Quality housing in Los Angeles, especially around the USC campus, is quite scarce. At any given time, their is only about a 7% vacancy rate in the city of Los Angeles, meaning that often people arriving in LA have to over-pay for less than liveable housing.USC is able to provide incoming exchange students with university owned housing. However, as the number of students requesting housing has more than doubled in the past year we CANNOT guarantee housing on campus, although to date, we have been able to accomodate all IEP students who have applied for housing by the deadline.
Students are NOT required to live in University housing and may explore other options. Be sure to read the information below on non-University housing before doing so. Los Angeles, is very large, and the last thing you want to do is find an apartment that is 100 km from campus
Before applying for university housing, you must register at https://housing.usc.edu/Portal/. In order to do so, you will need a USC ID number. Your USC ID number will be e-mailed to your 2-3 weeks after the application process.
Once you have your USC ID number, visit the link above, read the instructions, and register. Once you have registered, you can file your housing application. You may choose any housing option you wish with the exception of the Residence Colleges (International or Arts and Humanities), which is for full-time students only (i.e. four-year students).
If you wish to request someone as a roommate, click the “known roommate” option on the online application. You will need to know your roommate’s name, USC ID number or date of birth. If you do not know anyone, or do not have a preference, then a roommate will be assigned to you. We attempt to assign IEP students with local students, but that is not always possible.
There are a limited number of single residences, but those are rare, and the chances of securing one are quite remote. Still, you may request individual housing if you wish.
Because of limited space, even if you are placed in on-campus housing you may not get your first or second choice, so be sure to rank as many housing sites as possible, in order of preference. NOTE ABOUT HOUSING WITH MEAL PLANS: We do NOT recommend housing with meal plans as the plans tend to be expensive and inflexible. Please take note of whether your housing option requires a meal plan or not.
Early/Late Move-in requests
Requests for early or late move-in MUST be made to both the Marshall Student Services Office AND to your Housing Customer Service Center. Early move-in usually costs $50-70 /day per person. If you are arriving with someone else, it may be cheaper to just stay in a hotel in the area.
To request early or late move-in, you must first email Sean O’Connell at sean.o’firstname.lastname@example.org with your NAME, USC ID NUMBER, arrival date and HOUSING ASSIGNMENT. Requests typically must be made by 2 months prior to your move-in date.
You must also submit a request to a Housing Customer Service Center. The specific Customer Service Center that you will need to contact depends on your university housing assignment. For example, if your assignment is Hillview, you will contact a different Customer Service Center than if you were living in Cardinal Gardens. As such, there is no general number for Housing Customer Service. The contact information for your specific center is located on your housing contract. If you cannot find it, please visit the following link.
When you arrive on campus, go to your housing assignment’s Customer Service Center to check in and get the keys for your apartment/room. (The CSC address and phone number is listed at the link above). Please be aware that the CSC hours of operation are 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Please try to arrive on campus between these hours. They normally do NOT stay open later than 5:00 pm.
If you are are landing in Los Angeles after 3:00 pm (and Los Angeles is your FIRST point of entry in the US, meaning you need to go through immigration and customs) you should contact your CSC (see link below for CSC address and e-mail) to see if they will stay open late for you (it takes about 4 hours total to clear immigration, get your bags, and arrive on campus). For those who will be entering the US in another city, and then flying to Los Angeles, it takes about 2 hours to get your bags and arrive on campus via taxi or shuttle (below is some information about transportation options).
If you will NOT be arriving during business hours, then you may wish to make arrangements for temporary housing (ie, hotel or motel). The following link provide you with some temporary housing options: Temporary Housing Options
You are NOT required to live in University owned housing. Non-university housing options can range from cheaper with minimal amenities, to more expensive but superior quality apartment buildings. USC has seen a recent building surge and many new off-campus options are now available to students. Please note that that these options often require a 12-month commitment.
The USC International Services office has also put together a website to assist students with locating housing. If you are thinking of NOT living in university owned housing, I would suggest that you visit this website before you begin your search. It contains vital information about the areas around USC, as well as helpful hints for locating appropriate housing.
In addition to the resources at the above website, we suggest the following Web sites.
- University Gateway
- Housing Anywhere
- Icon Plaza
- West 27th Place
Also check out “Facebook” under the marketplace section, and ask your host for suggestions. Housing in the general USC area is at a shortage, so be sure to start your search as soon as possible.