USC Acceptance Rate For International Students In 2024

Student standing in front of university smiling on getting a USC acceptance rate letter.

For students wanting to crack the code of admission at the University of Southern California (USC), it’s essential to consider various strategies, such as excelling academically, showcasing unique talents, and presenting an interesting application. USC, famous for its academic excellence, diverse community, and vibrant campus life, offers an environment for students to thrive. In this blog, we explore the significance of the USC acceptance rate for international students, understand the effective application strategies, and showcase why studying at USC is worth it!

Understanding USC Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate of the University of Southern California (USC) stands at 12%, and is among the top 4% of the universities to get admission in the United States. This means that out of every 100 applicants, only about 12 are offered admission. The low acceptance rate highlights USC’s reputation for superior academic performance and competitiveness in admissions.

University Of Southern California Acceptance Rate & Admission Statistics 2024 
Parameters TotalMenWomen
Acceptance Rate12%13%12%
Freshmen enrolled full-time3,4181,5701,839
Freshmen enrolled part-time211

Historical Trends Of The University Of Southern California Acceptance Rate 

In recent years, the acceptance rate at the University of Southern California (USC) has notably declined. For the 2023-24 admission cycle, the USC acceptance rate dropped to 10%, a decrease from 16.1% recorded in the 2020-21 academic year. The surge in USC applications reflects this heightened competitiveness. In fall 2023, USC received over 80,000 applications, admitting 8,094 students. 

By comparison, the fall of 2020 saw 59,712 applicants, with 9,618 admissions granted. This trend underscores the increasing competitiveness of USC admissions, requiring applicants to excel academically and present complete & compelling applications to secure a spot at this esteemed university.

Academic YearNumber of Applications ReceivedNumber of Students AcceptedUniversity of Southern California Acceptance Rate

University Of Southern California Early Action Vs. Regular Decision Acceptance Rate  

Each year, the University of Southern California admits international students through both Early Action and Regular Decision processes. Typically, the university’s Early Action acceptance rate is higher than that of Regular Decision. Early Action enables applicants to apply to the university earlier than the Regular Decision deadline.

USC does not publicly disclose specific data regarding its Early Action acceptance rate. However, for Regular Decision, the acceptance rate generally ranges from 10% to 12%. This indicates that USC’s admissions process is highly competitive, underscoring the importance of preparing a strong application regardless of the application route chosen.

USC Admission Requirements For International Students:

For international students aspiring to study at the University of Southern California (USC), several admission requirements must be met. Specific requirements and deadlines may vary depending on the academic programme and degree level (undergraduate or graduate) being applied for. These requirements typically include:

  • High school certificate / Bachelor’s degree in relevant field
  • Official academic transcripts / academic records
  • Proof of English language proficiency (IELTS: 7.0 | TOEFL: 100)
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of purpose (SOPs)
  • Letters of recommendation (LORs)
  • SAT/ACT score
  • GRE/GMAT score
  • Portfolio
  • Financial documents for the proof of sufficient funds

USC SAT/ACT Score Requirements:

ACT and SAT are designed to measure a student’s readiness for college-level coursework. Given below are the average score requirements for SAT and ACT at USC for 2024. 


USC English Language Requirements  

All the subjects at the University of Southern California are taught in English. Hence, if English is not your first language, then you must undertake the following proficiency test and score accordingly: 

Accepted TestsMinimum Scores

USC Admission Requirements For Indian Students:

USC mandates country-specific admission requirements, too. Given below are the additional entry requirements for Indian students, including the above-given criteria: 

Undergraduate RequirementsGraduate Requirements
Completion of grade X and XII state board or CBSE / ICSE exams; A1 and A2 grades or scores above 80.4-year bachelor’s degree; ORMaster’s degree (for 3-year bachelor degree holder) from an institute recognised by UGC

Tips To Get Selected In University Of Southern California:

By focusing on the tips given below and presenting a well-rounded application that reflects your academic abilities, personal qualities, and potential for success at USC, you can enhance your chances of being selected for admission. Here are some valuable tips to enhance your chances of being accepted into the University of Southern California (USC):

