University description (as per official university website)
Los Angeles was a rough-and-tumble frontier town in the early 1870s, when a group of public-spirited citizens led by Judge Robert Maclay Widney first dreamed of establishing a university in the region. It took nearly a decade for this vision to become a reality, but in 1879 Widney formed a board of trustees and secured a donation of 308 lots of land from three prominent members of the community - Ozro W. Childs, a Protestant horticulturist; former California governor John G. Downey, an Irish-Catholic pharmacist and businessman; and Isaias W. Hellman, a German-Jewish banker and philanthropist. The gift provided land for a campus as well as a source of endowment, the seeds of financial support for the nascent institution.
When USC first opened its doors to 53 students and 10 teachers in 1880, the “city” still lacked paved streets, electric lights, telephones and a reliable fire alarm system. Today, USC is home to more than 33,000 students and nearly 3,200 full-time faculty, and is located in the heart of one of the biggest metropolises in the world.
Explore the timeline below to discover highlights in the history of the oldest independent teaching and research university in the West.
When you have found a university that offers everything you are looking for—terrific students taught by a great faculty on a beautiful campus in an exciting location—cost should not be the primary factor in your decision to apply or to attend.
USC has advantages that you generally will not find at less expensive institutions: smaller classes; tenure-track faculty teaching General Education courses; top-ranked programs in virtually every field; the opportunity to choose from more than 150 undergraduate majors and 130 minors; and the lifelong support of the Trojan Family. While attending a private university is a major investment, more than 60 percent of students at USC receive some type of financial assistance.