Application To Viterbi PDP for Graduating Seniors  

Seniors graduating in Fall 2020 are being extended a special invitation to apply to the Viterbi Progressive Degree Program. Only students with a GPA of 3.2 or higher are eligible to apply by submitting the Application and Course Plan form to no later than November 2, 2020. Along with the Application and Course Plan form students will also need to submit a current copy of the STARS Report. Please combine these documents into a single PDF (Application first, STARS second) and email them with the subject line: 2020Seniors LastName, FirstName (USC ID Number). Please note that the course plan requires the approval of the graduate department to which you are applying and must therefore be drafted in consultation with an academic advisor. For more information on who your graduate advisor is, scroll down to the Advising section of this webpage. 

For students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, no letters of recommendation are required. For students with a GPA between 3.2 and 3.49, one letter of recommendation is required from a USC faculty member in your major field of study. Please have all letters of recommendation sent to The letter can come either as an email attachment or written in the body of the email, whichever is more convenient for the letter writer.

Students admitted to the PDP must complete all undergraduate coursework by Fall 2020. All graduate coursework must be completed within 12 semesters of the student’s first term in college. Students will be admitted to the PDP with graduate student standing and should expect to be eligible for graduate level financial aid only.

To view a recording of the webinar that outlines the special application offer to 2020 seniors, please click here.

If you have questions, please read through the FAQs below, which will be updated on a regular basis. You may address questions not covered below to


Q: My GPA is slightly below 3.2. Can I still apply? A: No, you may not. This offer is only available to undergraduate students whose GPA is 3.2 or better at time of application.  

Q: I am a senior set to graduate not in Fall 2020, but in a future term. Can I apply to the PDP under this offer? A: No, per university policy, only seniors who are graduating in Fall 2020 may apply under these special circumstances. Future graduating cohorts may be afforded this opportunity, but this is not currently the policy nor is the offer guaranteed to be made available again in the future. 

The Progressive Degree Program (PDP) allows you to earn credits toward a Master’s Degree while completing your Bachelor’s Degree at USC.

This gives you, as a continuing undergraduate student, another path to earning a Master’s degree from USC. PDP is a great way to satisfy your intellectual curiosity and prepare for your future, and in as little as one additional year! The PDP will enable you to benefit from the ability to take graduate-level classes during your senior year and reduce the number of units required for you to earn a Master’s Degree.

Upcoming Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadlines: Fall 2020

First Deadline: Friday September 25, 2020

(apply by this deadline to receive your decision by the time Spring 2021 course registration opens)

Final Deadline: Tuesday November 24, 2020

(you can apply by this deadline if your proposed course plan does not include graduate coursework in Spring 2021)


Fall 2020 PDP Information Sessions – Dates and times to be confirmed

Information covered in the Spring 2020 Session can be found at the following link:

PDP Information Session Presentation

Viterbi Progressive Degree Program(PDP) Scholarship

Viterbi Admission and Student Engagement is pleased to offer merit based scholarships for Viterbi Master’s students who are currently completing graduate coursework via the Viterbi Progressive Degree Program (PDP). For more information and how to apply.


Application Due Dates:

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, year-round. However, deadlines exist for the purpose of determining eligibility.
  • The application submission deadline for fall and spring semesters is the last day of exams. Applications submitted after the last day of exams will include the units taken in that term in determining eligibility for the program.

First Application Deadline Option:

  • Submit your application by the first application deadline if you hope to receive an admission decision before the next registration period. In general, this option is for you if you want to register in 500-level classes for the term following the application. (Only available during the fall and spring terms.)
  • The First Application Deadline is the Friday of the fifth week of classes. This deadline can vary by semester, so please confirm the deadline date by contacting Viterbi Graduate Admission – by email by phone 213-740-7755 or in person at  OHE 106.

Decision Dates:

  • Decisions for complete applications are released by the end of the term following the completion of all parts of the application.
  • If you submit an accurate and complete application by the First Application Deadline, you will generally be notified of the admission decision near the start of the following term’s registration period (e.g., applications received by the fall semester first deadline should have an admission decision by the start of registration for spring semester).

Priority will be given to applicants who have course plans with graduate-level coursework listed in the coming semester.


Course Selection and Graduation Requirement Questions

The traditional master’s degree program remains an option for you, and in some cases may be preferable to a Progressive Degree. Make sure to consult with your undergraduate advisor, faculty and Viterbi Graduate Admission  ( prior to deciding which of these options to pursue.

