General

Who is my advisor?

If you are a first-year student, you have been assigned a first-year advisor. If you are a sophomore, junior, or senior, you will be working with a department advising specialist for your major.

Find first-year advisors and department contacts here.

When can I talk with an advisor?

You can email your advisor at any time. You can also stop by drop-in advising Monday – Friday from 3-4pm in RTH 110 for quick questions.

You are required to meet with your advisor for mandatory advisement prior to registration for the next semester’s classes. You will receive notification from your advisor about signing up for an appointment.

If you need to meet with an advisor outside of mandatory advisement and drop-ins, feel free to call or email your advisor to setup an appointment.

  Registration

How do I register for classes?

You can register for classes on or after your assigned registration time, or “permit to register”, and as long as all holds are cleared.

USC uses a system called Web Registration or “WebReg”. WebReg can be accessed at my.usc.edu and at www.usc.edu/webregistration.

Where do I find my registration time?

Your registration time, or permit to register, is released in October for Fall semester and March for Spring semester. You can find your permit to register via MyUSC. Once logged into MyUSC, select OASIS, and then Permit to Register.

When is the add/drop deadline?

The first add/drop deadline is typically the Friday of the 3rd week of classes. You can find the exact dates for each semester on the registration calendar here.

What is a ``W``

A “W” stands for Withdraw, and means a cancellation of enrollment in a course. Students have until the end of the 12th week of the semester to drop courses (or the week-12 equivalent for courses that last less than 15 weeks). The mark of W is assigned to any course dropped after the third week.  Students may not withdraw from a course in which they have committed or have been accused of committing an academic integrity violation.

A “W” is not calculated into a GPA.

Read more here.

How do I add a class that is full?

WebReg does not have a built in waitlist system. If a section that you would like to register for is full, you will need to wait until a student drops the class and a seat becomes available.

What if two classes I need conflict?

Occasionally, two courses that you need will overlap in time. If the overlap is not a substantial amount of time, or it is for a quiz section of a course, many times you can enroll in both using a course conflict form.

Check out our registration information website for more information.

I am thinking about taking a course at a community college or other instituion over the summer. Can I do that?

Yes, you can take courses over the summer at another institution and transfer them back in to USC. GE courses and Writing courses do not apply (they must be taken at USC).

Many students choose to take math or science classes at a local community college over the summer. To begin, use an articulation agreement site (for California community colleges) or an articulation histories website (for non-California schools) to find a class equivalent to the USC class. *Not all transferrable courses will be listed here.

Next, submit the desired course for pre-approval via OASIS. Read more about pre-approval for summer courses here. 

Finally, talk with your advisor to update your course plan. It is important to be mindful of GE credit when taking science classes outside of USC. For example, if you take an equivalent course to PHYS 151 outside of USC, you will earn the major credit, but not credit for GE-E.

I can't register because I have a hold on my account. What do I do?

The system should tell you the type of hold and which office to contact. Please call that office and settle the issue with one of the representatives.

You can still use the system to build your schedule but you will not be allowed to register for classes.

WebReg says ``Unable to Register`` when I try to checkout. What's going on?

There are a few reasons why you might be getting an error when you try to checkout in WebReg.

If you are trying to add a GE, or course other than math, science, or engineering, be sure that you have met the prerequisite and that the course does not require D-clearance. Carefully read any notes associated with the course on the schedule of classes. Although a course has GE credit, it can still be limited to a specific major.

If WebReg says that you need d-clearance, or that you have not met the prerequisite for a math, science, or engineering class, please submit your request here. 

Check all enrollment issues listed here and if you are still having trouble enrolling, reach out to your advisor.

What does ``D-clearance`` mean?

D-clearance, or departmental clearance, means that the department is limiting who can enroll in the class. Section IDs with a “D” at the end are restricted by the department offering the course (for example, CHE 120, section ID 29400D).

How can I check if I have d-clearance?

Often times we give declared Viterbi majors d-clearance automatically. You can check if you’ve been provided clearance for a class in MyUSC > WebReg > My Information > Clearances

What if a section ID has an ``R`` at the end?

If a section ID has an “R” at the end (for example, CLAS 280 section ID 19810R), you are free to register for the class as long as you have met any prerequisites.

  Courses

What is the difference between Math 126/129 and Math 226/229?

Math 126 and Math 129 are both Calculus II. However, Math 129 is Calculus II for Engineers and Scientists.

They are very similar classes and will cover the same material, but the examples used in Math 129 will be applied towards engineering.

Either class is fine to take and will be counted towards your major.

The same goes for Calculus III (Math 226/229).

 

What is the difference between PHYS 151, PHYS 161, and PHYS 171?

PHYS 151 is Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics and Thermodynamics.

PHYS 161 is honors physics. You may want to consider applying for honors physics if you entered Viterbi with advanced math and/or physics credit. It is designed for students who want to get additional experience in physics to build upon what they learned in high school. Obtain an application from your advisor.

