Are you a current USC student interested in changing your major to engineering?

Learn about the process and steps needed in order to apply.

We encourage you to use the following websites to learn more about your field of interest:

Applying

Step 1

Enroll in the recommended courses according to your Viterbi Major of Interest.
It is recommended that students who wish to apply to a Viterbi major complete the recommended major and major-related courses listed below. The list of recommended classes will be made available in the coming weeks.
Consideration is given to overall GPA and unit count. Students with 15 or more units per term and GPA greater than 3.0 are generally more competitive for approval.
If any of the courses below are not offered during the semester you wish to apply or you have met this requirement, speak with a pre-engineering advisor to identify an alternative course.
* A score of 4 or 5 on AP CHEM satisfies CHEM 105a and MASC 110 requirement.  Please consult with Viterbi Advisor regarding alternate science course.
These courses must be taken with a letter grade.

Step 2

Complete and submit your application before the deadline.

There are two application deadlines per term:
A) For students who want an admission decision 2 weeks after grades are posted, the application deadline is the last day of class for that term. Decisions are typically emailed to your USC email address.
B) For students who want an admission decision prior to the start of the next term, the application deadline is the Monday 2 weeks prior to the first day of classes of that next termDecisions are typically emailed to your USC email address 2 weeks after the deadline.
If your request to change majors to engineering is not approved, you will need to select another major. To consult with an advisor in the Academic Counseling Services for help with selecting another major, call (213) 740-1741 or stop by their office in STU 300.
Non-engineering are allowed a maximum of 9 units registered within Viterbi.
Apply Here

Pre-Engineers must take major specific classes during the term in which they are applying for Viterbi.

Minimum requirements for approval to change/add an engineering major:

  • 3 or more specific major and major-related courses (math, science, engineering) taken at USC

    • Varies by major, see bold courses below

    • Must include Math 126, or higher, taken at USC

    • Courses must be taken for a letter grade

  • 15 – 18 units of academically rigorous coursework during the application semester

  • Additional major-related coursework beyond the minimum is beneficial

Admission to the Viterbi School is competitive.  The applicant’s entire academic history will be considered, with a focus on performance in major courses at USC.  Top consideration is given to students with 15-18 units per term and cumulative and term GPA at USC greater than 3.0 and “B” or better in all major-related courses.

In most majors, students who place into Math 126 or higher their first term can apply during the first term.

Major Semester One Semester Two Notes
AME AME 101 or AME 105
MATH 125 or higher
CHEM 105aL or MASC 110L
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
ITP 168
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
PHYS 151L
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
ASTE ASTE 101L
MATH 125 or higher
CHEM 105aL or MASC 110L
WRIT 150 or GESM
ITP 168
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
PHYS 151L
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
BME GE: Cat A, B or C
WRIT 150
MATH 125 or higher
CHEM 105aL
BME 101*
GESM Cat A, B or C
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
CHEM 105bL
*Pre-engineers are advised to complete Math 125 or equivalent  before enrolling in BME 101
CHE CHE 120 or CHE 205
MATH 125 or higher
CHEM 105aL
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
CHE 120 or CHE 205
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
CHEM 105bL
GESM: Cat A, B or C* or PHYS 151L
*If students took GESM in fall, they can take PHYS 151L in spring.
CE CE 106
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
GE
CHEM 105aL or higher
Math 125 or higher
CE 108
GESM: Cat A, B or C
GE
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
PHYS 151L*
*PHYS 151L is a critical course to stay on track with CE 205
CSCI CSCI 102
CSCI 109
MATH 125 or higher
GESM: Cat A, B or C or WRIT 150
Basic Science of EE 101 or second GE (no GESM)
Basic Science or EE 109
CSCI 103
GESM: Cat A, B or C or WRIT 150
MATH 126/129 or higher
CSBA CSCI 102
CSCI 109
MATH 125 or higher
BUAD 304 or ECON 351
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
CSCI 103
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
BUAD 304 or ECON 351
CSGM CSCI 102
CSCI 109
CTIN 190 or CSCI 281
MATH 125 or higher
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A,B or C
CSCI 103
CTIN 190 or CSCI 281
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
CECS CSCI 102
GESM  & GE  or
Or GE  or WRIT 150
MATH 125 or higher
Science GE (Cat D) or another GE
EE 109
CSCI 103
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
GESM: Cat A, B or C (if not already completed) or PHYS 151L
EE EE 105
EE 155
MATH 125 or higher
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
EE 109
PHYS 151L
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
ISE ISE 105
CHEM 105aL
MATH 125 or higher
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
GE
MATH 126 or 129 or higher
ISE 499

F.A.Q.

