Tradition of Support for the Armed Forces
USC has a long history of support for veterans and the military. The university became a training school for Army officers during World War I and expanded its role during World War II, serving as a naval preparatory flight cadet school and hosting Army, Marine Corps and Navy training programs.
In addition, USC is one of only two universities, along with Notre Dame, to have maintained an unbroken, decades-long relationship with the ROTC.
The ROTC program at USC was founded in 1943 and currently numbers 120 future officers in four branches of the military — the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy. Applicants must receive a scholarship from the national ROTC program and are admitted separately from other students at USC. Graduates of the program join their military branch as officers.
USC also enrolls approximately 600 veterans each semester, supporting their return to civilian life through the USC Veterans Association, the USC Veterans Certifying Office, Transfer and Veteran Student Programs, and other initiatives.
The Schoen Family Scholarship Program for Veterans Endowment, which has assisted close to 200 students since its creation in 1986, was established with a $15 million donation from USC Trustee William J. Schoen ’60, MBA ’63 and his wife, Sharon. This scholarship provides additional support for veterans studying at the USC Marshall School of Business and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
The university’s commitment to the military extends to other schools and units. For the last 12 years, USC has hosted the Institute for Creative Technologies, a leading center in artificial intelligence and virtual humans funded by the U.S. Department of Defense to improve training and preparedness of officers and their troops.
In 2008, the School of Social Work won federal funding to create a master’s program designed to train social workers specifically in the needs of veterans and their families. The school also runs the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families.
In 2012, The USC Marshall School of Business launched the Master of Business for Veterans (MBV), a new degree program for veterans. Developed through conversations with Marshall alumni and the California Department of Veterans Affairs, the MBV is geared for veterans and active military personnel and is designed to translate specific skills acquired through military service to the business environment.