Pre-Engineering Admission Requirements

All students interested in changing their major to engineering must go through the pre-engineering process.

The pre-engineering process typically takes one to two semesters and consists of taking classes for your intended Viterbi major.
You will automatically be reviewed for Viterbi admission once you have submitted your pre-engineering application and have completed your pre-engineering coursework.

Admission Requirements for Non-Computer Science Majors


Non-Computer Science Majors 

Students must submit a Pre-Engineering Application (for non-CS intended majors) and are required to take at least three major related pre-engineering courses at USC for a letter grade in order to be reviewed. These pre-engineering courses vary by major. Please see the pre-engineering courses tab , for more information on critical major specific pre-engineering courses. 

Students interested in an Engineering Major (AME, ASTE, BME, CHE, CE, ECE, ENE, or ISE), must submit a Pre-Engineering Application. The Pre-Engineering Application for non-CS majors is open year round.

Top admission consideration is given to students who:   

  • Take 14 to 18 units per semester 
  • Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at USC
  • Meet the B or better grade qualifiers for their pre-engineering courses
    • For non-CS engineering majors  (AME, ASTE, BME, CHE, CE, ECE, ENE, or ISE), the three pre-engineering courses generally consist of an engineering course, science course, and MATH 126/129 or higher. The minimum grade qualifier is a B or higher.
    • Your entire USC academic history will be considered with a focus on Viterbi major-related courses taken at USC.


Admission Requirements for Computer Science Majors


Pre-Computer Science Pathway

If you are interested in one of the Computer Science majors below, you will need to apply through the Pre-Computer Science Pathway.

  • Computer Science (CSCI)
  • Computer Science Business Administration (CSBA)
  • Computer Engineering and Computer Science (CECS)
  • Computer Science Games (CSGA)

Step 1: Fill out the Pre-CS Pathway Interest Form

The Pre-CS Pathway Interest Form is currently open and will close on Friday, June 28th 11:59pm PDT.  No exceptions will be made if the deadline is missed. Please note that the interest form does not guarantee admission into the CS Department.

Pre-CS Pathway Interest Form:

Step 2: Eligibility for Selection into the Pre-CS Pathway After Completing the Interest Form

After submissions close, you will be contacted by Viterbi Admissions and Student Engagement (VASE) regarding your status in the Pre-CS Pathway.

In order to be eligible for selection into the Pre-CS Pathway, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have no more than 70 overall units completed (USC + transfer/AP units);
    • Only Spring 2024 Admits are exempted from this rule. Admit terms will be verified upon interest form submission.
  • Proof of credit/enrollment in CSCI 102 - Fundamentals of Computation
    • Proof of credit for CSCI 102 includes, having passed the CSCI 102 Challenge Exam or scoring a 4 or 5 in AP Computer Science A. Transferred computer science courses and AP Computer Science Principles scores are not accepted for CSCI 102 credit.
    • If you are enrolling in CSCI 102, you must pass the course with a B or better

Due to high demand for Computer Science majors, the number of eligible students selected to continue on the Pre-CS Pathway is subject to seat availability. If the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available CS seats, then students will be placed in a randomized lottery to continue on the Pre-CS Pathway of taking CSCI 103 and CSCI 170. VASE will be emailing qualifying students who submitted the Pre-CS Interest Form on lottery details. 

Please note that although you may be eligible for the Pathway, it does not guarantee being selected to continue on the Pre-CS Pathway. Students who are not selected may be eligible to submit their interest form when the next year’s form is open as long as no more than 70 total completed units is surpassed. 

Step 3: If You Are Selected for the Pre-CS Pathway

Students who are selected for the Pre-CS Pathway must meet the following criteria by the end of the Spring 2025 term to earn official admission into the CS Department:

  • A grade of B or better in each of the following courses: CSCI 102, CSCI 103, and CSCI 170
  • An overall GPA of 3.0+

If you have any questions about the Pre-CS Pathway, please email us at

*Changes in the Pre-CS track,  does not affect students who are currently in the pre-engineering track (e.g., submitted a CS Pre-Engineering application in Spring 2024 or earlier) and who are on track for review for a CS major.*

Published on November 30th, 2020

Last updated on June 6th, 2024