USC vs UCLA | Which college is best |

The rivalry of USC vs UCLA, from football grounds to academics, both these reputed universities give a tough fight in all the verticals.

So, it isn’t clear for the students to make the comparison and choose the right one.

To streamline the difference between UCLA and USC, we had discussions with university students, alums, faculties and college advisors and performed the research on various points. After this, we concluded and found the key factors that definitely help you choose the right university for your major.

So here we begin…


1. College Overview and Best Majors


USC is one of California’s oldest private research universities, founded in 1880. Until now, the university has produced some of the best alums in various industries: music, aeronautics, architects, and Some famous alumni, Neil Armstrong, Charles Olden, Andrew Viterbi and Ron Mix.

USC has a strong alumni network comparable to UCLA. It has 100 alum groups across the five continents.

USC has 23 professional, graduate and undergraduate schools. Each year, the university admits approximately 8,000 students. We have found the list of USC best majors with the percentage of students admitted

For the research part, USC is categorized as an R1 University, spending more than $ 800 million each year in research and development. Graduation Rate for USC is 92%

Difference between UCLA and USC


UCLA is a renowned public university in the US. In fall 2022, the university broke the record for the highest number of undergrad applicants, including transfers nationwide.

Not only in Academics, UCLA roars in other verticals as well. Since 1932, in each Olympics, UCLA students have been getting the gold medal for the nation.

UCLA is also known for their alums: Jimmy Connors, Rob Reiner, and Andre Ghez. The list is vast in various industries. I have written some of them,

UCLA offer both undergraduate and graduate programs. If we see the numbers, it totaled 337. While all disciples classes are not filled with 100 or 200 students, some of the majors UCLA has been famous for STEM

UCLA is recognized as an R1 university with a 1.2 billion research expenditure.

See below the best majors at UCLA with the percentage of students admitted.

UCLA Majors

2. Acceptance Rate


Very selective with applicants, it has been assumed they have made constraints for selecting students, which include GPA must be 3.8 to 4.0, while SAT & ACT score is 1530 and 34 score (optional). As per stats of 2023, it has been found that the acceptance rate of USC is 12.9, while more than 32,000 applicants have applied. Besides GPA and exam scores, USC prefers students who have an entrepreneurial spirit.

See the percentage of student population at USC on a gender basis, international students and out-of-California state. You can apply to USC via Common App, and the cost of application is $ 85

USC Student Demographics


UCLA is among the universities with the highest number of applicants nationwide. To perform fair justice with all applicants, if we look into the prerequisites of UCLA regarding GPA, it is 3.5 to 4, while ACT & SAT score is (34 and 1510).

GPA & SAT- ACT Score, you can consider as first shortlisting. The college also keenly looks into your volunteer involvement in society, your hobbies and most importantly, your good essay.

UCLA is home to various international students from about 100 countries. When you visit the campus, you will get this experience. You can check stats of student diversity in offical website

You can apply to UCLA via UC App, and the cost of application is $ 135

Student and Faculty Ratio


Suppose you are the kind of student who prefers to study in the less students. In that case, USC can be your choice. It has been found that the student and faculty ratio is 9:1. You can take this advantage by having good relationships with the faculties and taking their help while working on the project and getting internships.


Many UCLA faculty members have been awarded prestigious awards, Noble, Grammy and many more. Getting studied under such faculties many students dream.

UCLA is known for STEM and other engineering fields, and the student and faculty ratio in those classes will be high (you can take 100 to 200 students)

While other classes apart from STEM, UCLA average class size is 26

Tuition Fees & Financial Aid Support


USC is among the most expensive colleges in California. The reason is that it has been a private entity since it was founded, and all the funding it gets from alumni and business institutions.

If you see the 2023 USC tuition fees, it’s about $ 66,640, which is a seriously high amount,

In terms of financial aid, USC has done a remarkable job. They are providing students with 100 percent financial aid support and various options for scholarships.


It is a public entity funded by the state government, and due to this, it has low tuition fees. If we look at the numbers, the UCLA tuition fee is $ 14,478.

When you look at the tuition fees of UCLA on their official website, you will find variations between California Residents’ tuition Fees and Non-California residents, but it will be less than USC.

In terms of financial aid, UCLA helps students to a certain extent, and it has also been found that a good percentage of low-income people are given opportunities at UCLA, which is a good initiative.

Dorms & Night life


USC is located in the middle of Los Angeles. Nightlife is good around USC. You will have good clubs near them, and if you are a football fan, some of the best stadiums are there. In terms of safety, many homeless people are outside the campus to avoid misshapen campus security, and DPS perform patrolling many times a day.

USC has a compulsion for first-year students to live in a dorm, and you will have different dorm options, including dorm-style, suite-style and apartment style. The university also offers special interest housing, including Asian, Pacific Islander, Women in Science and Engineering Floors, Desi American Leadership Community, Latinx Sol y La Luna Floors, Rainbow LGBTQ+ Community and Somerville Place.


UCLA is located on the west side of Los Angeles, which is termed as West Wood. If you like beaches, you will find the campus nearby and have the option of the Pacific Ocean, about 5 miles from the university.

In terms of nightlife, UCLA is safer than USC. Nearby UCLA, you can find some of the big restaurants. 

UCLA offers the first three years of guaranteed housing, and there is no compulsion for first-year students to live in dorms. UCLA also offers particular interest housing floors called living and learning communities.

Special Interest Housing at UCLA includes Creative Collective, Sustainability, Global Health, First to GO (for first-generation college students), Afrikan Diaspora and Gender, Sexuality and Society.

I have done with all the factors that help students differentiate between USC vs UCLA. If you have additional points or queries. Please comment or email me.

About the author ....

Hi, I’m Erie Wilson “Think Tank” of this blog. Sharing knowledge related to career decisions since 2020, If you have any doubts related to choosing majors or searching for colleges, you are free to ask in the comments or send me an email.