USC Class of 2026 — Regular Decision

Thank you. S22 is applying to Dornsife. I’ll have him take a look at their pages.

Dornslife Audacious Goal

He might pick up some insight here as well:
Dornslife YouTube 1
Dornslife You Tube 2

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USC Admission tweeted this:

Ever wondered what we’re actually looking at in your high school GPA? Does it even illustrate your high school preparation? Read about this in more in our most recent blog post, written by our assistant dean, Becky Chassin.

High School GPA - Undergraduate Admissions Blog


When thinking about essays, pay attention to the traits of a Trojan, not just a mission statement. Mission statements are always very broad, I wrote them for zillions of companies and they are always concise, but not very specific!


As stated above, the essays need to be very personalized. USC and its Schools within it are well aware of their various mission statements and are not simply looking for applicants who can discover those and parrot them back to Admissions within their essays.

USC is still seeking to craft a well-rounded and diverse freshman class comprised of those who actually have a strong affinity for or connection to USC. They do aim to admit those who they project will thrive well at USC and bring something unique to the campus environment.

So what about you is especially interesting or unique? What sets you apart? Maybe that is something needed on campus or that should be included within USC next freshman class. So use the admission process to demonstrate that. Let the readers of your essay(s) understand what USC may be gaining by admitting you specifically. And likewise… why USC for you? There are scores of elite colleges and universities that you could attend next fall. So why USC for you?

You should be able to provide a well-thought out and well-researched answer as to why attending USC is truly significant and important to you specifically. And moreover, USC does want to gain a sense as to what you will be uniquely contributing to the greater USC community if admitted.

Good Luck to all those applying this cycle…


Thanks for the help. This is really useful to think about as our kids craft their essays.

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Does USC give weightage to alumni? My daughter S22 will be applying to USC regular decision, son graduated from USC Marshall in 2019.

I don’t think it helps much. A lot of people on here last year with tons of legacy and great stats who didn’t get in.

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Being a USC legacy or SCion is a factor and considered, but it is not as helpful as it once was. Because of the huge number of applicants these days, USC is compelled to turn down around 90% of all legacy applicants. Many of those are then offered TTP as a way to transfer in later though.

Applying as a legacy and other factors being considered are addressed well in this excellent article…

An Insider’s Look at USC College Admissions • Trojan Family Magazine

Good Luck



Any information on how competitive admission into the Cinematic Arts School is for major in Media Arts and Practice. Is it better to apply with intended major of Communications?

Calling @WWWard for this one! I can address overall but he has more experience in this realm. But in short, it’s very competitive.

USC SCA has never published such #s as best I can tell. Absent an insider spilling the info, all that any of us can go on is speculation and the #s overheard or talked about over the years. Overall, the SCA admit rate moving forward will still likely be in the 2-8% range… varying by program… with writing and IMGD likely being in that 2-4% range… production likely in the 3-5% range, animation and MAP likely in that 4-6% range and CAMS likely in that 6-8% range.

If anyone out there discovers the exact #s, please feel free to correct me or update these percentages. This also reflects the inverse in terms of #s admitted for each program as best I understand it… with more CAMS admits and writing and IMGD admitting the fewest.

A few years ago… it was posted on CC that SCA Admissions aimed for class sizes (which means they admitted likely double these #s to allow for yield) of 75 Cinema and Media Studies, 50 production, 12 IMGD, 15 Screenwriting, and 24 animation majors. That was before MAP was an option. Back then… Production was reported to be 4-6% admitted & IMGD was 2%. But more are applying these days… thus my downward speculation in terms of percentages. For example… when these percentages were quoted, the overall USC admit rate was around 17%. It then dropped to like 11-12% before rebounding to 16% last year, as I recall. I speculate that the admission rate will drop again and be closer to 13-14% this cycle. But that’s just my best guess.

Clearly, gaining admission to any SCA major is a huge accomplishment… as the competition is severe, and the number of spots available is extremely limited. Internal transfers (current students trying to transfer in to SCA) face much better odds. It is hardest trying to get in directly as a high school senior.

Communications is still competitive, but not as hard to get into as Media Arts and Practice. You could always gain admission to any major at USC and then try to internally transfer into SCA later, as my younger daughter did.

Good Luck…


Super helpful. Thank you!

You’re welcome.

@WWWard helped us a couple years back when we were asking the same questions. He’s a great resource for USC SCA information!

I don’t have much more to add, except our personal experience. DS said when he transferred from CAMS to PROD last year there were 4 students accepted.

Good luck everyone!

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Anyone considering or have information on USC Iovine and Young Academy admission stats and criteria?

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Thank you for your response above - it is very helpful. Does USC ever admit students to their second choice major, or is it typically admission to your major-of-choice, or rejection?

I really want to maximize my chances to USC (since I’ll probably get national merit scholarship). I have a 1560 and 4.38/4.0 W/UW, with some pretty strong ec’s and international awards in business and cs (my main angle being integrating the two for social impact). Does anyone have any insight as to whether CSBA or Marshall would be a better option if my goal is just to get in? I’m perfectly happy with both options, but was grappling between Marshall pool potentially being less competitive vs my unique angle that matches csba

You’re welcome.

And yes… there are actually four potential admission decisions: 1) admitted to USC and to your first choice major, 2) admitted to USC but to your second choice major, 3) admitted to USC but as Undeclared (with no major assigned) or 4) not admitted.

My younger daughter applied to USC and both of her major choices were SCA. She was instead admitted Undeclared, meaning that SCA passed on her, but USC still wanted to admit her. She committed to USC anyhow and quickly internally transferred into SCA. That Undeclared scenario was more common that we expected, as there was a large group of such enrollees in her orientation group.

But some schools/majors will not even consider you if listed second.

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