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My Time At USC - A Senior Looking Back

Heisenberg5522Heisenberg5522 20 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi all I'm a senior at USC right now and I have to say that I've had a quite a love hate relationship with this school ever since I transferred. Looking back I would say that I made the right decision in picking the right school for what I want to do after I graduate when I transferred a few years ago. Since I said my time at USC has been "Love Hate" I will honestly say that I have felt let down and disappointed in many ways as this school seems to have quite a few areas that need drastic improvement. I am open to take any questions you may have about what has been good and bad at USC in this discussion. Thanks!
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Replies to: My Time At USC - A Senior Looking Back

  • romeonachosromeonachos 463 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    Could you elaborate on your disappointments of this school? How was USC financially?
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  • Heisenberg5522Heisenberg5522 20 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the reply - First off since I was a transfer student a lot of my classes weren't taken by USC when I came in a few years ago which has made things financially a lot more. That was probably the first thing that was quite a disappointment for me which was finding out that most of my previous work would not be taken. My other disappointment are in the areas of overall education quality and also student life and the experience as a student from another state.
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  • Heisenberg5522Heisenberg5522 20 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Just let me know which one you're more curious about. Frankly my overall education quality was better at a small liberal arts school before I transferred because we had smaller classes, no TA's and you had a much better relationship with professors. At a much bigger school that focuses more on research like USC, your grade can come down to what TA you have and it can be quite subjective.
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  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN 5467 replies103 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    I get the love-hate thing, I think a lot of students have this perspective wherever they go but interesting to hear it re USC. Not a student, but here's one of my L/H's - I love visiting and hanging out on campus, but hate finding a hotel and trek to Manhattan Beach to stay there when in town. There is just the Radisson nearby which is always full and downtown hotels are really expensive. (Same at UCLA - price of hotels - lodging is just tough in LA) What is your major? Will you stay in LA after you graduate or go elsewhere? (not looking for anything too personal here).
    edited April 2014
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  • chickenfiestachickenfiesta 47 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi! Thank you for offering to answer our questions! How were you disappointed with the quality of education and student life?
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  • Heisenberg5522Heisenberg5522 20 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Going into entertainment after school so in terms of choosing the school with the best alumni network for that business it made sense however like I said there are downsides to coming to one of the costliest schools in the country where materialism seems to be everywhere.
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  • Heisenberg5522Heisenberg5522 20 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I am actually going off to class right now but will be online later this evening (Los Angeles time) so post your questions that you have and I'll get back to you this evening. Thanks!
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  • Lilliana330Lilliana330 1578 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    Do you have any friends who are science majors? If so, what has their experience been like?
    edited April 2014
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  • AspiringStudentAspiringStudent 164 replies24 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Do you know anything about being a premed at USC? Also, as for the class sizes and professor familiarity, that applies to most research universities including not just USC but Berkeley as well :)
    And doesn't USC have smaller class sizes than, say, UC Berkeley? UCB has lecture courses with up to 600 students whereas I've heard USC's remain around 200 tops? Not quite sure if that's true though.

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  • AspiringStudentAspiringStudent 164 replies24 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Do you feel that the academics themselves were lacking? Like, were the courses and professors not adequate in, respectively, quantity and quality?
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  • ThankingGodThankingGod 6 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Going into entertainment? Are you studying theatre or film? I know the BA Theatre is large, but thought the BFA was small. When you speak of materialism, is it overwhelming? Could you give a couple of examples. If my child attends, he will be on a strict budget.
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  • TraveltimeTraveltime 5 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    My D is currently trying to decide between USC (Marshall) and 2 much smaller, Liberal Arts Colleges. I find it interesting that you talk about TAs. The tours we took never mentioned that TAs taught the classes, only professors. Please would you elaborate as this could influence her decision. (which classes TAs teach, how much influence do they have with grades etc??) Thank you!
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  • War ChantWar Chant 2322 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    Sorry to hijack but for @AspiringStudent‌ Intro classes are large, upper division classes shrink. You can check the size of classes here: http://classes.usc.edu/term-20141/
    Pre-Med (or broader Pre-Health) has a ton of opportunities available to you but you must go seek them out, no one will hand them to you. Research although not the greatest is there and funding is available to you. Opportunities for shadowing are available at the health science campus. There are bunch of clubs, mission trips, service groups that many Pre-Health students join and usually stick together and become friends. If you're aiming for MD, keep in mind that you need at least a 3.5 to be competitive so balance is key. Grades open doors that ECs cannot so that should always be your first priority so focus on your classes above all but need to participate in ECs to boost your application. As for professors, many are hit or miss, you'll have some good ones....and some bad ones....some you won't understand because of their accent...some that are old and slow....some that are young and new to teaching so it really depends on the class and the professor at the time. So academically, some classes will definitely be lacking, while others you'll feel the opposite. Your question is fairly broad, if you have some more specific questions, PM me.

