About USC & Los Angeles
Top 5 Reasons why USC should be your first choice:
- Distinguished faculty producing groundbreaking research that addresses critical issues facing our global society.
- More than 400 highly regarded graduate and professional programs that prepare students for leadership positions in research, education and professional practice.
- A strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research, including productive collaborations among professional schools.
- A "learner-centered" approach to graduate education, fostering intellectual partnerships between faculty and students. Faculty play an active role in helping students hone their skills in locating, assessing, applying and presenting information.
- A global outlook and an urban location in a vibrant international city where more than 200 languages are spoken.
The USC Viterbi School of Engineering offers scholarship opportunities to qualified graduate students. You can get more information by visiting the following link: https://viterbigradadmission.usc.edu/programs/masters/tuition-funding/gradscholarships/.
Graduate programs at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering are consistently ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers visionary leadership, unique programs and a dynamic faculty, many of whom are members of the National Academy of Engineering and recipients of National Science Foundation Career awards. For a complete list of the programs offered, follow this link.
|Months||Season||What to wear/pack||Temperature range
|Winter||Umbrella or rain jacket with hood
Warm jacket or light coat
Long-sleeved shirts and sweaters
12°C/54°F to 23°C/73°F
10°C/50°F to 21°C/70°F
10°C/50°F to 20°C/68°F
Long-sleeved shirts and sweaters
11°C/52°F to 21°C/70°F
11°C/52°F to 18.6°C/65.5°F
Short-sleeved shirts and light weight pants
Shorts on the warmest days
11.6°C/52.9°F to 19.7°C/67.5°F
13.5°C/56.3°F to 20.6°C/69.1°F
15.3°C/59.5°F to 22.2°C/72.0°F
|Summer||Shorts for daytime
Jacket or sweatshirt and long pants for evenings
17.1°C/62.8°F to 24.1°C/75.4°F
17.9°C/64.2°F to 24.8°C/76.6°F
|Fall||Short-sleeved shirts and light weight pants
Shorts on the warmest days
17.3°C/63.1°F to 24.8°C/76.6°F
15.1°C/59.2°F to 23.6°C/74.5°F
Before You Arrive
Next Steps for New Students can be found at https://viterbigrad.usc.edu/new-student-information-new/
USC has an immunization and screening policy requiring all incoming students to provide proof of the following: Measles / Mumps (MMR) Immunity, Varicella "Chicken Pox" Immunity, Meningococcal Vaccine (ACWY), COVID-19 Vaccines, Tuberculosis for international students, and other immunizations and screenings. Please go to the Health Center webpage for further instructions and current information: https://studenthealth.usc.edu/immunizations/.
I-94 card is an arrival/departure record for a person entering the United States. It is issued at the port of entry into the United States and is attached to a person’s VISA. Prior to landing, the flight attendant will distribute customs declaration forms and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) forms. One important form is the I-94 arrival/departure document.
Important reminders when filling out I-94 document:
- Print clearly, with one letter in each space
- Date of Birth is in order of MONTH, DAY, YEAR
- Any mistakes will result in a correction procedure that is quite time consuming. Minor mistakes can cause major delays with certain applications that may be filed upon arriving on campus so please be attentive and careful when filling out the I-94 document.
Prime Time Shuttle offers USC faculty, staff, students, and official guests shuttle transportation service at a 10% discount (10% off published rates). The discount applies to shuttle service to/from all Los Angeles basin airports and all USC campus locations (UPC, HSC, downtown etc.). To make reservations online, visit the link at: http://primetimeshuttle.hudsonltd.net/res?USERIDENTRY=TROJAN07&LOGON=GO
The LAX flyaway bus service provides transportation directly to/from LAX airport. To check the fees and timing schedule, visit the link at http://www.lawa.org/welcome_LAX.aspx?id=292. You can access this bus at the Union Station. For your convenience, the University provides a free tram service to the Union Station. For more information visit the link at: http://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/bus-map-schedules/.
Arriving at USC
The first thing that you need to do is Passport Verification (PPV). International students need to complete PPV with the Office of International Services for passport verification. Otherwise, you will not be able to register for your courses because you will have a restriction hold (STU50) on your account. Please visit the Office of International Services (OIS) website for instructions. You can also visit their office at Royal Street Parking Structure, Room 101. The CS Department does not handle Visa’s or I-20. You will need to contact the OIS office in regards to any I-20 questions, at (213) 740-2666, Fax: (213) 740-5194, or email: email@example.com.
All USC students are required to have a USC Id card that should be carried at all times while on campus. The card, which identifies you as a currently enrolled student, also entitles you to various other privileges and potential uses on and off campus. Your student ID entitles you to use the University Library System, the Lyon Center and other recreational facilities. It also provides you with check cashing privileges at the Cashier's Office and access to your USC Trojan Housing complex and computer centers located around campus.
You can begin the process of applying for the USCard online at www.usc.edu/uscard. However, the USCard cannot be issued until after you arrive at USC and after completing Passport Verification. After you complete Passport Verification you will receive an USCard application. The application along with the passport, SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 will be required to pick up your card either at a PPV session or during orientation.
