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Office for Parent Programs
University of Southern California
3607 Trousdale Parkway, TCC 421
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3102
Phone: 213-821-6239 | Fax: 213-740-9348
Here are a list of Parent Programs frequently asked questions:
What is the Trojan Family?The "Trojan Family" is a term used to describe students, parents, siblings, alumni, friends, staff and faculty who live, work for, study at and support the University of Southern California. You automatically become a member of the Trojan Family when your student chooses to attend USC. The campus community prides itself on providing a warm and welcoming "family" atmosphere for USC students, families, staff and faculty members. According to the USC website: "The extended family of USC is a global network made up of thousands of alumni, students, faculty and staff, as well as parents of students, but the uniqueness of the Trojan Family isn't due to its vast numbers. Rather, it's the extraordinary closeness and solidarity that is found in this genuinely supportive community. To its members, the term 'Trojan Family' is more than a phrase: it represents a promise, a commitment to support that is lifelong and worldwide."
Why are USC athletic teams named "Trojans?"The origin of USC's nickname, Trojan, dates back to 1912. Originally, the teams of the University of Southern California were referred to as Methodists or Wesleyans, names not favored by university officials. The director of athletics, Warren Bovard, son of university president Dr. George Bovard, asked Owen Bird, a sportswriter for the LA Times, to give the university a new nickname. Although we now are proud of a winning tradition, the USC family was not always successful during the early years. In fact, we were named "Trojans" because we were great losers. Bird dubbed the USC team "Trojans" instead of "Methodists" because he compared our players in 1912 to noble Trojan warriors… "They were facing teams that were bigger and better-equipped, yet they had splendid fighting spirit. The term 'Trojan' as applied to USC means… that no matter what the situation, what the odds or what the conditions, the completion must be carried on to the end and those who strive must give all they have and never be weary in doing so." For more information, please visit Trojan Traditions.
What is Tommy Trojan?"Now a campus landmark fondly nicknamed 'Tommy Trojan,' this life-size bronze statue of a Trojan warrior was unveiled on June 6, 1930, as part of USC's 50th birthday celebration. Sculpted by Roger Noble Burnham, Tommy Trojan was modeled after different USC football players. On the bronze statue's granite pedestal are inscribed the qualities of the ideal Trojan: "faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous, and ambitious." For more information, please visit Trojan Traditions.
Who can I contact with questions/concerns?General questions can be emailed to email@example.com or call us at (213) 740-2080.
Where can my student purchase textbooks?The USC Bookstore is located near the center of campus and provides students with a place to purchase textbooks, literature, USC merchandise and other items. For more information, please visit the USC Bookstore.
How does my student choose what classes to take?If your student's major is in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, he or she can consult the Dornsife College Advising Office or call (213) 740-2534 for assistance in planning a 4-year course of study. Students in one of the professional schools on campus can speak to their academic advisor by contacting their academic department. To access the Schedule of Classes and find out what classes are being taught during a specific semester, visit Schedule of Classes. For a full listing of all courses available at USC, visit the website for the Course Catalogue.
How can my student become more involved in class?Students should take the initiative and create a positive relationship with their professors. They can approach their professors before or after class or during office hours in order to demonstrate an interest in the course and receive guidance if needed. Professors at USC welcome and encourage student interaction. USC professors recommend the following "best ways for students to approach faculty members when inquiring about specific programs or degrees in their related field:
Stop by office hours, with or without an appointment Make time to have personal one-on-one conversations with your faculty member Make a phone call or send an e-mail Communication may be easier for both parties if done in the privacy of the faculty member's office. Be respectful, yet assertive when addressing a professor; do not be aggressive or pushy- this tends to generate defensive reaction."(Source: "Faculty Wisdom for Undergraduate Students" Publication compiled and published by the USC Office of Residential and Greek Life.)
How are academic advisors assigned?Students are placed with advisors based on the major they choose. Students in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences work with advisors in the Dornsife College Advising Office and students in other colleges are matched with an advisor from their school. For a list of majors offered at USC and corresponding departments, visit the List of Majors. Click on the school listed under the major to find information regarding advising programs on that particular school's website.
Who can I talk to about my student's academic performance?It is recommended that your student be responsible for his or her own academic career at USC. That doesn't mean you can't be supportive and encouraging as a parent, but students are encouraged to resolve their own issues if possible. If you are concerned about your student's academic performance, you may want to encourage him or her to visit the Center for Academic Support or call (213)740-0776. The student's copy of SCampus, the Student Handbook also lists a variety of resources for academic assistance, including tutoring services and workshops.
