Want to be a USC Trojan? Bookmark this page to help plan your application essays for the University of Southern California!
USC is one of the most popular colleges on the west coast. Located in Southern California, USC attracts a lot of students who enjoy nice, sunny weather all year round. Especially in a city like Los Angeles that offers students endless of cultural activities and internship opportunities they can take advantage of.
On top of USC’s ideal location and weather, USC is well known for their undergraduate business and media studies. USC Marshall School of Business is ranked no. 9 for their undergraduate business program, specifically strong in accounting and entrepreneurship. USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism is also a popular choice for students interested in media studies, especially when paired with media internships available in an entertainment-focused city like LA.
USC also has a very unique program called the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy (IYA). Students accepted to the program will be studying Arts, Technology and Business Innovation. Over the 4 years, IYA students will gain an in-depth knowledge in art and design, engineering and computer science, and finally, business and venture management. The application requires an additional portfolio and is highly selective. On average, only 25 students are accepted per graduating class.
Does USC offer what you’re interested? If you are applying this fall, here are the short answer questions and supplemental essays for the 2017-2018 application season:
1. Short Answer Questions
- Describe yourself in three words
- What is your favorite snack?
- Hashtag to describe yourself
- What TV show will you binge watch next?
- Place you are most content?
TIP: These short answer questions are meant to help the admissions office know a little bit more about you and your personality. Don’t spend too much time on these questions, and be true to who you are!
2. Supplemental Essay #1
Please respond to one of the prompts below. (250 word limit)
Prompt 1: USC believes that one learns best when interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Tell us about a time you were exposed to a new idea or when your beliefs were challenged by another point of view.
Prompt 2: Describe something outside of your intended academic focus about which you are interested in learning.
Prompt 3:What is something about yourself that is essential to understanding you?
TIP: When you choose which essay prompt to write, take into account what essay topic you’ve chosen for your personal statement and what you plan on writing for the second supplemental essay. The admissions office will be reading your application as a whole, so it should all come together to tell them who you are, what you’re interested and what USC can offer you to achieve your dreams.
3. Supplemental Essay #2
Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests at USC. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. (250 word limit)
TIP: This is essentially your “Why USC” supplemental essay. Do your research about the program you want to apply. In fact, reach out to the professors in the department you’re interested in studying and learn more about the program. It’s important to know what USC offers, so you can talk about how those resources and facilities can enable you to achieve your interests or support your studies in a specific field. Do not just iterate what programs they have. This essay is about how USC can help you in a way no other universities can, and about how you can give back to the university’s community by being a part of it.
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November 30, 2012
Last Minute Application Tips!
Grades and test scores are important in the admission process; there is no doubt about that. However, while we are looking for students who have challenged themselves academically and who have performed well in school, we rely on the qualitative factors of the application to arrive at a decision. At this point in the process, high school seniors should focus their attention on the presentation components of the application: the essay, short answers, extracurricular activities, and the letter of recommendation.
The essay is a student’s opportunity to tell us who they are, not only as a person but also as a student. The most successful essays are the most authentic essays. We are truly trying to get to know who our applicants are. The best advice I can give to students is to “be yourself”.
They are called short answers, buuuut they shouldn’t be too short of an answer. The short answers are taken very seriously in our review process. They give us valuable insight in to a student’s academic interest as well as their commitments outside of the classroom.
We are looking for students who are going to be active members of the USC community. I always recommend that students list any commitments they have outside of the classroom. This includes traditional clubs, sports, volunteer organizations, work experience etc. But it also includes, non-traditional activities such as taking care of siblings or other family members, productive hobbies like photography, marathon training or climbing Everest.
Letter of Recommendation
Students often feel like they do not have control over their letter of recommendations; yet, students do have control over whom they approach to write a letter of recommendation on their behalf. We require that at least one recommendation come from someone who can comment on the student’s academic character and potential (i.e. counselor or teacher).
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