A Community of Individuals
Each USC Dornsife student is hand-selected because they bring something entirely unique to our community — something that makes our community as a whole even stronger.
No matter what a USC Dornsife student chooses to study, they arrive having already demonstrated an impressive combination of academic excellence, accomplishment, and creativity. Representing countless identities, backgrounds, and worldviews, our students don’t wait until graduation to grapple with problems in the world that they want to solve.
When you join our community, you’ll quickly discover that there is no typical USC Dornsife student. And that’s exactly why every one of them belongs here.
Stats on Students
Total Students (Undergraduate, Graduate, Certificate Programs)
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (Fall 2022)
First-Generation College Students (Fall 2022)
Underrepresented Minority Students (Fall 2022)
Undergraduates Receive Financial Aid
MA Students Enrolled across 58 Programs
Cheering on the Trojans at a big game, diving into novel research, exploring L.A.’s culinary scene, or simply basking in the Southern California sun … there’s always something new and exciting for students to do beyond the classroom.
Different Aspirations Fueled by Shared Passion
USC Dornsife students are leaving their mark on the world. Check out the latest news to find out what they’re up to.
Students Making News
Newly minted PhD draws from personal experience to advocate for children in foster care system
The first to graduate from the creative nonfiction track of USC Dornsife’s PhD in Creative Writing and Literature program, Melissa Chadburn has covered L.A. County’s child welfare system across multiple genres.
Salutatorian continues branching out of his comfort zone to take on new challenges
The USC Dornsife senior hopes to use his social policy experience in legislative work or community organizing before going to law school.
Undergrads win prestigious Soros Fellowships to study the school-to-prison pipeline
Part of a civil rights advocacy clinic, two USC Dornsife students were selected from thousands to receive funding for a project aimed at prison reform.
Chemistry PhD candidate launches capture carbon business
Carlos Navarro co-founded Closed Composites, an award-winning venture aimed at recycling carbon fiber from scrapped aircraft parts.
USC Dornsife junior earns sought-after Goldwater scholarship
Neuroscience major Ammar Dharani sees his work as being at the crossroads of several fields that can help advance medicine — work that won him a coveted national scholarship.
Former South Bay Lakers player becomes pre-med student
Professional basketball player Marcus Allen looked to an innovative pre-med program designed for students with little or no science background to further his dream of becoming a physician.
PhD candidate’s novel examines the contemporary resonance of a violent historic episode
Creative writing PhD candidate Jean Chen Ho’s research into L.A.’s 1871 Chinatown massacre adds new insight on today’s spike in anti-Asian racism — and proves meaningful material for her new novel.
Students raise money for Ukrainians hit by Russia’s invasion
Graduate students in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures grapple with how to respond to Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has thrust their studies into the spotlight.
Salutatorian Shreya Daniel looks to do it all after graduation
Medical school is next for the USC Dornsife graduate, along with a side hustle that has so far raised nearly $15,000 for charity.
Diving In and Finding Community
Environmental Studies, ’24
When environmental studies major Isabella Pangilinan ‘24 found community in working with first-generation transfer students like herself, she also found certainty that USC Dornsife is the place where she can thrive.
Why did you choose USC Dornsife?
Through the USC Dornsife Environmental Studies program, I have the space to pursue my academic interests in the complex inner workings of environmental policy and law. Moreover, with access to the USC Dornsife Office of Pre-Law Advisement, I can explore resources that can aid me in the law school admissions process.
In all, I am forever inspired by how education can transform lives, and majoring in environmental studies has only reaffirmed my dedication to making a difference for our planet.
As a student, USC Dornsife will make me a more assertive leader who can grab her chair and make space to be a part of a student body that partakes in rich conversation.
What’s your experience been like as a first-generation student?
As a first-generation transfer student, I was anxious and scared about coming to a big, prestigious, out-of-state institution like USC. However, the Trojan community and family are real — I never felt like I didn’t belong. Everyone is truly willing to help you in any way. Some support that I’ve found beneficial is the first-generation space at TCC 224 and being a part of the USC Dornsife Transfer Ambassador (DTAP) program. Through DTAP, I can help other current and prospective Dornsife transfer students so they aren’t intimidated by being a transfer student.
What’s been your top USC Dornsife experience so far?
So far, my top experience has definitely been engaging with current and prospective transfer Dornsife students as a Dornsife Transfer Ambassador. It has been so rewarding being part of a community where I can take on a leadership role and share my advice and experiences with other students. It embodies what it means to be a part of a caring and collaborative Trojan Family.
Another great Dornsife academic experience of mine has been receiving a SOAR award to fund my room and board for the Maymester I’m going to take on Catalina Island! I’m excited to live on the island and learn about aquatic microbiology at the Wrigley Institute for a month!
What Problem Do You Want to Solve?
Fighting for Healthcare Justice
I want to solve limited access to health care. I think everyone deserves the right to get the help they need to live a physically and mentally healthy life.
Advancing Black Well-Being
My aim is to uncover the policies, structures, and institutions that enable Black well-being. The United States has the material resources to ensure all people within its borders live a dignified and joy-filled life. However, the political will and imagination to accomplish this aim are lacking. My research addresses human flourishing and its contradictions to encourage us to make a world where all Black people live well.
Harnessing the Power of Machine Learning
I want to intersect my love of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and team management through product creation.
Creating a More Connected World
Through my work at USC Dornsife, I want to highlight diverse stories that are oftentimes on the wayside. As a person who has many intersecting identities, I want to use my South Korean studies to show how movements that I care about, like women and queer rights, are progressing in other contexts so I can have a holistic view. I believe that cultural studies help create a more connected and understanding world.