What are the General Education Requirements that my student must fulfill?The USC General Education Program, (also called "GEs" for short), requires certain courses to be taken by all USC students to give them a strong foundation for their upper division curriculum.
How can I get information on my student's grades? Can I access my student's academic record?FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, is a federal law regarding the privacy of student records and the access provided to these records. Such things as progress in a course, deficiencies in a subject area, scores and grades on papers, exams, etc. are all examples of personally identifiable information that make up part of the student's education record. This information is protected under FERPA. Unless your student has provided written authorization specifically identifying what information may be released to you as the parent, you may not have access to his or her records, such as grades and test scores. For more information, please visit USC FERPA.
What can I do if my student is not doing well academically?The Center for Academic Support has many resources to help students needing assistance with academics. For information on a variety of campus departments that can assist your student, please visit Center for Academic Support. Support services for each department include tutoring assistance, study groups, teaching assistant (TA) office hours, and academic counseling. From this website you may also access the Center for Academic Support's home page, which offers information on academic support for commuters and students with disabilities, as well as tutoring services and learning enrichment workshops.
What happens if my student fails a class?The Academic Review Department located within the Office of Academic Records and Registrar monitors a student's academic progress and provides counseling to students on academic probation. If you have specific concerns or questions, you may contact a staff member at 213-740-7741 or get more information at the Office of Academic Review. The Office of College Advising for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences (http://dornsife.usc.edu/this-is-dornsife-academic-advising/) or the department in which your student's major is located can help your student find a counselor to assist him or her in figuring out what to do next. If the student is experiencing symptoms of depression or other health problems, you may wish to refer him or her to the Engemann Health Center for counseling assistance. USC also maintains a "freshman forgiveness policy", in which "first-time freshmen may repeat at USC a maximum of three courses taken during the first two semesters of enrollment at USC in which grades of D+ or below (including UW and IX) were received, and only the subsequent grade, even if lower, will be calculated in the grade point average. Both courses and the grades received will appear on the transcript. The same course may be repeated no more than once for the benefit of substitution of grade". See Grading Policies for more information.
What are the ways to be involved in sports in addition to USC team membership?Students do not have to be a member of a sports team at USC in order to play their favorite sport on campus. Intramural sports are a very popular way for students to be athletically involved at USC. Furthermore, students may also participate in club sports and compete against other colleges and universities. Students may access more information on the program by visiting Recreational Sports and clicking on the "Intramurals" link.
Where can I find out the score of an athletic event?Scores from USC athletic events are posted on USC's Athletic Site.
Where can I find more information about athletic recruiting and NCAA compliance?For more information about athletic recruiting and NCAA compliance, please visit Recruiting and Compliance.
Clubs & Organizations
My student wants to join a campus club- how can I find out more information about it?USC has over 750 student organizations to join. If you would like to find out more information about a specific organization or club, you may visit Student Organizations. Peer Leadership Consultants through the Office of Campus Activities offer individualized consultations to help students get involved within the USC community. The consultations are geared toward students that want to get involved, but don’t know where to start. With specialized training in student involvement, PLC’s will help students find organizations, volunteer opportunities, and leadership experiences that interest the student. If you have concerns about an organization or if you want more information, you may contact the Office of Student Activities at 213-740-5693.
My student's roommate has an eating disorder. What can we do to help?Eating disorders can be a serious health risk. If you are concerned that a student may have an eating disorder, you can contact Counseling Services at 213-740-7711. For more information and resources, please visit Eating Disorder Treatment. You can request a consultation on how to approach someone with your concerns. You may also refer students to our center to learn about their counseling options.
My student seems depressed. What types of resources does USC provide to help?Students with symptoms of depression should be encouraged to make an appointment with Counseling Services at 213-740-7711. Crisis intervention is also available if genuine immediate assistance is needed. Further information is available at http://engemannshc.usc.edu/counseling/.
How can I order a birthday cake for my student?Check out the many options available from USC Express Catering. https://expresscatering.usc.edu/
Can I have food delivered to my student’s residence hall room?
USC Express Catering offers a web-based delivery service for students. USC Express Catering is the newest food and beverage option for events at USC's University Park Campus and Health Sciences Campus. They deliver freshly prepared meals and à la carte items for groups of 10-500 guests. Affordably priced breakfast selections, handcrafted sandwiches, sweet snacks, reception items and beverages are just a few of the tasty items on our menu. Log on to USC Express Catering to place an order or call them at (213) 740-6801.