Viterbi Engineering Master’s Student Orientation All incoming Master’s students pursuing on-campus programs of study are encouraged to attend the Viterbi School graduate orientation. The orientation will allow students to learn about their degree programs, registration procedures, university policies, resources, and student life. It will also be a chance for new students to network with faculty, department staff and their fellow classmates at the Viterbi School of Engineering.
The USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) sells impounded bikes for as low as $25.00. The DPS bike sale normally takes place before the start of the semester.
You can also purchase new & used bikes from the following business:
Lions Bike Shop
1387 W, 29th St
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Base fare for buses or trains is $1.75 each way. Day passes are available for $3.50. One week passes area available for $12.50. 30 day passes are available for $50.00. You can also apply for a reduced student monthly pass. You can obtain an application for college student monthly pass online at https://www.metro.net/riding/fares/ or from the USC Transportation campus.
Graduate U-Pass Program Information
USC Transportation partners with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to offer the Graduate Student U-Pass program; the reduced fare transit pass offers USC grad students unlimited rides on Metro’s rail and bus lines for any given semester. If you need help or have any questions about the program, please contact USC Transportation’s Rideshare Coordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on USC housing, follow the link at: http://housing.usc.edu. The USC housing office is located at:
USC Housing Services
620 USC McCarthy Way,
Tel: (800) 872-4632, (213) 740-2546
One of the advantages of living on-campus is the easy access to classes, libraries, computer labs, cafeterias, etc. Most students who live in a dorm get a meal plan in order to make eating easy and convenient. Keep in mind that on-campus housing may be more expensive than off-campus housing. To get a list of the available housing options, please refer the USC Housing Website at http://housing.usc.edu/
For students who wish to live off-campus, there are a variety of options available. Off-campus housing may be less expensive than on-campus housing. A list of some of the housing options that are available around the University Park Campus can be found at https://nup.och101.com/. Please be advised that if you live off-campus, commuting to school might be an issue.
USC Housing has partnered with a non-USC group to provide a wide array of resources on searching for an apartment around the campus.
Off-Campus Housing: https://nup.och101.com/
There are several options for short-term accommodations on or near the University Park campus. Follow the link at https://ois.usc.edu/living-in-la/housing/ to get a complete list of short-term accommodation options.
There are various online forums such as Yahoo (USC Housing), Orkut, Edulix which act as a very good resource of looking for roommates. Please be careful when selecting roommates you meet via online forums.
If you are planning to move to a new apartment, be sure you know your rights and obligations before you sign a lease. Take into consideration the following factors:
Apartment Security Deposit: A landlord may ask for a payment upfront equal to one or more months of rent.
Sublease: Always confirm from your landlord, whether or not you are allowed to sublet your apartment in case you have to move out for any reason.
Security: Does your landlord provide security service? Is there a parking garage?
USC Transit (TRAMS/BUSES): Visit the link at http://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/bus-map-schedules/ and check if your location is covered by the USC Tram/Bus service.
Bills: Discuss about the utility bills (electricity, water, internet, cable) that you would be responsible for paying.
Getting Acquainted With the USC Campus
You can open a bank account in any one of the following banks which are located in and around Campus.
USC Credit Union (on-campus)
University Park Campus
3601 Trousdale Pkwy, STU-106
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Bank of America
2703 S Figueroa St,
Los Angeles, CA 90007
CHASE (located across the Felix Chevy dealership)
3335 South Figueroa St, Suite N
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Citibank (Located across the Gate 6 entrance, on Vermont)
3615 South Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007-3945
USC provides state of the art labs and computing facilities on-campus. A total of 4 computer centers are open for student use and they have classrooms that can be reserved for hands on instruction. Given below is the list of computer labs available on-campus:
King Olympic Hall (KOH)
Leavey Information Commons (LVL)
Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL)
Waite Phillips Hall of Education (WPH)
Check for the lab timings at http://itservices.usc.edu/spaces/computingcenters/
USC ITS freely distributes software for academic purposes. For more information visit, https://software.usc.edu/ Students who are enrolled in Computer Science (CS) courses are given access to Microsoft Imagine downloads. For more information, click here.
No, you do not require a new ID to access the computer labs. The login name and password is the same as your USC e-mail account. If you have trouble logging in to any of the labs, contact ITS at http://itservices.usc.edu/
USC provides a wide array of eating places for its students. A complete list with the directions to reach them can be found at http://www.usc.edu/maps/.
The Sports and Recreational facilities are located at the Lyon Center on USC Campus and the USC Village Fitness Center. If a student is currently enrolled, they have access to the sports & recreational facilities. Follow this link for more information.
Yes, you need to get a signature on your I-20 and a Letter of Standing from the Office of International services either via email or in person located at Royal Street Parking Structure, Room 101. More information and the forms and procedures to request the signature can be found at https://ois.usc.edu/students/travel/.
Published on June 14th, 2016
Last updated on February 6th, 2023