Pre-Engineering

 

INTERESTED IN CHANGING YOUR MAJOR TO ENGINEERING?

 

INTERESTED IN CHANGING YOUR MAJOR TO ENGINEERING?

 

INTERESTED IN CHANGING YOUR MAJOR TO ENGINEERING?

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

The pre-engineering process is 1-2 semesters and consists of taking classes for your intended Viterbi major.

Get Ready for Spring!

We hosted a workshop to go over spring course plans, figuring out what GEs you need to take, enrolling in summer courses, and what to expect during the admission review process.

To watch the recording, click here!

Admission Requirements

  • Top consideration is given to students who are taking 14-18 units per semester and have at least a 3.0 cummulative GPA at USC. Your entire academic history will be considered with a focus on major-related courses taken at USC.
  • Students must take at least three major-related courses within one or two semesters at USC for a letter grade. These courses vary by major, please see the course plans for more information.
    • For engineering majors, these courses are generally an engineering, a science, and a at least calculus II (MATH 126 or 129). The minimum grade qualifier is a B.
    • For computer science majors, these courses must be CSCI 103, CSCI 170, and at least calculus II (MATH 126 or 129). The minimum grade qualifier is a B (B+ beginning spring 2021).

Pre-Engineering Process for Current Students

Step 1: Make sure engineering is the right fit for you.

Step 2: Review the admission requirements.

Step 3: Let us know you have decided to begin the pre-engineering process.

  • Email viterbi.studentservices@usc.edu with your name, USC email, USC ID, intended Viterbi major, intended graduation date, and if you are planning on changing majors or adding engineering as a second major.

Step 4: Meet with a pre-engineering advisor to complete a course plan based on your Viterbi major of interest.

  • Email viterbi.studentservices@usc.edu to complete a course plan.

Step 5: Keep in Contact.

  • Your current declared advisor is still your main contact for university related questions, mandatory advising, and lifting any advising holds. However you can still meet with pre-engineering advisors if you have any questions about the pre-engineering process, need clearances for engineering-related courses, or need academic support.
  • We will be in contact to veirfy your review date. If you are no longer interested in the pre-engineering process, please let us know.
  • We will automatically review your admission to Viterbi at the end of your review term once all grades have been posted.

Pre-Engineering Process for Newly Admitted First Years

Step 1: Sign up for a permit to register.

  • Your permit to register is a 3-hour block where you are able to enroll in your classes. You will receive an email to sign up for a Permit to Register during the week of May 18 – 22.

Step 2: Complete your Pre-Orientation Checklist.

  • This is essential to place you into the correct classes.
  • This includes reporting all AP/IB/A-Level exams and dual enrollment credits.
  • Take the Math and Chemistry placement exams.

Step 3: Review the admission requirements.

Step 4: Fill out the Pre-Engineering interest form on the Viterbi Admission website.

  • This will help us by telling us what major you’re interested in so we can better prepare your course plan and ensure that you will be reviewed for admission.

Step 5: Complete the Pre-Engineering Blackboard Course.

  • This course will have information about building your fall schedule, registering for courses, and pre-engineering admision requirements.
  • All of the information on this website can also be found on the Blackboard course.

Step 6: Attend a live Pre-Engineering Q&A Session.

  • Ask any questions you have about the pre-engineering process and registering for courses.
  • You can sign up for a session in the Pre-Engineering Blackboard course.

Step 7: Enroll in Courses.

  • You will be able to enroll in your couerses during your registration window. Advisors will be available if you run into any issues during the registration process.

Step 8: Keep in Contact.

  • Your current declared advisor is still your main contact for university related questions, mandatory advising, and lifting any advising holds. However you can still meet with pre-engineering advisors if you have any questions about the pre-engineering process, need clearances for engineering-related courses, or need academic support.
  • We will be in contact to veirfy your review date. If you are no longer interested in the pre-engineering process, please let us know.
  • We will automatically review your admission to Viterbi at the end of your review term once all grades have been posted.

Pre-Engineering Process for Newly Admitted Transfers

Step 1: Sign up for a permit to register.

  • Your permit to register is a 3-hour block where you are able to enroll in your classes. You will receive an email to sign up for a Permit to Register during the week of May 18 – 22.

Step 2: Complete your Pre-Orientation Checklist.

  • This is essential to place you into the correct classes.
  • Submit your official transcripts.
  • Report any previous AP/IB/A-Level exams.

Step 3: Review the admission requirements.

Step 4: Fill out the Pre-Engineering interest form on the Viterbi Admission website.

  • This will help us by telling us what major you’re interested in so we can better prepare your course plan and ensure that you will be reviewed for admission.

