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Thursday.  Read on:


We all know how challenging/frustrating/stressful/emotional this time of year can be.  Admission decisions are rolling out from a number of universities, pressure is building, and you are wondering whether there is anything you can do to at this point.  We are receiving emails and calls asking the same questions…. so here’s a post with the hope we can get word out to all of our applicants:

We get it.  Personally, this time of year is one my most loved and loathed weeks.  There is about to be a great amount of excitement and positive news to be released… to small number of people.  At the same time, we will also be releasing bad news to far more people than ever before.

So, here’s where we stand:

Admission decisions are currently being finalized.  Committees are meeting as I post to make final decisions on the remaining few.

Admission decisions will be dropped in the mail this coming Thursday, March 23, 2017.  Yes, mail.  Postal Mail.  Real Letters.

As a university, we believe this decision is far too important for a simple click on a website or opening of an email.  It’s definitely not appropriate as a twitter direct message.  It should be a tangible experience for you and your family.  You will receive a physical letter with our official decision.  Some letters will be “thicker” than others, but everyone will be looking for the USPS delivery person.  You can even follow the USC Admission social media in the coming days to watch the process develop…. you may even see a post office truck be loaded!

What about online?

We realize mail may or may not reach you immediately.  We don’t rely 100% on the mail. If you don’t receive your notification by Sunday – check your online portal at  All decisions will be posted online on Sunday, March 26.  Keep in mind the traffic to that site is significant, so please be patient and stay tuned to social media for updates.

The Numbers

Most of the stress around this time of year revolves around your chances of admission.  And, to be honest, its challenging to accept the reality of competition.  Everyone should know that this year USC and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering each received the most applications we have ever seen.  Approximately 56,000 applications to the university.  About 12,000 of those applied to the USC Viterbi School.

This year is turning out be the most competitive admission year.  Ever.

While numbers aren’t final yet, we are definitely ending up lower than last year, and likely below a 14% acceptance rate for Fall 2017 in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

That is a hard number to swallow.

Next Steps

If you are admitted:

READ THROUGH EVERYTHING we send you.  It is definitely a ton of information that arrives in multiple emails – but there is a lot for you to do if you are considering USC and the USC Viterbi School.

VISIT US through one of our many admitted student events such as Explore USC, Preview USC, or at a reception near you.  (We will send you some more information on the details)

If you are not admitted:

Take a moment.  It’s not easy to take it in stride, and we don’t expect you to be OK with it.  But, in that letter is all the information you need.  Read through all of the “Frequently Asked Questions” as they likely address all of your questions.

While we may not be able to offer you a spot in this year’s first-year class, the door to USC Viterbi is not closed.  If you are interested in learning more about the Transfer Admission process, we are happy to help you.  Once you have chosen a community college or university to attend this year, we can advise you on the best plan to be a strong transfer applicant next year.  We are happy to work with you beginning in late May.


I know this post is not exactly fantastic news out of USC Viterbi, but I hope it sheds a little light onto what is happening at this very moment.  At the very least, I hope you know we are working hard and taking great care in making good decisions for the work you put into applying to USC and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Fight On!


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


  • Abigail says:

    Thanks for all the hard work the admissions staff put in! How about sharing your favorite/most memorable Quick Takes answers from accepted students? I bet we could all use a smile!

  • Paul Ledesma says:

    there are too many to list… and as much as I would like to go through some faves – we are a bit swamped right now. I’ll just say they mostly have to do with food!

  • C Wong says:

    Thanks for sharing this and the hard work! Would you mind clarifying the date when the results are posted online? It says Sunday but then March 26 which is Monday. Thanks!

  • Paul Ledesma says:

    All decisions were put in the mail yesterday (March 22). If you do not receive your notification by March 25, please check online in the afternoon of Sunday, March 25th

  • Jei Yu says:

    Hello is this for just USC Veterbi or for all USC decisions?

  • Paul Ledesma says:

    Hi, this is for all USC decisions. And… it’s Viterbi. 🙂