StudentsReview :: The University of Southern California - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings
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The University of Southern California

Total Grad Surveys 42
Females 22
Males 20
Avg years at University 1.8
Research Quality B+ (7.6)
Research Availability B (6.6)
Research Funding B (6.9)
Graduate Politics B (7.0)
Not Errand Runners B+ (7.4)
Degree Completion B+ (7.9)
Alternative pay [ta/gsi] B- (6.3)
Sufficient Pay C+ (5.7)
Competitiveness B (7.2)
Education Quality B (6.7)
Faculty Accessibility B (6.8)
Useful Research B+ (7.4)
"Individual" treatment B+ (7.4)
Friendliness B+ (7.6)
Safety C+ (5.5)
Campus Beauty B+ (7.5)
Campus Maintenance B+ (8.0)
University Spending B (7.1)
Extracurriculars B+ (7.6)
Scholastic Success B+ (7.6)
Surrounding City B+ (7.7)
Social Life/ Environment B+ (7.8)
Campus MaintenanceB+
Phenomenal experienceOct 20 2017Education
Phenomenal experience. I was accepted into USC after teaching at a public institution for a year; I really wanted to take it a step further by getting my masters and pursuing a physics credential. The professors were top notch and really helped me gain a deeper understanding of pedagogical techniques and differentiation geared toward diversity. If all teachers were trained through a program similar to USC Rossier, I believe we would have a much higher number of competent teachers. Being able to "Attend" class from home was very convenient and cut out any travel time that would result from attending an on-campus program. Honestly, I felt so much more focused in class compared to a traditional classroom, likely because I was just a "head and face" so others would know if I were to be zoning out. Class discussions themselves were rich in collaboration and small group work which was very helpful for learning how to apply theoretical knowledge gleaned in the course readings and educational material. Also, when you are a teacher, the name of the school you get your degree from CAN matter; having a degree from USC definitely puts you ahead in the game. The program is expensive, but the program is genius; I do not think there are many other institutions that could have prepared me better as a teacher.
I love MAT@Rossier! Not the price tagMar 21 2017Education
I love MAT@Rossier! Not the price tag.
The Good: Maybe it's because I live outside of California, but there is practically nothing like it in my state. It is flexible as a part-time student who works despite the three-hr long classes because each class meets just once a week. Also, making sure to be qualified to register early means picking the days that work best for you. Now, the student teaching will be inflexible, so be prepared for life changes, but consider this: the MAT is for aspiring educators who didn't choose the ED path as an undergrad, but now, there is an opportunity to choose that path and be done in 1-2 years.

The Bad: Now, the price is hefty, especially since I graduated in-state without debt, but I'm taking the risk to be the best in my field in my state. However, yes,the price tag does make me cringe. I didn't receive any scholarships, and I can't be a college T.A due to being out-of-State. I will be graduating with debt. It is something to consider if you have a priority to stay debt-free and are not monetarily wealthy.

The Best: All my professors and peers have been top-grade mentors, educators, friends, etc. Every professor I've had has been passionate about their subjects, and I've learned so much from each one of them. My classmates have been a diverse group of people who are intelligent, hard-working, kind and compassionate individuals who support each other. I could not have asked for a better network of people. Other things: Yes, online means that, at times, the tech doesn't work properly, but I have never lost attendance points for having technical difficulties.

Re: Online MAT @ USCFeb 12 2017Education
Re: Online MAT @ USC
Save your money! This program is ripoff ($50K+/yr) and the online format seems ideal but when one course is over three hours long--and a professor will remove you from the course / mark you absent if they cannot see your face on the screen--it kind of defeats the purpose of taking an online class.

If you are working professional, I would not suggest this program; it's not a flexible program. (To be honest, I wouldn't suggest this program for any aspiring teacher!)

After the first week, I dropped all of my courses for the following reasons:

1. The professors seemed like they didn't want to be there.
2. There were always technical difficulties (with the students and/or professors)
3. Staring at a computer / being in a virtual classroom for 3+ hours wasn't my idea of a flexible, online program. If I'm going to be subjected to listening to someone for over three hours, I might as well just take an on-campus class.

