Imagine getting credit towards your university degree for a course that entails listening to a talk given by a theatre critic followed up with viewing a movie that has not yet been released, and then have Robert Zemeckis spend an hour debriefing the movie. Enroll at the University of Southern California (though not necessarily as a film or theatre major) and that could be a reality. It is just one of the ways that the university takes full advantage of its setting in Los Angeles, a city awash with industry professionals drawn in by the university to shape young minds through guest lecturing or internship opportunities.
USC lived up to its mythical status in my mind. The campus itself is beautiful (though the surrounding area didn’t match that quality) and expanding: there were no signs of economic downturn at USC. On this flat campus, the preferred mode of transport between classes was the cruiser bike or skateboard. The athletic facilities for USC Trojans are exceptional and have spawned a serious number of world class athletes; indeed, if USC were a country, it would have placed in the top 15 in the medal count for the 2012 London Olympics.
Acting, cinematic production, and architecture are among the most selective programs, with engineering and business being popular choices for hopeful applicants. If you want to be a Trojan, do your research and be ready to talk specifically in your application about what you could both gain and offer through admission to USC. As a mother, I would say pack your bike helmet if you are heading there, but the rules are different on all the SoCal campuses: good hair is a priority.