The University of Southern California is the oldest private research university in the state and the Film School’s Cinematic Arts programs that have been on offer over the past 90 years have yielded an impressive caliber of alumni. In fact, 21 of the 25 highest-grossing movies of all time have had alumni involved behind the scenes in various roles and no other institution can claim to have graduated as many Academy Award winners as USC. Among them is none other than writer-director George Lucas, whose Star Wars film series is still one of the most iconic Hollywood franchises.
The University of Southern California has also been a leading figure when it comes to diversity and equal representation with dean Elizabeth Daley at the helm who recently instituted mandatory classes in diversity. The most recent intake of students to the production program has a ratio of 17 females to 7 males, compared to the class of 1990 when producer Melissa Rosenberg (Marvel’s Jessica Jones) graduated as one of only four women in the class of 25. Rosenberg continues her involvement with the university, regularly visiting to give additional encouragement to female students. Another notable graduate of USC is television producer and writer, Shonda Rhimes, who is best known as the creator of Grey’s Anatomy.