UCLA vs USC- Which is better?

When choosing a college, it can be challenging to determine the best fit for you. Two of the most well-known universities in California are the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC). Both universities have unique qualities and differences that make them stand out, but which is better? This article will provide UCLA vs USC information and analysis of the different aspects of both universities.


According to College Gazette, UCLA has been ranked as the 20th-best National University in the United States, ahead of USC at 27th place. However, the specialized lists of U.S. News show the two universities in a different light. UCLA is listed as the 5th best college in the nation for veterans and 1st place on its list of top public universities. Meanwhile, USC appears on something other than these specialized lists.


When choosing a university, tuition is a significant factor for many students and their families. According to Shemmassian Consulting, UCLA’s tuition is significantly less expensive than USC’s, especially for California residents. The total cost of attendance, including tuition, room, board, and fees, is around $48,000 higher at USC higher compare to UCLA for California residents. Read about Budgeting Tips for College Students.

Both universities offer financial aid and scholarships to help students cover the cost of attendance. UCLA has a strong commitment to affordability and accessibility, and the university’s financial assistance program is designed to meet eligible students’ total demonstrated financial needs. USC also offers a wide range of financial aid and scholarship options, including need-based grants and merit-based scholarships.

Popular Courses

Leverage Edu compares the two universities and mentions that UCLA offers more than 300 undergraduate and postgraduate programs to international students. It provides students with a wide range of options. On the other hand, USC needs to provide information on the number of courses available.

Acceptance Rates

According to Academic, both universities are highly selective, with USC having a slightly higher acceptance rate than UCLA. In 2021, students applied to UCLA and got admission with a 10% acceptance rate. USC had a 12% acceptance rate for the 2021 academic year.


College Magazine provides an insight into the campus life of both universities and mentions that USC has a more beautiful campus than UCLA. Behind the picturesque, bricked architecture on USC’s campus, there lies stories and histories, while UCLA has its unique charm and character. Campus Reel also stresses that the better school is the one that is the best fit for you personally and recommends checking out all the videos on their website.

Academic System

Talk College Confidential provides a comparison of the educational systems of both universities. UCLA operates on a quarter system, which is faster-paced and intense, and grades are given on a curve, making it more competitive. On the other hand, USC operates on a semester system, which provides a more relaxed pace of study.

Academic Offerings

In UCLA vs USC situation, both offer a wide range of majors and programs, but there are some differences in their strengths. UCLA is well-known for its vital humanities and social sciences programs, while USC is known for its business, engineering, and communication programs.

Students can choose from over 125 majors at UCLA, including Political Science, Sociology, and English. The university offers interdisciplinary programs, such as American Indian Studies and Chicana/o Studies. On the other hand, USC focuses on business, engineering, and communication programs. The Marshall School of Business is consistently ranked as one of the top business schools in the country, and the Viterbi School of Engineering is also highly regarded. In addition, USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is one of the best in the country.

Campus Life and Student Resources

In UCLA vs USC case, UCLA and USC offer a vibrant campus life with many student resources and activities. UCLA has a diverse student body and a solid commitment to inclusiveness and social justice. The university has over 1,000 registered student organizations, including cultural and political groups, recreational sports teams, and service organizations.

On the other hand, USC is known for its Greek life and campus traditions. The university has a strong sports culture, a Division I athletics program, and a thriving tailgating scene. USC also has a wide range of student resources, including a top-ranked student health center and numerous career services.

UCLA vs USC- Which is better?


There is no clear winner in the UCLA vs USC debate. Both universities have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best university for you depends on your preferences and priorities. Whether you prioritize ranking, cost, popular courses, acceptance rate, campus life, or academic system, both universities have something to offer. Ultimately, the better university is the one that is the best fit for you personally. So, it is essential to research and gathers as much information as possible before making your final decision.

Moatsim Nasir

Sharing latest news, technologies, trends, and tips related to education. A Skilled writer who is enthusiastic about education and is dedicated to keeping up to date with the latest developments in the field. Committed to sharing his knowledge and insights to help readers stay informed and make better educational decisions.

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