This spring break I visited some of my best friends at other universities, and when all of their friends asked my major and were shocked to hear I was studying chemical engineering, I realized what a special place USC is.  I’ve definitely taken for granted the fact that there are so many other women in engineering here (twice the national average) and that, while still highly respected, it’s not rare to find other girls in engineering, and that’s something thats something I have come to love about USC.

Even in high school, my math and science classes (which were always by far my favorites) were predominately guys.  My AP Chem and AP Physics classes each had about 15-16% girls.  This never discouraged me from my love of math and science, however I was definitely intimidated to go into a university where this difference would only be magnified.  Instead, I’ve found an amazing network of other girls who love these subjects just as much as I do.

Most of my best girl friends at USC happen to be engineers.  It’s not that I was specifically looking for them, it just happened that way! We have so many classes, orgs, and interests in common it really isn’t that much of a surprise.  I’ve met other female through a variety of means; my best friends in chemical engineering are girls, half the girls in my hall my freshman year were engineers, my best friends in my sorority are engineers- we’ve become friends because we have the same interests and goals!

There are so many awesome benefits to being a woman in engineering at USC.  First, there are amazing connections to other women engineers through SWE, which offers professional and social opportunities for female engineers.  There is also the Women in Engineering office, located in the Center for Engineering Diversity, where you can get any questions answered and a whole office is dedicated to making experiences for women at USC better.

I think the best takeaway though about USC is that although it is still definitely unique and challenging to be a woman in engineering, you will never feel alone here and there are plenty of other women to help support you!

This is a gallery of a lot of my best (girl) friends in engineering.  I have made some of the best friends I could have ever asked for here, and couldn’t imagine a better place to be a female engineer.


Lyssa Aruda-2015

Lyssa Aruda-2015

Chemical Engineering (Nanotechnology), Class of 2015, Learn more on her profile here!