^Note: #3 was the main reason I dropped my classes. The USC Technology sounds really cool but in actuality, one class is like face timing with someone for 3+ hours...except you can't move (because you're stuck in a computer desk...unless you're using an iPad). It's exhausting

4. I realized I could earn my teacher certificate through a school district FOR FREE ( and I would just get my Masters from a smaller, cheaper university). FYI: Principals do not care which school you went to, as most of them have online masters or doctorates from no-name schools. This is one thing I had to learn because I switched from applying to medical school (where the name of your school really matters!!) to teaching.

USC prepared me for the world of SocialSep 12 2016Social Work
USC prepared me for the world of Social Work and Mental Health Services. I am proud to be a Social Worker and a USC Alumni. If you apply yourself to your studies and the material provided, you will be a valuable asset where ever you decide to go as a Licensed Social Worker or as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Fight on!
Had I known the quality of master's levelApr 25 2016Journalism
Had I known the quality of master's level students they are recruiting, plus the poor quality of instruction by second-hand arrogant professors, I would have not enrolled.If you are an online student, you get the adjunct professors (not the real professors who teach on campus). You get thrown a ton of reading and expected to somehow work it all out. No quality lectures or learning. If you are honest and bring up real issues, you are batted down, given poor grades, ganged up on, and blamed. It is a gang culture here. They care more about diversity than they do education. I am embarrassed to be in this program and wish I was on campus at least. Now of course there are a few exceptions both in students and professors, but on the whole, no one really cares there. I have had fellow student in this program act like gangsters, verbally abusive nasty people that I wouldn't even give a high school diploma to. I've had my work deleted, been iced out of group work, the list goes on. It's like going to work and having a gang of bikers come and bully you - and you have to pay for it. NO THANKS. Save your money and go to UCLA or elsewhere.
I attend the MSW@USC virtual MSW program, whichDec 14 2015Social Work
I attend the MSW@USC virtual MSW program, which has been an extremely positive experience. Faculty are high quality, supportive, and easy to reach; the curriculum is rigorous and informative; and the technology is high quality and supported by 'round the clock phone support. The virtual field placement in the first semester is challenging and excellent preparation for on-ground placement. Every effort is made to find students field placements that are a good fit. Additional supportive services offered include online and by mail access to USC's tremendous library, tutoring and editing, counseling services, and an alumni mentor program. Principle problems with the program are its high cost and the over-emphasis on cognitive and behavioral interventions at the expense of other rigorously validated therapies such as psychodynamic therapy. Overall an excellent program. Highly recommended.
I definitely regret choosing to attend USCNov 12 2015Social Work
I definitely regret choosing to attend USC. The faculty members are arrogant, and shady. Instead of really caring about their student's success, they are huge on advocating for students of their ethnicity/race, and definitely show favoritism for certain students. The faculty members are really no help; particularly speaking about Paul Maiden, he was by far the worst faculty member on campus. The social work department really needs to make some changes in regards to staff/faculty members.
USC is excellent if you are an AfricanApr 07 2015Social Work
USC is excellent if you are an African American student. If not, you will be subject to angry outbursts, rants, name calling, shame, verbal attacks etc. most of it is from other students but not all of it. You will be discounted, laughed at, and put down. You will be informed that it is now time for the blacks to have the voice so deal with it. My advice is to find another university if you are not african american.
Caucasion students Be AwareNov 14 2014Social Work
Caucasion students Be Aware. This is a very pro African American and pro football school. Students and professors will treat you negative if you are not in one of these groups. Many discussions in your classes will turn into discussions about cultural diversity and minorities/minority issues no matter what subject you are actually talking about. If you show any concern as to why this is or try to question it and you are caucasion-you will quickly be reminded by students and professors about civil rights, slavery, overcrowding in prisons due to white law enforcement only arresting minorities etc. I was a victim of racism daily for being caucasion and was told things like "how does it feel Eastern Eauropean"-apparently that is the new name for "white people". And things like "must be rough being white". When I complained to the professors, I was told that minorities were not able to voice their opinions for many years and now they can and I should learn to be more culturally sensitive. And many professors would go on rants about how its time for minorities to be heard. I do believe in equality for ALL, thats why Im a MSW student. I do not believe it means holding down others to get there. Two wrongs do not make a right!
I am in the VAC program online forMay 29 2014Social Work
I am in the VAC program online for the MSW program at USC. I really wish I had read some of these comments first because they are true. This program cares about money and money only. The communication is horrible! The recruiters make it seem like there are more scholarships, but for VAC students and Veterans there are NOT MANY AT ALL. I am very disappointed in this program.
I have been a student of the MATDec 08 2013Education
I have been a student of the MAT program for the past year. Along with other reviews I have read, I am disappointed with the quality of the curriculum. I feel there is a great deal more to learn as a pre-service teacher instead of endless theory, reflection techniques and cultural/high needs differences. I understand that USC's mission is social justice, but to spread this mission across four terms (utilizing the same texts, authors and articles, mostly from the 70s and immediately post NCLB), seems excessive. I would like to learn more about teacher advocacy, advancements in writing across the curriculum, and actually student teaching without being bogged down by a multitude of assignments. Given the chance, I would transfer to another school, however, I have invested far too much at this juncture. On a positive note, the professors I've had are very passionate about their work, and, for the most part, very accessible. They really want you to succeed, and believe in the coursework. The "academic advisers" are recent college graduates who are ill equipped to answer any questions or give actual, constructive advice. In short, a future student of the MAT program will be given little choice or say in what classes to take, will give armed with at least five advisers from placement to career to technical, and will be programmed to the USC vision of what good teaching looks like. It's a business and USC is in competition with other Education programs to get their teachers hired. The MAT school does hold a 90% hire rate.