My student lives off campus. Can an on-campus meal plan be purchased?For questions regarding campus meal plans, please visit the Meal Plan Guide.
Is there a company that delivers meals to USC students?The company is NUTRIFIT. It’s a service that customizes meals, delivers in the Los Angeles metro area with plans for a week or longer customized to preferences; you may find more information about the service and pricing plans online at www.nutrifitonline.com or by phone at 1-800-341-4190.
How does a student know if he or she is eligible for financial aid?At USC, more than 60 percent of students receive some type of financial assistance. According to the Financial Aid Office: "Undergraduate financial aid includes need-based grants, merit scholarships, low-interest loans, and work-study. USC has a long tradition of meeting all of its determined financial need for those students satisfying all eligibility requirements and deadlines." For more information, please visit Financial Aid.
When is graduation?Graduation, also called "commencement," is scheduled for Friday, May 15, 2015. You may access specific information about event locations and times at USC Commencement.
Where can I find out more information about preparing for graduation/commencement?Please visit Commencement or contact the Office of Cultural Relations and University Events at 213-740-6786.
When should I make my travel arrangements and book my hotel room for commencement?Now! Hotels near USC fill up very quickly for dates surrounding commencement. Click here for a partial list of hotels in Los Angeles.
If my student is sick, is there a meal delivery program?Students on USC Meal Plans, who come down with the flu and are potentially contagious, can have B.R.A.T. meals delivered to avoid exposure to others in the dining facilities. This is a basic meal of Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Meals can be ordered via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your student should provide his or her name, student ID, phone number, building and room. Meals will be delivered to the lobby or Customer Service Center of your student’s building.
Where do students go to access health care when the Student Health Center is closed?Click here for the Engemann Student Health Center hours. Weekend Urgent Care is available from 10am - 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information regarding the Engemann Student Health Center, please visit Engemann USC Health Center.
Students who require urgent medical attention during non-business hours should call (213) 740-9355 and follow the recorded instructions to speak with an on-call registered nurse.
For Life-threatening emergencies, please call:
On or near the USC Campus: USC-Department of Public Safety (213) 740-4321
Off Campus: Los Angeles Emergency Services 911
What if my student becomes ill or is experiencing problems and needs to take a leave from school for a semester or more?The university has various options for taking a leave available to students. For information, you may contact your student’s academic advisor or the staff of Student Support and Advocacy, in the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs at 213-740-2421. You may also review the official withdrawal and Leave of Absence policy at: http://www.usc.edu/dept/ARR/loa.html
How can my student find a dentist?The Ostrow School of Dentistry on the USC campus has a patient website at Dentistry Patient Care. You may also contact them at (213) 740-2800 or by email at email@example.com.
What if my student does not get along with a roommate?A Resident Assistant is available to help your student with this situation and assist them in connecting with appropriate campus resources.
My student's residence hall was missing furniture at move-in - how can we resolve this?In all university housing, each resident is supplied with an extra-long twin size bed, a chest of drawers, one desk and shelving unit, one desk chair and closet space. Each bedroom is equipped with one mini-fridge and one microwave. If furniture is missing, your student should request a work order as soon as possible, either by clicking this link: Work Requests or by calling their building Customer Service Center.
What is the process to apply for campus housing?Campus housing is very popular and fills up quickly, so it is important to apply early in order to get a spot. You may access specific information about the application process and deadlines at Housing Options. Once you are on the website, click on "Application Information" at the top of the page.
My student would like to store items over the summer. Are there storage companies close to campus?Toward the end of April, rental storage unit companies come to campus advertising their services, so information will be posted around residence halls at that time. Students may also receive emails offering storage options through their USC email accounts. Many of these companies are located close to campus and will pick up large items for students.
Here are a few storage companies students have used in the past:
- A American Storage, 3625 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 213.749.3330
- Box-n-Go (Trojan Family Weekend sponsor), 877.269.6461, email at
firstname.lastname@example.org , www.boxngo.com
- Campus Storage (Trojan Family Weekend sponsor), 877.992.2678, email at email@example.com, www.campusstorage.com
- Door to Door Storage, 888.366.7222
- Public Storage, 2703 Martin Luther King Blvd, Los Angeles, 877.788.2028
- StorQuest Hill Street, 3707 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles, 213.747.8787, www.storquest.com
- U Cleaners (Trojan Family Weekend sponsor) - 310.382.6447-email at shipping@Ucleaners.com, http://ucleaners.com/shipping-storage/USC/
When does my student need to be moved out of University housing?Students usually leave campus within 24 hours after their last exam. Check with your student about their exam times which are published in the schedule of classes and USC Housing check-out requirements.
