Alyssa Campanella of Los Angeles topped a field of 51 beauty queens to take the title at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. She strutted across the stage in a blue bikini with white polka dots and a dark turquoise evening gown with beading on its top.
Miss Tennessee Ashley Durham was the first runner-up, while contestants from Alabama and Texas placed third and fourth.
Campanella replaces Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih. The Michigan woman teared up as she walked across the stage for a final goodbye.
The pageant had three competitions: swimsuit, evening gown and interview question.
The contestants were whittled to 16 after the show's opening number, in which the beauty queens introduced themselves one-by-one. The top 16 were picked by preliminary judges through competitions and interviews during the week before the telecast. Celebrity judges picked the top eight after the swimsuit competition and the top 4 after the evening gown portion.
Campanella will go on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.