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.
Complete and submit your application.
Applications are reviewed three times per year, decisions are emailed to your USC email address:
A) After spring term grades are posted – applications received by the last day of classes in the spring term will be reviewed at this time.
B) At the start of the fall term – applications received by the Monday 3 weeks prior to the first day of fall classes will be reviewed at this time.
C) After fall term grades are posted – applications received by the last day of classes in the fall term will be reviewed at this time.
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.
Prior to admission, non-engineering majors are allowed to enroll in a maximum of 9 units within Viterbi.
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.
|Major||Semester One||Semester Two||Notes|
||*Pre-engineers are advised to complete Math 125 or equivalent before enrolling in BME 101|
||*If students took GESM in fall, they can take PHYS 151L in spring.|
||*PHYS 151L is a critical course to stay on track with CE 205|
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.
Yes, you may change your intended engineering major.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
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 you no longer wish to pursue engineering major, you may withdraw your application by contacting Viterbi Academic Services in RTH 110 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.