My student is going out of the country for an internship. Is there a good shipping method for their excess luggage?Allfreight International is a company that offers shipping for a reasonable price.
Allfreight International Baggage
Allfreight House, 52-54 Hamm Moor Lane
How can I become involved at USC as a parent?There are many opportunities to become involved as the parent of a USC student. Parent volunteers are needed for Trojan Family Weekend, Move-In Day and Homecoming, in addition to other events throughout the year. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Office for Parent Programs at 213-740-2080 or fill out the volunteer form at https://uscstudentaffairs.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6tXFChS0o2HvFB3.
Parking & Transportation
Is public transportation available?Tram services and ridesharing options, such as buses or trains, are available to USC students, staff, and faculty members. For more information about USC's Transnet Transportation Services, please visit USC Transit. In addition, the Expo line has three stops around the USC campus the connects downtown Los Angeles to the Westside. For more information, visit http://www.metro.net/projects/exposition/.
My student would like to rent a car. What are their options?There are several options for students without cars at USC:
Zipcar is a unique car-sharing service that offers members affordable hourly access to vehicles -- for errands, for meetings, or just for fun. Due to popular demand – TrojanTransportation is proud to announce that they have expanded their fleet and now offer 21 vehicles on or near the UPC campus as well as two vehicles at HSC. For more information and car locations please visit Zipcar or contact TrojanTransportation at 213-740-3575.
Students can also find and share rides with one another at USC’s private Zimride Rideshare Community. Zimride requires students to have a valid email address to access the system. There, they can post ride requests and find other USC students already going the same way.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car also offers rentals to students ages 18-20 and discounted rates for students over the age of 21. Visit USC Enterprise Rent-A-Car for more information.
Lastly, Yellow Cab now accepts USCard! Students can text their pick up address to 777222 or call 800.USC.TAXI to arrange for pick up. More information can be found at USC Yellow Cab.
What is the most convenient, short-term parking option that is offered?TrojanTransportation offers Daily Valet Parking Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm at Gate 2, located on Exposition Blvd (near Figueroa Blvd). $10 for the first 2 hours, $2.50 for every additional 15 minutes. Valet Services are not available on Saturdays or Sundays.
Where can I park when I visit campus?There are many parking lots available on and around campus, as well as street parking around the campus perimeter. You may purchase 1 or 2 day passes at various rates. For more information, please visit USC Transportation and select "Parking Information" on the left side.
My student's car is not registered in the State of California. Can my student bring their to campus?Yes, but please refer to this DMV link for more information: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/howto/htvr9.htm
Is there anywhere my student can park their car during the winter recess?Students may park their cars at the Parking Center, located on the east side of the 110 freeway, for free during the winter recess. For more information and to sign up, contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at (213) 740-6000.
Are there any transportation options to LAX besides taxis and airport shuttles?Students can take the USC tram to Union Station (free of charge) and from there take the "Fly Away" bus directly to their terminal at LAX. Buses leave every half hour (5am-1am). Cost is $7 one way or $14 round trip. For more information, call 866.IFLYLAX (435-9529) or visit LAX. Also check out the Trip Planner option on http://www.metro.net/.
What is a TrojanAlert?TrojansAlert is a free alert system that allows university officials to contact you during an emergency by sending messages to your email account, mobile/handheld devices or landline (text messages fees may apply from your wireless carrier). To sign up, visit https://trojansalert.usc.edu/index.php?CCheck=1.
What is Campus Cruiser?"Campus Cruiser is a USC safety feature that offers university students, faculty, staff, and guests a walking, bicycle, or vehicle escort during the evening hours (6pm-2:45am, 7 days a week on the main campus; 5pm - 1-pm Monday-Friday on the Health Sciences campus), outside the tram services and within the immediate surrounding community."
What happens if there is an earthquake or other disaster?In the event of a major emergency, KUSC 91.5 FM and KXSC 1560 AM will serve as major sources of emergency information about the university. In addition, an Emergency Information Line will be available by calling 213-740-9233. Callers will receive critical information about the status of the university, academic schedules, and key services. For more information, please visit Emergency Information or Helpful USC Links.
