USC and Los Angeles have an abundance of cultural and recreational activities available to students. Students can live in a variety of areas in Los Angeles and easily travel using public transportation. There is something for everyone!

USC Campus Activities

There is always plenty going on at USC, including plays, celebrity and political speakers, musicals, concerts, first-run movies, film retrospectives, and art shows. Most popular, however, are the athletic events, especially football games.

Excellent athletic facilities available to students can be found at the Lyon Center. Entrance and basic facilities are free to students with current ID. There are basketball, squash, and racquetball courts, a weight room, bouldering wall, group exercise studio, and a track available for student use.

Los Angeles Activities

Los Angeles is a diverse and multicultural city with an endless variety of activities. Beyond the obvious tourist attractions (Hollywood Walk of Fame, Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood), Los Angeles is home to world-class museums and art galleries, outdoor activities, fine dining, and many professional sports teams. Los Angeles County has 75 miles of coastline with some of Southern California’s greatest beaches and surf spots. With an average of 292 sunny days per year and an average annual temperature of 74° F, it is almost always a great day to enjoy the outdoors. However, winter activities are also a short drive away, with several ski resorts in the nearby San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains.

Museums – The Getty Center, California Science Center (home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Griffith Observatory, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, The Broad (Modern Art)

Outdoor Activities – Griffith Park (4,310 acres – one of the largest urban parks in North America), Runyon Canyon (106-acre park in the middle of Hollywood), Los Angeles River Bike Path, 19 Los Angeles County owned golf courses

Sports – Baseball (Dodgers, Angels), Basketball (Clippers, Lakers, Sparks), Football (USC Trojans!, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers), Hockey (Kings, Ducks), Soccer (Galaxy, Los Angeles FC)

Other Favorites – Santa Monica Pier, Walt Disney Concert Hall (home of the LA Philharmonic), LA Live (downtown entertainment complex with a movie theatre, shopping and the Nokia Theater)


Most graduate students choose to live off-campus in nearby areas such as Downtown, Hollywood, Koreatown, Culver City, and Santa Monica. There are several websites that have listings for apartments and houses available for rent, including ZillowTrulia, and Craigslist. You can also check listings in the USC student newspaper, The Daily Trojan.

Getting Around

The Los Angeles Metro public transit system consists of subway, rail and bus service. The Metro Expo line is a light-rail line that runs from Downtown to Santa Monica, with three stops that are immediately adjacent to the USC campus. There are also numerous bus routes that carry passengers from USC throughout the city. Discounted monthly Metro passes are available to graduate students through the Graduate Student Government.

USC operates free transportation services. The shuttle service provides service to the housing areas off campus, to the Health Sciences Campus, Union Station, L.A. Live/Downtown, and to campus parking lots Monday through Friday. Campus Cruiser and Uber Services provide transport near and around campus after-hours.