My colleagues agree, the online MAT at USCNov 24 2013Education
My colleagues agree, the online MAT at USC is a disaster. We all feel robbed of our time and money. I know many students who are not returning to the program after two terms because they are unhappy with the quality of the education and the lack of professionalism by the instructors. If all you're interested in is continuously studying theories, this may be the program for you. Anyone can access scholarly articles and become researchers without this program. You end up paying 50k+ for little support, oh wait... telephone support is available Mon-Fri from 8-5, if that works for you. Which by the way, that is technical support. This program is simply rolled over from the on-campus program- It is not working. The material and assignments are all predetermined. The professors have no control in altering their classes to fit the needs of their students. I could go on and on. Seriously, do not believe their promises. USC is simply a business trying to sell this no good product. I love teaching and the field of education.
USC is exceptionally disorganizedNov 12 2013Social Work
USC is exceptionally disorganized. It seems that registering may always be a problem at this school. Not only are they disorganized, they handle the situation unprofessionally. I am unimpressed to say the least and if I can steer you away from this school, I hope to, unless you are a jock.The professors I have are great, but sometimes it is hard to ignore administration and their horrendous faults.
Aug 06 2013Civil Engineering
Great research university for both undergrad & graduate levels. loved everything about the school
My experience at the MAT online program wasJul 19 2013Education
My experience at the MAT online program was not positive. I had come in as a capstone student since I already have gotten my credential. My academic advisor made mistakes on my program of study layout. My teachers had no idea what to do with me half of the time because I was in there as a masters student and not a credential+masters student. Also in comparison to where I received my credential which was at a cal state (I attended a UC for undergrad) I cannot believe the lack of quality in teaching. I feel this program does not properly equip ANYONE let alone masters candidates with the correct tools to go out into the educational realm and make a difference for two reasons: a) for masters students it's too repetitive of credential school--i learned NOTHING except how to cheat a student out of money and b) it's not hands on and practical enough for actual credential students.
I applied to USC's MSW program and wasMar 04 2012Social Work
I applied to USC's MSW program and was accepted. Prior to my acceptance, I was informed by the, "academic advisor" that the fees and tuition that the post 9/11 gi bill did not cover would be covered by their yellow ribbon program which I fully qualified for and the additional money would be covered by their "military schoarship program":. Well, none of it was true! There are very few slots, evidently 20? Also, this so called military scholarship did not exist'. After I was accepted I was pressured into enrolling sooner than what I was ready and when I didn't agree to I was treated very poorly by the academic advisor!. Whenever I asked for additiona information from the staff, I ALWAYS got the run around and was referred to some other department or person whom did NOT help me;. At the end of all of it, they demanded a $250 check to tell me whether or not I might receive a yellow ribbon slot or any additional assistance:. Along with many other students, I received e-mails to attend teleconferences for "financial aid" which just consisted of pressuring students into taking out high interest student loans, what a joke! After all is said and done, I applied to a state school that my 9/11 gi bill will cover entirely and there will be no out of pocket cost/. I am currently awaiting my acceptance letter.. I would strongly recommend staying away from USC all together.. They treat students like walking atms and their only goal is to meet their quota, nothing more, they don't care, not one bit.
Do not enroll in the Rossier's MAT atJul 15 2011Education
Do not enroll in the Rossier's MAT at USC program! Instructors are arrogant. I am a current student and finishing the first semester of classes. It is awful. The program does not seem to inspire new teachers, but instead gives a lot of ?overview? assignments about issues in education that are really not discussed in class to connect to the real world classroom. It is to late to drop the program, but I would if I did not have to start from scratch again at another university. This program is not worth the cost! The program seems to want to make the students write like researchers. I do not want to be a professional researcher, I want to be a classroom teacher.I have a friend in another program and she loves it! They are learning the same theories, but the instructors are supporting, caring, and connect it all to the classroom. I wish I was in that program and getting a practical teacher education. Instead I am going broke and in a program that I dislike. I am learning that I do have stamina and that I will prevail?even in the bad MAT at USC program. I can?t wait to get it done and out of USC.
I do not come from a wealthy backgroundAug 24 2010Social Work
I do not come from a wealthy background and don't fit the "stereotype" that many would describe for USC. I did attend a small private liberal arts college and USC was a great follow up. I had a high GPA and committed to higher education. USC has an amazing supportive network in and out of school and that is rare to find. I continue to see the benefits of networking and choosing the right college. Afterall, it often comes down to "who you know" and USC provides you the opportunities to continue to get to know other alums in different fields and learn from each other.
Research Topic(s): N/A
Choosing to attend USC for graduate school wasApr 23 2010Business - Management and Administration
Choosing to attend USC for graduate school was the best decision I have ever made. I loved all of my courses, my classmates were brilliant and socially capable, the university was gorgeous and Southern California is the nicest region in the entire country (okay, maybe second to Hawaii). The Trojan Network has come through for me time and time again. I would absolutely choose to attend USC again 100%!
First of all, USC is the great schoolNov 11 2009Unknown
First of all, USC is the great school. And my "actual" department is extremely great. USC reputation is very good and the academic is very strong.

