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USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences


40-80 Units


32-48 Units


Up To 56 Units

Your Dornsife Degree

Your Major

40-80 Units

At USC Dornsife, our courses of study stretch as far as your imagination. We believe in empowering students to expand their horizons and pioneer personal discovery by pursuing the vast range of their interests, and we give them the critical tools and opportunities to reach their goals. It’s the bedrock of USC Dornsife’s educational philosophy: facilitating self-directed growth so our graduates can reach their full potential.

The USC Core

32-48 Units

The USC core is the hallmark of a USC education and the common bond between you and all other USC undergraduates. Each semester, you will find numerous courses to choose from within each category. This is the strength of the USC core: offering both structure and flexibility as you plan your next four years.

Core Literacies

The arts (1 course)
Humanistic inquiry (2 courses)
Social analysis (2 courses)
Life sciences (1 course)
Physical sciences (1 course)
Quantitative reasoning (1 course)

Global Perspectives

Citizenship in a diverse world (1 course)
Traditions and historical foundations (1 course)


During your first year at USC, at least one of your core classes will take the form of a seminar—an intimate and interactive course limited to 19 students.

The Writing Program

All USC first-years take Writing 150, a small group experience that develops your voice as a writer. As a junior, we prepare you with specific writing skills for your intended profession. Our program bridges the academic and the practical, enabling you to master styles of writing for the classroom and beyond.

Foreign Language

At USC Dornsife, students complete the third semester level of a foreign language or pass the equivalent placement test.

AP and IB Credit

Some of your AP and IB exam scores could be applied toward satisfying general education credit. This is something that you will discuss during orientation with your academic advisor.


Up to 56 Units

USC Dornsife puts all options on the table. This is a place for students to experiment and explore. Double majors and minors are common here and many students do it while staying on track to graduate in four years. We encourage you to customize your college career, building it to meet the specifications that work for you. Our breadth of elective courses makes it possible, offering you access to options that are nearly unlimited.

Academic Advisement

USC Dornsife does more than just give you the world— we help you navigate it as well. At the beginning of your academic journey, our dedicated academic advisors give you a road map, and they are by your side every step of the way. Think of advisors as your personal tour guides, helping connect you with:

Resources and mentoring relevant to your major(s)

Opportunities for research, internships, and study abroad

Pre-professional advising—directing you on your pre-health, pre-law, or pre-graduate school path and working with you as you prepare for the competitive graduate application process

Field of Study

Dornsife offers more than 90 majors and more than 90 minors across the natural sciences and mathematics, social sciences, and humanities. If you’re looking for a specific major, but don’t see it here, you are welcome to contact our office at admission@dornsife.usc.edu.



American Popular Culture
American Studies and Ethnicity
Archaeology of California
Art History
Behavioral Economics
Biology of Human Movement
Chinese for the Professions
Classical Greek
Classical Perspectives
Climate Change, Stewardship and Resiliency
Comparative Literature
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Contemplative Studies
Critical Approaches to Leadership
Cultural Anthropology
Cultural Studies
Cultures and Politics of the Pacific Rim
Early Modern Studies
East Asian Area Studies
East Asian Languages and Cultures
Environmental Chemistry and Sustainability
Environmental Studies
Folklore and Popular Culture
Food and Society
Forensics and Criminality
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Gender and Social Justice
Gender Studies
GIS and Sustainability Science
History and Culture of Business
Human Disease
Human Rights
Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence
International Health, Development & Social Justice
International Relations
Iranian Studies
Jewish American Studies
Jewish Studies
Korean Studies
Latin American Studies
Law and Society
LGBTQ Studies
Luzo-Brazilian Studies
Managing Human Relations
Marine Biology
Mathematical Data Analytics
Mathematical Finance
Medical Anthropology
Middle East Studies
Modern Art Markets and Ethics
Narrative Structure
Native American Studies
Natural Science
Philosophy of Law, Politics and Economics
Photography and Social Change
Political Organizing in the Digital Age
Political Science
Practical Politics
Psychology and Law
Race, Ethnicity and Politics
Resistance to Genocide
Russian Area Studies
Southeast Asia and its People
Spatial Studies
Thematic Approaches to Humanities and Society
User Experience
Visual Culture

Thematic Option

There is a reason Thematic Option (TO) is widely regarded as one of the best undergraduate general education programs in the country. Weaving together literature, politics, history, biology, and other disciplines, TO engages students in critical analysis, thought-provoking discussion, and lively debate. TO students come from a wide range of majors across the university—if it interests you, you are welcome to learn more and apply.

Priority applications are due by April 15.


TO is a rigorous, humanities-based alternative to USC’s General Education program. The program takes an interdisciplinary look at academic areas linked through overarching themes and encourages students to participate in discussion-based learning. It is organized around four core classes, as well as writing seminars, individual writing tutorials, and an annual research conference.

TO courses are taught by some of the university’s best undergraduate teachers, and are kept small in order to ensure personal attention and spirited conversation in the classroom. Thematic Option is truly as remarkable as the students who pursue it.


Freshman Science Honors

Imagine a community of aspiring scientists who share a drive to understand the natural world and solve the most difficult scientific questions of our time. USC’s Freshman Science Honors (FSH) is more than just great classes and award-winning faculty; it’s a dynamic learning environment that includes special events, small science labs, academic support, and a lively student community.

Applications are due April 11 at 5:00pm Pacific.


This program offers honors sections in General Chemistry and Introductory Biology to 60 outstanding freshmen majoring in the natural sciences. In addition, students are offered advanced laboratory research seminars and faculty-guided tours of USC’s renowned science facilities.

The FSH experience is about developing a strong grounding in the basics of scientific inquiry, while simultaneously being exposed to new developments in science and preparing for graduate schools and careers in natural science.


Academic Department Honors

Exceptional students who are looking for greater engagement with scholarship through research can explore academic department honors programs. By conducting an independent research project, you can make a contribution to the scholarly community in your chosen major and graduate from USC Dornsife with honors.

USC Dornsife majors have varying requirements for their departmental honors distinction, but most of them require a minimum GPA and the completion and defense of an honors thesis before graduation. Honors thesis programs are managed by academic department based on major. More information and applications are available in your sophomore and junior years at USC through your academic advisor.