Department Specific PDP Website Info

ASTE – Please consult your undergraduate advisor
CHE & MASC – Please consult your undergraduate advisor
CE & ENE- Please consult your undergraduate advisor
ISE- Please consult your undergraduate advisor

Progressive Degree Program Application Questions

If you have any questions or concerns about the Progressive Degree Program, please feel free to contact us by email or phone 213-740-7755.  You may also schedule an appointment or drop by our walk-in office hours:

Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) 106 

Wednesdays and Fridays, 9.30 – 11.30 am and 1.30 – 4.30 pm

Please note that the above office hours have been suspended until further notice as USC has begun to take measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. During this time we are still very much looking forward to speaking with you about PDP. Please direct all inquires to Please also note that if an in-person meeting is the most appropriate forum to discuss your situation, a video conferencing option will be available.



Schedule a PDP Application Appointment

If needed you can schedule an appointment using the link below.


Eligibility Requirements

completed undergraduate units*

*Prospective PDP applicants must have completed at least 64 total units of undergraduate course work, but not exceeded 95 total units, excluding AP, IB, or transfer units earned prior to high school graduation.
Applications are reviewed on a comprehensive and competitive basis, not all eligible students are admitted to the program.
If you are unsure if you meet the eligibility requirements, or if you have special circumstances, please consult with representative from the Viterbi Graduate Admission Office ( to determine if you are eligible to submit an application.

Application Requirements

You will need to meet the following requirements to earn both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees:

  • Minimum 3.2 GPA at time of application
  • Submit application as a Junior (this means you have completed at least 64 total units of undergraduate course work, but have not exceeded 96 total units, excluding AP, IB, or transfer units earned prior to graduation from high school).
  • Complete and submit Application for Admission to a Progressive Master’s Program, including:
    • Application form
    • STARS report
    • Transfer Credit Report
    • Two letters of recommendation from USC Viterbi faculty
    • Proposed Course Plan – the course plan must include all remaining undergraduate course requirements and at least two-thirds of the graduate program requirements
    • You are not required to submit GRE or GMAT scores!

Program Requirements

  • You must fulfill all specified degree requirements for both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree except for the total number of units for each degree. (The required course units for the master’s degree may be reduced by up to a maximum of 1/3 of the course units.) 
  • You will be subject to undergraduate academic progress standards while in undergraduate status and master’s academic progress while in graduate status. In most cases, you will be classified as undergraduate students for the first eight semesters of USC enrollment. In the ninth semester, you will be assigned graduate status.
  • While classified as graduate students, students will be assessed the graduate tuition rate appropriate for their master’s degree, and graduate standards will apply.
  • Students who receive a research assistant or teaching assistant award prior to completion of eight semesters will be assigned graduate status.
  • The bachelor’s degree may be awarded separately, but the master’s degree will not be awarded before the undergraduate degree.
  • The time limit for completing a progressive degree program (combining the BS and MS degrees) is 12 semesters.

Learn more about the Viterbi Master’s Programs

Programs are subject to change. Please make sure to check in with your potential department graduate advisor when deciding on a program to pursue. 

PDP Programs

Instructions & Application

Step 1: 

Identify the master’s degree you would like to pursue. Be sure to identify a specific Program of Study (POST) that you intend to follow.

If your intended Master’s program is outside the Viterbi School, you must consult with Viterbi Graduate Admission ( before proceeding with the application.

Step 2:

Log on to MyViterbi and look for “Progressive Degree Program” under Student Resources.


Step 3:

Complete the application and follow the instructions for each step.

Units and GPA information is available through OASIS on both your STARS report and your Transfer Credit Report.

Step 4:

While completing your online application, you should download an electronic PDF of the PDP Proposed Course Plan. You should complete this either online or print it out.

Step 5:

Bring the proposed course plan to your advisement meeting with your undergraduate advisor and your potential graduate advisor.

Step 6:

Check MyViterbi from time to time to see if your recommenders have submitted the Letter of Recommendation and also to make sure that your advisor has uploaded the proposed course plan.

 All materials must be received by the deadline in order to be considered for that application term.

Proposed Course Plan

Below are additional information and instructions on how to prepare your proposed course plan:

Step 1:

While completing your PDP Online Application, you should also download the Proposed Course Plan form and complete it to the best of your ability. If you decide to print and complete the form then ensure you do so in pen and not pencil. If you would like guidance on the completion of the course plan, then arrange to meet with your undergraduate and potential graduate advisors.

