USC Class of 2026 — Regular Decision

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.


That is super helpful. Thank you so much!

you’re welcome

apply to marshall if your goal is just to get in (and put csba as your second choice, this is a unique circumstance where they will consider your second choice major even in viterbi since both majors place a heavy emphasis on business)

i’ve seen students with much higher stats than you get rejected from csba but never from marshall

Viterbi does not consider second choice majors for even CSBA, so that would be a throw away as a second choice.

hello --DS22 is applying to Viterbi Mechanical (first choice). He was going to mention Electrical Engg as second choice… Are you saying, instead of Engg, his second choice needs to be from a different school?

Once you are accepted into Viterbi, you are accepted into all Viterbi programs so it doesn’t matter which you put first and which you put second.

@lkg4answers Thank you so much for directing me to this site. It perfectly answers my question.

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It is fine to have two engineering majors listed and can be a good idea, it’s just to be considered at Viterbi, engineering/Viterbi also has to be a first choice.

Did you and/or your student see this? Hot Ones, but for Admission Questions – USC Viterbi | Undergraduate Admission

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As the December 1st deadline for scholarship consideration approaches, I will repeat this guidance again just in case it might help some worthy applicants to USC…

My main advice to future college applicants, and especially to those seeking USC, is to ask the important questions now and up to the time that you actually submit the application. The time to gain some potential insights and to work out your own unique and specific approach to applying is now and up to your submission date… and not thereafter.

With recent USC admit rates in the range of 11-16%, and with 4K+ applicants with 4.0 unweighted GPAs and test scores in the 99th percentile among those not gaining admission each year, your success will instead likely depend on too many potential factors for anyone to correctly evaluate… making predicting admission nearly impossible. But this also shows that they admit many without perfect grades or test scores. They are after all 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.

It is not the case that USC is looking for a freshman class of circa 3K comprised necessarily of well-rounded students. They are instead looking to craft a well-rounded class comprised of unique individuals who might bring something interesting and specifically needed to campus. So use the admission process to demonstrate that. Let the readers understand what USC may be gaining by admitting you specifically.

Your individual admission decision will likely come down to a composite and holistic analysis of your stats coupled with writing ability / essays, ECs, potential leadership roles, potential other unique qualifiers (URM, First Gen, geography, demographics, etc.), your Why USC? explanation/reasoning, etc. And that “Why USC?” explanation is likely the most important single component of your application. You do need 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.

Before applying, I suggest reading through the very helpful insider’s guide to USC admissions…

Good Luck…


Thanks for the well written info. D22 submitted her application yesterday as a CS/CE major to Viterbi College of Engineering. She’s not a perfect 4.0, has B+s in her PE and health but has a well rounded leadership and ECs and a strong volunteer of Women in STEM (which she echoed in her essays). I’m sure it’s difficult but she decided it last minute to apply at USC and wrote up her essays the day before. Now fingers crossed.