USC vs UCLA- Business

I have been accepted to both USC and UCLA, and completely distraught over which one to choose.

USC- World Bachelor in Business (world-class program- 1st year in LA, 2nd in Hong Kong, 3rd in Italy). Also received a 25% scholarship

UCLA- Pre Business Economics

In terms of costs, yes USC is better, but that is not the issue.

With regards to career prospects, internships, which of these is more well connected?

I would love someone’s opinion

@WWWard @CADREAMIN @10s4life you seem very knowledgable about these two schools, and I would really love and value your inputs

Congratulations on your great options!!! You really cannot go wrong.

I am clearly biased in favor of USC, but I also favor private colleges and universities generally. Both are very well-connected and offer similar paths beyond college in terms of reputation, etc.

If cost is not the issue for your family, I would try to visit each campus in person… or virtually if you must… and also review the Niche college rankings by category for each to gain a sense of what past and current students feel about the actual college experience there.

Here’s a hint… USC is ranked #1 out of 1580 colleges/universities as having the best student life in the country.

Here is a link to even more rankings…

Good luck with your decision.

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USC, with its Trojan Network, is more well connected.

If cost isn’t an issue, what other factors are you considering?

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Let’s simplify and go with both are great schools (even if like @WWWard, I always choose private and being poor ha). But I don’t think that is as relevant here.

I think it is a choice between programs and not between schools. You got into WBB - that is a very elite, exlcusive club to be part of. As you know, it is a very specialized program that takes you around the world during your college years. People that do this are usually really passionate about it (nervous but excited). Your economics choice (why doesn’t UCLA have a true business program?!) is a an econ major set in a true 4 year college experience v. wordly business major. Not trying to argue value of econ v. business, but look at it in how it relates to you.

Did you apply to WBB because it was cool at the time, and now you are not sure or are nervous about it? Are you struggling with the idea of travel and the different kind of college experience that WBB is? If both were straight up business acceptances (let’s act like you were admitted to Marshall and UCLA had a business program) what would you pick?

Just trying to narrow down where your indecision lies. Is it the school or the program? If you can shed some light here, we may be able to direct you to some guidance/options at USC or UCLA.

USC Trojan Family is very real (another reason I like privates - they really do look out for their peeps). It opens doors, no question, it is amazingly valuable, I know this for a fact following the paths of many successful Trojans. Quality over the top internships have been a breeze to get for mine. People love to say yay UCLA, not sure how much they do for each other (not trying to jab here @10s4life, I really just don’t know about the alumni support, you could speak to this I’m sure).

It’s a great problem to have - both are excellent. Congrats on the choices, now just have to make one!

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P.S. lol, I thought this was a PM situation we were in as i just clicked my user name bubble to go here. I guess I should venture off the USC pages more often.

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UCLA is known more internationally and the Bschool is better.

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USC, the WBB program is awesome and their undergrad business school is better than UCLA.

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USC is not even ranked

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/business-overall

USC’s business school is more regional whereas UCLA’s is national.

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Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it :))

Thank you so much for your help! I do understand what you’re saying, and I think I would more so like to pursue a business related career, which makes USC the ideal choice.

Sorry moving post…

Sorry I am late to the game. I agree with @WWWard and @CADREAMIN on there points and just a disclosure, I am biased towards UCLA. I’ll try and compare the two for your chosen majors.

  1. Location:
    Both UCLA and USC are in the Los Angeles region. UCLA is in Westwood a very affluent neighborhood and serves as a surprisingly nice college town. The dorms, campus, apartments, and Westwood village are all a short walk from each other. It is also very safe with students walking around at all hours of the night. I have never felt unsafe in Westwood. USC is in a very bad part of LA although their gentrification is going nicely and the area is getting better. But that is only within the USC bubble. Venture too far in the wrong direction and it gets a bit dicey. Girls will typically uber to different fraternity chapters at night rather than walk.

  2. Cost:
    Are you OOS or IS for UCLA? I noticed you said USC with the 1/4 tuition scholarship is cheaper than UCLA so that lends me to believe UCLA is OOS for you. If money isn’t an issue at all (check with your parents since many students think money is not an issue but it actually is) then either would be ok. If money is then go with the cheaper option. Note that no undergrad degree is worth a mountain of debt.

