Established in 1975, the Center for Engineering Diversity (CED) exists to assist The Viterbi School of Engineering in the recruitment, retention, and graduation of students from historically underrepresented backgrounds pursuing engineering degrees. This includes African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students.

The goal of CED is to foster a community of underrepresented scholars focused on academic, professional, and personal excellence. By partnering with Viterbi student affairs professionals, faculty, and corporate representatives, CED hosts programs and events that enhance students’ skills and build their networks for success.

CED is located in Ronald Tutor Hall (RTH) 210.  Students can access the peer learning lounge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The collaboration space is equipped with group and individual workstations, computers, and printers.


Academic Success Series

To assist students in reaching their full academic potential, we offer workshops and discussions on topics such as:

  • Goal-setting, Study Skills and Self Care
  • Time Management and Organization
  • Benefits of Academic Coaching
  • Study Strategies, Stress Management and Self-Care

Professional Development Series

This series provides students opportunities to engage with corporate representatives while attaining skills to successfully navigate the career development process:

  • “Inclusion in Tech” with Google
  • “Ins and Outs of the Recruiting Process” with Zynga
  • “Lunch and Learn” with Intel
  • “Day in the Life of an Engineer” with Edwards Lifesciences
  • Mock interviews
  • Internship Panel with VISA
  • Office Hours with Raytheon

CED Mentor Program

New Viterbi students often have questions about classes, internships, research, study strategies, and balancing academics with life outside of class.  Our mentoring program places a small group of new incoming students with an upper-class student that will serve as their mentor.  In addition to benefitting from the mentor’s guidance and advice, students have the chance to connect with their peers and begin creating their community.

Dine with Faculty

This program is designed to encourage and foster student-faculty engagement, which is particularly important to student retention. These small, informal meals give undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to learn more about faculty members’ backgrounds and careers while discovering mutual interests.

Community Building

Community-building activities allow students to build a wide, supportive network of peers, faculty, staff and industry representatives.  Each year we celebrate the beginning of the semester with a Fall Welcome and a Spring Kick Off event.  We close the end of the academic year with our banquet, “A Celebration of Excellence.”

“CED has created opportunities for me to meet companies in the tech space for prospective career positions. My Viterbi experience has been enhanced by CED's networking events which further connects engineering graduate students to one another.”

Jasmine Berry Computer Engineering and Computer Science - Doctorate

“The Center for Engineering Diversity has provided me with a 'backbone' that I can always rely on. Additionally, it has helped me to build my network and become familiar with extremely wonderful people within the Viterbi School of Engineering.”

Tariq BonnerAstronautical Engineering - Freshman

“The Center for Engineering Diversity equips me with resources needed to get internships and research positions. Most importantly, CED helps foster a community among women and minorities, empowering each other to become better engineers. ”

Caroline CassouChemical Engineering and Materials Science - Freshman

“CED is a huge part of my experience in Viterbi. I have been a part of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) for 2 years now and is part of my weekly routine at USC. It is where I have made many of my friendships in Viterbi. SHPE is also how I have been able to get an internship this summer. ”

Ana GabrielianAerospace and Mechanical Engineering - Junior

“The Center for Engineering Diversity has been in my corner since arriving at USC. From programming to recruitment events to just being a safe space where I can vent when things get stressful. The center and its staff have been an incredible resource to have through out my graduate experience.”

Emmanuel JohnsonComputer Engineering and Computer Science - Doctorate

“CED has been an invaluable academic and social resource during my time at Viterbi. CED is one of my go-to study locations - it has ample comfortable seating, is conveniently located near my classes, and maintains a good level of ambient noise for getting work done. It's also a very social setting - I can work on group projects, or even just chat with friends there, which I can't do in the libraries. Perhaps a silly metaphor, but for me CED is like a coffee shop - it's comfortable, lively, and still allows for serious work productivity.”

Gregory LawlerComputer Engineering and Computer Science - Masters

“I have been able to see a new insight on how different everyone's life really is. I saw the similarities and differences of people's personal problems and how they handled such obstacles. It was also enlightening to see how the collaboration of people with so many differences can actually be achieved. I gained a new perspective and a new family. ”

Juan MejiaElectrical Engineering - Junior

“CED has been a great place to find a community within Viterbi. I can always walk into CED and see people I know and at the same time have a place to study, print or just hang out until my next class. As a freshman I also participated in the mentorship program and that really helped me adjust to college life and I have since become a mentor!”

Vanessa PangbourneChemical Engineering and Materials Science - Junior

“CED has given me a place to see familiar faces, friends, and family. CED has provided me a community like no other, where I have met like-minded individuals who provide a sense of comfort, but who also challenge me to be the best student and engineer possible. Coming from a predominately Hispanic hometown, my middle and high school classmates and I were always able to relate to each others' family stories, backgrounds, and struggles. During my first few months at USC, it was incredibly difficult for me to feel at home in classrooms where almost no one looked like me - a daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants. CED is where I first felt at home on USC's campus. It is through the friendships I have made in CED that I have been able to learn about and join other Viterbi professional and co-curricular organizations. CED changed the entire trajectory of my college experience at USC, and for this I am forever grateful. ”

Jennifer VillacisCivil and Environmental Engineering - Junior