Step 5: Complete the Pre-Engineering Blackboard Course.

  • Submit your unofficial transcripts to us so we can better assist you in building your course plan. This is different than submitting your official transcript to the university.
  • Make an appointment with an advisor to build your fall schedule.

Step 6: Attend a live Pre-Engineering Q&A Session.

  • Ask any questions you have about the pre-engineering process and registering for courses.
  • You can sign up for a session in the Pre-Engineering Blackboard course.

Step 7: Enroll in Courses.

  • You will be able to enroll in your couerses during your registration window. Advisors will be available if you run into any issues during the registration process.

Step 8: Keep in Contact.

  • Your current declared advisor is still your main contact for university related questions, mandatory advising, and lifting any advising holds. However you can still meet with pre-engineering advisors if you have any questions about the pre-engineering process, need clearances for engineering-related courses, or need academic support.
  • We will be in contact to veirfy your review date. If you are no longer interested in the pre-engineering process, please let us know.
  • We will automatically review your admission to Viterbi at the end of your review term once all grades have been posted.

FAQ

What factors are considered in the admission decision?

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 14 to 18 units and enrolled in the courses recommended by a Viterbi advisor.

After I submit my application, can I change my intended engineering major?

Yes, you may change your intended engineering major.

Can I submit a letter of recommendation with my application?

Letters of recommendation are not accepted as part of your application for review.

What documents can I submit with my application?

Although not required, you will be given the opportunity to submit a supplemental statement with your application. This should include any extenuating circumstances you would like the committee to be aware of.

You can also submit any medical documentation to viterbi.studentservices@usc.edu on or before the date the supplemental statement is due.

Which math, science, and engineering courses are considered?

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.

Are grades earned in courses taken at other schools considered as part of the admission decision?

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 I do not want to major in engineering anymore, can I withdraw my application?

If you no longer wish to pursue engineering major, you may withdraw your application by contacting Viterbi Academic Services in RTH 110 at viterbi.studentservces@usc.edu.

If I am denied, can I appeal the decision?

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.

If I am denied, can I apply again in a future semester?

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.

Sample Course Plans

Bolded courses are required to be reviewed for admission into Viterbi. Although some courses might not be necessary to be reviewed for pre-engineeirng, they might still be necessary to take to stay on track for graduation.

Note that some courses have prerequisites so you should still plan to take them in order to continue with the sequence.

  • MATH 125 is a prerequisite to MATH 126, PHYS 151, BME 101, CHE 120, and ECON 351.
  • CHEM 105 aL is a prerequisite to CHEM 105 bL and CHE 120.

AME

Semester 1

  • AME 101 or AME 105
  • CHEM 105aL or MASC 110L
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Semester 2

  • MATH 126 or 129 or higher
  • PHYS 151L
  • ITP 168
  • GE: Cat A, B, or C
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Notes

* Students with AP/IB/A Chem scores can take ITP I68 or PHYS 151 in place of Chem 105/MASC 110.

ASTE

Semester 1

  • ASTE 101L
  • CHEM 105aL or MASC 110L
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Semester 2

  • MATH 126 or 129 or higher
  • PHYS 151L
  • ITP 168
  • GE: Cat A, B, or C
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Notes

* Students with AP/IB/A Chem scores can take ITP I68 or PHYS 151 in place of Chem 105/MASC 110.

BME

Semester 1

  • CHEM 105aL
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • GE : Cat A, B or C
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Semester 2

  • BME 101*
  • MATH 126 or 129 or higher
  • CHEM 105bL
  • GESM Cat A, B or C

Notes

*Pre-engineers are advised to complete Math 125 or equivalent before enrolling in BME 101.

CHE

Semester 1

  • CHEM 105aL
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • GE : Cat A, B or C
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Semester 2

  • CHE 120*
  • MATH 126 or 129 or higher
  • CHEM 105bL
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Notes

*Pre-engineers should complete MATH 125 (or equivalent) and CHEM 105aL (or equivalent) prior to enrolling in CHE 120.

CE

Semester 1

  • CE 106*
  • CHEM 105aL or higher
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C GE

Semester 2

  • MATH 126 or 129 or higher
  • CE 108
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
  • PHYS 151L**

Notes

*Students interested in the Civil Engineering, Environmental emphasis may take CE 110 in place of CE 106.

**PHYS 151L is a critical course to stay on track with CE 215.

CSCI

Semester 1

  • CSCI 102
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • Basic Science, GE, or course toward back-up major
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
  • Optional GE

Semester 2

  • CSCI 170
  • CSCI 103
  • MATH 126/129 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Notes

* Students who have earned a 4 or 5 on AP Computer Science can waive out of CSCI 102.

