Legacy W.V.T. Rusch Undergraduate Engineering Honors Program Policies

Important Note: The below information and policies apply to the Legacy EHP.  As of fall 2018 the EHP has been changed.  Information on the new program will be available soon.  Please contact vugrad@vsoe.usc.edu for more information.


Students may apply to the program upon completion of their first or third semester at USC (Spring). Transfer students must apply with at least 3 remaining semesters at USC.

Students should have earned a minimum of 3.5 in both their cumulative GPA and in their major.

Acceptance to the program is based on the following criteria:

-Academic performance

-Motivation to complete the program

-Motivation to complete the track

  Please email vugrad@vsoe.usc.edu for additional information or questions.

Grade Point Average Requirements

The required grade point average for remaining in the old Engineering Honors Program is a cumulative USC GPA of 3.7 or above (before Fall 2018). The participate in the new honors program (after Fall 2018) students need to maintain a USC GPA of 3.5 or above.

If a student in the Honors Program earns a cumulative USC GPA below 3.7 Old program) or 3.5 (new program) he/she will be given two semesters (excluding summer semesters) of “Honors Program Probation” during which time s/he can bring his/her GPA up.

Once the student brings his/her GPA up or above the required GPA, s/he is in good standing with the Honors Program.  After two semesters of probation, a student whose GPA remains below the required GPA will be ineligible to participate in Honors Program Colloquium classes and activities, but can become eligible again at any later date by raising his/her cumulative GPA.

Please note: The probationary period referred to in this section for students of the Engineering Honors Program is independent from other forms of probation at USC, including Academic Probation.

Required Number of Semesters

The required number of semesters of ENGR 100 you must take as a member of the Honors Program depends on when you were admitted to the program.

Incoming Freshman

Students may apply to the program upon completion of their first or third semester at USC (Spring). Applications will be due the beginning of February.

Transfer Students

To apply to the Honors Program Transfer students have at least 3 remaining semesters at USC.

Continuing Students

Continuing undergraduate Viterbi students with a cumulative USC GPA of 3.5 or above are invited to apply for the W.V.T. Rusch Engineering Honors Program.

Students may apply to the program upon completion of their first or third semester at USC (Spring). Transfer students must apply with at least 3 remaining semesters at USC.


There are two available semesters of ENGR 100 that a student in the Honors Program should take in consecutive order — first ENGR 100a, then ENGR 100b. W.V.T. Rusch Honors program students will also enroll in the WRIT 340: Focus section and ENGR 491.

It is very important that you do not register for the same course twice (for example, take ENGR 100a for two semesters), because you will not be granted the unit value of the course the second time you take it.  If you are unsure of which semesters of ENGR 100 you have already completed, please view your completed course summary or STARS report on OASIS.

Attendance Policies

ENGR 100 is a one-unit, credit/no-credit course, and the only requirement for earning credit is attendance at the weekly Colloquium classes. Since this is the only requirement, the attendance policies for ENGR 100 are very strict. Students are tolerated a maximum of three absences total, for any reason, during each semester. More than three absences will result in a grade of “no credit” being assigned.

If you miss any class sessions due to adding the course after classes have already started, those class sessions you missed will be considered absences.

Please note that there is no distinction between “excused” and “unexcused” absences. Regardless of the circumstances, every time you are not in attendance will be considered an absence. This is also true if you fail to attend the end-of-semester barbecue.

Attendance is taken by means of a sign-in sheet, which is passed around during each class session. Signing in for another student is grounds for termination from the program. It is each student’s responsibility to keep track of the number of his/her absences and to ensure that the maximum tolerated number of absences is not exceeded.

D-Clearance Requests

ENGR 100 requires departmental clearance; you can request a D-clearance through the below link. Once you are provided d-clearance you will receive an email with a confirmation.


19th Unit of Tuition Coverage Requests

EHP students who are completing the Legacy EHP (not the new program, with thesis, etc.) can request tuition coverage for a 19th unit of colloquium. The student must be enrolled in 19 (or more) units of academic course work, including the colloquium (ENGR 100 a, b, c, or d) in order for the request to be approved. To request tuition coverage for a 19th unit of colloquium, complete the application below:

1)     Tuition Credit Request for 19th unit – Due December 1, 2018.

Use of Laptop and Phones During the Colloquium

(a message from the Program Director)

In the past I have repeatedly observed that an increasing number of our members are using laptops and mobile phones during our talks. I have also heard negative comments about this fact from a few of our speakers.

Since the use of laptops and mobile phones have very little to do with our Colloquium (e.g., it is not required for the presentations), the use of laptops and mobile phones during our presentations are at a minimum disrespectful to our speakers. You see, we invite these speakers to come and talk to us, often imposing a considerable amount of work at their end. The least we can do is then to give our undivided attention to their talks.

For the above reasons, and others that I am sure you can infer, with this message I am then informing you that laptops and mobile phones are not to be used in our weekly Colloquium.

The bottom line is that, if somebody is not interested in the Colloquium, they should not be there. If they can’t manage their time to avoid needing to use a laptop or mobile phone during the Colloquium, they should not be there either. If you absolutely need to entertain a very important phone call or text  message (we all know that sometimes this happens), please make sure that you step out of the room for that.

Wishing you a very productive semester, sincerely yours,


Published on November 21st, 2016

Last updated on September 12th, 2020