PROGRESSIVE DEGREE PROGRAM (PDP)
The Accelerated BS + MS
Recent Changes to the Progressive Degree
Please note that the following two changes went into effect in November 2020:
1) Applications are now accepted from USC undergraduates with at least 64 college units completed (excluding AP, IB or transfer units earned prior to high school graduation). Students may apply in their junior or senior year, but no later than the semester prior to beginning graduate coursework. Application after undergraduate graduation is not allowed. Viterbi encourages students to apply in their junior year so that the applicant and advisor(s) can carefully coordinate upper division undergraduate courses with the onset of graduate coursework. If admitted, students are required to complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees within 12 semesters of the student's first term in college.
2) Letters of recommendation are not required from Viterbi Progressive Degree applicants whose overall USC undergraduate GPA is 3.5 or higher. Applicants with GPAs below 3.5 are required to submit one letter of recommendation from an instructor in a relevant academic field.
PLEASE NOTE: If your GPA is 3.5 or above, please select "other" in the drop down menu on the letter of recommendation section in order to submit the application in myViterbi.
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.
Application Deadlines: Fall 2021
First Deadline: Friday, September 24, 2021
Final Deadline: Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Progressive Degree Financial Aid
For more information about how the Progressive Degree Program would affect your financial aid, please visit the Financial Aid website.
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 check this website to confirm. You may also contact us by email at email@example.com
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to deciding which of these options to pursue.
Department Specific PDP Website Info
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
*Prospective PDP applicants must have completed at least 64 total units of undergraduate course work, 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 ( email@example.com) to determine if you are eligible to submit an application.
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 or Senior (this means you have completed at least 64 total units of undergraduate course work, 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:
Transfer Credit Report
If undergrad USC GPA is below 3.5, one letter of recommendation from an instructor in a revelant academic field is required. For GPAs of 3.5 or higher, no letter or recommendation is required.
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!
- 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. To learn more about when your status will change from undergraduate to graduate, please visit the Financial Aid office's Progressive Degree webpage.
- 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.
Instructions & Application
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 ( firstname.lastname@example.org) before proceeding with the application.
Log on to MyViterbi and look for “Progressive Degree Program” under Student Resources.
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.
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.
Bring the proposed course plan to your advisement meeting with your undergraduate advisor and your potential graduate advisor.
Check MyViterbi from time to time to see if your recommender has submitted the Letter of Recommendation and also to make sure that your advisor has uploaded the proposed course plan.
All materials, including letters of recommendation must be received by the deadline in order to be considered for that application term.
Proposed Course Plan
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.
- 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.
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.