USC Leads Nation in Enrollment of International Students

November 16, 2009

Annual “Open Doors” Survey

Los Angeles — The University of Southern California enrolled more international students than any other American institution of higher education, according to the annual “Open Doors” report, issued today by the Institute of International Education (IIE). 

USC hosted 7,482 international students in the 2008-09 academic year, according to the IIE. New York University was listed in second place, and Columbia University ranks third in the report. (For a list of the top 25 schools, visit
Indian students compose the largest segment of USC’s international population, at 1,623. Students from China are a close second, with 1,428. Both numbers represent record enrollments from each country.

USC officials attribute the strong numbers of Indian and Chinese students to several factors, including the university’s reputation along the Pacific Rim and a commitment to recruiting supported by an expanding alumni base in several Chinese and Indian cities.
“USC has long been a leader in attracting international students from all corners of the globe,” said C. L. Max Nikias, executive vice president and provost. “These students bring a wide range of ideas and beliefs to our campuses, as well as an abundance of intelligence and creativity. Not only do they benefit from their experience at USC, but they offer our domestic students a rich resource for teaching and learning.”
About 70 percent of USC’s international students this year are enrolled in graduate-level programs, with the greatest number attending the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
“International students from more than 110 different countries bring a wealth of experiences and viewpoints to our campus,” said Tony Tambascia, assistant dean of student affairs. “This contributes to a dynamic learning environment unparalleled at any other American university.”
More nationwide data from the Open Doors report is available on IIE’s Web site at

Contact: James Grant at (213) 740-6156  or