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4 USC Supplemental Essays That Worked (2022)

by Ryan ChiangUpdated May. 22, 2022

Applying to USC in 2022 means that you are facing a lot of competition.

Luckily, one of the most effective tools you have to stand out from the crowd is your essays and responses to USC's writing supplement.

In this article, I've gathered

of the best essays from students admitted into the University of Southern California so that you can get inspired and improve your own USC essays.

What is University of Southern California's Acceptance Rate?

This past year, a record 70,971 students applied to USC and only 8,804 students were offered admission. That means USC had an overall acceptance rate of only 12.4%.

If you're trying to maximize your shot of getting into USC, writing essays that show why you should be accepted is one of your best strategies.

USC Acceptance Scattergram

The more competitive a school admissions is, the more heavily your essays are weighed. Let's check out the USC prompts for this year.

What are the University of Southern California Supplemental Prompts for 2022-23?

For its application this year, USC requires students to respond to three short essay questions and ten short answer questions.

USC has an intensive writing section, which means its even more important for you to make your responses the best they can be.

Here are the University of Southern California prompts for


University of Southern California
The questions on this page are being asked by University of Southern California
Please respond to one of the prompts below. (250 word limit)
Prompt Essay:
(1-250 words)
Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. (Approximately 250 words)
(1-250 words)
Starting with the beginning of high school/secondary school, if you have had a gap where you were not enrolled in school during a fall or spring term, please address this gap in your educational history. You do not need to address a summer break.
(0-250 words)
Describe yourself in three words. First Word:
Second Word:
Third Word:
What is your favorite snack?
Best movie of all time:
Dream job:
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Dream trip:
What TV show will you binge watch next?
Which well-known person or fictional character would be your ideal roommate?
Favorite book:
If you could teach a class on any topic, what would it be?
First-year applicants applying to the WBB program are required to complete an online video interview by December 1st. Please visit the following website for instructions on the video interview, https://app.kiratalent.com/applicant/Z10vD6/instructions/. In addition, please answer the 4 short answer prompts below.
1. What experiences and/or skills best prepare you for success in our World Bachelor in Business program? (250 word limit)
(0-250 words)
2. How does the WBB program meet your educational and/or professional goals? (250 word limit)
(0-250 words)
3. What skills do you find most useful in adapting to changing environments? (250 word limit)
(0-250 words)
4. Acknowledging that the WBB does not offer a “traditional” or fixed residential experience, please explain why this alternative education experience is a good fit for you. Please share examples of how you plan to create unique or new opportunities in the WBB environment. (250 word limit)
(0-250 words)
Your Unique Contributions to USC Viterbi
The student body at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering is a diverse group of unique engineers and computer scientists who work together to engineer a better world for all humanity. Describe how your contributions to the USC Viterbi student body may be distinct from others. Please feel free to touch on any part of your background, traits, skills, experiences, challenges, and/or personality in helping us better understand you.
(1-250 words)
The Engineering Grand Challenges
The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and their 14 Grand Challenges go hand-in-hand with our vision to engineer a better world for all humanity. Engineers and computer scientists are challenged to solve these problems in order to improve life on the planet. Learn more about the NAE Grand Challenges at http://engineeringchallenges.org and tell us which challenge is most important to you, and why.
(1-250 words)
USC Dornsife Applicants: Please select one of the essay prompts below.

For more information, please click here.
Please provide an essay of no more than 250 words on your selected prompt topic. In your response, we encourage you to write about something that you haven't already discussed elsewhere in your application.
(1-250 words)
Are you interested in participating in the military ROTC units on campus?
If yes, please select which branch.
Verified prompts for 2022-23

University of Southern California Essays That Worked

Here are

of the best USC essays that worked for this years writing supplement.

Below you can read how admitted USC students answered the short essay and short answer questions. In addition, I've included some Common App personal statements examples recently accepted students.

See exactly how students got into USC and get inspired:

Prompt: Something Essential About Yourself

Writing Supplement

What is something about yourself that is essential to understanding you?

