Best Study Spots on Campus

By Sarah Selke

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

The life of a college student is pretty hectic. If you have several hours to spare in between classes, finding a good place to study is essential to getting work done. Whether you like being outside under the sun or inside a building with plenty of lounge room, there’s always a spot to meet your preferences. Here are some of my favorite places on campus to study or simply relax.

Nazarian Pavilion Courtyard

Located behind Doheny Library, Nazarian Pavilion Courtyard is a great place to study while being conveniently located next to the coffee shop Literatea. This tucked away patio has a handful of seats enclosed by the library’s brick-red walls. Grab a drink or snack and settle down in this secluded courtyard for a couple of hours.

Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash

Queen’s Courtyard

Located outside of the USC Thornton School of Music, Queen’s Courtyard is a grassy park that is frequently occupied by music school students. Shaded beneath a canopy of trees, this is the perfect spot to study, nap, or picnic whilst being surrounded by the faint sounds of instruments playing. 

Hoose Library of Philosophy

Probably the quietest of USC’s libraries, the Philosophy Library is located on the top floor of the Mudd Hall of Philosophy and is a beautiful place to study completely undisturbed. Situated near the Metro Expo line, this library has an ancient ambiance aided by chandeliers and colorful stained-glass windows. There are seats tucked away between bookshelves, making for the ideal spot to study indoors without any distractions. 

Photo by Marie Bellando-Mitjans on Unsplash

Verna & Peter Dauterive Hall

The relatively new Verna & Peter Dauterive Hall is a clean and spacious indoor space that is great for studying. There are plenty of chairs and sofas on the lowest level that offer a comfortable getaway from the bustle of campus center. A beautiful long glass piece hanging from the ceiling makes the interior somewhat reminiscent of a quiet shopping mall. 

Archimedes Plaza

Located near the Viterbi School of Engineering, Archimedes Plaza is the ideal place for students to get some work done. Shaded by cardinal umbrellas, this spot offers fountain views and close access to the engineering library as well as the engineering school classrooms. It is particularly convenient for students studying in STEM classes who might wish to get a bit of fresh air between classes.

Law School Café

The Law School Café is a hidden gem located in the basement of the USC Law School. It is a great place to study, with seats both inside and outside the café. Known for having some of the best coffee and food on campus, this place is ideal for those who want to work while grabbing a bite to eat or drink. 

Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

Robert Wood Plaza

Located behind Heritage Hall and next to the Little Galen Dining Hall, Robert Wood Plaza hosts a collection of sofas and chairs to lounge outside while working on homework or studying. A somewhat difficult place to get to, this secret spot is rarely filled with people and thus a peaceful getaway from the center of campus. Little Galen is right next door, and offers a fine selection of hot food, sandwiches, and a salad bar during lunch hours.  

USC is home to so many great study spaces, and I highly recommend you take advantage of them. If you live with multiple roommates it can be hard to focus at home, and I find that studying on campus improves my productivity. There is truly a study spot for everyone!

Featured Image by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

Sarah is a recent USC graduate who studied English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She was born in the Los Angeles area and has lived there much of her life. In addition to English, she has some background in speaking Mandarin Chinese, French, and basic German. In her free time she likes reading, listening to music, photography, and cooking. Sarah visited Beijing recently and experienced having one-on-one conversations with other local students learning English. She hopes to continue improving her Chinese and French and is interested in teaching English as a foreign language someday.