The University of Southern California (known as USC or SC) is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university founded in 1880 with its main campus in Los Angeles, California. As California's oldest private research university, USC has historically educated a large number of the region's business leaders and professionals. In recent decades, the university has also leveraged its location in Los Angeles to establish relationships with research and cultural institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim. Reflecting the status of Los Angeles as a global city, USC has the largest number of international students of any university in the United States. In 2011, USC was named among the Top 10 Dream Colleges in the nation.
As of 2011, USC enrolls 17,414 students in its four-year undergraduate program. USC is also home to 20,596 graduate and professional students in a number of different programs, including business, law, social work, and medicine. The university has a "very high" level of research activity and received $560.9 million in sponsored research from 2009 to 2010. USC sponsors a variety of intercollegiate sports and competes in the NCAA Pacific-12 Conference. Members of the sports teams, the Trojans, have won 96 NCAA team championships, ranking them third in the nation, and 361 NCAA individual championships, ranking them second in the nation. Trojan athletes have won 287 medals at the Olympic games (135 golds, 87 silvers and 65 bronzes), more than any other U.S. university. If USC were a country, it would rank 12th in most Olympic gold medals.
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