University of Southern California

University of Southern California is a large, private research university. Founded in 1880, the flagship University Park Campus is 226 acres located just miles outside downtown Los Angeles and ten minutes from the Santa Monica beaches. With 18,000 undergraduates, 22,000 graduate students, 750 club offerings and a big time sports program (Trojan football team has won two national titles), students are involved and take advantage of all this West Coast university offers.

Freshmen begin their tenure at USC by donning graduation robes and participating in the traditional Convocation ceremony whereby they are formally introduced to the university – upperclassmen, professors and President C. L. Max Nikias. 52% of students hail from California…but USC enrolls more international students than any other U.S. university.

University Park, USC’s main campus, has all the advantages of a large urban university but also the feel of a smaller liberal arts college. McCarthy Quad, the center of student activity, is where students gather, throw Frisbees and relax in the California sun. Spring Festival, concerts and special events (in 2010 President Obama gave a speech to students on McCarthy Quad) all take place on this beautiful green space surrounded by a reflective pool and Doheny Memorial Library. Biking is a popular form of transportation at USC and bicycle lanes are interspersed throughout campus. At night, students can choose from the bustling nightlife of Los Angeles, or on-campus social and sporting events.

Academically, USC has much to offer. With 14 schools – including the School of Cinematic Arts (oldest and largest film school in the country), the USC Thornton School of Music (one of the most highly regarded music schools), and the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism (a top journalism program), students can choose from 150 majors and 150 minors. At USC students are encouraged to pursue double majors or combine minors and majors in unrelated fields.

USC offers opportunities for internships, study abroad and connection to the 300,000 Trojan alumni network. According to Associate Director of Admissions Mark Rasic, “USC will give undergraduate all the tools – leadership, experience, global connections – they need to be successful in the 21st century.”

University of Miami


University of Miami, located in suburban Coral Gables, is a private, mid-size university of 10,000 undergraduates and 5,500 graduate students, just minutes away from the beach and about 7 miles outside the dynamic city of Miami.

The university offers over 180 academic majors with strong programs in various disciplines such as Marine Science, Music (including Music Business, Music Engineering and Music Therapy), Business and pre-professional programs – Medicine, Law, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine. It is not out of the ordinary for a student attending the University of Miami to double major.

The student population is diverse, drawing from every state and 110 foreign countries. Fifty percent of students are from out-of-state with a large majority from the Northeast. The male/female ratio is just about even for undergraduates.


Social life is busy and students are active on campus. With a cinema, an art museum, 3 performance centers, 2 pools (indoor and outdoor), a wellness center (yoga and cooking classes) and Division I ACC sporting events competing on campus, students have much to choose from. Additionally, the university sponsors special events, drawing politicians, leaders, and artists from all fields and professions to campus. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just spoke on February 26th.  Past speakers included the Dalai Lama, President Obama, songwriter and musician Billy Joel and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Gaining admission to the University of Miami is becoming more competitive. Applications are up from 29,000 to 31,000 for the present admission cycle. U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Miami, in 2013, as the No. 1 school in Florida and No. 44 out of 281 institutions nationwide. Tuition is steep, but the university states that 50% of students receive some merit aid.

For the student who is well rounded – who likes to study, wants to be involved in community service, and enjoys being active and having fun – University of Miami is a strong choice.