What factors are considered in the admission decision?

Your overall academic performance and demonstrated preparation for your intended major in engineering are the primary factors considered.  In addition, you must be enrolled in 15 to 18 units (except if CSCI is your intended major, 14 units is allowed for CSCI majors) and enrolled in the courses recommended by a Viterbi advisor.

After I submit my application, can I change my intended engineering major?

Yes, you may change your intended engineering major.

Can I submit a letter of recommendation or personal statement with my application?

Letters of recommendation or written statements are not required. However, if you feel a letter from a professor or teaching assistant would shed light on a poor grade or other challenging situation, you may submit a letter of recommendation.  Letters of recommendation must be submitted to your Viterbi advisor in RTH 110 or viterbi.studentservices@usc.edu no later than one week after the application deadline.

 

Additionally, if you feel a personal statement would help explain any extenuating circumstances that affected your academic performance, then you may submit a typed statement (recommended no more than 1 page). You should also consider submitting a personal statement if you have withdrawals or repeated coursework in your academic record.

Which math, science, and engineering courses are considered reviewable?

Your entire academic history is considered, with a focus on any courses that are engineering major requirements. Typically, this includes:

MATH 126 or higher

BISC 120 or BISC 220 or higher

CHEM 105a or higher

PHYS 151 or higher

Any course offered by an engineering department that is a required for your intended engineering degree.

I have AP/IB/GCE exam scores that can place me out of some courses; are these exam scores considered as part of the admission decision?

You cannot be admitted to Viterbi based solely on exam scores. The Admission Committee will need to review your academic performance in at least one semester of typical engineering coursework at USC.

Are grades earned in courses taken at other schools considered as part of the admission decision?

You cannot be admitted to Viterbi based solely on courses taken at other schools.  The Admission Committee will need to review your academic performance in at least one semester of typical engineering coursework at USC. However, taking courses over the summer at other schools may be necessary for you to make timely progress towards your degree if you are admitted to engineering. Please be sure to discuss this with your engineering advisor.

I don’t think I am going to earn good grades in my courses this semester; can I withdraw my application and re-apply another semester?

Once you have met the application requirements and you want to major in engineering, your application will be reviewed. We want to ensure that you have an admission decision as early in your time at USC as possible so you can make timely progress towards your degree.

If I do not want to major in engineering anymore, can I withdraw my application?

If you no longer wish to pursue engineering major, you may withdraw your application by contacting Viterbi Academic Services in RTH 110 at viterbi.studentservces@usc.edu.

If I am denied, can I appeal the decision?

Yes, you may appeal the decision if your application is denied. Appeal requests must be typed and emailed to your Viterbi Advisor in no later than two weeks following the date your admission decision is emailed.

In your appeal request, it is very important to discuss any extenuating circumstances that negatively impacted your academics. Simply requesting another semester to improve your grades is not a sufficient basis for an appeal. The review committee will evaluate appeal requests on a case by case basis.

If I am denied, can I apply again in a future semester?

No. Once you are denied admission to Viterbi, you may not re-apply. We want to ensure you remain in good academic standing at USC and are making progress towards a degree. Repeatedly taking engineering courses and re-applying to Viterbi without being successful decrease your chances of remaining in good academic standing or graduating on time. We advise all students who apply to change their major to Viterbi have a back-up plan to graduate in another major from USC. There are many other majors and minors at USC that may fit your interest in math, science, and technology.

Additional Questions?

We recommend you first meet with your current academic advisor to discuss your pre-engineering courses. If you have questions after this meeting, you are welcome to attend pre-engineering walk-in advisement every Wednesday morning from 9:00am-10:30am in RTH 110.