  3. Student Life:
    Knowing people at both schools I can tell you that for the most part, they are almost identical. They are big SoCal schools with storied D1 sports programs and a big emphasis on the entire “college experience”. UCLA has slightly more undergrads than grads while USC has slightly more grads than undergrads. Both schools have over 1k student organizations and there are many things to do. USC may be slightly more “snobby” but there are plenty of students from diverse backgrounds. I think the USC attitude is a stereotype that has long since been left in the past. Similarly UCLA has a similar mix of socioeconomic diversity. Tour both campuses and see what you like but being at both and hanging with friends at both, I really can’t tell the difference.

  4. Bus Econ vs the WWBB:
    This is a tougher one. First off I think high schoolers and many parents obsess a little too much over the impact of a college major. For the vast majority of jobs, you learn the material on the job and taking advantage of the college network will go a lot farther than the nuances between college majors. In general Bus Econ, Econ, and traditional business admin degrees will lead to similar career outcomes. WWBB to me is something I will never do. Just because not being with my college friends and missing out on the memories they are making isn’t that appealing to me. It is a great chance to travel. Bus Econ is your basic econ degree with some accounting in it. It is more quantitative vs WWBB which has some more soft skills components and non technical coursework. UCLA typically places very well in Big 4 Accounting, Big 4 Consulting, tech, and entertainment industries. USC typically places very well in Big 4 Accounting, Big 4 consulting, and corporate financial planning & analysis roles. Both UCLA and USC place very poorly in the sell side of the bulge bracket banks and in MBB consulting. Those firms typically only alot a handful of slots to UCLA and USC. Again splitting hairs here. Focus more on the delivery and experience of staying in Westwood vs traveling the world. Only you can make that decision.

  5. Resources and Alumni:
    UCLA has a deceptively large endowment at just over $5B. USC is also around the $5B mark. To me its easy to make a big school small but not a small school big. Its easy to do it at UCLA and USC. Both have great career centers with lots of resources to get your own candidacy up to snuff for recruiting and the on campus recruiting opportunities at both schools are very good. I work at a company that considers both schools target school. It is a misconception that UCLA students have no interaction with professors but that is not true. Office hours are plentiful and its so simple to ask questions in class or go to them after hours/schedule a time. Many professors complain the students don’t take advantage of them. One of the the things I found was it was easier to ask my neighbor in class than the professor since the students were so smart. UCLA classes are also easy. Our 4 year graduation rate is over 90%. The ones that don’t typically switch majors too late or too many times or they fail multiple classes.

  6. Semester vs. Quarter System:
    I am a big proponent of the quarter system. I also went to a HS with quarters. I like it more because if you really enjoy a class you can take more follow on courses in that subject in a given year. Conversely if you really hate a class its over real quick. Quarter system schools also have school breaks between quarters. Meaning your breaks are real breaks. My sister goes to Cal and its on semesters and many times she has homework or midterms around or after Spring break etc. I could not survive that personally.

Anyways that’s my perspective. You really can’t go wrong and I personally would have been happy at either school.

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The 6 year grad rate is over 90, not the 4 year rate.

Thank you so much! Your insights are extremely helpful!!

Average time to degree including all students is still 4 years and 1 quarter which shows it’s not being skewed by much. I know no one at UCLA that needs more than 4 years so far.

I used to work for an LA Big 4 accounting firm and USC was our #1 college for on campus recruiting. Marshall school of business is excellent and the Leventhal recruits from their program are top notch.

These days the face of USC is Olivia Jade. Although a recent record-breaking settlement is taking some spotlight away from Jade and Aunt Becky. USC is just a bit (a lot) disgusting and its acceptance rate went from 11% in 2019 to 16% in 2020 (thanks to varsity blues and Jade). I hear it’s acceptance rate has rebounded to 12% this year, courtesy of test-optional. UCLA, on the hand, is on the ascent – currently THE most applied to university in the USA.

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UCLA also was involved in the Varsity Blues scandal. The soccer coach took money to get several non-soccer players accepted into UCLA. The only difference was that UCLA’s scandal didn’t involve movie and TV stars.

USC upped its acceptance rate last year because it predicted more accepted students than normal would opt for cheaper schools if classes were online and not in-person. $60K a year is a lot to pay for online schooling, and one of USC’s big selling points is its on-campus experience. It wanted to make sure there were enough accepted students to fill the slots of those who chose to go elsewhere.

My wife has an econ undergrad degree and thought it was useless when it came to getting a job. But she got it in the early '90s and it wasn’t as math-oriented as many current econ programs are.

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If UCLA had a traditional undergrad b-school like UVA and Michigan, that would tip the balance. You’re set up well with a prestigious program at a prestigious university with a quarter tuition break which all looks good on your resume. I like the worldly nature of the program and so will global employers.

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