Los Angeles

Poised at the nexus of the American frontier and the Pacific Rim, USC and the city of Los Angeles have grown together out of the “Wild West” to become global centers for art, culture, industry and commerce.

Southern California offers students virtually limitless opportunities for academic and professional development, cultural engagement and recreation. From internships and service learning programs in numerous Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations, to exploring the region’s many nature trails, to simply relaxing on the beach or skiing in the mountains, students will find that Los Angeles is the perfect playground and urban laboratory.

While known for its “car culture,” Los Angeles also provides numerous alternatives to driving, allowing students to travel anywhere they need to go, quickly and inexpensively.

In this section:

Living in LA

Explore history, culture & nature — all in a vibrant, urban setting.

LA-USC History

The history of USC is intimately tied to that of the city of Los Angeles. When USC first opened its doors in 1880, Los Angeles was not much more than a rough-and-tumble frontier town.


Although LA is famous for its “car culture,” and USC students are welcome to bring cars to campus, most students will find they don’t need one.