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USC vs UCLA: Which University To Choose?

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Yocket Editorial Team
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The most important academic decision for students is to choose the right university. This decision can shape their educational and personal journey and provide the foundation for their future success. Are you thinking of studying in Los Angeles? University of South California (USC) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) are the most sought-after institutes by students. Choosing the right university between these two institutes is even more difficult as both are prestigious and renowned. If you need clarification about whether to study at USC or UCLA, you are in the right place! We will help you understand what factors distinguish them and what can be the right choice for you.

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Table of Contents

USC vs UCLA: Overview

Let us look at both universities before moving to which university to choose.

University of Southern California

Source

The University of Southern California (USC), a top-tier private research university in Los Angeles, is renowned for its prestigious Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and highly acclaimed School of Cinematic Arts. It has produced notable directors like George Lucas and Judd Apatow. Founded in 1880 by Robert Maclay Widney, USC boasts two main campuses: University Park and the Health Sciences Campus. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), USC received an overall grade of A from Shiksha. 

The university has produced more Academy and Emmy award-winning alumni than any other institution and counts 29 living billionaires among its graduates. Additionally, USC employs 10 Nobel Laureates and has conferred degrees on 11 Rhodes Scholars, 12 Marshall Scholars, 6 MacArthur Fellows, 181 Fulbright Scholars, and 1 Turing Award winner. Notable alumni include astronaut Neil Armstrong, actress America Ferrera, and actor John Wayne.

The University of Southern California World Ranking 2024

116

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

9 to 1

Acceptance Rate

12.5%

Top Courses

Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Visual and Performing Arts; Social Sciences; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Engineering; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Computer and Information Sciences 

Watch our YouTube video to learn more about the University of Southern California.

University of California, Los Angeles

Source

Founded in 1919, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. It ranks consistently among the top 30 global universities, making it a top choice for international students. As the second establishment in the ten-campus University of California system, following UC Berkeley, UCLA initially offered two-year degree courses in letters and science before expanding to include third and fourth-year courses. Today, UCLA serves approximately 47,000 students and employs 4,100 faculty members across 227 campus buildings, with classes held in over 85 facilities.

University of California, Los Angeles World Ranking 2024

29

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

19 to 1

Acceptance Rate

9%

Top Courses

Business, Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering, Health, Languages, Physical Sciences, Social Science, and Humanities

USC vs UCLA: Factors to Consider

Deciding between USC and UCLA, two prestigious universities, involves considering several key factors. Here’s a breakdown to help you determine which institution better aligns with your goals and aspirations.

Factors

USC

UCLA

Rankings

  • #28 US News 2024
  • #116 QS World University 2024
  • #74 Times Higher Education 2024
  • #15 US News 2024
  • #29 QS World University 2024
  • #18 Times Higher Education 2024

Subject Strength

  • #95 for Engineering by Times Higher Education 2024
  • #28 for Medicine by US News 2024
  • #17 for Engineering by Times Higher Education 2024
  • #18 for Medicine by QS World University 2023

Programs

  • UG Programs -100
  • PG Programs - 230+

PG Programs -140+

Acceptance Rate

12.5%

9%

Exam Score

  • IELTS - 6.5 or above, with 6 or above on each band
  • TOEFL iBT - 90 or above, with 20 or above in each section
  • PTE - 61 or above, with 53 or above on each band
  • GMAT
  • GRE

Campus Size

229 acres

419 acres

Academic Calendar

Operates on a semester schedule

Operates on a quarter-based schedule

Location

The University of Southern California (USC) boasts a vibrant University Park campus within the Arts and Education Corridor, three miles from the bustling Downtown Los Angeles. Students immerse themselves in diverse parks and green spaces, complemented by a rich tapestry of architectural styles. The Health Sciences campus is northeastern of downtown, further enriching USC's presence. Moreover, USC extends its reach through satellite locations and programs across Southern California, as well as in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., offering a comprehensive educational experience tailored to various regions.

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) occupies a prime location at the base of the Santa Monica mountains, on the northwestern side of Los Angeles. Renowned for its outstanding beauty, this campus blends modern and traditional architectural elements seamlessly, creating a harmonious "college in a garden" landscape. UCLA's presence enhances the surrounding neighborhoods, including Westwood, Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Silverlake, West L.A., and Brentwood. These vibrant communities thrive alongside the campus, fostering a dynamic and enriching environment for students and residents alike.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree
  • GPA required: 3.0 or above
  • TOEFL-iBT: 6.5 - 7.0
  • IELTS: 90 - 100
  • GMAT: 715+
  • GRE: 310+
  • Personal Statement or Essays
  • Academic or professional letter of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Passport copy
  • Financial Evidence

Tuition Fees

Average Tuition Fees  USD 23,100 (INR 19,32,350)

Average Tuition Fees  USD 31,949 (INR 26,72,590)

Top Recruiters

  • Deloitte
  • EY
  • Amazon
  • PwC
  • J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Goldman Sachs
  • KPMG, etc.
  • Accenture
  • Bank of America Corporation
  • Capital One
  • Deloitte
  • Facebook Gartner Inc.
  • HBO Max
  • Intel Corporation
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • KPMG LLP
  • L'Oreal USA
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Nike
  • Optum
  • PwC, etc.

Median Salary

USD 85,000 or INR 71,08,940

USD 1,00,000 or INR 83,63,460

Choosing Between USC vs UCLA: How to Decide

Choosing between USC and UCLA requires careful consideration of various factors. 

  • Determine your desired area of study and evaluate the relevant programs offered by each institution. Explore their rankings, class sizes, and student-faculty ratios to gauge the ideal academic environment.
  • Assess the financial implications by examining tuition costs, fees, and financial aid opportunities at both universities. This analysis will help you understand the expenses involved and make an informed decision based on your budget.
  • Consider the campus atmosphere and class sizes. Determine whether you prefer a more intimate or vibrant campus experience.
  • Evaluate your qualifications against the admission criteria of each university. Review the academic profiles of admitted students, including high school GPAs and standardized test scores (if applicable). Align your application with the institution's mission, values, and desired qualities to increase your chances of acceptance.

Vignesh is a Hindustani Classical Vocalist and despite his extensive PhD studies in Electrical Engineering, he follows his passion for classical singing. He says "The great thing about UCLA is that it gives you ample opportunities to do various things you like". In this video, Vignesh shares his study abroad journey, his experience with Yocket Premium, and advice for future aspirants. If Vignesh can do it, why can’t you? Connect with Yocket Experts to secure admission to your dream university.

From the Desk of Yocket

USC and UCLA, located in Los Angeles, offer excellent programs tailored to different strengths. USC excels in Cinematic Arts and Communication, while UCLA shines in Theater, Film, and Dentistry. Choosing between them depends on individual preferences. Evaluate academic interests, costs, desired student body size, and how well you match their admission criteria. Carefully assess your goals and aspirations to determine the best fit, USC or UCLA, for your college journey in Los Angeles.

Are you looking at which affordable universities in the USA best suit your academic requirements? Well, reach out to our Yocket professionals and resolve all your queries, alongside receiving a thorough profile evaluation and end-to-end assistance on everything studying abroad. Book A 15-minute Consultation Call Today!

Frequently Asked Questions About USC vs UCLA: Which University To Choose?

Is It Harder to Get into UCLA or USC?

Which University Is More Prestigious, UCLA or USC?

Can I Apply to Both UCLA and USC?

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