PHYS 171 is Applied Physics I: Mechanics. It is similar to PHYS 151, but emphasizes application in engineering. This course is an option for some Viterbi majors, and is required for Electrical Engineering.

If you are not sure which Physics class is best for you, ask your advisor.

How do I apply for Physics 161: Honors Physics?

Please fill out the Honors Physics application and return it to your advisor

Honors Physics Application

What is the difference between CHEM 105A and CHEM 115A?

CHEM 105a is General Chemistry.

CHEM 115a is Honors Chemistry. It is equivalent to CHEM 105a but taught at a higher level for exceptionally well-prepared students. Ask your advisor for an application.

How do I apply for CHEM 115A: Honors Chemistry?

Please fill out the application below and return it to your advisor.

Honors Chemistry Application

  Grading

What is a passing grade in Viterbi?

For a letter grade, D- or above in a course is a passing grade at Viterbi. For a P/NP grade, C- is a passing grade. However, in order to graduate, you will need to have a major GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative GPA of 2.0.

Can I take my classes Pass/No Pass?

Courses for your major may not be taken pass/no pass. Only one GE course may be taken as pass/no pass.

Pass/No Pass grades do not factor into your GPA. If you are considering taking a class for Pass/No Pass, check with your advisor first.

What is Freshman-Forgiveness?

  • Freshman forgiveness is a university policy designed to allow first-time freshman to repeat coursework in which they received a D+ or lower. Only freshman in their first-year at USC may be eligible or Freshman Forgiveness.
  • First-time freshman who started at USC in the fall semester and completed courses with a D+ or below during their first two semesters may retake up to three courses. Both grades for the repeated courses will show on the student’s transcript but only the repeated grade will be calculate into the grade point average.
  • First-time freshman who attended another institution during the fall semester and began at USC in the spring semester may be eligible for Freshman Forgiveness for up to two courses for which they completed in their first semester with a D+ or below.
  • Courses taken for Freshman Forgiveness must be taken for a letter grade, not pass/no pass.
  • Only credit for the repeated course will be applied towards the student’s academic program and degree.
  • Students who earned a grade as a result of a student academic disciplinary conduct may not be eligible for Freshman Forgiveness.

What is a Missing Grade (MG)?

  • An “MG” results when a professor lacks to provide a final grade for a student. As of fall 2015, unresolved “MG” grades are converted to “UW” (Unofficial Withdrawal) grades after a year.
  • Professors general do not designate “MG” grades except in cases involving specific academic student conduct cases.
  • Students must contact their professor to resolve a grade of “MG” and follow the Correction of Grade process of the Office of Academic Records and Registrar.

What is an Incomplet (I)?

A grade of “IN” is earned when a student does not complete a class due to a documented illness or emergency. A student may earn a grade of “IN” only after the 12th week of the semester (or the equivalent for courses designed to be completed in less than 15 weeks).

  Engineering +

I am thinking about adding a minor, where do I start?

Not sure what you want to minor in? Read about choosing a minor here.

Next, talk with your Viterbi advisor about fitting a minor into your course plan.

Finally, check with the department of the minor regarding any admission standards or application procedures for the minor.

How do I find out about student organizations?

  • Ready to join but you do not know where to start? Please visit one of the following websites and read all about the student organizations we have at Viterbi (over 50) and USC (over 850). If you are interested in joining a student organization, simply visit their website or email them to find out more information! Click here to start your journey to get involved!
  • For information regarding student organizations at Viterbi, please visit our website.
  • For university-wide student organization, please visit the Office of Campus Activities website.
  • Each semester the university holds involvement fairs in the center of campus. During the spring semester, Viterbi also hosts the “Get Connected!” engineering student involvement fair.

Can I add a second major within Viterbi?

If you are interested in adding a second engineering major, we recommend that you consider pursuing the Progressing Degree Program for the second field. Ask your advisor more about this option.

What is the Progressive Degree Program (PDP)?

  • The Progressive Degree Program is designed for students who would like complete their Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program at Viterbi in a reduced time with a possible reduction in graduate units.
  • Students apply to the Progressive Degree Program generally in their junior year to begin taking Master’s level courses in their senior year. Information sessions are held each semester.
  • For more information regarding eligibility, the application process and additional program information, please visit the PDP Website.

What is the Grand Challenges Scholars program?

  • The Grand Challenges Scholars program is a program designed to highlight the effort and accomplishments of Viterbi students who have focused their work on the following five dimensions of the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges:
    • Research/Creativity
    • Multidisciplinary
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Cultural Competence
    • Social Consciousness
  • Interested students should apply in the year of their undergraduate commencement. Applications are generally available in January and due in mid-February.
  • Grand Challenge Scholars will be recognized at graduation and the National Academy of Engineering in addition to receiving a small cash award. For more information regarding the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, please visit their website.