Want to be a Trojan? USC Personal Statement Essay Examples

April 30, 2018

Interested in applying to the University of Southern California? Here are some USC student profiles for you to learn more about university and its application.

University of Southern California is a top private university on the west coast. Located in sunny Los Angeles, USC is very popular among high school students, proven by the most recent admissions cycle where they received over 64,000 applications.

What makes USC so popular? A part from its location, USC also offers students a diverse range of strong academic programs. The university has 13 undergraduate schools that offer prospective students the chance to dive deep into a subject matter that is not always offered as a major:

  • Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

  • Leventhal School of Accounting

  • School of Architecture

  • Roski School of Art and Design

  • Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy

  • Marshall School of Business

  • School of Cinematic Arts

  • Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

  • Viterbi School of Engineering

  • School of Dramatic Arts

  • Sol Price School of Public Policy

  • Thornton School of Music

  • Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

Many of these undergraduate schools/programs only accept a handful of students, making the application process even more selective. If USC is on your list, check out the profiles of the following USC students and get a sneak peek at what they wrote about in their USC personal statement:

1. Essay Topic: Failure Experience & Summer Experience

Essay Excerpt from MayaJayT

University of Southern California ‘21

“I can only tread for a little bit longer. I focus on my hands and feet swirling around in vicious little circles to keep my head above the water. It’s the only thing that can distract me from the thousands of square feet of open water that surround me on all sides. The waves are so choppy; I can barely see the shore in the distance. I try not to think about the fact that I am alone in the middle of Chesapeake Bay right before a storm…Oh wait, I’m not alone.”

Unlock her USC student profile to read her full application essay!

2. Essay Topic: Interest in Med/Sci/Math

Essay Excerpt from Joshuaargote

University of Southern California ‘22

“I was five thousand miles away from Washington waking to a desert landscape, Bolivia, with brick houses enclosed by barbed fences as far as the eye could see. Arriving just in time, I took a deep breath and stood before my audience: students, parents, and teachers. “Hoy dia,” I steadied my voice, “You will learn different ways to use biotechnology.” An old taupe-colored fabric on the wall unveiled a beautiful heliocentric DNA, kindling an audible awe from the audience.”

Unlock his USC application file to read his personal statement about his interest in the STEM field.  

3. Essay Topic: Diversity Statement & Volunteer/Public Interest Work

Essay Excerpt from Jaelencruz

University of Southern California ‘22

“Freshman and Sophomore year of high school I tutored 1st graders at Kempton Elementary math and reading. Since the classes were classified as bilingual, I explained subjects in both Spanish and English thus making me a valuable asset to the teacher. My decision to peer tutor at this school was influenced by my desire to ‘pay it forward’. When I attended this school as a student, a high school student tutored me in my reading. The experience encouraged me to stay motivated and shaped me as a student because I realized someone cared and believed in me.”

Unlock her USC profile to read her college essay about her time tutoring!

4. Essay Topic: Story Central to Identity

Essay Excerpt from Croesquared

University of Southern California ‘21

“My favorite book of all time is Catch-22. I’ve loved it ever since I read it years ago at age 12. I have shown it to everyone I meet. Thanks to me, there is no a copy of Catch-22 in the school library, in case anyone wants to read it. I know it’s not a book for everyone, but that has not stopped my proselytizing. Catch-22’s characters are so lovable and fun to read about that I analyze my favorites for hours just to pick up all of the hidden deetail that Joseph Heller expertly incorporated into the story. They’ve influenced me as I incorporate the lessons of the book into my personality. I’ve always been attracted to the hero of the story, Yossarian.”

Check out his USC student profile to find out more about how Catch-22 influenced his life.

5. Essay Topic: Challenged a Belief

Essay Excerpt from Ingoma

University of Southern California ‘22

“Public speaking has never been my forte. Speaking, in general, has never been my forte. Part of the reason is due to my fear public speaking; which only increased when I began high school. What also increased was my passion for justice. I am afraid of speaking out at times, but when I hear something I don’t think is right, I have to speak up.”

View her USC profile to learn how she dealt with her fear of public speaking.

Hope this was helpful for those considering applying to USC this fall! Interested in reading these students’ full supplemental essays in addition to their personal statements? Unlock all of them in one go with our USC Package!

Applying this year? For access to our college profiles, upgrade to our premium plans offer different levels of profile access and data insights that can help you get into your dream school.

About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


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Accepted to USC, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCSD, UCSB, UC Irvine, Siena, Rutgers, Rutgers, UT Austin, Emory, Stony Brook

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Attending the University of Southern California starting in the fall of 2015!

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Although very hardworking, I love to socialize with friends and make time to just relax. Also, I've always been interested in cars and working in the business aspect of the automotive industry.

Accepted to USC, Illinois, U Iowa, U of Minnesota

Operations analyst in the AWS industry. Graduated early from USC with degrees in business administration and environmental studies.

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