However, I just want to point out one thing that many international students have to suffer at the moment they are starting their academic at USC. It is about The American Language Institute (ALI).

If you asked honest opinion from international students who have a chance (been forced) to take any ALI classes. The same answers you will heard is it's the "USC rip-off" campaign, and nothing else. This ALI only need your money, the knowledge came later. Many incoming students who already impressed the school environment (by their own department) have to stop the impression with the dark-side of USC... "The ALI".

Why? First, it's very expensive, the unit price is almost the same as a very good class offering by the "real" department in which student intends/more-than-willing to take. Second, the class is not in-any-aspect good. The quality of teaching is bad. The teachers attitude are even worst. Third, the most important, ALI always come-up with stupid policies to force you take its classes. If your TOEFL < threshold, you need to take it... even year 200x I can't believe in USA still have this kind of scam publicly. I know it's informed by admission, but it's like you buy a car bundle with motorcycle... it's lame... Top schools never allow this to happen... OR if you are TA, no matter your TOEFL score (they know how to deal with this hah), then you will need to take stupid EXAM (not even by any standard test) and the people who examine you are the ALI's staffs who are ready to put you in some classes... ... these classes never improve TA skill at any rate.. everybody knows.. it's just for money...but no one say it outloud... It's a SIN... TA is now just a scapegoat.. Believe me, international TAs can teach if they are selected by the department.. the only people who cannot teach are those in ALI school.