What if there is a crisis situation or emergency on campus?If non-directory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an education institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is "necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals." Factors considered in making this assessment are: the severity of the threat to the health or safety of those involved; the need for the information; the time required to deal with the emergency; and the ability of the parties to whom the information is to be given to deal with the emergency.
What is Trojans Care 4 Trojans?TC4T is an initiative within the Division of Student Affairs that empowers students to take action when they are concerned about a fellow Trojan. Students can also submit a non-emergency anonymous reporting form to alert the Department of Student Affairs about another student for whom they are concerned.
What is the Department of Public Safety?The Department of Public Safety, under the leadership of Chief John Thomas, is one of the largest university law enforcement agencies in the United States employing 270 full-time staff and 30 students. The primary goal of DPS is to provide a safe and secure environment in which the social and academic endeavors of the University community may be fully realized. DPS is responsible for providing law enforcement services to the campus community which stretches more than 2.2 square miles.
How can my student find a part-time job or internship while at USC?If your student is interested in an internship to explore a particular career field, he or she should contact the Career Planning & Placement Center's Experiential Learning Office for assistance. More information may be found at the Career Center's Internship Programs Office. Part-time job or job searches are made easier through the Career Fair. The Career Fair is hosted by the Career Planning & Placement Center every semester. For more information, please visit Career Fair. Specific information for international students wishing to work part-time while at USC is available through the Office of International Services. You may access this information at OIS On-Campus Employment.
We live overseas and are not able to see our student during the holidays. Are there programs my student can participate in during the holiday season?The Office of International Services coordinates a Thanksgiving Match-Up program for international students. This program matches international students with American families who share their Thanksgiving holiday traditions with the student. More information on this program is available at Thanksgiving Matchup.
Is there someone I can talk to about my student's USC experience?You may direct any questions regarding your student's experience to the Office for Parent Programs. We will assist you with follow-up. You may reach us through this link on our website: Ask a Question, at 213-740-2080, or via e-mail directly or firstname.lastname@example.org
Are there opportunities for my student to access exercise facilities on campus?Recreational Sports is a very energetic department on campus that provides a variety of activities and facilities to encourage USC students to exercise regularly. You may discover the wide range of activities available at USC by visiting Recreational Sports. The Lyon Center and the Daland Swim Stadium are also available for student use throughout the school year.
Trojan Family Weekend
When is Trojan Family Weekend?Trojan Family Weekend is Thursday, October 22 - Sunday, October 25, 2015. We look forward to seeing you there! Please visit http://sait.usc.edu/parent/tfw/ to register and for updates and details.
Where can my student shop in the USC area?There are many shops around the USC area. For a list please click here: Local Stores.
How can I arrange a tour of campus?Tours of the USC campus are offered Monday through Friday. For more information, visit Visit USC
What hotels are located near the USC campus?For a partial list of local hotels, click here.
What places can I visit while I am in Los Angeles?Museums:
Theatre, Music & Shows:
- California Science Center
700 State Dr., Exposition Park, LA
- The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Dr., LA
- LA County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Blvd., LA
- Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
250 S. Grand Ave., LA
- Natural History Museum
900 Exposition Blvd., LA
- House of Blues Sunset Strip
8430 Sunset Blv., West Hollywood
- Walt Disney Concert Hall
135 N. Grand Ave., LA
9081 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
- The Whiskey A Go Go
8901 Sunset Boulevard West Hollywood 310.652.4202
- The Laugh Factory
8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Amusement & Theme Parks:
- LA Live
800 W. Olympic Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90015
- Griffith Observatory
2800 E. Observatory Rd., LA
- Santa Monica Pier
Ocean Ave. and Colorado Ave., Santa Monica
- Universal City Walk
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City
- Old Town Pasadena
Head north on I-110 Freeway, I-110
Freeway becomes Arroyo Parkway,
Continue on N. Arroyo Parkway to Colorado Blvd, Turn left on left on Colorado Blvd.
- Melrose Avenue
Between La Brea Blvd. and Fairfax Ave. About 8 km (5 miles) west of downtown Los Angeles West Hollywood
- Disneyland Park & Disneyland California Adventure Park
1150 W Magic Way Anaheim
- Universal Studios Theme Park
Take the 101 Hollywood Freeway North to Universal Studios Blvd. Turn right onto Universal Studios Blvd. and follow the signs to Universal Studios and our parking areas.
Where can I get a map of the USC campus?For a map and directions, please click here