An update on USC’s reaccreditation

July 14, 2021

Dear Trojan Community,

I am writing today to share USC’s letter of reaccreditation that was just received from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). All accredited American universities undergo a thorough reaccreditation review when their accreditation term expires. The WSCUC letter reaffirms USC’s accreditation until 2030, and an interim report will be submitted in 2025 to show the university’s progress on the accreditation team’s recommendations.

The accreditation process relies on an independent evaluation of academic quality by an assessment team comprised of leaders from peer institutions. In our case, the review committee included representatives from Stanford, New York University, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, and University of Indiana.

The assessment team affirmed USC’s long-standing position as a leading research university that is advancing knowledge and society in one of the most dynamic and vibrant cities in the world. They also commended our traditional strengths in and focus on academic excellence, entrepreneurship and innovation, global engagement, and interdisciplinary research and teaching.

In addition, the committee highlighted that, despite headwinds from the pandemic and past ethical and legal challenges, the USC community is working collaboratively to strengthen shared values, embrace diversity and inclusivity, and expand access to a new generation of Trojans. Specifically, the report cited:

  • The USC Culture Journey and the “strong articulation” of the six values that unify our community, support our mission, and guide day-to-day interactions across our campuses.
  • USC’s commitment to access, affordability, and diversity, specifically our efforts to make college more affordable to lower- and middle-income families and that nearly 40 percent of the class of 2024 are people of color.
  • The new governance role and structure of the Board of Trustees that has been designed to ensure greater oversight.
  • USC’s commitment to robust and enduring partnerships throughout Los Angeles and Southern California.

Ultimately, our peers on the accreditation commission recognized and affirmed that USC is taking actions that strengthen our position as an “institution grounded in values, inspired by its mission, and confident in its ability to make the world better,” according to the team’s report.

I want to thank Provost Charles Zukoski and the entire Accreditation Steering Committee for preparing and guiding USC through the review process. This effort got underway in the spring of 2019 and engaged faculty across a wide variety of disciplines. It was the product of countless hours of work, all made that much more difficult and complex due to the pandemic. I am grateful to all who had a hand in delivering this excellent result.

Thank you and Fight On!

Carol L. Folt