Step 2:
  • After completing the form, first meet with  your current undergraduate advisor who will review and sign and confirm their approval and return the form to you.
  • Take the signed course plan to meet with your potential graduate advisor. They will review, and sign, confirm their approval and return the form to you.
Step 3:

You should then bring the Proposed Course Plan back to your UG advisor, who will subject to everything being OK, scan and upload the form to your PDP Online Application. Your course plan along with your application will be reviewed by Viterbi Graduate Admission.


If I am a non-Viterbi student, can I still apply to Viterbi PDP?

Yes you can! However you will need to apply via paper application.


Can I apply to a non-Viterbi PDP program?

Of course! But you will need to follow that department’s application procedure. Please refer to the relevant webpage. Note that you should check with the relevant graduate advisor for more information regarding their specific PDP requirements.

Do I have to know exactly when I will graduate from PDP?

Not at all! We understand that schedules change, but we do want you to have an idea of when you will be finishing everything. If you do need to make changes in the future, you would just need to submit a revised course plan.

I don’t have any transferred units, so what how do I fill out the transfer credit report section?

Regardless if you have transfer credits or not, please download the transfer credit report from your OASIS (if there’s nothing then it should be blank) and attach it to the document.

Can I use non-Viterbi faculty as my recommenders?

Letters of Recommendation should come from Viterbi faculty members. If you do not have two Viterbi faculty recommenders, we will accept letters from other people who are in a position to speak to your potential for success in the program. In that case, we highly encourage you to have at least one of your letters come from a Viterbi faculty member. If you do not see your recommender in the application drop down menu, please select “other” from the menu and have the letter writer email their letter directly to us at

Do I have to print out the Proposed PDP Course Plan?

No, you do not have to print out your Proposed PDP Course Plan. We have the Course Plan online in a fillable PDF format so you could email the completed version to your advisor.  Emailing the completed fillable PDF as opposed to printing will speed the process up. So, where possible we recommend you complete the course plan online and email to your advisor.

Do I have to fill out the entire Proposed PDP Course Plan at the beginning?

Please fill out the Proposed PDP Course Plan to the best of your ability. Your advisor will go over any courses that need to be changed when you meet with them.

What is the timeline to hear back with my PDP decision?

If you applied by the first deadline, you would hear back sometime during the same semester and in time to register for the following semester. If you submitted by the final deadline, you will receive your decision by the end of the semester following the semester in which the application is submitted.

How do I check my PDP application status?

You can check your PDP application status through your MyViterbi account.

I don’t know if I am qualified to apply to PDP, who can I talk to?

Please feel free to email us at to schedule an appointment to come in to speak with us!

What will happen to my financial aid when I am enrolled in the Viterbi PDP program?

As indicated in the USC Catalogue, progressive degree students are classified as undergraduate students up to and including the semester they complete 144 units, until their bachelor’s degree is conferred, or until they receive a research or teaching assistant award, whichever comes first. Transfer units and all units completed at USC, including both undergraduate- and graduate-level course work, will be counted toward the 144-unit limit. Transfer course work not being applied as either subject-specific requirements or free electives toward the bachelor’s degree may increase the 144-unit threshold, which determines when a student transitions from undergraduate status to graduate status.

I am an admitted PDP student and I want to make changes to my course plan?

Step 1: Download the Revised Course Plan form and complete it. If you decide to print and complete the form then ensure you do so in pen and not pencil.

Revised Course Plan Form

Step 2: After completing the form you should meet with  your advisor(s) who will review and approve your Revised Course Plan. Please note that If you have not yet completed your Undergraduate degree  you will need to meet and seek the approval (signature) of your Undergraduate advisor. However if you have already completed your undergraduate degree then you will only need to meet with and seek the approval (signature) of your Graduate advisor.

Step 3: Check to make sure that your Revised Course Plan form has been completed correctly (forms completed in pencil, with crossings out or white out will not be accepted) with the appropriate signatures. If everything is completed correctly then submit your Revised Course Plan form to Viterbi Graduate Admissions,

I was unable to attend the PDP Info Session, and was wondering if I could get more information on what was presented?

Click on the link HERE for the PowerPoint that goes over what was covered during the info session. If you have any questions that were not covered by the PowerPoint, feel free to email us.