0-250 words

USC Essay Example #1

If I had a fatal flaw it would be loyalty. Of all the things I value, the one thing I value the most is my family. Coming after family is my friends; I consider my friends to be an extended branch of family. My close friends know that I value my friendship and that I would do almost anything for them if they asked me. I am very trusting with my friends, because I know that if I am there to support them, they will be there to support me. Without my friends, I would not be who and where I am now, as they have helped me through my years and shaped me to be the trusting and loyal person I am.

Very often, I put my friends before me, and this is because I know that if I were in the same situation as them, they would opt to help me. My loyalty to my friends helps them understand why I do what I do, and it helps me make even more friends. Wherever I go, I want to go with friends, because I believe that I can go farther when I have others with me rather than going fast and alone, but not as far.

(208 words)

USC Essay Example #2

The sounds of my knife striking kale unnerves my cat asleep in the corner. He quickly runs over to examine the situation but becomes instantly uninterested when he sees green and smells bitterness. Unfortunately, my family has this same reaction every day of every week.

They question, “It’s bad enough that you’re going to eat kale, but do you really have to massage it?” I respond with a deep breath, during which I recall information from nutritionfacts.org. I begin to explain, “Well you see, it takes away the bitterness, because kale is composed of cellulose, so when you massage it with a strong acid–”but as I continue to delve into my rather scientific and oftentimes molecular rationale behind transforming myself into a masseuse to make a salad, everyone begins snoring. I guess no one has ever understood my immense love for the science behind cooking (and probably never will).

Sure, my family, friends, small, undiverse and traditional high school all look at me like I am crazy, but I guess that is because I am. I do not look at kale and think “dark green, bitter, disgusting plant.” Instead, I see proteins and anticarcinogenic properties--analyzing the anatomy of food seems to occupy my mind.

Cooking is an art, visual, creative and instinctive. My favorite nights are spent with knife in hand and sweet potatoes in the oven. Food is my artist outlet, and one of the few things to feed my soul (and my stomach, too).

(246 words)

Prompt: Why USC?

Writing Supplement

Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections.

0-250 words

USC Essay Example #3

All throughout my life, I always loved doing math no matter what the concept. My love for math led to me taking advanced math classes for my grade. I even had to take a bus to a high school when I was in middle school to take an advanced math class. I always knew that I would want to pursue a career dealing with mathematics, but I was not really sure until my junior year. I had not decided what I wanted to be in the future, so my uncle suggested being a CPA, and I looked into it. When I did my research, it interested me as they made a decent amount of money and they worked with numbers.

At USC, I would like to major in accounting and gain the opportunity to possibly receive an internship at one of the big accounting firms in Los Angeles through the networking of USC. If I were able to get an internship, I would be able to gain experience for when I graduate and search for a job. I would also consider going for a Masters of Business Administration as I know that USC has one of the best business programs in the country.

(203 words)

USC Essay Example #4

I had never considered traveling across the country to pursue an education. In fact, living in Pittsburgh all of my life and growing up with people who are so adamant about staying put, forced me to believe that I too had to box myself into this small, yet evolving city. However, now I can confidently tell my friends and family that I want to travel to California for college (and ignore their odd looks).

What strikes me most about USC is its ability to maintain uniformity despite its diverse student body--in interests, ethnicity, and opinion. There are not many schools where I could be best friends with filmmakers, artists, photographers, chemists, potential CEOs, and writers. Although all of these people are spread across different schools, they still seem to maintain a cultural unity. Being surrounded by such a distinct trojan pride combined with the ambitious atmosphere would be both inspiring and propulsive.

At USC, I would not have to confine to merely one of my interests. I have always had aspirations of becoming a doctor and pursuing neuroscience, but have never felt comfortable ignoring the humanities. As a Trojan, I could pursue research at the Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center or even take part in PIBBS, while also honing my writing skills through the intricate Writing Program.

Much like the students, my interests could somehow be molded into a diverse uniformity, and I could prove my fellow Pittsburghers that perhaps they need to move around more.

(249 words)


If you want to get into USC, you'll need to answer the USC writing supplement questions as best you can. To help improve your essays, you can read these 6 essays that worked for USC and see how students got accepted.

What do you think about USC's writing supplement questions?


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