    Same for @Lilliana330‌, anything specific? General experience is broad and essentially what you make of it, the opportunities are always there for you. But it will always be up to you to determine what you will get out of your education.
    edited April 2014
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  • Heisenberg5522Heisenberg5522 20 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    To anyone trying to decide between a few schools right now you need to think

    A. Is this a place I can fit in and enjoy myself and the college experience
    B. Decide where your interests are and which of the schools you've been admitted has the strongest programs.

    I think the biggest thing for me academically was adjusting to having TA's for most of the courses having control of your grade rather than just the professor like at a smaller university. The TA's sometimes aren't bad but there have been a few cases where you have bad luck and a bad TA where even though you are busting your butt on work they grade harder than others.

    ThankingGod - Good to hear a parent who is teaching a child the value of a budget. USC is a private Los Angeles University that has quite a few students who come from very well to do families who don't know what the term budget even means. Flashy clothes, cars etc etc. Women in my classes shopping for shoes instead of taking notes would be a prime example. It's both a Southern California Los Angeles thing but also a private school thing especially with our LA location.

    Aspiringstudent - I felt that a lot of my professors I've had were more into their research and outside work and made that their top priority and then lacked in teaching skills. Either they had high opinions of themselves or just didn't seem to know how to lecture very well at all.

    I also don't know anything about the premed track here at USC but if I would have to guess I would say it's good but not better than schools such at UCLA or Berkeley etc..

    War Chant I agree with you that you ultimately determine what you get out of your education which is absolutely true but you also can't ignore areas that need to be addressed here at this school either.. when I first got here I thought I had made a mistake and sometime I still feel like I haven't gotten my true college experience but I stand firm with the decision because the school has a great network for what I want to do after ...
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  • War ChantWar Chant 2322 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh I agree, I probably made the same mistakes and after attending, there are some issues that still need to be addressed, some that have been addressed, and some that will never be addressed. I'm sure most people come out feeling similarly, there are issues at every school.
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  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN 5467 replies103 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Do you think being a transfer impacted your opinions and that missing freshman experiences left you somewhat disconnected? I am always amazed when people throw out the idea of transferring in to any school as not a big deal - while I certainly understand the necessity - it can't be the same experience as starting and doing all four at a school. My freshman has already started working relationships with his professors, not to mention people in his major that will follow him for the next four years. I would think that is hard to duplicate coming in later to any school.
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  • Lilliana330Lilliana330 1578 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    War Chant,
    Between UCSD, UCSB, & USC, I've picked the latter. I know that the UC's are stronger in science, but I figured:

    1) Easy registration for classes + semester system + a more reliable financial aid system (no budget cuts) = less stress
    2) Smaller classes + lack of popularity for science majors (less competition) + bigger budget = more opportunities for research + easier access to professors = good research experience + LORs when applying for PhD's
    3) Super diverse community + strong school spirit + LA = a great college experience

    However, I still wonder if I made the right decision. Do you consider these to be valid reasons?
    edited April 2014
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  • AspiringStudentAspiringStudent 164 replies24 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited April 2014
    I'm just as uncertain as I've been since the end of March :/ USC Trustee or UC Regents at Berkeley? /premed student interested in composition and international studies
    *objective is to attend brown alpert medical school
    edited April 2014
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  • Heisenberg5522Heisenberg5522 20 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Honestly I would do Berkeley. They probably have a much better medical program.. try seeing which one is better ranked but I think Berkeley would be high up there.
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  • Heisenberg5522Heisenberg5522 20 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Lilliana I would actually say UCSD is very strong in science but you have to weigh other options that come in to play in choosing a school
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