Great experienceMay 21 2009Electrical Engineering
Great experience. When I came from India I was very apprehensive, moreso the underlying costs being very high and no financial aid was forthcoming. But the quality of faculty, the coverage of curriculum, freedom of originality and approachability of seniors and faculty make the cost and effort worth the value in education. I strongly recommend the University to those who are not fixated only on costs
Mar 27 2009Computer Science
I would like to join for more studies at this college
USC is a phenomenal schoolDec 30 2008Social Work
USC is a phenomenal school. The MSW program is extremely competitive and is rigorous. I actually enjoyed working my butt off for all A's. The staff are great but as always, there are one or two who should just retire. The students are very arrogant (outside of the school of Social Work)with most being upper or middle class...basically very little minority representation in most graduate programs. Undergrad are very annoying and obnoxious, but overall the program is worth every penny. The MSW program is known to produce leaders in all concentrations. The parties are awesome and so is the networking...everyone always is offering you jobs once they find out you're a TROJAN....
Going to USC was a really good experienceJun 06 2007Electrical Engineering
Going to USC was a really good experience except for the high cost of tuition but that was offset by partial reimbursement from my employer. The faculty at the school of engineering are at the cutting edge of research in my field. The diversity was a factor as most of the students were of Chinese/Indian descent but I guess that is true for most highly ranked engineering programs these days. Overall, a really good experience!
My experience at USC has been quite positiveNov 13 2006History/Histories (art history/etc.)
My experience at USC has been quite positive. I think much depends on the faculty you work with as a PhD student, and I selected some fantastic faculty members to work with. That said, there are students who have different ideas about what the graduate school experience should be and they have selected faculty members to work with who I can't even imagine dealing with on that frequent a basis. In the time I have been there, USC has really put a lot of emphesis on raising the bar of its programs, and most of the faculty are now first-rate. The down side is that there are some who think they really are so wonderful that they don't have to address student concerns. If you select the faculty you're working with wisely though, USC is an excellent choice for a graduate school.
Guys and Girls ifJun 24 2006Computer Science
Guys and Girls if you are concidering this school beaware its not so easy to maintain 3.0 GPA especially if you concider your self an average student.
unlike most universities where education is highly valued,May 29 2005Engineering Department
unlike most universities where education is highly valued, usc is more money focused....meaning USC is more interested in taking your moneys than giving what they promised or the media acclaimed. there is no doubts that USC media related program are the worlds finest....and there is no doubt that their alumni lend hands in jacking up their engineering grad rank so high. please don't let this high rank deceive you. what you saw isn't true. the educational quality is far below sub-standard. i have taken an anlog ic grad course with 150 students? that is totally absurd. most of the professors USC hired aren't even on the faculty roster, they're part timers from the outside and they're not very passionated about teaching most of the time. they're more concerned about their paychecks. while the full time professors are very arrogrants and idiotic, they're full of themselves. impossible to approach or even say hi to them, they love smirf at your face when you ask them for research/teaching assitantship. let's me explain my unconfused friends, that's simply because the university admitted way too many darn students. the engineering grad school alone has over 4000 on campus students and over 2000 part time students. that number is continuously expanding as time goes on from what I understood from their DEN program. if the stat doesn't speaks for itself, I have not idea what elses would. so if you're an ms student trying to get some funding here, forget it ! 99.99% of MS students here got ZERO aids from USC. And USC could careless about them either. However, if you're a phd'll have a little more chances depending on your area of researches. also, don't forget there are a lot of research professors here who likes to form their own ethnical niches. if you're not one of them *people* then good luck to you when you ask them for sponsorships. overall, I would NOT recommend USC to anyone....please consider other schools where that school professors care more about you than your wallet!
Research Topic(s): phd
This university was notApr 11 2005Agriculture/Horticulture
This university was not clean. Trash was everywhere and the faculty are so arrogant and evil......They are so mean...I really like how the bookstore is open though.
Research Topic(s): Dr.
Oct 11 2004Engineering Department
hey guys ...nybidy from india goin to USC this spring?
Jun 30 2004Computer Science
Not worth the money to study in this school..Far too many hassles for a student.
The Health Science Campus is about 8 milesOct 10 2002Pharmacy
The Health Science Campus is about 8 miles from the main campus. This provides a more professional experience for Medical students, Pharmacy students, and some Ph.D or Master's students. However it is a commuter campus and can be boring/uptight at times. The main campus or "University Park" campus is more vibrant. The students and faculty at both campuses are serious about what they do and are determined to improve themselves and their University. The only downer is the fact that the school is located in one of the poorest sections of Los Angeles. This makes it tough to live near the school.
Research Topic(s): Ph.D
Graduate Studies in Computer Science at the UniversitySep 11 2002Computer Science
Graduate Studies in Computer Science at the University of Southern California are good.
The Computer Science department has some very good faculty, and the amount of research done here is extensive.

The problem is low criteria for admission and thus the low quality of students. And particularly, very high number of students resulting in high class strengths, low financial aid chances.

So I would advise you to go a similarly ranked university if you have offer of admission in one.
Apart from academics, USC has good social/party life for undergraduates, whereas for graduate students its more work and spending time in computer labs.

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