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First Year Applicants

Why Choose USC?

By April 6, 20112 Comments

Deciding where you want to attend college is probably one of the most difficult decisions you have had to make.  There are so many universities out there, and the advice you seek can and will come from a variety of sources… they all seem decent… some seem better than others… rankings say one thing…. the Fiske Guide says something else…. your friends tell you where they are going… your parents feel like you should attend a certain school… then there’s what your gut is telling you.

Hit the jump to see a variety of resources for you to hear from current USC Viterbi Students why they specifically chose to attend USC, and hopefully you can determine if you fit they way they did.

Let me give some of my own personal advice.  This is not about finding “THE BEST SCHOOL”.  There is no such paradise.  Searching for the best school will have you asking questions about statistics, percentages, numbers and more quantitative measurements hoping you can plug these numbers into a spreadsheet, hit SUM, and see who wins.  Just as we couldn’t simplify our admission process in such a manner, I dont recommend it for choosing your University either.  While stats & numbers are important to understand a program, it is important to trust your gut.  You are not seeking the best school – you are looking to find where you fit the best.  You are looking for THE BEST SCHOOL FOR YOU.

Based on the fact you have been admitted to USC, you have also been admitted to top programs and universities around the country.  You cannot make a bad choice here.  All of the schools to which you have been admitted are great – which one fits you best?  If you believe it is USC, Great.  We want you here.  If not, that is fine as well – we want you to be at a place you want to be.

Current Students & Their Perspectives

I have asked our Viterbi Student Ambassadors to tell you what they believe… each student wrote their own blog post at Viterbi Voices.  I am highlighting a few below – but be sure to check out all of their blogs to get a better sense:


Mica, an international student studying Industrial & Systems Engineering summarized: “The student activities, career-centered academia, fantastic weather, academic flexibility and diversity at USC can’t be beat.”

Will was coming from the Washington, DC area and “really wanted to minor in Theater and didn’t think I could do both.”

Kristy, a senior studying Civil Engineering, “had it narrowed down to 2 schools in the end: USC and Brown” and “started out not wanting to go to USC at all.”

Nathan knew that going to school 2500 miles away from home was a challenge, but he “knew that I would fit in and that I could actively contribute to the community in a rewarding manner.”


Lisa, a senior from Seattle, WA, knew what she wanted: “strong engineering program, large student population, in a metropolitan city,… [and] school spirit believing this meant students were proud to be at that school.”

Kristen, a senior from Virginia studying Civil Engineering, Building Science, knew she wanted a “great engineering program,” but also “wanted to continue the dancing I did in high school, and I was looking for the opportunity to try other arts and design programs.”

Of course – this is just a sample. Head on over to Viterbi Voices to see all of the reasons…. or, check out some of the videos on their YouTube channel to see even more.

Paul Ledesma

As Executive Director, Paul oversees Undergraduate Admission for all programs at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He was born and raised in southern California and is a lifetime Dodgers fan. He enjoys traveling (Italy may be a second home), discovering new restaurants in LA (tacos anyone?), and while he may not qualify as a bonafide movie-buff, he loves movies (especially comic book movies). He studied Psychology for his bachelor's degree, minored in Public Management, and was active in leadership for community service groups Troy Camp and Dance Marathon while attending USC. When he's not working he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and rescued pup and kitty in Redondo Beach, CA. (well, maybe not the cat so much) Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his