. Published from Monday to Friday during the fall and spring semesters, the newspaper turns into the Summer Trojan during the summer term and publishes once a week. It is the paper of record on campus.
KXSC, previously known as KSCR, is the university's student-run college radio station, which is managed entirely by an unpaid staff of nearly undergraduate and graduate student volunteers. The station gives students hands-on experience in a variety of music industry and broadcast-related positions, including live event promotion, social media management, radio production and audio engineering. In addition to providing almost 24 hours of daily live programming, the station also hosts live events, bringing local and touring bands to campus. The station's annual KXSC Fest, which began in , has played host to performers such as Nosaj Thing,Muna (band),Mika Miko,Dan Deacon,Thee Oh Sees, and Flying Lotus. KXSC traces its roots to the original KUSC, which was operated by students starting in When KUSC transitioned to classical programming and moved off-campus in the mids, a group of students reacted to renewed demand for student-run radio station and founded KSCR in  KSCR was broadcast at AM out of a student in the Hancock Foundation Building. In , the University authorized a grant to move KSCR to a new location in Marks Hall. In , KSCR adopted the call letters KXSC in order to be eligible to obtain a new FM license from the FCC, as well as to mark the station's move to a brand-new facility in the basement of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.
Trojan Vision (often abbreviated as TV8) is the Student television station at USC. TV8 was established in by the Annenberg School for Communication, but is now a part of the School of Cinematic Arts. Trojan Vision broadcasts 24/7 from the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts to the University Park Campus on Channel and online through their website. Programming is also made available to the greater Los Angeles community on local channel LA In addition to a selection of regularly airing shows of many genres, Trojan Vision also broadcasts the shows Platforum, a round-table debate show; Annenberg TV News, a news program; and [email protected], an interview program.
El Rodeo is USC's student-run yearbook. One of the oldest student traditions at the university, the first edition was released in and was originally called The Sybil. The name was changed to El Rodeo in to reflect the cowboy-themed events students threw to advertise the yearbook as a "roundup" of the year's events. It was long packaged with the Student Activity Card, which gave students access to all home sports games. Since the card was dissolved in , the yearbook has been sold as a stand-alone item.
The Greek community has had a long history on the campus. Centered on a portion of West 28th Street known as "The Row", between Figueroa Street and Hoover Street just north of campus, USC's Greek system began soon after the school's founding when Kappa Alpha Theta founded a chapter in 
Today the university sponsors 16 fraternities and 11 sororities in the Interfraternity Conference (IFC) and Panhellenic Conference (PHC), respectively.
Outside the Panhellenic and Interfraternity conferences, the Greek community at USC is very diverse, boasting the Multicultural, Asian, Inter-Fraternity (composed of professional fraternities), and the National Pan-Hellenic (historically Black) Councils. Organizations governed by these councils include chapters of some of the oldest Latino and Black Greek organizations in the country and the oldest Asian fraternity in Southern California; while also including established professional business, engineering, and pre-law fraternities and other multiculturally based groups.
Because of USC's proximity to Hollywood, close ties between the School of Cinematic Arts and entertainment industry, and the architecture on campus, the university has been used in numerous movies, television series, commercials, and music videos. USC is frequently used by filmmakers, standing in for numerous other universities. According to IMDB, USC's campus has been featured in at least film and television titles.
Movies filmed at USC include Forrest Gump, Legally Blonde, Road Trip, The Girl Next Door, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Love & Basketball, Blue Chips, Ghostbusters, Live Free or Die Hard, House Party 2, The Number 23, The Social Network and The Graduate. Television series that have used the USC campus include How to Get Away With Murder, Cold Case, Entourage, 24, The O.C., Beverly Hills, , Moesha, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, House M.D., CSI: NY, Undeclared, The West Wing, Alias, The Office, Monk, The United States of Tara, Gilmore Girls, Scrubs, and The Roommate.
For a more comprehensive list, see List of University of Southern California people.
Among the notable alumni of the University of Southern California are prominent astronauts, scientists, musicians, business leaders, engineers, architects, athletes, actors, politicians, and those that have gained both national and international fame. To keep alumni connected, the Trojan network consists of over alumni groups on five continents. A common saying among those associated with the school is that one is a "Trojan for Life". Among notable alumni are Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon; Charles Bolden, former director of NASA, retired United States Marine Corps Major General, and former astronaut.; O. J. Simpson, football star in the s and accused murderer; George Lucas, creator of Star Wars; Andrew Viterbi, co-founder of Qualcomm Inc. and inventor of the Viterbi algorithm; Academy Award winner John Wayne (who also played on the USC football team
2020 usc world ranking
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California's highly regarded academic programs and research opportunities draw people from all over the world; nearly a quarter of its students are international. USC has some 48, students, and over 20, of them are undergraduates. The university has a reputation as an expensive school, but it also boasts a high graduation rate. Some of the most popular majors include communications, cinematic arts, architecture, music and law. The university's Los Angeles location gives students access to one of the country's major business centers and its entertainment capital. Perhaps not surprisingly, generations of USC alumni have gone on to careers in the film and TV industries. Alumni include the creators of both Star Wars (George Lucas) and Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry). Trojan football is practically a religion, and on game days, undergraduates, grad students, and alumni come together to tailgate, schmooze, and cheer on the Cardinal and Gold.
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The University of Southern California opened for business in Los Angeles in , when the city still lacked even basic amenities such as paving stones and electric light, and long before it became the glitzy capital of the movie industry. Although spearheaded by a judge called Robert Maclay Widney and a number of like-minded citizens, it took almost 10 years for their plans for a university in the region to come to fruition. It was eventually made possible by the donation of land from a diverse group of philanthropists: a Protestant horticulturist; an Irish pharmacist (and former governor of California); and a German-Jewish banker.
Although it initially welcomed only 53 students, USC has since grown into an internationally renowned research university and the largest private-sector employer in its city. Close to 4, faculty are now split between 21 separate schools and units. While the main campus can be found in the centre of Los Angeles, the three teaching hospitals and Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy are grouped together on a separate Health Sciences campus to the north east. Specialisms include cancer, stem cell, regenerative and sports medicine. Equally significant is the city children’s hospital staffed by USC’s Keck School of Medicine.
Physicist Murray Gell-Mann, who postulated the existence of quarks and gave them that name, is one of five Nobel laureates. Home to a School of Cinema Arts since , the university numbers among its alumni many who have gone on to achieve great fame in show business such as Hollywood stars John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and film-maker George Lucas. Equally notable is astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.