CSBA

Semester 1

  • CSCI 102
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • BUAD (302/304/307) or ECON 351
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C
  • Optional Basic Science, GE, or course toward back-up major

Semester 2

  • CSCI 170
  • CSCI 103
  • MATH 126/129 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Notes

* Students who have earned a 4 or 5 on AP Computer Science can waive out of CSCI 102.

CSGM

Semester 1

  • CSCI 102
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • GE, CTIN 190, or CSCI 281
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A,B or C
  • Optional GE or course toward back-up major

Semester 2

  • CSCI 170
  • CSCI 103
  • MATH 126/129 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Notes

* Students who have earned a 4 or 5 on AP Computer Science can waive out of CSCI 102.

CECS

Semester 1

  • CSCI 102
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • GE, CTIN 190, or CSCI 281
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A,B or C
  • Optional GE or course toward back-up major

Semester 2

  • CSCI 170
  • CSCI 103
  • MATH 126/129 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Notes

* Students who have earned a 4 or 5 on AP Computer Science can waive out of CSCI 102.

ECE

Semester 1

  • EE 105
  • EE 155
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Semester 2

  • PHYS 171L
  • EE 141 or MATH 126, 129, or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Notes

*CSCI 103 can substitute for EE 155 and can be taken in the Fall or Spring semesters.
*PHYS 151 or 161 is acceptable for pre-engineers.

ENE

Semester 1

  • CE 110
  • CHEM 105aL or higher
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Semester 2

  • MATH 126 or 129 or higher
  • CE 108
  • PHYS 151L
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

ISE

Semester 1

  • ISE 105
  • CHEM 105aL or MASC 110
  • MATH 125 or higher
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Semester 2

  • MATH 126 or 129 or higher
  • ISE 150
  • GE: Cat A, B, or C
  • WRIT 150 or GESM: Cat A, B or C

Transfer / AP / IB / A-Level Credit

Credit from Other Institutions

Check our articulation agreements to check if courses you have taken at other institutions are equivalent to USC courses.

  • For California community colleges, click here.
  • For UCs, CSUs, and community colleges outside California, click here.

 

For incoming first years: You will only receive credit for eligible courses taken before high school graduation if it was not taken for high school credit, taken with other college students, and taken at a college campus.

  • If you will not receive credit due to the reasons stated above, we can still use equivalent math course to place you in a higher level math at USC.

AP EXAM

GE

Course Equivalency

Calculus AB

GE-F

MATH 125

Calculus BC (score of 4)

GE-F

MATH 125

Calculus BC (score of 5)

GE-F

MATH 126

Chemistry

GE-E

CHEM 105aL

Biology

GE-D

BISC 120L or 220L

Computer Science A

CSCI 102

Physics

GE-E

AP Physics C (Mechanics and Electricity/Magnetism) exams are not equivalent to PHYS 151 or PHYS 152 but students may be able to fulfill the science requirements for these majors with exam credits. Talk to us if you took any of these exams.

Art History

GE-A

Statistics

GE-F

Macroeconomics

GE-F

Microeconomics

GE-F

European History

GE-H

U.S. History

GE-H

World History

GE-H

IB  HL EXAM

GE

Course Equivalency

Mathematics (5 or 6)

GE-F

MATH 125

Mathematics (7)

GE-F

MATH 126

Chemistry

GE-E

CHEM 105aL

Biology

GE-D

BISC 120L or 220L

Physics

GE-E

IB Physics (HL) exam is not equivalent to PHYS 151 or PHYS 152 but students may be able to fulfill the science requirements for these majors with exam credits. Talk to us if you took any of these exams.

Economics

GE-F

History of Africa & the Middle East

GE-H

History of Asia/Oceania

GE-H

History of the Americas

GE-H

History of Europe

GE-H

Dance, Film, Music, Theatre, or Visual Arts

GE-A

Global Politics

GE-G

A-Level Exam

GE

Course Equivalency

Chemistry

GE-E

CHEM 105aL

Mathematics

GE-F

MATH 125

Physics

GE-E

A-Level Physics exam is not equivalent to PHYS 151 or PHYS 152 but students may be able to fulfill the science requirements for these majors with exam credits. Talk to us if you took any of these exams.

Drop-Ins / Contact Us

For more information or to talk with an advisor, reach us at viterbi.studentservices@usc.edu.

Please include your USC ID and intended pre-engineering major.

Make sure you have read through the admission requirements, pre-engineering workshop, sample course plans, and the FAQs as most of your answers will be found there.