  • Focus on Holistic Application: USC takes a holistic approach to admissions, considering various aspects of your application beyond just academic achievements. Highlight your unique story and personal qualities that demonstrate your potential to thrive at USC.
  • Highlight Academic Achievements: Showcase your academic performance and the rigour of your coursework. USC values applicants who have excelled in challenging academic environments.
  • Emphasise Writing Skills: Your writing skills are important. Craft a compelling personal statement that reflects your motivations, goals, and aspirations clearly and concisely.
  • Submit Strong Test Scores: While not always mandatory, submitting competitive SAT or ACT scores can strengthen your application. Similarly, demonstrating proficiency in English through TOEFL or IELTS is crucial for international students.
  • Showcase Personal Qualities: USC values personal qualities such as community involvement, leadership experiences, and achievements. Highlight these aspects in your application to demonstrate your character and potential contribution to the USC community.
  • Prepare for Interviews: Some programmes at USC may require interviews as part of the admissions process. Be prepared to articulate your interests and goals effectively during these interactions.
  • Follow Application Guidelines: Pay close attention to USC’s application requirements and deadlines. Submit all required materials accurately and on time to ensure your application is considered.

Top Majors At the University Of Southern California:

The University of Southern California has awarded a total of 5,445 bachelor’s degrees across 116 different programmes, 9,291 master’s degrees across 166 programmes, and 1,923 doctorate degrees across 75 programmes. Here is a table listing the majors offered at USC leading to these degrees.

Business Administration and Management, General83240817
Computer Science28769038
Social Work664122
Management Science172411
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other387
Programs for Foreign Lawyers378
Econometrics and Quantitative Economics197156
Speech Communication and Rhetoric3181613
Electrical and Electronics Engineering1824937
Educational Leadership and Administration, General281
Occupational Therapy & Therapist1316893
Human Biology254
Mechanical Engineering11910216
Communication and Media Studies, Other226
Human Resources Management & Personnel Administration, General218

USC Graduate Rate 2024:

With a graduation rate of 92%, the University of Southern California ranks among the top 4% of universities in the country. With a full-time retention rate of 97% and a part-time retention rate of 33%. 

Graduation rate92%91%94%

Cost Of Studying At USC:

The typical annual net cost of attending the University of Southern California is approximately $36,808. This figure represents the total expenses including tuition, room and board, books, and supplies, minus the average amount of financial aid received by students.

 It’s important to note that the actual cost of attendance can vary significantly based on individual factors such as household income, residency status, academic programme, and other considerations.  

Room & Board Costs: 

If you are looking for accommodations near USC, then be informed that the USC offers on-campus accommodations, too. However, on-campus accommodations are quite costly compared to off-campus accommodations here. To know more about the off-campus accommodations near USC and secure your room, seek assistance from UniAcco! Given below are the on-campus room and board costs at USC: 

Dormitory capacity8,500
Combined charge for room and board$17,436
Room charge$10,506
Meal charge$6,930

Top Reasons To Study At USC:

USC has consistently ranked among the top 25 global universities for more than a decade now. Aside from its acceptance rate, there are several compelling reasons to choose USC:

  • Outstanding Faculty: USC is home to experienced professors and experts who are leaders in their fields.
  • Diverse Community: The university attracts students from around the world, creating a rich and inclusive environment that prepares students for a globalised society.
  • Career Opportunities: Located in Los Angeles, USC offers access to the job market with ample internship and networking prospects across various industries.
  • Alumni Network: USC boasts a large and influential alumni network, providing valuable mentorship, career advice, and potential job connections.
  • Top-notch Resources: USC provides facilities like libraries, research centres, and technology to support students’ academic endeavours.

The acceptance rate at USC underscores the university’s selectivity and the high competitiveness among applicants. By understanding the acceptance rate and applying effective strategies to strengthen their applications, prospective students can increase their likelihood of admission to USC. Ultimately, selecting the right university involves weighing multiple factors to align with individual academic and personal aspirations.


1. What GPA do you need for USC?

In order to get into USC, you should have a 3.83 GPA or higher. It is necessary to compensate for a low GPA with a higher SAT/ACT score if yours is lower.

2. Is it harder to get into UCLA or USC?

As one of the toughest universities to get into in the world, UCLA has an acceptance rate of 9%. With an acceptance rate of 12%, University of California, Los Angeles is considered to be as selective as Southern California.

3. How to get into the USC from India?

Applicants from India should complete Year X and Year XII state board or CBSE/ICSE exams with high grades (A1 and A2 or above 80), along with proficiency in the English language and optionally ACT/SAT scores.

4. Is USC difficult to get into?

Yes, as USC acceptance rate is 12% it is considered being stricter in terms of entry requirements and academic excellence. 

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Student standing in front of university smiling on getting a USC acceptance rate letter.

USC Acceptance Rate For International Students In 2024

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