John Brooks Slaughter

Center for Engineering Diversity


Eligibility & Benefits

VSI is designed for first-year Viterbi students who identify as Native American, Black, and Latinx.

However, any student who finds community within our space, regardless of racial identity, is welcome to apply.


We are an affirming space towards the LGBTQ+, undocumented, first-generation, and low-income communities. Additionally, we strive to provide a space where you can find belonging with all your identities. 


Benefits of Attending VSI

  • Free on-campus experience
  • Build college-level learning strategies
  • Participate in an introductory research experience
  • Establish meaningful relationships with faculty and staff
  • Build your peer support network of new incoming students and upper-class students through community-building events
  • Exposure to USC and Viterbi resources
  • Experience a preview of college living to ease your transition in the fall
FreeFree on-campus experience with dining plan. All excursions and events are covered by us. You only have to cover your transportation to and from USC and meals during excursions. If finances will prevent you from traveling, we may be able to provide a transportation waiver.
MentorshipReceive guidance from an RA who will guide you through the summer. You will also receive priority if you want to participate in the CED Peer Mentorship program during the academic year. You can talk about your adjustment to college, academics, getting involved, and making the most out of your time at USC.
ResearchWe pair you with a lab during the summer to get you involved in research and make connections with graduate students and faculty. You may not be matched based on major and it will be an introductory experience.
Experience LAWe take students on weekly excursions to get to know the area. In the past, we have taken students to the beach and a theme park Excursions vary by year.
Make FriendsEvery year, VSI students begin the academic year with some of their closest friends and bonds that last during their time in college.
Experience USCWe connect you to various departments on campus so you know where to go when you need support.
College ReadinessYou take a preview math course so you know what to expect of a college course and practice your learning skills. We also have workshops that teach the best ways to study for college-level courses.

Published on April 8th, 2022

Last updated on September 22nd, 2023